I may have mentioned before that I do not really enjoy cleaning. If I have not mentioned that before then just so you know I do not really enjoy cleaning.
I would like to say I enjoy the results of cleaning. And I guess that for the couple of hours before the kids come back from school and husband descends a clean room does look good. And then it doesn’t. Again.
Within seconds of them arriving home the kids’ stuff starts to migrate downstairs. I am sure at some point in my Geography lessons I learnt about ‘soil creep’. Nerf Gun bullets have the same properties. Although the timeframe is speeded up. Massively.
A clean bathroom is lovely. It is impractical, however, to ban one’s family from using the facilities for any length of time. And so that shiny tap is soon covered in dried on toothpaste, the mirror acquires a sheen of hair gel and the toilet is smeared with, well, poo. And that hour you spent in there earlier seems fruitless. I resent my husband shaving, my children excreting.
Conversely when I do clean I like to do a proper job. I move furniture. Clean skirting boards and door handles and architraves. Empty the waste bins. Dust and move all the ornaments, shine towel rails and mirrors, clean the windows (inside only I have a man for the other). Etc. This is why I do not employ a cleaner. Well partly I don’t employ a cleaner for fiscal reasons but also I don’t because every cleaner I have ever had never moves anything. They clean only what they can see. What is the point of that? That is why a cleaner comes round and says it will take three hours to do my house from top to bottom. Err no it won’t. So when I clean a room it takes me a while.
In upshot I have to force myself to clean. And so to ensure I do the bare minimum I have devised a rota. As I do like ticking things off lists.
As this house is somewhat larger than my old abode I have spread the chores over three weeks. This ensures that all of the house is cleaned (to my standards) once every three weeks. If a husband or small child does a ‘lick and a promise’ on a room at some point in between all to the good. And the rota also ensures that bed sheets get changed before they walk off and stick themselves on a boil wash. Although Middlest objects to new sheets. Unless they are line dried and put straight back on. He resents that I have washed away the smell of ‘him’ that he has painstakingly built up over three weeks. Unless it is replaced by an odour he likes even more. Tough you scum bag…
As an aside here I must add that I am braving all sorts of abuse airing the fact that I wash bed sheets on a three week rotation. I am a member of a parenting forum and the most hotly debated ‘threads’, aside from who can park in mother and baby spaces, are how often to change bed sheets. Some people do it daily. My god have they not heard of the environment. At least when the world heats up so much that we all die they can do so in clean sheets. I am sure that comforts those polar bears struggling to find enough sea ice to survive. When I am lying in my own filth I feel comforted by my carbon footprint.
Anyhoo back to the rota. I have tried to split the tasks up equitably. For instance I only schedule one child’s room in any one week. There is a limit to how many ‘special shelves’ one can dust in a week. Apparently my limit is one room. Then I give myself any easy room a week- spare room, utility room, study. I end up with 5 rooms a week and some degree of laundry.
I am on Week 3 this week. When I wrote the rota it was clearly Week One. And so I had closed my eyes to Week Three. Week Three is a git. Week Three contains Eldest’s bedroom- he is the eldest (quite obviously, I do really, really spoon feed you here) and so he has the most stuff on his ‘special shelves’. In fact the tut has leaked from his ‘special shelves’ to his ‘special book shelf’, ‘special chest of drawers’, ‘special desk’ and quite often to his ‘special floor’.
For some reason I though it would be wise to link Eldest’s bedroom to the family bathroom. The family bathroom is used by all those of a male gender in our household. I leave you to draw your own conclusions about the general scussiness of that room. I do not enter except on Week Three or when I need to extricate a boy who is late for school because he is ‘on the toilet’. Usually what he is actually doing is playing Minecraft.
Also on the list is the kitchen diner. Oh My Actual Diety Of Choice what was I thinking. The kitchen diner is vast and commodious. It also contains the kitchen (again evidently) and is our main living area. That Nerf Gun bullet creep always ends up there. Along with everything else. In order to clean it I first have to spend an hour clearing it. And then it is full of shelves and dressers and musical instruments and nick nacks on pianos. And the dining table. Which rests above its cache of old food items camoflagued on the beigeish floor tiles. It is truly awful to clean.
Add in the lounge (not a big job but newly decorated and so requiring of care with the vacuum hose) and the study (books, books, books, Lord of the Rings lego) and Week Three is a bitch.
Week One on the other hand is a breeze. I am looking forward to embracing Week One next week.
For now, however, I still have the hoovering to do in Eldest’s room and it is Thursday and Week Three started last Saturday.
I am going in now.
Wish me luck.