Tag Archives: cleaning

How to Change Your Sheets in Under an Hour

We all have certain chores that we don’t mind doing. Some people prefer washing dishes over vacuuming or taking out the trash over dusting the shelves. If you have more than one person at home, these tasks can be split up accordingly.

But when you live alone, all of these tasks fall to you. And aside from picking up that one string the vacuum refused to pick up, I have to say one thing I find extremely tedious is changing the sheets on my bed.

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Let’s examine the process.

It starts with simply ripping off the covers and throwing the pillows and blankets in a heap on the floor with dramatic flair—and about 1/100th of the time it will take me to remake the bed.

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It’s at this point I realize there’s no turning back and  swallow a small lump of panic. With the old sheets in the basket and the new sheets still folded in a pile, I am now committed to following through with the process if I want to sleep on sheets ever again.

Ever again!

Exhausted by the thought, I take the sheets from the shelf and let them rest on the bed for a bit while I rest for a bit on my own.

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I will usually get (intentionally) distracted by something more interesting like watching the squirrels and cursing Disney movies for leaving me so disillusioned about small woodland creatures and their willingness to help me with chores.

But I steel myself up and return to my task, plowing through the bottom sheet and two pillows and fighting with the corners of death.

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 You know what I’m talking about.

The only thing harder than fitting the elastic-ish corners of the bottom sheet across each of the four ends of the mattress without one popping off every time is actually folding the bottom sheet when it comes out of the dryer.

Tedious.

Enter a quick break to test out the sheets and pillows, at which point I stare at the ceiling and decide I should probably wipe off the ceiling fan at that exact minute.

About 20 minutes later I continue on with my journey of placing the top sheet on with equal amounts of sheet on either side of the bed.

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But no matter how hard I try, I end up walking back multiple times to pull the sheet a little bit more on one side before tucking it under the mattress.

If it’s too short on one side, I end up pulling the whole thing out when I get into bed. If I pull it too far up the front, my feet will poke out of the bottom and there’s a good chance I’ll wake up with the excess sheet wrapped around my head and panic that the cat’s trying to smother me.

Yup, still single, people.

Anyway, once sheet side distribution is complete, I triumphantly throw on the blanket with the flair of a matador waving his flag. After ensuring equal blanket distribution—see sheet step above—the task is finally complete a mere 45 minutes or so later.

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Holy sheet.

I’m exhausted just thinking about it, but at least now the bed will have sheets.

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A Letter to My New Vacuum

Hey there, bagless buddy!

Welcome to the family! Before you get too comfortable in the front hallway closet, I think I should let you know what you’re getting into and just who you’re dealing with here so we start out on the same page.

For a little background, I should let you know that I’m actually pretty excited about having you here. I’m a little OCD and I have to admit that there’s an odd, slightly-sick sense of satisfaction when you’re running the vacuum and hear it actually sucking up crap from the floor.While this means there was crap on the floor, this also means that the vacuum is doing its job and the floor will be clean again.

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 (You know this, as you are a vacuum yourself and familiar with job satisfaction.)

Anyway, then there comes a day when you’re going about vacuuming and note that there is no sound of things being sucked up—presumably because you live in an immaculate abode and never accidentally knock a measuring cup of uncooked rice on the floor, hypothetically speaking—and blissfully continue on your cleaning journey.

But then you remember that you’re me, and that last night you knocked a measuring cup of uncooked rice on the floor. And despite your best efforts with the dustbuster, you know you were bound to miss a few grains of spilled rice because there were about a million grains of spilled rice and your rage was slightly blinding.

So you snap out of your delusional state of flawless floors and start to pay a bit of attention.

One pass over the couple stray grains and no satisfying sounds…hmmm. Maybe it’s because they’re so tiny. After the second pass without any sounds, you realize that this vacuum sucks—and not in the way it’s supposed to—and that it’s starting to smell like burned rubber.

