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July 01, 2006

Clean Living

To say that I'm not the most hygienic person in the world would be more than a bit of an understatement. In fact, I'm downright messy. It is always easy to rationalize my decision not to clean my house -- it will just get dirty again anyway; or if I clean it now, what will I do later when I'm bored -- and I usually have better things to do. Actually, anything usually seems better than cleaning. At times I have wanted to be cleaner, and have read books, visited websites, and bought products that promised me a cleaner home. But somehow, reading about cleaning was a lot more fun than the actual cleaning. And getting obsessed with doing everything perfectly made it less likely to get done at all. I used to have a four-step floor-cleaning procedure: (1) vacuum -- this had to be done inch by inch with the little brush attachment because we have hardwood floors and a vacuum cleaner made for carpets; (2) dry mopping; (3) wet mopping with this kind of mop; (4) a final wet mopping with this kind of mop. Our house is only about seven hundred square feet, but the process took at least half a day. So I only did it about once a year. In between, things were not pretty. But they didn't seem that bad either, because the house was never as dirty as it was when David's old rommate Josh lived here. I wasn't the dirtiest person in the world; Josh was. When I moved in, David and I agreed that he would take care of the outside (landscaping, lawn mowing, snow shoveling, etc.), and I would take care of the inside (everything else). But David, having a much lower threshhold for filth than I have, often did the indoor cleaning when I fell down on the task.

But two months ago, something happened. The toilet exploded. The bathroom is upstairs and water flows down, so the house ended up flooded from top to bottom, second floor to basement. It was raining in the kitchen. The phone lines were soaked through and I couldn't dial out. I ran to the gas station to call the plumber from a pay phone. There was nothing they could do. We just had to wait for it all to dry out and then clean it up. It was no small task but, when it was done, I realized that it is kind of nice to live in a clean house. Since then, I've been doing some cleaning. Just a bit, little by little, one or two things a day. With many days off in between. But things are looking just a little bit different. I bought a bottle of Fantastik the day the toilet exploded and today I was surprised to come to the end of it. I have never used up a cleaning product that quickly! Yesterday I did the floors, and today was pleased to find how good it feels to be able to walk barefoot without having all kinds of schmutz collect on my soles. And the amazing thing is that clearing the crap out of my house also helps clear the cobwebs from my mind.

Posted by eklanche at July 1, 2006 12:41 PM

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