Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tuesdays 411 on Cleaning: The #1 Neglected Spot

And the #2 and #3 and #4...

Do you ever notice that when your house is a wreck everyone and their cousin Joe seems to drop by for a visit?  Sometimes they call first.  That's always nice.  At least then you have time to shove things into the dryer or throw things into bedrooms and close the doors.  It's OK for your house to looked lived-in, but I hate it when it looks more like, "Who would live here?" A good friend once gave me some good advice a few years ago.  She said when company is coming and you don't have time to clean, just wipe down the toilet.  That's all that really matters. For years, I'll bet people thought I had IBS because when they came in unexpectedly I always said, "Excuse me", and ran to the bathroom.

Even when you know company is coming, sometimes you just can't seem to get it together enough to get the house really clean.  Another friend gave me great tip for that, too.  Turn down the lights and light candles.  They won't see the dust. After that, I became a hopeless romantic (with IBS).

Seriously, after years of learning how to hide dirt, grime, and clutter, I have worked really hard to keep a clean house for the majority of the time anyway.  There are some days and weeks it doesn't get as straight or clean as I'd like, but those are the times when I am enjoying life in other ways, so how the house looks doesn't matter. House cleaning can wait.  Living life and loving others takes first place in the long run, but after awhile, I do have to get back to chores.

I've moved 3 times in 6 years.  I have cleaned house for at least 7 families over the past 7 years.  That's at least 10 houses I have cleaned on a regular basis. In all of those houses, when I first walked through, there was ALWAYS one place that looked as if it had never been cleaned. It became my pet peeve cleaning area for a long time.  Well, I must have gotten over it somewhere along the way, because this past week I looked at my own "spot" and had to laugh.  It was dirty.  I had neglected that area probably since I moved in.  Where was it?  Here:
See the dust?

My camera isn't the best, so it looks better here than in real life.  Can you tell where this dusty spot is?  It is an interior door.  EVERY house I have EVER had to clean has had dust on both sides of the interior doors.  Even the houses that were "professionally" cleaned by someone else on a regular basis before me had (thick) dust here. Often times, people don't even think about dusting the doors.  But the dust builds up, and if it is never cleaned, eventually, the door has to be painted because the dirt doesn't come off.  I've seen that before also.  They are not hard to dust at all, I do it as I pass by.  It has become a part of my cleaning routine.  When my daughter was younger and she went to work with me, that was her job.  It is that quick and easy, the kids can do it.  If you haven't done it in awhile, or ever, you may need to wipe the door down with a cleaning solution or damp rag first.  After that, it is very easy to keep dusted.  And it really does make a difference.  Look at these 2 photos and you will see what I mean:

Can you see the difference?
So what's the #2 area?  Baseboards.  Why do we hate to clean them?  The first cleaning is tough, but after that, they really are easy to dust.  Often, I do it while I vacuum, with the attachments or with a duster.  Easier than that, I walk through first with a broom and sweep it off, then vacuum.  It makes the house look cleaner and it saves you from having to paint as often.

#3 and #4?  Well, I started with that.  Toilets and dust. You could simply follow my advice on hiding these neglected areas, but sooner or later, it will catch up with you. You'll be sneezing from allergies....or smell.  Dusting sounds easy enough, and it is.  So why do I avoid it?  For me, it is about the clutter. Sometimes, I use a decorative place mat or cloth on my furniture to avoid dusting.  Then, every so often, I pick it up and shake it.  But really, it just doesn't look dusted unless you clean the frames, knick-knacks and vases, etc.  When I get annoyed with dusting, I like to use the time to stroll down memory lane and think about where all the items came from. I often snack while I clean.  Once, I was dusting, daydreaming, and eating an Oreo.  I took a bite and set it down to finish dusting. I eat cookies slowly, don't know why, I just do.  A few hours later, I went back to my cookie and it was GONE!  One of my daughters threw it away.  I could not understand why she would do that...

As for toilets, I found a stinky hiding place.  I tried so many things to get rid of stinky toilet smell and couldn't get rid of it.  Not until I figured out where it was coming from, anyway.  I'll be covering bathrooms next week, so check back with me.

Until then, Happy Dusting! (Yeah, right)


  1. Hey I can't wait to hear about stinky toilets, serious, the place I live in now I can not get rid of the smell either. Now I can not say it is because of my boys. They are older and have had to learn about that kind of stuff. It has been that way since I moved in. So I am eager to learn what you found. :)

  2. Warning...it may get gross. haha