Quick Clean

When guests come to your house do you spend all your time telling them to ignore how dirty your house is and how it looks like something exploded? Do you make up excuses like, "well, I've been gone all day and the kids and the dogs and the hubband and the tornado made this mess..." or do you have even better excuses up your sleeve? Flylady calls it CHAOS (can't have anyone over syndrome) and I think sometimes, that's what it is. The rest of the time, it's really not that big of a deal.

Just yesterday a friend said she was coming over for a quick visit with her sister who really wanted to see our baby, er, toddler, er, manchild. I had not been expecting company and thought to myself automatically, "Oh no! My house is a Disaster with a capital Saster!!" I immediately switched over to emergency clean up duty and realized that in less than ten minutes, my house was looking better than just presentable. It was looking really clean! Apparently, I have some tricks up my sleeve that just might help you out in a pinch.

1. Pillows:
I don't know about you but when the pillows on the sofa are straightened up and neat then the whole room looks much tidier. I just grab and throw them where I like them and make sure to toss any throw blankets, baby blankets, toys, etc. into their appropriate homes. (This might be where you realize that you need somewhere to stash these things that looks nice. Get a big pretty basket from HoLo. They're only $20 on sale and they are big enough to throw toys and blankets in.)

2. The Island:
What is it about kitchens that draws people in? Food? It's probably food. That's what draws me in. Or sweet tea. That's it. We tend to offer our guests beverages and then they follow us into the kitchen and whammo. They see the crazyness. We have a huge island that is always full of stuffjunktrashmailbagscupsfruit, etc. I make a neat pile of the papery junk and move it off the island and corral the fruit or other weird stuff that sometimes lives there together on a cutting board or a placemat or a bowl. Even if those things don't really go together, it looks organized. Put your dirty dishes in the sink. If you have more than ten minutes, throw them all in the dishwasher. If not, move on. Having a big focal area look clean makes the rest of the mess dissipate. It's like magic.

3. The Bathroom:
Eeek! What if my guest needs to powder her nose? I don't clean anything. I might maybe swish the brush around the toilet if it looks really funky. And I might wipe out the toothpaste with a wipey. You know, if someone even remembered to brush his teeth and left a mess. Right now he spends his time eating his toothpaste. It tastes like Elmo. Mmmmm.

4. Lighting:
Turn off your overhead and turn on a lamp. I always always always open the blinds/curtains all the way when people come over. I figure if nothing else, they can notice my grass needs mowing (and I can blame that on someone else or the weather) and not my dustbunnies, who have hopefully scattered and are hiding quietly under the couch where they belong. Everything looks cleaner with light. I know that doesn't make sense, but it works.

5. Take a Deep Breath:
If it's stinky or funky or doesn't smell like brownies or clean laundry or an ocean of febreeze, do something about it. I cannot tell you the number of times my hubband has come home and said, "Wow! It's really clean in here!" Mostly I can't tell you that because he never says that. Just kidding. He's said it before. But I make myself forget it so that when he asks me how I managed to clean all day and care for our baby I can't lie. The secret is in the smell. If your house smells like baked goods or clean laundry or febreeze, you are more than golden. It's the easiest thing. If you see someone climbing out of their car run and spray something in the public rooms. Twist your ankle because you are running so fast. Then your guest will say how amazing you are for having such a clean home even when you're injured. I've found that those three smells are always safe. Please don't let your house smell like a giant jar of grape jelly or some super super strong flower, unless your house is really a florist shop.

That's it folks. Try it next time. Heck, try it today on your spouse and see what happens. Perhaps he'll reward you with some pearls so you can clean all June Cleaver style. Or maybe he'll rub your feet because he thinks you've been up and busy all day long. Maybe he'll just throw praise or money at you because of your super awesomeness. Hey, it could happen.

in which you see my crazy

Hello friends! It's summer time around these here parts -- and probably around yours, too! I've been enjoying some trips to the pool as well as visiting with an out of town friend, but something about summer makes me a little bit crazy.

Even though it's fortyseventhousand degrees outside and twobillion percent humidity, I really want to be out there. Doin' stuff. And I definitely still have my list that I'm working on (bedroom floor painting this weekend!), I keep having this really crazy idea run through my head.


I think it would be so fun (and more than a little bit crazy) to spend the summer trying to link up to all the linky parties. I know, I know, I know! Obviously, some of them have a linky part every week so I wouldn't do those every single week, but I could do one and move on. This would definitely prove to be one wild and crazy summer, especially since it's already started and I'm already behind, but I think it would be so much fun.


