Posted by: Amie | October 14, 2008

Dear Granny

Much frustrated with my seemingly inability to maintain a well-kept household, I turned, in an e-mail, to the one person on earth I know would have the answer to my “how to?”: My dear granny.

This woman is amazing. At seventy years old, she still works a nine-to-five as an accountant and while most grandmas would be content sitting at home knitting scarves (don’t worry, she does knit) in a rocking chair, Granny is out and about and chases my seven-year-old sister around like she’s under thirty. Not only that, but when most people her age were refusing to get on the technology bandwagon, she leapt on up with gusto and still maintains my uncle’s dot com business and shoot emails and texts like a pro.

What she also does, what most grannies do: keeps an immaculate house. She frequently hosts my family of twenty or more and has her place back to spic and span in under an hour. Her house always smells of cinnamon spice and the like. Her linens are always cool, crisp and soft with a tranquil blend of cedar and fabric softener – her place is perfect, and I want mine to be, too.

In frustration and a lame attempt, I recently visited Target. I think I purchased at least $20 in Glade candles, and the rest in cleaning products to better the scent of my home. It smelled somewhat of a cheap, knock-off version of Granny’s house, and the next day smelled back to normal. There is dust everywhere. I can’t vacuum enough, and my house still, after planting Glade sh*t everywhere doesn’t smell like apple cinnamon, dammit!!

Maybe this is part of the whole “nesting” phase pregnant women supposedly go through, but a.) I thought that would be later on, and b.) I think it’s more along the line of losing my mind. I want my house to be clean as this is a frustration point between my husband and I – he’s helping me now that I’m pregnant, but I’m sure once I pop out the bun in the oven, it’s back to me being the housekeeper. And while I was never good at it to begin with, I certainly don’t know how I’m going to do it when I’m wrist deep in poopy all the time.

I actually began to feel frantic as my mind mulled over these ideas. How in the HELL am I going to do this? I’m not Susie Homemaker! I’m a wanna be neat freak who alphabetizes books but is totally okay with leaving yesterday’s dishes in the sink until tomorrow. What am I going to do with I have a drooling, screaming being sucking the life out of me AND I have to clean!?

In a moment of desperation, today, I penned typed this:

Hi Granny

How are you? I hope everything is going well.

Now, don’t laugh, but I have a question for you. How do you do it?

Ever since I can remember you’ve been as busy as a bee working and keeping up with family and yet you keep everything in order. Your clothes are beautiful, you look lovely all the time, and your house is clean enough I’d eat off the floor (and have before). Your home not only always looks nice, but it smells amazing and I just don’t know how you do it! I can’t remember a time when I’ve ever seen dust on your furniture or pictures. I can’t remember a time when I’ve seen a spot on a mirror or dirt on the carpet.

And maybe it’s just because I love spending time with you, but everything about your place is always so inviting. Aside from last time when your A/C was broken, your house is always at the right temperature and your couches and chairs are always the right level of comfort. And not only that, but your blankets and pillows are always soft and smell incredible, just inviting me to fall asleep.

I really need to know your secret. And before you say, “I just do it,” I need a really good answer, because, let me tell you, I’ve been “doing it” and my home doesn’t ever look as good as yours. So were you born with this miraculous gift to keep a beautiful home, or was it years of practice and I’m just not giving myself enough time?

Love you,

I greatly anticipate her answer. I’m now off to bake brownies to get into the spirit of channeling Granny.


  1. all the women in my family keep amazingly clean houses. i thought i just had defected genes because i was horrible at keeping house. the first couple of years of marriage, dishes would pile up (for days!) and anytime company was coming we would be frantic throwing things in closet to the breaking point. when i got pg with ds that’s when i changed and big time. i think it was because that’s when i actually really cared. what really helped me was its one hell of an annoying site with many email reminders to go clean the bathtub or clean the sink…but it really helped me get myself together.

  2. I’m so there with you.

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