Cleaning Tips for the Frenzied (and Lazy)

Spring doesn’t change for me. I begin cleaning like a cavewoman tossing out the bones of winter. This spruced-up frenzy begins with Ash Wednesday and ends with Easter.

Honey, do you think my hairdresser used too much product?

My family doesn’t notice when I’ve cleaned (nor do they noticed when I cut my hair, weeded flower beds, or been published. I believe this is typical of most relatives who only say something when it impacts their lives.

So I make sure Spring Cleaning throws the household into a tizzy. The ladder, vacuum, and tub of supplies remain in full display as I inch from room to room. (Tip #1: It’s important to get full credit for doing mind-fracturing boring tasks—leave evidence the family will trip over.)

Presentation is EVERYTHING

What’s-for-dinner questions are answered by huffing the big hair out of my face and adding a depression-era stare. “I was so busy, I forgot to cook. I have a can of beanie-weenies I can open.” The goal here is to not fix meals during these 6 weeks. If you’ve bought enough banana guacamole and beanie-weenies this is possible. (Tip #2: You must be consistent for the retraining to work!!! Always offer, sorry cuisine during Spring-Clean up and children will eat with friends, and your significant other will learn to stop by the deli and bring food home.)

Remind complainers that cleaning is mandated by the Solar System.

  • On earth, nature does an annual scour by pouring floods, hail, and wind to shake loose and blow away what it can.

    The universe abhors a vacuum...and BIG HAIR

  • On a larger level, God made black holes to suck up parts of the Universe.
  • You must respond to the ancient call of planetary sanitation. It’s in your chromosome (Pick X or Y, your choice. Make it work for you.)

Sound cooperative, yet soldiering on. After 20 days, ask for items which would make this onerous task easier.  I’m shooting for an ipad or a Samsung tablet this year. (Tip #3: Don’t get a new Super Swiffer or some labor-saving device.  Are you crazy?  You need a bigger carrot to get through 6 weeks of scrubbing.  Think Hawaii.)

If you finish ahead of schedule, you’ll have time to visit the Museum of Clean in Pocatello Idaho. Check out the rocking chair-powered vacuum cleaner, which didn’t capture dirt, but did a fine job of redistributing it.

It will remind you…if we if we have to answer the call to clean…sometimes change is good.

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About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in A Laugh, Humor, Life and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

72 Responses to Cleaning Tips for the Frenzied (and Lazy)

  1. Silva Gang says:

    Hilarious! Yes, I think the solar system mandates a Hawaii vacation for all these wonderful cleaning efforts! And like you, I think it is wise to leave evidence that you’ve been slaving over household tasks all day… generally, a broom and dustpan along with big piles of laundry sitting on the living room couch do the trick. 😉 Otherwise, people may never notice all the work being done, and that would be catastrophic!

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Yes, sometimes a clean house isn’t enough. The local residents here expect the place to be tidy like this was a Holiday Inn or something. Oh wait. They leave cleaning carts in hallways there, too. ’nuff said.

      Like

  2. Barb–
    Don Aslett saw your mention of the “Museum of Clean” on this blog, and he asked me to deliver the following message to you:
    “Thanks for your blog plug–we love your wit! Impressed! I would love to send you a couple of my books if you’re interested”.
    (I manage the social media for some of Don’s companies, so if you are interested in receiving some of his books, please shoot me an e-mail with your mailing information to: natalee@live-right.com)
    Thanks again!
    Natalee Phillips
    Marketing Director

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Hi Natalee, I write a humor blog about change in 2012 and in 1870. While I love a clean house and work environment, I make a lot of fun of the process. I’m honored about the offer of books. Promo items that I receive, I usually give away on my blog after I’ve gleaned them for ideas. I can see using the books for helpful hints like “How to Hold a Margarita While You Clean.”

      If Mr. Aslett doesn’t feel that’s the end use he desires for his books, then simply thank him for me, and I’ll continue to jokingly herd folks into the Museum of Clean (especially if I can get a photo of the rocking chair vacuum). In the meantime…maybe I’ll do a blog: How to clean like a Kardashian. Thanks for contacting me.

