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Muted colors in pinks and mauve show a table and chairs. On the table is a layer of dust and a bright green sponge wiping a path in the dirt.

Help, I Can’t See the Dust!

The other morning when I opened the east-facing blinds to let the glorious spring sunshine stream in, I was struck by the amount of dust that I’m sure had not been there the day before. The dust fairies had obviously gotten it backwards. They were supposed to take it away, not deposit it!

Was my coffee table really that dusty?

I realized my macular degeneration was allowing me to skimp on the time given to cleaning. Not having another pair of eyes in the house, I was the only one to see what needed to be done. Was my coffee table really that dusty? And how long had it been since I had dusted the front of the television? My kitchen counters were mostly black, and I had always cleaned them as much by feel as sight, so at least I knew they were clean.

Getting in a cleaning routine

I started quickly going through the living areas while the light was still there, realizing it wasn’t terrible, but certainly not what I normally lived with. From now on I could either get up early and clean in the morning sunshine when I could see, or I would need to clean everything whether it needed it or not, just to be sure. So I’ll have to get in a cleaning routine. I was never one who looked at life the way my grandmother had; thinking if this is Monday it must be laundry day.

Always relied on my sight, not a routine

That thought brings back a childhood memory to which some of our older members will relate. We had a friendly rivalry with our neighbours around who managed to get the washing on the line first on Monday morning. Once we even did the laundry on Sunday evening so we could be the first to hang it out the next morning! But I’ve always done my own house cleaning chores when I saw they needed to be done, or whenever I thought about it. No routine here, my time’s my own! There’s always a park to walk through, a quilt to sew, or a friend to visit, so many things more important.

Was my vision deteriorating that quickly?

When had this happened? Was my vision really deteriorating that quickly? I could still read the paper, albeit using more lights, and if a few crumbs landed on the kitchen floor they were visible, for the most part, as well. But dust was another matter entirely. If it isn’t in the sunshine, I can’t see it. The Roomba robot vacuum cleaner my children had given me did a good job, but it can’t climb walls or dust the blinds!

A cleaning routine and a humidifier

So now I need to become more like my grandmother. Start by having a cleaning routine. I had heard years ago that keeping a humidifier running while you were cleaning helped control dust, as it wouldn’t float around as easily. I have a tiny one from back then that I dug out of my storage closet and put to work. First job completed!

What's your cleaning system?

Next up? I could ask Siri to remind me once a week and it would stay on the screen until the job was done! Or perhaps I should just look into hiring a cleaning service. There must be an easy solution. Do you have a system for cleaning that works well that you could share with me?

But first, the sun’s out, the flowers are blooming, cleaning can wait!

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