05 May, 2008

Cleaning woman? CLEANING WOMAN????!!!!

Location: a house that is slowly becoming messy
Mood: paralyzed

Now that I own my place (or the bank owns it, whichever way you want to put it), I feel like I need to take a little more pride in the appearance and cleanliness of it. The problem is, I haven't really been doing that. My place is becoming dusty, and linty, and gradually a little bit unclean. And I think that left to its own devices, it will eventually be dirty.

I noticed this several weeks ago. Dust accumulates. It is amazing because growing up I never noticed dust, because I think my mother was always on top of it, and the dust never really lived very long before being removed. Maybe it's worse because of being in downtown Seattle, and having a strange vent in the loft that seems to send air into the house, but I am probably just making excuses.

Simple rule of nature:

"If you do not dust, there will be dust"

It's not all that complicated. Edna and I never dusted, but the presence of dust was always trumped by the presence of massive tumbleweeds of white cat fur. So it was difficult to detect the dust in the midst of that more serious mess.

The last place I lived was so poorly lit, that it would not be possible to detect dust. The memory of that place stirs up all sorts of unpleasant feelings. So glad to be out of that situation!

To remedy the dust, I recently got on this kick of thinking that what I need is a "Cleaning Woman". That is obviously a very sexist way of putting things, because it could very well be a "Cleaning Man" as well. But the advertisements that I have seen have been almost ubiquitously for Russian or Mexican women who do this. Some advertise at Microsoft. There is Marietta, for instance. And Princess (whoever that is!). And I even called one of them.

They want a lot of money. And how do I know I can trust them? It's a difficult decision.

So the weeks pass.

And there is more dust.

Now, a rational minded person would perhaps come to the conclusion that there is another way of dealing with the problem at hand. Think! Think!

Um... nothing's coming to me.

Oh wait!

I could clean the house!!!

There are a few benefits of this. Let me list them for you:
  1. I do not need to pay myself $110 to clean my house (though theoretically, I could)
  2. I trust myself! (actually, that's not entirely certain, but for argument's sake, pretend)
  3. I can clean whenever it is necessary
  4. I can clean only those rooms that need cleaning
  5. If I am dissatisfied with my work, I do not need to go through elaborate resolution
  6. I do not need to worry about scheduling
There are a few problems with this, as well. Let me list those for you, to be fair and balanced:
  1. I need to be there when the cleaning occurs
  2. I need to examine my place to determine what needs to be cleaned, and regularly
  3. I need to clean it
So... if we go by a strict # of pluses and # of minuses rule, I guess there are twice as many reasons why I should do it myself.

Heck, I could even attempt to enlist the services of my housemate in the process! I could say "Jeff, will you clean this?" And then Jeff may clean it. And it will also not cost me $110 a month. It might cost me $850 a month if I get on his nerves and he leaves. But I can at least try to be diplomatic.

I am going to make a list for myself here of what it is that I would do, if (and I say this completely hypothetically) I decide to take on this role of "Cleaning Man":
  • vacuum
  • dust
  • clean bathroom floors, sinks, toilets, showers
  • clean kitchen sink, counters, refrigerator, stove
  • put away cluttered objects strewn about floors and surfaces
  • hang laundry in closets instead of throwing around room on floors
  • organize garage to the point that a car might be parked inside
It is really not that long of a list.

Someone made a very astute observation the other day, too. It really changed my whole perspective on things. They said:

"You could do one room at a time"

I had never thought of this. In my mind, it had always been "I need to clean my house". And this was a massive project, which would be overwhelming, and could never be finished. And therefore, should never be started. Once this new perspective, of "granularization", came into existence, it suddenly seems almost possible to me.

The big question is... where do I start?


  1. Amy, unsung cleaning lady05 May, 2008 20:58

    1. Unbeknownst to you, I did, in fact, clean things. Occasionally.

    2. The time it takes to compose a blog of this length is approximately equal to one room-vacuum unit.

    3. Cleaning with central vac should be considered FUN.

    4. Why don't you pay yourself to clean? For each cleaning task, you can reward yourself with half a guitar or something.

  2. inman wheelright06 May, 2008 07:59

    Start in the bathroom. A groady bathroom is the worst.

    Hi Amy!

  3. Amy, BRILLIANT advice! Could not have said it better myself.

    And you could pay ME in the occassional back rub and I'd clean the place. It's always more fun cleaning someone else's home than your own.