❧ Layers of dirt on windows and screens provide a helpful filter against harmful rays from the sun. Consider it an SPF and leave it alone.
❧ Cobwebs draped over lampshades reduce glare from the bulb, thereby creating a romantic atmosphere. If your husband suggests that the light fixtures need dusting, say, “What? And spoil the mood?”
❧ Explain the mounds of pet hair by saying you are collecting it to use for stuffing hand-sewn toys for underprivileged children.
❧ If company is coming, shove everything unsightly into one room and close the door. As you show your guests through your house, say, “I’d show you the den, but Fluffy hates to be disturbed, and the shots are so expensive.”
❧ If dust is really out of control, place a fancy urn on the coffee table and say, “This is where Grandma wanted us to scatter her ashes.”
❧ Mix one-quarter cup pine-scented household cleaner with three cups of water in a spray bottle. Mist the air lightly. Leave dampened rags in conspicuous locations. Throw yourself on the couch and sigh, “I clean and I clean, and I still don’t get anywhere.”
❧ Always keep several get-well cards on the mantelpiece. If unexpected guests arrive, say you’ve been sick and unable to clean.