View Full Version : I am so gross. (Or, cleaning only when you have to!)

Blackdog Lin
1-22-12, 9:01pm
We're engaged in contractor-done home improvement right now. And it's made me realize that I really should clean more often than once every 18 years. :) I have been forced into cleaning stuff that I really should have paid more attention to over the last xx-years.....

- full bathroom re-do (my bathroom). I did clean it before the workmen showed up, so not too embarrassed. And it had gotten so ugly over the years that who could tell where the grime left off and the stuff just wore out?
- some replacing/refurbishment in DH's bathroom. Thank goodness I wasn't here when the toilet was replaced! I don't want to think about how gross it may have been, so I shan't.
- still to come medicine cabinet replacement in DH's bathroom - okay, that one made me look up. Not just cobwebs, but BROWN cobwebs. How long have they been hanging around? Did a thorough cleaning today (the corners of the floor were gross too).
- had to take down all the family photos hanging in the hallway, along with everything in the entry (plastic tree, various tchotckes) to facilitate workmen getting stuff in and out. How long has this stuff had 1/4" of fuzz growing on it? :)

I USED to clean the house nicely every Saturday, back in my younger days. It's the way I was raised. But nowadays.....well, simpler living demands that I spend my time on happier pursuits, like being online, rather than doing all that intense cleaning that a house seems to need every year or two.

I've gotta work on my meshing of simple living and having a house that's clean enough to be healthy and happy. I don't know where that sweet spot is just now.....which brings me back to just cleaning when I absolutely HAVE to.....

How do y'all deal with that cleaning "sweet spot"?

1-22-12, 9:47pm
I grew up the opposite of a weekly cleaning - more like where you're at now. So while I am not wild about cleaning (and feeling like it's all I do lately) I know that if it gets out of hand, it takes a LOT more time to deal with, and my own stress level is not as high. It helps that DH has relaxed a little, though, because for all my attempts, I am not perfect and neither is he. He grew up in the polar opposite of the home I grew up in as far as cleanliness - spotless at all times, and a mom that picked up after people. I am starting to detest picking up after people - and we don't even have kids!! (I think it's from our remodel - everyone wants to help, but not clean anything up or put anything back, or run down two flights of stairs for the one tool they forgot, etc.) Anyway, for a while I was getting snarky with DH about his stuff being out of place, and now I just ignore it. If it truly sits there too long for my tolerance level, I'll mention it and he takes care of it. Same in my direction.

Not sure if any of that's helpful, but that's what it is!! :)

1-23-12, 12:18am
I'm glad to know that there are other women who don't keep the house squeaky clean. I wouldn't get anything else done if I tried to meet the standard you see in magazines, especially with a black and white Tuxedo cat who sheds gobs of fur year-round. (If only I could train her to just suck it in hard and then go relax her follicles while standing in the litter pan.) I tried the Fly Lady program a few years ago and lasted less than a week. What I do strive for is a place that is organized and neat. Clutter makes me crazy, as does that crowded feeling I get in a room with too much furniture. Forget knick-knacks.

iris lily
1-23-12, 12:35am
No, *I* am the gross one.

God I hate cleaning. My living room is gorgeous and pristine right now. Ya know why? Because DH painted the entire thing, top to bottom. We've lived here 22 years and it has never been painted other than the contractor white on the new drywall. He cleaned the light fixtures including the chandelier. For that job he bought some of that stuff that you spray on and then it drips off and you put a towel underneath while the grime drips off. It's reasonably effective. Even our threshold of the front door is pristine white.

It will never look like this again.

1-23-12, 5:00am
It's hard to keep a house clean with pets. We have 3 dogs and 3 cats - DH vacuums once a week and we call it good. I keep the kitchen and bathrooms clean, just because those two areas drive me crazy if they are dirty or messy. In general, I keep everything "in its place" because our house is small and clutter really does bother me. Dusting is the job I hate and I often let it go for too long....

1-23-12, 7:48am
I am sooooo with you on this one. I consider cleaning a waste of my life's energy, even as I realize it needs to be done. I get so disgusted with myself once I realize how bad things have gotten, and then vow to keep it clean even as I realize that there are so many other things I consider worthwhile calling my name.

