Just like if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, if you can’t see it don’t clean it. Along the same track, the easiest way to clean is to hide what’s dirty. Kick it under the furniture, shove it in the closet, or simply turn off the lights. Dirty toilet? Put down the seat. See, clean. Or rather, don’t see, clean.
The Quick and Easy Housekeeping rule of thumb: Only clean as absolutely necessary with dirt targeting. Instead of wiping the entire counter, just wipe the obviously dirty spot. At any rate, don’t knock yourself out. It’s a sisyphean task since it’s just going to get dirty again anway.
Blust: To clean something by blowing the dust or dirt off. This more-or-less amounts to spreading the dirt around. After all, if everything is equally dirty, it’s also equally clean.
Crumkling: Picking up crumbs with your fingertip by mashing down on them so they cling. These are then flicked out of sight somewhere. Some bits don’t always stick, it helps lick your finger first. Just don’t lick after.
Handust: To wipe a dirty surface with your bare hand and then wipe your hand off inside your pants pocket. If wearing pocket-less pants, wipe off under your armpit.
Shwiping: Wiping a surface with the inside of the shirt you’re wearing. It’s best to use the shirttail which can then be tucked into your pants out of sight.
Dry-smop: To clean a bit of dirt or small spill by wiping it with your stocking foot. Wear loafers or slippers which are easy to kick off and slip back on without bending down.
Wet-smop: To clean the floor by wiping it with your damp stocking foot after wetting your sock by dry-smopping a liquid spill.
Rug-a-dub-dub: To eliminate dropped cigarette ash on the carpet by rubbing it in with your foot. When doing this bare-footed or in stockings be sure it’s not a burning ember.
Dustration: That last, frustrating little line of dirt left on the floor you can’t sweep into the dustpan no matter what. This can be dry-smopped if need be.
Ghost decor: Cleaner bit of wall, floor or whatever where a piece of furniture, a picture or whatnot used to be.
Patina: Over time household items can get covered with a thin film of schmutz, especially if there are smokers about. Just call it patina and forget about it.
Qwirt: The dirt, or film that builds up between the keys on your computer keyboard. If it doesn’t make the keys stick, ignore it.
Slobwebs: Cobwebs form in low trafficked areas, like under the bed and in closets. Cobwebs in high trafficked areas you haven’t bothered to even blust, handust, or shwipe are slobwebs.
Smudgegdums: A smudge on the window that always seems to be on the other side of the glass you’re cleaning.
Vegetaball: A small, hard ball which is the petrified remains of a pea (or something) that rolled under the stove months ago.
© Terry Colon, 2013