11 September 2008

Wished I'd Thought of that Sooner...

I have spent the last two and a half days, and I do mean two full days and this morning, cleaning the shutters and the windows. I am now in a great deal of pain. My entire body hurts and I inadvertently grimace when I have to move.

It is times like these that I really wish we hadn't picked an apartment with floor to ceiling windows in every room. I mean, what were we thinking? Sure, it gives us great views of the lake and the mountains. But c'mon, how often do we stand gazing at the vista? Is it really worth it?

Which is why I wish I had thought of something sooner...

The hardest thing about cleaning the windows are the shutters. You need to wipe down each and every slat separately, top and bottom, and then clean the frame around them. There are lots of bits and pieces and even more nooks and crannies. It takes forever! The windows, on the other hand are a breeze. Wipe down with wet cloth, squeegee off and wipe down with a dry cloth.

Last night as I sat on the couch the windows in the living room seemed to be mocking me. See, I left the living room until last because it's the part I dread the most. An entire wall of floor to ceiling windows with shutters that are in a track and raise up and down. (Instead of all the other windows which have the metal shutters that swing open and are slightly easier to clean.) The windows seemed to be chanting "You still have to do us." And I knew that just cleaning those shutters would take nearly the entire day.

Then it suddenly occurred to me that perhaps I could use the hose. Because we have the garden level apartment, we have a garden. Which happens to come with an outdoor spout and a hose. Made me wonder if I could hose off the shutters and windows really well and get most of the dirt off before I started to wipe.

It worked great! I managed to do the shutters in about 90 minutes! I first power-washed them with the hose and then a quick wipe with a cloth and they were done. After they were dry, washing the windows only took another 30 minutes. I was done by lunchtime!

I was thrilled to have come up with this idea, but wished I had thought of it two days earlier. (Or two years earlier!) Would have made the entire job so much faster. And perhaps I would not now be sitting in pain and popping Advil like candy. But such is life.

At least I know this is how I will clean the windows from here out!

Now I just need to figure out how to manage this with a baby.

Next spring I think GLH will have to become involved with the process...

10 comments:

Twelfthknit said...

When you have a baby, life is just too frantic to worry about minor details like shutters - trust me on this one ;0)
India

Global Librarian said...

That's why I wanted to make certain they were done before the baby comes. Lord only knows when I will have time to do it again!!!

Nicole said...

That's called 'nesting'...:p

Do you think you'll even have time for a long shower?...

Expat Traveler said...

Pack the baby up with ya, either on your body or near ya in a stroller and there ya go...

Glad you figured out an easier way.. I just can't believe it's been 2 years already!

Kirk said...

You'll be so busy with the baby that it will give you a good excuse to hire a Putzfrau...

Global Librarian said...

Nicole: Baby or no baby, I have always taken baths at night instead of showers in the morning. That will likely continue as I can hand the baby over to GLH in the evening and get a few minutes of alone time.

ET: Already have the baby carriers. But window washing is extremely hard, sweaty work. Probably not an ideal baby-carrying task!

Kirk: We've gone back and forth on the Putzfrau Issue ("Cleaning Woman" for non-German speakers) and have decided not for now due to the following reasons: 1) I do not know ANYONE (expat or Swiss) who is happy with their cleaning person, which is bad enough anywhere, but much harder to accept given the enormous amount they charge in this area; 2) I am pretty picky and have had to "clean after" other cleaning people when we had a cleaning service because we both worked full time; 3) It is hard to justify when I will be a stay-at-home mother. I think that if I schedule the cleaning during nap times and break it up over the week rather than trying to clean everything in one morning (the way I currently do it), I should be able to manage fine. We'll see how that works.

And I will clean and run the vacuum while baby sleeps in order to get him used to noises. My experience is that babies can sleep through an astounding amount of noise and purposely making noise while they sleep helps them learn to sleep better.

But cleaning windows again will likely wait for a while post-baby because that is not high priority. Kitchen and bathrooms are high priority. Plus the floors once baby starts crawling...

Global Librarian said...

Oh yeah, and we are a few months short of two years...

Diane Mandy said...

You cleaned your shutters and windows. I THOUGHT about calling a window cleaner.

I guess that's not the same thing, eh?

Marcy said...

You'll be glad for all that gorgeous natural light when you're taking pictures of Maybe Baby hanging out all over the house. =)

I've always hated doing housework, but as my husband says... there are times when you'd rather hand off the baby with the excuse of washing dishes. ; ) Now that D's scooting/crawling I'm much more aware of the dirt on our floors, and just a week or 2 ago when Zach took D out on a walk I thought to myself, "This is a great opportunity to go vacuum Donovan's bedroom floor!" Which, if you know me, is a HUGE testament to how much motherhood changes you...

Swiss Miss said...

You must be aspiring to reach that 53 hours of housework the average Swiss woman does. I have yet to clean ours. I'm sure I'll be paying the price when we move out.