On Cleaning

I used to love to clean. I would scrub my floors, vacuum carpets and polish silver with great joy. I would wash and fold my laundry with pleasure; the fresh smell and the softness of the clothes made me smile. This all changed a few years ago, don’t ask me exactly when or why, perhaps the strain of graduate school finally got to me. Cleaning became a chore, I even contemplated getting someone to clean for me at some point then, but I couldn’t afford it. Soon thereafter, I figured out that dropping off laundry was just as expensive as doing it yourself at the laundromat. I have been giving away my laundry to the cleaners around the corner ever since. What is the story with these laundry stores anyway? They advertise same day cleaning, but if you drop off your clothes after 9 AM this advertisement apparently no longer pertains! And free delivery and pick up? What about the five dollar tip each way? That’s $10.00! Don’t get me wrong, I have a very good relationship with the people in my laundry store, but I wonder sometimes about this not completely truthful advertisement. But back to cleaning. This weekend I finally decided it was time for spring cleaning. With all my windows open, a gentle breeze through my rooms, I suddenly felt overcome by a desire to clean. As I turned on my new banana-yellow Miele vacuum cleaner I even caught myself singing! I cleaned the apartment in four hours and felt extraordinarily satisfied with myself. The thing is, if you no longer love cleaning, you just have to somehow bring yourself to do it. Don’t spend days, or even weeks, wasting time thinking about it. It’s like pulling off a bandaid; just pull it off already. Then it is over.

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