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Hollow Tree Ventures parenting humor
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Friday, November 30, 2012

8 Major Signs It's Time To Clean

As a mom and wife and blogger (not in that order), I don't have a lot of time to clean my house.

Well, to be honest I have plenty of time to clean it, but instead I use all my spare time to chat about inappropriate things on Twitter.

True story.

"Oh no you din't!"

As you probably know, if you willfully neglect your home (like I do), it doesn't take long for things to start piling up around the house.
Laundry, I'm looking at you.
So in hopes of keeping the housework from getting completely out of hand, I thought I'd make a list of 8 Major Signs It's Time To Clean. Whenever one of the following situations applies (or all of them, if it's been a busy week) I know I absolutely can't put off cleaning any longer.



1. The Kitchen Sink
If the idea of eating a grape that touched the stainless steel surface of my sink makes me physically gag, it immediately bypasses the 5 Second Rule and gets sacrificed to the garbage disposal. This should be quickly followed by a dousing of Soft Scrub - but not until after I've bolstered my strength by eating the rest of the grapes. And maybe some ice cream.

2. The Floor
Sometimes when the baby crawls around on the carpet, enough cat hair sticks to the nubby fabric of her footie jammies that I could (if I were so inclined) use it to knit myself another cat. That's a definite indication that it might be time to vacuum, and/or shave the cat.

3. The Bathtub
Is there a ring circumnavigating the inside of the tub that's become a semi-permanent marker for the average water level of the kids' baths? Then it's probably time to bust out the Scrubbin' Bubbles. Or encourage them to take showers instead.

4. The Dust
Hahahaha, this one is a trick. I never dust, unless the piles of dust have completely obscured the location of the couch and I have nowhere to sit while I'm drinking and yelling at the idiots on House Hunters.

5. The Laundry
Doing a load of laundry becomes essential only when we're out of clean socks. Or else I just go buy more socks.

6. Yard Work
When I walk past our flower beds, the freakishly well-developed weeds occasionally call out a hearty, "Good morning!" or try to rob me at knifepoint. When that happens, it's usually best to wait until they're sleeping, sneak past them, and move to a house with no yard.

7. The Piles of Papers
Like many families (I hope we aren't the only ones) certain surfaces collect a lot of I'll-Deal-With-This-Later paper junk like ignored PTA notices, unpaid bills, expired Bed Bath and Beyond coupons, and magazines I haven't had time to read. Once in a while the cat or one of the kids will go missing for a few days, which is the signal that it's time to sort through the crapalanche, put things where they belong, and see if I can unearth any cherished loved ones beneath the pile - unless the papers aren't mine, in which case they can all be quickly filed in the recycling bin.

8. The Dishes
If I'm drinking wine out of a mug... No wait, that could be any time. A better indicator that the dishes need to be done might be that the kids are having ramen noodle soup for lunch, but I cooked it in the crock pot because all the pans were dirty, and they're eating it off a paper plate. Which they have to share. That's just a sad state of affairs, so I'll try to at least rinse out a bowl they can share.

Because I'm awesome like that.


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62 comments:

  1. LOL!!! OMG, this is so freaking funny!! I choked when I read "knit another cat"!! There are so many things I love about this, I can not even quote them all!! This is one of my favorites OF ALL!! Also? circumnavigating? you. are. my. hero.
    ALL THE LOVE! Devan

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    1. All the love back at you, Devan! Your comments are always a highlight of my day - muuuaaaAHHH!

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  2. The other day, my five year old told me he had nothing to wear. I just thought that all of his favorite superhero shirts were dirty. When I looked in his drawers, he literally had no clothes in them - no underwear, shirts or pants. OOOps!

    And if you do knit another cat, I'd love to see pictures of that sucker!

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    1. Hahaha, I'll send you pics of any cats I ever knit if you send me pics of the crazy mix-match stuff your son was wearing in the last few days leading to his empty drawers! Of course if it's anything like my house, you might not have been able to tell the difference (my kids' fashion sense is... eclectic). ;)

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  3. Pffft. A clean house is a sign of mental illness. Knitting a cat from cat hair? Totally normal. ;)

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    1. I bet you have at least a dozen cats knit from cat hair within 10 feet of the entrance to your store. ;)

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  4. Crapalanche. This is why I love you. Seriously. But seriously, Bed Bath and Beyond coupons DON'T Expire! You may not be able to get the 20%, but you can use the 10% forever. If the Zombie Apocalypse happens, you can still use them. I'm sure the Zombies will appreciate lovely bed linens. And even cooler? IF you have 15 items and 15 coupons, you can use ALL of them! And even a random $5 off a $15 purchase, if you have it!

    The only problem here is that I either have everything I would ever want or need from BB&B or I don't want it. Maybe I'll send you my coupons?

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    1. My main problem is the closest BB&B is about 30 minutes away, which is just too far when you find yourself in a last minute placemat emergency. I wouldn't want the zombies to get brain crumbs on my dining room table, you know. ;)

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    2. I'm in the same boat...we really live out int eh sticks here!

