Dancing away the Cleaning Blues...

You know where to find it ...


Anonymous said…
Simply brilliant, Layla! So much that can be identified with. Unfortunately, I haven't come up with a solution to the 'torture' of cleaning - except, perhaps, when it's done more regularly, it doesn't pile up! I did my bit yesterday!

Love you!
Anonymous said…
Oh! Layla! You have many doubles in this field. I find that the fastest way to clean the house is to arrange a visitor to call.

Actually, it can give you quite a high, and make you feel you are living dangerously, if you only begin cleaning the place about 3 hours before the visitor arrives. This includes preparing the food etc. It is absolutely amazing how many things one can do at the same time, when one works at this pace. Look, you actually do things in a way you have never done before.

Then when the visitor arrives, you go to the door looking calm and collected as if you are a person that has everything under control. You can experience another sort of buzz from this too, knowing that nobody knows or saw you in your pre-frantic state.

But if you happen to try this. I had better warn you that there can be some side-effects. For me, when I sit down to share the meal with my guests, I am inclined to go into a trance like state due to the lack of not having my usual coffee and thinking breaks. But with practice one can master being able to hold a conversation at the same time without being caught out.

If you try this let me know how it goes.

In solidarity
Anonymous said…
Cleaning is an art. Bluegum's visitor idea is the fastest way to get the house clean.

I used to clean roof construction debris. The other workers hated it - they saw the work as lowly. I negotiated my price and worked as fast as possible. I would be nearly out of breath the whole time. The time zipped by. Three hours felt like 1 hour. In three hours, I would have over 1 days work done. The boss was very happy because three hours earlier he was confronted with a mess that sat around for weeks and got in everyone's way. My fee was $100, which was excellent pay in the 80s for unskilled labor. My method was simple: dive in and lift as much as possible. Throw it into the container - it does not matter if some pieces fall and do not make it, simply pick them up again. Pick the pieces out of the bushes as fast as you can. Don't worry if you miss any because you will make a final pass.

The same works with household cleaning - dive in, make 2 passes, and always do the big easy stuff first.

Always make a list to gague your progress:

1 Hour:
1. Load diswasher and washing machine
2. First pass living room and dining room, bulk cleaning only
3. First pass kitchen and bathroom, laundry room. Remove all trash. Look around, now your place is respectable again
4. First pass bedrooms, bulk cleaning. Put clothes in piles in laundry room.
Checkpoint, check off items

1 Hour:
5. Wipe kitchen and bath counters. Rapid mop floors with wet/dry towel/rag
6. Final pass all rooms, make beds, wipe up dust with damp rag
Checkpoint, check off items

I am going to surprise my wife and clean up, following the list above.

Now for the motivation. Whenever someone tells me I cannot do something, my adrenaline spikes, sending me into action.

Layla, you expect to return to the days of Saddam, where you got something for nothing, where life was good because of who you knew or what tribe you belonged to. But that is not going to happen. Saddam is dead, and you could do nothing to stop it. His last wish was for you to give up your hate, but you cling to it because it is the only thing that pushes you out of bed in the morning. You are too weak to start with a clean slate.

"Dear nation: Get rid of the hatred, take the clothes of hate and throw it into the ocean of hatred," [Saddam] wrote. "God will save you and you will start a clean life, with a clean heart."

So what are you going to do about your filthy apartment? Nothing - you are all talk. Layla, you cannot clean your apartment because you are lazy and weak.

Greg from USA
KM said…
I can relate to how housework can be a chore. I'm single so if I dont do it, well, it doesn't get done.

One thing that is an absoulte: SHOES COME OFF AT THE DOOR.

Layla, maybe get a portable radio with headphones. I know you listen to news. Stick on yer headphones and listen wile you clean.

I find most radio stations around me ( actually al of 'em ) play garbage on the radio. The shit that passes for music.....

Besides, some music can zap yer energy because some songs may be downers but, listening to news May Be A Downer too..but atleast it may be somewhat productive while cleaning.

black dress and high heels hmm

Anonymous said…

"black dress and high heels hmm"

There is hope for you

Greg from USA
Anonymous said…
You should get a domestic help and do only things that brings you happiness/relief between one post and the other.

And you should experience the feeling of being in love again, it is the most powerful source of energy, courage and Hope that exist in the Universe.

KM said…
Arabic women are beautiful, head-stromg and passionate. What else is there ?

