Whatís in that corner?
Editorís note: This column originally ran in the July 8, 2010 edition of the Daily Mail.
House cleaning is not one of my favorite things, in fact it comes way down on my list of chores that I like to do. Come to think of it, there are not very many chores that I really like to do. I wouldnít call them chores if they were something I wanted to do for pleasure. However, there are some that do give me some pleasure.
I like to wipe off the table after I have loaded the dishwasher. It is pleasing to look at the table all clean and ready for the next meal. Of course, it doesnít stay clear very long. The next time someone passes something will have been put on the clean top. It might be the mail, an article someone wanted me to read, or a gift from our sonís garden. It is a very busy table, and I like the decorations that accumulate on it between meals.
Another task I feel good about is making the bed. A cluttered bed can make the whole bedroom look messy, but the simple act of making the bed, tucking the bedspread in under the pillows, and smoothing out the wrinkles can give the illusion of a good house-keeper. A king size bed in a small room certainly gets attention, and if the bed looks nice who knows what has been pushed under it.
I remember my mother saying that if the beds were made and the dishes washed, then you never have to worry about company dropping by. In our modern life company doesnít drop by very often, but it is still a good maxim,
A trick that I have mentioned before in these columns was one I learned from another ministerís wife. She shared my dislike of housecleaning, but needed to be prepared for a church memberís unexpected visit. She kept the vacuum cleaner in the living room so that any guests will think they interrupted her in the middle of house cleaning. Since I donít have a really good spot to leave my vacuum cleaner where it is easy to get out, I continue to use this idea. I think of Mary every time I pass the cleaner.
But this week I have to put aside my tricks and get to the job of really doing a good job of cleaning. When you are having 10 houseguests for three days, nothing goes unnoticed. That sticky spot way in the back of the refrigerator, the pile of unread magazines by the couch, the stain around the faucet in the garage bathroom basin, and the jumble of cleaning supplies above the washing machine will all be noticed.
The biggest problem is, where do I put everything? I clean one room but that makes the next room cluttered as I place things there ďfor the time being.Ē One of the rooms that usually is reserved for such things is being put into use as a temporary guest room, so I am left with the decision of throwing something away, hiding it, or making a place where it belongs. Since I have only known about having these guests for four years, I naturally havenít had time to do any of this cleaning ahead of time. Now I donít have time to sort things out. The solution will probably be to leave things alone and clean around them.
After all, some of these guests grew up in my home and are used to my style. Others are too young to notice and will probably add to the disarray. That just leaves one new adult family member who might notice my failings. But it wouldnít be fair to her to give the wrong impression. Hopefully she will visit often and eventually would see the true me. So I think I will just put away my broom and relax.