I was going to do a coyote post today but I did a little housecleaning today and got to thinking that there's probably a lot of motherfuckers out there, male and unfortunately also females, that don't have my level of expertise in the matter so I thought I'd pass along a few tips.
Me being a guy, this is written for men but ladies, some of it may apply to you too, so feel free to read along.
To begin with, there are 2 levels of clean and we're going to tackle them one at a time. The 1st level we're going to talk about is Girl Clean, and then there's Guy Clean.
Girl clean is probably the easiest for us men to achieve. The way you accomplish that is to hire a maid service for a one-time thorough cleaning, lock up your valuables and whiskey, pack your bags and get the fuck out of Dodge for a while.
Sure, it'll cost you some bucks but that's the only way it will ever get done.
Now, moving on:
Guy clean is going to cost you a little time and money but it's fairly simple once you get a pattern and rhythm down. But boys, you gotta stay on top of it or you're gonna end up having to do a Girl Clean and that will cost you some money.
The easiest way to maintain Guy Clean is to do at least 30 minutes worth of housework (not including dishes) every fucking day, I don't give a shit how tired you are when you walk in from a 12 hour shift. To keep from fucking up and working any harder than you have to, I would suggest making out a schedule until you get a rhythm down - Mondays is when you vacuum and dust, Tuesdays is when you give the bathroom a good cleaning, Wednesdays is kitchen day, etc.
Yes, there are certain things that require daily attention and I'm not saying you only clean the kitchen on Wednesdays - wipe down the stove and do the dishes when needed, but on Wednesday you mop, wipe down the outside of the icebox, shit like that, you get what I'm saying?
Certain jobs require more than a half hours' worth of work but you gotta do what you gotta do. After a while you'll notice that it doesn't take you as long to do a chore as it did when you first started because it pretty much stays clean now, so you can devote your 30 minutes to something else like cleaning the inside of the icebox out or cleaning the inside of the miccawave.
And that's the whole secret to Guy Clean - do a little everyday. Turn on the stereo, drink beer while you do it but just keep to your schedule. You do that, you won't have to spend your weekends cleaning house, leaving you more time to hunt and fish.
Cleaning Tips and Shortcuts:
There's 2 things everybody notices the first time they walk into a strange house - the floor and the smell. Your house can be freshly Girl Cleaned but if there's a pile of dog shit in the middle of the floor, it's the first thing everybody sees. Keep the carpet vacuumed and the wood/tile floors swept and mopped. Before you vacuum, sprinkle some baking soda around first and when you mop, add some Pine-Sol to your mop water. I also do a couple of other things for odors. Once a week, I dump some baking soda and vinegar down my kitchen sink drain to eliminate the smell of fish guts and other assorted viscera that may have gotten trapped down there. I'll also take some dried sagebrush and put it in a smudgepot and smoke my house for that nice smell. If you live in a fire prone area like Southern California, you can pass on that - nature will do it for you. Besides, it might make you a little jumpy. And finally, I'll take some little pieces of rag, soak them in Hoppes #9 Gun Solvent, put it on some foil to avoid stripping the paint on whatever you lay it on and leave it in hidden spots throughout the house to make it smell like a real home.
Now comes the age-old question that everybody has a different answer for: Do you dust first or vacuum first? If you dust first, it knocks all that shit to the floor where the vacuum can pick it up. If you vacuum first, it stirs the dust in the carpet up so you can clean it when you dust. My answer? Fuck it, you aren't going to do it right no matter what you do first. Do whatever you feel like.
The main thing to keep in mind when dusting is that the less shit you have to move or dust around, the easier it is. Seriously, if you've got a million knick knacks everywhere, it can easily turn into an hour long job.
There about a million products out there for housecleaning, most of them useless in my opinion. I can only think of a few items you absolutely need to clean your house Guy Clean and they are: a broom, a sponge mop, some wood soap (I like Murphys), Pine-Sol, Pledge, Hydrogen Peroxide, scouring pads, and a vacuum cleaner.
No shit, you don't need static cling dust rags (I use old T shirts), Swiffers, or 97 different kinds of detergents. Spend all the money your gonna save to buy ammo with.
You notice I didn't mention bleach? Fuck no. Bleach is chlorine and the fumes gag me. I use peroxide anyplace I would use bleach, including my laundry. Fill a spray bottle with a 50/50 mixture of peroxide and water and keep it in the bathroom to disinfect without harming your septic system like bleach will. I also use it in the kitchen to disinfect my cabinets, cutting board and meat cutting knives. Not only is it healthier but it's also cheaper than bleach.
If you do buy other cleaning products, be advised that some of them can be toxic if mixed, bleach and ammonia coming to mind. If there's any question about combining something, go to a well ventilated area and mix them together, then hold a cats' head directly over it. Be sure to wear welding gloves while doing this for obvious reasons. If it doesn't gas the cat, you're probably safe too.
If you have a gas stove like me, you'll see that there's a grease drip pan under the burners. This can be a pure bitch to clean because it tends to bake on. You can either soak it in hot soapy water and scrub it til your fingers bleed or you can do what your ol' buddy Wirecutter does: Take it outside, sandbast the shit out of the motherfucker, then give it a couple of coats of heat resistant black paint. No sandblaster? Go buy one - you'll find other uses for it eventually.
One last piece of advice. Keep your mud porch clean. Keep your floor mopped around the garbage can, wash the dogs' bedding regularly and make sure you either feed the dog outside or that he leaves no food in his dish. All this will keep the flies down.
Okay, hope this makes life a little easier on you.