That said, the house is almost always picked up and neat. I do clean the bathrooms every week, and the counters in the kitchen are cleaned daily. But floors are impossible to keep clean around here. Dusting? Once in a while on a sunny day when I actually see it, I might do something. I've never cleaned my oven. I do move the sectional in the living room twice a year to vacuum and wash the floor underneath, and most of the other "deep" cleaning either happens due to guests, or when I decide to repaint a room. I'm not going to put dusty things back up once the walls are clean and painted. The house is quite organized, and I can find things easily. I don't have much in the way of things I don't use, I'm pretty good at going through all of my things every few years and asking if I still love them, or still use them.

We don't have children and not a lot of company, so I'm ok with this level of cleanliness. I would love for it to be cleaner, but I'm not willing to put in the life energy to make it so, and I don't want to spend the money to have someone else make it so.

1-23-12, 8:31am
I am so glad for this topic to come up. We just came back from a visit with my SIL, whose house was spotless. My house is kind of a mess right now, because we've been doing some bathroom renovations, and there are bits of drywall that got scattered throughout the house. Not to mention the toilet sitting in the middle of the kitchen. :)
Under normal circumstances, I usually tidy up when I'm expecting company or if I become personally disgusted with some mess in my house. I sometimes get into a hyperactive cleaning frenzy, but those episodes tend to be short-lived and occur only about once or twice a year.

1-23-12, 8:51am
I clean the house every Saturday. I guess it helps me feel in control of my world, and I do like a neat, clean, aesthetically pleasing environment. I also find that the time spent doing mindless tasks is good thinking time. That's when I do a lot of my mental processing.

1-23-12, 10:20am
I don't work by schedule, just as things need done. With an older troop of kids now capable of contributing effort and time towards, I've noticed how much easier certain aspects of tidiness and cleanliness has become. Nonetheless, I do enjoy a clean and tidy home, both inside and out. Well worth the investment of time.

Benefits related to a healthy and clean environment;

I feel better
I feel happier
I'm more relaxed and content
I feel like doing things like baking/cooking
I enjoy having people over for coffee/tea

1-23-12, 10:26am
I have a cleaning lady who comes in once a week - on a Tuesday.
I have always said that if and when we sell, I would need to ensure that any prospective buyers view on a Wednesday...

I worked out that I worked for a living. My down-time shouldn't be spent either nagging about or doing all the jobs I absolutely hate - so I don't! I like a clean and tidy house, so it's money well-spent IMO.

1-23-12, 10:30am
I'm with Mrs. M on this topic. I am a lot more relaxed - and I think that goes for the other members of my household as well - when things are reasonably clean and tidy. I have a lunch gathering of friends every week and that is good motivation to keep things picked up all the time. I don't dust surfaces very often, but floors are mopped and vacuumed and the bathrooms are cleaned at least weekly, often twice weekly. Kitchen surfaces are cleaned every day. I find that the more often I clean, the faster it is, because there's less mess.

1-23-12, 11:01am
Does anyone remember the commercial, where an older, mature lady visits the home of friends/family, and the instant she steps foot inside the home she runs her white-gloved hand over the top of the door-jamb to test for dust/soiling?

iris lily
1-23-12, 11:05am
Often we are too gross to even have a cleaning lady come in without pre-mopping. (Both of my cleaning ladies, David and Michael, have been men.) But for instance, right now we have a rescue dog who had tail surgery on Friday. It is the worst tail amputation this vet has ever seen. An inch closer to her spine and she would have been put down. Anyway, she has drains in her rear end and is dripping blood and gunk.

Meanwhile, one of the Frenchies did both a poo and a pee in the living room while I was attending to aforementioned recovering dog. And then, our long haired cat is vomiting up hairballs. She needs a shave. And THEN a Frenchie is bleeding from the face and nipple because she got into a fight with her sister, she is walking around spreading smears of blood.

If only it were just the pet hair, it would be much easier.

Some zones are too gross even for the professionals. But DANG my walls and white woodwork are pristine!

