Friday, 18 July 2014

War on Dust Mites

I have a new cleaning schedule. It makes so much sense, I don't know why I didn't think of this five years ago. In short, I tidy, dust, sweep or hoover and scrub (if applicable) one room of the flat a day, except Sundays. We have eight rooms (arguably nine, but currently we use the smallest as a closet), so two get done on either Saturday or Monday.

My sudden enthusiasm for cleaning is down to Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House. I opened the neglected volume for stain removal advice, and got sucked into the section on dusting. What I read about dust mites frightened me so much, I seized the hoover at once and hoovered the dickens out of the bedroom carpet even though it was Sunday.

We have sand-coloured wall to wall carpeting throughout the flat, which I hate on principle, but it was here before us, and here it will be when we go. Having been roused to unprecedented levels of cleaning activity, I shall sail out this weekend to buy a carpet cleaner.

Now the flat is entirely tidy and dusted, though the recycling has silted up in the kitchen again. Saturday mornings are dedicated to cleaning the kitchen. Incidentally, I have taken to hand cream. Last night I went to bed wearing cheap wool gloves, hands covered in shea butter. My fingernails are a wreck. I am a homemaking martyr.

The psychological boost I get after finishing a room, especially if I get it done by noon, is really amazing. I am hoping it is addictive. So is B.A. Usually he cleans the bathroom out of sheer desperation, poor man, and in five years he complained only once.


Anamaria Scaperlanda Biddick said...

Hopefully this inspires action and not just guilt!

Seraphic said...


Sheila said...

I have often tried systems like this. In the end they all flop, mainly because all the most important chores (dishes, counters, sweep kitchen, sweep living room, clear dinner table, laundry) need to be done every day. If I can get all that done by noon (and often I do!) the rest of the day is somewhat of a flop because I am so tired. So the other three rooms of the house (two bedrooms and a bathroom) get cleaned basically only ever out of desperation. And on the day I do that, then something else ends up being allowed to slide.

There are no end of time management tips out there, but I haven't yet found one on energy management. I suppose they would all start with "get eight hours of sleep a night", and that's just not a realistic goal for me. My only trick is "drink caffeine after breakfast and then race to get everything done before the buzz wears off." It works well enough, I suppose!

Seraphic said...

I totally understand! You have kids, so they must make the work less, er, single-minded!

Julia said...

Eight hours of sleep. I don't even have any kids and I can tell you that parents do not get that kind of sleep. I don't understand how there aren't more road accidents, considering that there must be thousands of sleep-deprived parents getting behind the wheel every day in my city.

I'm already such a bad sleeper that the thought of ever becoming a mother almost sends me into despair. I honestly fear I'd never ever ever sleep again. My mother had to go on sleeping tablets when we were little. We were terrible at going to sleep.

lauren said...

I actually find this sort of plan very interesting, and clearly would be virtually impossible for those with little ones around the house. I tried it for a while, but fell off the wagon after I did a bunch of traveling and got off schedule. It was great, though, to have the tasks broken down. Most days, I can manage 20 minutes, so while "cleaning the kitchen" might feel totally overwhelming, I can usually manage "dust and pick up living room."

Sheila, if you manage to get all that done on a daily basis with small children around the house, you're wonder woman in my book!

Sheila said...

Haha, it's been years to get this far. My first apartment, my roommate pretty much did all the cleaning because I let it slide so long she would get fed up and just do it. I still feel bad about that!

But this blog post inspired me to clean my bathroom at long last! So, that's a win for sure; thanks. :D (Cool parenting/cleaning tip: clean the bathroom during bathtime. You've got to be in there anyway, so why not?)

My favorite housekeeping inspiration blog is Like Mother, Like Daughter. It's not *just* housekeeping, but her tips for keeping one's house reasonably neat are very helpful. And then the decorating pictures are lovely, if utterly beyond anything I'm ever going to do. (Our house is still decorated in "college student." Oh well.)