Maybe if you actually Knew my private life, you wouldn't act as if you were surprised. ;-)
Anonymous said…
KARLMARX--Well, my namesake, the real Karl Marx does not have this problem anymore. However,I do. It's universal. In addition, I hate to cook. My approach is twofold. I also have a small space. So, I DIVIDE the cleaning. I do not do it all at once. I do one or two chores/tasks at one time, which takes anywhere from a half hour to an hour more or less. And, then, on another day, I clean something else. You can EITHER divide by space, location in your apartment/flat/house and clean THAT area OR by task, such as cleaning floors ONLY. Then, doing polishing/dusting of furniture ONLY, another time/day. Or, cleaning BATHROOM ONLY. Then, kitchen ONLY, again, separate times and/or days. In addition, you can TRY to treat yourself once, twice or three times a year, IF POSSIBLE, to hired help. After the domestic hired help finishes, you can follow up periodically,in between, until the next time. It's motivational. And, try to keep things in the domicile as neat as possible--throw out papers, whatever. Don't accumulate. Personally, I find a combination of all of the above works. Dividing the tasks over different days. Throwing out stuff. DOWNSIZE your accumulations. Hiring someone twice or three times a year, as a treat and relief. And, forget about being overly compulsive and neat. Cleanliness is NOT next to Godliness.
Anonymous said…

The best way to clean an apartment is to establish a small "base camp" of cleanliness, no matter how small and maintain it and attack the rest, guerrilla style when it is advantageous for you to do so and retreating to your island of cleanliness when it makes sense and is tactically wise - using "massive amounts of force" and effort are so American, so exhausting and ultimately so futile....
Anonymous said…
I have felt the strong need to interject here. I perhaps did not tune in to the apparent serious issue this appears to be to some posters here. Firstly, if cleaning and cooking has become such an ordeal then perhaps we should all do mother nature a favour, and lie down and die.

As for those who 'hate cooking' You know there is a town in Italy (can't recall the name for now) where McDonald and Ronald had to leave. This amazing political feat was achieved by mothers and children who love their own food. The children from early age actually enjoy learning to make their own pasta. The whole town loves cooking, and loves their own created pasta and sauces, and ethnic dishes and they love the social implications that belong to their food. And through this McDonald's could not get one customer.

As to hiring domestic cleaners. Now this does open up Pandora's box. Here I would suggest perhaps those who suggest using someone else to clean our houses for us should go try it for a while themselves.

And perhaps those of us who live in this so-called civilised society should ask ourselves why is it, that we have every electric driven machine which was sold with the corporate tag of 'making domestic life bliss', and yet people hate cooking, hate cleaning, hate rearing children, hate what we look like, hate their washing machines washing nappies, and would prefer to stuff up the environment with papers/plastic nappies to save their washing machines from washing nappies. They hate their garden vacuums sucking up leaves. They hate their motor-mowers cutting the grass. They hate being overweight,while sitting steering their cars. And with their assortment of electrical food mixers, they hate food and develop anorexia. This tells me people do not want to really live in this 'electric' driven way.

Also,I must say here, Karlmarxwasright/Anonymous your enthusiasm for organisation and 'down sizing' frightens me. It has tones of those Nazi shows on TV where people are assessed as 'hoarders' and they are told they must learn to be more organised , and then pressured into having a big waste-bin pull up outside their homes and strangers enter and invade their personal belongings in the name of “downsizing” And someones life of the familiar, and of memories and loves, drives off in an organised rubbish bin! Upon close scrutiny, this has some common themes with the US invasion of Iraq.

Layla, if your article was meant to be in serious mode then accept your dust, and papers, and your floor being littered with paper clips because they are part of what you are, and part of your creativity. I am sure you will get around to cleaning when the time is right. Besides, dust comes from the primitive life of which a silent part of us all yearns to return to. - hence industrialised civilisations' inner and outer turmoil and over- compensatory materialism, and problems cleaning.
Ian said…
I have no solution for the cleaning blues but it is nice to think of you in a dress and heels (the possibility had never crossed my mind before) and also nice to think of you dancing. Sorry you had such a miserable time. I love to dance but I leave salsa dancing for latinos as they seem to be the only ones who look particularly good at it.
Anonymous said…
KARLMARXWASRIGHT--My response to the above "critiques"--I lived for a number of years in a VERY PRIMITIVE style in a very rural setting in the Northeast, which I will not name, for personal reasons. The scenery, nature, was spectacular, beautiful, abundant. But, living, surviving was another matter, especially since I went from extreme, urban, cosmopolitan NY, to a previous century, almost. The two exceptions were electicity and an old car, of necessity, since there was absolutely no public transportation and the nearest SMALL, primitive, general store was appxly 3 miles away, over hilly roads, as well, covered with treachorous ice and snow in the wintertime. If I could have done away with the car, I would have. I doubt there's anyone reading this who has chopped their own wood for heating, used wood stoves, kerosene lamps, cooked on such stoves, used outhouses for bathrooms, showered outside their home and on and on. For a long time, I did not even have a telephone. And, of course, isolation becomes a major problem. I did it VOLUNTARILY. I will NEVER, EVER recommend it to anyone, again. It is a long story. However, I do not, and, never have, (not just because of this experience) judged as good or bad peoples choice or necessity of life style and coping mechanisms, anywhere on the globe, except, of course, the parasitical wealthy due to the obscene nature of their consumption in contrast to those who have little or nothing at all. Different strokes, preferences for different folks. It's all relative. Fortunate are those who have choice, any choice, whatever it may be. That's a luxury in and of itself.

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