Everyone that has ever met me ought to be thinking right about now, “How the hell is he going to write on a topic he has no experience with whatsoever?”
To those of you who are asking yourself that exact question right now, I respond with this: I have in the past been known to clean at least once per residence and maybe once or twice in my life, even twice per residence. Now yes, I will have to admit, that this cleaning is normally when I am getting ready to move out and trash some other piece of real estate, this time, it’s different.
I decided that since I am probably moving in June, I should probably take this time to actually look at my belongings and decide whether or not I want to bring them with me across country instead of saving myself the cost and hassle of moving them with me only to throw them out when I get to the west coast.
Now cleaning does not come naturally to me. I am very comfortable not knowing what my flooring looks like. I think I once even lived in a house that I was never sure whether or not I had carpet. And when I moved to Tennessee, I tried to be more tidy but during a very fateful foray into cleaning, I discovered that I had unintentionally stolen the cremated remains of my old landlord’s mother and grandmother and moved a thousand miles with them. Do you have any idea what kind of strange looks the post office employees will give you when you go in and ask their policy on mailing human remains?
After that experience, I was rather more inclined to stop cleaning again, mainly for fear of what I might find amongst the rubble which is my belongings. I mean, I have essentially already found dead bodies in there, what would possess me to repeat that experience?
But like I said, I am trying to get rid of anything that I don’t want to have to carry with me across the country.
And I have to say, that I was pleasantly surprised by the things that I began to find. Amidst the receipts from vacations I barely even remember and the dirty laundry I started discovering things that I have been missing for some time including my vcr remote, a boot that has been missing for at least three years, scuba diving equipment and my first car.
I was elated. There was treasure in my closet just beyond the event horizon. My expedition began to move further into my closet. I soon discovered my Sega Genesis, a digital camera that actually used 3.5 inch floppy discs, more AV cables than Radio Shack, Jimmy Hoffa, a Boondock Saints poster and no less than four boxes of clothing that I don't even remember owning. And a hookah.
It was like going shopping at a yard sale only I didn't have to spend any money. I have to admit that this cleaning thing has it's merits.
What is it meant for: Preventing the spread of disease, finding your flooring, allowing others to enter your home without nose plugs, organization, finding stuff, keeping your house from being reported to the local authorities due to strange smells, returning cremated loved ones to their family.
Achievement of said goals: 10/10
Cleaning does all of these things. And since it is technically considered work and not fun (unless you are a very sick individual) I can't fault it for anything really. Cleaning makes things clean. And that's the goal of cleaning so it is a perfect system.
Learning curve: 5/10
It's a little steep. Not the actual act of cleaning. That's not too bad, but the organization process and the "how often should I" part of it, all that added together and it's not the easiest thing in the world to do. And while it's not rocket science I still need to learn just how long I can put it off without having my friends all talk about me behind my back for the mess maker I am.
While I wanted to score this much lower, I had to be honest with myself. Cleaning itself isn't fun, but the discovery of things I hadn't seen in years was fun. The enjoyment I have after a room is clean is fun. The fact that people aren't afraid for their lives upon entering my house is fun. Cleaning has a great deal of satisfaction when it is over, but it just isn't a lot of fun while you were doing it. And even then there are some enjoyable times like when you find all those receipts from vacations you barely remember and you take a few minutes to look over them and then have some memories rush back to you about those times and places.
Overall: Not as good as hiring an attractive scantily clad maid of your gender of preference to do it for you while you have Lillet Martinis and watch in lust but better than having the eight foot tall mountain of dirty laundry actually spawn life and then beat you severely about the head and shoulders while you attempt to run for cover.