How to clean your house in 20 minutes a day and still find time to read Harper Lee’s new Southern noir thriller.

Last night, I said to Em, ‘I want to try this…

He looked about as interested as you imagine, which I took to mean he wasn’t interested at all, and probably content blocked whatever I was going to say by imagining lolcat videos in his head once he realized I was talking about housekeeping and not weird sex.

I still thought it was a good idea. So I talked about it some more. He maintained an indulgent attitude, which meant he was still thinking about lolcats, or maybe sex. Pussy, in either case.

This morning I was reading more Apartment Therapy with my coffee, as one does, and I said to him, ‘Apartment Therapy says we should declutter by getting rid of some of our dishes to free up cupboard space.’

He raised an eyebrow and said, ‘And which dishes are you going to get rid of?’

I said, ‘I think what they meant by “get rid of” is box some of them up and put them in storage until we need them.’

‘Mmm-hmm,’ he said.

Once I considered the logistics, the wrapping and boxing and carrying up the stairs, not to mention rearranging our crammed storage to accommodate another box, and the fact I’d have to go out and find a suitable box since I decluttered all our empty boxes three weeks ago, the whole thing sounded a lot like work. I decided to forego ‘getting rid of’ our excess dishes.

People interested in a plan promising a clean house in 20 minutes a day are largely interested because it sounds like less work.

I said, ‘I think decluttering my desk is a higher priority. I really need to clean out the drawers.’

He said, ‘I thought you were supposed to surface clean the kitchen and living room today.’

Figures he was listening after all. He’s sneaky like that.

So now…

I have a surface clean kitchen (and living room) and it really did take only 20 minutes. I was kind of sceptical, but I figured I should at least give it a chance so I set the timer on my phone and hit it like a keg at a frat party.

I also did three loads of laundry and took out the garbage and the recycling and put away the dishes and rearranged my kitchen counter to create another usable food prep area. That was not included in the twenty minutes a day.

I know what you’re thinking:

But the point here is that now… now… I’m decluttering the fridge, so I have leftover wine and some cheddar nearing the expiration date and a freshly downloaded copy of Go Set a Watchman, which I’m fully prepared to enjoy the hell out of, no matter what the internet, or the critics, say.

Note that I may not be able to resist livetweeting it. You may wanna mute me until tomorrow.

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