You’re finally refinancing your mortgage. The wheels are in motion thanks to your husband, who informs you that someone will probably come to the house this week to do a property appraisal. No problem. It just so happens that the property appraiser calls at 9:30am on Monday morning just after you’ve dropped the kids off at school and returned home from the grocery store. He says he’s in the area and can stop by in about ten minutes. Of course, you say. Then, you hang up the phone, look around your cluttered house, and realize each and every room looks like the aftermath of a home invasion gone very, very bad.
(a) Put the groceries away?
(b) Fill the dishwasher with the dirty dishes piled high in the sink, which would require emptying the dishwasher full of clean dishes first?
(c) Unclog the toilet that, well, um, clogged earlier in the morning?
(d) Clean up the Matchbox car explosion, stuffed animal “hospital,” and Rescue Bot convention taking place on the on the floor of the family room?
(e) Clean up the makeshift “car wash” on the patio that involved a cooler, a bucket of water, and a hundred plastic cars.
(f) Pick up the dog toys, bones, and half-eaten dog treats strewn in every room.
(g) Put away the laundry?
(h) Make your bed?
(i) Make the kids’ beds?
(j) Put away a dozen or so pairs of sneakers, Crocs, and flip flops scattered in front of every entrance/exit to the house?
(k) Put away the tennis racket that’s been on the living room floor for so long it’s made tennis racket-shaped imprint on the carpet? (Where do the tennis rackets belong, anyway?)
(l) Use the handheld vacuum on the sofa, where breakfast was served?
(m) Swiffer the kitchen floor?
(n) Go through the mail?
(o) Put the recycling in the garage?
(p) Lock the garage door and tell the appraiser there is no garage?
(r) Brush your hair?
(s) Update your status on Facebook to “FML.”
(u) Burn down the house?
(v) All of the above.
None of the above.
Hypothetically speaking, if this happened to me, I would probably do a (easy), c (um, gross), h (sort of), j (I wouldn’t want anyone to trip), o (at least the wine and beer bottles), q (bathrooms first) and t (it would be more of demented laugh with hysterical tears) before the doorbell rang. Then I would neaten up my unbrushed ponytail, tuck my bra straps back under my shirt, answer the door with a smile, and ask in my most charming voice, “A little mess doesn’t mess up the appraisal, does it?”
Editor’s note: After a non-stop, hectic, kid-filled weekend, it’s possible that my house might be the teensiest, weensiest bit unkempt when the alarm goes off at 6:15am on Monday morning. In other words, Mondays aren’t the best days to have guests, especially unexpected ones. In case you’re planning a surprise visit, Wednesday afternoons from 2-4pm are ideal. That’s the day the house is cleaned (by professionals) and the time between when the cleaning is finished and the kids come home from school (and when the mess-making starts all over again.)