I can see clearly now.

Dear friends,

Holy cow . . . is this week vacation or work camp?

I burned more than few calories yesterday tackling projects. First I unloaded the bookshelves. (Read this post from yesterday if you missed the reason why.)

Then I finished my part of the painting.

Then I washed windows. Inside and out. All 45 of them.

My view is spectacular now.

I’ve decided there’s no household chore as satisfying as window-washing. No matter how messy or dirty my house is, as long as the windows are clean, I’m a happy girl.

Kate and Parker helped me. With three pairs of hands working, it took less than two hours. I’m kind of a stickler about window-washing. There are rules, you know. Six of them.

  1. You must use a proper solution. Vinegar and water make a fine one, or we have a special cleaner we bought from a door-to-door salesman. Never, but never, use Windex, or anything soapy that would require rinsing.
  2. Use a cloth soaked in the solution and lightly wrung out to clean the windows. Sponges don’t work as well. (Less surface area.)
  3. You must rinse your cloth between every window, and you must refresh your solution every few windows. No using a dirty cloth or the same dirty water all the way through.
  4. You must use a squeegee.
  5. You must wipe your squeegee on a dry cloth after every swipe.
  6. And while you’re cleaning windows, you must wipe down the frames and window wells, too, even outside.

Oh, and you should do this every six months, though if you don’t have teenagers helping you, I wouldn’t blame you if you only did it once a year.

Or never.

With deep and abiding gratitude {for teenagers who help their mother do chores, if not happily, at least without fussing too much},

Joan, who wants you to know it was Mr. Mom, not her, who succumbed to the door-to-door salesman, though the magic orange cleaner really kicks butt



  1. texasdeb says:

    Looks like Kate is enjoying the sparkly view in the photo as well. I’ll bet everybody looks out the windows differently after having helped clean them at least once. Jobs like that help move folks from “this is the house we live in” to “this is MY house”.

    But of course you have rules about window washing. If you want a job done correctly? And that job includes accepting the help of teenaged persons? Rules, baby. Simple, ironclad, don’t skip any steps, make no exceptions, rules.

    (My version of Mr. Mom swears by this special foamy spray cleaner stuff he gets online. Apparently guys need/want to get SPECIAL cleaning ingredients for their projects!)

  2. why no windex?

  3. Sarah, Windex is notorious for leaving streaks. And by using the wet cloth/squeegee method, you can go a whole lot faster. A couple of TBLS of vinegar in a quart of warm water will cut the grime and work wonders. Also, since you’ve got a wet cloth in your hands already, it makes cleaning the frames and sills a lot easier than with Windex and paper towels. Whenever I want to know the best possible way to do something, I watch the pros. And the pros use a bucket, a wet cloth, a squeegee and a dry cloth.

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