Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Wonder Wife Tip of the Day: How to (possibly) get your butt in gear and clean. POSSIBLY.

Okay, this really isn't a tip as much as a confession.

But there is nothing like the pressure of knowing someone is on their way over to my house for me to get my house in tip-top shape.

Whether it means that the appliance repair man is coming to fix the dishwasher or that Brian's on his way home for his birthday dinner, someone's going to see my house. And thus, my superhero side takes over.

You ought to see me when someone's coming over! I move. I move like a champion. I hone in on clutter and ruthlessly destroy it. I put away clothes, wipe off counters, and sweep so hastily you'd think I was outrunning a cloud of desert beetles trying to invade my soul. Laundry becomes a flock of geese and flies into the washing machine. Smudges disappear from my appliances like ghosts.

And the most incredible thing of all is that my vision - my literal eyesight - actually gets better. I spot dust bunnies underneath couches and ash clumps on the hearth that I'd been blind to only minutes before I found out someone was coming over. I suddenly notice thin films of dust on surfaces I'd thought pristine. Miraculously, when I find out someone's coming over, I find the 'Linda' inside of me. Yes. My mother also has keen dust-vision.

So, anyway. I figured this out. And who knows how long this new phase will last me, but I've found a way to harness this power even when there's no one coming over.

I pretend.

When I feel moody, or blue, or listless, and I look around and feel frustrated by a cluttered house, I set the timer. "There's someone coming over in fifteen minutes!" I tell myself out loud. If I have time for thirty or forty-five minutes, all the better. "Clean, Maegan, clean!" And I will myself to look at my house with that splendid superhero eyesight. How would I want my house to look if someone walked through the door right now?

And you know what? It works. And when the timer goes off, I say, "They're here!" and I stop cleaning. And I sit down and feel better.

And I pour two cups of tea, one for me and one for my invisible guest. And we chat.

Okay, not really, on that last part. I might stay home, alone, all day, but I'm not crazy.

Well, not yet.



  1. I try the "pretend guest" too. But it doesn't work too well for me. It's like setting my clock ahead and trying to "forget" that I did so that I will be on time! I have not tried your timer idea, though. I will!

  2. It's not foolproof for me either. Sometimes I'll see a spot that needs more attention and I'll stop and give it a few more minutes. That's the nice thing about pretend guests. You can ignore them if you want. :)

  3. I could only wish for enough time and energy to keep my house as clean as yours. I'm lucky to have clean clothes when I wake up! (This is why I come to YOUR house!)