How to Make your Home Look Clean


I could probably be a whole lot better at keeping my house clean, most people can. The fact of the matter is that cleaning sucks, and I got a bazillion things I would rather do than scrub my kid’s pee off the toilet seat for the millionth time. As a result, I have been known to cut corners to get the job done.

Crumbs on the counter? Vacuum that shit up! Actually I try to vacuum pretty much anything I think I can fit in the nozzle – socks, underwear, hair ties…the skies the limit. If you run your hand over the surface of my counters you are likely to find some crap that may or may not have been there for a week. It is highly possible syrup is somewhere at this very moment on a kitchen surface. And putting any high value papers on the counter is a game of chance, just how lucky do you feel? There is a strong possibility it could be stuck or covered in oil splotches. I try to sweep most shit into my sink, but well sometimes I miss some.

I have learned to shut my kids bedroom doors, dig through laundry baskets, and I can fit more crap in a garbage can than the average person. I look the other way when my kid has written her name in the dust on the end table, and have become fond of the dog hair tumble weeds that grace my floors. My idea of scrubbing the shower is spraying the walls and floors with enough Tilex to require a gas mask and shutting the door for 8 hours. Next time I get in it I run some cold water on that toxic dump and boom shower clean – no scrubbing required. I like to think of it as being efficient.

However, there comes a time when I do actually break down and ‘clean’ my house. Typically this is due to my husband coming home from a trip. Ladies (and stay at home Dads) read carefully as I share my tips that have kept my charade, I mean my home tidy, for the last decade. It truly is a balancing act. I should mention I always have him text me when his plane lands so I know exactly when to cue the deer (please tell me you know that reference…please – Funny Farm). Oh and if you have kids that are not in school, yeah you don’t have to do any of the below. This is only for those of us that are SAHMs or SAHDs that have school age kids.

If he’s only gone one day I do the bare minimum:

  1. I turn dryer on right before he comes home so it looks like I have been doing laundry all day. The key is to have a laundry basket half filled as evidence, he doesn’t need to know it is the same set of towels that have been in there for a week.

If he’s been gone two day’s I may try to up my game, but barely:

  1. Turn dryer on
  2. Load the dishwasher so the sink and counter are not overflowing with dishes. I may or may not run it, just depends how overachieving I want to appear.

I have to do something to justify my bon-bon eating self if he is gone three days, after all not every day will suck:

  1. Turn dryer on
  2. Run the dishwasher
  3. Make the bed and pick up the clothes off the floor in main room

Gone four days, aka the Sweet Spot…I missed you, but not enough to lose my mind yet. I actually make a semi decent attempt.

  1. Turn dryer on
  2. Run/Empty dishwasher
  3. Make the bed and pickup clothes off floor in all rooms
  4. Vacuum main room carpet and kitchen
  5. Clean the toilets – but just the ones he will use, momma ain’t got time to do extra but I will ensure all have been flushed.

If he is gone for five or more days well basically I did everything on day four and today is where I start to lose my mind a bit. This is what he will be greeted with,

  1. Garbage is overflowing with to-go boxes
  2. Laundry is stacked high in the basket, it would be a miracle if it can get up the stairs without spilling – which is why it is sitting at the bottom of the stairs waiting for him.
  3. Beds are not made.
  4. The 5 gallon water bowl for the dogs is empty
  5. Refrigerator is empty

Typically anything more than six days I leave almost immediately upon his arrival home. We high five in the garage and I am off to stroll the aisles of Target. I can not be held responsible for purchasing anything over $50 because my mind does not know what my hands are putting in the cart. Besides the kids have really missed him. I want to make sure he has plenty of opportunity to be climbed on and asked a hundred times if he wants to play Apples to Apples.

Welcome home babe!


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  1. Abby says:

    I initially read “Garbage is overflowing with togo boxes” as “toga boxes” instead of “to-go” boxes and wondered what kind of parties you threw 😉

  2. You know how you said ‘great minds think alike’ the other day in a comment? Well, it just so happens that I mentioned my “dog hair tumbleweeds” a few weeks ago in a post! Anyway, I’m a clock watcher – in other words, every day I watch the clock and about two hours before my husband is supposed to get home, I kick it into gear. Works like a charm!

  3. Teri says:

    I love this. My favorite part: cleaning only the toilets he uses. And making sure they are all flushed.

    • Keep the expectations low. The basement toilet has been known to sit unclean until a guest comes over.

  4. Linda says:

    I love your Target philosophy. So very true.

  5. Liz says:

    I share your attitude. Why sweep when you can wait for the cat hair to gather in one place? And as for laundry, I keep piling everything over the back of the chair in my bedroom in case I can “get one more wear out of it” until the chair falls over. Then it’s officially laundry day. The husband calls it a hazard; I call it a system.

  6. Jana says:

    I haven’t cleaned the shower in over a year. Instead, I use Scrub Free Clean Shower — I just spritz it on the walls and floor before I get out and it does the job for me. It even smells nice! I’m now off to the Scrub Free website to demand payment for my unsolicited endorsement 🙂

  7. Andrea says:

    Hahahahahaha….love this! (Hate those damn syrup spills!)

  8. Jamie says:

    You mean…. there isn’t a magic fairy that cleans everything up while I’m out at work?!

    I need to be nicer to the boyfriend…