Tag Archives: tidy

To Complain or not to Complain?

JANE LANEWhen should we complain?  That’s the question of the moment.  In 2015, We are already mired in passive aggressive energy courtesy of the Year of the Sheep.  That means we are all in for a lot of subtle bitching both serving and getting served in the complaint department.  When you are as critical as I can be, there are always areas of dissatisfaction.  When is it worth it to express that dissatisfaction and expect a meaningful response?POINTLESSThe following unsatisfactory situations recently occurred.  Which would you complain about and which would you just suck up without complaint?

1) I visited a waxer.  After less than 15 minutes on her table, she declared me “finished.”  She did not remove enough hair to actually clear my bikini line.  The line between the crease and the thigh still had hair.  She did not even go a quarter of an inch inside the crease.  The treatment cost $37 for a “classic bikini wax.”  Request more removal or leave hairy and dissatisfied?YOU MOCK MY PAIN

2) I checked into a hotel room and hair from the last guest was all over the floor and bathtub.  Criticize housekeeping or clean up the mess?AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME

3) My dentist urged me to spend big money on a bite analysis and revision.  After thousands of dollars my bite still didn’t feel right and my teeth uncomfortably bumped together.  Furthermore, at my last cleaning, the technician didn’t polish my teeth.  Fuss or suffer?GETTING IN TO4) My neighbors are door slammers.  Bitch to the HOA or endure the clamor?LOUD NOISESHow did you answer to each of these scenarios?  Here are my answers: 1) didn’t request a waxing revision; 2) hate-cleaned it myself; 3) made him fix it (I basically paid for a chunk of his kid’s college last year for what I spent in his office); 4) haven’t notified the HOA….yet. THIS IS BORING

Demeter Clarc Tidy Tip: Scour

S.O.S.Know what I love, but sometimes forget to stock in my own cleaning arsenal?  Steel wool scouring pads, that’s what.  It’s so basic, right?  Yet how many of you employ this heavy artillery when needed?  Thinking they are too abrasive and scratch surfaces?  That hasn’t been my experience.  I find they make light work of hard and gross chores.  In the past couple of weeks, I’ve used these handy scrubbers for the following purposes:

1) remove melted cheese from dishes;

2) clean the persistent baked on gunk from the flat top stove;

3) lift baked-on sauce from porcelain bowls.

Use a soapy scouring pad until it gets gross or loses it’s suds.  Then pitch it.  They are the ideal cleaning product for commitment-phobes.  BRILLO





OG DUSTBUSTER BTTFBack in the glory of the 80’s, my family had a Dustbuster.  The hand-held vacuum was as revolutionary as the VCR.  When confronted with a dry spill, my spic-n-span mother would first gasp, then clutch her pearls, and then order me to fetch the Dustbuster!  It was my family’s version of Joan Crawford’sTina, bring me the ax” rant.  Eventually, the Dustbuster caught an unshakable funky smell, so we had to bid adieu.  Maybe these repressed mini-vac memories explain why it took me 25 years to buy my own hand-held.  Neat-freak that I am, I don’t understand how I went so long without the handy cleaning companion.  I hate vacuuming with the big vacuum so much.  Not only is it cumbersome and loud, but it doesn’t fit into every nook.  I love running the hand-held along, in the corners, and underneath.  I even employed it to suck the crumbs out of the bottom of the oven (when the heat was off, duh).  The little device tidies up a room quickly and efficiently without entering the weight-lifting portion of the competition with a hefty full-size vac.  I’ve learned my lesson when it comes to cheap appliances, so I bought the best Wal-mart had to offer: the Black & Decker 16v Dustbuster.  It sucks hard and brings me several satisfying intermittent cleaning moments everyday.BLACK AND DECKER DUSTBUSTER

Skills for Life: Tiny Cleaning Crew

TINY TOWN BOYLast week, I went on the cutest date with the best man to Tiny TownTiny Town is comprised of a ton of little dollhouses and has a little train you can ride around the modest grounds.  We arrived early before the crowds and commenced our tour of Tiny Town.  As we got toward the back of the colony of dollhouses, I noticed two girls.  The older girl looked about nine years old and the younger one around seven.  They had a bucket and squeegee and were cleaning off the exterior of the tiny houses.  I watched and listened to the diminutive cleaning crew working.  As they cleaned the dirt off the dollhouse windows one by one, I heard the older girl explaining to the younger girl that the water was getting dirty and needed to be changed.  They weren’t complaining, worked together without conflict, and encouraged each other to rally when they got tired.  I was super impressed.  Not only were these girls participating in age-appropriate chores, but the older girl was mentoring the younger girl by teaching her cleaning skills for life.  There was no direct adult supervision, and there didn’t need to be because these two young ladies were clearly raised with a sense of responsibility.  TINY TOWN TWO GIRLSYesterday, during my teeth cleaning, I was listening to my hygienist bitch about her step-children – two girls – ages ten and twelve who are spoiled brats with zero responsibility.  These girls respect no one because they have never been taught respect.  They have no life skills because no one ever taught them how to pick up after themselves.  As a result, the girls are ungrateful and bored because they have no appreciation for responsibility.  Parents who shelter their children from work are doing their kids a great disservice.  Find age-appropriate tasks and teach your children early on that life is a balance between work and fun.  Prepare your children for the reality of life not your fantasy of an ideal childhood.  Teach them self-soothing skills and self-sufficiency, so you don’t end up gifting the world with your useless, lazy, spoiled, entitled, and ungrateful offspring.  Yeah, I sound judgmental, but when it comes to parenting – if you aren’t going to do it right, don’t do it at all. TINY TOWN KID

