I hated my last post – felt like I was writing utter crud just for the sake of it. As such, let myself step back and wait until I could write something that sounded coherent and actually had something resembling substance. Which this weekend thankfully provided.
Sadly, my roommates and I have officially become ‘those’ people. The ones that are so lazy, they actually hire people to clean up after them. Somewhere, my mother and stepmother are weeping at my fallen standards.
To be fair, it’s not entirely our fault. Our flat’s cleaning supplies consist of 2 hoovers that don’t work, a mop that needs to be burned, and a variety of cleaning supplies we’ve all bought. And it’s very hard to clean large spaces when you don’t have ways to getting the floors clean. We do handle things like counters and washing, but it’s been fighting a losing battle with the kitchen floor and general bathroom for a while (not helped by the fact that one roommate never lifted a hand to clean the bathroom and me trying to hold out to see how long it would take before he did).
Anyway, situation was getting so over our heads we came to a mutual decision. Rather than pull money together and buy new stuff to help clean and put up a rota, we’d pull money together and hire someone to come in every 2 weeks to give the place a once over. It’s a little embarrassing and an added expense, but to be honest, I think we’d be kidding ourselves if we thought we could keep the place tidy on our own. We mean well, but just getting Italy to wipe down the oven after he makes coffee takes a diplomatic intervention sometimes, and nobody wants to buy a hoover just because the landlord won’t pony up one that works.
Admittedly, I feel rather bad about it. It reminds me of my university years. Before I headed from home I was relatively good at keeping my room in order and helping keep the house clean. Then came university, and my room became a battleground for space, while the cleaning of the kitchen was mostly an endurance race on who could hold out longest. My biggest pet peeve was dishes. I was lousy at wiping down counters or tidying up the living area, but I couldn’t stand piles of dishes just sitting there – roommates would have parties or cook and not clean up – eventually we’d run out or I’d snap. At which point this conversation would start:
ROOMMATE: You’re doing the dishes?
ROOMMATE: Oh I would have done them.
At which point a vein on my forehead would begin to throb as these dishes had been sitting on the counter for anything between 1-4 days without a passing glance. If they were gonna do them, they’d have been done!
However, it never got too bad (with the teeny tiny fourth year ‘maggot’ incident – long story) as student accommodation came with cleaners who gave the kitchen, hallway and bathrooms a once over each week. So I let myself lose all my good habits and became a nightmare whenever I went home for the summer break. I only really got the wakeup call on just how bad I was though when I had to stay with my Dad and Stepmother for 6 weeks due to work experience in Glasgow. My stepmother openly admits that her hobby is cleaning, and as such her house is spotless. My habits did not stand up to her scrutiny, and I quickly had to relearn all those things I’d let slide. By the time I returned to my flat, I was horrified at just how bad it was, and tried to continue cleaning up. Something I’d always tried to follow…although my last flat faltered.
Simply put, I did the cleaning, but my roommate who was much like my stepmother didn’t consider my level of cleaning acceptable – and as such she tore up the rota feeling we weren’t pulling our weight. As we were moving out in 6 months, I didn’t argue, and the cleaning level went way down. Since moving here, never got back into the habit without a rota to poke me into action.
This morning was the first ‘deep’ clean, where the crew came in and thoroughly sterilised the flat. Didn’t get off to a good start on the grounds that said roommates were out till 4am, and left me a note by my door in case they weren’t up for 10 in order to let them in. Good plan except I didn’t get up until 9.50 and needed a shower. Thankfully other roommate was up and let them in, so crisis averted.
Gotta admit, although I’m loathe to admit I had to pay someone to do it, the flat looks great. It’s astonishing what several hours of thorough cleaning with a decent hoover and mop plus several dozen cleaning products will do to a place. Its cleaner now than it was when I moved in. The only thing they didn’t bother to clean were the stairs leading to the flat – and frankly that’s just common sense, cleaning them would be like shovelling the drive when it’s still snowing. Its filthy and gets way to much shoe and bike tread to ever go back to its natural colour.
Of course, didn’t last long. I’m making a costume in the living room and the roommates had another pizza party – so there’s flour on the counter, piles of dishes in the sink and red velvet shreds in the carpet. Lord knows what it’ll look like in 2 weeks…