Like most people, I’m tired when I get home from work. I mean feet-up, comfy clothes, zombie-mode tired. So needless to say, I don’t always feel like cleaning in the evening (by “not always,” I mean not ever).
But like we’ve discussed time and time again on this blog, there’s only so much “mess” you can handle until it becomes too much to bear. Suddenly those funky smells and strange noises (is that an animal?), that are generally quarantined to just the trash can or kitchen area, start infiltrating every room. This is usually a strong indicator that things have gotten out of hand.
Despite my inherent sloth, of course I still need to clean on a regular basis – but when?
Two words: commercial breaks!
It’s the best way I’ve found to relax and clean my apartment in the same night. I’ve become adept at mobilizing during every commercial break to clean and pick up, even if it’s just a corner at a time, a few dishes here and there, a counter or a cooktop on occasion. 120-seconds of motivation at a time!
It’s these short bursts of cleaning that keep my apartment from looking like a war zone. It doesn’t take much either – just a few minutes at a time interspersed throughout the night. And with DVR and TiVo technologies, you don’t have to miss a moment of any of your favorite shows. I don’t know what I’d do if I missed a single act on America’s Got Talent. Let’s just be happy it’s never come to that.
And if you’re not a big TV watcher, no worries, this still applies. Segment times when you can pick up for a minute – when you finish the next chapter of your book, after you’ve checked out how stars are just like us, or in between yoga asanas. Whatever you’re into, this method works.
Some people would rather get all their cleaning done in one long marathon session. To that I say; To each their own. I’ve been there, tried that, and it’s not for me.
So when you get home at night and you’re exhausted, go ahead and put your feet up. Just make sure to kick it into high gear as soon as those commercials start. If you’re anything like me, you’ll need to take baby steps to achieve a cleaner home.
Whenever I’m anxious or sad, there are two things that can always help me, running and cleaning. This weekend was a battle of both activities as I ran until my legs were numb and scrubbed my house until it sparkled.
As I was on my hands and knees getting the grit and grime out of my bathroom tile, I started to think about why cleaning helps clear your head. Running is obvious…it gives you time alone with your thoughts & the exercise gives you endorphins which make you happier. But why cleaning?
A quick visit to my mom’s life guru, Oprah.com, told me that it’s because of 3 things:
- Taking Back Control - There too many things in the world that I can’t control—but bringing order to my home gives me one area that I can take control of and see immediate results.
- Physical Relief – Since it’s usually not appropriate to take out my frustration on the person/situation causing me stress, what better way than to take a toothbrush and scrub away my worries? I feel better and no one will end up with a black eye.
- Finishing What You Start – There are few things that make us feel better than finishing a task at hand. Starting a project such as cleaning the oven or unclogging the drains gives a hard start/finish with measurable results. Here’s what my range looked like before/after one round with affresh® Kitchen and appliance cleaner.
So the next time you have a bad day at work, or a fight with a friend, take it out on your kitchen and feel better knowing you may not have it all together all the time, but your home sure shines.
We try to avoid it, we pick up after ourselves, take out the trash, do our best to live whole, full, clean lives.
I have a very strict routine. Every weekend I clean whatever needs to be cleaned. It gets done early so I don’t have to spend the entire weekend annoyed with chores.
So when I came home one Sunday afternoon to a foul smell coming from the kitchen I immediately fell into -
Denial: Whatever stinks must be coming from the neighbors because I cleaned this place just the other day, I think to myself. Still, I check under the sink, the trash, behind the microwave. Whatever it was, I couldn’t tell where it was coming from. One minute I thought this mystery smell was coming from the refrigerator. The next I thought something crawled into the drain and died a horrible death. But I couldn’t locate it. But it must be the neighbors anyway, so there.
The next morning the smell was worse as I tried to enjoy coffee time which only led me to –
Anger: Whatever it is, it’s getting taken care of right now, I think to myself. I take the trash out again, checking the refrigerator for anything that looks even close to an expiration date. I’m pretty sure I threw out a brand new container of coconut milk because it just looked suspicious. Trash out. Smell, done. I’m not going to clean out the whole refrigerator, that’s just ridiculous.
The next three stages came in quick succession when I returned home from a long day and the smell was still there –
Bargaining: Alright, I say to my refrigerator. I’ve decided the smell must be coming from somewhere inside the cold, white box in my kitchen. Here’s what I’m going to do… I throw all my meat out. Just in case. It wasn’t like super expensive special meat but it wasn’t old either. But I threw it out and I moved the baking soda box and I wiped it out with a little bleach wipe.
Depression: Nothing. It still smelled gross and by this time it was the middle of the week and I sat on the counter across from my refrigerator – utterly dejected. I’m a failure, I thought. I’m in my 30s and I have the refrigerator of a frat house … which I can smell from the bedroom. And then…
Acceptance: I take everything out and though I have plenty of household cleaners in my “crapartment,” I grabbed the affresh Kitchen and appliance cleaner for one reason only. It smells really good. Like oranges. I cleaned the walls, the racks – everything. Then I put everything back in the fridge.
It still smelled.
It smelled like … The old broccoli in the plastic container that was the one thing I hadn’t thought to throw out.
As you may have gathered from my previous blog post, I’m not really a big cleaner. I’m just too lazy to have a pristine apartment. My laziness is not limited to cleaning. It also applies to exercise. I don’t really “do” workouts. Recently, however, I’ve realized that reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. I’m fanatical about reading so, why not TRY to become fanatical about working out as well?
To ease my way into this endeavor, I decide to try something simple: yoga.
Hot yoga, to be more specific. Boy does that work up a sweat! Fast Forward 24 hours. I’m putting together my workout bag for another yoga class and realize I never cleaned the mat. Rank doesn’t describe the smell emanating from that bright pink mat.
“What am I going to use to clean this?” I pondered. Glass Cleaner? No, it doesn’t seem like it would get the job done. Disinfectant? Nope - it’s too harsh. And then I look at my refrigerator. Affresh® Kitchen and Appliance Cleaner really cleaned the fridge well, and it has a nice citrusy scent. It’s not too overwhelming, but cleans well. So, I decide to experiment. Turns out, the Kitchen and Appliance Cleaner really does clean everything! It cleans my mat, and leaves it smelling nice and fresh.
At the next class, in the downward facing dog position, I catch a whiff of my mat. It smells lovely- like oranges! I will now use Affresh® to clean it after every class!