When people ask what I do, after I joke about working in a bar, describe my job at FeedBlitz, talk about my SpinPicks app, I then have to explain Home-Ec101. This happens a lot and generally I get the confused puppy head-tilt.
I run a website on home economics -head tilt- I write about life skills for adults -increased angle of said head tilt-
Oh, so you’re like Martha Stewart?
Well, no, it’s a bit more basic than that. I’m not into frou-frou and I think there are a lot of people that genuinely need the basics more than frills. I talk about cooking, cleaning, basic home repair, and laundry.
Oh, so you’re like Donna Reed?
No, not her either.
I bet your house is immaculate.
And it’s at this point that I just force a smile and try not to let out a huge guffaw. I have three kids. Who has three kids, more than one job, and an immaculate house?
Not this gal.
I know HOW to keep a clean house, but every so often in a while things -deadlines, the kids get the flu, I get called in to cover for a sick co-worker, etc all pile on and the daily chores just don’t get done.
Yesterday, if you had walked into my home, I probably would have died of embarrassment. Thank you for not coming over, by the way.
I admitted this over on Facebook -you are a fan, right?- and someone asked, “How do you get back on track after a couple days (or more) of not being able to do daily chores?”
I enter triage mode.
I either start a load of laundry -or restart it, if it was neglected in the machine for a couple of days.
I then head into the kitchen and start on the sink and dishes.
Next I clear counters and the table -papers may get put into a couple of piles- this depends on how long I have to perform the triage and everything else gets put away. The counters and table get a quick wipe down.
Next up come the bathrooms -not a deep clean- a dump some cleaner into the bowl, give it a quick swish -wash my hands, find the toothpaste cap and get the globs out of the sink. Then it’s wipe off the sink, followed by the toilet seat and rim. The bowl gets a scrub, a flush and I make sure there are clean towels.
Finally come the floors.
All the crap that shouldn’t be out and that will interfere with sweeping / vacuuming gets picked up and put away. Sometimes I use a timer and put on music to encourage the minions’ help, but if they are at school, I just knock it out, asap.
I set Gertie -my robot minion– to go and I head upstairs to at least get the coffee cups out of my office and to vacuum the floor up there.
Everything piddly gets to wait until the next time the chore comes around in the rotation. This isn’t a perfect clean, this is a crisis clean for communal areas. My bedroom door can and will be shut until I have the bandwidth to deal with it and that’s okay. The same goes for the kids’ room.
No one is perfect. Not you, not me, and definitely not the perfectly coiffed lady in the coffee shop.
Hang in there. Things are going to eventually get better and well, even if they don’t, hanging in is the only option, so make the best of it.
Send your domestic questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.