Suffering with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) can simultaneously be a blessing and a curse. I have my good days and my bad days, the good days being when my OCD is a catalyst to a clean and tidy house, the bad days being when my OCD drives me to distraction as I desperately try to get things into some sort of order to prevent ‘bad things’ from happening.
Thankfully I have managed to get a grip upon my OCD over the years, I no longer walk between the cracks on the pavement and I’m far less prone to gambling with time (eg. betting myself that if I can fold all the sheets before the clocks turns to 11:11 then the day will go well). However, I still find myself with an endless urge to clean and luckily I now have the tools to do so with ease.
Although I’d love to live in a clean, shiny house with minimal amounts of clutter I have these two things called ‘kids’ which prevent me from doing so. I do however have a number of tools which make ‘keeping clean with kids’ a little easier, a little quicker and far more convenient.
Like most houses, the kitchen is the heart of our home. It also happens to be where our geriatric dog Molly spends most of her time and as you can imagine it requires regular cleaning to keep on top of the mess.
One day we will update our kitchen and hopefully when we do so I will be able to install vast amounts of storage to aid decluttering of the surfaces and in turn make cleaning a little easier.For the time being however I continue to ignore the eighties fruit motifs upon the tiles, the cracks in the walls and the clouding of the windows whilst keeping things as tidy as possible.
Firstly I began by ditching my traditional mop and bucket in exchange for a Vax Steam Mop, it’s made all the difference as I no longer have to fill kettles, wait for them to boil, waste vast amounts of cleaning fluid, endlessly rinse and squeeze a mop then wait for the floors to dry. I simply plug in the steam mop, fill the water bottle accordingly, mop around the kitchen then by the time I’ve rolled up the plug and popped the steam mop back into the cupboard the floors are clean, dry and ready for action.
Secondly we purchased a Vax Carpet Washer to keep our carpets looking fresh. No longer do we need to get down on our hands and knees to scrub spills on carpets with stain remover. We simply fill the Vax with cleaning fluid and water then push it around much like a vacuum cleaner, the carpets have never looked better and I’m happy in the knowledge that the floors on which my children play are genuinely clean.
Not only do we vacuum and clean our carpets but we also vacuum the vacuum. Now I know this just sounds mental but it seriously works! We have two vacuum cleaners (both of which are Dyson), one that we use to vacuum the carpets in the house and the other that we use to clean out the other vacuum cleaner from time to time and believe it or not toÂ vacuum the garden withÂ I’m officially mad!Â We also wash and dry the filters to maintain the functionality of the vacuum cleaners
We have a selection of dusters including micro fibre cloths which I tend to use with some furniture polish to keep the furnishings sparkly. It doesn’t matter how often I wipe those black, shiny surfaces I swear moments later finger prints appear as if by flipping magic! Never again will I purchase a black, shiny television or stand for that matter as it could be wrapped in plastic and still get dirty somehow or other.
Speaking of cloths and such-like,Â I regularly wash my sponges and dish cloths to maintain cleanliness. However, I also keep a supply of Milton Antibacterial Surface Wipes to make double sure that the tables and counters are kept bacteria free. I also use these wipes to clean the children’s toys from time to time, I’m not sure whether it’s the smell of the alcohol in the wipes or just the fact that I associate ‘Milton’ with sterilisation and cleanliness but wiping around surfaces and such-like with these seems to keep my OCD at bay.
As you can imagine I keep vast amounts of bleach and cleaning fluids locked safely in cupboards to clean the toilets and the bathrooms (which we have three of now) with. I only ever use antibacterial wipes when sanitising the toilets as they are disposable. Toilets are my arch-enemy in terms of cleaning as no matter how often I sanitise them I never really feel that they will ever be perfectly clean given their function.
I also keep an array of air fresheners, fabric fresheners and scented candles to keep the house smelling sweet but am always concerned about the effect that these products may have upon the children when using these.
I probably spend Â£60 a month on cleaning products and whilst this may seem a little excessive it certainly helps reduce my OCD a little and keeps the house germ-free (unless you count my kids whom endlessly bring home germs to share).
The children often comment on my tidying, they are fairly helpful in that they will at least put away the toys which they have finished using and be sure to help around the house should they see a job that needs to be done.
My husband regularly compares my OCD habits and tendencies to ‘Jon Richardsons‘ comedy sketches. I have managed to mellow over the years though and am learning to cope and to deal with mess a little more over time.
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