I am not a meticulous housekeeper. This is something I've accepted about myself. My house will never be spotless.
But it's not all my fault.
Not to pass the buck or anything, but old houses are a major pain in the ass to clean. They just are. They include features that present unique cleaning challenges. Probably because they were built with the assumption that servants would be doing the cleaning, and who cares about their convenience?
For instance, your average suburban house is unlikely to have an enormous brick fireplace with a woodstove in front of it. And if there is no enormous brick fireplace with a woodstove in front of it, there is no place for mildew to form in a wet summer, making the whole downstairs smell like an underground pit.
I, however, as the resident of a historic home, am the proud possesor of just such a fireplace, with just such mildew. It took me awhile to figure out WHY the whole downstairs smelled so mildewy, and then it took me awhile to clean the fireplace out. Because, you see, there is this huge, ungainly iron woodstove in the way, so I couldn't just crawl back into the fireplace to scrub it down.
Instead I had to move as much junk out of the way as I could--fireplace tools, andirons, chairs--so I could get a mop in around the sides of the woodstove and clean the bricks as best I could with water, vinegar, and borax on the mop. And now there's a big box fan roaring into the fireplace to dry it as quickly as possible.
It was incredibly gross behind the woodstove. Unsurprising, since I think I last cleaned back there about three years ago, other than cosmetic dusting for cobwebs or whatever. A lot of soot and filth can collect in three years. To say nothing of the mildew.
And now it's your turn, my lovelies! What's the most hideous cleaning job you have ever been forced to do?