      Sincerely Barb Froman 21509 S. Levi Rd Beavercreek OR 97004

      Like

  3. I chuckled a bit when I read your post. My wife just told, me to throw the garbage yesterday and still missed it. Spring cleaning or any cleaning for that matter is a must thing to do. We sometimes give a lot of excuses , just like me but at the end of the day…we all know it’s the right thing to do. they say, a clean surrounding is a clean mind. I guess it’s true. When things are in order, somehow it inspires us to be the same. Beautiful post…thanks.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      If I lived in your beautiful local, I’d just open the window and let the breeze blow it clean. Thanks for bringing your island touch to “cleaning day.”

      Like

  4. curm says:

    I’m giving you a sunshine award. laurel gave one to me, so I picked my four favorite blogs. details are at the bottom of my current fair article.

    Like

  5. mj monaghan says:

    So that’s how to get an iPad!! Barb, this is genius!

    I’ve got a LOT of cleaning to do to win that prize.

    Leave cleaning apparatus in prominent place – oh yeah, that’s one of my personal tips, as well.

    Like

  6. Red says:

    I never dreamed someone would finally reveal the secret into the blogosphere. So glad it was you and not me. Are you going to open a page for testimonials? You would probably need to sort it by years or degrees of success. You know this works equally as well at the end of the summer. I use it to drive the short ones out of the house during the day.
    Red.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Because only you, me and 12 other people, sworn to secrecy, read this blog, secrets of the cleaning frazzled are safe here. And see, you’ve revealed another secret: using cleaning as a child discipline tool. Do you think if we made 20-somethings-who’ve returned clean the house each day…they’d move out?

      Like

  7. Elephant's Child says:

    I once read that if you do not dust for four years the dust reaches a point of equlibrium and will not increase any further. It also saves on paper and ink. Urgent messages can simply be carved in the dust. And if there is a can of hair spray in the house can probably be preserved for posterity.

    Like

  8. ansuyo says:

    I want a sweeping rocking chair!!! If only this would really work lol. Angie

    Like

  9. dan says:

    Hmmm. I left a comment the other day. and it didn’t post. I don’t think my blog is picking up comments either. Oh well. AAAAnyway. I knew a Kirby distributor (Who was flaky enough to like the job) who had a hand pump Kirby, that redistributed dirt nicely. I tried it, and for days I was blowing dirt out of my nose like a sperm whale. Damn ! It did it again.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Dan. I checked my spam box and you left a message there written without any vowels….or was yours the message which promised to increased my SEO.? If it was the one without any verbs (I good this back soon), then I deleted it. Sorry.

      Like

  10. Barb, you’re brilliant. You should never have to cook again. Negotiate a swap. If they want vittles, show them the vaccuum.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      I show them the shop vacuum. For some reason everyone loves using a shop vac. I suppose it’s because it has enough power to suck the carpet off the floor and it creates hilarious results like a tornado updraft in the room, but they love to use it. (I’m still serving banana guacamole though.)

      Like

  11. Nisha says:

    You stole these tips from my Mother, didn’t you?

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Your mother was a great woman who knew what she was doing. She had you didn’t she? Now don’t let her down. Follow in her footsteps and discover new lazy ways to overlook cleaning. Future generations (and the Museum of Clean) are counting on you.

      Like

  12. riatarded says:

    whoa! there is a museum of clean? I think I need to visit and possibly get some stuff from there to clean my apartment! Gaaah!!

    Like

    • Barb says:

      The museum just opened, and the proprietor is correct…cleaning is universal, but probably not of interest to everyone. I’d be pretty thrilled to see a self-cleaning house. I’m thinking about getting those little vaccuums that travel around, mindlessly sucking the floor. I could decorate them to give them character, then donate them to the museum when they conk out.

      Like

  13. pegoleg says:

    You’re featuring my vacuum in your hysterical The Universe Abhors a Vacuum picture, and you’re right: it DOES hate that particular model. Me, too, which is why I never clean.

    Nice to see your smiling face again!

