Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Big Clean Day Revisited

Maybe we should call it Big Clean Week because one day clearly wasn't enough time to check everything off my list -- that is if I had a list.

After my 7-year-old, Jesse, went off to school yesterday, I blasted some classic Elton John and my 4-year-old, Ruby, and I boogied as we dusted.

Tight on time, I admit I cheated and used those environmentally-unfriendly sanitized cleaning wipes to clean the bathroom sink rather than relying on old fashioned elbow grease.

Halfway through "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," I had an epiphany. I realized that when it comes to housework, I've got Attention Deficit Disorder. I can't seem to focus on one task before jumping on to the next one.

I'm generally a pretty organized person who relies on lists and post-its in every area of my life. But for some reason, I'm a haphazard cleaner. Dust a bit here, wipe down a counter there, but nothing ever gets completely clean.

In fact, I often forgo basic household tasks like mopping in favor of cleaning under the couch or behind the book shelf. It usually provides a much bigger payoff since I never know what I'll find under there.

In “The Joy of House Keeping,” (1977) Ella May Miller turned to Jesus to inspire women to embrace the job of housekeeper, urging women to “accept that role as a part of the Lord’s work.”

As a liberal New York Jew, I don’t plan to turn to Jesus anytime soon, but I do think it's worth looking to Miller and other experts for some domestic guidance.

“Keeping house isn’t easy. It’s difficult and very often complicated. It contains many facets, requires greater expertise than any other career. Homemaking is a profession. It takes skill. Know-how. The ability to organize. A desire to want to achieve,” writes Miller.

She advises women to “approach running a house in the same way as a job. You must be serious about your work – and have proper training, or experience.”

Makes sense to me. Starting tomorrow, I will get serious about this new "job" and seek some proper training -- from the experts, from my friends, and last but not least, from my mom.

I hereby declare June Big Clean Month.


Bernie Bernstein said...

Mom's take on Big Clean Day: I wanted to comment on your Big Clean Day blog, but I was too busy cleaning and I didn't get to the computer, so I'm glad you did a re-visit. Big Clean Day for us, or actually for me, is every week and not once a month. Even our dog's bedding gets done weekly. I say "the day for me" because Dad is too busy mucking a stall and washing a horse to get involved in mundane cleaning (at least the horse, unlike toilets, is happy to be pampered). Your father is actually quite helpful, when I ask, and he does all of the vacuuming and bathroom floor washing and even will dust the blinds (we have many) when you can't see out of the windows because of the dust accumulation. Stripping and making the bed, for him, is out of the question. And laundry - never. In fact he says he doesn't know how to do the laundry. I've told him to just open the lid of the washer and read the instructions, but so far no luck. Even though I clean every week I must admit that I don't do a thorough job in every room. The unlived in area of the house (guest room, bathroom, etc.) gets a superficial once over every now and then. Which reminds me, I better get busy as you, Avo and the girls will be here in a few weeks. Maybe when you get here you can give me a few cleaning tips!?

Undomesticated Me said...

Mom, maybe I can trail you as you take care of your Big Clean Day tasks. You can show me how the pros do it.

Meanwhile, I can't believe Gracie, your dog, gets her bedding changed more often than my kids!