Dirty Girl


Decor tip: Empty boxes and overflow furniture/appliances/trash cans show off a dining room to full effect.

Friends of a friend are looking for a place in my neighborhood, and in the price range in which I plan to list. My house isn’t yet officially back on the market, but who says no to a potential buyer?! I, however, have been living in a state of relative filth (but it’s my filth, and I’m OK with that) for months now during my wee kitchen proj…who am I kidding. I’m simply an atrocious housekeeper.

I’d rather read/edit/build/cook/work/garden/do just about anything rather than clean. So I had but two hours after work tonight in which to:

• Feed the cats and hope they finished their stinky food in time for me to hide the bowls
• Vacuum three levels of the house and two staircases
• Clean both litter boxes
• Fold and put away the massive pile of clean laundry that usually lives on the guest-room bed
• Re-clean one litter box and re-vacuum the floor around it
• Clean the bathrooms (well, put my crap away and wipe out the sinks, anyway)
• Make the beds
• Clean up the fresh cat puke (note: there is no non-fresh cat puke…that I know of; that’s the one chore I do whenever necessary)
• Stash as many as possible of the plethora of tools scattered about the first floor (which I will now never again be able to find)
• Re-clean the other litter box and re-vacuum the floor around it. Because my cats hate me.
• Empty the dishwasher so as to be able to remove the pile of dirty dishes from my sink and stash them therein
• Clean the rest of the kitchen (all those nice new cabinets with plenty of storage space, yet I leave crap all over the counters)
• Take out the trash
• Gather and hide the many cat toys
• Give up on getting the shop/study in presentable shape
• Give up on scrubbing the shower, or removing the bug carcasses from the little-used tub on the third floor
• Give up on de-cat-hairing the curtains in the living room
• Give up on whisking off, folding and stashing the blanket that protects my pretty, new couch from cat hair (and keeps me from wholly enjoying it)
• Give up on sweeping the front porch
• Give up on picking up the trash on the sidewalk/berm (the joy of inner-city living)
• Make coffee to cover up any smells I didn’t address
• Wash my hands and wash my hands of it.

Then one minute spent answering the door and saying hello, followed by five minutes of apologizing for the less-than-pristine state of things. And 40 or so minutes spent showing my two visitors around house and pointing out all the stuff that is a) less than perfect and b) needs cleaning. I am a terrible (but honest) salesperson (who needs to hire a cleaning service).

Nice couple. They seemed to like it. Fingers crossed.


At least it shows why I want to move, I guess?



About fitz

Woodworker, writer, editor, teacher, ailurophile, Shakespearean. Will write for air-dried walnut.
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17 Responses to Dirty Girl

  1. wayne anderson says:

    Bake chocolate chip cookies. Buy dough in a can. Better than just coffee.

    • fitz says:

      Wayne, that would have taken a more advanced level of planning and a trip to the store! (But yes — good tip…if only I were organized enough to use it)

  2. freonguy says:

    Hopefully they bite. Maybe you can skirt the Realtors fees if you go private sale.
    Good luck!

  3. snwoodwork says:

    Cleaning is overrated. I mean, once the kids are all asleep I could do laundry or I could go cut dovetails. On the way to work I can drive by a Wal-Mart; they sell underwear. Problem solved.

    Good luck on the house.

  4. Lovely home which shows how an person or family can enjoy the finer things in life. Megan, is that the LVL bench you featured a few years back? Super worker’s util!; and, in use.

    • fitz says:

      Thanks Russell.

      Nope – that’s a little pine Roubo I built in, I think, 2010? (The Gluebo wouldn’t fit up the stairs, I don’t think; it’s my bench at work.)

  5. Lovely office chair, Megan. I picked up a pair of them at an antique store years ago and they are the most solid, comfortable chairs I own. And they are walnut, to boot.

    Re: cat puke… I’ve found that if the cat puke is still mostly undigested dry food, it magically disappears after a day or so. (One cat eats too fast and has tummy issues; the other cat is just gross.)

  6. toolnut says:

    Want some incentive to clean and de-clutter? Go check out the current National Geographic issue. They did an article on mites. It made an huge impression on my teenager (and me for that matter) his room is immaculate now.

    If you’re overwhelmed at what needs to be done, give yourself an hour a night. Start in the easiest room and in the worst rooms, do a section at a time. You’ll be done before you know it. Pretend you’re moving tomorrow. Ask yourself what would you move with you to the new home. Everything else goes out the door. I’ve been doing this since New Years day and I’ve made more progress in 1 month than I did all last year.

    Good luck. Invite the couple back when all is presentable. The worst they can say is, “no”.

    • Wonderwino says:

      And once and room is clean, close and lock the door. Otherwise the cats will trash it in short order. LOL!

    • fitz says:

      Good suggestions.

      I’m doing OK on the identification of things to get rid of…just not the actual getting rid. What do you think is cluttering up the dining room 🙂

      • toolnut says:

        Given that it is an old pic, I don’t know what’s currently cluttering the dining room. (The world market stool boxes were the give away.). I would imagine if you ask your friend Chris, he’d suggest getting rid of everything that would be in the way of your workbench, tools and lumber. So guess it’s relative. If you want to make it easier to get rid of the stuff you’ve identified, give it away. You’ll know it’s being used in its new home, which makes it easier to part with stuff. if nobody wants it, that’s usually a really good sign that it is time to toss it.

        • fitz says:

          Nope – that was from last night. I took the stools back but kept the boxes (otherwise, the two stools wouldn’t fit in my car…and it seemed like the boxes might come in handy for moving…and I’m a hoarder of weird things).

      • steveschafer says:

        You know, I hear that Popular Woodworking offers a video course on 5S…

  7. Nice Mark Rothwell #10 print. One of my favorites!

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