The internet is a strange and wonderful place. Scary and frustrating, sure, but also strange and wonderful. For instance, if you want to know where to get a good deal on your favorite new lipstick, the internet will tell you (Hint: It’s Ulta. The answer is always Ulta). If you want to know the name of the actor who plays Kevin on This Is Us, the internet will tell you (Answer: Justin Hartley aka Hottie McHottypants). If you want to know how to get permanent marker off your new couch, the internet will tell you (something about liquid dish soap, white vinegar, water, and prayers).
It was on one of these strange, but necessary, searches that I came across a list of guidelines for how often you should clean everything. Thinking that it might offer some helpful suggestions or reassure me that I wasn’t completely failing at domesticity, I clicked on the link. Big mistake. As they say, ignorance is bliss, and I was pretty damn blissful in my bubble of filth and disorder. Because according to that chart, I’m not just falling behind in the housework department, I’m failing at everything.
I felt like crap about myself for a hot minute before I realized that these standards must only apply to the childless or people who de-stress with a little rage cleaningfrom time to time. I know they’re out there, I’ve read about them, and I have nothing but mad props. But, sweet baby Jesus in a Moby Wrap, I am not one of those people.
You know what they say, cleaning with kids is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos. And personally, I prefer to binge-eat my Oreos with a wine chaser. But I digress.
In any event, I’m not a slob. I despise clutter. And I keep a somewhat tidy house. But there is no way in hell I’m ever going to be able to keep up with these standards — and I’d be willing to bet that most people can’t.
Let’s walk through this house cleaning bullshit, shall we?
Daily: Squeegee the shower walls and sweep the kitchen floors.
Squeegee shower walls? I’m sorry, what? I don’t even own a squeegee, and even if I did, I can guarantee you I would not be spending 1 second of the 2.3 minutes I have to shower squeegeeing the shower walls. My kids are just going to smear them with colored soap and bubble bath anyway.
And sweep the kitchen floors daily? Nope. That’s what pets are for.
Weekly: Change bedsheets, sanitize sponges, and throw away unused food.
Change bedsheets once a week? What is this crazy talk? Does anyone actually change their sheets once a week? I’m lucky if I remember to change my sheets once a month; my kids’ sheets get changed after a case of the stomach flu. Have you ever tried to change the bedding on a bunk bed? It’s a special kind of hell, really. Who has time for all of that tugging and folding and tucking? Not to mention the fact that whenever I do get my act together and wash the sheets, without fail, that night I will drag myself to bed only to realize that my sheets are still a sodden heap in the washing machine.
Monthly: Dust the blinds and clean out the inside of the washing machine.
Excuse me, while I laugh my ass off.
Every few months: Vacuum the mattress, descale the coffee machine, and clean the fireplace.
Look, if I can’t remember to change the bedsheets more than once a month, how the hell am I going to remember to vacuum the mattress? Not. Gonna. Happen. Same thing with descaling the coffee machine. I don’t even know what the fuck “descaling” means.
I am succeeding at one of the items on the list, however. Our fireplace is clean AF because we don’t even have a fireplace, which leaves me more time to do internet searches on Justin Hartley.