want it now: slipper genie cleaning slippers

I’m a huge fan of the magical powers of microfiber cloths when it comes to cleaning: I use them as dish scrubbies, floor cleaners, stainless steel polishers, etc. So when I recently spotted these sweet microfiber slippers designed for cleaning floors, I just about lost it. Cleaning my hardwood floors while I scuff about the house in slippers? Imagine how easy it would be to tackle the pet hair tumbleweeds if you had these — immediately swished away with a flick of the toe! The chenille microfiber soles are removable and machine washable so you can get rid of the nasty stuff that you just picked up (thank goodness). Find them at Bed Bath & Beyond for $9.99. –Megan B.

From our partners

tidy up your doodles with graphkin napkins

I have scribbled more notes, reminders, doodles, and digits on paper napkins then you can possibly imagine. That’s why I fell hard for these Graphkin Napkins as seen at Happy Mundane. I don’t have much of a need for them (I rarely use paper napkins) but I might pick up a packet just because. The set of 12 is designed by Colin O’Dowd and made from recycled paper. Pick them up over at the UK-based Design Museum Shop — and let me know if you find a US source! –Erica P.

From our partners

it’s the little things: talkative trader joe’s tissues

I like even minor items like tissue boxes to have a little personality, so it’s no wonder I came home with two boxes of these very friendly tissues from Trader Joe’s. They’re decorated with some old-timey artwork, but it’s what the tissue is “saying” to me that I like. “I’m there when you need to pick up icky things,” it says. “I’m there when you run out of toilet paper.” It even offers a kindly reminder to check my pockets before tossing my pants in the laundry. Where the tissues fall short are, sadly, softness. Simply put, they aren’t! (They’re like the Clint Eastwood of facial tissues.) But for 99 cents a box, I guess I won’t complain. –Mary T.

From our partners

contest winner! the best mess confession

First, you readers are amazing. Thank you for sharing your stories of dust and woe, most of which were hilarious, almost all of which were recognizable. It makes us feel so much better to know there are other people out there convinced that everyone else’s house is always cleaner than theirs. But there was one story in particular that made us laugh out loud. Is it because there is a cat butt involved? Very, very possibly. But we just can’t pass up the wonder that is this Confess Your Mess story. Congratulations, Cathy! You win!

I’ve got two cats, a one year-old daughter, a sort of absent-minded mad genius type husband, and zero talent or desire for housework. The litterboxes are sequestered in their own bathroom, which does have a gate across it. Sure, we have the usual tracking issues, but lately the chubby kitty has taken to hanging his butt outside of the litterbox when he poops. Apparently, it is “freeing” and I’m just trying to oppress him by asking that he keep his ass inside. The other cat, the neurotic one, would really rather we kept all surfaces clear of clutter and mess. Clutter like my full water glass, my keyboard and mouse, our dinner plates, etc. There are quite a few broken things that need sweeping/vacuuming up.

Then there are the cockroaches. Now, I’m not *that* horrible, but we do live in south Texas. It doesn’t matter how clean you are, you will have the occasional roach, especially in a house as ill-sealed as ours. So I kill roaches, my husband kills roaches, the baby doesn’t yet, but oh she will, and of course, the cats bring down their fair share. While I appreciate our valiant hunters, this does mean we get roach corpses in places that are a bit difficult to get at, i.e. under bookcases.

The kiddo eats graham crackers… everywhere. So there are graham cracker crumbs, you guessed it, everywhere. She’s also discovered the joy of Cheerios. She comes by this breadcrumb trail behavior honestly. I can tell where her father has been by the trail of popcorn bits that he’s dropped. The man eats crackers in bed, y’all. That dustbuster could keep me from sleeping on cracker crumbs! (Which are irritatingly pokey, and you never sweep off quite all of them.)

There’s more, but if I go on, someone might try to take my kid. Actually, if you promise to take the husband too, I’ll continue to dish on why everyone else is a better housekeeper.

Thanks for the laugh, Cathy, and thanks to everyone who entered. Let’s all raise our DustBusters high to toast 30 years of easy cleanup, and many fewer messes. Thanks, Black & Decker!

If you’d like a laugh, be sure to see the rest of the comments on the DustBuster contest. And if you missed the deadline, feel free to confess your mess here — like hanging off the edge of the catbox, it’s freeing!

From our partners

help! something stinks

We’ve dealt with smells before, but reader Lena needs more help. She writes:

I just moved into my first studio…without any roommates! It’s one big room with an open kitchen; the bathroom is sectioned off as its own individual room. I am a neat and clean person (I do have a cat, but I clean the litter box every other day) yet when I walk in my apartment after being gone for about two hours, there is an odor in the air that I cannot pinpoint. It’s almost like a musty smell. Is it from cooking? Can it be the carpet? Half the room is carpeted, so I thought maybe it comes from there. If the air conditioner is on, it doesn’t smell. I might need a covered garbage can, but I’m usually pretty good about taking it out when there is food in it. I know one can control the smell of a refrigerator by placing a open container of baking soda in it…is there anything like that for a room? Please help!

First, Lena, as unpleasant as it sounds, you may have to do a sniff test — get up close and personal with anything in your apartment that you think could be the culprit. If the smell isn’t around when the AC is on, could the warmth of sunlight be activating a long-hidden smell in your carpet? Maybe just closing the drapes could help in that case. You can also rent a steam cleaner cheaply at a lot of grocery stores.

Check out our suggestions on how to make the air smell fresh and our roundup on candles that bring on spring. And of course, we’ll ask our readers — any suggestions?

From our partners