In the blink of an eye, it’s like the vacuum is suddenly offended that you asked it to do what it was bought to do and starts sending off odorous smoke signals that roughly translate to, “Oh, you wanted ME to pick that up? Well, I never….”

If you’re me, you’ll keep trying for a couple more minutes, yelling instructions and possibly profanity at the vacuum as it passive-aggressively pushes the rice over the floor before realizing you are now the proud owner of a large noisy thing with a light on the front that in its own special way, has requested an early retirement.

That brings us back to today.

When I sufficiently recovered from the vacuum betrayal above, I set out on a mission to fill that hole in my appliance arsenal, headed to Target and returned home with you—as you know—and half a dozen other things I more than likely didn’t need.

After a quick assembly and a trial run, I’m happy to report that so far, so good. You seem more than up to the task, and I have no doubt that together we can embark on a mutually beneficial relationship of sucking crap off of the floor, from in between the couch cushions and possibly the front of my shirt.

 Don’t judge. You don’t know my life.

And while I’m happy to have you aboard, I would also like to remind you that if at any time you decide to get a bit lazy yourself, I always keep the receipt.

Abby

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A Writer’s Days Before Christmas

Since most of you aren’t on the Internet this week and my brain is fried, I decided to write you a poem instead. 

(Clears throat, dims the lights and takes a sip of her holiday tea.)

THE WRITE BEFORE

‘Twas the days before Christmas, and all through my place.

Not an idea was stirring to share on this space.

My stocking was hung by the chimney with care,

(Which meant there would be no more dusting right there.)

And then there was me, wearing what I wear best.

Yoga pants, sweatshirt, well you know the rest.

When out from the driveway, I heard something clatter,

And turned to the window to tend to the matter.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear?

But a Lexus that made me ask, “Who the heck’s here?”

The lost-looking driver sped off in a fit,

And I knew those commercials were still full of shit.

Speaking of cars and a holiday ruse,

Those dressed up like reindeer that Santa might use?

The antlers on top and a red nose to boot,

Send mixed messages when drivers give the one-fingered salute.

“Freaking merge!” “Learn to park!” They all shout and they call!

‘Tis the season for road rage for those at the mall.

But back to the story of writing this post.

Even though all the readers are logged off, like most.

I had an idea of where things could be going,

In my head all the words just kept flowing and flowing.

But then in a twinkling, I heard in my head.

The prancing and pawing of something instead.

“Did I put back the Swiffer I used on the floors?

Of course I should check, and then clean out some drawers.

Perhaps now the shower could use a good scrub?

I’ll keep writing as soon as I clean out that tub.

And now the mirror’s streaky, so that gets cleaned, too.

What’s with my eyebrows? Let’s pluck one or two.”

My eyes looked quite tired, my hair still a mess.

My chest most resembling a flat iron press.

A shirt stained with hummus not hiding that stealth.

But I laughed when I saw it in spite of myself.

Then I remembered I wanted to bake,

There were cookies and candies I still had to make!

Once that was over, with treats wrapped up tight,

I had no more excuses to not sit and write.

“Okay, back to work.” I decided right then.

I resolved to see this post right through to the end.

But then laying the cursor aside of my lines,

I somehow clicked over to go back online.

To Facebook I sprang, and of course, then to Twitter.

As long as I’m there, e-mail too. (I’m no quitter.)

My train of thought suddenly derailed again,

I figured that yoga might help me feel Zen.

Down dog and pigeon and side planks galore,

I couldn’t help notice a string on the floor.

Out came the vacuum to suck up that stuff,

And at that point I figured enough was enough.

Clearly this poem wasn’t going that great,

A much better post would just have to then wait.

So I sighed and I shrugged and then turned on TV,

And crashed on the couch for a Food Network spree.

Now where was I going with this rambling spiel?

Oh yes, for you people I like a great deal:

May your holiday bring you much joy and delight,

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

See you back here Friday with another blogger sharing their issues!