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Thanks Peg-O.
      I don’t know if getting a different vacuum would help. I think the consensus is that most of us HATE to vacuum. I don’t know why. It’s not difficult, and even those Dyson Nuclear Jet gizmos still don’t make it look like fun. It’s probably just easier to shave the dog.

      Like

  14. Margie says:

    I’ve never cleaned for six solid days, let alone weeks… is this why your blog looks so nice and spotless compared to mine?!

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Well….you know…there are WordPress health code inspectors which make us clean our blogs when they reach crud-in-the-corners level. I had toilet, shingles, and bear stories through here last year, so even my blog needed a good wipe up. Besides, your blog is the benchmark for sparkle. I’m trying to reach the unning bar you set (which inspired this post).

      Like

  15. My sister told me years ago that her therapist said the dust doesn’t move around after five years. You sound terribly brave to me. Keep thinking Hawaii.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      What did she mean, Myra? Does that mean after 5 years you’re buried in it? Or after 5 years of pushing it from one place to the next, it basically lives at your address and has become part of your geology? (I’m always thinking Hawaii).

      Like

    • Barb says:

      Great!!! I’m trying to convert everyone to letting their houses go, so cleaning will become a thing of the past that we see only in the Cleaning Museum.

      Like

  16. Another chuckle-worthy post. Love your ideas, but it doesn’t do much good to do any serious spring cleaning here until some of the pollen lets up. It’s been plenty warm, but we refuse to turn the air conditioner on this darned early in the year. So after the sun goes down for a bit, we open the windows and let in some fresh yellow air.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      There’s an old Okie trick my grandparents used during the dust bowl days. They hung lard coated muslin over the windows; it let some of the breeze in, but trapped the dirt. They also hung it over babies’ cribs.
      There’d be a little ridge of dust along all the window sills everyday. I suppose if you have pollen, that means you have moisture. Sometimes drought is as bad as downpour, I guess.

      Like

  17. digipicsphotography says:

    Love your tips! Of course, one has to clean house to be able to use them 😉

    Like

  18. Margie says:

    Funny, funny Barb! Missed seeing your smiling face around town and of course, here!

    Like

  19. JustI says:

    Banana/guacamole…..I can do this!!! I’m afraid that your idea of beanie weenies won’t work though. My other half likes to think he’s a gourmet chef. He has to saute chopped onions and then add a large can of Smucker’s Baked Beans…….wait, that isn’t right, Bush’s Baked Beans (the one with the talking dog), then a good dollop of dark brown sugar, a squirt of yellow mustard, and a whole package of Nathan’s Beef Franks, sliced in quarter inch medallions. Once his piece de resistance is complete, it looks like a tornado when through the kitchen. I never have time to go to the Museum of Clean 😦

    Like

    • Barb says:

      A man who cooks!!! Don’t say a word, just sit back drinking champagne and enjoy. Perhaps if you left the dishes until you ran out of dishes, then you wouldn’t have to clean? I tried this once, thinking the kids would do dishes or starve….they broke out the paper plate supplies. (When did they get so smart?)

      Like

  20. Jon says:

    I’ve always wanted to live in a concrete house with a drain in the floor. Every so often take a pressure washer to it and call it done.

    Like

  21. souldipper says:

    I’m into negotiating with a cleaning lady. She NEEDS the money more than me – at least that’s what I tell myself.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      I know. I know. It’s just that I hate paying someone to do what I’m physically able to do. Now I do pay someone to go up and clean the roof. It’s too steep for me. Yep, the roof has to be cleaned each year. If you stand still here, moss will grow on your head.

      Like

  22. Six Weeks???!!!
    Barb, I’ve completely lost it after six minutes!
    Hats off to an impressive post! 😀

    Like

    • Barb says:

      I thought most people cleaned the house in one day? It takes me 6 weeks. I could probably do it faster if I’d put down the book I’m reading and actually get up and clean. Of course leaving ladders in the way for 6 weeks makes this look like the framework for Lalapalooza and a gargantuan job. Just think, if you cleaned for 6 minutes a day, you’d have almost an hour of spic and span at the end of a week. You could vacuum everything in that amount of time including the dog’s house.

