Friday, September 24, 2010

How to Clean the Couch

I figure since everyone is posting all sorts of tutorials, I'd go ahead and add one of my own. It had reached that point in my house where simply dabbing at spills on the couch was no longer enough. It was time to clean it FOR REALS. And, because I am so awesome at this, I'm going to share my handy tips with you. I've broken it down into 33 handy steps, each of which is very vital and important.

How To Clean the Couch

  1. Begin by properly motivating yourself. I found that making a healthy smoothie (Fine, it was a milkshake. I was out of yogurt) for your 3 year old and putting it in a cup that tends to leak is a good place to start. The 3 year old will then leave the cup where your toddler can find it, and then, when your back is turned, the toddler will conveniently place the cup on its side, right on the crack between the cushions of your couch. If you're child is as gifted as mine, she will chose the crack in the couch that is over the crack between sections of the couch, enabling the smoothie to drip all the way to the floor. It is best if you wait until the day after, instead of the day before, your garage sale to do this.
  2. Wipe up the liquid as best you can, pull the cushions apart and leave them to dry until you can find the time to clean the couch properly.
  3. Enter the living room the next morning to find your children piling the cushions on top of each other AND THE OPEN COMPUTER. Time out.
  4. Return from dropping your 5 year old off at school to discover your house has a distinctly funky odor. Decide you have found the time to shampoo the couch properly.
  5. Drink a Dr. Pepper. Do not eat lunch.
  6. Put your remaining children down for naps.
  7. Pull the cushions off the couch, pretreating any funky spots you find as you go along. If you discover ball point pen marks, rubbing alcohol will take them right out, even if you've been letting them set for months.
  8. Vacuum a family size box of Fruit Loops, a half a dozen crayons, 3 popsicle sticks, 3 pressed pennies, 5 hair clips and other assorted items out of the couch.
  9. Be disappointed that you didn't find any Dove eggs from Easter like the last time you cleaned the couch.
  10. Pull the sections of the couch apart. You might need to use some muscle to do this if you find the hardware is sealed together with dried sugary saliva.
  11. Discover that in addition to more Fruit Loops, some insects have also made their home in the joints between sections of the couch.
  12. Gag.
  13. Be grateful you didn't eat lunch.
  14. Feel deep shame and remorse. Swear you will never let it get this bad again.
  15. Vacuum it all up.
  16. Pull out your handy dandy carpet shampooer with the upholstery attachment and shampoo all your cushions, as well as the frame of the couch. Wonder for the millionth time how your sainted mother survived 7 kids without a carpet shampooer.
  17. Remember that she was still a better housekeeper than you. See #14.
  18. Move all the sections of the couch away from their current location. Find a curtain rod, a stick, a cardboard tube, a dowel, a yardstick and a princess crown behind the couch. Pat yourself on the back for finding such a great place to stash all long and narrow items that your children like to hit each other with.
  19. Discover that the windowsill behind the couch is covered in dead gnats. And there are dried boogers on your sheers. Again. Decide to take them off and wash them.
  20. As you are taking them off, discover the colony of spiders that has taken up residence on the backs of your drapes. Contemplate leaving them there, because after all, it is almost October, the magical month when spiderwebs and dust are considered decorations. Decide to vacuum them up anyway.
  21. Wonder how your angel mother up in heaven, who had a soft spot in her heart for Halloween, feels about how well you're doing as a homemaker. Worry that perhaps your failings are keeping her from eternal exaltation.
  22. Attempt to find the parts for the vacuum hose, but your 3 year old has now woken up from her nap and is using the tubes as a sword. Take it back and contemplate stashing it behind the couch with other long and narrow items.
  23. Clean off the webs and vacuum the floor. Start to put the couches back in their proper place, then notice that your 3 year old is now spraying spot cleaner all over the sections of the couch you just cleaned.
  24. Leave everything to dry while you rush back to pick up your kindergartner. Get smacked in the head with a stick the three year old found.
  25. #14
  26. Return home, retouch spots on the cushions that are still stiff and nasty because they were so saturated with goo.
  27. Give up. Watch your children play on the disassembled couch like it's an amusement park.
  28. Walk away, return to find Addie has again found the spray bottle of pretreater, filled all your vacuum attachments with it, and re-saturated another of the couch cushions.
  29. Kick all of your children outside.
  30. When everything is dry, move the sections of couch back into their established grooves in the carpet and reattach them. Replace all the cushions.
  31. #14
  32. #14
  33. Repeat in 6 months.
You're welcome.


Katie said...

Um, you are hilarious! I just thought about it, and I don't think that I've vacuumed my couch since before I moved. 2 years ago. I'm scared of what I might find in there.

Missy said...

Oh ruthie, you knoe how to make this ol girl laugh. #14 is my fav. Thank you for taking care of the spiders though.. I got the heebie jeebs.

Julie said...

Seriously. That was awesome! And that was the laugh I needed this morning. So funny! You are a talented writer, and Addie is talented at being three. So great!

Douglas said...

Ruth, many thanks for giving me something to laugh about until I cried during my stats class. Usually my tears in stats are for other reasons.

Katie said...

laughing and missing you oh so much!