The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

How to prepare for a kitchen party… if you’re an idiot.

Well, tomorrow is my Pampered Chef party. {Gulp!} And like Laura the Org Junkie says, inviting company over is the best motivation for getting your house in order! That’s just one of the 100 great tips in her book, Clutter Rehab. It’s fabulous.

When time is of the essence and you are about to have a gaggle of women held hostage in your kitchen for two hours, you need to get your clean on.

That’s why this week… I cleaned out my car.

Oh yes I did.

Clearly my Grandma dropped me on my head. Probably right after my Mom squeezed my papery-thin skull and my Grandpa blew smoke rings in my newborn face.

Sorry. I just can’t get enough of this picture and thought it was worth the repeat.

But back to getting organized. I actually did clean out my kitchen drawers this week too so that I’d have some kitchen gadgets to donate to the women’s shelter. But I also needed to clean out my car because it was beyond gross. You know it’s time when you start purposefully parking far away from other cars for fear that someone will peer in your windows and know your dirty little secret.

Fortunately, I have a cool system for cleaning out my car, so it wasn’t that bad.

I recently bought some flexible rubber buckets at one of the big box stores. I won’t tell you which one because my business manager/husband tells me I do too much free advertising, but the store name rhymes with Ball*Fart.

Aren’t they pretty? I love them so much that I bought one of each color! (Can you say: “Bucket Slut”?) And I use them constantly for all my organizational needs.

I assigned one color for each kid and I keep three buckets behind the couch to toss in the crap the kids constantly leave lying around. The kids empty their buckets once or twice a week as part of their chores. It works for us. We like it.

Of course, no surprise that Bucket Head likes the buckets. We don’t call him Bucket Head for nothing.

I also enjoy the buckets for sorting/purging tasks…

He's a keeper!

These buckets are great because they are made of flexible heavy duty rubber and they have handles. They’re easy to carry, even for the kids. And they won’t crack or break when they get dropped or thrown at each other, unlike some other hard plastic buckets I’ve tried in the past. They were about $5 each. Totally worth it.

So I took two buckets outside with me to clean out my rolling petri dish the other day…

One was for crap that didn’t belong in the van (teal). The other was for crap that did (magenta). I also had a garbage bag with me for crap that could go right into the trash.

A few minutes later, the buckets looked like this:

Why yes, that IS a rainbow clown wig. Everyone has one of those in their cars, right? I like to put that on right before I go through the car-rider line at school to pick up my two older kids while I’m blasting some Donna Summer and singing along with the windows down. Beep beep….yeeeeaaaahhhh… toot toot! Good times.

Once the van was emptied out, I was able to vacuum out three cubic tons of crumbs and wipe down the surfaces. I’m no professional auto detailer, so take this next part with a grain of pink Himalayan sea salt. There are only a few things I need to clean the inside of my car…

Pictured from left to right: Shaklee microfiber towel, Shaklee H2 All Purpose Cleaner, Swiffer Duster, and Mr. Clean Magic Erasers.

The center of my dashboard is shiny black plastic and shows every speck of dust. That’s nasty. I have a solution though. I keep a Swiffer Duster under my passenger seat in the built in drawer right next to my first aid kit. You never know when you are going to need a band aid or a duster, right?

Some people text while they drive. Some people dust. Don’t freak out, I wait until I’m at a red light. Geez!

The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is my go-to tool for scrubbing off scuffs and dried boogers. If you’ve never used one, you are missing out! Just wet it first and wring it out, then scrub scrub scrub. I use the Shaklee H2 with the microfiber towel for everything else. What a difference it makes to not be driving around in such a garbage hole. Smells better too.

Oooh, quick tip. I owe you one this week since I was busy dealing with the Po-Po and my faithful dog’s arrest on Tuesday. I have this center console table thingy in my van. It’s a great spot to rest my phone or a huge bowl of Cheez-Its. But I didn’t like the way my shiz would slide around when I took corners on two wheels. So I cut out a square of rubber area-rug backing and put it there. Works like a charm.

I also keep a little plastic bin with rubber feet and a rubber liner (also from Ball*Fart) under the center console to hold my box of tissues so it won’t slide around.

Ahhhh. Molto bene! Driving around in a clean vehicle feels like such a treat. It even makes listening to Geronimo Stilton audio books less grating.

As usual, I’m linking this post up to Org Junkie’s 52 Weeks of Organizing. It’s week # 14 there and her topic this week is “Does your system need a change?” Go there and see what my other sisters in organizing are up to! So inspiring!

I’m also branching out and linking to Simple Mom’s Project: Simplify. Check it out! It feels so good to know I’m not the only one out there struggling to simplify my life and get organized!

Well if you’ll mi scusa, I have to get crackin’ for my party tomorrow! Wish me luck!

your friend,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

29 comments on “How to prepare for a kitchen party… if you’re an idiot.

  1. Erin Branscom
    April 8, 2011

    Love it!!! 🙂 I am so glad you love the basic h2! 🙂

  2. Mimms
    April 8, 2011

    Hi, my name is Michelle and I’m a bucket slut” …..bwahahahaha
    I hear ya sista, I have got a major love on for Mr Clean, he’s da-man!
    There is just no way to describe why cleaning out your car is essential to an indoor chick partay, seriously, there isn’t one. But I still heart you!

  3. Megan
    April 8, 2011

    P.S. I loves that one up there, Mimms. She’s a hoot.

    O.K. on to business, you put the clown wig in the wrong basket. It goes in Magenta. That is all.

  4. Laura
    April 8, 2011

    When did u start dusting at stoplights? I thought u were working out your pelvic floor. Was it the birthday?

