Good [Enough] Housekeeping

My dad came over yesterday and plopped down on the floor to play with the girls. I cringed because I hadn’t vacuumed in several days and our big dog, Jack, is in the midst of his slow summer shed, in which he commences to lose enough hair to stuff a loveseat or maybe one of those giant cheap stuffed animals you see at the county fair, but wonder if anyone actually wins.

Here is a glossary of terms which pretty much sum up the state of housekeeping in our home (and I am the Merry Maid at our house so I can’t fire myself, although it’s tempting):

Fear that a relative or neighbor will drop by unexpectedly and plop right down on the carpet, which has not been vacuumed for days, and be instantly covered in dog hair.

Carpet Fresh
The pristine carpet underneath the couch that you discover when you pull said couch from the wall to vacuum that makes you remember what clean carpet is supposed to look like.

Laundry Dunes
Similar to sand dunes, only they consist of large piles of wrinkled, but clean, laundry that has yet to be put away and probably won’t be any time soon.

Refrigerator Sludge
The mysterious spillage at the bottom of the fridge. Could be from fruit, could be from a pound of ground beef. Just don’t touch it with your bare hands.

The hubby offered to get me a gift certificate for a housekeeping service recently but I’m one of those weirdos who will end up cleaning the house for an hour before the housekeeper arrives and then really, what is the point?

So do any of you actually prescribe to this theory? I’m a skeptic, although I’m sure it’s fabulous for some people. And I hate to admit this but I’ve discovered that playing that Barney “Clean Up” song is a great motivator for Caitlin to actually pick up her toys. She also loves to wipe down any and every surface (including wood, so I have to watch her) with those disinfecting wipes. Now if I can just get her to clean the toilets…


  1. mothergoosemouse says:

    I’ve got refrigerator dandruff. It’s on the shelf where the milk resides, and I think it’s milk that has dried and flaked off the rim of the milk containers where it drips after I’ve hurriedly poured milk in my frantic attempts to fill the cups before anyone starts screaming.

    But yes – both girls cooperate when we sing the clean up song, and they both love to wipe any available surface with Clorox wipes and Pledge dust cloths.

  2. Amanda says:

    My house the laundrey is in black trash bags waiting to be put in the proper draws. We put the clothes in their so if people come over we just throw the bags in the laundry room.

    “wow your house looks great”

  3. Kristen says:

    I used to subscribe to flylady when I was staying at home with a baby and toddler. Now, with working full time and having older kids who throw around a lot more toys, I don’t think it would work for me. It did work pretty well when the kids were younger and I had more time at the house, though.

  4. Cathy says:

    I tried Flylady but it didn’t work for me. I attributed it to the fact I was a full time working mom but the truth is I was to lazy to work her system. I know it works for lots of people… I ended up getting a cleaning service, which I have never regretted. It’s well worth the expense, in my opinion.

  5. Mrs. Flinger says:

    Heh. Great terms. and that whole dancing/singing bit to gets kids to help out? Totally works and TOTALLY worth it (says a former Pre-K teacher who’s class room was ALWAYS picked up before we had a transition) 🙂

  6. Jill says:

    The floor is my worst nightmare too. With three boys and a dog, we used to have a cleaning service come once a week, but I stressed out so much over having them here that it wasn’t worth it. Once they broke a stove knob and once they dripped bleach water onto a bedroom carpet. One time my infant was waking up from his nap while they were here, and I walked upstairs to find one of the cleaning ladies leaning over his crib and patting him! So that was the end of maid service for me.

    My biggest problem with cleaning is that I don’t have time to do the whole house at once, so I do it in bits. But then the whole house never feels REALLY clean (until we have a party!)

  7. Renee says:

    I’m right there with ya, sister.
    I actually used to sing the stupid Barney clean up song to myself.
    Scary, eh?

  8. beth says:

    not into the fly lady. couldn’t get past the fact that she wants me to keep my shoes on at all times. How does that keep my house clean? that just tracks in the mess that’s outside!!

