How Clean is Your House?

The kids and I watched two episodes of How Clean is Your House? today on BBC America. I didn’t even know we had BBC America, but that’s another tangent.

The answer to the question, is not clean enough, but a heck of a lot cleaner than the homes that were featured. Oh dear lord was it disgusting. My 5 year old actually said, “Mommy, it’s too gross. I’m scared – turn it off, turn it off!” So I did. We missed the end of the episode featuring the dogwalker’s flat. I’ll trust that it came out nice and shiny, but went to work here to avoid the fate of the homes featured.

How is it that you can clean and clean and clean and yet the house looks just as bad as when you started? Or worse! It seems that if you want to do a really thorough job, you end up taking things out of cabinets and drawers and boxes and throwing some of it on the bed to organize later, and some into the laundry basket to fold or sort through for charity and before long you have an entire room full of mess when before you only had a bit of clutter and a floor that needed vacuuming. Or is it just me? Perhaps I’m going about this the wrong way.

My goal lately is to reduce the amount of Stuff in the house. Stuff takes up a lot of space and it seems to breed when you aren’t looking. I have a theory that, unless you are Aaron Spelling, no matter how large a house you own, most people will accumulate enough Stuff to make it seem too small. We certainly have.

So I’m on a Stuff Purging Mission, which is why, in part, when I clean, it gets seemingly messier – the Stuff comes out of the woodwork. Apparently I have all this stuff in a some sort of a real life zip file, and uncompressing it makes it take up an entire room, whereas before it was all bunged into a cabinet. How is that possible? I would think it defies the laws of physics, but I’m no expert there.

Yesterday, in addition to a master bathroom scrub down, dishwashing all and recycling or tossing some of the bath toys, I bundled up all the sippy cups we don’t use, the ones missing part, and the ones that I’m 90 but not 100% sure they don’t contain BPA and send them to recycling or charity, as appropriate. Three plastic grocery bags full and yet the cabinet is still full. Decluttered, but still full – how is that possible? If only Newton were alive to explain.

One cabinet down, a bajillion to go. Next stop, the master bedroom armoire… [cue Psycho theme music]

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