Thursday, June 3, 2010

Neat > clean

Trying to sell our house while having a newly mobile baby on the loose has given new meaning to the expression "sweep it under the rug."

Agent and buyer show up unannounced at the front door? (It happens.) No problem! Just give me a minute to take off my sock and run it along the foyer baseboard. I'll also need to toss all the dirty dishes into the dishwasher, right on top of the clean ones I haven't gotten around to unloading. Oh, and these stacks of coupons spread out across the living room rug? Easy – I'll stuff them under my bed. That's what dust ruffles are for.

There are houses that are neat, and there are houses that are clean. Some people with hired help and/or no kids probably have houses that are neat and clean. Me, I had to settle for one or the other, and I chose neat.

My house looks good, as long as you don't look too closely. If you were to examine the window blinds, you'd see how much dust can build up between approximately annual wipe-downs. It's a lot. It’s evidence of entropy.

I don't own a mop, I don't use bleach, and I certainly don't lift furniture to vacuum.

Baby wipes are my main cleaning tool. They probably don't do a thing to fight germs, but they're cheap and convenient and they eliminate stickiness no matter the source. And thanks to that baby I mentioned, a stash is always nearby.

My mom is the opposite: She chooses clean over uncluttered. She might have a lot of knickknacks on her entertainment center, but they all get dusted every week. She uses baby wipes on baby bottoms and that's about it. Needless to say, she does own a mop, she uses it every Friday, and if you ate off of her floor, it would be OK.

There is one exception to my neat-over-clean rule: the guest bathroom. Sometime, somewhere, I read that if you're expecting company and are short on cleaning time, focus on the bathroom. The theory being that behind closed doors, people do things they wouldn't do out in the open. They might pull back your shower curtain for no reason but pure nosiness, and if there's soap scum, it will have nowhere to hide.

Now, randomly perusing people's medicine cabinets is not my idea of a good time. I'd rather finish my bathroom business and get back to the party. I think most of my friends would say the same. But my guest bathroom always puts its best foot forward. Because sometimes people surprise you.


Kylie said...

Amen to that sista! Sometimes being clean is a luxury, ha! it all goes back to one of your previous posts about germs and dirt - I think you had in your Claire blog.. sometimes germs make us stronger, or at least that's the story I'm sticking with!

~Lottie-Dah said...

made me chuckle...I've put dirty dishes in the cold oven before...but not feeling very NEAT or CLEAN in this season of my life...maybe I'll get the kids to start dusting with their sock feet ;)

Kaitlin said...

i am all for neat over clean. and i always clean the bathroom when people are coming to visit! and vacuum up the cat hair on the rug. :P

Sonya said...

I know you're not a fan of mopping (who is?), but if you find yourself in need of one. The Swiffer mop is pretty great. Really fast and easy. We don't get a choice about mopping b/c we have a dog.

r8chel said...

Oh, I choose neat over clean all the time!! :)

Also, I find that if I have company coming and don't have time to clean the bathroom, even just cleaning the sink faucet/handles can give the illusion that the whole place is sparkling.

Tracey Garner said...

Place some marbles in your medicine cabinet and see how someone nosy reacts when they open it. We had an open house at Christmas, and this lady was opening my cabinets. I said this is an open house, not open cabinets. LOL