You finally did it. You cleaned the whole house. Every laundry basket is empty. Every countertop, decluttered. Every nook and every cranny—swept, Swiffered, and scented. You don’t even have a junk drawer anymore.
You’ve ascended to a tier of domestic perfection hitherto unknown. And now, there’s only one thing left to do: Nothing.
Don’t move. Don’t breathe. Don’t blink. Don’t make yourself a snack. Don’t get a glass of water. Don’t set anything down anywhere. That includes yourself. Because the second your butt hits the couch, those freshly fluffed pillows will turn into unsightly pancakes.
If you want to enjoy the living room, you may now do so by standing in the center of it, arms glued to your sides like a wax figure at Madame Tussauds. Admire all you survey, but don’t touch it. Never touch it. You can never lay a finger on a single item in your house ever again. Especially not if it’s a polished surface.
You’ll just have to occupy your days with activities that don’t involve contact with your magnificently appointed possessions. For instance, you can stare at the bleached grout in your clean bathroom. Or stare at the hospital corners on your clean bed. Or stare at the open shelving in your clean kitchen, enjoying the perfect symmetry of your clean white dishware. Or pace. Or stand still. Or read the spines of the hardcovers on your expertly composed bookshelves. Or stare out the window moodily like a British aristocrat in a period piece. Or meditate on the maxims of Marie Kondo.
There are so many ways to keep busy, really! You won’t even miss your old life. Speaking of which, if you have pets, kids, or other family members, I’m sorry to break it to you, but they’ll have to go. Let a child step foot in the immaculate utopia you’ve created, and next thing you know, you’ll be scraping jam off the ceiling while screaming, “Get those markers away from the wall!”
Even adults can’t be trusted. They seem sane and reasonable, then they plop down on an accent chair, crushing the delicate velvet. Or rest a hand on your newly buffed counters. Or ask for something to drink, as if it’s no big deal to open the fridge and leave fingerprints on its virgin stainless steel surface — not to mention the disarray caused by taking one coaster off your painstakingly arranged stack.
No, keep others out. Then keep very, very still. Like a tree frozen in winter. Like a Rodin at the Louvre. Like an ancient seafarer that locked eyes with Medusa and is now cursed to spend eternity encased in stone.
Sure, it might feel like you’re living in a mausoleum. But it’ll be a pristine mausoleum. And it’ll be worth it. Because as you gaze at your neatly folded blankets, your assiduously dusted baseboards, and your artfully placed coffee table books, you’ll feel a rush of confidence the likes of which you couldn’t build in a thousand therapy sessions: you finally have your shit together.