Monday, September 22, 2008

Domesticity For Dummies

This could also be called "How to Dupe your Visiting Teachers" or "Keeping Up Appearances."

I've worked many years on creating a persona of a clean person. I tell Gty all the time how tidy I am and that he might want to consider following suit. When people come from out of town to visit, you better believe the house is tip-top right down to the polishing of my silver (IF I had silver that is). But what about the day-to-day? How does one convince the locals of these things? They are dropping by on a regular basis. Sometimes completely unannounced. Or they announced it, but then you forgot and went to WalMart (sorry Ashley!).

I've decided to compile all my best Shortcuts for the Desperate Housewife (another alternate title for this post, btw). These are fail safe ways to make even the most finicky visitor feel like you do nothing but clean your house. And isn't that what being a good LDS woman is all about? Yeeeeeah.

Today's Installment aka Shortcut #1:

If you're like me there is one place, or four, that you put all your stuff the second you walk in the door. This might be called a Dumping Ground, a Hot Spot, two feet inside the door, etc. Mine is in this little alcove area as you're walking from the door to the family room. Wherever it is, it can quickly get out of control. Be assured, it's fine to have these areas. I'd venture to say that we NEED these areas. The problem is, if the dumping ground is in clear view, like mine, it may need to be taken care of before visitors come over. That is, if you're trying to keep up appearances... like me.

So, how do we go from this:


To this?


Take any empty laundry basket you have laying around and place it just below the height of the counter. You then extend your arm, and keeping it as straight as possible, start at one side of the area and gently "sweep" all the crap you have sitting there into the laundry basket (note: make sure your laundry basket is large enough for the amount of clutter you have accumulated here).

You then take the laundry basket and place it in the laundry room:


And proceed to do this to the laundry room door:


You can also improvise with a master bedroom or even the garage. The key is to shut the door. Only the flankiest visitor would be so rude as to open a closed door.

Installment #2 tomorrow... stay tuned for more educational blogging.


Memzy said...

I thought I TOLD you only 2-3 posts a WEEK. I cannot keep up...... And Memzy needs to keep up my Flanktastic blog site.

I have used this "method" a time or two. Just this morning I had a last minute visitor that came over and she commented on how clean my house was. ::evil laugh::

Landee said...

And I told YOU that you're not the boss of me.

This method is solid. Fact.

Keeping Up with the Joneses said...

I need a bigger basket since I share my "dumping ground" with the rest of my family and it happens to be the dining room table. As an expert, do you think that rubbermaid 18 gallon tubs be used for this method or would that just be, well, slobbish ?

Landee said...

18 gallon tubs are an excellent alternative! Especially if they have lids, and the lids are able to close. Warning: once you put the crap into a bin and put the lid on, you may forget it's there/never look in the bin again. If there are things in your dumping ground that will need to be used later, make sure to put your bin somewhere that you won't forget about it.

This is actually my hubby's favorite technique when he "cleans his office." There was one bin he had swept everything into MONTHS before that he was dreading going through.. he named his bin/arch enemy "Bin Laden."

Sox said...

Keep it coming I need this kind of help.

ajesplin said...

Thank goodness for this post! My time saver is that I only clean my downstairs. Visitors marvel at my cleanliness. I also have 6 junk drawers, 9 junk cabinets, and 1 junk garage (separate from my clean garage that I park in). That's no exaggeration. I used to have a junk room also, but I cleaned it out (Landry basket style) and now that stuff is packed into my junk garage.

Are these tips gonna come daily? I'm desperate. Flank you later...

Landee said...

Every day this week (except Foto Friday of course!).

A JUNK GARAGE?? That is like, a dream! Is it a separate building?

Cristin said...

this could not come at a better time but I'm thinking that I'm gonna need 2 of those 18 gallon tubs. Does this mean I should just abandon the house and start over some where else???? I'm kind of leaning towards that.

Flanks a lot for the tip!!!

Keeping Up with the Joneses said...

I was a little afraid that if the 18 gallon tubs began to accumulate in the garage it might appear as though we were moving or something, especially if a person was moved to label them. I guess if the elders quorum shows up some Saturday morning with their trucks, I'll take that as a sign that I need to . . . hide the tubs in a different spot. Unless you have a better idea.

Landee said...

Abandoning the house entirely is a bit extreme but if you have the fundage then I say go for it! Otherwise, go spend about $50 on about 15 bins and start that sweeping arm motion I described.

Jonesy... plastic bins are much too fancy to imply a move! Those are clearly for the storage of your precious belongings slash crap you don't wanna deal with right now. If you started using old crappy cardboard boxes then yes, you better be pre-approved.

Keeping Up with the Joneses said...

whew !! I'll sleep better tonite ! And send hubby out tomorrow for more tubs !

Amy Thurston said...

When we move from Canada, I bought a million totes to pack our crap in. (It cost the same as the boxes, so I figured, why not) As I unpacked my house, I ended up with stacks of empty totes in my garage. Over the last few years, I have used this technique so many times, that I am now out of totes. My problem is that I NEVER go through these things and clean them out. I have 5 racks in my garage with all of these totes full of junk mail, kids school work, and whatever else I scooped into them from my couters. I wish I would have at least been smart enough to date all the bins. Then I could just say, "Well, it's been 3 years, I am pretty sure the credit card offers have expired." And then I would know I could just dump it all into a trash can.
But, there is always something in the back of my head telling me not to throw any of them away, because there might be something important buried in there. Like a cool happy meal toy, or a special Christmas card, or an envelope with someones number on it that I might need.

Markie23 said...

The stiff elbow is important. I also recommend bending the knees slightly, feet shoulder length apart, and keeping the back straight, and the head down.

Sam, Shel & Co said...

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who does this. Unfortunately for Sam, the office is where it usually ends up. And the bonus is, you can't tell that crap from his bins of crap that are already in there. That way it all looks like HIS crap and I don't feel like I have to deal with it.

Eventually, however, we will have to deal with it. 'Cuz I'm not moving. And he's not allowed to have an office anywhere in the house where anyone would see it.