Monday, January 17, 2011

The Art of Cleaning - Men vs Women

When dating, on a woman's first visit to a man's home she checks out his cleaning habits. I did this with my hubby. I was impressed that his place was so clean. Altho after dating awhile and upon closer inspection I realized it was an illusion. He was a fake - he only cleaned where you could immediately see. For instance, corners and around furniture would be dust bunnies because he never moved it while vacuuming; counters also had dust because the items sitting on them were never moved. Clutter was stuffed into a closet. The bathroom - the downstairs was reasonably tidy probably because he never used it but once the relationship moved forward and I went to the upstairs master bath well...I am sure you can imagine. Still we all think we can fix these habits with a man.

Fast forward many years...

I was away with the kids for 3 weeks. I figured he would tidy while I was gone. Upon first look it seems he did. The kitchen looked clean, floors vacuumed, pretty good. Of course he also made a point of saying how much cleaning he did, very proud of himself. However, upon closer inspection it didn't look like a duster had wiped any of the furniture since I had left. That is a lot of dust when you live in the desert. Before I had left I lost the little girls soother string. While bending down to pick up a toy there it was under the playpen, guess nothing was moved while cleaning those floors. I checked the floor cleaner bottle and the level had not changed since I left, guess the floors were not mopped.

Am I being to critical, I am a little anal about cleaning? Should I just accept he did his version of cleaning? Needless to say I have kept my mouth shut.

I have put together a few rules that I may post on the fridge before I go away again. The alcohol is not be available while we are in Saudi but will give him an idea of what to do.

Step 1: Crack a beer and put on some loud music.

There’s no way around it, the next 60 – 90 minutes won’t be fun. Might as well enjoy a decent beer and listen to your favorite album while you’re at it. Loud and fast-tempo music will help keep the boredom away. Alcohol will make the experience more tolerable.

Step 2: Put all the clutter away.

No sense in cleaning around the clutter. Your place will still look like a pit if you do.

Step 3: Dust using a Swiffer Duster

What a revolution the Swiffer is. The feather duster just pushes dust around. The Swiffer uses static electricity and an almost infinite amount of soft dust grabbing fibers to clean. Use it on everything from wood to electronics. Don’t doubt it. It works. Pick things up and dust under them. Don’t dust around.

Step 3.5: Crack another beer.

This ain’t over yet.

Step 4: Vacuum. Everything!

Vacuum everything. Use the bristle brush on counter-tops that you stand and eat over (there will be crumbs). Use the long corner attachment to run along the outer edge of any tiled floors. Move furniture. Lastly, take that bristle brush and move onto the bathroom.

Step 5: The Bathroom

Who knows why men avoid cleaning their bathrooms. Too bad it’s a deal breaker for most women if your bathroom is disgusting. Here’s a plan to making your bathroom woman friendly:

* Vacuum anything that’s not wet with the bristle brush.

* Wipe down mirror and counters.

* Scrub sink and tub.

* Scrub toilet bowl(don't forget around the rim and the seat).

Done. Finish the beer. Consider a third.

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