In a previous life, I must have been an overworked, underpaid maid, because in my current life, I have no desire to clean anything.
To avoid health department citations (and rats) I do the bare minimum required to keep cholera and typhus out of my home, but that’s the extent of my housekeeping. Unfortunately, I’ve learned there are LOTS of things I SHOULD be cleaning. How did I learn this? The goddess of garbage, Martha Stewart, shamed me into facing the dirty truth: I’m a surface cleaner.
I don’t dig deep into the crevices to wipe out families of germs who have settled in my tile grout, raising generations of bacterial descendants. I don’t hunt for pathogens under my fridge where complete ecosystems have formed (and died) during my time in this home.
Here’s what Ms. Martha suggests I clean on a weekly/monthly basis. Is she mad?
- Dust light fixtures.
- Clean the kitchen drain.
- Scrub the ventilation hood over my stove.
- Fluff and rotate sofa cushions.
- Wash the inside of garbage cans.
- Vacuum the fireplace screen.
- Clean floorboards.
- Buff stone and/or wood floors.
- Dust windowsills.
- Clean blinds.
Here’s my problem with this list:
- Dusty light fixtures create what I like to call “mood lighting.”
- Kitchen drains are disgusting and I am not going to go anywhere near those nasty things.
- The ventilation hood is so sticky with grime it would take a small nuclear device to loosen years of steamed foods.
- The dog ate one side of our sofa cushion, so I can’t rotate them. Fluffing only sends dust and dog hair everywhere.
- Garbage cans are supposed to be dirty. That’s why we put garbage in them–not diamond necklaces (which, according to Ms. M, should also be cleaned to keep them sparkly).
- I don’t have a fireplace.
- If I clean the floorboards, I can’t track where the mice run off to.
- There’s too many dead flies. Ewww.
- Wait. What?
So instead of turning over a new leaf like Martha does each fall, I’ll save myself a lot of anxiety and just learn to live with dust bunnies, mites, germs, bacteria, viruses and dead insects. After all this time, it’s almost like they’re family.