Tag Archives: cleaning

If One More Thing Spills Today…

If one more thing spills today I am going to lose my mind. For the love of God, People, keep it in your cup! It’s been one of those days. As a mother, an owner of dogs, and a wife to an often slightly oblivious husband, I do my fair share of cleaning up spills every single day of my life, but sometimes there is a day where spillage maximus occurs. This is the story of one of those days.

Every morning, after my husband leaves for work, I clean up the spilled coffee on the counter. There is always spilled coffee grounds, liquid coffee, and a towel soaking in it, as proof that he attempted to clean it up, but ran out of time. We used to fight about this all the time until one day I just gave up and accepted his coffee spilling ways. It takes me a minute to wipe it up. Much less time than discussing it at length and fuming for hours, right?

If One More Thing Spills...
The first thing I clean up each day.

Anyway, the other day there was also coffee dripping down the front of the counter making a puddle on the floor. As I grabbed a towel to clean it up I heard Tiny-Small yell, “Oh no!” I went into the other room and there she was staring at her Elmo table. It was covered in milk. She was holding an empty cup looking helpless. “Grab a towel, quick!” I yelled as I ran back to the kitchen. We cleaned up the milk and then I cleaned up the coffee spill in the kitchen. I took a deep breath. A few minutes later I heard water splashing around. I looked around the corner and I saw Tiny-Small carrying the dogs water bowl from the bathroom to the hallway splashing all the way. In an attempt to not pull out my own hair and run screaming from the house, I repeated, “She’s just trying to help. She’s just trying to help. She’s just trying to help.” Then I grabbed the mop from the closet.

At lunch time I opened the fridge and the milk jug fell out, the top popped off, and milk began pouring out onto the floor. I felt like crying over spilled milk for the second time that day. Instead I just mumbled words of revenge under my breath. I counted to a gigabyte. We decided to make a fruit smoothie for lunch. I added frozen raspberries, frozen blackberries, a banana, milk, and yogurt to the blender and pushed the “pulse” button. After the third pulse the top flew off and the fourth pulse spewed the pink and blue blender contents all over the cabinets. I am not ashamed to admit that I actually cried that time.

After cleaning that up I put the lid back on the blender, and held it on firmly as it finished grinding up what was left of our smoothie. I poured the meager smoothie remains into Tiny-Small’s cup. As she carried it the table she tripped over thin air and fell, splattering smoothie all over the wall and floor. It was in cracks and crevices. I am still finding splatterings to this day.

After that I declared it a “sippy cup with top at all times” day. I had to do something. I was on the verge of joining the circus because less chaos and cuddly lions and all of that stuff.

In the afternoon Tiny-Small decided to play with her rice box. As she stood at her little table burying toys in the rice and pouring rice from one cup to another I grabbed the broom knowing there would be rice on the floor when she was done. As I was grabbing the broom I heard a sound that can only be described as a gentle rain. As I walked back into the room there was Tiny-Small conducting a science experiment to see how much rice would actually land in a little, red cup if she poured the rice from three feet off the ground. In case you are curious, not very much.

As I sat down to make my to-do list for the day, mid afternoon I might add, Tiny-Small picked up the glass of water next to me and took a drink. Then she handed it to me, but got distracted and let go before I had a firm grasp on it. The water from the glass spilled right into my pants. It was cold. I had to change, then I had to soak water out of the couch cushion. As I was cleaning that up I heard a small voice from the bathroom say, “Oh no. I didn’t make it.” Another floor mopping and costume change later….

I decided to get some blogging done. I sat down at my desk and Tiny-Small climbed on the top of my chair to, literally, be the monkey on my back. She likes it when I lean back and squish her into the seat. It makes her laugh and laugh. So as I am typing and leaning into her I start to notice that my back is feeling wet. I reach back and it is wet. I ask, “Why am I getting wet?” Tiny-Small pulls out a dishcloth that she had dipped in my paint water. I walk over to the table to inspect my paint water like a crime scene detective.  Half the water is in the container, the rest splashed around on everything. The table now has a blue tinge to it for life. Tiny-Small and I are both wet. The back of my shirt will forever have a nice blue tinge to it too. We change our clothes again. I wipe up the mess. I pretend I am janitor to the stars to pass the time.

Dinner time rolls around and as I am cooking I start to load the dishwasher. Tiny-Small helps. She’s putting silverware into the slots and mugs on the top rack. It’s awesome. Then she picks up a mug full of water and turns it over splashing dirty dishwater all over the place. We stop and clean it up. I open a can of chicken broth and as I am pouring it into a pot the dog runs past me, bumps into my legs and I splash chicken broth all over the stove. As I am cleaning that up my pot bubbles over splashing more chicken broth all over the stove.

Finally it is bath time. Tiny-Small gets into the tub and is happily playing while I sit on a stool and scroll through my Facebook feed. As I look up she starts pouring water into a cup on the edge of the tub. The cup fills up immediately and overflows onto the floor. As I am wiping up the floor she starts kicking and splashing. Water is getting everywhere. I close the shower curtain to contain the splashing and sit back down. When it is time to rinse her hair she insists on doing it herself because, as she explains, “I’m a big gurl now.” I hand her the shower head and close the curtain. She’s doing great, but then without any notice, she pulls the curtain back and happily exclaims, “I’m done!” Meanwhile the shower head is pointed right at me spraying me in the face as I blindly reach for the handle to turn the water off. Another costume change later…

Tiny-Small is finally in bed so I sneak downstairs to work on my blog. As I walk over to my desk I see a doll, wrapped in a blanket, in the middle of the floor. Something is dripping off of it. I look closer and see that in the last hours of the day the dog has decided to spill his bladder leaving me with one final spill to clean up before I call it a day and throw in the metaphorical, pee-stained towel.

