Help me clean my house

I don’t mean I want you to come over and clean my house — although it’d be cool if somebody WOULD do that — I mean I need help figuring out how/what to clean.

I have family coming to visit next week. I love my family. And I love* when they come over to my house because then I have to do the things I’ve been putting off for *cough cough* awhile. Today, I touched up the white paint in my kitchen, trim and front porch. It was a learning experience in a couple ways.

1. Now I better understand the phrase “whitewash” wherein you quickly, thinly, and with mixed results cover up your sins with satin kitchen enamel.

2. In the future, I will paint my entire house in a more natural and pragmatic shade of spilled-coffee-splashed-spaghetti-sauce-newspaper-fingerprint-dog-snot. I’m not exactly sure what color that would be. Some hue of brownish-grayish with a warm undertone, I think.

I’m actually kind of happy with the illusion of cleanliness the white paint has given me. Sadly, I’ve decided XY and the dog will have to sleep outside until after the family departs. I’ve also replaced all the¬†light bulbs¬†with low wattage bulbs to cast any remaining sins in a romantic light.

This is the romantic sunset I was watching while I was supposed to be painting the front porch:


Here’s my basic problem with housekeeping: In general, I take no pleasure in it. I know some people like to clean house. They say it’s a sort of moving meditation. Other people say they like the results. But I really don’t care that much about either stage. I’d rather walk the dog to clear my head, and once I’m back in writing groove, I don’t even notice that the house is dirty. Until, of course, we have visitors. (Cue sinister music.)

So I’m looking for quick tricks to give the impression of a clean house. And if you are a fellow crafty person, I’d love to hear your tips for keeping your hobby under control. My books and beads get out of control sometimes (SOMEtimes, ha!) but having them around is non negotiable.

And what do you do about other things that you like but don’t necessarily need? I have funny sayings and inspirational quotes and knickknacks and memory triggers and whatnot; how do you decide what to do with those?

I blame my mom (don’t we always?) for my inability to clean. She was just TOO good a mom so I assumed she had magical powers I would never be able to match. Actually, that seems to be pretty much the case. I think that will be the excuse I give her when she gets here.

Dust bunnies, unite (into dust behemoths)!

* By love, of course, I mean love/dread.