Saturday, 2 February 2008

Good Housekeeping (Yeah Right)

Rather hilariously, considering my previous form, Winchester Whisperer has tagged me for a Meme about household management. Or mis-management in my case. I feel somewhat embarrassed to give anyone any tips at all because I am getting to be so useless at the whole thing, but as always, I'll have a go:

First of all, don't clean anything, just tidy. Unless you've got some particularly sad friends who run their fingers along your skirting boards checking for dust, or your mother-in-law is a hag-from-hell who looks behind cushions for old apple cores, no one will notice anyway.

Always cook twice as much of everything than you really need, and divide it into two BEFORE you serve or you'll end up eating the whole lot or have a leftover portion too small to freeze for next time. Believe me, when you come home after a hellish day at work it feels like the beef casserole fairies have blessed you with a ready meal from heaven, and you will feel SO smug. Just bung the casserole in to defrost, throw some baking potatoes in the oven, make yourself a cup of tea and go blog for an hour (or so).

Don't iron anything that can go in the tumble drier and then be hung up to let the creases drop out. It's heavy on electricity but light on effort, so to hell with global warming, at least we don't have a patio heater so I am in credit on the old carbon foot-print malarky. If you are mad enough to iron pants or socks, please don't tell me or I'll have to send someone round with a tranquiliser dart and straight-jacket to take you away.

Forbid anyone to leave pots and pans "in soak". This is totally unnecessary now that Fairy has invented their Power Spray, which lifts fired on food (my particular speciality) in a couple of minutes. "In soak" is another term for "can't be arsed with this, I'll leave it till later when you go into the kitchen and do it for me". No dice mate. Get sprayin'.

If you go into the bathroom and someone (ladies, you know who I mean) has left just one or two sheets of loo paper on an otherwise empty roll, don't replace it. Just find another toilet roll in the cupboard and use some of that and take the rest out with you, or hide it, just to make the point. That'll learn 'em. Unless of course the same empty loo-roll is still there some days later, in which case you know you're being played.

And finally, even though you don't have one, tell everybody you have a cleaner but she is useless, and bemoan the state of your house at every opportunity. Say you really ought to sack her, but can't find a way to do it nicely without hurting her feelings. Everyone will feel sorry for you, and meanwhile you can spend what money you would have paid a cleaner, if you had one, on gin.

Works for me.


knifepainter said...

...........more Gin, works for me, oh yes.

Sweet Irene said...

How absolutely wonderful and you should see my baseboards!

I am the tidying up sort of person, but I don't do scrubbing very well, even though I am a Dutch housewife and it is supposed to be in my DNA material to be of the scrubbing kind.

It must be that little bit of French ancestry that predominates, because you know what they say about the French and cleanliness.

I try to dazzle people with my personality instead and hope they don't notice the state of the bathroom and assume I will be instantly forgiven for being such a wonderful person.

Besides, whoever said that cleanliness was next to Godliness was not a housewife, but probably some Calvinistic preacher who had never wielded a dust rag.

Amy said...

My daughter has a friend who is masochistically, sadistically, psychotically neat. She told my daughter she wouldn't come to our house unless we cleaned. My daughter told her she couldn't come over then. Heh. My little Martha Stewart.

debio said...

Great tips, sm - especially the last one!

Pop over to mine to be suitably honoured.....

debio said...

Great tips, sm, especially the last one!

Pop over to mine to be suitably rewarded!

Tina said...

Swearing Mother, that was fantastic! Am going to follow your advice to the letter, I'm already inventing a cleaner!

God, woman, you are so funny!

(PS, if you want a little peek, I've posted a photo, for my birthday. Eek.)

Kaycie said...

I spent a good deal of my Saturday cleaning and tidying things and ordering my children to clean and tidy things.

I think next time I'll just pretend I pay someone to do a poor job and buy gin. You're brilliant!

Maggie May said...

