Cleaning, Organizing, and Decluttering, the Redneck Way!
Where to hide your clutter?
Company is coming?
Time for some speed...I mean spring cleaning!
Whether you are in the process of decorating your house, or cleaning your house, I have some helpful tips to pass along to the fellow Redneck. Just take note though, that most Rednecks wait till company's coming before doing the grab and stash. Only the die-hards attempt to keep up with their house every day. For the rest of us, it is easier to get by with the minimum effort of cleaning.
First impressions are important! So, let's begin with the door the company comes in first. This can be the back door or the front. Generally these doors will lead into the laundry room, or the front room. Let's just say for the sake of a good argument that your company is coming through the front door.
Look at that large dust bunny!
Making a first impression...
Clusters of dirty cloths, magazines, papers, toys, and other assortments need to be picked up. Begin with the dirty cloths, chucking them into the nearest basket. When the basket is full, place it in the nearest closet. (Just make sure this isn't a closet that company will be hanging their coat in.) Keep stacking baskets until they begin to fall over. Then move on to the next closet, till you get all the clothes stashed. If you have full baskets, and empty drawers, just cram as many clothes into the empty drawers till they are full, and couldn't possibly close without two people to assist. (Shoving down on clothes with both hands-- while using your hips to slam the drawer shut-- works best. It may take a couple of tries to get it shut.)
Next you need someplace to put the rest of the clutter. Find a large box. Using your arm, and making sure there is nothing breakable on the table or chairs, sweep your arm across the table or chair, gathering everything into the box you are holding. Stash the box in the closet, or under your bed. If it is too big for either one, fold the tabs shut and place at the end of a couch or chair. Toss a sheet, blanket, or tablecloth over the box, decorating it with ashtrays and beer cans to make it look as if it was part of the furniture. Now it is time to dust. Place a sock on the end of a broom handle to clear out any cobwebs that may be hiding in corners and cracks. Use your shirt tail to clear up any spills on the coffee tables. (Then cover the coffee rings with a decorative bath towel, blanket, sheet, or tablecloth.) Place more ashtrays or beer cans on table to distract from unsightly stains.
If your company is coming through the back door, and it is your laundry room, make sure your clothes line full of bras is taken down. (You wouldn't want to shock...or hang the poor, unsuspecting company.)
Check the back porch, and nearby trees, for any extra clothes that are air drying. Nothing sends up a red flag faster than clothes flapping in the wind. Boxes are your best friend in this room too. Just find the largest ones and begin to fill them with clothes. If the company asks why they are there, just tell them you are doing a bit of spring/winter cleaning. Milk crates can be flipped on there sides and stacked to hold any detergents, while boxes or baskets can contain any other stray items. (Remember the words: ORGANIZED CLUTTER!) Now that you have the first impression under control, it is time to move on to the kitchen!
There's a table under there?
There is the table.
The kitchen! A place of gathering...
The kitchen table and kitchens are main places most company likes to hang out at. (I think it is the food that attracts them.) It is here that the company will notice any dishes that seem to be growing fur, or moving on their own.
If you have clean dishes sitting out, cram them into a nearby tote, and haul them upstairs to store in the attic. Just make sure you have enough dishes to serve to your company. Dirty dishes can be hid inside the oven or dishwasher. If you still have dishes lying about, start flipping them into the dish drainer and cover it with a towel. Fill your kitchen sink with hot soapy water and place the remaining dishes in the water. This way when the company shows up, you can claim they caught you doing dishes. Hope and pray they don't use a dirty one for a drink!
Any crusted up dishes, place on the floor for the dogs to help clean. Now it is time to sweep and mop. If you can't find your broom and you have a small, long haired dog handy, grab a nearby sock to play tug-of-war with. As the dog is gripping the sock, swirl it around the floor till all the dirt is cleared.
What if you find that you don't have a mop, because the kids took it outside to play swords with?
No problem, slap a paper towel, rag, or sock on the bottom of a Swiffer mop; get damp, and sweep across the floor. If this is going to be a bigger job to tackle, due to dried on food, take a bucket full of hot soapy water, pour small amounts on the dirtiest spots. Wait five minutes, then wipe up with a bath towel. (This same concept can be used for cleaning the counters, table, inside the microwave, fridge and top of the stove.) Now that the kitchen is cleaned, move on to the bathroom. We all know that eventually the company will need a bathroom break.
Everyone enjoys gathering at the table.
