I'm not one of those people who can ignore a mess. Somehow I could when I was in Budapest, and it was liberating. I was so much more productive in my research and had more time to live. Hubby called me Bizarro Tanya and he watched in awe as heaps of stuff piled up on the coffee table, but I didn't bat an eyelash. Back in the townhouse, though, I cannot concentrate with mess. Even though Hubby was a super star cleaner when left to his own devices for those three and a half months, the dust still piled up. Bills weren't filed. Then my suitcase exploded and made every single room a disaster (how?). I've been chipping away at it. I have DIY plans (and research deadlines) but I just couldn't start anything until the townhouse looked tidy. It's almost there.
Maybe this obsessive tidiness is why I get reader Qs about cleaning? You know I love answering reader Qs. Love it! But I've noticed an intriguing trend: lots of readers have been emailing me for cleaning tips. They are after my "secrets," actually. I almost never write about cleaning. I shared a fun tip ages ago because it changed my life (once they are empty, I use those jumbo Costco spice container for baking soda to make cleaning with it easier) but that's about it. But how can I say no to you? You're all so great. So I'll be answering cleaning Qs every once in awhile. For readers who don't get their jollies from cleaning tips, I've got a sweet jewellery DIY on the horizon.
First up: cleaning lampshades. We have lots of ambient lighting, with many-a-lampshade just begging to be coated in dust.
The dark shades in the bedroom (above) really caught readers' eyes and a few wrote in, specifically asking if those show the dust.
As you can imagine, after four months away they got a wee bit dusty.
But it takes two seconds to clean 'em. This is my secret: our vacuum cleaner died a year ago, and we haven't bought a new one. I have to be creative. I know the newer ones that aren't found in the trash have fancy cleaning attachments and all that jazz, but even if we had one I'd be worried about knocking over my lamps in the cleaning kerfuffle. I use . . . wait for it . . . a lint roller! Not environmentally friendly, I know, but I use one sheet, a couple of times a year, to de-dust these babies.
That's my hot tip. I'll have to think deeply about my cleaning habits to see if I have any other secrets. Did you know there's a raging debate about Murphy's Soap and hardwood floors? It's gripping (I'm team Murphy).