      Like

  23. gigoid says:

    Barb…. this is, I believe, my first view of what I can now see will be many of your delightful posts. I just love your deviousness, and your cheerful attitude toward a task that defeats most folks altogether, turning them into boring, resentful drudges…. your way is much more amenable, and most likely quite satisfying, especially if your husband stops at the deli, and brings home Chicken Cordon Bleu and a nice Chardonnay, in lieu of sandwiches….. as I said, delightful! Where were you when I was looking for a spouse?…. 🙂 I hate to be mundane and resort to movie taglines, but “I’ll be back….” Take care, and Blessed Be….

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Thank you for your graciousness. I wish I could take credit for my deviousness, but it mostly comes from taking classes like British Literature, and statistics and wondering what I got myself into, is this what education is all about? and how can I get through this class learning the least amount possible for the best grade? It was quite a juggle of Cliff notes and choosing “B” on multiple choice questions (which seemed to work well.)

      Like

  24. momaescriva says:

    Another great blog, Barb. Missed the six weeks of spring cleaning.Seeing that Easter will be here in a week, guess I’ll just have to start early next year.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Being a good Catholic, Moma, you’ve got all of Pentecost to whip your domicile into shape, after that…the house turns to dust (bunnies). I could be enticed to come help you with the bribe of a BIG HONKIN’ Chocolate Bunny without his ears gnawed off. I’ll point where I see something that needs cleaning and make marshmallow treats out of left over Peeps.

      Like

  25. Your pictures cracked me up! And I also loved your phrase, ‘sorry cuisine’. Oddly enough, this is what I serve all year long…

    Like

    • Barb says:

      I loved, your Thanksgiving Good Cooking Guide. Of course you cook with a lotta love. As you note it doesn’t make it taste better, but it’s still in there. Sometimes I order a hot chocolate with extra love. Once the barista put a squirt of chocolate syrup on top. I guess chocolate = love.

      Like

  26. Roxie Matthews says:

    I am envisioning the argument when you find your husband has taken your housecleaning- ladder outside to use while cleaning the gutters. A woman deserves her OWN tools!

    Like

  27. M.E. says:

    I don’t know about you, but that Museum of Clean creeped me out! eeek!

    Like

    • Barb says:

      I kept wondering who sat in the rocking chair and pumped, and who used the nozzle? I guess this means you won’t be making a special trip to Pocatello?

      Like

  28. El Guapo says:

    I believe “sorry cuisine” is my new favorite phrase.
    And I occasionally break out the vacuum all on my own before my wife can guilt me into it.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Would you please quit rubbing in what a magnificent hunk o’guy you are. I’ve already got a waiting list going for all my blog guys who cook, clean, and do laundry and the more you advertise your skills, the more “let me know if he ever becomes available” names get added. May your beloved live long, and your cuisine never be pathetic.

      Like

  29. M.E. says:

    Your beanie-weenies tip made my “Thought for th’ Day”….still smiling…..Rock on!

    Like

  30. So my husband had choir practice on Saturday, or so he thought. So I got up early and prepared a tray of delectable sandwiches for chorister grazing after singing. “Honey, you’re going to kill me” he says when he calls me just a mere 15″ out of the door. “Choir practice is next Saturday.” Thoughts of killing him, “heck no”, we’re eating sandwiches for a week now…good, delectable ones. Now I may kill him if he doesn’t clean up his desk and sweep the dust bunnies underneath.

    Like

  31. magsx2 says:

    Hi,
    I love your tips, I especially liked “I was so busy I forgot to cook” that is brilliant. 🙂
    I had a look at the Museum of Clean, who knew such a place even existed.
    What on earth is a can of beanie-weenies?

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Here’s a 57 second video of a guy making beanie weenies. I don’t know why you’d make them when they come in a pop top can. A truly efficient person like me appreciates saving the extra step of getting out a can opener. Also…no one in my family hummms and yumms like this guy when they eat. I guess beanie weenies are a special treat (as they should be!)

      Like

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