    • The Bearded Iris
      April 8, 2011

      Um, hello… you can dust and kegel at the same time, y’know! “And squeeze, and swipe, and squeeze, and swipe! That’s it ladies! Now hold it… hold it… keep holding it while your elevator goes up…. and swipe swipe swipe! Very good! You’ve earned another Cheez-It! Oooh, green light!”

  5. Anniemae
    April 8, 2011

    I wanted to marry Mr. Clean, I’m already married but I was willing to overlook that, but he’s not real. So I changed to the Dyson guy only to find out that he’s gay! Some days I swear the whole world is against me.

    • The Bearded Iris
      April 8, 2011

      I love the Dyson guy too! Damn, all the best ones are gay. I bet his boyfriend never loses suction…just like his vacuums.

      Sent from my iPhone.

      • Megan
        April 8, 2011


      • The Bearded Iris
        April 9, 2011

        Eeek… is that over the line? You’re supposed to have my back, woman! You know I have absolutely NO internal three-second delay.

  6. laura lee
    April 8, 2011

    did i earn a cheez it?

  7. Jellyhead
    April 8, 2011

    I read this post, my life got better. Thank you, Iris. This is how I feel every time sit down catch up with you here. For serious.

    • The Bearded Iris
      April 9, 2011

      Oh Jellyhead, how you make my dented and cigarette-burned head blush!!! Love you and your kale hole. (Thanks Shannon!)

  8. Deanne
    April 8, 2011

    I cleaned out my vehicle today too. It was called “get to the dealership, take all the crap out of my car and throw it into Hubby’s van so that the nice people who are doing my free oil change can also vacuum out my car and make it look nice and neat again”. Yeah, I cheated. Totally cheated. I’m okay with that though! 😉

    • The Bearded Iris
      April 9, 2011

      Why didn’t I think of that?!!! Good to know there is ONE person who is lazier than me. LOL!

  9. Shannon
    April 8, 2011

    We have the same van. I think I need some rubber liner on the french fry shelf. I also keep a duster in the car. Waiting in the preschool pick-up line, I always realized how gross it was on the dash. I keep a microfiber cloth in the bin under the shifter, with my sunglasses. The underseat bin is for butt wipes and headphones and passports
    …of course. I have 2 of those buckets that live in the back to corral toys/blanket and my awesome shopping bag collection which I occasionally remember to actually take into the store. WE. TOTALLY. ROCK!
    PS- right after I asked you to kindly close your kale hole (alliteration), you posted about making kale chips….so I know it is not closed. 🙂
    PP(M)S- Very sorry about Ike’s incarceration.

    • The Bearded Iris
      April 9, 2011

      I’m still laughing about “kale hole.” That’s awesome. And “french fry shelf” ??? Bitch, please. I’m gonna have to put you on the payroll.

  10. allysgrandma
    April 8, 2011

    I tried to get my husband to drive my car to work and clean it out, after all we OWN a car wash. He said no.

    • The Bearded Iris
      April 9, 2011

      Dang, girl. He better be good in the sack. That’s all I have to say about that. But I’m not surprised, isn’t that just so “The cobbler’s children have no shoes” ??

  11. margo
    April 9, 2011

    Hilarious! Maybe you could have your party in your van!

    • The Bearded Iris
      April 9, 2011

      That is the best idea I’ve heard all day! Thanks Margo! I’m sure we could all fit, too, because my RSVPs keep canceling on me left and right. I put on deodorant today and everything! Poor Teresa. 😦

  12. Rebekah
    April 9, 2011

    Do you have any suggestions for cleaning pupkus* off car windows? That stuff is surprisingly hard to clean! My windows are so smeared I look like I’m driving around in an aquarium.

    *The moist residue left on a window after a dog presses its nose to it.

    • The Bearded Iris
      April 9, 2011

      LOVE that word, pupkus! I know it well (the residue, not the great word). All my house windows from about three feet down are smeared with it as well. I’ve been using the Shaklee H2 Window cleaner, their special window cloth, and hecka elbow grease to fight my pupkus problem. It is working! Shoot, I betcha I end up hawkin’ this stuff before it’s all said and done.

  13. oneshabbychick
    April 9, 2011

    Is it too late to RSVP for your PC party?! Well, I can’t come, but I WISH I could! I have more fun since I met the Bearded Iris. Have a blast and don’t sweat the tumbleweeds! xo ~ osc

    • The Bearded Iris
      April 9, 2011

      I love you, OneShabbyChick! I thought of you today as I was decorating my dining room with my fancy Easter eggs and cream McCoy pottery collection. That’s a post for another day, but you need to know that I said to myself, OUTLOUD, “What would OneShabbyChick do?”

  14. ctdaffodil
    April 9, 2011

    ballfart! thats one that will have me giggleing to myself as I head in there for a new mop and more cleaning supplies this weekend….thanks – I have plans to clean my van – but its baseball season and I think the sand will catch the red infield clay before it stains the carpets again this year – my hubby said it doesn;t work that way though

  15. Anniemae
    April 9, 2011

    I bought clear plastic car mats at Wal-Mart and you can trim them if they don’t fit. Pull them out and shake off the dirt…or salt, or ketchup packets, used tissues, pennies, receipts, Chick-Fil-A ice cream cone wrappers… Need I go on?

  16. Joe
    April 10, 2011

    Glass Plus is what you want to use on plastic…Windex is ammonia based and will eventually “melt” the clear plastic which protects the gauges found on most dashboards/consoles…Just thought all of you yummy mommys would find this useful. Off to Ball*Fart, ta

  17. Bernie Bickers
    April 10, 2011

    A messier backseat:

  18. Connie Corey
    April 12, 2011

    Ok, I was at ballfart today and looked longingly at those swiffer dusters cuz that is just the BEST.IDEA.EVER!!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: