The Ex-Files – Cleaning It Won’t Make It Work Better

Have you ever known someone who didn’t like it when you cleaned something? For some odd reason, CP couldn’t stand it when I cleaned certain things. It could be just about anything and I suppose it was probably all based on the mood he was in.

One time, I had some free time for cleaning because my Day Care kids were on Spring vacation with their families. I was sick and tired of looking at the pile of pennies on the top of CP’s dresser so I decided to put them in a big green vase that was sitting there empty serving no purpose. I dusted the dresser top and put his stupid little knick-knacks (a key, a carabiner, a rusty bolt, a button) back where they were. His brush and comb were put back in exactly the same spot they were, as well. But those blasted pennies – a huge mound of them – were in the big green vase. CP practically had a freakin’ meltdown. “What’s wrong with where they were?” he asked. “What’s wrong with them being in the vase?” I retorted. “I just don’t understand why it was necessary,” he complained. I said, “And I don’t understand what your aversion to things being clean is.” He didn’t speak to me for hours. He pouted and sat outside drinking beer like a big ol’ cry baby.

It was always something. He could have a problem with how I cleaned something or when I cleaned something. It could be the laundry or the kitchen floor. It could be just about anything! One of the things he used to say was, “Why clean it? It’s just going to get dirtied up again.” Really. I guess I should have never cleaned the toilet since it was just going to get dirtied up again. Dumb ass.

Another time, I decided to take the fans apart and clean the blades. He came home from wherever the hell he was before I had finished. You’d think I was doing something wrong by the way he acted. “What are you doing?” he asked. I said, “I’m cleaning the blades.” What I wanted to say was, “What the hell does it look like I’m doing?” I didn’t because that would have made it an even bigger issue. He asked, “Why are you cleaning the blades?” I said, “Because they’re dirty!” “Cleaning them isn’t going to make them work any better,” he insisted. I said, “Yes, they will. The weight of all the crud stuck on the blades has to have an effect on how well they work,” I explained. I was always having to explain myself to him. I went on, “And they look better if they’re clean!” He just grinned at me, put his hand on my shoulder and said, “They aren’t going to work better, Deb.” I was pissed now because he was patronizing me. I asked him, “Do you have something against things being clean?” He started to speak but I was angry so I cut him off. “If you do then I won’t clean anything in this house ever again and if you don’t then I’d advise you to just let me do whatever the hell I want because it’s not hurting you one damn bit!” By then I had the last fan put back together and I left the room to put it back in the bedroom.

Too bad we didn’t have the internet and Google back then. I would have gladly looked it up and shown him that, according to Bob Vila, “the fan grill and blades can suck in and amass a fair amount of dirt and dust, making your fan work less efficiently. Regular cleaning of your oscillating fan with inexpensive supplies is the best way to keep microscopic intruders at bay and keep your fan operating in peak condition.” But isn’t it just common sense??

gray round floor fan

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on

The Worst Chore Ever

I can deal with cleaning clutter, wiping cabinets, organizing, vacuuming, even cleaning toilets. The thing I hate to do the most is DUSTING! I hate it. Seems that no matter what you do, that damn dust always comes back – sometimes the very next day! It’s especially bad when you live out in the country like I do.


As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been cleaning and decluttering for the past couple of weeks. It’s rough when you’ve got pain and mobility issues. I do a little, rest a little, do a little more….one chore at a time, and sometimes only one chore a day. Today, I tackled the cube shelving in the laundry room. The dust was so thick under the clutter, even the cats were sneezing!


I threw away a bunch of stuff I have no idea why I was even saving. Forgot I had it, haven’t used it in years…..why keep it? Some things I saved for the youngn’s. I figure the old air popper, single serve coffee maker, and a set of ceramic canisters could be useful to one of them. I’m not using them after all. No telling what I might find the more I delve into this cleaning and decluttering project – a project I’m not sorry I started, at least not yet.

Someone suggested I put the unwanted stuff in the yard with a “free” sign on it. I might try that later in the Spring. Right now it’s too wet out. I can’t even begin to tell you how many things I’ve tried to give away in the past, absolutely free and no strings attached except it must be picked up – I have even offered to deliver to certain places if I had a reason to go that direction – NO TAKERS. What the heck?? We’re talking old televisions that still worked, chairs, heaters and fans that still worked, adult and children’s clothing in good condition…. The televisions were the old kind but still worked! I figured it’s better than nothing if someone needed a tv to hold them until they could get a better one. I guess I was wrong.

Anyway, I’m taking it day by day. I decide every morning what I’ll tackle that day. Some days I may not even do anything. It might take a year to finish, who knows. I will get it done if it kills me…. I just wish someone else would do the dusting!


What are your least favorite chores to do?

Operation Catch Up and Clean Up

Two weeks ago, the young woman who took the photos at my son’s wedding passed suddenly. I met her just once, at the wedding. She left behind 2 small children and a grieving husband. This weighed on me terribly even though I really didn’t know her. I just couldn’t stop thinking about her family. It got me thinking….too much. I didn’t sleep well for two nights.

It got me thinking about my own family, my own situation. Aside from my pain and mobility issues, I’m pretty healthy. The thing is, I could pass suddenly, too. I started thinking about what I would be leaving behind if I were to pass suddenly. A cluttered house, that’s what. Since becoming disabled, I’ve not been able to clean as I did when I was younger and able-bodied. I clean, but I haven’t thoroughly cleaned and decluttered in years. 10 years ago, it was impossible to clean as I had my grown children moving in and out of the house with their significant other and/or their children. I had to shuffle belongings from one room to another, shove shit in boxes, hide stuff in corners and closets – all to make room for the extra bodies. When they all flew the coop, I never was able to unbox and put things back because I was having pain and mobility issues. As time went on, the clutter grew because I had nowhere to put things that I actually needed.

The last couple of weeks I’ve been cleaning out drawers, closets and boxes. I’ve been throwing shit away that I haven’t used in years. I’ve been decluttering, slowly. Slowly, this house is becoming a home again….albeit still falling down.

I have to do a little each day, as my pain allows. Today, for instance, I cleaned out 3 kitchen drawers and that’s about all I could do. Yesterday, I cleaned out a plastics cabinet and threw out tons of containers I’ve not used in years. Last week, I cleaned off a huge cube shelf in the living room. You get the picture. Steady as she goes, they say.

I decided some time ago that I would be selling my soap and incense making supplies because I just can’t make those things any longer. I was hoping to be able to again someday, but I’m not sure that day will ever come. Getting those supplies together and boxed up for my buyers has been a major task but I’m getting that done, slowly but surely.

So, it’s been a busy couple of weeks. I hope to be able to relax a little in the near future when I get everything cleaned and uncluttered. It may help unclutter my mind as well…at least a little bit. I won’t have to worry about my family having to deal with the mess I’ve left behind. I can just hear them saying, “What the hell did she save this for?” Face it. We’ve all got things saved in drawers or closets and we’ll ask ourselves the same question especially if we forget why we saved it! Ha! We always have a good reason at the time, am I right?!

Anyway, I’ve been lagging behind in reading all of the wonderful blogs I follow and also on writing in my own blog. Never fear. I will get caught up again! It’s not that I haven’t tried to write. I have, but when I do my mind goes blank. As things become cleaner, decluttered and organized, it will become easier I’m sure.

Until then, please be patient with me!

Advice to Those Living With Others

If you live with others, whether it be your parents, your spouse, room mates….doesn’t matter WHO….here’s a few bits of advice for you to chew on:

  1. If you see the toilet is getting yellow, at the very least, grab the scrub brush and swish it around a little. If you really want to be a helpful human being, use some kind of cleaner in the toilet, even if it’s just vinegar. Don’t brag about what you have done to help.
  2. If you see the kitchen floor in need of a good sweep, it won’t kill you to grab the broom and dust pan and give it a good once over. Takes but a few minutes. Don’t brag about what you have done to help.
  3. If the carpets are in need of vacuuming, it isn’t going to kill you to vacuum. Doesn’t take long to clean up and make the room presentable again. Don’t brag about what you have done to help.
  4. If dishes need to be washed or put away, do it. It won’t kill you. Just be sure to use dish soap and get the damn things clean. Don’t brag about what you have done to help.
  5. If the living room or your bedroom or the office, etc., are in need of a bit of tidying, then tidy-up, you slob. It won’t kill you to help. Don’t brag about what you have done to help. 
  6. If you fix yourself something to eat, clean up after yourself. By that, I do NOT mean push the crumbs off onto the floor or toss the dishes in the sink. I mean, WIPE the counter clean with a cloth, wash your little dab of dishes or put them in the dishwasher. Don’t brag about what you have done to help.
  7. Don’t wait for someone else to be doing the chore and then ask, “Do you want me to do that?” or “Do you want me to help with something?” And whatever you do, don’t proclaim, “I was going to do that!” because seriously, if you were going to do it you would have done it already! You’re not fooling anyone!
  8. Oh and did I mention, Do not brag about what you have done to help!? You can pitch in and do your share because you live there too! Your mom, sister, daughter, brother, friend, etc., were NOT put on this earth to clean up after you. Do your share! You live there too! Period!

I guess all I’m trying to say here is, get off your butt and do your part in maintaining a house, a home, that you share with others. You can work all day and be tired when you get home, but just a few minutes to at least try to help out at the end of the day will mean a lot to the others you share a space with. Your days off can be for goofing around, going to the gym, playing video games, taking the dogs to the park, etc., but it won’t hurt YOU to do a little to help tidy-up the space you share with others. It’s not fair to expect one person to do it all when all of you share in making the messes.