Life is busy and as a general rule we do the basics to live in comfortable and clean surroundings.
Take vacuuming for a start – a weekly hoover, we do the middles and a few corners maybe. Why? Because the effort involved in removing everything that is against a wall in order to get behind it is exhausting. That is so if we only have the average amount of furniture, cable boxes, routers etc against the skirting boards.
Step it up a notch – piles of books, magazines, toys, bags, instruments, bumf. How often do we feel the urge to call on our extra power to move it all, vacuum behind, around and on top of and to then put it back against the wall as a clean pile? Probably once a year- if that. Be honest.
Now let’s consider books – they look tidy in a row or a pile. But tidy is not the same as clean. Take one out and run your finger along the top. Look on the shelf around the space the book occupies. Ugh. More dust. Sneezing yet?
Clothes – the piles (folded or scrunched) behind the ones you wear 80% of the time. Do they smell fresh? Would you wear them directly if need be or would they need another wash to freshen them up? What about the shelf or drawer where they live? In need of a wipe perhaps?
Kids bath toys – one of my personal bug bears. How could they attract dirt? They’re cleaned every day at bath time. Really? Dare – remove the bath toys from their container and behold the murky mess that awaits you. Gross. Moving on.
Take a gander at your silverware drawer, your pots & pans drawer or cupboard etc. Crumbs, stains and daily grime gather and multiply.
One that always surprises me is the window dressings. Be it curtains, blinds or shutters they need special attention.
So after taking into account all these areas that we are accustomed to seeing and assuming they are clean because of course we are clean people, the question is – Am I as clean as I thought I was?
Quick solution – Now that these lurking minefields have been brought to your attention you will probably commence the intense cleaning operation. Do so for about 10 minutes and then pause and take stock of your feelings at that point. Mine vary on a rainbow of irritation, annoyance, rage, frustration and then eventually – action. Eliminate the causes of these negative emotions. Do it while the feelings are rife and demanding an outlet.
Create some boundaries for yourself – limit yourself to half a dozen mags, the rest go to recycling. Books – keep only one shelf of ‘to be reads’.
Plants – only your favourites can stay – they cannot all be favourites.
Toys – decide on a reasonable amount and put some away to recycle when the kidlets are bored of the current ones.
The rest can make another child’s day a happy one.
And so on and so on…