Since our travel schedules don't look as though they'll be dying down until say, February, we've been trying to come up with creative ways to keep the house clean without actually having to invest the three to four hours of decluttering and scouring it'll require to pass health codes. Some time ago, we bought one of those robot vacuums. (True story: don't drink and Roomba. This resulted in the Object coming home one Saturday night to find the cat and me on the coffee table blasting Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. You can never be too careful in letting robots know you're onto their ways.) People have asked me if the Roomba really cleans, and it does. Well, more accurately, it cleans more than I would. But as it still requires my time to go around and pick up all the cat toys, the vacuum is in the corner, collecting dust. Sigh, if only we had a robot vacuum to clean the robot vacuum.
I suggested that we could trick the house by dressing up as cleaning ladies for Halloween. Maybe the specter of Eastern European Elbow Grease looming over it would get the place to shape up on its own. But the apartment hasn't ever seen anything even even remotely resembling that caliber of clean, so it probably wouldn't realize the audaciousness of the threat.
The Object has come up with the best solution of all. He suggested we put little scrub brushes on the cat's feet, a duster on his tail, and a little maid hat on his head. Genius. Not only does it get our house clean, but recent studies have shown that putting a hat on a cat will make you some serious cash.
The smart person would use that money to hire some peoples to clean, but we'll probably just blow it on alpaca stirfry. Which makes you smell like an alpaca. Which does not help the dirty house situation.