From Dan Harding on April 10, 2009 in Tools and Tips
When it comes to reaching high places for the sake of cleaning I am 1) rarely seen doing this since I have a reputation of the Worlds Worst Housekeeper to uphold and 2) the worst hypocrite to my children as I climb on things not designed to hold my weight, just because theyre handy. Photo Credit: Dru Bloomfield - At Home in Scottsdale I understand, however, that several clever companies have created high-reaching gadgets designed for such lofty situations and if I ever climb down from my office chairs and kitchen countertops long enough to catch sight of one on the TV or in the newspaper, I could probably cut my life insurance policy in half. Of course, as a kitchen and bath designer in my previous life, I also know that there are certain things you can do to cut down on the number of heightened dust collectors. For starters, when remodeling your kitchen, you can order wall cabinets that reach all the way to the ceiling. This not only gives you less space to clean, it also gives you more enclosed storage space. On the other hand, however, it also gives you another shelf you cant reach unassisted. Another kitchen option is to enclose the gap between your regular-height kitchen wall cabinets and the ceiling with decorative moldings and facings. Not only will this eliminate your need to dust the tops of the cabinets, it gives your kitchen a slight facelift by giving a new focal point at near-ceiling level (a real plus if you want guests to notice something other than the dirty dishes in the sink). Another thing Ive noticed in my house is that elegant as they may look, upturned sconces are nothing but dust collectors and over-priced bug zappers. If you find youre dealing with much of the same, you may want to consider a) having your sconces re-installed upside down (some of them are just as pretty and work just the same at 180 degrees, others, not so much - so check first) or b) replacing them with enclosed fixtures. Im afraid theres not much you can do about ceiling fans. If you want to keep your ceiling fan, then youre just going to have to find a way to get up there and dust - and I DO NOT recommend my Dr. Seuss-like method of stacking a cabinet on a stool atop a chair teetering on the arm of the sofa. Luckily, we live in the time of the infamous infomercial. For a limited time, while quantities last Im sure, you can get a High Reach Cleaning Kit. While I havent had the pleasure of using this item, it looks awfully tempting. It has several attachment heads that you can install atop a 10-foot extension pole, including a bendable static duster, sponge, squeegee, and mop head. If youre lucky, like me, you can check it out at the local As Seen On TV outlet shop, otherwise you can order one or, if you wait around a while, itll probably be in other retail chains in a year or so. Photo Credit: ?ellie? Apparently Mr. Clean has a similar gadget - cleaning head attached to an extendable pole - designed to help you reach high dusty places but also for cleaning low dirty spots (like the tub and surround) without having to bend down or kneel over it for extended periods of time. In my mind, warped as it may be, the only thing better than having less things in the house to clean and handy gadgets to tackle the spots that do exist would be to have a handy, easy-reaching cleaning service, preferably if they feature big muscley-types with a winning smile and a clean streak a mile wide!