Layers of dirty film on windows and screens provide a
helpful filter against harmful and aging rays from the sun. Call it an
SPF factor of 15 and leave it alone.
Artfully draped over lampshades reduce the glare from the
bulb, thereby creating a romantic atmosphere. If someone points out that
the light fixtures need dusting, simply look confused and exclaim “What?
And spoil the mood?” (Or just throw glitter on them & call them holiday
Explain the mound of pet hair brushed up against the
doorways by claiming you are collecting it there to use for stuffing
hand-sewn play animals for underprivileged children. (Also keeps out
cold drafts in winter.)
If unexpected company is coming, pile everything unsightly
into one room and close the door. As you show your guests through your
tidy home, rattle the doorknob vigorously, fake a growl and say, “I’d
love you to see our den, but Clancy hates to be disturbed and the shots
are SO expensive.”
If dust is REALLY out of control, simply place a showy urn
on the coffee table and insist that “This is where Grandma wanted us to
scatter her ashes.”
Mix one-quarter cup pine-scented household cleaner with four
cups of water in a spray bottle. Mist the air lightly. Leave dampened
rags in conspicuous locations. Develop an exhausted look, throw yourself
on the couch and sigh, “I clean and I clean and I still don’t get
As a last resort, light the oven, throw a teaspoon of
cinnamon in a pie pan, turn off oven and they will think that you have
been baking cookies for a bake sale for a favorite charity and haven’t
had time to clean…Works every time.
Another favorite, I think from Erma Bombeck – always keep
several get well cards on the mantle so if unexpected guests arrive,
they think you’ve been sick and unable to clean.