My cleaning obsession started at age 10. Every Saturday morning was usually dedicated to vacuuming, bathroom cleanings, or washing linoleum kitchen floors. On weekdays, my Dad, whose trade was sales, would always have a messy car in need of a detailing – vacuum, wash, wax. My pay was whatever change I found between the seats.… Without realizing it, I slowly became a perfectionist when it came to housework, meticulously checking over my work as my parents would always say “a job is only worth doing if done right.”
When I enlisted in the Navy as a young E-3 Fireman, I quickly learned the meaning of accepting orders as I learned the trade of stripping and waxing floors, scrubbing toilets, and swabbing the deck (mopping floors). Room inspections in the service were always an open invitation for the senior leadership to find “dust bunnies” in places you would never have noticed. I enjoyed the sense of purpose and comradery of doing deep cleanings of open bay barracks as a team.
As my Naval career blossomed, and I became a commissioned officer, I found myself in reversed roles as now I was conducting the cleaning inspections in the sailor’s quarters. Experience taught me what to look for when in a student training environment – shortcuts taken, areas often overlooked, apathy towards cleaning. My role as a Training Command Instructor was to stress the importance of “attention to detail” no matter how small the job.
As a Husband and Father of three, my obsession with cleaning only continues. Whether it’s cleaning the kitchen after meals, tidying up the minivan, wiping down horizontals, or cleaning oily fingerprints off the walls – there is always a job to do, and it can only be complete after full inspection.
My wife thinks I am an overly compulsive cleaner, and my kids see me as a cleaning zealot. Menclean.com is dedicated to all my fellow cleaning fanatics that can relate to the obsession of keeping “streak free” and smelling like roses!