  9. Pattie says:

    This is so funny! Laundry Dunes! We suffer from the same affliction over here. I have to laugh at Mothergoosemouse’s “refrigerator dandruff”…I hate that, too! 🙂
    As far as the FlyLady goes, I suppose some people would require her services. Thankfully, I am not one of them.

  10. Paige says:

    Oh how I can relate!! We have the dog hair too, but at least it is really short and white so you can’t see it, but she refuses to actually eat at her food dish and has to bring food into the living room so we have pieces she forgets about or crumbs from where they have fallen out of her mouth. You would think that she would want to eat those too considering she is 50 lbs and apparently getting bigger! LOL Our carpet is horrible unless I vacuum every single day, but with 2 kids (1 & 3) that just doesn’t always get done.

  11. Shauna says:

    Poodles don’t do much shedding, so my hairanoia mostly focuses on my own hair, which has been falling out by the handful. Gross.

  12. Anne says:

    hey, I have the laundry dunes too! And because of the scariness that is beneath carpet, we don’t have any of it. which means a head bonk on concrete hurts more but at least I don’t get heebiejeebied out. as much. Once Caitlin learns to clean a toilet please send her over here. Lily needs the tutelage.

  13. Nancy says:

    Loving your descriptive terms for the state of the house. What kills us is the toy shrapnel — bits and pieces of toy sets strewn throughout the house without rhyme or reason. It takes hours to get all the little pieces together and in the right location. Half the time I just give up!

  14. Library Mama says:

    Hi there,

    Now that I’m back at work, I don’t get over here nearly as much as I would like, but I am so glad I made the trip today. I can relate not only to your fabulous post, but also to each and every comment.

    I try to do Flylady in the summertime when I am home from school. I always unsubscribe the day before school starts. I already have sufficient guilt through the school year; I don’t need an email every hour or so reminding me of all the things I don’t have time to do.

    I have always longed for a maid service. Alas, our finances don’t allow it at this time. Maybe by the time I’m retired and have time to clean my house again…

    I’ve always harboured a (hopefully) secret bitterness for two separate families we know. One is a couple with no children who have a cleaning service (how messy can they be?). The other is a stay at home mom (with two perfect little girls) who has a cleaning service.

    Hello! What about this pathetic full time working mom over here with three messy boys and an overactive dog. Where’s my housekeeping fairy? 😉

    (Sorry for the extra-long comment. I’ve really missed coming by; guess I’m making up for it.)

  15. Library Mama says:

    Oops – one more thing.

    I read somewhere that one reason children are not as healthy as they used to be is because of our obsession with cleanliness, especially antibacterial agents. The kids can’t get immunity built up because they aren’t exposed to sufficient amounts of mild bacteria. Then they can’t cope when exposed to stronger strains.

    My kids should live forever.

  16. molly says:

    Hairanoia? ROFL!!!!

    My house and yours must look so much alike.

    And as for flylady, I’ve visited the site a couple of times and come to this conclusion, apologies to flylady and all her adherents, but OCD is alive and well. I’ll live with the disorder and mess, thank you very much. I like to think of my clutter and disorder as the product of a creative mind, so take that, Flylady!

  17. Bluegrass Mama says:

    The laundry is the only chore I tend to keep up with. Probably because until I lose 15 pounds I only have about three outfits that fit.

    My name is Bluegrass Mama, and I’m a clutter-holic. I can’t get away from it! Which means it’s too hard to dust or vacuum, because all the clutter’s in the way.

  18. Blonde Mom says:

    In some sort of bizarre blog jinx our dishwasher is not working. UGH!

    I did get motivated to not only do laundry, but put it away, as well as vacuum this weekend. And Swiffer…can’t live without the Swiffer.

  19. Jennifer says:


    Because of you I had cleaning dreams. Then I felt compelled to clean when I woke up.


  20. Lisa says:

    I do fly! I love her. Its really encouraging to get emails reminding you to do what when and stuff. You know kinda like that saying it works if you work it so work it cause its worth it. Ok total cheesehead here. I like it though.

  21. Rebecca says:

    What a relief, other people don’t hoover carpets and have refrigerator sludge too. Please tell me you don’t do any ironing either, then I will feel even better!

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