18 November 2009

We Do Floors

The wood floors in our place have been needing to be cleaned for some time- with 3 bedrooms plus the dining room, hall and entryway being un-carpeted, it feels like such a huge and overwhelming job. It also feels gritty and grimy underfoot, thus making it something I am constantly aware of even as I continue to put it off for another day. Ah, the guilt that comes with procrastination. It can truly eat away at your soul.

Never fear. Cleaning Club is here! (Can someone cue the trumpet fanfare please? And then picture if you will: Rachel and Shannon in their super hero tights with satin capes billowing from their shoulders, fists firmly planted on their sturdy hips, standing on my doorstep surrounded by their combined throng of offspring, ready to tackle whatever challenge my house can present them with... you get the picture...)

So I thought ahead (read: my parents were coming into town and as I was frantically preparing for their arrival and getting sidetracked by cleaning things that really should not matter for such a visit, I decided I could at least put this extra work to the good use of maximizing our Club efforts...) and did a thorough vacuuming job with my trusty Kirby bare floor attachment the day before, making sure to run the brushy attachment along the baseboards as well so they would be ready to receive a good scrub down. I also spent a small amount of time worrying about what Shannon would do since she wanted to come over but I did NOT want her to be on her hands and knees scrubbing my floors at not-quite-three-weeks post partum. I settled on planning for her to detail the dining room chairs, because not only did it really need to be done but she could do most of it sitting down AND she is the queen of detailing. Just ask us about her and small appliances and Q-tips sometime. For real.

When Rachel arrived we got right to work moving furniture and running the dust mop over the floors to remove the layer of what had amazingly appeared in the short 24 hours since I had vacuumed them. When Shannon arrived I snatched up the baby for a quick cuddle before passing him off to Rachel. Three weeks in and we are all still fighting over him- it almost got ugly there for a minute. The kids took him though and then he settled in with my Mom, who happily held him pretty much the rest of the time he was there, thus providing Shannon with a much needed break as well as feeding her own need for holding little babies that all grandmothers have (especially when there will be NO MORE grandbabies in their own immediate future...) We moved the chairs into the kitchen for Shannon to work on, and provided her with sprays and rags and small brushes with which to remove the lovely food buildup and paint/marker/glue residue that plagues the dining room chairs of large families with very relaxed dining room etiquette. Ahem. The felt pads on the bottoms also needed to be cleaned in order to return them to their easy-glide state when put back in place on the shiny clean floor.


And so we scrubbed. On our hands and knees, with a bucket of hot soapy water between us, removing stickers and modeling clay residue as we went. In the dining room, down the hall, and in one of the bedrooms, saying that we would finish the remaining planned bedroom after lunch. We also did the baseboards where they needed it, and managed to catch a number of splatters and drips on the lower part of the walls and doors as well. It is truly amazing what you see when you get down on the floor and really look around. Blech!

Of course, time flew like it often does and before we knew it we had drained our cans of Coke and reached that point where everyone is ready to wrap it up and get going- Shannon was needing to get home and rest and it was past Lyle's naptime. When we realized that we had not gotten back and done my bedroom, I started my regular thought process which involves such self-sabotaging gems as "Don't worry about it- I'll finish it later by myself" (yeah, right) and "You've already helped me too much as it is", etc. But then in a flourish of brilliance, Rachel demonstrated another facet of what we like to call The Cleaning Club Effect. Wherein she was able to alert her children to their impending departure, talk me into just finishing up that one bedroom "real quick", and then proceed to suggest that we could even do the adjoining bathroom in no time at all. We were in fact done with both those rooms in under 10 minutes, replaced the furniture in the dining room and hall, and they were on their way.

Cleaning Club this week reminded me of the lesson once again that a job is often not nearly as big or scary as it seems, and once you get started it is over before you know it. The satisfaction of being finished far outweighs that nagging, guilty feeling you get from thinking about the need to do a job but not doing it, and then you can just get on to enjoying your newly clean or organized space.

I smile and think of both my friends now as I walk through the house- I can just FEEL the clean even through my socks. And the chairs glide in and out on that non-sticky floor just like a dream. Ahhhhhhhh

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