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What Happens When You Live Alone

I’ve lived alone for about six years now. And while the only problem with being independent is I have to do everything myself, for the most part, I love living alone.

In fact, I honestly don’t know if I could live with somebody again. I’ve been spoiled with endless opportunities to watch whatever I want on TV, not be grossed out by other people’s fingernail clippings in the bathroom and I can sprawl on my couch every night without judgment.

I get my couch. My couch gets me.

But there are a few misconceptions and/or disadvantages to living alone. For instance, it doesn’t mean I flit around the house naked. In fact, I still find myself wearing a towel when I go from the shower to my bedroom and once in awhile I instinctively shut the bathroom door when I pee.

Why? I have no idea.

And even though I know it’s ridiculous, I still instinctively peek around the shower curtain like I assume a crazed lunatic is in there checking his smartphone while he waits for me so he can attack.

More realistic but equally creepy is the fact that bugs are always my problem. I can’t freak out over a spider and delegate removal to anyone else, so either I “remedy” the situation or consider the arachnid to be my pet.

bugbean

A new pet is not in the plans.

And bug relocation isn’t the only thing that won’t magically take care of itself or be done by somebody else.

That tiny twist tie that I dropped on the floor as I ran out to work in the morning is still there when I get home. No one has picked it up while I was gone and I can’t blame it on anyone else.

Trash can Jenga—the act of stacking up the trash as high as you can until something tips over instead of taking it out—is a game to be played only if you’re a) living with someone else who might break first or b) at the office. Much like the twist tie scenario above, the trash fairy does not come while I’m gone.*

*However, the trash man will come once a week, and if I don’t remember to put the big bin out the night before, it won’t magically roll itself out to the curb and will instead fester for another whole week.

Low battery smoke detector beeps are always mine to investigate, and I swear I could live in a house the size of a shoebox and it would still take me an hour to find which one it is.

*beep* Wander around the house looking for it until it beeps 60 seconds later, somewhere that I am not. *beep* Wander around the house looking for it until it beeps 60 seconds later, somewhere where I am not.

You get the picture.

Folding sheets becomes a matter of neatly folding the pillowcases and then taking the actual sheets, attempting to find the corners and align them to fold before haphazardly bunching them up and throwing them in the closet.

Of course there’s also the fear of choking and being found by an emergency crew bundled up in robe with a mouth full of hummus. I imagine it’s just a slow spiral of shame down from there.

It might even start that with the absence of a second opinion in my house, I find that I have a commentary on everything that I occasionally still say out loud. It’s like I always have an audience, and no sane person has as many conversations with inanimate objects as I do.

When putting out a new candle, I might opine to the television that, “Yes, I think that looks nice there,” or “Hmm, I should add paper towel to the grocery list I’ll forget to take with me tomorrow.”

I admit it’s a little weird to notice the self-speak going on, but on a positive note, at least I’m wonderfully supportive of myself.

After all, no one else can do it for me.

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The Tao of Abby

I recently read “The Tao of Martha” by Jen Lancaster in which she attempts to live her life according to the advice of Martha Stewart with everything from closet organization to party planning. It was an okay read, but that’s not the point.

The point is that as evidenced by my issues with sheets and vacuums, I’m no Martha Stewart.

In fact, the only thing me and M-dawg have in common is that she’s an ex-felon and I commit crimes on a daily basis that would keep the Fashion Police busy if they had any actual authority.

But I would like to think that most people tend to lean a little bit more towards “drawer of shame” instead of “bedazzled closet hangers” on a daily basis. As such, I have decided to do a “modified Martha” version of some of her tips for those other domestically disabled divas out there.

They might not exactly be helpful in a “Watch out, Martha!” sort of way, but at least they’ll help you feel less alone.

Cleaning a Mini-Blind

Martha: If blinds are very dirty, remove them from the window and lay them flat on a drop cloth outside. Scrub closed blinds with a soft brush and warm soapy water. Repeat on the other side; rinse. Open and hang outside to dry.

