Saturday, May 1, 2010

Spring into Saturday, Moxie-style!

Obviously I milked last week's remodel for everything it was worth, and hoped its fabulousness would leave you all in awe, and possibly tears, long enough to buy me some time not posting.

But I feel a mutiny. Facebooking Moxlings are crying out under heaps of near-fatal laundry, while others are concocting their own routines (traitors!) and even making their one year olds tow the line with their tender little fingers. (Just kidding Kasondra, I know Franklin's a natural-born Moxling.)

Then there was the little matter of my one true love, Mesina, giving birth to my one-third-son, Jared Alexander, so of course I've been oohing and awwing and gutting Old Navy like a fish. But if I know Mesina, her babymoon will find her dancing with her Dyson faster than you can say, "whythefuckdon'tyoulivehere?"

Now, unless you've just had a baby or some equally plausible excuse, it's time to get back into the business of fighting the ever-threating shit hole.

This weather has been a total tease, and I know that goddamned sun is out to thwart my mission, but hold fast to my promise that keeping your digs tidy needn't be as laborious as you think.

I was born wired to clean on Saturdays, every Saturday, and I remain hopeful that most of you can share in kicking off your weekends by putting a little muscle where your mess is. You can do this.

Today we have afternoon plans, which only makes me go faster, like a streak, carrying an array of solvents, hoping to God I'm not singing along to my iPod. As most of you know, I clean best in my underwear, starting the instant my feet hit the floor, but after thoughtlessly answering the door in my skivvies a couple times, I bought shorts on one of my Jared runs. Black shorts, because I clean best in black.

The house has been in pretty decent shape because we began remodeling in there first, so I don't want to slice my skin off with a razor blade every time I walk in. However, dust is a merciless bastard, and clutter will be the death of me. Now I'm left to details, which are not my favourite, but oh the psychic rewards.

This morning, I have:

-Stared at my vintage clock I got for christmas and mounted last night.

-Made the bed.

-Dusted all immediate surfaces and straightened lamps and speakers.

-Pulled the clean clothes out of the dryer and loaded the washer to the brim.

-Swept the laundry floor, Swiffered, under the laundry sorter, shoe rack, wastebasket.

-Put my dry hanging clothes away.

-Cried about having too many clothes.

-Gathered the kids' outgrown shoes.

-Kissed the shiny new shower liner and wiped down the front bathroom sink and toilet.

-Paced back and forth in front of the espresso maker, pretty sure it will call my bluff. Fucker.

-Stacked to-dos on the counter, and wiped it down.

-Loaded 11 dishes into the dishwasher, made it hum.

-Wiped the rest of the kitchen. (Hope to bleach sinks, but new black shorts make me nervous.)

-Windexed kitchen windows inside and out.

-Removed five things from the front of the refrigerator and from the side.

-Rounded up feral candles that have amassed all over my house and told them to fuck off.

-Swept/Swiffered the kitchen.

-Straightened/fluffed living room cushions/pillows/blankets.

-Organized dining table after making proper (semi-proper) stacks.

-FINALLY went to the bathroom.

-Got a kidney transplant.

-Wiped down back bathroom sinks/toilets.

-Restocked t.p., Kleenex, napkins, etc.

Damn that coffee.

What's left:


-Windex all mirrors

-Change all sheets/remake beds.

-Wipe down both computers/desks.

-Reckoning with my media card, steal a bunch of pics Reilly took with her bad-ass camera, and delete the shitty pictures of me.

-Prod kids to get ready for semi-formal event. Break nozzle on Quinn's hairspray.

-Update kids' iPods.

-Use hand held Dirt Devil on bath mats. (So much easier than washing and air drying for 40 days and 40 nights.)

-Make the kids do away with their belongings, since I cleaned out their entire room a few days ago.

-Make them wipe five areas each.

-Make sure all laundry is folded and put away before we leave.

-Oh man it would be great to clean out the refrigerator, maybe a cupboard or two. It all depends on whether my coffee soups up my engine or drops my transmission. It's always a roll of the dice.

-Huh, I think that's a wrap.

Is anyone feeling it yet? Ready? I never said it would be fun, I said it would be
POSSIBLE. Here's what's possible:

-Brew your coffee/tea/Red Bull/tequila/whatever.

-Crank up your tunes.

-Make every trip across the room/house purposeful. Grab some toys, a dish, straighten a rug, gather clothing, strangle whoever left them.

-Say out loud, "I am stronger than this laundry pile" 100 times.

-Throw all obvious shit into the wash den.

-Unload/reload dishes.

-Wipe counters and stove tops.

-Toss every scrap of junk mail or unnecessary crap your eyes see.

-Recruit some kiddos. They're not innocent here.

-Be honest with your bathrooms. Activate Ajax commitment!

-Wipe down your kitchen and bathroom fixtures.

-Strip/remake beds?

-Consolidate colonies of overwhelming miscellaneous crap into one bin you can organize while sitting down later.

-It is not later. Don't sit yet.

-Spiff up your entryway, inside and out.

-Clean your toothbrush holders.

-Empty wastebaskets, bleach if necessary. (Tip: Do it in the bathtub, killing nine dirt bags with one er, stone.)

-Take a look around. If there's one thing tugging at the OCD you've inherited from me, text or email me. Whatever it is, it's possible. Break it down. Enlist the kids. Pull it all apart all over the house so there's no turning back. You can do it.

-Always toss, always clear surfaces, always straighten, and always wipe.

I'm so proud. And late. Okay let me know how it goes.

PS--We're about to have garage sale, and I highly recommend it. If you think it's possible, create some space wherein to chuck your pre-loved treasures. Cash for trash? It doesn't get better.

Put Single Ladies on loop, good luck!


