Learning to Clean During Quarantine

Published online: Jun 01, 2020 Articles Katie Burke
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Spoiler: I’m the worst housewife in the world. This is embarrassing to write but you deserve to know the truth. When my husband finally trades me in, he will realize what he’s been missing out on.  

Oh man. It’s a sad day when you realize social distancing and stay-at-home requests mean other people can’t leave their houses either. It’s a recipe for disaster when the friend who cleans your house in exchange for money is stuck at her house and your family of underage minions is trapped at yours. 

Especially when you haven’t cleaned your own house in a decade because you’ve always had someone who professionally handles it. I mean, life works best when we all stay in our own lanes and I avoid the cleaning lane like the plague. 

None of this quarantine business is going well for me. The kids constantly use things without putting them back, spill the most random things in places that don’t make sense and eat around the clock. Worse yet, none of the mess seems to go away. It just keeps building.

As I was contemplating what a dilemma I was in, it occurred to me these are first world problems. There are people on this planet who can’t mop their floor because they are dirt. I’m abundantly blessed to be a college-educated woman who lives in the greatest country in the world.

And I can mop my own floors, dang it!

After a few YouTube videos, I was feeling pretty confident. I mean, I wasn't 100% sure but I was certainly feeling better about it. In a tragic turn of events, I realized my friend brings her own cleaning supplies and I don’t actually own a mop. 

Back to Youtube. It turns out rednecks have already solved this problem. You can put a washcloth at the end of a broom and then use a spray bottle to wet the floor. But since I had to go to the grocery store anyway (remember there are four children each eating 10,173 calories a day stuck in my house), I decided I was going to invest in a mop. Which I did. 

When I got my mop home, I tried to channel my deceased mom who was an excellent housekeeper. I clearly remember her moving all the chairs and other smaller items out of the kitchen before getting started. This seemed like a logical first step to me, so that’s what I did. Now doing this created such a commotion that I started drawing a crowd of spectators who were more than willing to offer their opinions. 

13-year-old Izzy: Uhhhh, I’m pretty sure you have to sweep first. 

17-year-old Braxton: You’re going to scuff the tile if you don’t actually lift that off as you pull it. 

10-year-old Cambri: I’m scared. What’s going on?

As you can see, the peanut gallery was full of ideas but none of them were actually willing to jump in. I sent them on their way. I mean, they had other messes they needed to create and I didn’t want them falling behind. Sigh. 

Back to mopping, I swept. I ran some water. I put some dish soap in it. I used my hand to swirl it all about. 

At this point, I really felt like a nap but I pushed through. I put my mop in the water. It turns out, it comes with a plastic covering over the moppy part when you buy it brand new at the store. Pro tip: you’re supposed to take that off first. 

Do you see why this was such a project for me? Exhausting. But I pushed through. I finally got the floor all cleaned up and it looked so good. A little wet? Sure. Missed some spots? Guaranteed. But I made that day-old Koolaid wish it had never been born. I’m officially a floor mopper. 

Since I don’t want to do that again, ever, I’ve surrounded my kitchen in crime scene tape and I’ve taken to screaming at the top of my lungs when I see people get within six feet. It’s holding them off for now. If that doesn’t work, I’m moving them outside to tents. 

Welcome to my life. Next week: vacuuming. 


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