Me: miniblind

Cleaning a Shower Curtain Liner

Martha: A homemade curtain of ripstop nylon works well. Curtains and plastic liners can be cleaned with laundry detergent in the washing machine, on the gentle cycle.

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Me: We’ve been over this before. Cut down the $5 liner from Target and replace it with a new $5 liner from Target. Much like the mini-blind situation, don’t be a hero.

Making a Cup of Tea

Martha: Gather leaves from a Darjeeling bush. Warm your pot first with steaming water, dump it out, refill it and let it boil. Warm your cups, strain your tea and add a lychee nut to the cup before you sip.

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Me: Fill Hot Shot with water, get impatient before realizing you forgot to hit “start.” Hit start, dispense water and tea bag into cup 1 minute later. Use all available methods for not burning your mouth with the exception of actually waiting for the tea to cool.

Readying Clothes for the Laundry

Martha: Empty pockets and turn them inside out, unfurl socks, and unroll cuffs. Tie sashes and strings to prevent tangling. Place delicate items like lingerie and fine knitwear in zippered mesh bags. Turn delicate items, sweaters, and cotton T-shirts inside out to prevent pilling.

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Me: Throw dirty clothes in the vicinity of the laundry basket and congratulate myself if it goes in. Eventually notice that I’m out of socks, gather laundry surrounding the basket and shove it all in the washer. Forget about it, wash it again and then eventually throw in the dryer.

Making a Cake

Martha: Fancy flourishes and pretty piping really are the icing on the cupcakes. Faux bois, or imitation wood grain, is a favorite motif of Martha’s; it can be applied to chocolate using a wood-graining rocker, found at paint-supply stores.

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Me: Go to the bakery. If you ask really nice, they’ll even decorate it for you.

I think her empire is safe.

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A Motivational Speech for my Vacuum

Hey there bagless buddy!

There’s been a little bit of concern about your performance of late. Maybe it’s because you’re a bit confused as to what this job description entails, so let’s have a little refresher.

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You suck.

No, don’t roll away! That’s not an attack on your character! I mean that your job is simply to suck.

The endless hair shed on the carpet? The bastard grains of rice I spilled on the floor? You get the honor of scratching my OCD itch and sucking that crap up! Oh yes. You, my friend, have that “thing” that can do it for me.

What is that “thing”? That “thing” is power!

Because in spite of what you’ve heard, power does matter, and the second that I plug you into the wall we’re plugging into performance! Together we can focus on results and achieve the breakthroughs that will launch us into the realm of clean carpets and dirt-free floors!

That’s a little dramatic, I admit, but my point is that you can be special.

You can suck better than any other vacuum in this house. Well, except for the new dustbuster a fraction your size that could suck up the couch if I tried.

But you know what that dustbuster doesn’t have? A light on the front in case we need to vacuum at night. Light the way! It’s time to show that dustbuster who’s boss, and who sucks the most in this house!

So rise up and grab that rogue string I’ve run over 235 times instead of bending over myself to pick up. Run with it!

Why?

Because that string wants to come off of the floor, but it needs you to help it because it’s a string and a string cannot move on its own.

So tighten that new belt I bought you, spin those shiny wheels and get back to doing what it is you do best—you suck.

Let’s try and keep it that way.

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Master of Your Domain

Living alone means that all the household chores are my responsibility. While I generally don’t mind cleaning—thank you OCD!—and actually find it relaxing at times, there are certain annoyances that I will not tolerate.

You have to put your foot down and assert your domestic dominance, as giving in to an appliance or a dust bunny only shows weakness, and trust me, these things prey on weakness.

Take for example the vacuum, whose job description literally entails it sucking crap up.

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Without the suckage, it’s simply a large noisy thing with a light on the front that terrorizes the cat (a bonus feature they really should advertise, come to think of it.) Because of this, I will stand over the vacuum for 10 minutes and force it to suck up a string before bending over and picking that crap up myself.

