Tag: chores

Cleaning House

"These are so gross. This needs to be done annually." Thanks for volunteering, son!
“These are so gross. This needs to be done annually.” Thanks for volunteering, son!

Some people call it Spring cleaning. My mother said we were “deep cleaning,” but by any other name washing walls (and cabinets) is still work.

And we all agree with Garfield that “work is a four-letter word.”

I’m fortunate to have two strong and tall sons. They still had to climb up on a chair to reach the top shelves of the kitchen cabinets. I ask you: does it make sense to have a shelf you cannot reach? What should you store on such a shelf?

I had my son retrieve a collection of cookie and candy tins I have been collecting over the past many Christmas seasons. I wanted to keep them so I could bake cookies and give them as gifts. Needless to say, a few went in the garage sale box, one went in the garbage bag and the others went back on that impossible-to-reach top shelf.

We had a process for cleaning the kitchen cabinets. I pulled the stuff out and set in on the countertop. This way, I could move the items for sale to the garage sale box and dump the junk in the garbage bag.

Behind me, my oldest son used regular soap and water and a rag to wipe the inside of the cupboards. After he dried them, I placed the “kept” items back inside. My youngest son used the bucket of Murphy’s Oil Soap and water to wipe down the outside of the lovely maple cabinets.

I ask you: who did the most work? Especially since I also cleaned, wiped out and organized the bank of drawers by the stove and the other drawers that hold all the silverware and utensils.

Who do you think complained and had to be compelled to continue working? Yeah, the same one who volunteered for what he believed would be the easiest of the jobs.

Silly boy. He forgot that I’m the “mean mother.” I made him do the inside and out of the freestanding pantry. It is, after all, wood on all sides.

Just like the other times I’ve asked them to help clean the house, I provided lunch. They picked out the pizza they wanted. I told them to order cheese stuffed breadsticks, too, if they wanted them.

Washing walls and cabinets ranks right up there with scrubbing toilets and cleaning grout with a toothbrush. I understand their reluctance toward participating in these tasks. And I was graciously thankful that they were here to help me with it. I would have had to spend an entire day on the project, but the three of us could finish in three hours.

I’m clearing off the counters and making it look sparkly and shiny. My husband will get his camera out and take pictures for the online scrapbook we’ll use when we attempt to sell our home.

Hopefully, prospective buyers won’t be too shocked to see the cluttered version when they arrive in person. It’s hard to keep all the junk off the counter when people keep mailing more every day.

What’s your least favorite cleaning task? Do you have a cleaning horror story to share?

Summer Means Household Chores

Image courtesy of bentbutnotbroken.org

For over fifteen years now, the advent of summer signals several things:

  1. A family vacation (plenty of years it was just camping in a tent)
  2. No alarm clock
  3. A long list of household projects to complete

Even with all the hoopla, this summer is no different. The vacation (“Not with the whole family, though,” my youngest son whines) has come and gone. My alarm clock remains silent (but not my husband’s).

The list stretches off the page this year. That could be because I listed every item to be done in every room of the house. Or it could be that three years in college have caused my house to deteriorate into a state of chaotic uncleanliness.

My husband talks about putting the house on the market. The real reason behind the mammoth list emerges.

At this point, both of my sons are living in their childhood bedrooms. My youngest is working several “events” over the summer and will be home sporadically. My oldest is taking a break supposedly job hunting.

Every Tuesday will be a lucky day for all three of us. It begins with the downstairs. The kitchen cabinets might be haunted. The plastic lids have spontaneously reproduced. What is even on those top shelves that require a stool to reach?

I have a schedule. As much as I’d like it to be concrete, I know I’ll need to be flexible. The fact that I believe they’ll be awake at 10am shows my penchant for wishful thinking.

The goal is to unclutter every room before holding a garage sale at the beginning of August.

Most years, the list contains predominantly outside chores: painting, staining the porch, replanting flower beds, spreading bark dust and the like. Of course, what would a cleaning list be without washing walls and knocking down cobwebs?

What’s on your “to do” list this summer?