When I’m in the checkout line, I glance at the various magazines on display, seeing if that skinny Princess Kate has developed a baby bump yet or if Anne Hathaway is still *shocked* by her various supporting actress wins. One magazine that always alarms me by its sheer existence is Good Housekeeping. How has a publication with this title survived? Who sees it and thinks, oh, yes, I need to get this and keep a better house?
Now perhaps if I were to look beyond its title, I might find articles worth reading. But I stop at the “housekeeping.” Sorry, I’m shallow like that.
Still, it got me thinking. Maybe some of us still do look for guidance with mundane tasks—ways to simplify or improve our households so we can enjoy what really counts in life? Don’t come to me for ideas of things to do. Martha Stewart I’m not. I fly by the seat of my pants, learning by experimentation with often crappy results. I see an opportunity for public service here, helping steer others clear of some “been there, don’t try that.” (Most are from the past few months; a few are oldies but goodies)
My Bad Housekeeping Tips:
- Microwaving boxer-briefs you left in the washer overnight will not dry them; it will only yield steaming-hot, wet boxer-briefs.
- Do not spray furniture polish directly onto the kitchen table if you have linoleum floors; otherwise you and your kids will slide into breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.
- No matter how neat you think you’ll be, don’t try to re-pot that plant at the kitchen table.
- Don’t use the vacuum attachment to try to suck up a bunch of spilled potting soil (that may or may not be on and around your kitchen table). It WILL clog the tubing and create a bigger mess.
- Never clean when angry. Things. Will. Break.
- When placing dough in gently warmed oven to encourage quick rising, remember to remove before preheating the oven to 500 degrees for that pizza.
- Don’t substitute olive oil for vegetable oil in recipes; you’ll end up with brownies that taste like salad.
- When a recipe calls for a 9” square baking pan, you really shouldn’t use an 8” pan instead.
- If you have a bad electric coil in your oven that catches fire and won’t go out even after you turn the oven off, try flipping the circuit breaker BEFORE calling the fire department. Once they’ve been summoned, they come, even if you’ve solved the problem and try to cancel them. And they track mud. And scare your daughter. And the dogs.
- Try the circuit breaker BEFORE emptying a fire extinguisher into the oven and on your over-flowing cheese cake (see #s 8 & 9); a fire extinguisher is messy and really won’t work on a continuously fed electrical fire.