Friday, February 19, 2010

Necessities: Housecleaning

One advantage to having a near-empty place is not having so much to keep clean.

I've actually got more stuff in this closet of a computer room than I do in the big room. There's the telephone table in the corner to the right of me, with (disconnected) fax machine; in front is my little computer cart, with Mac mini, monitor, speakers and printer; and behind me is a two-drawer file cabinet. Then there's this chair (one of Kiltie's scratching posts) and two plastic-fabric cat houses - acquired free from my local ReUseIt place. All this in a space less than 30 square feet.

It works though and I never feel closed in. From here I can look out through the three foot high window that runs across most of the main room. Today, the sun is shining and I can see the tree opposite starting to bud.

In the main room is a daybed, one round wooden table, a bookcase and an old wooden rocking chair. My friend Ronnie gave me the wooden table, and the bookcase and rocker were picked up for free. The last was left behind by a former tenant of this building.

The bachelor units in this building have counter-table tops that run between the kitchen and the main room. Above are hutch-style shelves which back onto cupboards on the other (kitchen) side. The counter-table top is the largest surface to keep dust-free.

It's not a big deal, therefore, to keep my furniture, such as it is, and counter surfaces clean. Most require only a damp cloth. The wooden table, bookcase, computer cart and telephone table need better treatment. Fortunately, I received a coupon for a free can of Pledge not that long ago. That will last me quite a long time.

For the bathroom, I tend to clean up as I use it. After each shower, I wipe down the shower curtain, walls, tub, etc. Then each time I clean up the cats' commode, I do a more thorough job with a proper cleanser. The sink, mirror and countertop I wipe down everyday, after my daily wash; again, I do a more thorough job when it's time to clean the tub.

My major housecleaning concern and biggest challenge is the floors. I sweep the bare floors everyday with a regular broom. The broom isn't very good and tends to repel fluff and dust rather than attract it.

There are two places where there's wall-to-wall carpeting: in this computer closet and the entryway. I've a Bissell carpet sweeper I use for the carpets. It actually works for bare floors too, but sweeping with a broom is better, even the broom I have.

Cleaning the floors isn't so easy, not with the condition of my back. I can get down on my hands and knees to clean, but moving once I'm down there and getting back up again is difficult, not to mention very painful. Crawling to clean the bathroom and kitchen floors I've done and can still do - although even that I do as little as I can get away with, because regardless of their small size there's still the problem of getting back up again.

Cleaning the floor of the big room is the greatest challenge and, frankly, something I've been unable to do for some time. Instead, all I can manage is spot clean, as and when I see that something has spilled or a certain furry critter has up-chucked a hair ball.

Back in the fall 2009, I got a free Swiffer WetJet, thanks to a reader. It came with two pads. I cheerfully used them to clean the floor of the main room. I imagine I looked as happy as that woman in the ads. It was so nice to have a clean, shining floor and the fresh scent that went with it.

I wish I could get more wetjet pads, but my budget won't allow it. In the meantime, I've been wracking my brain for alternatives.

Nothing so far. So am back to spot cleaning.


Red Jenny said...

re: swiffer. I use a microfiber cloth, but I imagine a regular dishcloth might work...

Chrystal Ocean said...

Hold it! Found this, which I suppose is similar to what you're doing? Anyway, shall check out The Dollar Store next time I go by and search out some microfibre cloths.

terrie said...

Chrystal Ocean said...

Lots of great ideas there!

Had previously tried using old rags, but they don't stick to the base of the new wetjet mops. Suspect that Swiffer redid the velcro part on the base to prevent some of those solutions working; e.g., paper towels, also don't work. However, other solutions, such as old socks with a split in them, or a microfibre pad made with pockets at the ends so it can be slipped over the base would be workarounds.