I got into college. I’m the first member of my family that accomplished this. I came from a very blue collar family of mechanics, and my family has, to this day, a really good business. The thing was that I wanted to go into my own business and college was the way to go for me.
The college I got into was a few states away from my family and friends, so when I got there I was lost and knew no one. Then one day I was walking through the square and I was recruited by a fraternity to “just try it out” and pledge. So, I did. I wanted to make friends, be a part of something, and more importantly, as the fraternity brother put it, “meet girls”.
So, to get into a frat you have to first become a “pledge”. This, in a nutshell, means do everything a member of the fraternity says for a couple weeks and maybe, just maybe, they will let you join.
Pledging is kind of tough, kind of fun, and kind of crazy. This story is about when all the pledges, including myself were told that the brothers were going on a road trip to a charity event and we were to have this house sparkling clean by the time they return.
Okay, just imagine what you would think a giant frat house would look like on the inside. Now, times that by ten and you have this place. 8 bedrooms, a giant finished attic, a giant finished basement, 4 bathrooms, two kitchens, two living rooms, a study, and the room no one talks about (kidding). This was our mission. There were 12 of us pledges, and only a couple will get in.
Bright idea. Write down all the names of all the rooms and put them in a box, shake it and one by one pick your rooms.
I got bathrooms. Yes, plural, bathrooms. I have 3 full bathrooms, and 1 half bathroom to clean. We looked in the pantry where the cleaning products were, and there might as well have been cobwebs. I want to join. I can’t get in just because my dad was a member. I am going to make these bathrooms shine. Or, I’ll at least try.
Growing up, my family was a bit frugal, and my mom was a neat freak. She always did some natural cleaning. I know how to make this place shine. The other pledges were counting their pockets to afford the cleaning supplies they’d need while I just walked to the local grocery store and got the only 3 items I needed.
• Lemons (I needed a dozen for this job)
• Distilled White Vinegar (my mom had jugs of this on hand)
• Baking Soda (this is the most useful thing to clean on the planet in my opinion)
So, about 7-8 dollars later I have the tools.
Here’s the best part. There is no real way to screw it up. You can experiment with all these together or apart when cleaning.
For example: if you combine lemon juice and vinegar you have a great cleaner for tile walls and bathroom mirrors. If you pour a bit of baking soda in the toilet and add vinegar, wait for it to foam, and it’s pretty much cleaning itself. Read reviews on best vacuum for laminate floors (http://thehomemakersjournal.com/best-vacuums-for-laminate-floors/) if you don’t have any idea how to choose one.
All I had to do was try not to think about what I was cleaning and just do it. A little bit of this. A little bit of that, and those 4 bathrooms are shining.
Well, a little too shining. The brothers were quite impressed. My eco-friendly solutions put me on cleaning duty every morning. Not just the bathrooms. The whole house. I didn’t complain based on what I saw was assigned to the other guys, so it’s bittersweet.
But it works. A whole fraternity will attest to this. And you are reading the writing of a brother. I got in. I met girls (thought you’d like that). Actually, I met my wife there. And besides that being the best part was a year later I got to train the pledges on how to clean this way, and to this day that’s the only way they clean unless they are super busy. They then leave the tough work to Eco Clean Madison! Wow! They do an amazing job!