Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?

Finance Tips

 I'm sure that we're all getting conned.

I've been collecting evidence about this for nearly 15 years and it's beginning to look quite convincing. If you're skeptical, consider what you think about these stories:

1997: Mr. Money Mustache, Mr. Frugal Toque, and two of our friends move into a home with us, all fresh graduates of the tech industry, looking forward to launching our careers. Between the partying and the late nights at work realize that One One of the roommates appears to have an underground laundry at home. When he's there the dryer and the washer run at the same time and he's running through the steps with baskets and bags packed with clothes. We, the rest of us with similar height, age, and profession, discover it necessary to wash laundry once or twice per week and often share a load.

2000 A few years later, and living in a completely new country now I am renting an apartment from a woman who is Carrie located in Boulder, Colorado. Carrie is a "chore wheel" which has every one of us dedicating each day on Sunday to mopping our home. I'm having a hard time catching up on hours of Rocky Mountain morning sunshine, sitting in the sink on the pedestal in my own bathroom spraying and wiping the tiles that I just scrubbed last week, but with no apparent result: Why am I doing this in the toilet? I wonder but I'm unable to identify which area I recently washed and which that was "dirty".

2013. The comments on this blog, I have heard from one woman who pays $5200 annually on housekeepers because she "Saves me five hours a week of cleaning", and another man whose family of five has to do thirty loads of washing each week (with the equivalent of $300 monthly electric bill) and, "Five showers a day yields five towels - that's one load per day right there, isn't it?"

Happily Oblivious

In my personal life, I've had very little opportunity to think about how to clean. If something has a smell or appearance that is unsuitable for cleaning I'll wash it. However, this is only a small element of my daily routine - I put the laundry basket in the machine once it's filled every other week or two and then press "Start". If it sounds like a beep, I sit for a peaceful 2-5 minutes while hanging your clothes.

I clean the floors and wood whenever I notice dust or leaves gathering and perhaps run the vacuum cleaner across the rug every month or more. If guests are planning longer stays and we want to indulge in some sparkling bathrooms by grabbing the bucket and sponge and cleaning the bathroom to a sparkling state.

The secret of our family to everyday washing involves "reusable clothing." Sure underwear is only suitable for one day in your buttocks that are active, however, T-shirts will often last two wears, plus my button-up outer clothes can be used five to ten times before they start looking soiled. My jeans are generally good for the same usage since I don't wear fancy jeans only in my clean home and in the city and change into the smudge-proof heavy-duty Carhartt pair before heading on a construction job.

As for those bath towels, I don't even know what I do with them. In the cold, dry winters, I could need to take an occasional shower. If I hang my towel with the care of my towel, it will last for at least 10-15 showers, before it becomes less than fresh. Thus, once per month is my personal wash schedule for towels, to the extreme. In the summer months, showers that are more frequent can be offset with wide windows, which make the bathrooms dry and towels more quickly*.

But that's it. Even in a 2,600 square-foot home with a lively 7-year-old, it's only one cleaning day per year. Also, the bottles of cleaning supplies are utilized so slowly that the design of their bottles becomes noticeably outdated before you can throw the empty bottles in the recycle bin.

Cleaning is surely not something that is a big deal for anyone. Every grocery store has an entire aisle dedicated to the source of vibrantly-colored hazardous wastes used to maintain the cleanliness of their homes. A lot of the purported purposes are totally unfamiliar to me, including "Rinsing Agent", "Sanitizing Wipes", or "Febreeze". All over the world, this amounts to hundreds of thousands of square feet of space and billions of dollars every month spent on these odd cocktails that were not even in existence for a good portion of the time we lived on earth. What's going on?

Evolutionary Roots

When you see yourself being a bit ridiculous as a human being, it's a good idea to think about what the reason might originate. Sexual attraction can be a huge benefit for an individualistic gene seeking to duplicate itself. The desire to be socially prestigious can be reduced to a fancy way of appealing to other people. A desire to keep yourself clean and hygienic, as in "Don't Shit Where you Eat" is completely reasonable in the context of looking at it as a method of prevention of illness. However, when you breathe in Chlorine Ions as you spray bleach on each of your child's toys following hosting a few children at a birthday celebration or standing in a long line of vehicles on a beautiful weekend morning waiting to be admitted to the automatic car wash, that it's time to get back to your biology textbooks.

A Revolutionary Thought

The solution? Fuck Artificial Cleanliness!

It's time to ditch the message of marketing that has been ingrained into us since the 1950s home-based stay-at-home-wife. Advertising for cleaning products was popular that the low-cost dramas that glued together the advertisements were referred to as "Soap Operas". For the complete circle of the soap opera, supermarkets began stocking magazines on soap operas as well as the related stars and selling them to those who were buying soap.