Demeter Clarc Tidy Tips: unexpected fixes

WRAPPING DRESSER1) Old dressers wonderfully organize gift wrap, boxes, tissue, and ribbons. GIFT WRAP DRAWERPAINTED SCREW

2) If you are struggling to remove a painted-on screw, use nail polish removing pads to soften the paint and catch a groove.


3) Use days-of-the-week pill organizers to individually house small jewelry.PILL ORGANIZER

4) Instead of plastic, just use (and reuse) one paper apple bag for all your produce purchases.  PAPER PRODUCE BAG



Demeter Clarc Tidy Tip: Cascade

CASCADE WITH DAWNI once believed dishwasher detergent was one of those products that I could buy generic without consequences.  I was wrong.  My glass was cloudy.  I blamed age and wear & tear.  Turns out it may have been that cheap detergent.  After a few washings using Cascade with Dawn dissolving detergent pillows my cloudy glass came out crystal clear.  The difference was notable and worth paying for.  No more bottom shelf generic for me.  Cascade really does clean better.   CLOUDY AND CLEAR

Welcome to My Bathroom



This bathroom was such a dump (pun intended) when I got a hold of this place.  Let me put it this way: there was a sink in the closet.  Yeah, I tore down the wall and made a mega bath complete with a glam station.


I replaced everything from floor to ceiling.  I ripped out all the old fixtures and cabinetry.


I added new lighting.  So much lighting my contractors were afraid I might burn the building down.  Don’t worry; I installed a dimmer.


This right sink and this back nook were all in the master closet before.  Random.


I put in kitchen sink faucets that detach for easy cleaning.



I took out the crappy bathtub from the seventies and put in this luxurious porcelain tile shower.  This shower is my everything.


Glam Station.


strong start

FALL UNIFORMToday starts a new week, and within it we welcome October, one of the best months of the year.  I love crisp October because the sun still shines, but the weather warrants an extra layer.  Is there anything better than autumnal attire?  To that end, go to your closet, rotate the summery non-transitional garb to the back and pull forth all those glorious sweaters, moto jackets, and skinny jeans.  Break out your boots girl.  Assemble 5 killer ensembles to don this week.  Find a fresh way to rework what you already love before you get caught in a buying frenzy.  Donate what you won’t wear this winter or ever again.MOTHER LOOKER

If you are feeling Sunday sluggish, set the kitchen timer for an amount of time you can stomach and organize your living space.  Sort the mail, pay the bills, dump the recycling, clean out the fridge.  Take care of the chore that subconsciously nags you to distraction.BELLE RINGER

Start thinking of your Halloween costume because we’re having a party.


Contemplate darker hair.

KK BLONDEAfter completing all of our preparations for the week, we can sit down in good conscience and enjoy the Homeland season 3 premiere without any looming Monday morning anxiety.  Mini-spoiler: I heard Brody doesn’t even appear in the first two episodes.  HOMELAND SEASON 3

p.s. Did Claire get a peel or is this just airbrushing?  She looks very dewy.

Tidy Up Tuesday: the laundry room

LAUNDRY ROOM DRYERHey Ya’ll.  I promised you pictures of my remodel.  Then I kind of panicked because I am super private.  I think it is best we start slow with the seemingly impersonal laundry room.  The true test of an organized home lies in the arrangement of the difficult spots like corners, cabinets, and closets.  That’s why I think it is worth showing you a room as ordinary and traditionally unattractive as the laundry room/broom closet.  This is not some Martha Stewart staged photo-op shit, a person actually lives here and uses this laundry room, so please align your expectations accordingly. LAUNDRY ROOM UPPERTo properly grasp the proportion, understand we are talking about an 800 square foot, 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom space.  When I got my hands on it, it hadn’t been updated since the late 70’s.  It was a total gut remodel.  The layout was extremely funky.  Prior to my reconfiguration, one accessed the miniscule, dark laundry closet through a folding door from the kitchen.  You can see it here behind Steve.  (Also note the very sexual vinyl floors.  Try to withhold your jealousy.)BEFORE KITCHEN LAUNDRYSince I’m not a fan of lint dust in my kitchen, I walled up the kitchen/laundry access and opened up the hallway coat closet and laundry area into a larger laundry room/broom closet.  CAM00358CAM00361I purchased a unitized Kenmore washer and dryer combo unit from the Sears Outlet.  (I wouldn’t necessarily recommend going that route on appliances.)  The floating shelves are from IKEATIDE IS SO INTERESTINGTOOL BOXCAM00353