Rikki Stubbs April 08, 2012
Last week I decided I really must get a cleaner. It was an interesting exercise. The house was beautifully clean when Mary left, but I missed the feeling I get when I do it myself. There was no satisfaction and no contentment.
Cleaning is underrated and undervalued these days but it has benefits that go way beyond the obvious. Just as a lot of people would rather do their garden themselves because it's rewarding and nurturing, I like to clean. It puts me in touch with my house and with myself.
It's the first thing you do when you move into a new place. When you clean you claim ownership of the house.
As your hands move over the surfaces you are feeling the very fabric of your home and at the same time putting your energy into it.
When you are selling, you de-clutter and clean the house like never before. How often do people say how wonderful their house looked and felt when they were about to move?
Imagine what it would be like to have your house like this all the time.
When I clean I notice things that I might not otherwise have seen, which is helpful in an old house - a fresh crack that needs repair reveals itself; the cat has been at that newly upholstered chair … arrrgh.
A few drops of eucalyptus oil in hot water is a natural disinfectant and makes everything smell like the Australian bush.
Cleaning is tactile and sensory - light reflects off the surfaces, tiles gleam, taps sparkle. Clean windows let in more light.
My friend Tom, who is an architect, admits that he loves cleaning too. Tom does all the cleaning at home. He says: "Cleaning gives us a different spatial awareness of our homes because we are looking at things close up.''
He claims his mother loved cleaning so much she paid other people to look after the children so she had time to clean.
Cleaning is a way of cherishing and honouring our home and ourselves at the same time.
It's good for the psyche and immensely gratifying. If you need some inexpensive therapy, I guarantee cleaning will sort you out.
Put on some uplifting music and give it a go.
Hear Rikki talk about renovating and design: Sundays at 5pm on 2UE (954 AM)