When was the last time you looked in your oven? I mean, really looked in your oven, not what you have cooking IN the oven.

I had out of town guests coming and though the house (main floor, anyway) was in decent shape, clutter-wise, I happened to notice that my oven was a mess. You know that type of ADD blindness, don’t you? In this case, it was my suddenly realizing that 3 inches of black muck had found a home at the bottom of what was at one time, a gray oven.

Mind you, mine is a self-cleaning oven. SELF-CLEANING and it’s still a stinking mess.

So what does every woman with ADD do when she’s faced with a cleaning/de-cluttering/organizing dilemma? Some call their moms or sisters. Or best friends (if they are ADD- friendly types). But not me. I go straight to Facebook and scream at the top of my lungs:



Terry Matlen: “Why do they call them self-cleaning ovens? I have no clue how to clean the gunk out of mine.”

Now notice the red circle. This post received 28 comments plus the four you can see above. You’d think I was talking about some major current event…like the situation in Iraq, or worse: the Kardashian/Kanye West baby (did they really name her North?)

Some of the suggestions were:

Look it up in the manual

FIND the manual if you can, then look it up

If you cannot find the manual, check online

Ok, now…I know me. I’m not going to search for the manual because I have no idea where I might find it. Best to look online.

Some other suggestions included using vinegar (but how? You dump it in a cup and turn the oven on high? Or use it to scrub the oven?).

One of my favorites was the suggestion to replace the oven. Now that was something I thought doable, until I realized she meant not as a solution for dealing with muck, but because perhaps the self-cleaning mechanism was no longer working. Darn.

So what did I do?

My cleaning crew was due in just before my friends were to arrive. Yes, I have a cleaning service that comes to my house every week to save me from my own wrecking ball of an ADD-laden family. You see, I don’t consider this a luxury; I see it as a necessity. It’s an accommodation I have for my and my family’s ADD (ok, a few of us do not have ADD, so they will remain nameless as I don’t want to embarrass them). But some of us DO, including me, and I know that there is no way I can keep up with this house. Or any house.

So I ask for help. We budget so that we can afford a cleaning lady.

And that kind lady that is brave enough to enter my house every Thursday at 11:35 am took a look at me as I pointed to the oven with a quizzical expression on my face and immediately asked if I was going to offer her some chocolate chip cookies.

I finally communicated my desperate need for her professional help and thinking there was no way in hell she’d take something like that on, I went back to my work and promptly forgot about the whole thing. Sometimes having ADD really is a great thing, y’know?

Hours later, I started getting the kitchen ready for my company. No, I didn’t cook (don’t you know me well enough by now?), but I did need to clear and set the table for our carryout meal. It was a great evening, seeing my friends after 4 years (they live a few thousand miles away). We laughed, chatted and caught up with everything. After they left, I suddenly remembered the muck-ridden oven and took a peek to see if the cleaning lady had made any progress.

I was stunned. The oven was back to its original gray color. So I went back to Facebook and asked how that could be possible. No fumes. No puddles. Nothing. Then I saw a friend’s note that I’d missed before. She said- use a hand vacuum to gather up all the crumbly gunk, then spray the heck out of it with regular oven cleaning spray.

I don’t have oven- cleaning spray and I have no idea where the mini vacuum is.

So next week, when Galina comes, I will ask her what her secret is for cleaning a self-cleaning oven. And then I will post it on Facebook. Stay tuned.

What’s your ADD cleaning nemesis? Share it in the Comment Section below.

By the way, would you like to roll up your sleeves and de-gunk your oven? Or send in those medical insurance bills for payment? How about putting away those winter clothes? Become a Queen of Distraction and join me online, with women just like you and me, to bust the clutter out of your home, out your life. And guess what? We actually have fun doing it!

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