How to clean your house like your spouse

It’s no secret that having a clean house makes me happy.  Conversely, having a NOT clean house makes me UN-happy…

My dearest husband came to the epiphany after I was being particularly antsy about anything and everything.  From his point of view, I was alternating fearfully looking around and wandering around the house picking things up and putting them down somewhere else.  There may have been stomping or slamming.  I’m not sure.

From *my* point of view, I was being bodily attacked by clutter and crap in the house.  Piles of paper were forming into paper-monsters, with paper-sharp teeth – snapping at me when I walked by the desk.  Dishes were playing ‘rabbit time’ and spawning new dishes right in front of me on the coffee table.  Socks were slithering on the floor towards the couch until one of them actually climbed up the couch and smacked me in the face.  (I picked that one up and sequestered it in the hamper.  I broke its neck on the way, just to be safe.)

… and that was just the living room!

I had given up on asking for help.  It was clear that my husband was oblivious to my attackers – they would play ‘inanimate’ like they were from Toy Story as soon as I pointed them out.  It wasn’t until the dead-attacker-sock’s life mate sought revenge for the death of its partner that I finally lost my composure.  I don’t remember much of what happened, but the sock was close, I may have screeched something about the attacking sock, and flailed around wildly.  When I came to, my husband was looking at me like a curious puppy, and holding the sock.  “Okay, okay!  I’ll put it in the hamper… you don’t need to yell!”  He didn’t break the sneaky stinky sock-snake’s neck, and I swear that thing winked at me from his hand and said “Nexsssssst time!”

The next day, while at work, I decided to take charge and create a google-doc Task List.  I added to it every time I remembered something attacking me.  Here’s what I had for the Dining Room:

Dining Room:

  • Find something to do with the monitor that’s on the floor – put it next to the computer that needs it?
  • Pillows go down to the basement to be washed
  • Grocery bags to car for garbage
  • Crap on radiator – dispose of garbage, put the rest on the table, unless you know where it goes
  • Wipe down the wrought iron cabinet shelves with glass cleaner
  • Fill the water fountain with water
  • Sweep/wet swiffer hardwood, vacuum carpet
  • Put chairs back around the table – not staggered in the walkway
That night, he took one look at the list and got completely overwhelmed.  Could there really be that much to do?  I was still fairly incredulous that he didn’t see it when it was there in real life.  I mean, PILLOWS in the DINING ROOM?!?!  Seriously?  I’m not even sure how they got there… but there they were… mocking me with those beady button eyes.

Once we got through the list, my husband noted (out loud) how much better he felt now that the house was clean.  I’m pretty sure it’s because instinctively, he knew that we were under attack – even if he couldn’t see it.

So to help save your wives and your homes, I’m putting together a cleaning workflow… this will help you clean the house *before* your wife gets delirious from being constantly under attack by the so-called inanimate everyday household objects.  Take a deep breath, here it comes.


Cleaning Workflow

Click the picture for a full size version


See why I made you take a deep breath?
Think about it… Would you be ‘in the mood’ if you had THIS in your head all the time?  If you want to get lucky, clear some of this stuff away for her…  Luck favors the prepared.
I know it looks like a lot – and it may be scary, especially if you’re already cleaning the toilet.  But what you need to realize is this is the SIMPLIFIED version of what is constantly going through her head.  Trust me, she’s got LOADS of other stuff that needs to be done, this is just the beginner’s course…


Here are a few handy-helpful tips for getting through the complicated “putting things away”:

Hopefully, you are capable of dressing yourself in the morning.  You know how when you got dressed in the morning, you knew exactly which drawer held your socks, underwear, and/or undershirts?  The same works in reverse!  If you find yourself with a clean stack of laundry, and don’t know where to put it… think about where you got it from when you got dressed that morning.  Chances are, they are a direct match.  Also, be sure to crack the socks’ necks as you put them away.  Better safe than sorry!

“I only used it to serve crackers” is almost never a good reason NOT to wash a dish.  Who knows what those bastards were up to when you weren’t looking.  Throw some soap and hot water on there, wipe it with a sponge, rinse the soapy bubbles off of it, and let it dry.  Everyone will be happier.  (except for the dish… but nobody cares about that)

This seems to be a personal thing, and a tricky one at that.  Sometimes, paper is a bill that needs to be paid.  Other times, it’s a piece of junk mail that should be burned near a post office box as an example to other junk mail.  Truth is, you never know what’s important.  Sit down with your wife and go through the paperwork with her.  With practice and dedication, you’ll be able to decipher what needs to be done with each piece of paper.

While you’re waiting to go through the paper with your wife, make sure it is NEATLY stacked in a consistent place.  Don’t let her be attacked by ever-growing paper monsters – it’s horrible.  I still have nightmares.


Once you practice “putting things away”, you’ll get much more proficient at it, and you’ll have a much happier wife!

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Filed Under: Cleaning 101featuredHow to


About the Author: Abby Dryer's goal in life is to bridge the communication gap between men and women. She finds herself giving lots of marital advice to her guy friends whose wives don’t want to have to explain *everything* to their husbands. “Women are hard to understand. I’m a woman, and *I* don’t even get us sometimes! Goodhusbanding is a great guide to help men understand their women, and hopefully communicate with a little more confidence, because that’s what works… communication!”

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  1. Ken Jamaca says:

    FANTASTIC!!! Wives everywhere rejoice, there is now a manual to teach men how to clean!!!

  2. Mom says:

    I am continually amazed at both my daughter’s writing, and the obliviousness of the male species.

  3. Sharronraeklopp says:


  4. Wendy says:

    If you feel overwhelmed by housework this will make you laugh!

  5. Wendy Adams says:

    This would go a long way toward reducing the divorce rate. t really helps to add humor to difficult situations.

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  10. Jflaur71 says:

    Amazing! Does it come in a 11 x 17 wallchart?

    • Ken Jamaca says:

      It comes in a magnet!!

      It’s 20″ x 12″