Vacuuming for Losers


  • Dust-bearing carpet with cereal on top
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • A couple old socks, and maybe the nice wash rag used to clean off the communal white board
  • Dish soap, or hand soap, or something.


Notice that you’ve been harboring unspecified vile creatures in your room. Freak out, put down your cereal, take your glass of milk out to the living room where it’s safe. Clear the accumulated dishes from your work space, while trying to convince yourself that they were mostly water glasses anyway. Except for the leftover baked beans and spaghetti-Os and ice cream, but those aren’t that old. Do the dishes. Note with satisfaction that the spaghetti-Os didn’t even stain the bowl this time.

Now it’s time to vacuum. Get the area prepped. Throw out all those papers on the floor without looking at them: if you haven’t needed them in months, you probably won’t need them again, ever. Unless they’re important tax documents that the IRS will kill you for chucking. Stack the papers on top of the filing cabinet for safekeeping.

Pick up all the hair bands and spare change ($0.17! Put that in the bowl of pennies so you can build a penny sculpture later) and unfold that old map you found behind your desk. It’s a pretty map; put it on the wall with some gummy old tape. Cringe because it makes your walls look dirty. You should have gotten your room repainted before you moved in, but you didn’t, and you’ll be moving out in two months so there’s no point doing it now.

Grab the vacuum, plug it in, turn it on (once you’ve found the switch). Run it around for a while, ignoring the ominous rattles and squeals. Wait for your roommate to leave so you can rip out his network cable and get under the hub. While you’re waiting, turn off your computer, scooch the desk around to get at the corners, and make a few desultory swipes at the venetian blinds with a wet rag. There’s a dead spider on the window sill; why wasn’t it doing its job at your desk? Dumb lazy spider.

When the roommate’s gone, finish vacuuming. Try not to suck up any socks or pennies. Put the vacuum away, wipe your desk down with soapy rags, and boot the computer back up. Think about washing the rags, but throw them away instead – there’s plenty more old socks where those came from. Enjoy the tiny new clean part of your room!

(with insincere apologies to Cooking for Losers)


  1. ester wrote:

    sage advice. it seems so easy, too — if only i could motivate myself to follow it.

  2. yami wrote:

    The bug poo really helps with the motivation thing. Really, really helps.

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