The Futility of Floor Washing in Winter


Howdy from Homeland FarmThe other day I had the crazy idea to wash my floors. I have been watching as a thick layer of mud, muck, and mire has started to build up in my laundry room. Now, I am not a slack housekeeper, but I have so much to do that housecleaning — and especially floor washing — seems to get put on the back burner. My daily schedule leaves very little time for the mop. Take a look at my daily agenda:

• 7:00 AM: Get up.
• 7:30 AM: Feed dogs. Feed cats. Make coffee.
• 8:00 AM: Drink coffee. Put dogs out.
• 8:30 AM: Get dogs in. Drink more coffee.
• 9:00 AM - 4 PM: Think about housecleaning.
• 4:30 PM: Decide it is too late now to clean.

So, as you can see, I am far to busy to be able to clean house and wash floors. Yet, from time to time, it becomes painfully obvious that drastic measures must take place. This happened to me just this week.


Living on a 6th-generation family farm in Maine, I am very used to pails in the laundry room. Often they are thawing, or sometimes they hold a mash or soaked grain for some variety of animal. These pails often accompany a frozen hose or two and a never-ending supply of muck boots, shoes, gloves, hats, and mittens.

The problem for me is that it takes an hour's worth of work just to get ready to mop the floor. I have to lug said pails back out in the barn. I have to wrangle that frozen hose like a cobra trainer and muscle it out the door. I have to handle the 12 pairs of cruddy, nasty, muck boots and take them all out and place them on the boot trays outside the house. Then, of course, I have to pick up the boot trays inside the house and carefully chuck the cruddy tray out into the snowbank.

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