1-23-12, 12:32pm
I come from a line of unrepentantly undomesticated women. I'm naturally untidy and disorganized. If I ever get better organized, I'll hire a housekeeper.

1-23-12, 1:37pm
I try to keep things reasonably cleaned and tidied. I've written before about my struggles with laundry, but the rest of the housework gets done more efficiently. Monday (today) is cleaning day. I started that this past summer when I had a cleaning lady because Monday was the day she came to clean. I didn't have her do everything, just about half of it, so the girls and I would do the rest. It sets me up nicely for the week.

We divide housework up between people. I clean the kitchen, boys room (the boys are not old enough to do it themselves) and downstairs bathroom. Cheyenne does the living room and entryway. Bella does the family room and dining room. The girls clean their room together. Zach does the upstairs bathroom, our room and the floors in all of the rooms. Dad is responsible for his room and bathroom and he hires it out to the cleaning lady.

Daily Bella empties the dishwasher, Zach and Cheyenne do laundry, I do meal prep and Zach and I do dishes, which includes cleaning the high chair and sweeping the kitchen. All kids (except the baby) do three 10 minute pick-up sessions before lunch, dinner and bed to clean up after themselves. Even the toddler does this. It doesn't always last 10 minutes if they get it done faster.

Someday the younger three kids will be old enough to do chores, which will cut everyone's workload by quite a bit. As it is we each spend about an hour to an hour and a half or so weekly on the Monday cleaning and about 30 minutes a day on our daily chores (not including the 10 minute pick-ups). It's not really a big deal.

My rough spots are laundry and paperwork. I haven't found the right system for either yet, although I've made improvements in both. It's a work in progress.

1-23-12, 1:46pm
In theory, I would like my house to be tidy and clean at all times, but the reality is that I have 4 inside pets, no grass growing in the yard yet and I would rather do almost anything rather than clean. So, considering we moved in just under a month ago, I'm guessing this is the cleanest it will ever be for a long time.

1-23-12, 3:57pm
i use ideas from flyladys site; just spend ten minutes doing one thing; such as dusting the living room; then i go and do something i enjoy before i engage in another ten minute job; its amazing how much you can get done in just small increments

1-23-12, 4:03pm
so nice of you to admit this. I am the same. There is grunge more or less in every hidden space. We are too busy having fun and working to really fuss with those spaces. But I also do get bit tired of these areas when I spot them.

1-23-12, 5:41pm
Good to hear from you so I don't feel like such a slovenly slut...me, I like to keep my kitchen pretty clean, and I like our bedroom to be uncluttered and restful..the toilet bowls pretty clean--and I'm pretty relaxed about the rest. When it gets too out of hand, we invite some friends over for dinner and have a marathon cleaning session and get it all tidied up to meet the public.

A little dirt I can live with, but clutter makes me nervous and upset so I try to keep that under control. Right now, it's books that need donating that are taking over the house so it's time to hit the library with donations.

The local animal rescue just put out a call for donated blankets and towels so I just sorted out the rat's nest that is my linen closet and it's now looking much, much neater...a win-win for the animals and for me.

Where does all this stuff come from ???

1-23-12, 5:45pm
Move every couple of years. Seriously. :D

Okay, so I'm not that serious, but I have moved roughly every 5 to 10 years, and it really does force you to clear out the clutter, and clean areas of your house that you wouldn't even think about going near. I've been in my current home for six years and I'm moving in May to go to graduate school, with a plan of returning to this same home. But, this temporary move has already gotten me clearing and cleaning! Then when I move back it will be another clear out and clean. After finishing my next career I should probably have only one more move in me; to a retirement home, whereupon I'll really have to clear and clean!

1-23-12, 8:08pm
Does anyone remember the commercial, where an older, mature lady visits the home of friends/family, and the instant she steps foot inside the home she runs her white-gloved hand over the top of the door-jamb to test for dust/soiling?

Ah, yes - another attempt by marketers to make us feel so inadequate that we run right out and buy the product. Was it Endust? I no longer remember. I know I tried Endust once and found that it left an oily residue that attracted even more dust. I much prefer my good old-fashioned lamb's wool duster or a damp rag.

