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The arcane mysteries of house-keeping.

 
 
dlowan
 
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 12:07 pm
I found a house-work thing that I didn't know existed recently...well, I knew it EXISTED, I just didn't know it had a NAME.

I hurt my back badly recently, and have had lots of trouble doing basic cleaning tasks.....I can't afford a regular cleaner right now, so I got in an "Angel" (barf) from an agency called Dial-an-Angel.

They have regular cleaning angels, and one-off angels, and ne'er, it seems, the twain shall meet.

My angel was very nice.....and she asked me a lot about what I most wanted done in the time I could afford.

Apparently, I could have "deep-dusting" (I cannot tell you where my imagination went on that one!) or ordinary dusting.

Deep-dusting, it turns out, is lifting everything off surfaces (including books....that alone would have kept my poor angel busy for a long time) and dusting under, as well as around, it.

Now....except for taking the books out of shelves, when I worked as a cleaner, I would just have called that dusting. One simply took everything off the surface it was on and dusted beneath it.

Then there was wet dusting...for things like skirting boards and architraves....


When my mother died and I took over her role when I was fourteen, I believed there were deep mysteries to house-cleaning.....I believed that, despite all the housework I did, somehow the place would fall apart because I didn't know the mysterious stuff that REAL houseworkers did.

I'd grown up wth Bluo in the final rinse for whites.....and starching....and mangly things on the top of washing machines to get clothes a bit dry, that one had to be careful not to get one's hand caught in, or it would be squished beyond recognition, and all manner of mysteries that made mothers grumpy on washing days.

But...they all seemed to have disappeared while I was at school. Washing machines just got on with it....even the sacred sorting of whites from colours was pretty basic...except for the nasty episode of the red sheet....

Ok, when I washed the muslin curtains, they got all wrinkled and ironing didn't help...but overall nothing fell apart, the centre held, and anarchy stayed in abeyance.

So...ARE there still mysteries of the house management art? Arcana I know not of? Domestic godlets I am not properly propitiating that will turn on me?

Or has it all become simple, if annoying.

Though, you know, some studies have found that a surprising number of us get more pleasure from achieving a sparkling and aesthetically pleasing home than from sex.....





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Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 1,786 • Replies: 12
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Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 02:24 pm
@dlowan,
I spent years being a neat and clean freak (starting as a small kid) but grew out of that some time in my 30's. Now I detest cleaning and since I like a clean home, I dirty it as little as possible. I'll give counters a swipe now and again and if I have to actually scrub something, I will, but otherwise, I stay away from all cleaning supplies.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 02:37 pm
@Mame,
Me too, Mame. Except that I'm sloppier. I used to keep a laboratory clean (except for the janitorial service which handled the floor) and a house clean. I guess I got bored with it all as time went by.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 02:40 pm
@ossobuco,
Yeah, I'm a little sloppy, too - heh heh heh Feels great to be off that clean-train, doesn't it?
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 03:05 pm
Clutter bothers me more than dust and wrinkles. When I got my first apartment my grandmother gave me a book called "How to Clean Anything", I only looked at once when I needed to get a semen stain out of couch - quickly. I ended up flipping the cushion over.
0 Replies
 
mags314772
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 03:15 pm
@dlowan,
I used to clean. But now I have some health problems and am flush enough to afford a cleaning lady once a week. She is a treasure...even cleans cat litter pans and cooks the occasional dish. She's a self-starter and I never stop pinching myself to make sure my life is real.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 03:24 pm
I have a "domestic goddess" as well. She's been with me for the last 15 years
and she is the reason I won't move too far out of her reach. She's the type who
sees herself what needs to be done, more so than I do. She cleans the refrigerator, she wipes of the dust on top of the pictures hanging on the wall
and she is very thorough in her general cleaning. She even walks the dog
without me ever asking her to do so. A true domestic goddess indeed!
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 07:18 pm
@CalamityJane,
You know (now I know I'm old, I kvetch a lot) even as a kid, when I worked as a cleaner, which I did for a few years, I didn't need anyone to tell me what to do.

(Except for the goddam fanatic who made me polish her goddam terrazo bathroom floor every week, then strip the goddam polish off with harmful chemicals every fourth week, and start again!)

Clearly, one does a good general clean each time, but focuses on one special room or area in turn each time, until one has done all of them, then one starts again.

Did I say how much I hate venetian blinds?


But cleaning the cat litter....that is OUT there! I'd do it, cos I like cats and I'm used to cleaning up after aminals.

I had one employer...oy veh!!!!!

I had three hours a week.

In this time one had to do a full family wash...in a TWIN TUB (do any of you know what that is? It is a washing machine from hell.....it has a pathetic little washer, which agitates away, then, by hand, one must move the entire wash to the rinser/dryer tub, spin it to get rid of some suds, then fill it by hand and spin it again several times to rinse and dry....this means the beast can never be left alone....especially as the wash tub is so small that a full family wash was at least ten tubs full). Then one had to hang out the wash.

After this, one had to do an entire three bedroom house clean...including washing up, and, as the client used to enjoy large dinner parties on Saturday nights, and all the dishes would still be stacked dirty in the sink when I got there on Wednesday, this was sometimes a major job in itself.

In one's spare time, one was expected to bring the wash in if it was dry, and make a good start on the ironing.

I STILL meet fellow sufferers who worked for her....none of us lasted long. I was young, strong and fit...but I wore out just like all the others.

mags314772
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 02:15 pm
@dlowan,
Believe me, I know how lucky I am on the cat litter thing. She's not even wild about cats, although one of mine insists on helping her with every chore, especially changing the bed.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 04:07 pm
@dlowan,
I go with the Wilso school of thought on housework.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 04:08 pm
@roger,
roger wrote:

I go with the Wilso school of thought on housework.


What the hell is that?
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 04:28 pm
The entirity of house-keeping is an arcane mystery to me so I have evolved into a minimalist.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2008 04:32 pm
@boomerang,
Indeed.....I have too many bits and pieces to achieve minimalism.
0 Replies
 
 

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