Yesterday, I had the trusty Rainbow out and gave the downstairs a thorough cleaning...chasing itsy bitsy spiders again along with dog and cat hair and the general dirt that comes with living surrounded by fields. As I cleaned, I realized something......I was doing a thorough cleaning........
With four dogs, two cats and sometimes what feels like too many people living here (I mean, we were empty nesting there for awhile ~ sometimes, I just have to shake my head~) I really have to sweep and/or vacuum every day to keep up with this place. I've been known to show up at a diner to meet a friend for lunch with a swiffer cloth hanging out of my back pocket.....(I've given up swiffers recently...doesn't fit the budget anymore).
Last year, I broke down and bought a Dirt Devil vac to do the daily clean up in order to avoid having to drag out the Rainbow, fill it with water, and then drag the canister thing around all the rooms of this not very open planned farmhouse. While I at first enjoyed the feeling that the house was really clean because of that thing, it didn't take too long to realize that I felt like I was actually working harder....but I didn't figure out the reason for that until yesterday. I know, I'm slow that way sometimes...........I figured it all out because, like most of the cheaper vacuums do, that Dirt Devil gave up the ghost because it just can't handle the hair that three labs and a tri-pod put off. So I've been pulling out that Rainbow at least once a week again.
While I was using an attachment to vacuum the window sills and the blinds and to reach up into the corners where ceiling meets walls, it hit me.....those corners weren't that bad. That Dirt Devil doesn't have any attachments. ...and that Dirt Devil was so easy to grab and use that I had been pulling out the Rainbow less and less over the last year. As I used another attachment to get the dust off of bookshelves and tables, I realized that those things had been being neglected as well.....no wonder I'd begun to feel that I was always playing catch up in the house cleaning department.
Those inexpensive cleaning aids aren't really so inexpensive when I factor in the time I lose in making up for using them instead of the really good deep cleaning items.....A thorough cleaning with the Rainbow once a week and the use of an old fashioned broom and dustpan the rest of the days actually saves me time; a damp cloth and a bit of vinegar or ammonia or lemon juice does the job even better than that swiffer.....I was being fooled by the daily use of a machine that only allowed me to get up the most visible of the invading dirt.....and a disposable cloth that made me feel as if the house was clean when really, there were dusty bits all over the place waiting to catch a breeze and fly up and away to take over the place.
An epiphany of sorts....or maybe I just should have remembered that my mom always told me...do the job right the first time and save yourself time and aggravation later!