Cleaning Your Whole House: A Home-Ec 101 Guide

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Houses tend to collect clutter and dirt because we live in them. That’s a fact. We tend to worry and fret over our home’s appearance – especially when someone is coming over. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming or exhausting. The following posts have lots of suggestions, tips, and steps you can take to get a handle on your house and make you feel comfortable enough to say, “Sure, come on over.” Click on the titles to read the entire article.

messy house panic

Feeling Desperate

Reader Question: I am a slob. My house is a disaster area most of the time, though I’m starting to realize a lot of it is clutter. My husband hates coming home to this chaos, and while I thrive in some forms of chaos it’s even starting to get to me.

Dear Home-Ec, I’m Overwhelmed

This article covers mattress stains, roommates that don’t do chores, fussy babies, laundry, carpet stains, and even the kitchen sink. This was one overwhelmed mother.

My Daughter Is Feeling Desperate, And I Need Help

I need help badly. It is my daughter. She is 21 and has 2 children, ages 3 and 7 months. Her husband left them about two months ago. She is struggling so badly with everything.

She is depressed and has tried medication before, but it hasn’t been too helpful for her. She depends on me a lot.

Cleaning For The Immunosuppressed

“Cleanliness is next to godliness” is a well-known saying, but my recent experiences have changed my mind: It would be more accurate to say that cleanliness is next to survival.

Just Get Started

We all know that in a perfect world, we’d make our own ecologically sound cleaners -not all homemade cleaners are, you know-always reach for a rag to clean, and never use gas or electric-powered items when a manual would do. Get over it.

Hurry-Up the In-Laws Are on Their Way

What’s the best plan of attack if I need to make the house *look* clean for visiting parents or (especially) in-laws, but I don’t necessarily have the time or desire to do it up right? In other words, what spots do I absolutely have to hit to make it look like cleanly responsible adults live here?

5 Things You Probably Need to Clean

When I worked as a professional maid, the boss sometimes came into a house we had just cleaned and did what she called “the white glove test.” There were 5 places she called “hot spots”- these were the places she would most likely find that we had missed.

How Long Will it Take to Clean My Home

Ok. I’ve plugged that variable into the top-secret Home-Ec 101 House Cleaning Algorithm and determined it will take you 18.36 hours to clean your house thoroughly. Oh. Wait. That doesn’t make much sense. A question like “How long will it take to clean my house?” has an incredible number of variables.

Unexpected Company is on the Way; What to Do?

I have a longstanding agreement with my friends from both in town and out of town. You’re welcome to come see me anytime, whether it’s on short notice or if you schedule weeks in advance. I’m often tested on that, and people have come to my house in varying states of clean.

So, Are You Like Martha Stewart? Donna Reed?

And it’s at this point that I just force a smile and try not to let out a huge guffaw. I have three kids. Who has three kids, more than one job, and an immaculate house?

The Secret To A Clean House

Dear Home Ec 101, How do you keep a clean house?
Signed, N00b in Newford 

Where Do You Find That Cleaning Motivation?

I’ll get to it tomorrow. The temptation to just let the mess stay one night, you’ll kick it out in the morning. . . and you’re right back in it all over again.

Have a house cleaning question that hasn’t been answered? Send your questions to

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