Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Just call me the new cleaning lady

Busted lady!
You know when you get caught speeding how you have that moment of utter and sheer panic?  You know that you should've slowed down, driven more carefully and been a better driver overall. You sit there on the side of the road just wishing and praying against all odds that he'll let you off with just a warning.  Just this time, Officer, really, I didn't mean it.  "I promise. I'll be better next time."  And for a while, you actually do drive more safely.  That is...until you forget that speeding ticket and its associated humiliation (and cost) and you decide that it's not that big of a deal, really.

Well for me, that speeding ticket is the equivalent to cleaning my house.  When we moved a few weeks ago, I decided to take on the task of, essentially detailing, our 1500 square foot house.  I thought, "It'll be easy!  All of the furniture is out of the way and Jon will take Bessie and Calvin to the new house."  Nope.  As it turns out, the Cleaning Police pulled me over and whacked me a huge ticket.  "Gotta do your time Missy. This place is a wreck!"

Admittedly, Jon and I aren't the cleanest people on the planet. I would always joke that I was doing my part to ensure Calvin didn't develop allergies from living in a sterile environment.  When we moved into the house, it was gorgeous. Not a dog hair in sight (they owned a dog as well), and everything was sparkly-like new.  In order for us to get our deposit back, and one can say I am extremely motivated by money, I had to leave things as they had left it with some minor wear and tear allowable.

Time to pay the piper.  For all of the times I ignored the slightly overflowing floor drain in the shower -- now it was time to clean it out.  I cursed myself for my long hairstyle as I proceeded to yank out soap scummed long hair from the drain.  It was gross.  Grosser than you could imagine.  And it smelled too.  Double gross.   I was on my hands and knees, scrubbing until my knuckles went raw, on an actually hot day in Sweden (what are the odds??), AND 7 months pregnant.  Not my favorite moment and not one I want to repeat anytime soon.

About 4 hours into the deep cleaning session, I seriously contemplated calling a cleaning service and paying them to do it all.  All of a sudden $250 was sounding pretty cheap compared to what I was doing.

Fortunately, I had already cleaned out the oven, refrigerator and kitchen cabinets -- everywhere stubborn stains and stuck on grease like to hang out.  Unfortunately, I still had the rest of the house to complete, floors to mop, and gross shower drains to empty.  What was I thinking?  Oh, that's right. I was trying to keep our moving expenses as small as possible.  I scrubbed that house inside and out from 7:30am-4pm, non-stop.  I also didn't have any lunch because we had removed all of the food for the move.  My hunger, back ache and raw hands from the various cleaning products was my motivation to finish the job already.

Now that we are at the new house, I definitely have the mindset of the I-just-received-a-speeding-ticket-so-I'll-drive-like-a-saint-for-FOREVER.  I'm vacuuming regularly, cleaning the bathroom once a week and trying to keep the kitchen as neat and tidy as possible at all times. Nothing on the counters, Jonathan! 

We'll see how long this lasts. I predict I'll be back up to the equivalent of 10mph above the speed limit -- leaving dishes in the sink over night, not taking out the trash regularly -- that kind of thing.  But for now - my house is CLEAN!

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