Blackdog Lin
1-23-12, 9:20pm
Oh, okay, I feel much better knowing I'm not alone out there in "grungy-land".

Our house LOOKS clean enough. I'm anti-clutter, things get picked up and put away, and the kitchen is truly kept clean. (No it's not, I lie, now that I think about it. The important stuff in the kitchen is kept clean. We're sanitary. But if I were to get up and really check out the tchotkes on the walls and on top of the cabinetry, I'll bet there's a 1/4" of brown fuzz on stuff that I last cleaned in the year 2000. Or 1996. Therefore I shan't get up and look.)

I'm back to how gross is too gross with (my lack of) housekeeping? I don't vacuum and dust every week, I vacuum when the carpet gets dull and crunchy. I dust when I realize I've been seeing that dust grow in the living room (for HOW LONG?!). I don't move furniture to clean behind it until I'm forced to with home improvement. In my later years it does indeed seem that I only really clean stuff when I'm forced to (out of embarrassment, workmen in the house or family coming to stay).

My embracing of Simple Living (I'd rather spend my life energy on other things than having a really clean house) comes hard up against my early training/upbringing that I shouldn't be so lazy as to not do the hard-core cleaning that a home requires every few years.

(And HappyHiker: we are soulmates, once you mentioned the words "slovenly slut". I adore the term. I would love to get to where I was happy being a slovenly slut. Maybe I can?!!!.....)

iris lily
1-24-12, 12:56am
... on top of the cabinetry, I'll bet there's a 1/4" of brown fuzz on stuff that I last cleaned in the year 2000...

We don't have a kitchen fan and our surfaces get covered with grease. Last year we hired someone to paint the kitchen cabinets and DH got him super industrial strength cleaner to melt off the layers of grease 'n grime and sticky stuff on top of the cabinets from over ten years. It is disgusting. I swear, we will repaint in 5 years. Never going that 15+ years again.

1-24-12, 1:06am
Glad I'm not alone. Sometimes I think it is why I like being single -- I don't have to meet anyone's expectations. I only clean when I have to like when I can't stand it any longer or I have guests. I keep things picked up but don't do a lot of cleaning. I think there are better uses of time than to keep cleaning the same stuff over and over again. My sister does "Spring Cleaning" -- takes everything out of cupboard and cleans all the corners; washes wall whether they need them or not. I've never washed walls. I just paint. What is that little sign ...."a clean house is the sign of a misspent life".

1-24-12, 4:56pm
Good news for the slovenly: http://tinyurl.com/Slovenly-Ways-Are-Healthy

Scroll Down to "How a Cleaner Home May Actually WORSEN Your Allergies". This was written by a real, live, credentialed doctor!

Go team GO!!! :D :D :D Or should I say, just grab a good book, put your feet up, and forget it?

1-24-12, 6:17pm
Oh, I feel so much better after reading this thread.

I hate housework. I consider it a waste of time. I do need to organize some things better, like my craft stuff. Nobody is going to get sick and die from living here, but believe me, it's far from House Beautiful. I would love to get rid of some of the clutter, though.

1-24-12, 6:57pm
Well, I am definately nowhere close to being as clean as I was when younger. It just doesn't matter to me very much. I have 2 SILs that work on heavy machinery, so you can imagine how nasty my LR carpet is. But I don't intend to fuss about it. I would rather everyone just feels comfortable. I just put down a quilt for the babies to play on.

Also, I can actually say that cleaning is hazerdous to one's health. I was actually cleaning my grungy kitchen floor and was so bad around the stove and sink that I had to get out the 409. My husband actually got sick and had to leave!!!! I have already started with my natural cleaning making project.

Dust? why should I stir that subject up????

Mighty Frugal
1-26-12, 5:53pm
I thrive in a clean home. I get very anxious and upset is a clutter-y or messy or dirty home. Just can't STAND it. However, I don't mind other people's messy homes!:D I'll move your c rap to the side and plunk right down! Nor do I judge anyone (hey, it's your home!)

