Cleanliness is next to exhaustion

I could never hire a housecleaning service.

That would require that I constantly clean my house so it was clean enough to let someone else come in and clean.

I know this because I become a cleaning freak when anyone is scheduled to stop by, even service people.

Especially service people.

Because service people see everything .And everything takes a lot of upkeep.

They go into your dank, musty basement and are likely to trip over stray boards that weren’t put away properly.

They go in the bathroom, which requires daily cleaning if anyone else is going to see it.

They walk through the kitchen, which, in my case, holds more tools and hardware than dishes and it’s always a mess.

They walk through the living room and dining room and the minute they do I wish I’d vacuumed.

I know all this because I just spent three hours cleaning and preparing for a visit by a technician from Focus on Energy. On the list of things to do was put in a low-flow shower head (bathroom), aerators for faucets (bathroom and kitchen), check the water heater (basement), replace light bulbs (sunroom, bathroom, kitchen, basement and garage) and all of these places would be reached by walking through the living room and dining room.

I’m a wreck right now but my house is looking pretty darned good, although I’m pretty sure he didn’t notice that I de-greased the paper towel dispenser and for sure he didn’t open the kitchen cabinets to see if I erased the water spots from my glasses.

I did.

I blame this all on my parents, who on a visit to my house 35 years ago, pointed out spider webs near the ceiling. I was appalled — not that I had them, but that my parents had noticed them and pointed them out. From then on, I obsessed about how the casual observer would judge my house.

I survived this service call with only a few comments about the room in the basement that stores my water heater. “So you’re a wood worker?” guessed the technician as he worked his way around the piles of wood.

“Kind of,” I said, hoping the wood pile wouldn’t tumble down on him.

And when he replaced the bulbs in the lights over the bathroom sink, he swiped his finger along the globe and came up with a glob of dust.

“Things show up a lot better in this light,”  I said with a weak smile.

Guess I have more cleaning to do.