Monday, September 24, 2018

Housecleaning This Fall

Housecleaning guru Don Aslett recommends thorough cleaning late in the year rather than in the spring. He says it's good to get things right after the doors and windows are closed and the thundering small herd is back in school. I made the change several decades ago. The cumulative minor improvements in efficiency have added up in meaningful ways. September's raking sunlight makes it easy to see what I am doing.

This summer's smoky air left the interior covered with a light layer of soot. The family archaeologist would describe it as a marker horizon, and I have no doubt that despite my efforts quiet corners of the structure will retain a record of this period. Realizing that smoke residue is corrosive galvanized my unenthusiastic approach to fall cleaning. 

A shopping experiment in a county hardware store accidentally yielded a dynamite portable cleaning kit. I need very few supplies for the ordinary routine, but they are just enough that I can't lash them to the vacuum cleaner tank or stow them in a pocket. The Old Line Black and Yellow Tool company designed an inexpensive rolling case that is loud to look at and slick as can be in the way it functions. I toted it home on public transportation, where it generated curious and envious glances. I felt like I was impersonating a carpenter, but heck. The rolling case is sized just right for me, and I can sit on it at a bus stop.

A small canister vacuum with Big HEPA filtration sits tidily on the top of the case, and the bottom compartment somehow manages to swallow the extension wand I salvaged from another unit in the distant past. A fluffy synthetic dusting thing fits in as well. With a handful of the veteran terry washcloths I use in the kitchen, that's nearly all I need to get the floors clean enough to eat off.

The case is easy to move from room to room, gives me a spot to perch and catch my breath, and stows neatly in any of the closets. I carry a HEPA air filter from room to room as cleaning progresses so that the air is vacuumed as the floor is maintained. That double whammy means I'll be able to wipe the floors with a dampened terry wiper and extend the vacuuming interval by a couple of weeks under ordinary circumstances.

Removing street shoes at the entry is the key to the mint -30-




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