A delicious meal left in the fridge until it becomes science.

I wanted to ask this simple favor of you before I arrive in the US for a visit. Every time I travel back North, I am “uninvited” to friend’s homes because “they are unclean, just a mess, and totally unorganized”. I totally get that and can’t imagine how on earth you live with yourself the eleven months of the year that I am not back for a visit.   So I wanted to request that you clean and organize every area of your home, including garage, sheds, and attic, before I return to visit.

I must confess. My house is immaculate. I don’t have much disorder and I spend endless hours making sure that my home is organized and clean. I was visiting my cousins not long back, and Angie commented on how embarrassing for her was the pile of shoes in the doorway. I stopped to reflect on that pile of shoes. That would never happen at my house. All the shoes in my home are organized and they never smell putrid; nuclear smelling shoes are just not allowed. Another friend noted that the books on their bookshelf were dusty and not in order. Not in order? All my my piles of books are completely organized, and those that are dusty are that way because it increases their market value. Junk in the garage? My carport is immaculate, always. Never any trash, piles of firewood, bicycles strewn about…..never!!

My kitchen is grease free. I make sure my boys always keep things tidy. They never find beans and greens growing under the dish drainers. I’ve never pulled plates of well formed mold colonies out of my refrigerator. The ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise containers are never overflowing, and they never leave little condiment trails through the fridge door and out across the floor. I’ve never found a rat in the oven, and the rumors that one was found asleep in the microwave one Saturday morning…..those were just unfounded rumors. Salt shakers are always clean, and I would be horrified if I found chewing gum stuck to the bottom of my tables.

Our bathrooms are germ free areas, fit for the tidiest castle. Toilets are always flushed, my boys never miss when they pi….um…..pee. I hear that in some places toilet paper goes in the trash, not the toilet…..horrifying!! Sinks are tidy and blue stains from randomly spit toothpaste are never to be found in my glaring white sinks. Mirrors are clean and perfectly shiny. The shower never had underwear strewn about, lost socks seeking a new life, or soap and shampoo abandoned on the wet floor. John let me know he found mold in the ceiling in his guest bathroom…..I was totally horrified!! Mold?  Our home has never known of mold.

I don’t know what clutter looks like and I’d hate to arrive at your home to discover it. I know this may be a lot to ask, but be sure all food products in your kitchen are not outdated. Clean in those dark and hidden places where few of you have dared to look in awhile. Please dust around your TV and DVD player. Use cleaning wipes on your remote control. I make sure mine is sanitary…..well….I do when I can find it. No pet hair please, as I’m allergic to cat hair. In my house we never allow animals, a stray goat, four cats, not to mention snakes or anything that slithers. I’d be shocked if you allowed animals in your house… less should I discover a flea or fly. My home never has flies, and the fly tape you may see is simply for décor.

Thanks for taking all of this into consideration. I won’t even get into how you should clean your car, and since I probably would be terrified at how horridly unkempt your vehicle is, I’ll be driving my own car, just to save you the trouble. (Or does Merry Maids do cars?) Cars should be places of sterile tranquility…..I’ll bet you’ve never taken QTips to your air conditioning vents. Do you ever clean in that dark sneaky area under your car cushions. I’ll bet not. Out of respect for your missionary who is home on visit, please take a few hours, or even days to be sure your home is perfect. If I can do it, so can you. And that will make my stay all that much better.

Thank you in advance. And if you ever want to know what a perfect Martha Stewartish home looks like, you are free to come and visit my amazing home.

Mark Wakefield is a missionary, writer, and motivational speaker who has lived since 1999 in Guatemala. Those who know him know well the sarcasm in this note. Mark’s home is called the Youth Ranch Home, and he lives and ministers to 20+ teenage boys who are orphans, cases of abandonment, or victims of severe abuse. He most often uses the words “creative chaos” when describing his home. Boys are in charge of almost every aspect of the home, including cooking andcleaning…..and that depends on your definition of the word “cleaning”.  The home is also host to 550+ chickens, some snakes, four cats, snakes, 17 goats, and a two yard long green tree snake named Hulk!   Mark journals the experiences in the home through his Facebook page, often sharing about the horrors he encounters as he does cleanliness inspections.

Discover more about Mark and the Youth Ranch Home:

Perfectly organized boy’s rooms
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Mark Wakefield

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