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  5. I use all my spare time reading you instead of cleaning. House isn't perfect, but I'm in a better mood b/c of it. Besides it's just depressing to clean and clean and clean and have the kids undo your work in 5 minutes! It has literally brought me to tears of frustration.

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    1. Likewise on the tears of frustration - I'm flattered to be your cleaning diversion. :)

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  6. You reminded my of an old joke from Phyllis Diller. She said she NEVER ironed. She would just sprinkle the clothes, roll them up & put them in the refrigerator until the kids grew up & moved out. Works for me!!

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  7. HAHAHAHA! My hubby and I just had a discussion about this... he was all "You say you don't have time to ___________, but I know for a fact that you spent 3 hours on the computer this morning. So you're lying." to which I was all "No I didn't." He rolled his eyes. I burst into tears. Then he left and I spent an hour and cleaned the whole house (well the public parts of the house... my bathroom doesn't count). I love the piles of paper thing because I literally have a crapalanche that is currently growing in my office...

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    1. A) Bathrooms NEVER count.
      B) I do some of my best cleaning when I'm angry, though we lose a lot of dishes that way.
      C) When you do get around to the bathroom, don't neglect to clean his toothbrush. In the toilet water. ;)

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    2. I'll do all the housework AND yard work forever and ever if you strike it rich with your writing.

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  8. So sadly true. I drink wine out of mugs, too! It's the classy way :)

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    1. It is, and it tastes just as good - maybe better, because it makes me laugh.

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  9. Very amusing and so sadly true of my world as well...

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    1. Glad to hear it - non-cleaners of the Internet, let's break our Swiffer Wet-Jets over our knees in protest!

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  10. I am the BOSS of " I'll deal with that later" piles.

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    1. I love that you have "piles," plural. My kind of lady.

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  11. Another sign is when you are watching that show Hoarders and you find yourself thinking "Man, I wish my house was that clean."

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    1. Totally - except they (mercifully) almost always have fewer rodents than I do.

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    2. Those aren't rodents. They're all the extra cats you've knitted.

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  12. I found you through your comment on the Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms. As a professional procrastinator, packrate extraordinaire and incipient hoarder (please, no!), this strikes home to me - and I don't even have the excuse of children. I do, however, have enough cat hair to knit a cat - and this one isn't even long-haired!

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    1. Ours isn't long-haired either, but you'd never know it to look at our couch!

      I'm so glad you're here - pull up a chair and stay a while! I think there's one over there in the corner, under that pile of newspapers...

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  13. I love this. I love it so much.

    The piles! Oh, the piles. Whenever I go to someone's house and I don't see any piles, I'm all "WHERE ARE YOUR PILES?! You've obviously hidden them because how can anyone NOT HAVE PILES?! If we are going to be friends you are going to have to show me your piles."

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    1. You and I are going to be besties, then, because I have piles on every surface, and there's no hiding them. Thee are piles on top of piles. It's unnatural to put things in their proper place in a timely fashion. :)

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  14. I call all that annoying mail/paper stuff "Kahgaga." And I hate it. I have piles and piles of kahgaga stuffed in various cabinets and drawers. One of these days I'll get around to purchasing a shredder and then replicate Disneyland with my own paper mache. Thats how much kahgaga I have.

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    1. Oh no, I can't give my piles of precious, precious worthless junk an adorable name or I'll NEVER get rid of them!

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  15. Just love your posts the day you throw out a dull post I think the Mayans may have got a hint on that world ending stuff!!! LOL
    Dusting is my dreaded I won't ..don't....and aint gonna chore ughhh I hate it. One of my confessionals to the husband 14 yrs ago when I was bringing him home went like this.... err umm I need to tell you something.....um yay I hope you don't think I am ....errrgross or anything (shock, horrified looking face I know I am not having sex on this date look) B U T......I HATE dusting!!!! whew I said it!!! He busted LOL & told me he was afraid I was going to tell him I secretly had a penis and he would have to break up with me, a little dust he could handle. When the house gets to the point we make dust angels .......I use the cat !!! true story now I just wish I could find the cat errr ummm no I don't then I would have to dust huh!! Leave me off the list of knitted cats for Christmas okay wink wink!!!

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    1. Ha, that's a great story - I bet he was terrified! I had a similar conversation with my husband, but my never-gonna-happen chore is ironing.

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    2. My now-husband sat me down and told me seriously in our second or third month of dating maybe, that he had an incurable disease and it's only fair that I knew about it early on. When I asked him what he had, he said he didn't know it in English. (He's Thai). He said he's had it his whole life, etc etc. I finally asked him to just tell me in Thai and it was - brace yourselves - asthma! Hhahahahahahahah I still laugh when I think about this story.

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    3. No one irons. That's what dryers are for.

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    4. @yourfriendrobin bwahahahaha! You really had me going there! Thank goodness he disclosed that early on, eh? :)

      @thethirdpartier - no one? That's a relief. I thought other people bought irons for more than just applying badges to Girl Scout sashes.

