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Unsolicited Advice You Don't Care About.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a pretty tidy person. I don't think my house is sterile or anything, but I will admit it's pretty clean. There is always some dust somewhere, but I'd say overall the house is clean, and, more importantly to me I think, tidy. I really don't like having a ton of clutter around, and it's hard for me to sit still if there's something out of place. Sometimes Joe makes fun of me (although he's really tidy, too), but one of my favorite things to say is, "It is a slippery slope! One day you have a used paper towel left on the counter, and the next day you can't walk through your own living room!" I mean, I guess that might be a bit drastic (but is it though? IS IT?), but it's a principle that has worked well for me. In fact, students at Fatima used to know that the number one way to irritate me was to move something in the classroom and not move it back. I can't count the number of times I said to a student, "I don't go to your room and move your stuff! Quit moving my stuff!" (In case you're new, I had a really good relationship with these kids, and they knew it was funny. They felt at home in my room, but like a really tidy home where we all MOVED STUFF BACK.) Like I also said to them multiple times, "One minute you're turning the hand sanitizer pump around, and the next minute this whole room is in chaos!"

Now, you're probably sitting there reading this like -- does Anna know she has a problem? Like, she knows this is weird, right?

I mean, I guess a little? A little weird?

But I guess I didn't really realize how intense this all was until the other day when I pulled out the dustbuster, and Joe was like, "I'm going to make you a holster for that so you can pull it out like *imagine cowboy in the wild west motion.* Actually, better yet I'm going to make you a backpack so you can be like *imagine Ghostbusters pulling out their particle accelerators to trap ghosts motion*."

Apparently I use the dustbuster a lot. (And to think when Joe first suggested buying one last year, I was a little wary to spend the $35. HA! The dustbuster is my favorite weapon against dirt, dust, and dog hair! The 3Ds.)

I know we all have different thresholds for tidy-ness, just like we all have different gifts and different things that irritate us. I also know we all have various size homes, various amounts of time to clean our homes, and various amounts of children and pets who dirty up our homes. I certainly know that adding an infant to your home drastically increases the amount of stuff you have while drastically decreasing the amount of time you have to tidy. And because absolutely no one asked me or cares about this at all, I thought if I could give only four little suggestions as to how to take your house from zero to SOMEONE IS STOPPING BY IN THIRTY MINUTES -- or better yet, from zero to "I tidied up for twenty minutes and now I feel really peaceful and can enjoy this" -- it'd be this:

1. Get your dishes out of your sink and off your counter. An empty sink just looks super clean, and all you have to do is rinse a few dishes and put them in your dishwasher. You don't even have to run your dishwasher. Just get that stuff out of your sink and off your counter.

2. Empty your trashcans. Seriously, I promise you if you take out your trash and put a new trash bag in your trash can you will feel like a million bucks. And I don't just mean your kitchen trash can. In fact, I'd argue it's even more important to take the trash out of those little trash cans we all keep in our bathrooms. Emptying those bags takes minutes only, and your bathroom will look so clean!

3. Run the vacuum. Your coffee table may be covered in dust and your kids' toys might be all over the floor, but if you just vacuum (even around the toys! Don't even pick them up if you don't want to!), your house will look super clean. Even if you just halfway do it! Don't even bother to use any of the attachments to get behind the furniture or under the couch. Just do what you can see.

4. Tidy up your counters. Throw away the junk mail and old newspapers. Put those plastic Target bags wherever you keep them. Toss that pencil, that coupon, and that set of keys you're still trying to figure out opens what into that junk drawer we ALL have.

Like I said before, my house is always covered in some state in dirt, dust, and dog hair, but I have found that if I do the above four things it is life changing to me in terms of my mental health and peace of mind. Perhaps a future blog post will be coming on: how to declutter in one simple step! (Spoiler alert: get rid of stuff. Or ask me! I'll help you!)

And if you're ever in the market to get me a gift, I will always happily accept bleach wipes, Febreze, and Swiffer Wet Jet pads! :)

Our son and our dogs. Or as I like to call them, the ninjas. They are very skilled in the stealth art of depositing dirt, dog hair, dust, and clutter while being equally skilled in having no hand in cleaning it all up! Great at naps, though.

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