Are you a Cleanaholic?
Louisa Cotterill, 36, a teaching assistant, is married to Craig, 36, a printer, and has two sons, Jack, 11, and Harry, seven. They live in a three-bedroom house in Rochdale, Lancs. She spends 20 hours a week cleaning. In an interview with Jenny Nisbet in the Daily Mail on Friday 21st April 2006, Louisa says:
"I’m a legend in my own family for being a neat freak and a cleanaholic. Once a month, I even remove the gas cooker, washing machine and fridge so I can clean behind them.
Housework for me is a habit, it’s as if I’m on auto pilot – I do it without thinking. Saturday mornings are when I go thoroughly through the house, but every day there’s something to be done.
On weekdays, I get up at 6.45 a.m. to clean before leaving for work at 11 a.m. I start by wiping my worktops down and giving the kitchen a good going over, then I have breakfast and get the children ready for school.
After the school run, I make the beds, vacuum throughout, clean the bathroom and shower and give everything a good polish. I’m very particular about the rugs in my sitting room, and shake them outside every day.
My children don’t miss out, though; they’re number one in my life. I do the housework when they’re busy with sport or playing outside. We always sit down to tea together, I help them with their homework and Saturday and Sunday afternoons are reserved totally for them.
My idea of a good morning is to take all the food out of the corner carousel in the kitchen, throwing out what I don’t want before wiping it and putting it back in order – I then feel a lot better. The windows get cleaned every two weeks, although if I see any handprints in the meantime it’s straight out with the Windolene.
I also do washing every day, even if it’s only half a load, and the moment anyone’s used a towel it goes straight in the machine – our clothes are always outside on the line.
Every Friday night, I half-fill the bath with washing powder and water, leaving it overnight – it comes up lovely and shiny.
We’re not a telly addict family, I’d rather do something active. On Saturday mornings the children are out playing sports, my husband is either cleaning the car or doing the garden then we all go out in the afternoon.
Craig does the ironing on a Sunday morning, and he’s also good at cleaning the shower in the bathroom – he was brought up by his mum to do it. I give the kitchen worktops a going-over while he does that.
My Mum’s clean, but she’s not as houseproud as me. When I go to my sister’s I sometimes feel a bit twitchy, and the last time I was there I saw a mark on her radiator and had to wipe it off before I could relax.
Sometimes a friend might say: "You’re not coming into my home because yours is always so spic and span," but I really don’t worry about other peoples’ homes, although I always have my wet wipes with me. When I go on holiday, I take my own toilet cleaner, but that’s it.
I’m houseproud, but it’s also stress relief. I get rid of my frustrations and feel satisfaction in a job well done."
Don’t feel like Louisa about keeping your own house clean? No, we thought not! You can see Louisa on Cleanaholics on the Discovery and Health Channel and for those of you with a life, we can send you a cleaner you will enjoy having in your home, freeing up your precious time.