Spring cleaning for couch potatoes

Elise Haynes chronicles family life in her blog Haynes Family Yard Sale. The opinions stated in this article are solely her own and not those of St. George News.

HUMOR – It’s that time of year again. It’s time to look around at the filth and mess that has accumulated in our homes all winter long and think, “I have to get out of here.” Unfortunately running away isn’t a viable option for most people and so we must do the unthinkable: spring cleaning.

Today I’m going to outline the spring cleaning routine that I have used in years past. My plan is so simple that even the most disgusting couch potatoes can accomplish it if they can find someone to pull them off of the couch. If you can’t find a friend to pull you off of the couch, watching one episode of “Hoarders” should do the trick.

First, gather your supplies. You will need: a variety of cleaning rags, some children, a smart phone, three empty storage bins, and a spray bottle full of somewhat diluted white vinegar. Are you ready to start cleaning? No, you are not. You also need to pick up a box of Girl Scout cookies, preferably Thin Mints or Samoas. Now you’re ready.

After you’ve gathered your supplies, the first thing you need to do is sit on your couch and eat an entire sleeve of Thin Mints. This is crucial to the cleaning process. Otherwise, by the end of the day you will find yourself cursing the people you live with and throwing their stuff into the trash out of spite. I believe that Girl Scout cookies are sold at this time of year for this specific purpose.

Once you feel the sugar high set in, it’s time to start the real work. Take your three empty bins and arrange them in a row. One bin is for trash, one bin is for items to donate, and the third bin is for children. It can be difficult to determine which children should go in the bin, so here’s a rule of thumb: If your children are shorter than your doorknob, put them in the bin. Simply place them in the bin, where they will be easily contained for the remainder of the cleaning process. Do not skip this step. If this step is neglected you will find that the smaller children have followed behind you undoing everything you’ve done. To entice them to remain in the bin, give them the smart phone and allow them to play games and rack up your phone bill by making online game purchases for which the charges are irreversible.

Next, soak your cleaning rags in a solution of warm, soapy water and distribute them to the remaining children. Put them to work washing their kid sticky stuff off of the walls, doorknobs and windows. Meanwhile, move from room to room in your house placing trash and donate-able items into the appropriate bins. I cannot stress enough the importance of completing this stage of the process while your children are preoccupied with washing the walls. You cannot let them catch you putting their stuff into the bins or you will have an entirely different mess on your hands.

Finally, a word on vinegar. Here are some words I never thought I’d use – I love vinegar. After water, vinegar is the desert-dweller’s best friend. It dissolves hard water stains on almost anything. Use it on shower doors, stainless steel faucets, dishes – it will even kill your weeds. Just don’t spray it on anything that you do not intend to kill or clean, or anything that you don’t want to smell of pickles.

That’s it. Following these simple steps will create a kid sticky-stuff-free, tidy home. Just don’t forget to take your kids out of the bin.

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Copyright 2012 St. George News.

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