How to Clean your House with Kids

Obviously if it has come to this, you must be desperate and your attempts to hold car washes and bake sales to hire that live-in maid or sisterwife you’ve begged your husband for have failed. You have my deepest sympathy.

Step 1:

Lower your expectations. Your house will probably always smell like peanut butter. And there are no Pinterest boards that match a basket of stuffed animals with your French country décor, I've looked.

I don’t want to brag, but in the past week I’ve earned my Girl Scout merit badge in Good Housekeeping, when everyday my realtor texted requesting showing after showing. I’d answer from within a pillow fort while simultaneously picking crayon flecks out of the carpet and my child’s teeth. Needless to say my house just doesn’t happen to be clean at 3pm on a Tuesday, it takes some serious effort.

Even in the wake of careful planning your filthy dog may still find a way to dig out of the neighbor’s yard and come to your front door in the middle of your open house, while peeing on the welcome mat as a way of welcoming those potential buyers to their new home (true story).

Step 2:

Temporarily hand off your children and dogs to achieve a temporarily clean home. Post pictures of them on social media skipping in meadows or helping the homeless in hopes that someone will offer to take them off your hands for an hour.

Aren't they adorable?

Aren't they adorable?

Step 3:

Confuse your kids into thinking that cleaning is the same as going to Disneyland, using high pitched vocal intonations reserved for sorority sleep overs. When that fails, you’d be amazed what your kids will do for gummy bears.

Step 4:

Resolve that threatening to run away to Mexico if you have to pick up the toilet brush one more time is not a real solution. Cleaning is part of your past, present and future. Lastly and most importantly, even if you consider yourself a part of a highly evolved equal partnership, whichever way the cookie crumbles someone will ultimately have to vacuum it up.

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