Monday, November 24, 2008

Men and cleaning

Mot finally had to go back to work on Saturday. He'd been off work since the 29th of October. It's nice having him home....but it's also nice for him to go back, so I can have a little time to myself in the house. It's not like there are things I can't do when he's there.....that's not it at all.

Well, I take that back...there is one thing I can't do when he's there.....clean and organize. Oh, he doesn't get in my way when he's home, that's not it. And, if I ask him to help clean, he will...that's not it either.

I mean, he'll help...but it's "man cleaning."

Ladies (and men) out there, you know what I mean!! There may as well be a starting gun involved....because the minute the cleaning's off to the races!!!!!!

Guys - if you're doing some sort of construction project around the house. You all know how fixing one issue, usually uncovers another issue that needs addressed. Cleaning is the same way.

For example.....the kitchen needs cleaned. OK.....dishes are loaded into the dishwasher, and counters are wiped off. Occasionally a broom comes out. Right?

NO!!!! Look at the sink....where all those dirty dishes were. There is now a "land of disgustingness" that was uncovered when you took those dishes out. The food in the drain trap.....yeah, that's going to smell like hell in a couple of days. And it will be YOUR 'super sniffer' that walks into the house one day in the future and says "what's that smell?" And then you're going to wonder why I will snap and snarl at your for asking. This is why!!!! You could have prevented the whole thing by doing more than the minimum expected. :-)

Or another example. As you're putting dishes away, you close a cupboard door, and notice the front of the door has a smear of something on it. (Where do these smears come from, anyway??) wipe off that cupboard door (if we're lucky - because it's not on the house cleaning list for the day).

Now stop.....did you not notice that there were other doors affected? Maybe you'll have to take a couple of minutes to wipe them down. It's soooo much easier to do it every once and while...instead of waiting until the week of a holiday, when guests will be there. that time, removing those smears will require power tools. And you'll be grouchy because you have to help...and it will take forever.

When that happens next time (and you know it will), do me a favor and think back to when you saw a smear the first time, and didn't do anything about it. :-)

Doing the laundry. The only time we're in the laundry room, is to DO the laundry. That room needs cleaned sometimes as well. Look around. Does the floor need swept? Does the rug on the floor need washed? Is there a smear of liquid laundry soap running down the side of the washer?

When cleaning the litter's handy if you also sweep around the litter box. Anyone who owns a cat knows that they don't keep all the litter neatly in the box. They'll fling it around...the have it in their paws and leave it on the floor by the litter's just the way it is. And, when you have a house of barefoot people (as we are always barefoot), sweeping that up is helpful to the enjoyment of BEING ABLE to walk around barefooted.

Our house is normally very picked up....but we don't spend a ton of time cleaning. We're not home that much...and we don't have kids, so we can afford the luxury of less scrubbing. But, when we DO set out to give it a good scrub, it needs to be done right. Then we don't have to do it again for a while. You can make a list of things that you know need done...but there are others to be discovered along the way.

In our house, once the list is done, Mot bugs out. I am left to do the things that were uncovered along the way. When he sees I'm still cleaning, he gets all nervous. "The list is done, what's she doing?" When he asks what I'm doing...I tell him. And he replies "It's not on the list".....well, NO IT ISN'T. But think about it.....I'd spend all day writing the list, if I had to list it all.

Maybe I should start putting it in WoW terms??? Honey, you can go to fight a boss, and have a general idea of what that you need to do to kill him....but the step by step "this is EVERYTHING you have to do" is not listed in those books. Some things you have to figure out and do along the way. You have to acknowledge what needs done, without someone telling you.

I've found it best to give Mot lists of things to do. In fact, he asks for list. As I said before, he helps around the house....allot. I'm very lucky that way! A person off the street may look at these lists, and think "wow, he's doing everything, what's she doing?"

An example of a list for Mot
1) dishes
2) sweep
3) clean bathroom

What it means for him
1) put dishes (that fit) in the dishwasher, leave the others and say "I'll wash these later"
2) sweep the open, easy to access places around the house
3) wipe down the toilet and sink, and sweep (see #2 for sweeping parameters)

What it means for me
1) clean the sink, the drain trap, wipe off the counters, clean the table, wipe down the wall next to the stove, wash those dishes that he'll wash later (but in reality stay in the sink for over a week and produce another smell he has to ask about (Mot, if you don't agree with this...just think "meatloaf pan", I rest my case!!!!), and last, but not least, leave a note for him to clean the stove off
2) take a broom around the house, to pull out the tumbleweeds of cat hair and dust bunnies from the places the dust mop won't reach, shake out any rugs....and then dust (his dusting is to bad, I don't even put it on the list anymore - but I think he's dusts like crap, because he hates doing it, and knows I'll do it, if he does a bad job)
3) clean off the faucets, sweep behind things, clean the side of the toilet (you know, down by the floor on the side), wipe down the gook from the baseboards (what's with that?), toss the towels and bath mat in the laundry, and scrub the floor

It's just so much easier to give the house a good cleaning when he isn't home. I can spread it out over the whole day. (do a load of laundry, clean the kitchen while it's washing, then put it in the a movie or a recorded tv show.....then fold that laundry, put the next load in the dryer, clean the some tv, and dust on the commercial breaks......etc, etc)

This is the time when linen closets get cleaned out and reorganized. These are the days I pick up all the hunting gear and put it on the shelves specifically FOR the hunting stuff in the basement. This is when I finally clean out that kitchen cupboard and get rid of a ton of stuff we never we don't have to battle every time we put dishes away or are looking for something.

These are the days I iron those new curtains, because no matter how long you let them hang, the wrinkles they get from being in a package NEVER go away. Believe me, I've tried. In fact, the curtains I took down, to replace with the new ones this week......well, I put those up nearly 2 years ago, and the packaging wrinkles were still there. :-) :-)

Please realize that I understand not all women have the cleaning gene....and not all men need to have their hands held. This post is full of generalizations based upon my house....and other houses I know. There are always exceptions to the rule!! :-)

No comments: