Sunday, January 7, 2018


I am not much of a housekeeper. I have always taken the phrase, "An immaculate house is the sign of a misspent life," seriously. Oh sure, I vacuum weekly, do dishes daily, clean the cat boxes daily, clean cat barf as it happens or as it is discovered, laundry on weekends, but deep cleaning is a rarity. Especially the downstairs office and craft area. We all have levels of tolerance for filth and I really don't know how I compare to the rest of the world. Having animals inside and outside makes me think I can tolerate more of a mess than most, but at some point I can't stand it anymore and have to do something about it. In an ideal world that would be to call a cleaning or housekeeping service. When I have felt wealthier I have actually done that, but usually I don't feel like I can really afford it. Besides I would have to clean the place before a crew came in to keep from being embarrassed about living like this. I get builders magazines at work and the pictures from the latest designs in homes never look like anyone actually lives there. Everything is bare bones. I have seen homes like that, but I couldn't live in one and keep it like that for any length of time. Just too sterile.

The Cooker has an audit coming up for a client (she's a bookkeeper for income) and that happens in the downstairs office area. We knew this was coming up so we started last weekend. Heavy duty dusting and mopping happened last week. To prep for that a lot of stuff had to be moved and gone through. As long as that is happening a lot of "archives" turn up. Old photo albums get dusted off and everything gets taken apart, wiped down, admired, wondered about, and sometimes thrown out. Walls cleaned, paintings dusted, and the trophy walleye even got a fairly detailed cleaning without breaking the fins.

I even got to reorganize my photography, music, office stuff, photo albums, and other miscellaneous things that all got individually cleaned and put where I can see and find them again. A few things turned up that I had wondered about for some time. I should try and get rid of more things, but I need to get over my sentimentality a bit more.

The place is nearly presentable now. I also know that the first two thirds of my life I have accumulated things and now that I am well into the last third I need to get rid of things. Maybe I'll get serious about that in the Spring. Gotta go clean cat boxes now.  


Sioux Roslawski said...

Jono--Our basement makes me shudder. Perhaps this will be the spring it gets cleaned out.

anne marie in philly said...

I have better things to do than clean. I'm with you in that certain things get done (cat box, dishes, laundry). everything else can wait.

Elephant's Child said...

Snap. On all of it. Including the need to clean the cat box.

Linda deV said...

Life is short. Cleaning shouldn’t take a high priority in the big scheme of things.

jenny_o said...

Sometimes it's handy to have an exterior motivator! I'm bad to put off deep cleaning as well. Very bad. But I don't have a dozen cats like you do (give or take a couple), only two, so I really should be better.

Even as I get older, I find it hard to seriously declutter. I can do the regular things like household items and clothing, but the china and vases and special knickknacks we've had for forever are much harder.

The person who invents a truly self-cleaning litter box will have his fortune made. The ones that are advertising as self-cleaning look more like "extra cleaning needed" to me.

Sharon Qualls said...

You're right, we all have our tolerances for levels of clean. My tolerance is running out, it's getting a tad deep in here. :-)

Tom Sightings said...

B has a pillow with the phrase that sums up my philosophy on the subject: Yes I cleaned. I swept the room with a gaze.

PipeTobacco said...


I know and completely understand the "cleaning" conundrum you write about. Interestingly enough, though, I read a research article that talked about a de-cluttered and tidy environment actually reduces stress in a person. So, I did try to significantly de-clutter and tidy-up my environment.... and it really did seem to help me have less stress.

Cleaning is vastly different from de-cluttering and making orderliness. But, I have really tried to stick with de-cluttering. As you mention, sentimentaly is a difficult aspect though. I am extremely sentimental about things that bring back memories or *could poentially* be useful for memories of times with family and friends. So.... it is a continual struggle for me to de-clutter.


Ol'Buzzard said...

I help my wife clean - she likes a tidy house and has me trained - to some extent; but my den ( or what ever the hell you want to call it) is an organized mess. That is the way I would probably live without my better half. I feel uncomfortable in an obsessively clean house.
the Ol'Buzzard

Ol'Buzzard said...

I empty the cat box two or three times a day: our cats are spoiled.
the Ol'Buzzard

Jono said...

Sioux, Be honest now. Isn't that what you said LAST spring? :)

anne marie, It really is a matter of urgency, isn't it?

Elephant's Child, I suspect you have an amazing tolerance of yuck. Good girl!

Linda deV, And the older you get the shorter life gets. I'm glad you have your priorities straight.

jenny_o, I think there is a correlation on how long something has been around as to how difficult it is to get rid of. Seniority, I guess.
If I would toilet train my cats the litter situation would be solved. I have known a few people that have done that with their kitties.

Sharon, I sometimes do nothing until I just can't stand it any longer. Then I go like a tornado, albeit a short-lived one.

Tom, That's it perfectly!

Pipe Tobacco, It's good to note that cleaning and de-cluttering are not the same thing. I cleaned, but I didn't make much headway in the de-cluttering department. Which, of course, adds to the cleaning time.

Ol'Buzzard, I guess there is no substitute for a lifetime (at least it seems that way) of training. I am sure the cats would deny that they are spoiled in any way.

angryparsnip said...

I like to have my home neat and picked up. If not all my art supplies just build up till I am drowning .
Plus for me if I have a messy house people are always stopping by. Drives me crazy. I am a mess, dirt balls everywhere, house is a mess and stuff all over, Happens every time.

cheers, parsnip and mandibles

Jono said...

angryparsnip, There is the mess vs. company. I thinks there is a correlation there as well. Even if I see someone coming up the road or already in the driveway I can still scramble to gather up the worst of the detritus.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

You have a trophy walleye? I am sooooooooo jealous!

Cat Lover said...

Jono, moving a lot helps cut down on clutter. In our 34 years together we have moved 10 times. You don’t want to haul tons of crap around especially when you have to lift it yourself. I have the same problem as angry parsnip. Messy house=people drop by. So I do try to keep the house picked up.

Onevikinggirl said...

”Nearly presentable”, my, my - some aim to live the high life! Since the last cat moved out, we clean for guests (not for friends).


every 3 months or so I purge..I move furniture sweep,vacuum, dust mop and dust and then mop..then I do general cleaning the rest of the time..

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Nothing makes me clean better or faster than someone is coming. Sometimes I wish I had company more often just for that reason. :-)

Diane Henders said...

It's always fun to rediscover old treasures - at least that makes the process of cleaning a little more enjoyable! My dream is to someday get all my photos under control. Probably won't happen this year... ;-)

Jono said...

Debra, It's from long ago, but it's good for a memory of days on the lakes.

Cat Lover, I remember that from my younger days and if I had to move now I would lose a lot of stuff in a hurry. I also try not to let things get too bad because unexpected visitors WILL come if things are a major mess.

Onevikinggirl, It's embarrassing if guests trip over something and then land on something else that shouldn't be there. I don't let it get THAT bad.

JACKIESUE, It's about the same here, but I need to find the motivation for the deep cleaning.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too), That is the best motivation. It was our this time.

Diane, That is why deep cleaning takes so long. I find things that take me back to different points in life. At least the ones worth remembering. You should still be pretty well purged from the Big Move.

Pixel Peeper said...

I hate cleaning, too, so I just try to keep up with stuff as it becomes unclean. Saturday mornings typically are a 90-minute buzzing about, dusting, vacuuming, picking up, swishing and swiping session.

I need to do a major deep decluttering - it'll make the cleaning and daily upkeep easier. We've lived in this house for 10 years now (the longest I've lived anywhere except in the house where I was born)'s amazing how stuff accumulates. Maybe this spring? ;-)

Shammickite said...

I'm with you on the saying about the "misspent life" as I really don't like housework and try to avoid it as much as I can. However, my grandson came to visit overnight yesterday and brought most of his hairy dog with him in the form of loose hairs. Thank goodness he left the rest of the dog at home. But now I may have to break out the vacuum cleaner. I usually take my glasses off so I can't see the hairs, but this time I can see them easily even with my bare eyes! YUK!