Wander around the house and you will see proof that the world is in a constant state of change. Everything is always growing and transforming; nothing stays the same for long. It’s all very whimsical and melancholic if you want to daydream about the possibilities of these circumstances, but the reality is, this means work.
Dust. Grime. Mould. Insects.
You spend hours working up a sweat to scrub the house clean of the inevitable filthies – all that hard work, all that pain, all that lost time – only to find within days, sometimes only hours, the dirt prevails. I know this is a pretty simple fact of life and quite a mundane topic really, but it’s one of those annoying things we just can’t escape. So I’m finding innovative ways to deal with it.
My natural reaction to cleaning is to do a great job once, then leave it for as long as possible until I just can’t handle the filth anymore and I finally cave. By this time it’s not just a little job that needs doing anymore, so I go all out to spend the time and effort scrubbing and wiping and dusting to perfection. “A job well done,” I always think. “That won’t need touching for weeks.” Wrong. And it’s not nice when your dwelling gets nasty, especially when guests arrive.
Call me crazy, but I’ve started doing a couple of things differently in the bathroom of late, just to try and keep up with this excruciating cycle.
Take them or leave them, but these are my three cheats’ tips for a grot-free bathroom:
The scrubber: You know that old dirty toothbrush? I can’t bear to throw it out when I know it can still be used for something useful (and those who know me well will remember this is a whole other delicate issue that we won’t go into here). I’ve started keeping a used and severely worn-out toothbrush in the shower at all times (gross? Yeah kind of, but so handy).
Basically, whenever I have the energy, or whenever I feel the need to find an excuse to stay in the shower for longer, I give the tiles a bit of a scrub. Our shower is very prone to mould (and yes, I have heard of mould cleaner spray. And yes, I use it. But this is extra…) When I’m doing a proper clean I always find the grout needs a proper scrub. So why not do a little touch-up whenever I get the chance? It’s worked well for when my hair conditioner is kicking in or when I need that extra few seconds of hot water burn before getting out. It’s a perfect excuse to have longer showers! Woops, did I just say that?
The sweeper: Our bathroom floor tends to build up with yucky water-drop stains, a fair bit of hair and bathroom-variety dust. Sounds disgusting, doesn’t it? I assure you it’s not that bad, but I do love a good clean floor when I can get one. But who can be bothered getting down on their hands and knees every couple of days to scrub it clean? (and yes, I’ve heard of a mop. And yes, I have one. I don’t use it very often though because it’s big and clunky and spills water everywhere which I then have to clean up. Another story, I guess.) My new trick is to change the bathmat every once in a while (novel concept!… I mean, we’ve always done this anyway of course)… and use it to do a bit of a floor sweep before it goes in the wash. Japanese schoolkids love a good “soji” (clean) before recess. They put on special cleaning socks and slide around on the floor. That’s right, cleaning can be a game! Take some advice from the Japanese and try this with your bathmat – it’s super quick and actually kind of fun.
The box: This tip really refers to keeping your bathroom bits and pieces in a cupboard or under a shelf and away from the nasty dust. We really don’t have space in our bathroom cupboard for all the stuff I need easy access to in the mornings so I keep my deodorants, moisturisers, makeup etc on the bench. Exposed, for the dust to bite. Putting them under a shelf would help, but shelves were made to put stuff on, not under, and I don’t have a shelf. So I’ve gotten creative. Behold the “box shelf”! It serves a couple of purposes: firstly, I don’t have to individually wipe dust off all the different bottles because they’re well-protected, and secondly, when I do finally decide to pull my finger out and wipe down the bench, I can easily pick up all my goodies in one single action. It may look a little odd, but it’s made my life just that little bit sweeter.
That’s all I’ve got so far. What do you think? Have you tried any of these things or something similar? Will you start to think smarter about how you clean your house? …Or am I just a nutter?