  1. its* fabulousness. ;)

    i LOVE you calling your espresso maker a fucker. also, you need to step away from the single ladies. i think it's time for an intervention.

  2. First of all, I hope we can still be friends even though I do not believe in cleaning on Saturday. Friday, yes because then I can enjoy Saturday. If my house is already clean, I can more readily actually do something on the weekend.

    Secondly, perhaps, we'll see, you have inspired me to think about cleaning some windows and not washing bathroom trash cans but buying new one.

  3. Dana--I'm down with some Friday cleaning, but the true test of friendship is going to be the infamous blue in your living room. You've got me worried. We're either going to need some paint or drinks. New trash cans FOR THE WIN! Must be white.

  4. I love your writing and I have possibly a stupid question. If you've answered this before don't shoot me (I just started reading).

    Ok when you say "wipe down" I mean... HOW do you do that? What is your technique, what supplies do you use? I must be doing it wrong bc for me cleaning the toilet takes almost an hour.

    Sadly I live in house with no kids, but 3 other adults, and 2 of them own the house which I do not. And they are 3 people who do not care in the slightest about cleaning. Anything. They just spray more Febreeze and plug more Glade thingies into the walls. I try to clean, but the mess from all of them is more than I can handle, so I end up living in filth. I can't move their stuff out of the way, so to clean I have to move it, clean, and put it all back in a cluttery mess. I also can't listen to music much while I clean since they have the TV on 24-7.

  5. ~M--Thanks for posting. Obviously my first response is: Can you move? That sounds like misery. I have been in bondage of similar squalor and not only did it make me angry, but, depending on the people and their habits, it could very well take an hour to clean their toilet. I want to delve into the minds of people who are so careless and give no thought to their hygiene, nor that of their children or guests. The worst is working your ass off just to get one little nook or surface gleaming, only to have it sticky and ruined later that day. So it sounds like your surroundings are more daunting than other readers because there are so many other people sharing space with you, and they seem to be inconsiderate filthy (you fill in the blank, I don't know you and don't want to offend, lol)...Two people have asked me to post detailed point-by-points on bathrooms, kitchens, and now bathrooms. I emailed them privately, but perhaps I will post some tips on saving time, products, sequence, and subtle ways to tell your roommates that their grotesque habits are unacceptable. I'm sorry you're in that situation. And the tv on 24/7 is almost the worst detail of all. Does that mean they're home all day? Do you get along with these folks otherwise? Just trying to get a feel for potential cooperation. In the meantime, pointing out that Febreze has no cleaning value, that Glade Plug-Ins are a fire hazard, and masking odors doesn't not equal cleanliness might be a start. Email me at: if you want to lay the rest on me and maybe we can clean up your digs. Like I said, this resonates with a situation I was in, so whether you love these people or hate them, I am familiar with how to clean subtly, openly, communicate with words, without, and mentally cope with disgusting surroundings that make you feel like Hanta Virus is surging through your blood.

    I will post the bathroom tips I emailed to a friend the other day, and add some info that will hopefully help you.

    It was not a stupid question. You are doing the work of three grown slobs, of course you'd need encouragement, it's not natural for adults to have such little (or no) regard for their hygiene or yours. :(

    Okay, help is on the way.


  6. PS--That should say, "and now bathroom again," and really, I have no excuse for "doesn't not," except that I am pretty amped up on caffeine and using someone's Mac, and alksakfjsgf, but I can clean a house, so no worries.

  7. I did next to no cleaning until the kid passed out last night but had a fabulous time at the park chasing sun-kissed kids with my camera. It was a Saturday well-spent.

  8. Lady, it was Saturday. Unless you're talking about a day well-spent cleaning, in which case, spill it. Except your house is never dirty you bitch.

  9. Thanks for your reply. I used to own my own home and then the economic downturn caught up with me after no job for 2 years. I am lucky to be given a room to live in rent free, and in exchange I try to clean once a week or so and keep the kitchen and bathrooms functional. So, no, I cannot move, and they are doing me a huge favor to let me live here. Me criticizing how they choose to live in their own home is just not something I want to do. It is THEIR home, not mine, you know? I just try and keep myself to my bedroom, and I do try to contribute. But it is depressing to spend hours cleaning the kitchen to make it usable, go to bed, walk in 24 hours later and it looks like it has not been touched. Making myself something to eat is challenging since I find bad smells very unappetizing.

    The scheduling thing is bc of different personal schedules. One of the residents goes to bed at 8:30-9 and wakes up very very early. Today she got up at 3:30 am. The 2 others tend to stay up until midnight or so most nights. So that's a tiny window in the dead of night, and I have to be very quiet then anyway. The weekly workdays vary also among the 3, so it is rare to have a day when all 3 people are at work. I am also not home all day during the day always. There is maybe one day a week when they are all gone and I am here alone, and on those days I try and do some cleaning. When they are not home I can crank up some great music and it is very motivating.

    The positive of the situation is that when I DO clean, at least one person is appreciative and the 2 others ignore my efforts entirely. My other living option was moving in with my mother, and when I try and clean her house she becomes very angry and can be quite nasty about it. (She doesn't like anyone touching her "stuff" at all, she feels cleaning as a personal intrusion.) So that is good.

    I just thought some tips on how to do things more efficiently would help. For instance, loading a dishwasher is not an option here so much of my cleaning time is devoted to hand washing dishes, and that can take hours (since I can't do it every day, and they pile up terribly). Cleaning counters takes a lot of effort since spills are left for days or a week and harden on. Shoes are scattered everywhere and make vacuuming more difficult, since they need to stay where the owner wanted to leave them.

    Basically it's not for me to tell them how to live. I would just like to make a dent in the place without it taking so many hours and so much work. Last time I spent all day and then my back was in agony and I could hardly walk the rest of the week, and that's not good!