Pockets of Disorder: Cleaning Season Looms

You know it’s springtime at Martha when you read:  “Over time, even the cleanest, most organized home develops pockets of disorder.” I would love to see firsthand any such chaos in Martha’s world. Her suggested cleaning regimes are incredibly hilarious helpful, particularly the part about enlisting family members to help (but NOT the part where she says “Spring-cleaning is the ne plus ultra of housekeeping,” which I believe  is French for “Spring-cleaning is something I make lists about but is actually executed by a team of well-paid gay men”).

Martha makes her fancy brocade-y bed.

Moment of Full Disclosure: disorder makes me twitchy and upset, which leads to paralysis and self-loathing.  The idea of a pocket of anything in my house makes my skin crawl. I consider Checklists such as the one below to be de rigeur (sorry). Who wouldn’t wipe up a spill right away? Who doesn’t make their bed every morning?* I’m good at cleaning, probably because I’m not good at much else, and so I do it often, instead of learning to do much else.

But perhaps we’d all be a little more inclined to tidy up if Martha mailed everyone a DJ Roomba! (via NBC’s new Amy Poehler vehicle Parks & Recreation)

Martha’s Daily Cleaning Checklist (aka The List I Gave My Husband When We Moved In Together)

Get into the habit of completing these basic tasks daily. With just a few minutes’
work, you’ll easily be able to keep chaos at bay.**

  • Make the Bed – Tidiness begets tidiness. A crisply made bed makes the whole room seem more orderly, which makes it less likely that you’ll let other things — such as clothes and papers — pile up around it.
  • Manage Clutter – Whenever you leave a room, take a quick look around for anything that isn’t where it should be. Pick it up and put it where it belongs. Insist that everyone in the household do the same.
  • Sort the Mail – Take a few minutes to open, read, and sort mail as soon as you bring it inside. Keep a trash bin near your sorting area for junk mail. Drop other mail into one of four in-boxes: personal correspondence, bills, catalogs, and filing.
  • Clean as You Cook – Instead of filling the sink with pots and dishes, wash them or put them in the dishwasher as you prepare a meal.
  • Wipe Up Spills While They’re Fresh – Whether it’s tomato sauce on the cooktop or makeup on the bathroom counter, almost anything is faster and easier to remove if you attend to it immediately.
  • Sweep the Kitchen Floor – Every evening, once you’ve finished washing up after dinner, sweep the floor. This will keep tough-to-clean dirt and grime from building up, which will make the weekly mopping much quicker.

*”You should make your bed in the morning. It really sets the tone for the day.” — Ellen Page’s character Vanessa in the movie Funny People.
** Debatable.



  1. emily · February 19, 2010

    haha, weekly mopping.

  2. Denny · February 19, 2010

    I’ve got reyefinn trained on all but item 1. And since he gets to sleep a minimum of two hours longer than me each day, our bed is never made. I make it just before I get into it at night, since crooked, twisted sheets make me claustrophobic.

    It’s a sad sad comment on my existence that I actually said to him the other night, “One thing I’m looking forward to on maternity is that I can make the bed every morning!”

  3. Lesley · February 19, 2010

    From what I hear you won’t be making the bed then either.

    Ps – J. sleeps later that I do too and makes the bed approximately 50% of the time and, get this, BLAMES IT ON THE CAT, when he doesn’t make it (ie. “Harry was in the bed and looked all comfortable. I didn’t want to disturb him.”). He knows that’s the only excuse I’ll accept, even though both Harry and I know that his morning nap doesn’t occur until at least 10:30.

  4. Lesley · February 19, 2010

    pps – Denny, I bet Ryan would make it if you had a DJ Roomba and that DJ Roomba was playing Q-tip.

  5. Mom · April 7, 2010

    I hadn’t been on your site for a while, so it was fun to catch up, especially with the glittered roses. Now I understand why you mentioned glittering the roses in the photo I sent you.
    Harrison certainly looks quite handsome and is probably saying “How can you even think of looking at the roses, glitter or not, when I am so charmingly in front of you.”

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