Thursday, October 2, 2008

Because I Like You, I'm Going to Share My Secret

Imagine this scene. It’s 5:00 in the evening, and you’re trying to cook supper with two little kids underfoot. Actually, one is clinging to your leg, crying to be picked up, and the other one is throwing a tantrum in the middle of the kitchen floor. The living room looks like the toy box had a violent case of the flu – the kind that comes out both ends. Your baby is teething, so you’ve gotten nothing done all day. There are dirty dishes on the counter, dirty laundry overflowing the baskets in the laundry room, and the bathroom could use a once-over (more like a thrice-over).

The phone rings. You think it might be your husband, so you answer without looking at the caller ID first. It’s a friend that you haven’t seen in awhile, who’s in the neighborhood and wanted to stop over for a second to drop off some things she’s been meaning to give to you.
If you’re like me, you feel awkward admitting that “this isn’t really a good time”. So you try to sound excited, and as you hang up the phone you mentally calculate how far away she is. Five minutes? Ten, at the most?

You need a little help. There aren’t any fairies or elves hiding in the corners waiting at your beck and call. Only dust bunnies to be found there. So, what do you do now?

You know what you need? You need my patented five-step system to a company-ready house.

Step 1: Make use of storage space. By this, I mean often-neglected spaces like:
Underneath the couch
The bathtub
The refrigerator
The oven, after ensuring that it’s not turned on

Step 2: Dim the lights and close the curtains. You can call it mood-lighting, if you like. It sounds more fancy-like than Dirt-Minimizing lighting.

Step 3: You don’t have time to clean off the end tables? Simple. Just throw a large blanket over the top of the mess, and explain that you were just in the middle of playing a game of Fort.

Step 4: Close the door to every room that has a door.

Step 5: When you answer the door, say right away, “I hope you don’t have to use the bathroom, because the toilet’s out of order. I’m expecting the plumber any minute.” That will keep your guest out of the filthy bathroom.

If someone’s going to stop by with little or no warning at a house with young children, they really deserve to step over piles of crap (figurative, not literal, of course). But my ego won’t allow it, so I’ve had to employ this method many times.


C. Beth said...

Oh, good advice!! I'm amazed how quickly I can get things done when I have a fire lit under me like that.

Anonymous said...

This is great! I now think I know a few of MY friends secret, as well!!! HA HA! I knew there had to be one! And, here I was thinking I was the only one with anxiety about cleaning before someone heads over! Thanks for sharing!