Reason #568 You Should Avoid Housework

My mom told me to clean my room 40 years ago.

I was thinking about getting around to it today.

You guys, I have never, ever in 53 years not had a messy bedroom.

Honestly, it’s not just my bedroom. I am not a total slacker, but my housekeeping skills probably fall just below average on a housekeeping skills chart I made up.

My mother’s birthday is today and I thought I’d honor her request as a birthday tribute and clean my room. Besides, Randy’s still out of town. I thought I might as well.

Turns out, I should have caved in to my slovenly ways.

As is often the case, I serve as a cautionary tale.

I hurt myself so that you don’t have to.

I apparently have built in booby traps in my bedroom. I am not suggesting you have booby traps in your house, but I’m sure there is something in your house that can hurt you. It’s possible cleaning will increase your odds of getting hurt by the seemingly innocent but ultimately malevolent things in your house. Don’t risk it. Trust me.

Okay, this is what happened.

We have this tall, cheap, broke-ass television stand in the corner of our room. The TV sits on top messy roominstead of in the TV spot. We want the TV up high as to enhance our viewing pleasure while being slugs in bed. Which is an awesome plan because we excel at being slugs.

Anyway, the broke ass TV stand tends to be the upstairs version of our kitchen table. It’s the gathering place for that unimportant weird ass junk you can’t seem to throw away. And mail. Well, on the kitchen table, it’s mail. The TV stand is books. It also has receipts, story ideas, and bits and scraps of things which might have been important at one time, but since lost their value. Most likely, it was junk in the first place. This debris sometimes escapes the confines of the TV stand, but doesn’t make it far and orbits around the edges.

Side note: If you don’t like housework and also have a kitten, the kitten is not going to help when you try to pick up little pieces of things. He will want to torture and conquer each piece of paper. 

The kitten was not the danger, though.

A large mirrored desk sits next to the TV stand. It is old and covered in makeup I mostly don’t wear. Well, that and lotions, hairspray, and hair ties I can never find when I need them.

This dresser, desk thingy is old and the wooden board behind the mirror has since slanted to the left and peeks out from behind the mirror. This board seemed innocent enough, until I stuck my hand out to steady myself and nicked my hand on the sharp screws.

Fuckity fuck. Wait. When was my last tetanus shot? Oh, yeah. October. We’re good. 

I cleaned up around the TV stand and was careful to avoid the board. When I stood up, I used used the wall to steady myself.

Goddammit. Fuck. OW. What the fucking shit is that?

I used to have these little hook things hanging on my wall to hold jewelry. I took them down a year ago, but I didn’t remove the the nails from the wall. I found them when I stood up.

I’m looking at that TV stand as I type this. I know I spent a lot of time tidying it up. I put my actual blood in my effort. It doesn’t look much different.

I’m going to attempt putting away laundry now.

I have no idea how my clothes plan to maim me.

Image courtesy of Levelord



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  • Well, if you’ve forgotten the softener/dryer sheets you might be in for some static zaps. I find mixing a drink and parking my but in my favourite chair is generally risk-free and painless. I wish I had tips for you but I don’t, sorry. It’s a constant battle against the Stuff here in my cramped apartment. And since I can no longer afford to rent a storage locker, all my shit has come to live with me, including a set of summer tires that, when individually bagged, stacked, and draped with a big tablecloth, have become a bedside table. I kid you not!

  • Good effort. Housework is tough. According to my chiropractor many people throw out their back while vacuuming or changing sheets or flipping their mattress. Just saying…

  • Housework is a workout! One thing that really bugs me though, is you just finish and you have to start again.

    I wanted to tell you I read your Scary Mommy article. It was amazing and giving so much hope to other parents in the same predicament with their teen or young adult children.

  • I use ‘Hoarders’ as a ‘standard.’

    Since I don’t have to make a path through to any of the rooms in this ol’ singlewide, I’m good.

    I bought a cargo shipping container a few years ago and it was THE BEST investment. Unfortunately, it is soooo roomy and big, my sons are able to store stuff in it, too. It can look like a ‘Hoarder’ episode if it needs to. I plan on throwing a match in it when I’m on my death bed in My Funeral Dress so no one has to deal with sorting through my ‘good’ stuff.

    I have lowered my housekeeping standards dramatically over the years. When the boys were little, it was clean rooms, clean bathroom and picked up yard.

    Now the toilet is clean and the couch is a ‘dresser.’ (underwear is third cushion 🙂 )

    I have cats and a dog in the house, too. Never did that when the kids were little cuz it was too hard to keep clean.

    Really? ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’ IS in the Bible, referring to FOOD! BUT, along the way, some sadistic man re-defined it to keep his woman in line. Or maybe some sad little woman altered the meaning to make what she did all day worthwhile in ‘the eyes of the Lord.’

    One way or the other, cleaning and organizing is not for the faint of heart: It is like an addiction for the meticulous and obsessed.

    At work, however, I AM the meticulous and obsessed. It’s hard to be a part time control freak, BUT way better than to be an overworked, stressed out, full on clean house freak.