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  16. I don't know what it is with the people I must live with, that anytime they encounter a clean, bare surface something within them Must.Cover.That.With.All.My.Stuff.
    "crapalanche" indeed
    I got enough dead tree on my dining table to solve the rainforest deforestation problem.
    Thankfully, I am spared from the dishes problem since the hubby is the only one who know how to load the dishwasher properly. I have not the heart to prove him wrong.

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    1. LOVE your stance on the dishwasher situation. My husband often has to rearrange my feeble attempts to place dishes in there properly. :)

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  17. I'd rather tweet too! You are so funny :) I can't abide by dirty dishes though. But you should see all the clutter on my counters!

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    1. Thanks! It's true, I can't really have too many dirty dishes around because they take up valuable counter clutter space. :)

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  18. Love the laundry rule! Haha, I was asked about 4 days ago to please do laundry as the Artist is running out of clothes. I still have not done laundry. This was funny, I am so glad I'm not the only one.

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    1. Within 4 days of a laundry request, all you're required to do is *think* about doing laundry and confirm that there are laundry facilities available. You don't have to actually *do* laundry for about two more weeks.

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  19. Did you see those new baby pajamas that come with built in floor mops on the knees? That may totally work for you. My floors would have been much cleaner if they were around when my kids were crawlers.

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    1. I haven't! Maybe I can get the sock version for all the kids next time all our other socks are dirty. Or wait... Would that count as washing the socks, too???

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  20. Absolutely just buy the new socks! So hard to hold back from tackling the laundry pile, I know, but someone has to stimulate the economy, right? And wait, now I'm confused--are we not supposed to be drinking wine out of something other than mugs?

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    1. Absolutely not - we're supposed to drink wine out of a mug while ordering new socks on the Internet (since we don't have any clean clothes to wear to the store). :)

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  21. have you seen that book on crafts to make with cat hair?? It's awesome- you should get it. In fact, I should too.

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    1. Oh no, I have a feeling one more thing is getting added to my Christmas list... And that I'm just about to become even less socially acceptable.

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  22. Now, when you say "shave the cat"...is that secret code? Like that time when your husband was "working with that power tool"?

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    1. Heh heh heh... That's another story, for a very, very different blog. ;)

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  23. What about the thick layer of dust on top of my piles??? Or when I try to relocate a "pile" and a cloud of dust and dog hair flies up from it? I guess that signals its time to dust.... I recently convinced my husband to start taking the piles outside and burn them in our fire pit at night....no sorting needed. Its a win win situation...he gets "out of the house" and I get to enjoy my mug of Merlot in peace....

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    1. This might just be the perfect comment - and the perfect solution to dusty piles!

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  24. It's the lemon-Pledge-iest smelling heap of detritus I've ever smelled. Beauteous.

    I would bother refuting these mostly outrageous claims of chore negligence, but I'm still stoked that you managed to work "circumnavigating" into a post about boring old housework. Woot!

    Okay, one refutation: We don't have any weeds in the flower beds. All our weeds are in the "grass." Really, we have some grass in our weed yard.

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    1. These things you say are all true. And funny. ;)

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  25. Whenever one of your options is "shaving the cat" you take it because the car will love it, I'm sure. That, and shower it before. That will make him or her even more compliant.
    Thanks for making me laugh tonight!

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    1. The cat will love it, not the car.
      My iPhone hates me.

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    2. My car is so dirty, it could certainly use a shower. Probably a shave by now, too. :)

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  26. I don't like being the first comment, then I miss all the fun, so I came back to read the comments on this, my favo post!
    Anywho, our main pile has its own geograpic location. IE:
    hubby: do you know where the ipad is?
    me: over by the junk pile
    hubby: ok, found it
    There are other piles, but the MAIN pile is the USA of the piles. It rules. And even when some other piles get consolidated, their remains go to the main junk pile. Maybe I should give it a name, like Zimbabwe or something. hmmmm
    <3 Devan

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    1. Devan, you are eight kinds of awesome.

      We should consolidate our piles around here - we have a mail pile, and a junk pile, and a scrapbooking junk pile. We used to have another pile on the stairs, but mercifully that one merged with another stack of junk somewhere before somebody broke their neck.

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  27. I so enjoy reading your posts. So stinkin' funny they are.
    I know it's time to dust when my kids start doing math homework and writing notes to me on my dresser. It's been done. More than once.
    The "crapalanche" is brilliant. Our kitchen is being renovated, so our crap collector counter is gone. The papers are now accumulating on the boxes in which our kitchen sink, microwave, and faucet are. Right at the front door.
    Thought for sure we would be in a paperless society by now.

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    1. Thank you! I love that your family has adapted to the dusty environment and started finding practical uses for it.
      I have no idea what I'd do if my crap-collection counter was out if commission - the horror! I'd love a kitchen reno, but that's a pretty big sacrifice, temporary or not. ;)

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