Several years ago my mailbox greeted me with Good Housekeeping Magazine. The following conversation with my husband ensued:

Me: Seriously?
H: Yeah, I had some credit card points to use and I thought you’d like a subscription.
Me: Huh… I had some time to kill and I thought you’d like a quickie. Guess we were both wrong.

So, he thinks of me and he thinks, Good Housekeeping?? Any wife would prefer to be thought of as Cosmopolitan or perhaps Vogue. This should be obvious husbands…

Besides, I’m kind of a housekeeping bad-ass. I’ve honed some mad SKILLZ because:

1. I don’t do relaxing well unless: sleeping, reading, or socializing.
2. I. NOTICE. EVERYTHING***. I can not freaking focus when things aren’t in order. I literally have to clean the entire kitchen before I can make a meal. Can anyone say ADHD?
3. I hate wasting time. So everything I do, I do efficiently.

Since I’m a good person, (and also I think everyone should have more time for reading, relaxing and day drinking… I mean, socializing), below are some sanity saving tricks that work for me:

1. Glass enclosed showers pretty much suck. Especially when your husband thinks it’s hysterical to turn off the bathroom lights, turn on the shower light and request spotlight dances while he waves a dollar at you. But also, they are super hard to keep clean. Or they were UNTIL I learned this…

2. Tupperware. OMG… where do the lids go? This mystery is as crazy making as the missing left sock. My solution is to store all containers with the lids on. I thoroughly dry the containers and stack what I can. Anything without a lid gets three days on death row. After three days, if the lid is still MIA, as painful as it feels; I toss that MOFO.

Note: A paper-towel in a sealed container will absorb moisture, (great for storing waterbottles that never come out of the diswasher dry). The paper-towel trick also works to keep raw vegetables crisp when stored after washing. Before you seal your salad container (or shrimp cocktail…), fold a couple paper-towels and place them on top. – Credit for this genius goes to my Grammy.

3. Every time you pass through a room, make it better. Just pick one thing up, plump a pillow, carry a stack of clothes up the stairs, make a bed. Small things over time make a big difference.

My cousin’s husband once asked how I keep my house so neat. I shared the above. When I saw him several months later, he exclaimed, “I tried your idea and IT REALLY WORKS!” He said this as if it was a huge surprise to him. I gave him my trademark Katie Holmes sideways smirk… because, um yeah…

PS – The sideways smile/smirk was mine first Katie…

4. Why, why, why with all the junk mail and school forms and bills? ENOUGH. As you know, that shit can pile up fast. Piles literally make me crazy. So, I employ the “one touch” rule. This takes some serious discipline because who doesn’t want to avoid the piles? However, honest to God, if you make yourself deal immediately and fully with whatever comes into your hand, delegate what you can and toss everything unnecessary into the recycling bin: you will actually have more time and less clutter. You are also less likely to incur late fees, forget to order a year book or miss your daughter’s class party.

Don’t judge y’all

5. Get a planner. Maybe I’m just old, or maybe I need the paper resource because my phone likes to swim, (in glasses of water, toilets, oceans…). Either way, I’m sure I’m not alone. A planner, with big boxes for each day, allows quick scans across the weeks and months. Overviews with detail don’t work on the phone. The screen is just NOT big enough. Also, a paper calendar is easily accessible to all family members. When my children or husband ask if they can make plans, I just send them into the planner, (I can’t even remember what I had for breakfast, did I have breakfast?).

6. BEST TIP OF ALL: DELEGATE!!! Honestly, your children are capable of way more than you realize. You do not need to do it all. Besides, you are doing them a service by requiring their assistance. They need to learn the SKILLZ.

***^In my own home. At your house I’m just glad I can relax and even happier if you’ve offered wine.