Day 35: Where’s my Feather Duster?

When you’re feeling rather low, or even a little blue –

Turn to Mrs Beeton (Page 4 42)

OK, so I made that line up yesterday rather than taking it from Mrs Beeton.

Sometimes when you’re not feeling as cheery as you’d like to, physical exercise is a fast-acting tonic.  But with snow and sleet, and the frozen ears and red nose that outdoor exercise entails at this time of year, I keenly sought an indoor remedy.

Our apartment is usually quite tidy (I’ve been compared to Monica Geller from Friends more than once).  Once or twice a week we vacuum and mop as well (with 3 cats, this is unavoidable).  But in the year that we’ve lived here, I can’t think of a time when it was more thoroughly spring-cleaned than that.

Household Management talks about seasonal cleaning (i.e.  every season) – but I can’t see myself being up for that (let alone convincing my boyfriend of the merits of helping out so often).  Flicking through a chapter for ‘Domestic Servants’ (how apt!), my eye skimmed down the page to ‘Periodical Cleanings’.  ”Ah,” I thought, ”something far more reasonable.”

Periodical Cleanings – Besides the daily routine which we have described, there are portions of every house which can only be thoroughly cleaned occasionally; at which time the whole house usually undergoes a more thorough cleaning than is permitted in the general way.

I decided to go through each room and give everything a good clean, dust and polish.  Beds, cupboards and the washing machine were pulled out and cleaned behind.  Mirrors were polished, keyboards were turned upside down and shaken clean, cat beds (minus cats) were beaten.  Even the dust cover thingy over the vent in the bathroom was given a swish with the cleaning rag.  When you think of it as a way to cheer yourself up rather than it all being an absolute chore, suddenly it becomes a whole lot easier to motivate yourself.

All the while, the cats were traipsing in and out onto the balcony (”What’s that white stuff out there?” they seemed to be thinking.  ”Snow!”  Then they realised – for the upteenth time – how cold it was and dashed back inside, leaving soggy wet paw tracks along the floor, carpets and my back.  Only to repeat the whole process 5 minutes later.

Within the 2-hour time limit I set for myself, I was really surprised by how much I got done when I put my mind to it.  Let’s face it, cleaning is not exactly a ‘fun’ activity.  But the sense of satisfaction when you look and see how much you’ve done (and how far away the next bout of ‘periodical cleaning’ will be)… well, there’s some measure of enjoyment in that.

Life’s little worries and cares are naturally forgotten when all you’re thinking, is “Geez, how did so much dust get behind these damn radiators?”  The one thing that motivated me more than anything was trying to beat the 2-hour time limit. I’m a competitive person.  Who better to compete with than yourself?

Perhaps doctors could prescribe ‘periodical cleaning’ rather than pills when patients need to cheer themselves up? The world might be a jollier – and cleaner – place because of it 🙂

For Isabella Beeton’s periodical and seasonal cleaning advice: (Section 2326)


Tags: , , , ,

3 Responses to “Day 35: Where’s my Feather Duster?”

  1. Karole Balkin Says:

    It’s a nice post, but I see stuff like this all over the net. I just wonder if it’s gotten too big that you can t even find anything new and interesging anymore. Nice post, tho..

    • modernupstairsdownstairs Says:

      Hi there,

      Thanks for your comment. You’ve made a very valid point. I’m trying to do something a little different with this blog – instead of just repeating old-fashioned recipes and advice, I want to apply it like a woman from 150 years ago would have done – sometimes they would have got it right, other times they would have totally messed up – just like a modern woman. I’ll keep your comment in mind and try to ensure that I don’t fall into the trap of just repeating something and glossing over the results.

      Thanks again.

  2. Cary Kolppa Says:

    Hi, great post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: