Housekeeping!

The Kondo method is fine, but Helen Ellis offers some great alternatives in this short story.

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           If you don't know what's in the tinfoil, you don't want to know what's in the tinfoil. If you don't wash that cookie sheet, it will never leave your sink. If you smell your shirt to see if it's dirty, it's dirty. Don't question why the trash bag is so heavy, just throw it away. 

            Yes, you may toss a paper towel over that and deal with it later. Yes, it is perfectly fine to buy a new one instead of cleaning that one. 

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           Say, "Hello, dustpan, my old friend." 

            High-five the drapes. 

            Slow-clap your dishwasher. Junk your junk drawer. Roll your socks like sushi. Mix your colors and whites. Find your potential between sofa cushions. Flirt with household accidents. Refold your bra drawer because it looks like a turtle orgy. Whatever that was has dried now, so scrape it up with a cheese knife. 

            Figure out what smells. 

            Send the monster in your closet out to be dry-cleaned. Windex your crystal ball. Wear a colander like a crown and march around with a spatula. Cut a sponge into a voodoo doll and do what you got to do to you know who. Build an igloo out of toilet-paper rolls, crawl inside, and take a moment just for you. 

            Vacuum your feelings. 

            Every day a hand does not reach out from under the kitchen sink and grab you while you grope for Brillo pads is a good day. Every day a clown does not sneak up behind you while you clean the bathroom mirror is a good day. Every day you don't find a bedraggled nightgowned ghost woman curled up on top of your wardrobe when you dust is a good day. 

            So empty your change jar. No cleaning product is too expensive if it makes you clean more. Angry cleaning is still cleaning. Drunk cleaning is still cleaning. Slow cleaning is still cleaning. If you can fold a fitted sheet, you can conquer the world.

Helen Ellis is the acclaimed author of Eating the Cheshire Cat. She is a poker player who competes on the national tournament circuit. Raised in Alabama, she lives with her husband in New York City. Her new book American Housewife will be out on January 12th.

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