Saturday, March 5, 2011

Fake-Tidy: For Women with a Life

Here it is, fellow housework avoiders... the long awaited and much anticipated second installment in FAKE TIDY!!!

My first foray into Fake-Tidy was very well received here in the blogosphere, with requests for books and even TV shows on the topic!

If you missed it, check it out here:

It really was a good post wasn’t it. So without further ado I present:



Problem: Red wine spill on the carpet.
For years, every time a glass hit the floor I’d run for the salt. I’d empty an entire 500gm Saxa shaker straight onto the spill, then watch eagerly as it soaked up the wine and changed to a lovely dusty rose colour. Once dried, out came the vacuum and I’d hold my breath to see if it had worked. Never once did it remove the stain. And as my vacuum cleaner pre-dates colour television, I’d be left with a red mark and millions of granules of dusty rose salt scattered across my lounge.
Solution? These days I have a more relaxed approach, possibly a result of the years spent learning how to consume the wine instead of spilling it.

OPTION 1: A quick re-arranging of the lounge suite, or the subtle addition of another Clutter-Box Occasional Table will hide even the toughest of stains.

OPTION 2:If you have a spare lamp, and a bit of patience, you can position it just right so that the stain appears to be a shadow.(bedside lamps are perfect and quite appropriate if you’ve also taken my lead and moved the bed into the lounge).

Now bear in mind that Options 1 and 2 only effective up to a certain point. It’s no longer feasible to re-arrange the furniture if it’s only going to uncover the last stain you tried to hide. And (dare I say it) there is a limit to the amount of occasional tables you can comfortable fit into a room before you start blocking pedestrian access. I’ve learnt that not every guest is limber enough to climb from couch to bed to couch again to get to the door (lucky it was family, no pending law suit).

OPTION 3: If 1 and 2 no longer provide the desired result, it’s best to let the stains become more of a focal point, or if you are really ambitious, you can change the entire colour of the room.

To shorten the turnaround time between hiding and embracing the stains, why not throw a party? The red wine I have found most eager to return to sea level is the stuff you heat up and add the spices to. Mulled wine I think. You can get some great recipes on pagan websites. I guarantee the first spill will occur within 90 minutes of serving up the tasty medieval brew.

Obviously these methods are handy for any carpet stains, even dog vomit and the wax that dripped off the candelabra that time you fell asleep without snuffing it out. (The candle had actually been placed for effective stain hiding shadow casting, so that one is kind of ironic).
When I took out the lease on this house I specifically requested they leave the ripped and torn carpet in so it wouldn't matter how it looked when I moved out. I long for the day when stained carpets are not only accepted, but embraced. Each stain is like a battle scar, and reminiscent discussions of how each was created can be enjoyed over wine and nibblies


Not long after my first Fake-Tidy, I stumbled upon this great post by Farmers Wifey:

In this post Farmers Wifey writes about her aversion to ironing, leading to the use of her ironing board as a storage table and her inability to remember how its done. Clearly this is due cause for a Fake-Tidy intervention.

I do not iron. Ever. Period. I do not own an ironing board. I once owned an iron, but I haven’t seen it in years, so its either gone for good or hidden in the bottom of a Clutter-Box occasional table.

Oh, I hear you Ironing ladies, you’re chained to the board and each morning when your family members get dressed up all spiffy in their wrinkle free attire, all you see is another pending garment for the basket at the end of the day.
This could just be your escape.... but first I need you to do some self-reflection. Why do you iron? Really, why? I know why I don’t iron... its because my Mum didn’t iron either. My reluctance is therefore hereditary, but if you were raised by an ironer, you may be in for a rough detox as you try to break the habit. Anger, Guilt and Denial will surely play a part. You may even relapse under peer pressure, but please stay strong.

Ironing is an outdated and unnecessary chore. It adds nothing to your life of any value, it just eats into your valuable blogging time. The lack of an iron does not impede career successes, nor make you any less presentable in modern society, my mum and I are both living proof.
Here’s how Mum does it:

1. Simple but effective, stock your wardrobe with as many clothes as possible that don’t crease.
2. It’s all in the hanging....strategic peg placement and a few extra minutes taken to hang each item to allow for crease free flapping in the wind.
3. Fold, sort and hang, directly from the clothes line. Again, a few extra minutes needed and not possible if you doing the ‘its starting to rain’ dash, but really makes a difference.
Okay, you got me. It works for my mum, but folding and strategic hanging are way too domesticated for me. My washing gets left in the machine for a few hours (or days) post cycle, and then its normally draped over nearby furniture to dry because the washing line is too far away. Here’s how I get away with it:

Problem: When you dig out that must wear shirt from the bottom of the wardrobe room and its all scrunched up.
Solution? Spray it with water, put it on and get out your hair-dryer.

Problem: The bf wants his shirt ironed, but Ellen is on, or your facebook status needs updating, or you just can’t be bothered.
Solution? Tell him to iron it himself. Or say yes, then ‘accidentally’ burn it. You;ll never be asked again.

Problem: Fancy house guests that require the ‘starchy’ feel sheets and pillow cases.
Solution? Meet new friends.

Problem: Need to get suited up for fancy parties or client meetings
Solution? Buy new clothes and wear them straight of the rack.

Just imagine how much more woman-kind would achieve if we used all that ironing time for a better purpose.... who’s with me?


  1. Oh, ME! I hate ironing. In fact, I only own an iron now in case I need it for scrapbooking. No, seriously.

    Also, I love that one of your solutions is to meet new friends.

  2. That's hilarious!!! Especially LOVED the red wine solutions - SO relevant after some friends at a party couldn't find the salt, so decided to grind in a salty product instead! If you've EVER tried to remove red wine + potato chip stains from a rented house carpet ... WELL! Your tips would have been a godsend!!!

  3. I just noticed that in your ads on the left there, the first 3 are for IRONS! and the last one is for removing stains and odours.....

  4. LOL! I knew that would happen :)

  5. I spent the morning fake tidying as I have house guests coming tomorrow. I only pull out the iron for my kids' fuse beads!

  6. Hello, fellow fake tidier! My method involved a laundry basket. Whatever didn't belong in a room got shoved in there. Then I'd shove it in a corner until the kids got home from school and collected their stuff out of it.

    Now, there's just me, so clutter reigns.
    I don't iron either. I do the strategic pegging and folding from the line, just like my mum did.

    For red wine stains, I'd suggest buying a red carpet. My crappy 70's orange (terracotta?)carpet was stained when I moved in, (I'm renting)I think with grease from a motorbike, I'd heard that he used to take it apart and repair/clean bits while watching TV. I'll never know for sure, but the carpet is awful.

  7. I was busy empathising with your wrinkle free solutions, knowing that My Iron is only used for quilting purposes, when I read the "meet new friends" comment and nearly covered my computer with the yummy pasta I am nibbling on. Brilliant!


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