Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Neurosis or Cleanliness?


It's funny how little off-hand comments can create the compulsion to clean certain things in a certain way or make you think of cleaning something you might otherwise overlook.

When I was a little girl, my grandfather died after having a massive heart attack. He was in his mid 50s. I'll never forget what my mother said about cleaning out his house after he died. He favored fried food and she said the walls in his kitchen were coated in thick, sticky, yellow grease that took hours to scrape away. We don't eat much fried food around here, but when I begin to see even the smallest build up of grease on the vent or above the stove, I cringe and think of my poor granddad.

I also have a thing about the bathrooms. My mother always said you can tell a lot about how clean someone's kitchen is, by how clean the bathroom is. Since my heart is really in the kitchen, I feel like my bathrooms need to be spick and span. Otherwise it is a poor reflection on my kitchen and my cooking. Now, I'm not saying it all has to be perfect, but our bathrooms get the once over EVERY day and when company comes, they get the once over by someone that can really give them the once over, namely Karate Kid or myself.

My mother-in-law has a couple cleaning habits that she picked up from her mother. Her mother taught her that if the mixer is dirty, the entire kitchen may as well be filthy. After hearing that story, my standing mixer is now always cleaned thoroughly after I use it and once a month it gets the toothpick/Q-tip treatment. My mother-in-law showed me how much goo can get in the cracks and crevasses of the appliances and nothing cleans those cracks and crevasses better than toothpicks and Q-tips.

The funny thing is, I never notice these things when I am in someone else's home. So, if you ever have me over, please don't run around and clean your mixer, stove, or bathroom. I really won't see it. I only notice them in my own home and when I see it, it drives me batty until I can get around to cleaning it.

So, what little nit-picky cleaning neurosis do you have? Any great tips you can share for keeping grit and grime at bay?
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5 comments:

Sam said...

That's it...you are never invited over again!!! Love your linkwithin!!!

Rob said...

Sam, she is to invited over...to clean

Katie said...

That is so true . . . aren't we usually more picky about our house and NOT others. I never look to see how clean someone's bathroom or kitchen is!!

I am in the middle about my cleaning. I have boys and only two bathrooms . . . I wipe them down every day, but they are always messy (the bathrooms, not the boys!). So much of our house is old. We have a very old kitchen floor, 40 yr old cabinets and 40 yr old bathrooms, so no matter how hard I clean, everything still looks dirty!! I guess that is a good excuse not to clean too much, right?

Natalie said...

Those Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are GREAT at cleaning off the yellow nasty grease spots. I'm picky about floors being clean. That is what my mother instilled in me. I used to sweep, vacuum, and mop everyday, but that is harder now since I have two boys, two dogs, a husband, and a vacuum cleaner that decided to stop picking up dog hair.

Mary @ Cheerios said...

Cleanliness--ha! Well, If i know someone is coming over, I either do nothing and think "oh well! jsut c'mon over!" or I pick up all I can and STASH it! That's right I hide it away in my room! shhhh! don't tell, ok??!!?! ha ha!
Oh, those magic erasers are heavenly....my kids love to use them-quick and easy cleaning. The other one I love is my vaccuum-my best friend- I vacuum at least 2-3 x/day. with my little one eating EVERYTHING on the floor- I have to!
God bless,
Mary @ Cheerios