I did not spend five minutes five years ago picking out a vacuum so that I could pick up the debris myself, good sir!

And I often find the dustbuster—named as such because it’s supposed to bust the dust—to be more temperamental. It will often passive aggressively push dust around the room instead of actually sucking (busting?) it up.

Oh, you wanted ME to pick that up? Well, I never….”

Unacceptable. I will run the little bastard until it needs to be charged to make sure that it busts up that one grain of rice it spit out. Suck it up and do your job—literally.


A more seemingly innocuous perpetrator is the mini-blind. No, I’m not going to suggest that you actually clean a mini-blind, as it’s a scientific fact that much like shower curtain liners, it’s easier to just throw them away and get a new one.

This involves the raising and lowering of said mini-blind with those two little strings on the side.

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It seems simple enough, but one wrong pull and you have a completely crooked blind with one side way up to the left while the other sags down to the right. Then you try and straighten it out and the right side goes up while the left side sags down.

Do not accept this asymmetrical configuration of window coverings, my friends. I don’t care if you stand there pulling on each string for an hour like you’re milking a cow. If you don’t even that shit up, the next thing you know you’re literally blinded by the light.


Moving on to the bathroom, I feel the need to warn you that the toothpaste that leaps off your toothbrush like a kangaroo will immediately become as stubborn as super glue the second it hits—and adheres to— the sink.

It can be tempting to let that slide, and you might even consider it “artsy” to have patterns dotting the sink interior. Stop the madness. Nine out of 10 dentists agree that one must immediately scrub the spot in the sink, lest one falls into the cavity of cleaning complacency.

Plus, that crap stays glued on.


This last one isn’t really about cleaning, but I will try and make it helpful by saying you should clean your remote control. I read somewhere that there are 12 teen million germs and probably the origins of the swine flu on the average remote, so Clorox that thing ASAP.

Possible HAZMAT situation aside, my issue is when the remote control simply gives up. The batteries are new, the little red light at the top of it blinks when you maniacally press down the buttons with increasing rage, but yet…no action.

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Do not—I repeat—do not change the channel yourself.

Stand up right next to the TV and force that remote to change the channel, adjust the volume or set a reminder to watch Baseball Tonight. And henceforth from said display of power, refer to it only as “the remote.”

Why? Because as with all the domestic dysfunction in your house, you are the one in control.

Never let them forget that.

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My Hairy Little Roommate

It’s been a few months since I got the cat, and I thought I should update you and let you know that I’m not a cat person.

Whee! I’m fat and catnipped!

Before you freak out, let me add the disclaimer that Monie is an awesome cat and I love her. But I’m a neurotic weirdo who’s still trying to be Zen about having this walking hairball that demands affection, sheds and forces me to say, “No lickey!” entirely more than I’m comfortable with.

But we’re roommates, and to be honest, I probably have the better part of the arrangement.

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While I have to deal with a creature that makes Gremlin noises and leaves the occasional hairball on the carpet—dramatic sigh—she has to deal with me jumping around the living room yelling with Jillian Michaels, dancing with the Swiffer and making up songs about catnip while trying to get the cat high.

The last verse of which is usually something about how I’ll probably die alone.

 Anyway, here are some things I’ve learned these past few months:

If there is a Hell, it’s covered in cat hair. If there is a Heaven, it includes the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser. And million dollar idea: yoga-type pants that are made of the same stuff as lint brushes. Run with that, people.

She also prefers the hard shelf to her leopard print cat bed because that makes total sense.

She does not enjoy me making her little arms “raise the roof” to “Hip Hop Hooray,” but she does seem to take delight in watching me try and capture a fly for 10 minutes. I think we’re doing this wrong.

Although she’s great about giving me my space when I workout, 40 minutes of yoga calm is instantly negated by the sound of the her hacking up a hairball in the next room. Namaste.

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Of all her toys, this is one that she will put in her mouth and carry around while growling. I found it on my pillow once. Affection or warning? TBD.

