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Heloise, give me a hint

In the late 1950s, a woman named Heloise Bowles Cruse began writing a column called “Hints from Heloise.” This became a syndicated article, published in many newspapers throughout our country. It was a very popular column, and I remember my own mother reading and enjoying this column, which was filled with helpful household ideas for cleaning and fixing things. It is my understanding that at the time of her death, her column was one of the top 3 most popular columns in the United States.

Sadly, Heloise died in 1977, at the age of 58, but not before she published a few books with some of her very interesting ideas. I have a couple of her books, and she has some amazing tips on cleaning all sorts of things.

I have high regard for anyone who has a passion for cleaning. I know some real cleaners, ones who really love to clean things. (This is a gene I do not possess.) They know how to go through the house, dusting and vacuuming, mopping, cleaning toilets and sinks, etc., and then to go back and start again with such fervor that you would think it was not already clean in the first place. They continually look for more stuff to clean.

Now, I love clean stuff, and I am always hopeful that my house looks clean enough to pass the inspection of at least a non-cleaner, but frankly, cleaning is not a priority for me. I believe there are more important things in life than keeping a super clean house. If I were a fastidious cleaner, I don’t think I would have the time for the other things in my life I love to do.

I have heard that the folks who love to clean usually have a ‘system” for cleaning. I think maybe some of them have learned from that Guru, Heloise. She had a lot of great hints for wannabe house cleaners. I think I would like to know a good system. I think I am much too mentally organized to be physically organized. It seems that way to me. I think in terms of organization, and in my mind, I know where everything is. If someone touches something of mine, or something I have left somewhere, I will never find it, and that bothers me.

So, Heloise, give me a hint. I want to be clean, but not too clean, and I want to be organized, but not too organized. I don’t want to spend my life worrying about how to keep everything spic and span. I want to be comfortable, and I want my house to be comfortable.

I am thankful for all the blessings God has given me. He has indeed blessed me a home that is comfortable, friends and family that love me the way I am, and with the ability to be clean enough to be socially acceptable. Thank you, Lord!

— My love to all,


• • •

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

— Psalm 51:10


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