My Valentines Date With Mrs Hinch

You can never accuse my wife and I of not being romantic. Yesterday, as a pre Valentines Day treat, Fionnuala took me shopping….for cleaning products. You see, my better half has recently become obsessed with a number of home improvement gurus on social media. As a result, our home has been glistening despite the best efforts of a slovenly husband and three chaotic hatchlings to undo all her good work.

Who are these people? Well, I’m glad you asked. Firstly there’s Marie Kondo, a diminutive Japanese lady who appears to have taken over the world, such is her current status. I was introduced to her via her television show where she sweeps elegantly into the cluttered houses of messy Americans to restore calm and order. She declutters, in a brutally efficient manner.

Less is more. She is the queen of minimalism. The episode I watched, she was rifling through wardrobes, encouraging her baffled victims (I mean clients) to talk to their clothes and tell them they loved them. Before promptly chucking the majority of it in the bin. Throughout, she maintains a fixed smile on her face, nodding and bowing to all and sundry, while explaining her philosophy to an ever present translator.

Then there’s Sophie ‘Mrs Hinch’ Hinchcliffe. This woman is literally everywhere, with an army of Instagram followers. Fionnuala follows her cleaning tips with religious fervour. It’s like a cult, a very clean cult, where everyone brandishes feather dusters instead of bibles and there are no shoot outs with federal agents. Well, not that I know of anyway. Mrs Hinch rules our house with a rod of glistening iron.

Yesterday, I was introduced to a whole new world. I discovered what a scrub buddy was, became an authority on fabric conditioners and a plethora of other products. Fionnuala ooohed and aaaahed as she dragged me up and down the aisles like a seven year old in a toy shop the week before Christmas. All in order to stock up her cleaning cupboard, or ‘Narnia’ as Hinchers refer to it.

Fionnuala’s Narnia cupboard terrifies it. It’s like a holy shrine and woe betide the person who plunders it unbeknownst to her. Every item has a place and she can tell, can tell I tells ya, if anything is a millimetre out of place. Narnia is a scary place. C.S. Lewis would be turning in his grave if he had an inkling what Mrs Hinch was up to, with Mr. Tumnus and the talking beavers nowhere to be seen.

Fionnuala has always been houseproud and spends most of her life running around picking up after me and the kids. I like to think I do my bit around the house but she does a mountain of unheralded tasks when we are out at work and school. She’s the glue who holds us all together. Personally, I’m a shambles without her encouragement, advice and practical wisdom. She is an unsung hero.

So thank you Mrs Hinch and Domo Arigato Marie Kondo. There’s clean and then there’s Hinch clean. There’s tidy and then there’s Kondo tidy. There’s love and then there’s Fionnuala love. A love which she selflessly shares with us on a daily basis. Even when I leave the toilet seat up, forget to put away the bread or wreak havoc to her Narnia cupboard. Happy Valentines Day. We love you.

Are you a cleaning freak? Or a slovenly mess? Leave your comments below.

45 thoughts on “My Valentines Date With Mrs Hinch

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  1. Love this! Hilarious! We live in a small home so minimalism and organization are a must. My environment and how it looks has a direct impact on my anxiety levels. However, I live with two individuals who save everything and cherish it. So it’s a battle of the wills sometimes. I am less neurotic than I used to be though.

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  2. I used to be a cleaning freak – everything in its place. But as I mentioned in my comments on your blog on aging – I am now old. So I ask myself do I want to spend my remaining time cleaning house or reading, blogging, playing with grandchildren? When I die do I want people to say “She had the cleanest house in town” or “She was so much fun to be with, she loved people etc.” However, I can say that now because, unlike your wife, I have no children at home to mess things up. I have no children to fuss with and take care of their daily needs. I bet your wife loves caring for all of you. She will have her day to take it easier when she gets old. But, please don’t leave the toilet seat up.

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  3. I tell my husband quite often that I’m my deathbed I will not say I wish I kept my house cleaner. I will have wished I did more things for people. Our house isn’t a disaster but it’s far from pristine. I just didn’t get the clean gene and I’m ok with that!!

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  4. My wife tells me I always leave a mess in my make. it’s probably true, but I prefer to think of it as two different approaches. While I try to keep things clean, there’s some things that I like to keep a mess. My writing desk is one. It’s stacked with books, magazines, half edited book chapters, pens, pencils, drawings, pictures . . . Well you get the idea. And someplace in all this there’s a computer or two hiding in there. Yet, I can find everything I need.

    Now if you really want to see me go crazy, let the bathroom become a mess.

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  5. Ha! I just did a quick read through Marie Kondo’s book. I have always been a cleaner-outer, but now I am more dedicated than ever to a peaceful, decluttered home. Fionnuala and I belong to the same cult. 🙂

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  6. You’re a champ for shopping cleaning products. I can do that for hours. I would not invite anyone to do it with me. Unless I’m trying to be mean. Lol. I’m a very compulsive cleaner. I cannot even sit down when I get home until i have “reset” the house. Bleach, wiping counters, bathrooms, pillows, beds. I wipe surfaces constantly. And can’t leave a pillow unplugged or forbid on the ground 🥶. It’s exhausting being me. But I think you get that right.

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  7. I like tidy and clean. I’m not a fanatic, well when it comes tidying and minimalism I can get worked up into a verbal frenzy. I love Marie Kondo and the FlyLady! Don’t know Mrs Hinch. But my physical ailments put a damper on a lot of that!

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  8. After 48 years of marriage, I have lots of stuff so Marie Kondo, I am not. I tried to keep my house clean and in order but with a dog and a sick husband and advancing in age, I’d rather read, write, blog and garden and not having an immaculate house. My son said I’m the only one he knows who can keep a chaotic room looks nice. I do know where everything is. Thanks for dropping at my blog.

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  9. I’d like to be a better clean freak but if I’m not at my job and the weather is good I’m on top of a mountain, walking, skiing.. there’s always tomorrow.. my house is not grubby but outdoors is best.. 😉

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  10. Such a sweet sentiment about your wife! I feel the same about my Jeff whom I’ll be married to for 9 years in May! I’ve never heard of Mrs. Hinch but I’ll have to check her out. Also Marie Kondo is the most adorable person I have ever seen. She’s so tiny and kind and I just want to stick her in my pocket LOL

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  11. Watch the documentary “Stink”. I’m not saying I use all ‘natural’ cleaning products. But I think it’s an eye opener to things I had no idea were that harmful.

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