The Power of Panic: Cleaning for Unexpected Company

The power of panic comes in handy when cleaning for unexpected company. (From

This morning, I came to the conclusion that a little panic is good for us. Sometimes, we need a jolt to our system to kick ourselves into high gear, resulting in massive amounts of productivity in a short time. Case in point: this morning, I got a phone call from my dear aunt informing me that she’d like to swing by with my dear great aunt to see the house and see the girls.

Now, my initial reaction was pure delight. I absolutely love these women. They are warm and non-judgy and live life with a happy, helpful demeanor. My second reaction was pure panic. My house. Ohmygosh my house! It’s a mess. And not your typical mess. We had a crazy busy weekend accompanied with my frantic push to launch this blog, and our house is a wreck. Worse than a wreck. It’s disaster wrapped in mayhem wrapped in chaos and sprinkled with insanity. But I thought I had all day to clean. Now, I only have a few hours.

Pulling up to the house after dropping the girls off for preschool and play time, it suddenly seemed that the weeds had sprouted 10 inches since I’d left, random objects had mysteriously appeared in our yard, and several hundred chickens (it seemed) had decided to poop on our front porch. The poop! Ohmygosh, was this there before? We only have four chickens now (down from seven thanks to a poultry-addicted dog). So after picking up the yard, I power washed the porch, which really upset our new kittens, who’d been eating on top of the girls’ Fisher Price picnic table. The yowled and hid under the car, sending me death stares and hisses.

Then, into the house I went. What was that smell?! Between dirty diapers and another funky odor we’ve never been able to pinpoint (I swear it’s a ghost with stinky feet), our old farm house just never seems to smell good. Never. Unless I’m baking (unless I burn something). So, off to find some sprays. I also turned on the Scentsy, which has a hard time keeping up with the scents in this house. After heading into the kitchen (ohmygosh the dishes!!) I realized what the smell must be. The trashcan was overflowing. So, out it went. Only, the dumpster was still at the curb. After pulling it back down our driveway and parking it beside the house, I decided to take out the rest of the trash. So much trash! Growing up, we used to burn our trash in a barrel. At the time, this seemed completely normal. I didn’t know any other way. Now, especially with disposable diapers, I can’t imagine what a pain that would be. Our trash bill is high out in the country, but it’s worth it.

Back to those dishes. Of course the dishwasher was full of clean dishes, so those had to be unloaded first. Then in went the dirty dishes. Now that the dishes were cleared, I could see how dirty the counter was. Wipe, wipe, wipe…done. On the way to put the dirty dishrag in the laundry room, I couldn’t help but notice my feet sticking to the kitchen floor. Everything is always sticky in this house!!! So, looks like I’ll be sweeping and mopping. Done. Not thorough, but done. Oh, and someone threw a grenade into the living room. Clothes everywhere. Toys strewn about. More dirt on the floor. And when I thought about tackling that disaster, I saw my laptop, and decided to sit down and write. After all, I’ve gotten a lot done in the past hour. More than I can normally get done in several hours. That’s the power of panic. And besides, every time my aunt comes over, she makes sure to keep her eyes off the mess and remind me she’s here to see me, not the house. Thank goodness.


One Response to The Power of Panic: Cleaning for Unexpected Company

  1. Sarah Fisher says:

    Love it!

Leave a Reply