Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Keeping house

No car. I am homebound. Over the weekend, I got out some library books. One of the books I took out is entitled Home Comforts. The Art and Science of Keeping Home. Who even knew it was a science? I got it out because I figured, my house is a mess. Piles of paper, and clean laundry yet to be put away. I have a cabinet that is filled with plastic containers, and if you try and remove one, or replace one, it actually makes you break out into a sweat. My other cabinet, where my "appliances" are kept, looks like the game "Mousetrap". I saw the book, and thought, I was going to be spending a lot of time here, for God knows how long. Better tidy up.
On page 23, it suggests that I should work into a routine. That routine should go something like this: Washing and ironing, if any, on Monday. Marketing on Tuesday. Minicleaning on Wednesday. Odd jobs on Thursday, and Housecleaning on Saturday morning. Hmmm......The housecleaning to be done on Saturdays is spelled out, in detail for you. Change all the linens, Vacuum rugs and floors, lampshades, and upholstered furniture. Wash all floors, Dust EVERYTHING, even lightbulbs. Wipe all fingerprints, from doorknobs, Clean and sanitize every inch of the bathrooms, scrub the bathroom floor, and wash out and sanitize garbage cans. There is also an order in which these things should go in. It states to proceed from higher to lower. Work your way downstairs. Proceed from wet to dry as well. Proceed from inside to outside. And lastly, begin with the chores that require waiting periods. these include, and I quote, "bed airing, laundry soaking, soup simmering- so that they can proceed while you do other things."
There is also a whole chapter on stimulating beverages that I should be apparently providing my family. Mulled ciders, and evening time cocoa's . These things will make my home, more "homey". Proper placement of a tablecloth is covered, complete with diagram. Four different place settings are also illustrated. Did you know that there is a proper way to set the table for breakfast? And the order of the meal goes like this...first juice, then cereal, followed by ham and eggs, and toast. Coffee or tea are to be served with the food, NOT after it. There is also a place setting for a lunch that includes meat, and one that is meatless.
The laundry section goes on for like four chapters, so forget that one. Not having a washer or dryer suddenly seems OK right now. There are so many methods to laundering properly, it seems that the way I have been doing it, which is just throwing it all in together, is a big no no.
If I cared about my family, I would also be making homemade cleaners, instead of slowly killing them, as I have been, with all the toxic stuff under the sink. I also do not test the water, and could be harming them. Nor have I been testing for lead. There is even a chapter on lighting, and what type of lighting is required with a host of different circumstances. The wattage I seem to enjoy could be damaging my babies eyes, from all the strain. I do not have things plugged in properly as well. The jumble of wires that I have jammed into the one power strip in the kitchen is another no no. My sheet count is not high enough for my loved ones. I don't even have a first aid kit. Yes. I said it. I have band aids. And some antiseptic spray. That's it. Not enough according to page 695. And my fire extinguisher is 10 years old! My batteries on my smoke detector need checking. That I can do. But I am supposed to have a map in each room for that particular occupant, on how to get out, in the event of a fire.
My rugs are not backed by rubber stripping. Obstacles and clutter could be lethal hazards as well. If you go chapter by chapter, my home is a death trap. I fail on every level. Thank goodness I have no car. I have a ton of work to do around here.
Yet, I can't get focused on the tasks that need tending to. I keep thinking about how I yelled at Charlotte this morning for crying about not wanting to go to school. I told her to quit being a baby. I told her that I have had enough of her baby behavior, and that she needed to suck it up, and get on the bus.
I fail on every level.


  1. trade that book for The Happiness Project. I loved it and it gave me realistic goals, not archaic, unattainable ones. Think of it as Eat Pray Love w/o having to get a divorce, have an affair with a younger man and scrub floors in India. Better yet, read the Twilight series and lose yourself in teenage blood lust. :)

  2. You are not alone in the failing department. Pretty sure my house would not pass muster either.

  3. My MIL's house would pass all of this woman's crazy-ass tests and cleanliness expectations. Her house, however, is also devoid of coziness, happiness, warmth and LIFE. Ditch that book and take up Jen M's advice. More Twilight, less dusting!