It's also the time to keep and keep an eye on this "germophobe" compulsion that creeps into highly sterilized communities like ours. There is no have to clean the handle of the cart with a "sanitizing wipe", and you must have to clean up your food when you drop it on the floor and you continue to eat it. Instead of being scared of germs and bacteria, I prefer to imagine myself happily going through sea germs every single day, getting an hour of exercise to strengthen my immune system.

Let Them Eat Dirt

A good friend from my past is a highly successful doctor who manages a family practice clinic along with numerous other doctors. His medical practice is home to more illnesses and coughs every day than I experience in my entire life This is the reason an observation he made on an outing with me recently impressed me:

"My favorite name for a practice specializing in children would be 'Let them Eat Dirt Pediatrics."

The fact that a doctor said this intrigued me as my less educated intuitions were pointing the same way. I've always shunned the effects of sanitation and germs, and have always enjoyed a healthy lifestyle. The germophobes and the see-a-doctor-as-soon-as-I-have-a-sniffle crowd I have known seem to be less fortunate in the health department. Does this have a correlation or a cause? I asked him to consider if taking an obnoxious and Badass attitude to hygiene and germs can benefit general health. Here is his reply:

Yes! exposure to viruses and bacteria in the environment helps to build our immune systems and they are prepared to defend ourselves against attack when we live our lives and come across real pathogens. Avoiding the usual organisms in our environment could make you more susceptible to infections. There are some indications that children who grew into pet-friendly households which are likely to be exposed to more fascinating molecules in the early years of their lives are less likely to be suffering from asthma and allergies. An educated immune system can be a powerful immune system. Bring to the table the mud-pies!

Dirty is the New Clean

So we've got our counter-cultural lesson to learn from today. Instead of trying to prevent the spread of germs and increase your cleanliness, it's more beneficial to look for the right training for your immune system and to optimize your lifestyle so that you are cleaned up to the minimal amount necessary to run a healthy and healthy household. The benefits are hundreds of dollars, and countless moments saved. And if fortunate, many diseases are avoided.

It is best to keep things simple, uncluttered, and organized. A simple physical space is beneficial for your brain. You can clean your hands using normal soap after an excursion and cook your food correctly. In your home, in a place where there are no newborns and no surgery is performed, you can take care of yourself by wiping and sterilizing your hands washing, drying, and polishing. We were all made to be in the forest. While there is no doubt that you and Mr. Money Mustache appreciate the beauty of clean, well-maintained wood flooring for its benefits over rocks and soil The sooner you begin to draw your line the farther ahead you'll be.

*Before there are any complaints regarding "But I don't live in a dry high-elevation place like Colorado!" In addition, I must mention that this method was also successful in the area I grew up as a child in the moist Great Lakes region, as and during prolonged stays throughout Hawaii, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Australia, Austin, Guadalajara, and Miami even when I was using feet and bikes instead of automobiles to get around! Cleaning too much is driven by mental, not physical, limitations.

The Epilogue: Wow, it looks like this is the hot topic of the moment since nearly 300 comments have poured in the first two days. When something is emotionally charged and linked to money, time and work, you'll look at it with a keen eye so that you can challenge any type of brainwashing. Although you'll find plenty of swagger and zeal on the forums, get an amazing counterpoint such as this one that recently came in:

"While MMM has provided many wonderful insights in the past blog posts, this particular one has made us gag. It's obvious that the average household spends hundreds of dollars every year on cleaning products that are not needed. It is a great idea to change your cleaning products to ammonia, bleach, etc. However, taking it a step further, not showering as often and giving clothing their "sniff" test, washing towels and sheets less often or not at all, etc. is not frugal but it's being cheap. Utilizing towels for long periods of time is unsanitary. The inability to clean your toilets regularly is unsanitary. Snaking between sheets as you sweat, bacteria, or even just body oils on a regular basis, and then washing them on the same frequent routine as your bathroom towels is UNSANITARY. There's a vast distinction between the terms "overclean" and "dirt phobic" and keeping basic sanitary living conditions in your home, and that's not even mentioning fundamental human dignity! What's next? Is it a suggestion to switch out toilet paper for leaves or a newsprint to save money? Everyone has the right to choose how we would like in our own residences, but I also have the right not to be around people I come across who think that applying a bit of deodorant is an alternative to taking a bath. ."

It is awe-inspiring to me how many individuals create a moral dilemma by the need to align one's shower time with the course of Earth. The best part is that it has nothing to do with money and we take none of our decisions in the present based on price since money isn't restricted. It's about logic, health, and time. The responsible consumption of water and energy is also important however, even with a magical solar-powered rainwater shower, I would not take the time to shower on days I wasn't soiled. I'd rather take the extra 5 minutes of writing you.


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