Wednesday, December 19, 2012

On the first day of cleaning, my true love...

...was in his study, working on research. I, on the other hand, took advantage of the beautiful, windless and dust-storm-less day to clean the outside of all the downstairs windows, save two.

This is the tool I used:

It beats all to hell the way I used to clean windows, which involved a spray bottle of Windex and a lot of paper towels. This goes much faster: dip the tool in a bucket of water cut with a cleaning solution, scrub the window panes with the mop side, flip it and squeegee the panes clean. Move to the next window. At the end of the day, throw the mop part in the washing machine.

Easy. as. pie.

For the cleaning solution, I used some capfuls of a professional window washing soap in a bucket of hot water. I know, I know, vinegar works just as well, but I can't stand the smell. I also know that dishwashing soap works just as well, but what the hey, I had this bottle of cleaning solution on hand, so I thought I'd use it up instead of throwing it down the drain.

It took me most of the day to clean the windows, not because this method is slow (it is faster than fast!), but because I had to repair a hose (see, in re, "squirrels"), and then remove some storm windows and clean them, too. Plus, I also cleaned some blinds. And I kept taking breaks and going inside to watch an Hercule Poirot movie from a  boxed set my sister Amy loaned me.

On the docket for today: File, purge, and deep clean in my study. This could actually take a couple of days, even without needing to remove storm windows.

You will notice that I've posted my list on the sidebar, and have used my clever knowledge of HTML code to check off the window washing. The list is there to keep me honest in my quest, because as we all know, it is easy deceive ourselves about quests (see, "windmill tilting").

I love putting my house in order. It smells like victory.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Twelve Days of Cleaning are coming! The Twelve Days of Cleaning are coming!

The end of the semester is nye, and it is once again time for my much anticipated, now-annual-tradition, An Extraordinary House Purge and Cleaning. This year, I am calling it "The Twelve Days of Cleaning," after, well, you know.

Here is my tentative list (which seems to feature a lot of closets) for each day, beginning with December 16th, the day after commencement ceremonies:

1. Study (file, purge, deep clean)
2. Bedroom closet (purge, organize)
3. Front hall closet (purge, organize)
4. Library closet one (purge, organize)
5. Library closet two (purge, organize)
6. Attic (purge, organize)
7. Storage shed (purge and organize)
8. Workshop (purge, organize, clean)
9. Paint and install French doors in library
10. Install door in living room hallway
11. Paint hallway trim
12. Paint living room/kitchen door

UPDATE: Plus, wash all the downstairs windows.

Here are the ground rules:

1. Each item on the list may or may not take more than one day, especially since I am keeping half a day free for working on a book collaboration;
2. Each day may or may not be consecutive;
3. The goal is to finish the list before the start of the spring semester;
4. If I finish early with my grading, I may allow myself a head start.

Let the games begin.

I am so excited.