Motivate me to clean my house.

I really need to clean my house, but I just don’t want to. I have cleaned out my email, facebooked until I caught myself cruisin’ for new friends, and read the past two months of “tochea” archives. I am running out of procrastination tools and my house is a disaster. I have the day off and I dread my husband may ask, “what did you do today?” I hate admitting that I thought about cleaning, but we both know I’m lazy and didn’t want to, so I have this beautiful computer tan instead. I not only cannot afford a maid, but I would be embarrassed to invite one into my home. I can just see myself saying, “Really, it may look like we have not vacuumed in two months, but we have freak sandstorms in our home – weird, right?” The only thing that ever motivates me to clean is inviting people over so I have no choice.  Is that wrong?  Should I have a party or do you have any way to make cleaning fun or rewarding?

I’m touched that I’ve been used as your procrastination tool. Thank you.

You’ve clearly never been to my house, because otherwise you wouldn’t be asking me this question. I live by the standard that if you can walk through my kitchen without your shoe sticking to the floor and getting pulled off your foot, it’s clean.

I hate cleaning and my husband sucks at it even more than I do. We had to get a cleaning lady. When she arrives, I follow her around the house for an hour explaining that I forgot she was coming, that I usually don’t let the kids spread peanut butter all over the kitchen table and sprinkle raisins in it and then leave it there for three days, and that the green stuff in the toilet is actually a pre-wash that I put there for her to prep it for scrubbing. She is very kind but I think when she’s on her cell phone yelling at someone in Portugese, it’s her therapist who is helping her through her Tuesday morning nightmare which is my house. I feel bad about this, but not bad enough to clean before she gets there. I tell myself I’m stimulating the economy.

I’ve gotten better, though, since my kids came down with the ebola virus from something in my refrigerator, so here are some cleaning tips for you:

1. Sell some eggs and help an infertile couple while simultaneously earning money to pay for a cleaning lady.

2. If you must clean, listen to something good. Super-loud music, NPR podcasts, David Sedaris books on tape, your mom on the phone. Distract yourself. Also, wear rubber gloves. I do much better when I wear yellow rubber gloves.

3. You don’t need an excuse to have a party, ever. But I do caution you that any party will result in a dirtier house. Better to clean your house every time you go to a party, because being hungover in a clean house is much more pleasant.

4. Get your husband to clean half the house. If you both work, there’s no reason you both shouldn’t clean.

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