Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tips on Housework

Confession is good for the soul, so I want to come clean. I don’t do housework… I prefer to talk about it. My wife’s reaction is, “Let’s talk about sex, then” emphasis on the word talk… not sex.

See, I used to have these things compartmentalized. Housekeeping is in a little box here, next to cooking and taking care of the kids while sex is in another box waaay over here – completely separate.

But, I have learned that you compartmentalize these matters at your peril. Good housekeeping is a team effort; it is not good if one spouse has to do all the work …Remember this box over here called sex? It is a lot easier to carry with two people. You can do it alone, but let’s not go there.

God created us from dust and unto dust we shall return soon enough. In the mean time though, unburden yourself of the dust and clutter in your lives.

Come clean, and transform your lives from confusion and drudgery to excitement and fulfillment. It will take some time and practice, but as you get things under control, your life will start to flow, and you will have more time to do things you want to do.

If you cannot pick up the house, wash the dishes, get your clothes clean, or put away the groceries, you don’t belong in the real world, you belong in college.

How did I learn about the link between cleanliness and enlightenment? There was nothing divine or mystical about it. I learned the hard way from burglars in Manhattan, where I used to live.

I had a car in New York City, and, periodically, burglars would unburden me of whatever was in it. This goes for the radio, because while you may think it is built in, a burglar does not.

After you’ve been robbed, then you spend a lot of time and money getting the car fixed, which is drudgery and confusion of the worst sort in NY. After the third or fourth break-in, I had a revelation (I am a slow learner). Only by keeping a spotlessly clean and empty car could I keep the burglars at bay and get on with living.

God knows, I am not against material possessions. But many of us find our material needs have been more than met. More is not always better.

For example, my sister-in-law drives a Chevy Suburban. But it is so big, she needs a ladder to climb into it, and she is afraid to drive it downtown in traffic. She has to fold in the outside mirrors to get it in and out of her garage at home and more than once, she has scraped the side backing out of the garage because the mirrors are folded in and she cannot see.

Once you make up your mind to do it, it is not as hard to come clean as you may think. There are just a two simple rules you need to live by to become the Tiger Woods of housework.

  1. Less is more
    • Everything in your home has a proper place known by everyone in your house. The trash is the default.
    • Sell, give away or throw out anything in your house you have not used or worn in the past one year. I bet some of you have stuff going back years and years in your closet.
    • Never acquire anything without having a plan to dispose of it.
  2. Replace your divots.
    • Clean up your messes right away.
    • Every time you use something put it back.
    • Don’t let messes and clutter become the trademark of your style.

I see a book in this; a whole line of books, in fact. I want to be the guru of clean – another Deepak Chopra or Martha Stewart, dispensing “wisdom” and “truths” to millions of scared and unhappy people.

For example, “Come Clean the Kitchen.” I’ll tell you how feng shui, the Chinese art of placement, can help you stash the cookie jar so you don’t eat a dozen Oreos every day.

“Come Clean the Yard” could be about controlling weeds and training your dog to do his business in the ivy, not on the lawn.

“Come Clean your Teenager” could be about steering them away from sex, drugs and rock and roll.

Come clean is a prescription for a happy and fulfilled life. If you follow my advice and come clean, you won’t know how to thank me. Here’s how you can thank me, you can come clean my house. It is a mess.

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