Thursday, January 10, 2008

Don't drop in on a Wednesday....(or if you do, call first)

Over at Mom-in-Israel's blog, I've been reading about keeping house. I had so much to say, I decided to post something myself on the subject.

In the states, I worked full-time and had a CLEANING LADY. Once a week on Friday's. I loved those first moments when I walked into my house on Friday afternoons. The house was at its peak of cleanliness. Everything was in its place, and the house had that clean "I've just been scrubbed down" smell.

But I had the audacity to complain about my cleaning lady. I said, "She's okay, but she doesn't clean the WAY I WOULD!"

Now that I don't work and AM the CLEANING LADY, I know exactly the way I clean. And it's not pretty.

First, let me state that I am a clean person. I bathe daily. I hate clutter and throw things out as soon as I see them sitting around (ask Isaac). I believe if you buy something new, throw the old things out, or give 'em away, otherwise your house becomes a fire hazard.

But there is ALOT to do. Dust accumulates very quickly, did you know that? And laundry always needs to be done. And dishes. And putting stuff away. And again, DUST.

So what I do is I do a major cleaning on Friday. I just like it that the house is in order for Shabbat. Let's not get crazy here, by 'major cleaning' I mean dusting and washing the floor (Israeli style--with a squeegee). And then I do other things as they come up. Okay, well not the second they come up. But eventually I get to them. For example, the fridge or the microwave or the ceiling fans.

So the major cleaning is done on Friday, and then I "maintain" until Tuesday. Do I have to explain maintain? It means I straighten up, maybe even sweep the floor, put things away. By Wednesday morning, though, I'm thinking, Friday's around the corner. And so I let the place go to pot. And wait for Friday.

I find this method to work for me, sort of. There are times I look around and am vaguely uneasy because things are lying around. But I squelch that feeling. And its easy to, in this first year of Aliyah, with so many other emotions running through me. There are times I think of going back to work just to get a CLEANING LADY. Or I want to call Margaret, Soma or Preya and beg for their forgiveness that I thought their cleaning was not up to snuff.

On the positive side, the situation has forced me to demand more of the girls and they now have--what's that?--responsibilities on the homefront, including the cleaning of the bathrooms, window washing (mainly to get Ozzy's paw prints off the sliding doors), and of course, their own rooms.

But I will forever miss those women.

I do have a housekeeping question, about my nemesis, DUST. The bed in my room is nearly impossible to move. I know that under the bed, there must be 2 inches of dust. But I kind of feel that if I don't disturb it, it can't harm me. If I try to clean it, I will stir it up and breath it in, and before you know I will have developed some weird kind of pulmonary problem. So I leave the dust under the bed alone.

Good strategy?

Shabbat Shalom, and go thank your CLEANING LADIES today!


mother in israel said...

I know what you mean. I used to be overly critical of those neat housekeepers also, not just the cleaning ladies.

Try a vacuum attachment for under the bed. That'll get a lot of it.

Baila said...

Yep, I think a vacuum cleaner is the way to go. It'll suck the dust up rather than move it around. I just didn't think I needed one with stone floors. Do you know of an inexpensive brand that would do the trick?

Stephanie said...

i can't understand the squeegee on the floor way of mopping floors..doesn't make sense to me. Isn't a mop easier?