Monday, March 03, 2008

Who Wants A Clean House?

Should I be worried that my new ankle surgery date is April Fool's Day?

That's what I thought.

So I'm once again counting down the time and the list of things that needs to be done in less than 30 days just gets longer and longer. Added to my old list are these items:

1. Get my camera fixed so I can take pictures of all the blood and guts

2. Meet a deadline for a writing project

3. Get my landlords to repair and paint my ceiling before it falls down on my ankle and allows me to file a 20 million frivolous lawsuit against them

4. Learn how to walk down 2 flights of stairs with crutches like that's even possible

5. Trace a lost package of ink that I think is gone forever

6. Kiss that $52.00 goodbye

7. Buy new ink

8. Clean my entire apartment

Which brings me to my obsession with the Style Network show Who Wants a Clean House? starring Niecy Nash from Reno 911.

If you've never seen the show, the rundown is that people in the Los Angeles area call in and ask for help in decluttering the nightmare that is their home. The Clean House team arrives to deal with pack rats, hoarders, and adults who decorate in early college dorm.

The team goes through their junk to find items to unload at a yard sale which in turn will bring in money that Clean House matches up to a thousand dollars. So if the yard sale yields $1250, Clean House will add an extra grand to that so that they have $2250 to turn their hell hole into design magic via designer Mark Brunetz.

As fun as this voyeurism is, it gets better when you see what people refuse to part with. Burnt pans, 8 tracks and enough cheap plastic crap to open a Dollar Store. And as these people fight for the right to hang on to their decorative thimble collection, used toilet paper and mementos from their 1976 trip to Nebraska you can sit there smug in the knowledge that YOU would never own any of that stuff.

The worst offenders are the people who say "I like to be organized" while they're knee deep in more crap than you can find at a land fill. It's obvious that there are severe psychological issues at play with most of these people. The overweight wife or husband who got dumped, the grown man with hundreds of toys, the woman who lost her engagement ring in the clutter, the couple who are no longer having sex because the wife keeps their two year old son in bed with them because she is still breast feeding him.

Ew. Double ew if you don't have children.

I looked through my place, which is pristine and fabulous, and imagined the Clean House team begging for something to sell at my yard sale and decided that of all that I owned this was the one thing I wouldn't sell even if I appeared demented on camera.

It's a working Art Deco slot machine that belonged to my Dad. If they came to your house, what couldn't you let go of?

End of chat.


  1. Anonymous6:49 AM

    That slot machine is awesome...I wouldn't get rid of it either!

    I'm married to a packrat, so if they came to my house, I'd be the one throwing shit out the door as fast as I could, while he pulled it all back into the house. I still have a 10x20 storage unit in Tennessee because he couldn't part with stuff before we moved West. This is a man who just set up a mini disco ball in my bathroom because it was $5.00 and he thought it would be cool.

    Long answer longer, I couldn't part with a very cool wooden preacher's chair that used to be my parents'. Too many memories too ever get rid of it!

  2. I guess I would keep my kids, no matter what I was offered for them. Hus too. Having kids who occasionally,(daily) accidentally break things that I at one time found precious, I have learned to let go. Plus hus likes to throw out things I tend to save like wrapping paper. Then a year later when I need it, I rub it in his frugal face that now I have to buy more!
    I love that show. I have a friend who I think is trying to get on it. Really scary.

  3. My Pac-man Lamp.

  4. I think smellsliketeenblog should get rid of her husband. I've spent the last three years getting rid of stuff and my shelves are almost bare. My husband will be the last thing that goes, for sure...i'll have to keep my bowling balls and pins and the yard art (sigh!) is psychological. That is a beautiful piece of history and craftsmanship you have there.

  5. My bad animal art...and my lime green egg chair...and my fifties lamps...

    I feel like Steve Martin in "The Jerk." "I don't need anything but this chair...I don't need anything but this chair and this ashtray..."

  6. My great-grandfather was a Methodist circuit preacher. He rode horseback to several different churches in very small towns in east Texas to preach on different Sundays. I've got his saddle bags and his bible cover, both leather. They're ugly and stiff and beat up now, but I'd never part with them. And I guess I'd keep the kids, too. Maybe one of the dogs or both cats. But everything else could go.

  7. smellslike, a disco ball in the bathroom sounds cool. Does it rotate?

    gm, it's funny how out of all the answers no one has mentioned their computer or cell phone..

    brody, I'm going to need to see a picture of that lamp.

    anne, yard art, huh?

    traci, a red egg chair was one object on Clean House that a man clung to in desperation. They made him sell it.

    jami, those things sound very beautiful, beat up or not.

  8. My books. Anybody tries to take my books, I'll fight 'em off with my titanium spork (Yes, I really have one. Geek, me). Also, Bob the Wonder Computer, and my hand-me-down cast iron cookware. And, uhh...OK, so there are many things I wouldn't part with, but there's so much more that could go (televisions are first on the list). Pack rats should never marry.

    Shade and Sweetwater,

  9. It's probably the treadle sewing machine I posted about last week. Like your item it's beautifully crafted and has sentimental value.

    I used to be obssessed with TLC's Clean Sweep--how the hell do people live like that for one day let alone for years?

  10. Anonymous10:53 AM

    I was watching "Antiques Roadshow" or something like that. An old slot machine was worth big bucks! In my case, the thing I could not part with would be the original art hanging on the walls -- oh and also the tapes of my TV shows so I can look at them and remember what I looked like 25 years and 30 pounds ago....
    Martha Jane

  11. Anonymous10:58 AM

    Suz, the disco ball sits on a spinning pedestal with a little light that hits it from the side. He has it all set up on his side of the vanity. He loves showering with the thing on. Yeah, I got a good one. Jealous, ladies? ;)

  12. This is what my manternity friend says about the camera:

    That looks like dust got into the housing. I have a friend to whom it happened. There isn’t much you can do, except hope it goes away. It’d be more obvious on a picture taken in daylight.

    Dead pixels would appear as a point of random color. "

    If it were me - I'd try using a Co2 cartridge to see if I could dislodge the dust to another place inside the camera.

  13. Oh right - a link. I'm such a spazz sometimes:

  14. I lost my engagement ring last week. I'm not kidding. It is an exquisite (did I spell that correctly? You'll have to excuse me -- I am beyond distraught) ring, and I have lost it.

  15. Anonymous3:58 PM

    In Boston, they would suggest that you pray to St. Anthony, the finder of lost items, "Please St. Anthony, look around so that what is lost can be found." My friend, Loren, who is not a follower of St. Anthony, swears items can be retrieved by praying directly to a relative who has passed and ask for help in locating the item. He lost a ring and swears that's how he got it back. He asked for his Grandmother's help.
    Martha Jane