I'm starting to see how a clean freak can be made. I used to think they were just born. A strange confluence of events have been swirling around me and in so doing have been floating dust bunnies out of hiding pulling them to trash cans seemingly on their own. I may have a fun new way to express and explore my severely mild ocd.
It started with renoticing the nearly unopened copy of Martha Stewart's "Homekeeping Handbook" that had been gathering dust on the cookbook bookshelf for years. In the previous weeks, my husband and I had been working on larger cleaning projects, clearing out closets and the like, so the state of the house was already actively on the radar. But that book gave it a big shove.
Mike, my husband, is more organized than me. So, it was him of course, who made copies of the weekly cleaning checklist from the book and found a clipboard to hold them (along with a colored pen system to extend the life of the checklists), and we got to work. This morphed into cleaning recreationally on weekends, and while I'm pained to admit it, I kind of liked it.
It was fun to work together. It was fun to make the house sparkly (I'm becoming obsessed with door glass). It also made me like the things I've had forever a lot more. Objects started to sift themselves into natural categories instead of being a tidal wave of stuff. Books, dolls, bills, tax forms, light sweaters, heavy sweaters, candles: they were finding homes. And my house was looking newer.
I knew this was a good trend and one that would be especially helpful with my daughter starting a brick-and-mortar school for the first time this Fall, where I suspect organization is key. School uniforms found a place in the closet alongside princess gowns with their space so designated. Even her little desk is ready.
But then, the cat died.
The cat. This cat, who I loved very much, saw no good use for a litter box with all of the rug selections available. In fact, she was a manufacturer of grossness. Cat hair, cat barf, cat... Well, you know. Everything gross. So cleaning around here used to be a matter of survival and trying to keep up. It was a constant and fierce battle.
Now she's gone. My husband (bless his heart and soul) buried her before work that morning. I wrote her obituary for facebook and saw Mike off. Then I got out steam vac and shampooed the rugs and wept until about one in the afternoon. Then I mopped. Then I swept and I vacuumed and I dusted and cried a little more.
The more I clean, the more unique little patches of grime reveal themselves-- funny spots like the undercarriage of the rocking horse. In the olden days, I was worried about drowning in laundry whereas now I'm afraid I might electrocute myself detailing the electric outlet plates. This a surprise.