The Key to Developing a Good Cleaning Habit

Roommates*

I saw this little gal or guy above my sink one Saturday morning recently, and it made me think of two things. 1) This could be a cool pic and 2) it might be time for a little spring cleaning.

The fact that my cleaning routine is based on my spider sense might lead one to infer that I’m something of a pig. But I prefer to see spiders as a sign of encouragement, it worked for E.B.White.

I’m actually a pretty clean person, some might say obsessively clean. Though I wasn’t always like this. No, when I was younger I was pretty relaxed about cleaning and dirt in general. I only really started cleaning when my mother’s voice reached a certain concussive volume.

But things changed when I went off to college. As a freshman I had my first roommate, and like many of us I learned a lot from him — namely to believe in the power of soap.

Guys’ dorm rooms aren’t a bastion of cleanliness, girls’ dorm rooms either for that matter. But there’s a line between dirt and filth even Febreze can’t freshen. Trust me.

It started with a rank smell in the room. I let it stew because I was in college and, well, I was pretty sure the stench was coming from his side of the room.

Eventually, I couldn’t avoid it any more. That’s when I realized the smell was coming from his pile of dirty laundry. Knowing that put me at ease. I mean, no one likes doing laundry. And when my roommate acknowledged the stench, it put me even more at ease. If he did laundry at home, I would have the room to myself for the weekend.

It’s what he did next that changed my life forever. Not unlike the ending of “Charlotte’s Web.” Grabbing his bottle of Febreze, he rustled his pile of dirty laundry and proceeded to Febreze the dirt away. That’s not how Febreze works** people.

Suddenly, everything around me looked dirty. Scratch that, everything looked filthy. I did laundry every week after that, usually doubling down on detergent. Cleaning never felt so good — still does.

So take my advice, if someone you know isn’t into cleaning get them a roommate now. Remember, you can never be too clean and soap’s cheap.

*If B.Mac’ gets some free time, I’ll revisit this post adding a few curated illustrations.
**Admittedly, I don’t know how Febreze works. I’ve never — ever — bought a bottle.

images Indian Macgyver
© Chic Prune 2015

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7 thoughts on “The Key to Developing a Good Cleaning Habit

      1. sorry for the delay. i looked for a funny story about them, but nothing really popped up. maybe it’s just an american brand of dusters. they really do work and trap dust, but they’re disposable so they don’t last long. you can go through a whole box of them, and your wallet, surprisingly quickly.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. I’ve got myself one in college currently. There is an unending report of just how bad, how smelly, how filthy, and how inhumane dorm life is. Yes, it’s magnificent how some lessons cannot be taught at home, but sink in bone deep once we’re out of the picture. Cheers, Mac!

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    1. speaking of dorm life i just heard this story on npr today and loved it. college students get a free room in a nursing home for volunteering 30 hours per week. the free rent is great for the students and the elderly have some friendly company. it’s part of bigger trend worldwide to reduce feelings of isolation and marginalization the elderly experience.

      the worst part of dorm life, eating dinner at 5pm i mean c’mon what is this a nursing home 😉 (no the worst part of dorm life is forgetting your shower shoes and praying you don’t get foot fungus.)

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