Deep Cleaning

A funny story about learning how much needs cleaning in your home.


1/12/20243 min read

man in gray hoodie and blue denim jeans standing on brown wooden parquet flooring
man in gray hoodie and blue denim jeans standing on brown wooden parquet flooring

My Dad was in the Air Force as a pilot, so we moved, moved, moved. Then when I was an adult, I kept moving. 51 times. Yup, I have lived in 51 different homes in my lifetime. I made my hubby move 23 times. I have never lived in a home longer than 4 years in a row. Never. Until now. We are now stationary; we have plunked down roots. We have lived in this home for 8 years and we don't plan on moving. It's a new adventure, staying put. Of course, he is reconciled to the fact that I am going to rearrange the furniture every year. If that's what it takes to get me to stay put, I can have a new couch.

I keep learning new things. I'm a terrible housekeeper to begin with. I look up from reading my book, see the sun shining on the table and the layer of dust that's gathered. I think, "I should dust" and go back to reading my book. Also, moving every year, couple of years or so, there are things I've never considered.

Today was one of those days. I discovered that you can (and should) remove the dials on the stove to clean them and clean underneath them. Yup. Eight years of grease and grime is disgusting. You can even put them in the dishwasher. I cleaned them up by hand. It took glass cleaner, hot water and a scrub brush but I got 'em shined up. Amazing. That led me to clean the glass window on the oven door. Who knew? So then I cleaned all the way around the oven door on the sides. I've been wiping down the front but not the sides. Uhm-hmm. Hubby cleans the burners and the top so that's been done on a regular basis. I cook so he cleans. But this deep cleaning is a whole new ballgame. There are the lights on the ceiling. We have canned lights on tracks. Guess what? In the kitchen those things get covered with grease from all the cooking. Yuck. And with long lasting light bulbs that don't need to be replaced often, it never occurred to us that the cans themselves need cleaning, let alone the tracks. I'm thinking about painting the kitchen, that's what got me on a roll.

Also, when you don't move and get new stuff, you need to empty the cabinets of everything and clean the cabinets. That goes for the pantry too. That is also true of ALL the cabinets not just the pantry and the kitchen. We're talking bathroom, walk-in closet, all the closets, shelves and cabinets. Do you realize how many you have all over the house? There's a lot of them. Not to mention the doors, door frames and doorknobs. Those need to be cleaned too. After eight years I'm cleaning and then repainting them. Maybe instead of white I'll do rainbow colors all over the house. Ha! Hubby would have a cow. Or just roll his eyes and sigh.

The other thing I discovered after about two years of living here is that you can wash the shower curtains, even the liners. My Mom actually left the shower curtains in the house we were in and bought new ones when we moved into the new home. I never thought about it. I thought that's what you were supposed to do. Leave and get new ones because we had only used those for one year or less. So yeah, you can take down the shower curtains and put them in the washer (no drying necessary) and then hang them back up. She told me you just leave them. The things we have to unlearn.

So, curtains. Yup. My husband has become the elderly neighbors' handyman. He gets a call from our 85-year-old neighbor telling him her 99-year-old neighbor next door took down her living room drapes to launder them and now can't get them back up. He goes over to help. He climbs an 8-foot ladder, and he still can't reach the curtain rod. He's six foot tall. He cannot fathom how in the world tiny little 99-year-old Kay got them down in the first place. She's maybe 4 foot 10 and 90 pounds soaking wet. He gently suggested maybe she didn't need to clean her curtains by herself again, maybe she could call before attempting such a thing.