Well I love this & it is the answer to my question about how to blog successfully without the house becoming filthy! I am now getting a virtual cleaner!
You are really funny & I love your blog!

grit said...

what is 'iron'? what is 'tumble drier'?

Expatmum said...

Oh bugger, here I was thinking I could spend a quick five minutes catching up (ha) and you've reminded me that I've left a load sitting in the dryer. Apparently if you fling a damp tea towel in there and dry them a bit more, the creases disappear, but it never works for me!

Norman said...

First a confession. I find ironing relaxing. But then being a male I would, wouldn't I?
Yup, we usually tidy up and cruise along but as my daughter will surely testify (you readin' this Cath?) about once a month or so I get an "all this filth and mank" frenzy and go clean[ing] crazy. Through the house from top to bottom then, after the two day blitz, wonder why I am tired.
You'd think I'd learn by now, but I guess I never will.
Oh aye, one other thing, we have a tumble dryer that is hardly ever used, my other half says it used too much electricity so how do we dry the washing on these interminable wet days? We drape the washing over the radiators and the place smells like a Victorian bagwash for a couple of days. Then we wonder why our joints ache.
Luagh or go crazy, eh?

Swearing Mother said...

KP, you are a man after my own heart. Cheers matey.

Sweet Irene: Hello! Personality wins every time, who would your guests rather visit?

Amy you are raising a great daughter there, with a great attitude.

Debio, be over ASAP.

Photos Tina? Be round to yours in a minute.

Kaycie, it's OK to clean, but it's more OK to do something you enjoy more.

Hi Maggie May, once you start blogging time seems to fly away and before you know it, there's no food in the house and you're ankle deep in washing. Great.

Expatmum, sorry about that. Catching up with blogging never takes five minutes, I've learnt that since I once accidentally stayed up all night blogging when I only meant to have a quick look and got carried away.

Norman you are a gem, a man who likes ironing and blitzes the house when it all gets a bit too much. Cath must be so proud of her Dad. I agree tumble driers to take a lot of leccy but I suspect making the house damp and steaming up all the windows with wet washing is a good enough excuse to use it. That's my reasoning anyway, and I'm sticking to it.

Swearing Mother said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Swearing Mother said...

Hi Grit, no iron or tumble drier. Are you a student or just a really free spirit?


OK, I'll admit it ... I do have a cleaner - and she's fab and not only does she tidy but washes and dries and .... actually I haven't a clue what she really does but all i know is I am very very spoilt and my knickers have smashing creases ironed into them!

... I could however be persuaded to part with her for a few days in exchange for gin !! :-)

Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said...

The Rockin' girl guide to household management.

travelling, but not in love said...

I miss my cleaner. Since moving out here I haven't had the courage to brave the whole french domestic employee market. It scares me.

Anyway, the money I'm saving is indeed going on gin (amongst other things) and quite the treat it is too.

My house is much dirtier but I'm too sozzled to notice.

Who cares about a bit of dust (hic!)?

grit said...

we have three irons and i never use any of them. we have no tumble drier because i am poor and worried about the planet. and i am a free spirited student of life who home educates triplets, which sort of explains why i don't do the ironing in the first place. or the cleaning, come to that. but i do drink gin.

Swearing Mother said...

Mzungu chick, think your cleaner's worth her weight in chocolate, let alone gin. Well done!

Hiya James,lovely to read you again.

Travelling, hi! You're quite right about the dust, it won't hurt you. Getting a French cleaner might though. Have you seen those toilets? Ugh.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Oh, I love the last one. But from the state of my house people would insist I sack her.

I do the double the food thing too. It sure does feel good to have it done.

Swearing Mother said...

Hiya RC: It's great to have an imaginary cleaner, a bit like when kids have an imaginary friend, you can blame her for everything. Every home should have one.

Winchester whisperer said...

Bravo SM - I knew you'd have some amusing advice

Swearing Mother said...

Hiya WW, you can always trust me to take a really useful subject and make a complete farce of it.

It's a gift.