Cleaner pastures

This weekend we cleaned house. It needed it badly. Top on my list was cleaning out the refrigerator, which had started to develop a faint odor that I could not pinpoint or eradicate. So out everything came onto the counters, and to work I went.

While I organize our food regularly, put away groceries methodically, and wipe up any noticeable spots of yuk, I am still always surprised at how dirty the refrigerator gets. When did we spill something there? What is that dried on crap? How did that get there and how do I get it out?

I clean the fridge about 4 times a year (maybe more often…I’ve never actually kept track.) I pull out every removable shelf and drawer to clean in the sink, then clean every nook and cranny of the fridge itself, enlisting the aid of various cleaning aids: sponges, cleaning fluids, paper towels, and toothpicks (to get at those tine little crevices.) When all is said and done, I return everything in a slightly more organized manner, and I am relatively pleased with the cleanliness and order of it.

We cleaned the rest of the house and all is looking shiny and dustless one again, which will change in about a day. But it was finished in time to host a friend for a belated birthday dinner Sunday night (cheese fondue with veggies, chicken, and sausage to dip) so we at least have one witness that our house was clean at one point in time.

Sometimes, cleaning seems pointless and endless. We spend all this time washing, sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, and mopping the house, only to have it all look unkempt in less than a week’s time, and then the process starts all over again. We joke that “at least this is a new layer of dust and dirt” but it is frustrating.

Do you care about having a clean house? How often do you clean house? Do you have levels of cleaning like we do? (Room or object specific cleaning, like windows, patio, or showers; Regular light cleaning – surface dusting, sweeping, and vacuuming; Monthly Deep cleaning every inch of the house, corner to corner.) Do you use a cleaning service or would you ever? If you have isolated during COVID, has the lack of visitors changed how much/often/thorough you clean?

How often do you clean your refrigerator? Are you able to keep it spotless, or do you discover mystery spills and stains you are baffled by? Any tips or tricks to food organization or keeping things cleaner I should be aware of?

Can you think of a more boring blog post than this?

13 thoughts on “Cleaner pastures

  1. There are stages of cleaning. When I was young and children around, I cleaned more regularly. Each week, I cleaned AT the refrigerator. Once a month or so, I dragged everything out and washed it down. Later, when little people were not in there messing things up and I put in and took out less, maybe every three months for a clean out, though I did clean as I saw things. Now, I can barely bend to get out what I need, so I pay someone. Tommy is neater now since he actually pays for the cleaning!

    Again, with kids around, cleaning–vacuuming, dusting, mopping–all were done weekly. Now, I cannot push the vacuum or anything. So, I spot clean kitchen counters; Tommy cleans sink very well. Just now, I messed up the microwave big time and he immediately came and cleaned it. Good!
    When I moved here, he had not cleaned the refrigerator in over 20 years and it looked it, dangerous. He has lived here 40 years and has never dusted over the doors or washed the windows.

    Need I say more!?

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    • I cleaned more often when I was younger and healthier (and it took less out of me.) I’m lucky that Jeffrey shares housekeeping duties. Seems like you’re having a positive influence on Tommy.

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  2. Nah, this isn’t boring at all. Now that I live in a place where every room has a window, I can see when things get dusty. I dust once a week. I vacuum once every two weeks. The kitchen and bathroom are clean as I go. Oh, the litter box is once every other day. Can’t forget my girls.

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  3. Sigh… I don’t clean very often. Superman does more cleaning than I do, and occasionally a friend comes over to clean for us in exchange for a few bucks. I either don’t really know how to clean very well, or I just hate it enough that I don’t. I get the feeling that it’s a personal failure, perhaps a moral failure, society disapproves, etc. That does not motivate me. I’m happy to hear you have a nice clean house, though!

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    • I would love to higher someone to clean but we indulge in too many luxuries as it is, so laundry and cleaning stay in-house. Despite our regular cleaning, we fret about judgement from others that our house is not clean enough. Sigh.

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  4. Brabinger vacuums the floors six days a week, (Brabinger is a Rumba.) Sweetie bear dusts when he things it needs it, and does the kitchen floor. The hardwood floors prompted me to clean more often, and are easier to clean than the carpet was.

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    • We’ve discussed a Rumba. We have all hardwood floors with area rugs, downstairs, carpeted rooms upstairs, and tiled bathrooms. We use a swiffer on our hardwood which makes sweeping/mopping quick and easy.

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