Saturday, October 28, 2006

Mrs Tiggy-Winkle rides again

In a desperate last-ditch effort to turn into some kind of tidy person in my later years, and if you could see the kitchen or indeed any other room in this house you would know just how Herculean a task we're talking about here, I have started a collection of housewifely mantras of tidiness, which I should like to share.

'I don't like to have one day spill over into the next' -- my mum, on why she wouldn't go to bed if there was anything at all left in or on the kitchen sink.

'Every time I bring something new into the house, I get rid of something old' -- my friend L. I can see how this one might stop the hallway from filling up with books and forcing me to start getting into and out of the house through the roof.

'If you don't make a mess, you won't have a mess to clean up' -- L's mum. Easy for her to say, I'm sure.

'Never walk from one room to another with empty hands' -- my friend D. This is a beauty. The house is much tidier since I heard her say this.

'Clear as you go' -- Mrs Beeton.

'Put the cats' meat in the fridge' -- You-Know-Who.


genevieve said...

Ewwh. I only tidy up if I am completely in the mood, OR very angry and in need of total distraction. The training of younger people to tidy, therefore, suffers somewhat.
I kept a great article from an Age liftout on organisation - every so often I find it and get all excited. Then I file it away somewhere special until the next time...:)

elsewhere said...

PC, I found half a can of unopened catfood on the bookshelf the other day. It had probably been there for eight hours or so. You think you've got problems.

I remember your friend Humanities Researcher had some maxim about picking up ten things everyday.

ThirdCat said...

I am a bit of a fan of the handy hints sections in the mags, and here is the best advice I ever read (it's not a maxim, but I rarely find such an excellent opportunity to share this advice): if you are interrupted when you are cleaning your venetian blinds, clip a peg to the blind to mark your place. That way you will not waste time cleaning an area you have already done.

And a related tip I read sometime after that: if you are renovating your bathroom, do not throw your old bathtub out. Put it in your backyard, and it will come in handy for washing your venetian blinds.

I think my work here is done.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Genevieve -- I tend to panic when people are coming to visit and do micro-things like dust ledges higher than my own head. This then necessitates serious vacuuming, the kind where you use all three of the little attachments.

El -- oh come on, you're a Virgo, I don't believe your house isn't immaculate. Only 8 hours? Pfffft. Bookshelves are a trap though. I'm always finding aged cups of cold, scummy, half-drunk coffee on them.

3C --wow. I'm going to rush out and get some Venetian blinds AT ONCE, just so I can not waste time cleaning them.

I left out the most useful hint of all, given to me by a bloke (they're pragmatists about these things): 'Do housework in fifteen-minute modules.'

Zoe said...

My contribution to the genre.

Miss Tickle said...

I'm forced to tidy because... I have a cleaner (who incidently dusts the timber venetian blinds - I know because she leaves bits of feather duster behind).

No, I don't clean for the cleaner but if I leave stuff around she (a) lays it out in a neat line on the dining table, or (b) cleans around it if too big for the table.

I also have one room that is "off limits" where I can hide all the junk.

genevieve said...

PC, my kids are taller than me now, and they are there all the time, so they have to learn to live with spiders. Though I did get very cross on Saturday and cleaned out two cupboards and put a dustbuster on the wall to charge (I've had it for several years.)So that will be fun to use the next time the wind blows.
Zoe, your header at your site is fabulous, did someone make that for you or are you rather brilliant?

Zoe said...

It was the definitely brilliant Ampersand Duck, genevieve.

Anonymous said...

If you let the clouds of cat hair (and bits of rough wool off the Flokati rugs) accumulate long enough around the edges of the room, they actually trap quite a lot of dust, and then you can just pick them up and stuff them ion the bin.

This technique also works with strands of hair in the bathroom.

JahTeh said...

I have just bought a new set of toys. It's a micro vaccum set that fits on the end of the dustbuster and for cleaning CD, DVD players and computers. I bought it last Thursday and today is Tuesday and the dustbuster has been charged every day and the toys are still in the box. I actually got them to dust my artificial plants and roses. I kill living ones.