Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Is the House Getting Away From Me?

Consider, for a moment, your spotless housekeeper. She housekeeps most of the time, apportioning various chores to different days: Tuesday morning is ironing morning. She calls this Not Letting the House Get Away from Her, making it sound a little like a nervous filly.
Peg Bracken, The I Hate to Housekeep Book

A quote from one of my favorite books. Written in the early 1960s, it is a snapshot of that era. Peg is always mixing up a pitcher of martinis (or, much less willingly, mixing up a sal soda solution to deal with a recalcitrant stain).

Now that my job description is basically "housewife," I've been pondering. When I have the urge to clean my own house I generally can satisfy it by picking up a book about housekeeping instead. My shelf contains everything from Home Comforts, Cheryl Mendelson's encyclopedic tome on all aspects of keeping house, to Peg's much more irreverent books.

But lately I am wondering if the house is getting a little out of control. I generally clean when I notice something looks dirty but I am toying with the idea of setting chores for each day of the week instead. This is my plan and please, no one chime in if it sounds like I'm missing something major:

Dishes, wipe kitchen counters
Clean some part of shower while I'm in there
Make the bed
Swish and swipe bathrooms if necessary

Monday—finish laundry and wash/change sheets
Tuesday—kitchen/dining area, including mopping floors
Wednesday—vacuum and dust mop rest of wood floors
Thursday—dust, take out trash

Rarely (being honest here)
Wet mop wood floors
Clean walls, woodwork

Theoretically this system should leave the house at least as clean as when I had a team that came once every two weeks, but that hardly seems likely, somehow.

Off to clean the kitchen (or maybe to read the Housekeeping forum on Mumsnet instead).

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