Unless we engage the services of a cleaner the only alternative is cleaning our homes ourselves. I know that if I had a cleaner I would be scurrying around, cleaning before he or she arrived, making sure that they didn’t have to pick up used tissues (not that I leave those lying around, but there’s always a first time), underwear, newspapers, wet towels, and having coffee or tea ready for his or her arrival.
Even though I could, at a pinch, afford to engage the services of a cleaner, I quite like the activity myself. Yes, I have arthritis, which means some jobs are more difficult now than they once were, but overall, and with all the modern equipment we have at our disposal these days – vacuum, steam cleaner for hard floors, more cleaning products than we can shake a whole forest at, never mind a stick – as well as a nice end product (a clean and tidy home), it’s good exercise as well.
Husband was out this morning, helping our younger son with some home maintenance, and so I had the place to myself. Rather than swanning around in my housecoat, drinking endless cups of coffee, reading the paper or blogs, I was up, showered and dressed (and yes, wearing makeup and hair freshly washed and blow dried) by 8 am. After our breakfast, husband drove off to our son’s home, and I switched off my computer and started work.
I started in the kitchen. Yes, it’s ‘dated’ now, installed in 1985, it will be 32 years old this year! But it does the job. Indeed, it’s a well-organized space. I quite like our kitchen even though it’s north facing and is a little dark, mainly because of the walnut tree outside and my choice, three years ago, of black flooring, but we are considering painting the cupboards even though this will be a long and laborious job.
Our kitchen overlooks our back garden, and the table is just large enough for us for breakfast, lunch, and supper. The new white washing machine (Whirlpool make) stands out like a sore thumb (the dishwasher – which can’t be seen here – is black, as is the oven, sink and hob) but never mind, it does the job for which it was designed.
I removed all the things from the worktops, gave them (the worktops) a good clean, and then put everything back after I’d washed all the things which could be washed, plus cleaning out the toaster and bread bin, and the ceramic jars in which I keep the wooden spoons, etc, went through the dishwasher with the breakfast things. The windowsill was also cleaned, and the fridge, and then the floor and, finally, the table was given a polish.
I think these will be the daffodils’ last hurrah, but my goodness, aren’t these a delight, lovely creamy ones with deep apricot centres (from the supermarket earlier this week.)
I then moved on to the shower room – all the usual things were cleaned, the shower, the basin, the loo, and also the windowsill and the shelves. The two white ornaments (one of which is useful for makeup brushes) were washed – I use a little soft brush to get into the crevices (I also washed the makeup brushes.)
I don’t keep all my makeup on the shelves but in a lidded basket, and toiletries such as toothpaste and shampoo are hidden away in a cupboard, not only as they aren’t attractive items but also for the sake of hygiene. Towels were changed, the floor was washed, and then I moved on to the hall …
Husband had vacuumed the stairs and landing only a couple of days ago, so I only had to dust the furniture … I changed some things around recently, and instead of framed photos of my husbands parents on our little Sutherland table (which are now upstairs in the bed sitting room) on the table are some Oriental carved wooden figures (inherited pieces.)
(This photo is an old one, I’ve since changed the lampshades, but the desk remains in situ)
Once the hall was vacuumed and dusted, I stopped cleaning and prepared lunch – cold chicken, new potatoes and a green salad so that it would be ready for when husband returned from our younger son’s home.
I then cleaned the sitting/dining room. It is a reasonable-sized room (by UK standards, I mean, about 28ft by 13ft) with a square arch way dividing sitting from dining area. When our sons lived at home, we had the dining table ‘up’ all the time and ate at this table each day, but now we’re on our own, we use the dining table as a sofa table and only put it ‘up’ when more than the two of us are having a meal.
This is just the dining end of the room. The camera angle foreshortens the look of the dining area, which is a decent-sized space. The two Chippendale-style dining chairs belonged to my late uncle (we had the seats re-covered about ten years ago) as did the two marine paintings on the far wall (and which I had new mounds made last year.)
I dusted all the furniture, changed the flower water (on the bookcase is a posy of freesias – small, delicate flowers but with such a wonderful scent), and vacuumed the whole room.
Tomorrow, I will clean our bedroom and the study (but not the bookshelves … that’s a job too far at the moment!) and then, if I’ve the energy, clean the upstairs rooms (guest bedroom, bathroom and bed sitting room.) As these rooms are not over-used, they just need refreshing – a quick dust and vacuum.
When husband arrived home we had our lunch, and then sat in the summerhouse with cups of tea while I watched Escape to the Country on the small TV in there.
It seems a bit silly, really, devoting a whole post to a morning’s housekeeping but, as I say, unless we engage the services of a cleaner, this is something we all have to do, and therefore cleaning takes up quite a large portion of our lives – unless we want to live in squalor, that is! And there is some satisfaction to be gained, is there not, in seeing our homes looking clean and fresh?
Enjoy the weekend!