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Pat’s Bits & Pieces- Laundry baskets and junk drawers

Pat Maurer, Review Correspondent

pat7-14-05This place is a mess.

I am lucky enough to have a cleaning lady – Lydia, and she really does an awesome job when she is here once a month. I wish I could afford to have her come every week. Then maybe the house would be clean for two days a week rather than two days a month…
I’m so glad she is coming Friday morning. Suzy Homemaker I’m not.

It is even worse lately. I’ve had loads to do for work and we have had loads of company – grandkids mostly. That doesn’t leave much spare time to do the “picking up” I usually try to keep up with weekly. Lately I would get a D- on my efforts and that is generous.

When I was a bit younger it seemed to be a lot easier. I worked back then too, sometimes incredibly long hours and still managed to keep the place presentable and the dishes and laundry done. Plus I was raising three youngsters at the time…

These days when the work week is done, I don’t have the energy left for the house, let alone yard work or weeding the flower beds. They are also looking pretty sad lately.

Gotta love getting old!

So I usually fall back on some tips from the family on keeping things presentable at least inside the house.

My sister in law Marlene was a genius. She always left her vacuum sitting in the living room.

I asked her about it one time and she said, “It’s in case someone comes over. I’ll tell them “I was just cleaning.”

Maybe it’s because I grew up in the happy homemaker era of the 50s and 60s, but I understand her reasoning completely.

Remember “Leave it to Beaver”? If you do, you know exactly what I mean. Not only was that house “open house clean,” but Mom (June) did it all in a dress and high heels and still had a healthy, balanced dinner ready at 6 p.m. It was the same thing on the afternoon soap operas. Did you ever see any of those actors or actresses in jeans or sweatpants? Or see any clutter at all in their million dollar homes? Of course not!

We do not live like that. There’s always clutter on the counter, fuzz on the carpet and often dishes in the sink. And despite some efforts at healthy meals, we still eat a lot of pizza and burgers…

Back in the days of “Father Knows Best,” most Moms didn’t work outside the home. Mine did, but then that is another story. Somehow she still managed to keep our place looking fairly neat – but then we had lots of junk drawers. Mom was a genius too.
I am a firm believer in junk drawers. We have four or five in the house – usually the top drawer of desks and dressers – and they certainly are handy. If someone calls to say they are on their way over, you just open the drawer and sweep everything off into there – instant neatness.

Since this is the method to my madness, of course you know the coffee table in the living room is a trunk. Just don’t open it.
Another “must have” cleaning tool is the laundry basket. Carry it through each room and throw everything in there that doesn’t belong. Then hide the basket.

And of course, drag the vacuum out into the living room, unwrap the cord and plug it in. Now you are ready for company.
Of course you do have to clean those drawers out occasionally and put all the stuff in the baskets away – or you could just check them all when you are missing something.

Guess I really should clean out some of those junk drawers and find the hidden laundry baskets, so I have a place to put stuff when company is on the way again…

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