Cleaning the bathroom can be hard work.
Unclogging the toilet.
In need of a curtain?
Yuck! The dreaded bathroom...
As you survey the disaster before you, you can't help but to suck hard on the cancer stick, watch the clock, and hope the company doesn't come early;
The children have managed to rip off half the shower curtain, left a ring of something greasy in the tub, and the toilet is chalked full of floating logs and toilet paper. You also realize you are missing the curtain to the window. This calls for some serious elbow grease!
Begin by dumping Pine Sol straight on the greasy ring until it is fully covered, and running down the drain.
Next grab a slotted spoon and begin removing the contents in the toilet. If there isn't a slotted spoon handy, just use the toilet brush. (Toilet paper adheres very well to the bristles!) Any overflow from the toilet can be cleaned up with dirty bath towels. Those can be stashed outside in a nearby trash can till laundry day, just don't forget to shake the logs out first into the grass.
Your toilet and bathroom sink are ready to be doused with Pine Sol. While that is soaking, wipe up, or using a pitcher of hot water, on the Pine Sol in the bathtub. Usually the shower curtain is used to hide the contents of the tub, but remember, the children ripped it. If you have time, clothes pin the shower curtain to the hooks. If not, make your own with plastic used to cover the windows.
A towel can be used to cover the unsightly window. No curtain rod? No problem! Just use a wired clothes hanger that is straightened out.
None of those handy? No problem! Use staples, boby pins, or twine to hang your towel curtain.
It shouldn't take long now to go back and wipe out the toilet and sink. Check the mirror for any hidden boogers and toothpaste. A lightly damp rag can be used to wipe the mirror up.
What about outside?
Now it is time to check the path to the house for Fido's droppings. You wouldn't want your company stepping into a fresh, steaming pile.
Quickly dig a trench in the yard. It is handy to throw the dirt into a wheelbarrow so you can just pour the dirt back into the trench. If you are short of time...fling it into the street, or the annoying neighbor's yard. (I have even heard of some people flinging it onto the annoying neighbor's roof, so that when it rains, it will fill their gutters. I would never dream of this. With my luck I would miss the roof and hit myself!)
Now, it is time to take a moment to collect your thoughts.
Address your hard work for anything that may catch the company's attention, and ruin your first impressions; or just their impression of you.
Are you feeling satisfied?
Then pop a beer open or your favorite beverage, and sit on the couch to catch your breath. In some cases, a second smoke is in order. Feel good that you have done your duty!
The End Product!
Here are a few additional tips for those that are busting with energy to spring clean.
While cleaning, move all your furniture to the front porch to give your neighbors the impression that you are moving.
Rotate the clutter from one room to another till it is gone.
Place your bottles or sippy cups into the washing machine. Set to delicate to quickly wash large loads. Just make sure there isn't any kind of glass content in there.
Quick mop jobs can be used with the wet bath towels from your shower.
Use vinyl tablecloths or plastic for windows, to cover the mattress of a bed-wetter.
Ready For Company Now!
Tips for moments you don't have the proper equipment.
Desperate for a diaper? Use a dishtowel for the clothes diaper, plastic grocery bag for the plastic pants, and electrical tape to hold it on. This will work in a jiffy till you can get to the store.
Dryer broke? Dry or iron out clothes in the microwave. They can also be hung off car windows, tree branches, or the porch railings.
In need of a potholder? Use the sleeves from the long sleeve shirt you are wearing. Just remember, if you go far, it does get hot.
No dustpan or broom? Use the vacuum to suck up any dirt on the floor. Remember, if rolling over the dirt too fast, it shoots out the sides forming a large dust cloud.
No mop? Use your carpet shampooer to mop with. It is amazing how quick and easy clean up is.
Desperate for a napkin? Use a tee-shirt, or clean underwear. Note: These can also be used for tea towels, dishrags, or coffee filters. Be sure not to use silk.
Your long haired cat or dog can be used to clear out dust bunnies from under furniture.
Use Pine Sol in place of laundry detergent.
Use shampoo in place of dish soap, or dish soap in place of shampoo.
Duck tape can be used to patch up rips in your britches or bloomers.
Use cinnamon brooms to make the house smell clean. (My nephew seems to think farts make great air fresheners, so if you want to clear a room...)
Time is of the essence when company is coming, so I hope these tips will help the fellow Redneck in a cleaning jam. (Most of the time it is your mother's crucial eye.)