If you wouldn't mind helping, that is. There are definitely a handful of linkys that I know and love so I'll be working on those first. But I know there are about three hundred and twelve others that I don't know about. This is where you come in, dear friends and readers! Could you post a comment (or seventeen?) telling me your favorite linkys so that I can check them up and start working on some projects? Even if you think I'm completely aware of them, tell me in the comments because I don't want to miss out. And if you think it would be awesome to come up with some new linky parties just to make me sweat, then that's fine, too because my followers/readers get top billing. If you're planning something special, then please, by all means, let me know!


I am setting a few rules for myself to keep it honest (and moving) around here. (If you have some other suggestions for this one, keep them to yourself. Just kidding. Let them fly!)
1. New projects only. I can't repost or link up a project that I've already posted. That's cheating.
2. One post can only count for the max of three linkys. (Example: if there's a linky about pink and purple and one about yards and one about favorite color combos, then you better believe that I'm going to plant some pinks and purples in my yard and talk about how they are such a great color combo.) But since projects can't be repeated, is this really allowed? Ok, I'll have to think about this one.
3. Post at least once a week. Guess I better work on some big and small projects simultaneously.
4. Make face-time at each party. It's not enough to link up. I need to visit with at least three other linkys at the same party and leave a comment. A nice one. Who likes mean comments? Your mom that's who. Just kidding.

I guess that's it. Prepare yourselves to see some of my crazy running wild and free. Remember to comment with your favorite linky parties and some more rules (if you think I won't break them) and some mean your mom jokes. Because those are always funny. Right? No? Your face.

If Projects ...

I have a list of projects. It's a long list. It's a list of every project I want to do at my house in the foreseeable future. Things like:

paint bedroom floor
buy new bed
make beadboard backsplash (I need TDC to finish for more proof)
get new couch
find pile of money
get sprinkler system
patio furniture
and on and on.
{Please tell me you have a list. I can't bear to be alone in this.}

The problem with my list is one thing.
One word.
Or maybe, the real issue is the word "then".

I somehow got it in my head that "if" I wait until I rip out the carpet, "then" I'll order the bed (and somehow it will be a better bed???) or "if" that slipcover looks ok, "then" I'll sell the couch and get new furniture. It's weird how that works. What's especially weird, is that there are projects I can most certainly do right away (like rearranging the bedroom furniture) that I refuse to do until I do something else -- often unrelated -- first (like rip out the carpet and paint the floors). And that is so silly!

Why should I wait to do something I can do until I do something else that might not happen for a long time (like the floors ... been waiting on that for over six months!)? Why do we place these weird limits and expectations on ourselves? Using my same example, I can definitely rearrange the furniture and even buy a new bed before the floor is painted. The bed doesn't change the color of paint or the ability to paint it or anything like that. I don't understand myself sometimes!

I was hoping this would come out all Oscar Wilde-ish in that "I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word I am saying" sort of way, but instead it comes out, "I am so paralyzed by indecision and fear and laziness that I never get anything done". And that, my friends, doesn't make for a good tagline, so I'm off to work on that.

One slip, two slip, red slip, blue slip

Hi y'all. There's another post that's supposed to be up here, but it's not, so here's a link if you're interested. Otherwise, just read this one I guess. Or go wash your hair. Does anybody use that excuse anymore?

Do you Bemz? Have you heard of Bemz? They make all sorts of slipcovers for IKEA stuff. Nice huh? From couches to chairs to everything in between (that's just pillows, right?) you can find a huge selection at Bemz. They have pretty linens! Linen for your Extorp. Amazing.  This is not helping with my decision to go cheap and easy or fabulous ... but less frugal. It's also not helping that one of my favorite bloggers is now also preaching the goodness of all things IKEA. I'm wondering if you can guess where I'll be taking a trip to next week? Have I mentioned that their new catalog should be out any day now? I am not so patiently stalking my mailman. I think he's onto me.

Bemz new "country" line

OH! How have I not mentioned my super fun news? Tomorrow I'm meeting with a client for a design consultation. This isn't just some friend who's asking my opinion here. I'm talking a nice lady who is going to give me actual real money to go and fix up her house. Her bedroom, to be exact. Which is funny, because since starting to redo mine, I'm on my fourth curtain choice. But I'll get there....
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