Friday, October 28, 2011

High five

All right, let's throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks, okay?


You can win a Kindle at my friend Kristy's blog. Don't tell my son (who is thankfully uninterested in my blog so I can say this) but we got him a Kindle for Christmas. Why? Because most libraries now have Kindle lending programs. He's borrowed my Kindle four times in the last week to "check out" Encyclopedia Brown books. Now I don't have to deal with the "I'm out of books" whine anymore. Yay! Anyway, check out her Kindle contest here. It's easy, and right now your odds are really good.


Also to check out, iffin' you want to, is this silly interview I did back in May about The List. 



And I have another favorite thing:

The Rule of Five


This is also known as Saving Melanie's Sanity. So I'm sure this never happens to any of you, but sometimes when I put my head down for three weeks and write for hours a day to finish up a manuscript because I can't take it being undone anymore, when I eventually pick my head back up, I'm shocked, I say, SHOCKED to discover that my house looks as if it has been inhabited by a weird frat that leaves diapers lying around in pools of dried milk and various items of clothing hanging from our chandeliers, only it's Batman t-shirts and ruffle bottom bloomers instead of bras and thongs.

Anyway, it's a little overwhelming trying to figure out where to start, so I just follow the Rule of Five. Any time I go into a room, I must put away five things before I leave it again. By the afternoon, my house is not "clean" (something I think may be a myth perpetuated by home decorating magazines and ad campaigns for Chlorox), but it is livable and that's usually a vast improvement over whatever it started out as in the morning. As a bonus, whenever a wild hair seizes me (someone please explain that expression to me) to actually clean ALL THE WAY one of the disaster zones in my house, if I've been following the Rule of Five all day it feels . . . not daunting. Possibly even do-able. 

And now I need to go put away dishes but I'll be putting away a set of blue vampire fangs, a stuffed kangaroo, a Reeses's wrapper, some size 2T striped leggings, and a pencil sharpener before I leave the living room to do it.




Then I have to make a hippie wig out of brown yarn. Because my son changed his mind about his costume. Again. 

15 comments:

Kasey @ The Beautiful Thrifty Life said...

Way. too. funny. That totally happened to me today. I think you really have something there with the "clean house myth"- magazines constantly feed us unrealistic body image myths, why on earth would we believe the house images they show us?

At my house I use Better-than-you-found-it. Whenever I leave a room I try to do at least one thing to make it better than I found it (so that then my kids can come in behind me and do 10 things to make it worse).

Donna K. Weaver said...

Oh, I remember those days. They, too, shall pass. I used to have to remind myself that I didn't reside in a museum but a home where my children LIVED.

Hey, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

I love the video!

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Love the video. You are too cute! And that is so cool that your son likes to read so much. I'm sure my little guy would love a Kindle some day. I think I'll wait until he's a little older though. ;)

Stephanie Black said...

The Rule of Five is a great idea. Wonder if my kids would go for it . . .

Kristy said...

Thanks for the shout out on my kindle contest. As a thank you, I could come and pick up 6 things at your house. Here's another trick-- clean while wearing an I-pod, and spend one song in each room.

Susan said...

A clean house is not a myth. I repeat: not a myth. All you need to do is the brain box. Seriously, my friend taught me how and my life will never, ever be the same. Christina says she's been doing it for five years and she loves it too. Let me know if you're interested and I'll tell you about it. (No, this is not a paid advertisement. It costs absolutely nothing to do and I get nothing out of you doing it. Except to know that you sanity has been restored, permanently.)

Barbaloot said...

I'm usually pretty tidy, but every once in awhile, my house falls into that same trap of too busy to clean and I have a rule of five I to as well:) If only I could get my roommates to follow it...

Lara said...

Thank you for the rule of Five idea. I love it.

I tend to wake up from whatever I've been focusing on and find that same fraternity in my house. WHO DO THEY THINK THEY ARE?

But now I know how to deal with them. Melanie's Rule of Five, here I come...

myimaginaryblog said...

Speaking of fraternities, I recently realized that a) I'm the only person in my family who *doesn't* have a Master Laundress to clean, iron, and deliver my clothes to me perfectly folded, and b) I'm the only person in my family who would love to have such a person on staff. (Well, Dean I guess does like clean clothes. And he does his own ironing. But he doesn't care about folding.)

On octopuses/octopi, I had recently heard that octopuses is actually correct since octopus isn't Latin, but I thought maybe I should Google it before I made that assertion. I found this delightful video from Merriam-Webster that sets the issue to rest for once and all:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFyY2mK8pxk

Karen Peterson said...

I need to implement the Rule of Five in my life. It's pretty much a constant disaster.

Becca said...

I always thought it was a WILD HARE that was going to seize you. (Not me, though. I've never been seized by a hair nor a hare. Just saying.)

Maggie said...

My house gets like that almost daily. Seriously! I like the rule of five--I might need 15 though.

Kazzy said...

My youngest loves to think he is my last great reason to live (which he kinda is), and often says things to stoke my middle-aged nostalgia. But this morning when he said, "Mama, aren't you sad that I am your last boy to get ready for trick-or-treating?" I said, "Not really."

DeNae said...

First, half of 37 is 18.5. Second, the interviewer's shirt looks like it suffered little explosions all over it.
Which leads me to wonder, was the interview conducted on an artillery range? If so, you were remarkably composed.

(Is this Tristi? I've never met her, and yet I've now managed to give her a reason to hate me. It's a gift.)

I just finished 'Not My Type,' and it was better than 'The List.' As you well know, this genre is "not my type" at all, so you can consider this high praise from a true friend and a fierce book reviewer.

Hugs!

Mary De Bastos said...

Cleaning is the bane of my existence. I do it and it just gets messed up, so why bother?!!? AH! I'm gonna try the rule of 5. Here's hoping my flat will start to look better.

I'm seriously obsessed with my Kindle. If my house was on fire I'd grab the kindle first, then the baby. ;)