I have a not-so-secret secret: I'm basically a slob.
Well, no. That's not fair. I'm not a slob. I am a working mom of two under two and a husband-child who doesn't understand organizational systems. Cleaning my house is a crazy effort for almost no sustained payoff. My son is very good at undoing all of my hard work by spilling pulpy orange juice all over the carpet.
Without fail, I get compliments on ONE thing - and that's the smell in my house. My floors might be covered in pieces of Nutri-Grain bars and the sink might be full of dirty dishes, but my house will smell fantastic. Why? Because: Hi, my name's Amanda, and I'm addicted to wax warmers.
Not only am I addicted to wax warmers, I'm addicted to seasonally-appropriate wax scents. This spring, for some reason, citrus and aromatic herbs are high on my list. I don't know why I'm so drawn to it, but there's a cleanliness and brightness that seems to fit well with the newness of The Magical Mud Season. Aka Spring.
I'm also an expert at the ten minute whirlwind cleaning jag. Moments before a guest arrives, you can find me running in circles while yelling, "JUST THROW IT IN THE BEDROOM!" News flash: the bedroom is a disaster zone.
But guess who doesn't know that? My guest. Why? Because they're too busy asking what smells so freaking good. It's all smoke and mirrors, but without the smoke (since wax warmers don't leave soot on your walls like candles are prone to do).
How can you strike this balance of mess and merriment yourself? Easy peasy.
First, buy a thousand wax warmers. I tend to prefer the plug-in kind, instead of the tea candle versions. But either way, buy a thousand of them. Or, you know, one for each room.
Then start hoarding wax melts as the seasons change. I have been known to buy a scent on clearance after the season ends if it's a favorite. Pop a cube into your warmers and turn them on or light the tealight.
Run around like an actual whirlwind. All your clothes go into one basket, your shoes in another. The baby's toys go into a bin and the books get stacked up on the shelves. Fold a blanket and toss it over your sofa. Run the vacuum and suction up all of the crushed Goldfish and fossilized cheese sticks. By the time you finish this step, your wax will begin to melt.
All those baskets your filled up and organized? Go throw them onto your bed or in the toddler's closet. Pretend like they aren't there and deal with them later, when you don't have guests knocking on your door.
Put all of your dirty dishes in the dishwasher, but don't start it. Oh, you ran out of room? That's why you have an oven - so you can hide even more dirty dishes than fit in the dishwasher itself. Take out the trash.
And that's about it! Congrats, you've learned how to fake a clean until you make it clean! Honestly, I know exactly how much of a struggle it is to keep your kids alive and your sanity intact. Any friend worth having won't judge you for your regular life-mess. But if it makes you feel self-conscious, or gives you anxiety (like it does for me), don't despair. A fake-clean house can be yours in a matter of minutes! It won't be the complete effect without the wax warmers, though. I recommend Lemon Basil, if you're so inclined.
What cleaning tricks did you pick up after you had kids? Which was fragrance should I get with my next haul? Share your favorites with me, I'd love to hear from you!