But for me, I grew up in a very messy, disorganized, dirty-ish home and always cringed when guest dropped by unannounced (oh the horror!:|( )

so now, as an adult, I placate that little girl inside of me and ensure my home is always 'drop in guest' ready;)

For me, I clean a little bit at a time. Friday mornings I clean the upstairs bathroom-thankfully living in a small house means everything can be done super quick!

I dust a couple of times a week, ask dh to vacuum (I HATE vacuuming) and use my handy Bissel plug in stick vac on the main floor almost daily-super fast and easy

My car, however, is a bit of a mess!Splat!

1-26-12, 8:49pm
Right now I'm working as a cleaning lady, cleaning three houses every other week. Because I'm basically "cleaned-out" by the time it comes to doing my house, I'm down to doing mine every other week as well. I hate it. I don't like leaving it that long and really want to get back into daily cleaning and weekly deep cleaning. I just don't have the energy. Between the houses I did today there were six bathrooms and the thought of cleaning mine (much as it needs it) is really depressing me.

1-26-12, 9:20pm
Slovenly Sluts unite! Put down that feather duster and have a margarita!!

Blackdog Lin
1-28-12, 7:17pm
Hee-hee. Thanks, HappyHiker.

The contractor finished up the bathroom this morning, and I've been Kirbying, and Windexing, and Murphy's Oilsoaping, and Mr. Cleaning all afternoon and I. HAVE. JUST. ABOUT. HAD. ALL. I. CAN. TAKE. I shall save a bunch of money in the next few years by NOT doing any more home improvement, if only to avoid the inevitable deep cleaning that home improvement necessitates.

It's after 5:00 here, and per HappyHiker's instructions I have poured the first glass of wine, and shall take the rest of the evening off.....

1-28-12, 8:03pm
My mother rasied two very domesticated sons. Though growing up she always made our beds for us, often would pick up our rooms...when I got to college, I was the only one who made their bed each morning. The other guys grew up having to make their own beds - often left them unmade all day (week)!

My roommates would go home for the weekends. Friday afternoon I would clean like crazy and then could sit back and enjoy the rest of the weekend. They thought they had a maid!

....I really like to clean, don't know why. When my dw and dd's went on vacation a couple years ago and I could not get the time off. I spent the evenings for the entire week cleaning my little heart out - defrosting freezer, cleaning the oven, windows, etc. etc. I am a wild and crazy guy. :laff:

1-28-12, 10:08pm
....I really like to clean, don't know why. When my dw and dd's went on vacation a couple years ago and I could not get the time off. I spent the evenings for the entire week cleaning my little heart out - defrosting freezer, cleaning the oven, windows, etc. etc. I am a wild and crazy guy. :laff:

Y'all stop by my house any old time. :D

Blackdog Lin
1-28-12, 10:24pm
Greg44, I dearly love your postings, but you are not a wild and crazy guy.....you are a weird and crazy guy. :) Actually LIKING cleaning? I'm with Jemima: please come to my house. (I don't clean, but I can feed you well enough. Or would be happy to barter for cleaning services. I have two brand new scooters w/less than 10 hours each for bartering. Or killer beef jerky, selling underground for $30.00/lb. We can surely work something out.)


1-29-12, 12:54am
my sweetie "likes" to clean, too....although, only as the spirit moves him, and he's more than willing to let fur grow on things until that spirit arrives......but, boy, when he DOES get it in his mind to clean, he's a dynamo, and polishes and cleans places most people never consider.

once when we had a fixed base house, he had a cleaning fit, and moved the fridge and cleaned and polished behind it, cleaned the coils, etc. A few days afterward, the fridge went on the blink (possibly because of his ministrations, hahahaha), and the repairman moved it out from the wall, and said to me, "Ma'am, I just have to tell you how impressed I am with your housekeeping, because it's clean as a whistle back here....usually I'm moving around in dust and cobwebs"......and I just smiled........

but, the funny thing about my sweetie's cleaning....he may polish the brass on all the fire extinguishers and clean behind the fridge, but when he's finished, you may STILL be able to write your name on shelves and tables......he likes to dig into the "big stuff" as he terms it....but, boy, I'm grateful for whatever things he cleans, because I hate to do it, although I WILL, if I have to, because I truly like a clean and orderly home.......