I never feel more inferior than when she watches me scoop out her shitbox. It’s not that she’s mocking me, but I swear her gaze says, “More enthusiasm, and with a smile. You missed a spot.”

While many cats are motivated by food and reinforce the “I want affection for 1.2 seconds, after which time I will claw you to escape from your overbearing presence” stereotype, she does neither. On the other hand, I just described myself.

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“Oh, hello. I will sit in this stupid bed for five seconds before leaving to get my head stuck in your flip-flop and then bolting across the room.”

The term “scaredy cat” doesn’t really apply. I can “Riverdance” across the living room floor or yell at her for making risotto like a fat cow while watching “Kitchen Nightmares” and she doesn’t budge. The vacuum does provoke a little fear, but that could be because I usually end up lassoing the ridiculously long cord around like a demented cowgirl.

Anyway, to summarize, I’ve learned I’m really not a cat person.

But unlike stories I’ve heard about other roommates, I’ve never come home to find she went on a crazy (catnip) bender that resulted in her piercing her multiple teats and ordering mass quantities of Snuggies off QVC. And while she has yet to pay rent or learn how to flush, she can make me laugh and puts up with my neurosis while simultaneously contributing to it.

I just thank god this cat can’t blog.

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Hints (not from) Heloise

Are you familiar with “Hints from Heloise?”

Heloise gained popularity a bit before my time, but a quick summary is that she’s a writer/columnist who took over a syndicated column from her mom in 1977—"Hints from Heloise”—in which she dispenses  lifestyle tips and hints on everything from travel and pets to home improvement.

She also has an editorial  gig in Good Housekeeping, so basically she’s like Martha Stewart without a mug shot or an empire.

Anyway, if I were ever given a column, it would be a more  bastardized “Dear Abby meets Carrie Bradshaw” type thing than Heloise, as I am no domestic diva.

But I do have my own house, and even if it often plots against me, I’ve learned a thing or two.

Hints from a Domestically Disabled Diva

If you read nothing else, the most important thing I can tell you is this: It’s easier to throw away and replace a mini-blind than to actually clean the one you have. 

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They have created cleaning items specifically for this job—I have one myself—and although they help, you still end up inventing new combinations of profanity that neighbors with young children will not appreciate.

Bonus hint: The same goes for shower curtain liners.

Buy a $5 liner from Target—and ONLY the shower curtain liner, not $80 worth of other things you didn’t go there intending to buy—and simply cut it off the hooks when it’s time to change it. Trying to open and close the hooks to take off the old liner when you already have to open and close the hooks to put one on will take years off your life.

Just cut it off and cut your losses.

This Sucks

True story: I had a roommate when I lived in Detroit that simply bought a new vacuum cleaner when it was time to change the bag on the one he had, only because he didn’t want to have to change the bag.

I don’t recommend this, but I kind of understand.

But bagless vacuums help, but aren’t necessarily the answer. I have one with a cool light on the front of it and everything, but emptying the container causes a bigger mess than what I just sucked up. As a result, I pull out the dust buster to suck the dust up, only to face the same situation in emptying the dust buster.

I don’t have a solution for this one other than to NOT empty either container the same day you vacuum. At least you can feel like the house is clean for a few hours.

Small victories. 

This Stinks

Due to the fact that I eat a lot of vegetables—namely steamed broccoli at least once a day—my house has the potential to smell like I eat a lot of vegetables.

Delicious? Yes. Delightfully fragrant? Not so much.

I light incense right before I eat to combat this aroma. True, I usually forget that I lit incense and freak out five minutes later thinking something is burning in my kitchen, but at least is smells nice once I recover from my panic attack.

But my absolute favorite thing?

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Glade Water Blossoms spray.

I have never smelled water blossoms so I don’t know if I’m being ripped off or not, but I don’t care. It’s delightful.

