Learning to Clean

Some things seem to come naturally. Some people were clearly born to sing like angels. Others arrived on this planet with a gift for the gab. I've known women who began flirting from the time they could blink their long eyelashes. And others were born to clean.

I never really understood this cleaning gene. I've seen people clean, of course. My mother always cleaned our house when I was a kid. I guess I just never paid much attention to what she was doing since I simply never cared. She didn't insist that I learn how to clean. When things got dirty, she cleaned them herself. I remained ignorant of the details.

Lately, I've been trying to clean my house. Not that I've never cleaned it before. I have, just not very well. Not with much skill. I'm trying to do better. And in the process, I'm learning a few things.

1) I have way too much junk. My name is Liz and I am a hoarder. There. I've said it. I collect crap and I have a hard time throwing anything in the trash. But I'm learning that, when it comes to decorating one's home, often less is more. Too many trinkets and doodads just clutter up the space and get covered with dust and look like total shit. So I'm trying to pare down to just the things I actually like.

2) Everything in the kitchen is covered with grease. This includes pictures in frames, mirrors, posters, etc. I'm sorry to be the one to inform you, but this is truly gross. Perhaps you don't cook as much bacon as we do? Then maybe your kitchen isn't quite as greasy. We also have two large akitas that shed nonstop, so the greasy film is covered with a layer of dust and dog hair. This does nothing to enhance the attractiveness of our possessions.

3) Lots of stuff can go in the dishwasher. This may not be news to you, but I only just figured this out. I knew dishes and glassware could go in there, but I've now washed things like ceramic picture frames, antique ball jars and milk bottles, and handmade pottery bowls and vases. Things that looked really bad a week ago (because they were covered with grease, dust, and dog hair) are now shiny and sparkling.

4) When shiny things are clean and sparkling, this makes the whole room (and hence, the entire house) look better. You can try this principle out in the bathroom. Just clean and polish the mirror and the faucets. Right away, your bathroom looks clean, right? You're welcome.

These are the lessons I've learned so far, but I have only just set out on this journey. As you may remember, my one and only New Year's Resolution is to clean my house. I'm sure there will be more discoveries along the way. Stay tuned!


  1. Hi Liz,

    I wrote a whole comment and it somehow didn't show up! Is that a message from the universe to stop cluttering up the world with my words?

    Anyway, I don't think I am a hoarder, but I know I don't have a cleaning gene. I am working on reducing clutter and not bringing too much stuff into the house in the first place.

    When I get frustrated with family members stuff in the house, I turn my attention to my own clutter and do something about it.

    I also figured out after 31+ years together that my husband will do tasks if I make him a written list, but will ignore my verbal pleas. Whatever works, eh?

    1. Peggy- Your comment had to be approved before getting posted, so that might have been the reason you didn't see it immediately? I approve every comment in order to keep a bunch of spam from showing up! I'm glad to hear your husband is willing to follow a list. Maybe I should try this...


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