    Now that you’ve clearly identified the high risk of injury, we should be able to completely and utterly stick to the bare necessities. What’s an extra ‘shelf’ cleverly disguised as an old TV stand?

    (If I’d have known you could stack tires for a bedside table, I would have done that! )

  • I think we were separated at birth. I have a walk in closet that no one can walk into. Not even the cats. And we justify leaving small bits of paper, shoelaces, etc on the ground as cat toys.

    • They do work as awesome cat toys. I do not have a walk in closet. I want a walk in closet. But I suspect my walk in closet would soon mirror your walk in closet. haha.

  • I thought I was the only one. I can’t vacuum without running over my own foot, and for some reason, I always injure my shins, a corner of the table, swinging the vacuum around, what have you. When I tuck a corner of the fitted sheet over the mattress, I usually scrape a knuckle. I’ve said before, “It hurts to clean.” Thank you for this validation.

  • I used to clean my room when I felt depression coming on. It improved my surroundings while distracting me from the fog of ugly that is oncoming depression. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.
    I once sustained an injury while trying to catch a mouse that I had seen scurrying behind the speaker stack. I caught the falling radial horn, but tripped over the cable it was connected to and fell on my ass. Which apparently frightened the mouse, who shot out from behind the stack and ran under the closed door without so much as slowing down. Then I did have to clean my room a little, as the dirt I could suddenly see from down on the floor was somewhat frightening. The mouse was never seen again, which probably had something to do with the fact that it had passed into the Realm of the Cats when it ran underneath my door. So I guess my room mates’ cats did once actually help clean the house…

    • Yeah, I haven’t seen MANY mice in my house, but they do occasionally get in. I’m hoping Alfie steps up. Well, and I hope Randy finds the aftermath. Not me. because ew.

  • I see you’ve answered replies, so at least I know not to send help–that’s good!

    My biggest danger is the “can’t stop now” trap. I do my best not to “tidy” after a certain hour, because then that leads to other things and people who can actually sleep in my house get mad at me for making too much noise. It’s one of the ways my anal-retentiveness likes to share it’s annoyance.

    • I have no problem stopping cleaning. Reading can be a problem. Watching TV. Writing. But never ever ever cleaning. I can walk away. That’s the problem. haha

    • It ended up being injury free! Although, I did learn to not wear my big fuzzy boots while carrying a load of laundry down the stairs. I didn’t fall, but I had a perilous moment.

  • So funny and right on target with many, many people! Sadly, for me, I’m quite the opposite. As one of bizarre those humans who simple can’t function in a disorganized state, I applaud you!

  • It’s moments like these where I’m glad I’m naturally a tidy person. I feel like I have saved myself a lot of pus and pain by not having the furniture and walls attack me when I am at a weak moment. Hope the blood stains wash out of the carpet xx

  • I don’t clean until it gets so bad even I can’t stand it anymore (and I can stand a lot). I, too, was told to clean my room repeatedly, and got caught shoving things under the bed and in the closet to “clean.” (Apparently that doesn’t count.) I now regard dust as a protective coating on the furniture, saving it from harmful UV rays. I have learned that the dog hair on the baseboards will trap ants (truly!) as a poison-free alternative to getting rid of them, and that if all my daughter’s clothes are clean at once, they won’t all fit in her dresser. My sloth ends in the kitchen, though, because things growing in dishes in the sink makes me ill, so that’s one thing I cannot tolerate. (I love my dishwasher; if I had to wash by hand, it would probably be a different story, like in our first apartment… *shudder*)

  • It’s really nice of you to take one for the team although I don’t believe you and Randy are really good at being slugs. Truthfully I think it takes a lot of effort to be that messy. Messiness is in fact a sign of creativity.

  • Are you left- handed? Other than it meaning one is a child of Satan, apparently us left-handers are creative and therefore, messy.
    That is my excuse, it has been for decades, and I shall be sticking to it. Literally, as everything I own is so messy, it is sticky.

    (You should see my car……sshhh… it’s a disgrace…..)

  • Oof, and I was thinking of cleaning my room later! (no I wasn’t, I don’t know why I keep lying about that) Good thing you came along and saved me from myself, eh?

    Years ago, a friend told me that the secret to her happy marriage was a two pronged approach: separate bathrooms (a wise woman, that one) and a maid who came in on the regular. I must’ve gotten visibly excited at this idea, because she squashed my dreams immediately: “They don’t pick up clutter, they only clean. You still have to do some of the work yourself.” I’ve never gotten over that disappointment, and still dream of someday having someone who will float in like Mary Poppins to sort out my messes and keep me from making more.

  • Michelle, I cant bare it! Bad Fung Shei! You would feel awesome if you cleared out all the crap. Oh if only I could fly over and clear it all myself, my little gift to you, space! Light! Calm delight in seeing the floor! Wow you would be turned for ever and delight in putting some tunes on and merrily dance round the house with a cloth in hand , woo hooo!
    I think if I lived in a cluttered environment I would surely die, it would be torturous for me!
    In fact, Id love to be ‘House Doctor Natz’ what an ace job that would be!
    Lorra love xxxxxx

By Michelle


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