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Fresh Breath, Factoring and Frittatas

Did you know…

that the day you graduate college or get married or move into a grown-up house, you do not wake up in the morning with magically-acquired knowledge about how to keep up with housework or cook fancy meals in which the side dishes are done at exactly the same time as the entree?

I KNOW. That shocked me too.

“Ask me about home economics – tomorrow!”

Seriously. I was pretty pumped about my first newlywed morning at our home, when I imagined I would wake up with beautifully tousled hair and fresh breath, then throw together some sort of caviar omelette and golden brown crepes filled with fresh-picked fruit from my garden.

Ask me about my cereal-pouring skills!

Before I go any further, I should clarify that I am all for egalitarian housekeeping. But I only work part-time now, while Andy is gone all day trying to convince 9th-graders that knowing how to factor equations will change their lives and get them an invitation to prom. So it only seems fair that I share a little more of the burden, especially because when he gets home, he plays with the baby and builds me furniture.

So what I’m learning is this: the method of housekeeping we’ve been following for the past five or six years (read: letting it get out of control until we have company coming, then breaking our backs for 48 straight hours cleaning toilets and mopping under the sofa) is not ideal.

Can I get an amen?

So hello there captain obvious, and all you other grown-ups who are smarter than me. You’ll be happy to learn that we have a new system in this house. It’s called the Ten-Minute Kitchen Blitz and it is changing my life and getting me an invitation to prom.

It goes like this: right before bedtime, Andy washes dishes while I put stuff away and clean the countertops.

The Kitchen Blitz takes about ten minutes, and you’d be shocked how much we can accomplish in that time. It makes the entire following day brighter, happier and sunnier. When I have a few minutes to clean, I am not doing dishes over and over. I’m making progress on things like vacuuming and washing the sheets. It’s magical you guys.

This morning? I did yoga, then walked downstairs to my fresh, clean kitchen, ran my fingers through my beautifully tousled hair and enjoyed fresh brunch frittatas and a cappuccino peacefully in my breakfast nook while reading the Wall Street Journal and understanding everything it said about the stock market. (None of those things are true.)

I’m also hoping to get better at following this 30-day clean plan. Any other tips on keeping up with everything and magically being ready for guests to drop in at any moment? I welcome your wisdom.

Let's connect


  1. I love that 30 day cleaning plan. I have found that different seasons of life call for different cleaning strategies. I'm thinking this plan will work well having a new baby in the house. Plus, I HATE taking an entire day and doing the whole house. Who wants to spend an entire day cleaning? UGH!

  2. Whew I thought I was the only one with that hurry up and clean before company walks through the door cleaning style. We are also doing a blitz now, but its a laundry blitz, my husband oldest DD and I all fold a few things and it helps greatly with the mountain of clean clothes just waiting to be folded. Good luck with your 30 day challenge. 😀

  3. White Lacquer says:

    Because I can't get enough of your blog, and thought it worthy of sharing on mine, I'm awarding you the Stylish Blogger Award. Stop by when you have a chance.


  4. rindercella @ neatheringourfest says:

    i for one entered into marital bliss on a cloud of white feathers that crashed into a brick wall as well. lucky for me i had a husband who thought a gourmet meal was hot dogs and macaroni and cheese (and still does) and cleaning meant to stuff it all behind closed doors (and still does). thanks for the link to the 30-day plan – good stuff lady! 🙂

  5. Erin @ His & Hers says:

    ha! I made so many self to text connections with this post. My grad profs would be proud that I'm using my reading strategies.

    That 48 hour thing you mentioned? Totally our awful system, too. We once made a list of my duties/your duties that needed to be completed every week, and followed it for about…a week. We should get back to it!

    And give your husband my sympathies for trying to convince 9th graders about ANYTHING. It's my daily battle. So far, the biggest lesson I've been able to communicate is that if you use your shoe as a weapon, it will get thrown out the window.

  6. Funny you should mention it, I'm currently reading "The House that Cleans itself" by Mindy Sterns Clark. I'm halfway thru and it's changed a lot about how I do things. About how it's not as much about being MORE self disciplined, but rather organizing your house around your behavior. There are so many things I've taken from it – like think about how a hotel runs – and run your house like that (cleaning cart, most things hung on the wall, not much to dust, etc). And, of course, about keeping clutter at a minimum by GETTING RID OF IT…that's where I am (sorry, I'm yelling at myself there). I'm thinking I may post a review of it when I'm done. But I'm already seeing how my housework is getting a bit easier… But if this doesn't work, I'm hiring help!!

  7. Carol@TheDesignPages says:

    After 13 years of marriage you would think we'd have managed a better system. We always say that our house would be a mess were it not for our endless stream of visitors. I have actually heard that 10 minutes a day is all you need to keep your entire house clean. I haven't tried it but it sounds intriguing.

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