We've lived in our current house in Garner for five years now -- more time than I've lived in any one place since reaching adulthood.
It's wonderful to feel rooted to a place, to stay put long enough to really call your house a home. But MAN, it's messy! I never realized that moving every three years or so meant that you had no more than three-years-or-so worth of grime and dust building up. Sure, three years is a lot of time when you discover a corner the vacuum hasn't ever touched or find out that your duster never quite reached the back of the top of the bookshelves. But after five years, things really start looking rough.
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When was the last time I REALLY vacuumed under the bed? Like all the way under, with all the boxes and junk moved out of the way? Um. Move-in day. Five years ago.
When did I last pull out the fridge in this house and clean behind it? Never. And judging from the fact that it's wedged in super tight between countertops and painted in place, I don't think the previous homeowner did that too much, either. I don't even want to think about what's back there by now.
I've got a fever lately to declutter, mainly because it badly needs doing, especially with all the toddler stuff that's accumulated. But I can't blame it all on the kid. And decluttering is just the tip of the iceberg. Neglecting the heavy lifting of housework for three years is tolerable, but after five years the dust bunnies start to grow fangs.
I guess it's time to roll up my sleeves, move some furniture, and really clean this place up. Or … maybe it's just time to move.
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On a related note, here's the only list of "simple strategies" for house cleaning that's ever made me think, hey, I'm right on track! Something here for everyone, I think. Except THOSE moms, of course -- the ones with perfect hair and ironed, spotless tablecloths and time to grate their own cheddar because they're too good for the bagged stuff. But I imagine any of those moms reading this site got to the words "dust and grime" and promptly fled to their fainting couches.