Housekeeping / by Susie Lubell

So my husband and I just finished our Tuesday night ritual of cleaning the house in preparation for our housekeeper Maria to come tomorrow and clean the house. And I love my husband for indulging me in this behavior. He thinks its RIDICULOUS but he does it anyway because he loves me and he knows that when Maria tries to put away our stuff we can't find it for a month. Last week she put our son's kitty that he sleeps with somewhere and it took us two days to find it. Put it on the bed Maria! It's a stuffed animal! Belongs on the bed! And if clothes are on the floor she'll just wash them willy nilly. Wool sweaters, linen blouses. Doesn't matter what. So every Tuesday night we put away the once-folded clothes from last week sitting on the futon in the back room that are now rifled through and wrinkled. We put all toys in appropriate bins (yes, I categorize toys. For instance, I have a transportation bin and a "makes noise" bin and if Maria puts a tractor in with musical instruments I sort of need a cleansing breath), we put in a load of laundry, I hang up whatever's on the floor in my room and then the house is ready for Maria to clean it.

But to my credit, and Maria's credit, she really does clean the place. Bathroom, kitchen, floors...and she folds a mountain of laundry. Between my son who likes to try on outfits and my daughter who likes to roll around in dirt, we have an endless mess of laundry. Plus the floors, by the end of the week, have serious "texture". My daughter likes to test gravity with her food. Future physicist.

So we do this every Tuesday. And Wednesday I come home from work to the fresh scent of Method ecofriendly cleaning products invigorated by the shine of our floors and the sparkle of the toilet bowl, ready to take on life's next challenge - like figuring out where Maria hid the kitty this week.