Creative Housekeeping Tips for the Well-intentioned Slob
June 1, 2003 3:21 AM   Subscribe

Are you a reluctant slob? Are your resolutions firm but your follow-thoughs flagging? If the hallway to your personal housekeeping hell is strewn with good intentions, consider KISSing your bad habits goodbye. Cat Conner's (MeFi's frykitty) new blog-style KISS Living site is great for us fleeting-attention-span types, providing tips based on her "Keep It Short and Simple" technique. I may not know what day it is, or whether Martha spells her name "Stuart" or "Stewart", but even I can focus my energy for 10 minutes at a time.
posted by taz (18 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This approach is perfect for me, but if you need more handholding, you might want to check out the more domestic-dominatrix style of FlyLady (FlyLady?), who insists you put on your fancy lace-up shoes before tackling that tainted toilet.

Or maybe you're perfectly content with your slob status, but just want some quick tips for temporarily hiding the fact (see also here). On the other hand, you may be among those born with the blessed organization gene, whose only longing in life is more and better lists.

For community action types, there's always's BBS (complete with harrowing mystery odor thread), and for the home-chemistry-set crew, the ever-popular cleaning with baking soda, vinegar, and... Coca Cola (okay, not really).
posted by taz at 3:22 AM on June 1, 2003

It's KISS living rocking all night and partying every day?
posted by Leonard at 7:51 AM on June 1, 2003

It's KISS living rocking all night and partying every day?


And keeping a clean house while you're doing it. Not to mention an organized makeup drawer and leather collection.
posted by frykitty at 8:46 AM on June 1, 2003

Useful advice on the domestic order front, as well as for aspiring rock gods (it's important, for example, to keep your pharmeceuticals up to date as well -- don't neglect to keep that pill drawer organized!).

The appearance of "K.I.S.S." got me wondering about the origin of the acronym in question, but as with most slang, folk etymologies drown out good data (though I suspect that those who credit the Army are on the right track -- so many great acronynms have come from there). (Frykitty, do you have a particular source?)

Since I only have volume 1 of Lighter's monumental work on slang origins, I don't know if he's found a more precise line of descent.

As absolutely useful as the principle is (kind of a variation on Occam's Razor, seems to me, applied to doing stuff as opposed to talking about stuff), I regretfully note that "K.I.S.S." as a term has now become part of a disturbing and relentless trend in branding.
posted by BT at 8:59 AM on June 1, 2003

These instructions are obviously for some-one with more energy than me: 'The trick here is knowing when to stop'. The stopping part is definitely not a problem for me, it's the starting part that gives me problems, and when I start I usually stop quite fast. What I really need is a webpage that would come to my home and kick me off the couch.
posted by lazy-ville at 9:06 AM on June 1, 2003

Good idea, frykitty - and thanks for the FPP, taz.
posted by davidmsc at 11:36 AM on June 1, 2003

The Beaufort scale of domestic squalor (flash alert)
posted by madamjujujive at 12:49 PM on June 1, 2003

I favour Sark's philosophy of micro-steps. She simply takes on tasks that she can handle at the moment. Cleaning up the bathroom Sark-style would involve getting the bottle of Windex and putting it on the counter. The next day, one might get a cleaning towel in there. Third day, do the mirror. Maybe by the fourth day, you'll be ready to go whole-hog and clean the counter and sink, both! The toilet is probably best saved for the next day.

At the very least, you end up with a sort of steady-state level of moderate cleanliness. :)
posted by five fresh fish at 1:28 PM on June 1, 2003

This website's content all seemed kind of obvious to me. It's all in ANY book or article on housekeeping and simplifying one's life.
posted by orange swan at 1:33 PM on June 1, 2003

Great link, madamjujujive, although I think that the scale is a little off - there should be more stages at the clean end of the scale, in between meticulous and tidy.

The KISS theory of housekeeping is pretty right in concept, although the 10 minutes per day per room, plus major cleaning weekly seems a bit excessive. Unless you are extremely messy, I cannot see that you would need to spend that much time every day. Better to keep things tidy in the first place by putting things away when you are finished with them and cleaning up after yourself so that you don't end up with a mess in the first place.
posted by dg at 4:15 PM on June 1, 2003

Better to keep things tidy in the first place by putting things away when you are finished with them and cleaning up after yourself so that you don't end up with a mess in the first place.

If you are able to consistently do that, then you don't need this kind of website. A lot of people have trouble with it, as obvious as "keeping things tidy in the first place" may seem, and so they have to work out strategies to help themselves out.

If you aren't one of the messy people, be grateful you don't need these tips.
posted by litlnemo at 4:22 PM on June 1, 2003

To be clear: ten minutes is the maximum. It's there to keep people from getting distracted and cleaning the silver, when all they really need to do is wipe down the counters and sweep a little.
posted by frykitty at 4:51 PM on June 1, 2003

(and yes, messy people are easily dis
posted by frykitty at 4:52 PM on June 1, 2003

...posed of?
posted by dg at 4:54 PM on June 1, 2003

Oh dear. I guess that's definitely me. Last time I tried to clean the kitchen I got distracted by the old painted over wallpaper on one wall and ended up spending a few hours pulling off wallpaper with a heat gun and a utility knife. Which, of course, did not help get the kitchen any cleaner.
posted by litlnemo at 5:21 PM on June 1, 2003

Missed this yesterday. Since I have little of relevance to add, I just wanted to give a big smooch to the 'kitty.

posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:56 AM on June 2, 2003

I need this, but I'll just write down the URL and lose it in my clutter. madamjujujive, that's a great link. But I already share plates with the cats, and underwear..? Rule #1 of slobhood: Don't have to change it if you don't wear any.
posted by Shane at 5:13 AM on June 2, 2003

Poor Shane needs a mnemonic aid.

Just picture Gene Simmons and Martha Stewart doin' the nasty. KISS Living. There ya go!

(confidential to Stav: **SMOOCHBACK!**)
posted by frykitty at 1:53 PM on June 2, 2003

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