Miscellany and detritus, from the writer of Is This Mutton?com

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Saturday, January 19, 2019

The tyranny of the celebrity cleaner

Image from Pexels
The current obsession on social media seems to be extreme tidying, brought to us by Marie Kondo and Mrs Hinch. It's great for their book sales and for IKEA and makers of cleaning products, but is it actually good for us?

Does anyone remember some of the other cleaning and tidying gurus from previous decades? There was Anne Maurice, the formidable American whose mission was to get us to paint our houses beige and stage them as bland edifices of good taste in order to get a fast sale.

Then there was How Clean Is Your House? a TV programme where Aggie McKenzie and Kim Woodburn visited the most ghastly hovels and scraped away the dirt of decades.

How about the whole feng shui thing, where people strategically placed amethyst and bottles of water to maximise their creativity?

And more recently, "death cleaning," brought to us from Sweden, where older people are encouraged to clear out to make it easier for their relatives after their death.

So this cleaning and  tidying mania, usually brought  to us by bossy and uber-organized people, is nothing new.

My house is clean and tidy; however I have more than 50 books; there are lots of storage boxes under the beds, and the loft is full of "stuff".

I'm sure my drawers would look nice with those dividers for tights and knickers, but I'm not going there.

To me, extreme cleaning is an unpleasant reminder of days not too long ago when a woman's worth was measured by how clean her front step was.
My grandma, who would be 112 now had she lived, had a strict cleaning regime and whenever she visited my mum, a bony finger would sweep along shelves and the tops of doors. She couldn't help it.

My mum, meanwhile, used to get bone tired with "spring cleaning," where she would obsessively wash blankets - but not in May - and frantically clean behind radiators, the oven and fridge. I remember once she was exhausted, and still had to make our tea, but was fretting that she still had to wash the skirting boards.

She still washed the front step,  and cleaned the tiles with Cardinal, but only at 6am where there was no-one about.

We're only talking the 70s here - and that's how women were measured, by how clean their homes were and how polite their children.

So I have no interest in someone called Mrs Hinch telling me to stockpile different chemicals for cleaning jobs, and someone from Japan called Marie, nice though she may be, telling me I should ration myself to 50 books and fold my fitted sheets.

What do you think?

Sharing this post with #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, WordlesWednesdsays at Claire Justine and #ShareAllLinkUp at Not Dressed as Lamb.

1 comment

vanity And Me said...

Funnily enough, with the renovation in full swing, everyone I talk to regarding storage and how I want the bedrooms to turn out is telling me to watch Marie Kondo! Of course I will end up doing it my way. I can't help having too much stuff! xx

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