Cleaning Confessions

What falls out of that closet when you open it?  Doesn't everybody have one of those closets you are nervous to open?  I do. There is one particular closet in a house I am very familiar with that is full to overflowing with a variety of residents.  When you open the door, shoe-wear of all designs tumble out.  Then there are the many coats of many colors, and the positively staggering array of cleaning equipment.  After purchasing yet another variety of cleaning equipment last week, I began to wonder if I had a problem.

A quick inventory revealed that I had five different brand name items with which I could clean my floors.  Whoops just remembered another, make that six.  And worst of all, there is one more that I really want to own.  You know the spin mop that you see on The Shopping Channel?  It's positively magical.  It can soak up a whole can of pop and not drip.  The fact that I don't even drink pop and that I hate cleaning are not deterrents to my growing need to own a spin mop.

The trigger for all this self-reflection on closet real estate and cleaning products was an impulse purchase last week of a Swiffer vacuum combination.  On the box it said it would pick up sand and hair.  Well, how could I possibly leave that sitting on the shelf? Spring is arriving on the swake and that means sand and hair will soon be my nemesis.  Between the sand that Kanti brings in and the winter coat that she will be shedding soon, I was compelled to put that Swiffer thing into my grocery cart.  It was going to be the answer to all my cleaning woes this spring.

Alas, after purchasing, transporting, and assembling it, I had to find a place for it to reside.  When my husband asked where I planned to keep that thing, it became apparent that an intervention was required. There just wasn't space for another cleaning device in that closet.  And besides the space issue, what was it that I was hoping would happen every time I purchased yet another mop, vacuum or variation thereof?  Why was it that with six options to choose from I was still seriously entertaining the idea of adding the lucky seventh item, the spin mop?

Oh no, bad news.  I just realized the spin mop will be number eight.  This is getting embarrassing, I'm not sure I really want to write this blog.  Whose idea was it anyway?  Well, apart from story telling, this blog is about real life.  Right now I am out of closet space and grappling with my desire to purchase just one more cleaning tool.  I have a sense that the need to keep adding to the collection is not about the product so much as reaching for an ideal that the product represents.

As much as I hate cleaning, I love a clean house and for a few hours every week just after we have finished the cleaning chores, it looks spectacular.  I can see and feel the ideal, and we can achieve it with just two floor-cleaning tools, a vacuum and a mop.  I don't really need eight.  Then we start living in it again and it gets a bit messed up.  It doesn't take long for there to be evidence of paw prints, dog hair, half-drunk coffee cups, books, opened mail, ball caps, and anything else that might be involved in actually living our lives.  The cycle begins again, I guess that's real life and I need to just be okay with it and celebrate the living part even when it's messy and discouraging.  You see the cleaning devices simply clean up afterward they don't actually prevent the mess from occurring, and life is messy so have at her.  Live!


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