How to Clean Without Really Cleaning

By Noah Garfinkel, Networx

Sometimes youíll just be sitting in your house, completely unaware of your surroundings. Youíll be vaguely aware that there are walls around you and a couch beneath you, but details beyond their mere existence are of no concern. You might be watching your lights flicker, but you’re certainly not considering calling a NYC electrician. Then, out of nowhere, a friend will call and say he or she is dropping by. Suddenly the Triscuit crumbs on your coffee table come into focus. The month of un-swept floor dust becomes blaringly noticeable. You have to clean up. But, letís face it, youíre not really going to clean up. You donít like your friend that much. Whatís going to happen is that youíre going to halfway clean. Youíre going to clean without really cleaning.

First youíll start with the coffee table crumbs. Youíre not going to get out the Pledge though. You donít even have Pledge. If you were the kind of person who had Pledge regularly in stock, youíd probably be the kind of person who didnít regularly have crumbs everywhere. What youíre going to do is take a damp paper towel and quickly run it over the table surface. But, you wonít worry about cupping your hand beneath the edge and sliding the crumbs into your palm. Why not? Because youíre about to sweep the floor anyway.

Well, youíre not really going to sweep. Your broom is saturated with dust bunnies and you donít feel like pulling them off the bristles with your hands. So, youíre just going to Swiffer. But youíre not really going to Swiffer either because you broke the stick/handle part last month when you tried to cram it into that weird skinny cabinet in your kitchen. Luckily, you still have two Swiffer pads left, and what youíll do is put them on the floor, step on them, and slide them across your living room under your feet. Theyíll take care of the crumbs you swept off the coffee table onto the floor.

Now you have to deal with all the clutter. Youíve got books, unopened mail, and yet-to-be-thrown-away packaging everywhere. You donít have time to sort through it all and decide what can be thrown out, so youíre just going to stack it on any flat surface you can find. Youíll put the biggest thing at the bottom of the stack and the smallest thing on top, forming a random-stuff pyramid. But, itíll look like you purposefully organized it that way. ďHe must always keep his ‘Dear Resident’ promotional postcards atop his shoebox and a clipboard,Ē your friend will think to himself.

All you have left to do now is make your place smell like itís clean. Itís easy. Youíll just pour a little bleach into your kitchen sink and let the antiseptic fumes waft into the other rooms.

Finally your friend will show up. He or she is going to be so impressed with you. Much more impressed than you are with them. If they were impressive you would have actually cleaned.

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Ida Gian
Ida Gian5 years ago

Does anybody like ironing?
I hate it! Especially when it's hot!
A quick way? I bend the clothes and sit on it. Done!

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson5 years ago

or you could just actually clean on a regular basis and put 15 mins aside ech day to pick up. if it helps, pretend your in laws are on their way

Jelica R.
Jelica R5 years ago

If you don't want to clean at all when unexpected visitors call, put king-size "Get Well" card on top of that pile on the coffee table. Friend will think you've been ill and won't even notice the mess.

Jelica R.
Jelica R5 years ago

If you don't want to clean at all when unexpected visitors call, put king-size "Get Well" card on top of that pile on the coffee table. Friend will think you've been ill and won't even notice the mess.

Dale Overall

Intriguing. Usually my place is fairly clean, neat, lots of knicknacks, tons of plants, one 16 year old blind cat that owns me and would toss me off the balcony if I opened a bottle of stinky bleach to pour down the sink. She allows me to put water and vinegar into a pot, bring it to a boil and add a cinnamon stick and cloves and a bit of dried orange peel.

Barb Hansen
Ba H5 years ago

funny and sadly so true. real friends know what a slob you are anyway, no use trying to impress now.

Paul Goodsell
Paul G5 years ago

It's amazing that people insist on using harsh sprays to do something as trivial as wiping crumbs from a coffee table. Water and a cloth is all that's needed the majority of the time.

I heard an interesting story the other day. This person, let's called him John, said he doesn't clean his house very often. But when he does clean, he likes to use bleach as to him it "smells clean". To John, I say this; if you want a clean house, keep it clean!

Anastasia J.
Anastasia J5 years ago

Um, no. You clean until there isn't any dirt/mess. None of this half-a**ed stuff.

Brenda Towers
Brenda Towers5 years ago

I hate clutter, and I think it is much easier to keep a clean , tidy home, if you keep on top of the work each day. NEVER WAIT until it is really dirty!!! What a horrid way to live. I can't relax if I am sitting seeing jobs that need doing. I must admit itis harder when children are young, and you are out at work, though.

Yedhu Krishnan
Yedhu Krishnan5 years ago