Thursday, February 7, 2008

Home Sweet Home: Cleaning for Company

It's Thursday. That means I clean my house in the morning. I'm not generally a schedule freak, but Thursday is Grandma Day. My (absolutely wonderful) mother-in-law comes over from about 11 AM till around 5 PM so I get to be free to do as I please. I am the envy of my friends, to be sure.

I love my mother-in-law and we are certainly like family at this point. But I still like to have a clean house when she comes over. Not to say that we live in squalor when she's not around, but sometimes we do. *Cringe* Oh well, once a week cleaning is better than once a month cleaning.

My routine, if you could call it that, starts out with a big bag. I run around the downstairs of our colonial and put everything in it that's out of place (usually toys). Then I empty the bag of things into their respective rooms. With an honest attempt to involve the tots into the process, I sort the "stuff" into the many niches where they belong. I also start a pile at the bottom of the stairs of everything that needs to go up, and take an armload anytime I have to go up anyway.

Once the floors are clear of clutter, I move all easily moveable objects and vacuum. This is quite a satisfying part of the routine since I never feel like I didn't really need to vacuum. I get some sort of strange satisfaction from opening the dustbin and seeing what sort of shape the lint, hair and crambs have made. Sometimes it's a cone, sometimes a perfectly round ball and, on very rare and delightful occasions, it is two perfectly round balls of dust bunnies. With the 3 kids and all the snacks they eat (or crumble) all over the house, I try to vacuum everyday and I am always amazed by the amount of stuff my vacuum cleaner picks up.

After that I either vacuum ot sweep the tiled kitchen and wood dining room floor. Next it's the counters... empty and load the dishwasher, wipe the counters using Clorox Anywhere Hard Surface Spray and hand wash anything that needs it. Then I use some Softscrum with Bleach to white my white enameled sink. If I still have time, I wipe down the bathroom surfaces with Clorox Disinfecting Wipes and maybe, just maybe, I clean the tile floor in the kitchen and bathroom using a Swiffer Wetjet. I find it does a pretty good job getting up the easy-to-remove grunge with minimal effort and time.

At that point my house is look just about as respectable as can be hoped for a house whose average occupant age is somewhere around 11.5. Then the businees of the day can proceed. I get to go run whatever errands I want, and Grandma can do whatever it is she does on Grandma Day. What happens on Grandma Day stays on Grandma Day...

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