There’s nothing quite like the look and feel of a freshly cleaned floor.
Infinitely more satisfying, however, is the clarity that comes with having clean windows, which really do make the outside world look brighter.
Now, I’m not a big fan of housework and I can tolerate medium levels of untidiness, but deep down I really like having a clean home.
Even the simple act of vacuuming generates a sense of lightness, no matter how much paperwork is piled up on the dining table.
I don’t generally schedule housework into my dairy; it’s one of those activities that depends on the weather, my general sense of wellbeing and the distraction of more enjoyable social engagements. Attitude is the decisive factor, though.
I’ve defined my cleaning habits into the following categories:
My 6 cleaning habits
1. Must do.
The kitchen has top priority. I always wash and put away the dishes and cutlery, no matter the time of night or state of disarray in other parts of the house. One thing I really hate is the unwelcome pitter patter of crawly insects.
Fortnightly vacuuming and light cleaning, with particular emphasis on the bathroom. It includes a token attempt at shuffling the pile of paperwork from one end of the dining table to the other. This cleaning habit is occasionally pre-empted by the notification of visitor arrivals.
3. Ad hoc.
Non-essential tasks such as ironing and removing mould build-up on furniture and clothes after successive rainy days are undertaken on an as-needs basis. This habit may override all other habits due to prolonged rainfall.
4. Big Clean.
A quarterly frenzy that starts with dusting, vacuuming, mopping, disinfecting and finishes with dazzlingly clear windows. The pile of paperwork on the dining table is duly sorted into the bin or filing cabinet. Best practice results are achieved with suitably motivational music such as Bhangra, Middle Eastern, disco or African and a tall glass of iced coffee on the go.
5. Annual spring clean.
Starts with #4 and progresses to the systematic washing of curtains, steam cleaning the lounge, dining chairs and anything else that can’t be thrown into the washing machine. It often includes a methodical cull of paperwork in my filing cabinet and/or unused clothes dispatched to the Salvos store. This activity may turn into a two-day operation.
6. The Big Cull.
Occurs when I’m moving house. A tonne of unnecessary paperwork is relegated to the recycling bin while excess clothes, utensils and other knick-knacks are bundled into boxes for drop off at the Salvos.
Despite my recent satisfaction of an overdue Big Clean, the current persistent rainfall will unfortunately necessitate habit #3 as soon as the weather clears. Sigh.
My 5 favourite housework quotes
1. My theory on housework is, if the item doesn't multiply, smell, catch fire, or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one else cares. Why should you? ~ Erma Bombeck
2. Don't cook. Don't clean. No man will ever make love to a woman because she waxed the linoleum - "My God, the floor's immaculate. Lie down, you hot bitch." ~ Joan Rivers
3. The trouble with living alone is that it's always your turn to do the dishes. ~ Author unknown
4. Housework is something you do that nobody notices until you don't do it. ~ Author unknown
5. I'm not going to vacuum until Sears makes one you can ride on. ~ Roseanne Barr
Are you a fanatical house cleaner?
New Zealand 2008
New Zealand 2006
United Kingdom 2004
Athens Olympics 2004
Beijing to Athens 1994
I acknowledge the traditional Custodians of the land on which I work and live, the Gubbi Gubbi / Kabi Kabi and Joondoburri people, and recognise their continuing connection to land, the waters and sky. I pay my respect to them and their cultures; and to Elders past, present and emerging.
© 2023 HARI KOTROTSIOS