This is the only explanation I have for why I seem to be cleaning all day long, but nothing is ever actually clean. It also explains why we have so much laundry. Spills and then more spills with a side of spills.

Spring Cleaning In The Fall

I do my Spring cleaning in the Fall. I think it’s because Fall feels like the beginning of the year to me. A time for new starts and fresh starts and cleaning out all of the old stuff that has accumulated. This year I am on a rampage.

Spring Cleaning In The Fall
I wish I had taken a “before” picture of this cabinet. Maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t. It was such a mess you probably would have had a heart-attack.

I’ve torn apart every cabinet in my kitchen and reorganized the food, the containers, the lids (I hate the lids!) and the junk drawers. I think I may have spent over $300 dollars on organizational equipment in the last week. I bought spice racks, lazy susans, storage containers, dishes, stick-on hooks, baskets…this list could go on and on. I’m in a frenzy that reeks of desperation. I can’t take the clutter or the chaos anymore! It’s driving me to insanity. I want my life back. I want to be able to find things again. I want to run a tight ship around here. I want to stop buying things twice (or even more often) because I cannot find the first one I bought. Mostly, I want to feel at peace when I step into my home.

With all of the blogging and art making I am doing my home has taken a backseat. It’s starting to catch up with me. For instance, I pulled out a box of cereal the other day that expired two years ago. A remnant from my coupon obsessed days when I bought in bulk because the deal was so amazing! Of course those deals don’t really count if they just sit in your cabinet waiting to rot or expire or turn into some kind of toxic sludge.

Fall Cleaning In The Spring
What my pantry looks like right now. Send help!

Once the kitchen is done I plan to harass the pantry. Then the bathrooms. Then I will kick some toy butt in Tiny-Small’s room. She’s basically got one giant pile of toys stuffed into various containers that need to be sorted and organized.  Some toys might make their way to the basement too. She can’t play with anything because it’s all over the place. So, I am planning to give every item a spot. That way we know where to put it away. No excuses! No excuses for any of us!

I am also secretly sneaking junk into the yard sale pile and hoping Jim doesn’t go snooping. He keeps more stuff than I do. That’s saying something. He lives by the saying, “The guy who dies with the most stuff wins.” The  stuff doesn’t even have to be toys. He keeps socks with more holes than sock. He keeps every piece of paper he has ever touched. He keeps broken knickknacks and bags with logos on them. I swear, if I die first he’s going to make it into the hoarders hall of fame. Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but then again, maybe it’s not. I am no better. I have piles in strategic locations. I have blogging piles, art piles, stuff to file piles, clothing to fold piles, bills to pay piles, and of course piles of “to-do” notes…lists…whatever!

The holidays are coming. I need to get this place in shape before that chaos is upon us. There isn’t much time so I am putting in the hours to get it all done. I hope I get to a point where I can sigh with relief because my house is calm and put together. Because I am calm and put together. I am looking forward to the day where I can find my measuring spoons immediately and I can walk into Tiny-Small’s room and not step on a toy. That day will come, right? RIGHT??? Just say yes, even if you have to lie. I am desperate. I need to believe my life is going to change for the better once I get rid of, and categorize, and line up all of this stuff.

Give me some hope! Have you ever reorganized your home, yourself, your life and managed to keep it that way? Got any tips for me? I could use the help. Do you do your Spring cleaning in the Fall too?


Just a quick update: My Organized Pantry!

My Organized Pantry
So much better, right?




How To Never Clean Your House Again In 5 Easy Steps

What? Never clean your house again? What madness is this, right? Well, between the two of us Jim and I have developed a fool-proof plan to keep you untidy, but still respectable.

Step 1: Become an artist. Or, just announce that you are one. People don’t have to know you are secretly an accountant. It’s a well-known fact that artists are unconventional and messy. It’s totally acceptable to have piles of chaos when you are an artist. It also means you can dress funny too (win-win!). This leads us to step 2.

Step 2: Make a sign or piece of art (or just buy one) that says you are messy and hang it by the front door. It’s like saying, “Here I am world. Love me as I am or don’t take one more step.” What can people really say? You warned them. If they seem shocked just talk a lot about being an artist until their eyes glaze over. That works every time.

never clean your house again, just hang up this sign.
Please Excuse the mess…it works every time!

Step 3: If you have an area rug that has become impossible to clean or you just don’t feel like vacuuming ever again, just flip it over. When people ask why your rug is upside down, just look at them like they are crazy and exclaim, “Burlap is all the rage right now. This is a faux-burlap look, but it gets the job done.”

Burlap carpet for the win! Never clean your house again.
Burlap carpet for the win!

Step 4: Don’t ever, ever, ever have kids. Or dogs. Don’t have kids or dogs. A stray cat or two is fine, maybe some fish, but no kids and no dogs. If you do have kids or dogs make more signs (see step 2) and blame the mess on the kids and the dogs. Just blame all of your problems on your kids and your dogs. People will just nod in agreement because nobody can make a mess like a kid or a dog…nobody. Plus, dogs and kids are cute, so they can get away with just about anything.

Step 5: If all else fails, you can always join the witness protection plan. OK, maybe not, but you could hire a cleaning lady…or move. So, never lose hope. You can be messy and still have friends. You just have to find friends who are even messier than you are. That way you look like you have a spotless house whenever they come over.


What cleaning tips and tricks do you have?