It’s A Wash

When it comes to laundry, well, I don’t really have any great hints. The time spent folding clean laundry only to unfold it and hang it up is time that could be spent shopping for a new mini blind or doing anything else. My only hint is to buy clothes that never need to be ironed.

We’ve covered this before, but I currently have a pair of cute pants I haven’t worn in months simply because they need to be ironed and my ironing board is better suited for a Keebler Elf.

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The only upside to laundry—aside from clean clothes and the pleasure my OCD takes in cleaning the lint tray on the dryer—is that if you slip on a fabric sheet dropped on your kitchen floor, you instantly turn into something that resembles a manic  figure skater having a seizure.

It’s quite impressive.

So there you go.

I have many more hints and tips I could dispense, but I don’t want to overload your brain with too much valuable information in one post. Perhaps I will present a sequel in the future. You know, if the whole bastardized “Dear Abby meets Carrie Bradshaw” –type column thing doesn’t pan out.

Because sorry guys. If offered syndication, you can bet I’ll take it and run with it. Unless of course it requires writing about coordinating throw pillows.

In which case, I’m screwed.

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Out of Order

The title of this blog is “Abby Has Issues,” and a bunch of my issues revolve around my OCD. While there are serious things that go along with it, a lot of them are what I consider to just be annoyingly quirky, no doubt adding to the charm that I ooze out of my various bodily cavities.

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When I get stressed, my anxiety relief takes the form of (over) exercise, cleaning and brushing my teeth. Don’t ask. And not surprisingly, I tend to crave order, organization and keeping things to a minimum—whether it’s in my house or on my computer.

For instance, I would Tweet much more than I do if The Twitter didn’t keep a running total of how many tweets I’ve put out there. The higher the number gets, the more I want to go back into the past and delete until the number is reduced to something more manageable.

When it comes to email, I have an anxiety attack that can only be cured with an episode of “The Soup” and wine from a box when I hear people say they have 300 unread messages in their inbox.

Even though I have four email addresses for work, my inbox never has more than 10 emails. I’m pretty sure anything over that would trigger some sort of catastrophic destruction, so as soon as they come in, I open them and then organize/delete as necessary.

Email in Inbox

(When we have an email blast and I get 50 “Out of office” replies in 10 minutes, it’s like a manic game of Whac-A-Mole between the emails popping up and me deleting them.)

Let’s move on.

At any rate, I like things neat and tidy and have been known to straighten out hangers and items on store shelves as I walk by, pull weeds in other people’s yards as I pass and if I visit your house, I will make sure the toilet paper roll is properly placed—over is right, under is wrong—and then knock you off the pedestal I might have placed you on.

But my actual order of operations is screwed up in other areas, and it seems no matter how many times I try and get it right, I still end up out of order.

For instance:

  • I will get dressed, spray perfume and then proceed to walk directly into the sprayed perfume with my mouth open. Approximately 1.6 minutes later, I will decide that I don’t in fact want to wear that shirt (that now smells good), change my shirt, spray perfume and repeat the neurotic, yet fragrant, process.
  • I will also put chapstick on before taking a drink of something, and although I wash my water bottles and cups, it’s a) a waste of chapstick and b) not enjoyable to have chapstick-flavored water.
  • Whenever I clean my shower, I only remember to ventilate after unicorns and bottles of shampoo start talking to me. In other words, open a window before you enclose yourself in a small space with noxious cleaning fumes. 
  • This won’t come as a shock, but I wash my hands a lot. However, I often decide that I have to wash my hands after I put lotion on them—not because of the lotion, but because of something else—which starts a vicious cycle. Not only that, but I will put lotion on before I have to open a jar or a door, wash dishes, handle my food or get something out of my eye.

Seeing as I would like to cleanly wrap this up, I’ll just leave you with those examples and encourage you to line up single file and share your own.

What do you repeatedly do “out of order?”

And just because I want to know your take on this one, do you vacuum and then dust or dust and then vacuum?

This is very important to know.