Wednesday, November 17, 2010
How To Make Your House Look Cleaner Than It Really Is... Practical Advice From The Anti-Martha
We have these HUGE floor to ceiling windows in the front of our house so if people come up unannounced they can see perfectly into my chaos... there is no hiding the unending trail of trucks and airplanes, dirty diapers and dishes that decorate my living and family rooms daily. So the other day, when I heard my dog bark unexpectedly, I flipped!! I ran to the front door and what did I see?? My wonderful husband AND an executive from the hospital where he works!!!! I almost puked... there was no hiding the mess that could only be compared to the aftermath of a hurricane... My husband got out of the car with a sheepish smile... I could see the beads of sweat forming on his forehead... waiting to see what my response would be... I did my best tap dancing routine and pretended I was ok as I formulated a plan to torture my husband. As they drove away I texted my husband this message: "I am going to shank you in your sleep!"... he was actually excited until he found out that "shank" is NOT a sexual innuendo, but a term for stabbing with a hand sharpened object.
The unexpected visit got me thinking... I need to formulate a quick cleaning plan that will make my house look cleaner than it really is.... You might say, "why don't you just pick things up as you go and I don't know... actually clean your house??" But hello, have you ever met me??? That's not how I roll. raising three boys... and throwing autism into the mix leaves me a drooling mess at the end of most days...
3 Reasons My House Is Never Clean...
Here are the do's and don'ts of making your house look cleaner than it really is...
#1 DO... Keep the lights as low as humanly possible.... harder to do in the day, but seriously, turning lights on only showcases fingerprints and dust and the mysterious goo that magically appears on the walls, tables and chairs.
#2 DON'T... Think that every room in your house has to be cleaned. Choose three rooms... for me its the kitchen, living room and 1 bathroom. Then just keep your guests confined to those areas as best as possible... I'm not saying to whip out a WWF smack down if your friend wanders... but they don't need to have reign of the entire house.
#3 DO... Load all of your dishes in the dishwasher... then if there is no time left take dirty pots and pans and slide them into the oven... HOWEVER... don't forget to remove them before turning your oven on again... nothing embeds crusty food on your dishes faster than actually baking it on... I speak from experience.
#4 DON'T... Shove your recyclables in the oven with your dishes.... because you will forget it's in there and you'll have big problems when you turn your oven on!! Again, sadly, I speak from experience! :(
#5 DO... Light a candle to mask the stank... Oh, is that just my house???
#6 DON'T... Underestimate the power of a quick vacuum job.... we're talking quick... just enough to make the lines in the carpet... it will make your house look instantly put together.
#7 DO... Gather up all toys and throw in one toy box... your kids can sort them out later... and it's there mess anyway!!
#8 DON'T... Get in such a hurry you try to suck up annoying toy parts with the vacuum... they can get lodged and render your vacuum useless when you still have pizza crumbs and dirt clumps to vacuum up off of the couch... needless to say that may or may not be why mama needs a new vacuum:)
#9 DO... Start one load of laundry and shove the other 32 piles in laundry baskets.... if you have a few extra seconds you can even sort it and leave it on the floor of a room your guest will no be in... however whenever I do this my kids get stars in their eyes and aren't satisfied until they have jumped in and scattered every last pile...
#10 DON'T... Be shy about allowing friends and family to enter in to your chaos. It took me about 8 years to let Gena see what a slob I really am... (lucky her:)) and while she may not always enjoy coming to my health hazard of a home... it's really freeing to know she loves me anyway:):) I am who I am... I like a clean, organized house as much as anyone... but it's just not in my genetic code to keep it that way for some reason... and that's OK!
Hope this helps... PS if anyone shows this to my sweet, very tidy grandma we will have words... I'm not ready to let her see all that my chaos has to offer yet:):) ahahaha:)