Clean it up Please

The title of this column mimics the title of a composition we publish in our business.  The content of that piece has nothing to do with dust or household cleaning, but it was on my mind, so here we go.

Rabbits and bunnies; it’s summer and these critters breed and inhabit our rural yards.  My husband has replanted beans thrice, now.  Next, its chicken wire, I guess.

Today, as I write this, it’s a welcome sunny day, after a long stretch of rain, clouds, and darkness.  I noticed in our kitchen, exposed to the morning sun, that dust bunnies have proliferated beyond my comprehension.

There are nooks and crannies from wall to rectangular wall in our kitchen.  Maybe they aren’t technically nooks, but I’ll bet you they could be called crannies.

From a lay person’s point of view, these spaces that collect dust in our kitchen are places where cabinets don’t quite meet the wall or appliances butt up against a cabinet.  It’s probably a finish carpenter’s bane.  At any rate, they exist and there is just enough space for dust, cobwebs, and cat fur to collect, and my ordinary cleaning tools don’t suffice to easily eradicate them.

To some people, dust bunnies are temporary visitors.  But they seem to be family pets in our house.  In fact, they had taken up residence on the dust mop, no less.

Dust on the dust mop seemed unreasonably cruel to me.  I almost cried, but decided to laugh instead.

I’m aware that some folks are in to cleaning in a way that I can’t fit into my list of priorities.  I have friends, acquaintances, neighbors and loved-ones who keep immaculately clean homes.  Kudos to you.

I keep a tidy house and I “clean it up” when messes are made.  I live with a man who spills, daily.  Don’t call the doctor, it’s not an illness; just an atavistic trait he seems to have inherited from his dad.  But I’m used to cleaning up.

Have you ever heard someone say, “you made the mess, you clean it up?”  It seems like a reasonable thing to expect.  But I am the delegated rescue-person, called to the crime-scene to “clean it up.”  If I don’t clean it up now, I’ll have to come back later and do it, when its effects might be worse.

Preemptive cleaning is okay.  I do it to keep things orderly and hygienic, yet don’t take it so seriously as to be considered fanatical.  Our house isn’t dirty, it’s lived-in.

In fact, I’m a tad uneasy around perfection. Show-homes are just that, for show.  One usually doesn’t feel welcome or at home in these places.  Everything is placed.  Nothing is real.  How do you unwind in a place that is so tightly wound?

Have you ever been the cause of a grocery-store announcement, “clean-up in aisle 9?”  I confess I have once or twice been the culprit; darn those flimsy blueberry cartons, or was it grape tomatoes?

So, I’m not always the cleaner.  But somebody must clean up after us in every aspect of life.  It’s as inevitable as death and taxes, as the saying goes.

To clean something up means essentially to free it from a whole bunch of unwanted stuff.  We can free ourselves from dirt, soil, stains, pollution, extraneous matter, marks, roughness, defects or flaws, encumbrances or obstructions.

So, clean it up and set yourself free, my friends.  If someone sets you free by cleaning it up for you, use your words and say please and thank you.  They’ll appreciate it.


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