Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ten reasons why I do not like cleaning

(1) No matter how hard I try to sweep or vacuum before I apply moisture to the situation, I always end up chasing nasty wet dustballs around, those ones that are virtually impossible to wipe up.

(2) There is no end to hairs in the bathrooms. No end. Often, I feel as though I could keep trying to pick up "that last hair" until eternity. And if, by some miracle I actually get all the hairs removed at some point, another hair is sure to drop from my head before I exit the room.

(3) The cleaning product that cleans my showers gives me a wicked headache.

(4) If I use a different, less toxic cleaner on my shower, my neck goes out from the scrubbing action.

(5) There is almost always a hole in my rubber gloves.

(6) Even when there is not a hole in my rubber gloves, I get water and cleaning solution inside my gloves. It runs in the back end. Because I am inept.

(7) I always hurt myself. Usually this involves the vacuum and my shins, but it can take many forms. I also lose a lot of fingernails (mind you, these are not manicured fingernails).

(8) I damage things because I am clumsy. Usually this involves the canister vacuum and walls that the canister runs into and dents while I am working at the other end of the hose. However, yesterday I had an entirely new damage experience. I was trying to wipe down the baseboards in the tiny (2'x5' I figure) half-bath downstairs, and as I ran the sponge along the woodwork, my finger caught on the wallpaper and pulled it loose. R-i-i-i-i-p went the wallpaper and the hope in my heart.

(9) My buckets spill, my vacuum cord comes unplugged, my back hurts, I sneeze or gag or get headaches from the different smells, my hands get chapped, I bump my head (mostly around low cupboards), and no matter how many times I run the vacuum over this carpet, there are spots that never look clean.

(10) And pretty much as soon as I am finished, it all needs to be done over again.


Hope T. said...

Yes, I agree! Nothing ever looks clean. It doesn't matter how much I scrub the tub, the soap scum won't come off. At least it does not hurt my neck, which you have to endure, and sometimes it can be useful for working off anger. Even an hour of angry scrubbing, though, does NOT yield a clean tub.

For twenty years, I didn't have a good vacuum. One year my mother-in-law gave me a bagless vacuum, bagless! I don't know who came up with the idea of not containing all that dirt in a bag but whoever he was, I don't think he did his own housework. Finally we bought a thirty year old Kirby for thirty dollars at an estate sale. It actually works! The only problem is that it is at least thirty pounds.

I have looked all over for advice about cleaning but I just don't think I have the gift of housekeeping. Oh that gives me an idea - you could start on online group for housekeeping- challenged women. We could share stories of our failures but also our rare successes, which would be much more appreciated among others of our kind!

ruth said...

Hi Hope-- thanks for the comment.

I haven't had good luck with bagless vacuums, either. Fairly recently, I bought a Hoover, and I really like it, but it's an upright and not much good for hard floors or crevices or stairs or baseboards... so I'm good with the "major traffic areas," but when it's time to deep clean, my equipment fails me.

A Kirby salesman visited us a couple of years after we had bought this house. When he told me the price of the vacuum, I laughed and told him, "I could put a deck on this house for that money!" And now I have a deck... and no Kirby. Ingenious of you to find one at an estate sale.

I do not have the gift of housekeeping, either. My mother does... she is multiply blessed by it. This adds to my feelings of guilt and inadequacy. I know how to clean, in my head--having been taught, and taught and taught--but I am, in real life, awful at it.

Recently, I was at a women's gathering where we went over Myers-Briggs personality types again. I think it is the P at the end that makes us bad at housekeeping. I'm not sure why, but they say if you don't know whether you are a P or a J, you should look at your closet. Clean closets are J, messy ones, P (I think it has something to do with J people instinctively knowing where things should go, and P people trying to figure this out and often giving up before they do).

When you combine the terminal P with an N in the #2 slot, meaning that we see our worlds from a gestalt point of view, rather than piece by piece, we easily become completely overwhelmed by a dirty house and do not know where we should begin to remedy it (we find it hard to think in little steps--which I think is what the Fly Lady tries to do for us, but I can't somehow find her rhythm at all).

That's a good idea about a group for the housekeeping challenged. I'm feeling rather tough lately, but I'll think about it now and when I feel better, maybe I'll do something about it. Thanks for the idea!

Anonymous said...

My favorite solution has been to use a lot of dirt-camouflaging materials in my home. My bathroom tiles are mottled and hide everything, same with my kitchen flooring. My carpet (like yours) is speckled and nicely hides all but really blatent drops and spills. My greater challenge isn't cleaning, it is neatening. I fight against clutter constantly. Which requires decision making (where should this go? Should this stay?) - which is my greatest downfall.

I recently said goodbye to Jackie, so I am back on my own. But I have been using the after-shower spray with good luck for several weeks. - Amy

Hope T. said...

I don't remember if you and I talked about the Myers-Briggs before but I have been thinking about it a lot lately so I am glad you brought it up. Are you an INFP or an INTP? For a while, I thought I was an INFJ, but then I came across a website that helps you to decide if you are an INFJ or an INFP. When I read the page that said "P"s do not like holidays, I had my answer. Your closet test would also clinch it for me. I have gotten rid of a lot of things that were in my closet but it seems the only way to really get it looking decent is to have a couple of items and that's it. Otherwise, I don't understand how to put stuff in there without just throwing it in a heap.

I am sorry you are feeling unwell lately. I hope the advent of spring will help.

ruth said...


Why did you say good-bye to Jackie? Is she going into a new line of work? Or might she be available to help me now?

Clean Shower is great. I swear by it. It doesn't keep things perfect, but it does a great job of keeping them passable, and when you have to get in there and really scrub, it isn't nearly so daunting. Powdered Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent on a 3M non-abrasive scrub pad is pretty good for most jobs. If it gets really bad (as mine had recently gotten), I need the Scrub Free Scrubbing Bubbles (which are not scrub free, but they do work well with a scrub brush, although they'll give you a headache, so run the fan).

My Aunt Marilyn says pure white is the easiest color to keep clean cuz you can see right where the dirt is. She has a cleaning lady. I don't. I like brown, preferably mottled.

I am INTP. I am about 100% I, 74% N and T and barely a P. I think this is because although I fail at making judgments and applying them to my everyday actions, I was brought up to believe that to be a J is to be a good, right, tidy, well-organized, worthy person. Which I struggle to be and fail at daily. So when I take the test, there are my ingrained beliefs about what I "ought to be" combined with my actual abilities and inclinations, which are in direct opposition. For me, being 57% P (or whatever) does not mean that I am balanced... rather, that I am conflicted. When I learn to embrace my P-ness I will be in much better shape.

Anonymous said...

Jackie is still in the same business, we just needed to trim our spending a bit. So that luxury was one that had to go. Sadly. I was done at the end of Feb, I don't know if she's filled the spot.

~Heather said...

Oh Ruth! I loved this! I am visiting your blog from a comment you left on Jeff Goins blog today. You are a fabulous writer! ~ A new follower

Chanda Stehlik said...

Hi Ruth! Thank you so much for your kind offer as far as the grains go. I didn't post your comment because I didn't want everyone reading my blog to hit you up on your kind offer, lol! I soooo appreciate your sweetness and your generous offer! I wish I had seen it a couple of days ago! This is my luck lately, I swear! I just put in a small order a couple of days ago for both kinds! Maybe I'll have to end up sending you some! Have a happy day!


p.s. I hate cleaning, too! Who are these people that come in my house and make it a pit!?