Thursday, May 31, 2007

"On-the-surface", "Dirt-digging" Schemes (by Clem)

Over lunch yesterday, my colleagues and I shared funny anecdotes about housekeeping. I was actually surprised that they found my housekeeping habits a little ‘radical’. Ehehe.

After moving into my own apartment two months ago, I came up with two housekeeping schemes. (Schemes?!? Wahahaha!!!) One that I do during the week, an “on-the-surface” thing which I do two or three times between Monday morning and Saturday evening. The other is an intense, almost ceremonial “dirt-digging” routine done once a week, usually on Sundays. Well, to understand my “on-the-surface” housekeeping, I have to share my “dirt-digging” thing first. Ahaha. (Grin.)

The “dirt-digging” routine usually starts after dinner, around nine o’clock. I start by doing a thorough inspection of my fridge. Anything that’s five days old is thrown away. I wipe clean the entire fridge if it’s not time yet to defrost. (Defrosting is another matter, though. It’s done once every two weeks.) Then I do the dishes. I take everything out of the dish rack and wash everything—dishes and rack. Then I scrub the sink and the sink counter.

While the dishes, rack, sink and counter dry, I start cleaning the bathroom, making sure everything gets washed, scrubbed and disinfected—caddies, soap dish, towel hangers, walls, floor, toilet.

Then I do the rooms. And that’s when I turn the music on (classical, latin, or jazz) and pop open a beer, or pour wine—it depends on what’s available. Then the ritual begins.

I have two rooms in my apartment and I usually start cleaning/tidying the one I use as my bedroom. I begin by swiping off small cobwebs from the ceiling—formed during the past week. Then I clean window panes and wipe clean the walls (yes, the walls…). I then change the sheets and pillowcases, plump the pillows and put them in fresh ones. I sweep and wipe the floor clean with a dishcloth rinsed in water diluted with disinfectant. Then I close the door. Hahaha.

Once done with the bedroom, I move to the other room which I use as storeroom and work area. Basically, I do everything on this room as I did on the first room, except changing sheets. In this room, I check clothes drawers and closets and make sure every piece is in its proper place. I put little post-its with descriptions on my folded shirts so it’s easy to locate my “I Scored Last Night” or “Size Does Matter” tees when I want to wear them. Ahaha. If I need to refold and rearrange anything in my undies drawer, I also do it. Once done, I close the door.

Then I start on the living area. Since I do not have any furniture pieces except my two “Batibot” stools, cleaning the living area is fast and very easy. I sweep the area clean with a good old walis, and then start wiping the floor with a clean dishcloth. The area between ceramic tiles (the flooring material used by the owners) usually gets very dirty so I use a small brush to make sure the dirt comes out. It always makes me feel so good after doing this when the floor begins to shine because it’s clean! So clean I could eat a meal off one tile. Ehehe.

But it’s not the end yet. Hahaha. There is a small wash area between the kitchen/dining area and the bathroom. And so I scrub that area too, using a heavy duty strong plastic brush. Then I change bags in the garbage bins, scrub clean the dust pans, brushes, and dishcloths I used previously.

I usually finish around two or three in the morning. After that, I love to take a long bath and finish whatever I started sipping—beer or wine. Then it’s off to dreamland. Ahaha.

So that’s my “dirt-digging” thing. The “on-the-surface” thing is a less strenuous routine, where I do basic cleaning, sweeping off floors, changing doormats, or cleaning organizers when I feel the need to. Then it becomes very superficial compared to the previous routine and which also explains why it is a simple “on-the-surface” thing.

Do I get tired? Of course. Believe me, I do. But it’s good therapy after all.

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