Sunday, July 17, 2016

Cleanup! 7-17-16

Cleanup! Sunday 7/17/16

Sharing - Pictured are my currently favorite cleaning products!

Scrub Daddy, Bar Keepers Friend, Magic Eraser, Green Gobbler, Fly Lady's Purple Rag

Remembering "way back" to my young self doing housework, way back to the forties at Potter Farm Lane. Mama divided up the household tasks between my sister and myself. I don't remember if Allan (our younger brother) had any specific household task other than being responsible for cleaning his room.

My job was to clean the kitchen and living room each week. It was not a quick swish and swipe assignment. Mama was definitely a "clean freak" and I suppose she learned this from her own parents and from being the eldest child of a family of 7 and then orphaned early (age 18) and married young (19) and a mother of me before she was even 20.

Cleaning meant dusting and wiping all woodwork - baseboards, window sills, trim, doors, etc. Windows were usually done by Mama sitting on the windowsill while precariously balancing outside the window, holding onto the bottom edge the lifted window. We eventually learned how to clean windows, following Mama's example.

In the kitchen I emptied out the refrigerator of everything, then wiped everything clean using baking soda and clean water. If there was defrosting to be done, then the freezer part would be cleaned, too.
Shelves and bins would be removed, cleaned and put back in place.

Cleaning the stove would be a challenge, too. We used "Easy Off" to clean off the spills and built up gunk from many baking projects. When we lived on Route 125 in Withamsville, Ohio I took the entire electric stove apart - even undoing all the wiring under the burners! I wonder to this day how I put it all back together again!

Then, I know and knew what it is and was to scrub the linoleum kitchen floor clean. I used two buckets - one filled with Spic & Span water and another with clean rinse water. I used a scrub brush with the Spic & Span mixture on the entire floor. Then, this was followed by using a rag dipped over and over again in the clean water to wipe up the dirty "gook" of wax and debris. Eventually the floor would be clean and dry enough for me to apply two coats of liquid wax. (I can still smell that wax).

Instead of buying new linoleum, we painted it with three color dobs - yellow, red & green "all over". It was part of my 4-H Kitchen Re-do project. I chose a color scheme of dark green walls and woodwork and we made french cafe curtains - white with red, yellow and green ribbon stripe trim. Part of the project required that the kitchen be organized efficiently - "zones" for specific tasks and storage. We had a Hoosier cabinet which 'housed" the baking supplies and provided a porcelain pull-out table/shelf for rolling out pie dough. The kitchen table was big enough for our family of 5. It sat in an alcove.

For awhile we didn't have running water. Instead there was a hand pump at the kitchen sink. Eventually we did have running water! But, we never did have an inside toilet at that house!

I was also in charge of cleaning the living room. Luckily we had an Electrolux sweeper which I think we got from Uncle Charles (who may have been selling them). I used all the attachments to clean all the woodwork and upholstery.

Daddy had made some beautiful end tables from piano bench and piano tops. I dusted those with a rag and something oily for a protective shine. The floor was dusted and swept. I don't remember if there was an area rug, but it seems an important finishing touch to the room. I loved the roll-up bamboo shades and turquoise walls. I remember enjoying many incredible sunsets from those west-facing windows above the couch. The living room would be shut off during very cold weather. For awhile we had an old pump church organ that I enjoyed playing. Eventually we got a piano which I played a lot. We took lessons, too.

All this leads from an early introduction to housekeeping/home making to a lifetime of tasks, doing again and again, the never-ending tasks that fill up "to-do/done" lists/booklets and constant thinking of how a housekeeping task can be done more efficiently or delegated to someone else!

I now have my Meetup group called "The Society of Too Much Stuff" which encompasses many challenges of "keeping house". I'm writing this today, to remind myself that, "Yes, I have done it well in the past and will continue "doing" until I can't do it any more. Onward!

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