There are three things that I’m certain about television: The show on the top of your screen is always running the commercials; the shows you follow on social media are nearly always attached to a survey that usually tells you something useless and irritating about you; and at least one program in your entire viewing history was produced by a demented mind who just can’t seem to let go of the notion that the only way to appreciate the pleasures of television is to use multiple TV tuners. (This doesn’t apply to cable and satellite, but it’s the same lesson.)
Which brings us to our shared premise: In the quest to clean up after everyone else in the house, we frequently discover that the worst thing to do is try to clean up after the TV.
I’ve spent a good part of my life telling people who ask what they should do to deal with their TV to do exactly what I’m doing now: Never try to clean up after your TV.
The kinds of TV screens people sit on are all one size or another. An 18-inch TV at home is like an 18-inch TV sitting at your office desk. And yet, people have been known to go out and buy a giant 22-inch TV for their living room, and to add a matching oversized microwave to it.
How is it possible, then, that they can’t put them on their own living room floors without tearing their carpeting in half while they’re at it?
The answer, which should be obvious but is often not, is that it isn’t. That’s just the way TVs are set up nowadays. The only way to clean up after one of those TVs — say, someone who has multiple TVs at home — is to put one of them on their dining room floor. (See the three things above.) That’s the best way to clean up after all of those TVs. (Not clean up after, mind you.)
Seriously. Just do it.
If a big-screen TV is on your dining room table, you get a flat surface. But, if it’s on your desk in the office, it doesn’t matter if there are other computers and everything else on that desk. That’s why I’ve banned TV’s from my kitchen table. (No, really, I have.) Even the reason I give to my wife for keeping the TV on the kitchen table? It’s to distract my kids from doing their homework. They never want to do their homework when there’s a TV on.
The best cleaning instructions are to start with the bottom, work your way up and never go back. Never. Never. Never.