On this episode of Straight Up With Stassi, Stassi’s oldest childhood friend Alex Stafford joins the podcast to talk about tidying up.
“My bathroom is so dirty, just clean it.”
“Alex has always been someone who is obsessed with organizing, and cleaning, and all of that shit,” Stassi says. “Ever since we grew up.”
“I used to stay home from summer camp and clean out all the closets in our house, and my parents would come home and our whole house would be organized,” Alex remembers. “I spent a whole summer just cleaning out our house.”
“I hope I give birth to a little mini being and I go to work and I come home at the end of the day and that little mini kid is like, ‘I don’t want to go to camp,’ and I’m like, ‘Okay fine bruh, stay home,’ and I come home and it’s like I’ve had five housekeepers here,” Stassi says. “That is goals. No wonder your parents love you so much.”
“I do specifically remember my mom telling me at the end of the summer, ‘I just want to tell you that I’m very proud of you and what you’ve done with your summer, and I think that you have a gift,'” Alex says.
“How old were you?” Stassi asks.
“We were still at St. Pious,” Alex says.
“So, she was cleaning from a young age, and then, we went to high school, and this was when… no, I started taking advantage of people when I was a kid. Bossy Stassi. I just can’t help it,” Stassi says.
“My dad coined the phrase ‘Stassi’s Posse,'” Alex recalls.
“It’s the fact that I knew how to demand things that you guys would want to do,” Stassi says. “I knew how to demand you clean for me because you liked doing it.”
“You just have a way,” Alex says. “I think you’ve got invisible lasers in your eyes and you just make people move around with the heat from your eye lasers.”
“I almost want to write that down, there might be something to it,” Stassi laughs. “Google… WebMD… Do I have lasers in my eyes?”
“I would believe it,” Alex says. “You really do have a way with making people do things that you want them to do.”
“In high school — this was the best — I don’t like cleaning, I fucking hate it, it’s the worst, and our parents would let us have sleepovers during the weekday all the time. It didn’t matter. And she literally would just clean my room and my bathroom,” Stassi says. “I would be like, ‘My bathroom is so dirty, just clean it.’ And you would do it!”
“I specifically remember organizing your magazines and going in your closet, and she said, ‘If you clean my room…'” Alex says.
“‘I will do our homework for us,'” Stassi finishes the sentence. “Yeah.”
“So I failed all my classes, because I didn’t study — I was busy taking Stassi’s orders,” Alex laughs.
“This is an argument that Alex and I have now, because in my brain, my memory… You know how everyone has different memories, and then there’s the truth somewhere that no one will know? My memory of it is that I would be demanding, but I also was like, ‘I’ll do our homework and I’ll make sure we stay awake while we study.’ I would do the homework and you would just have to copy it and write it in your own handwriting,” Stassi says. “So in my brain, I felt that was our tradeoff, so I didn’t feel like I was treating you as my servant.”
“I didn’t fail, I just didn’t do well,” Alex corrects. “Yeah, you did the homework, but you couldn’t take the test for me.”
“True, but let’s just say, you didn’t spend every other night cleaning my room,” Stassi says. “You wouldn’t have been studying anyway.”
“Probably not,” Alex laughs. “I did have my weekly calendar of TV shows that I didn’t want to miss. ‘One Tree Hill’ and stuff like that.”
“You’re like a ninja.”
“You have made me hardcore go through my whole entire apartment,” Stassi says. “Alex has spent so many nights and days and afternoons tidying up my apartment and getting rid of like 50% — maybe more — of the things that I own. So much stuff.”
“Probably 30 trash bags full of stuff,” Alex agrees.
“70% of my shoes,” Stassi adds.
“You did that on your own though, I wasn’t even there on that day,” Alex says.
“I would say probably 70% of my clothes,” Stassi says. “But you’re like a ninja, and I want everyone to learn from you. I have been trying to tell Alex she needs to start an organization business to help clean out people’s lives. Even when Katie, and my friends, and your friends too, when they say that you’ve gone over to their apartments, they say, ‘Alex has this awesome energy,’ and you make it easy, and stress-free, and you’re efficient, and you’re quick. You manage to work with people.”
“I think it’s because I really like to do it,” Alex explains. “A lot of people find cleaning out their houses to be a daunting task, but once you get started, and once you finish, it is such a wonderful feeling because you feel so much lighter and you can think. I think it actually sparks some creativity too, because while you’re doing it, you think, ‘Oh I could do this.’ I think it’s a very healthy thing to do, and that’s why I love it so much and why I gave up summer camp to do it. I encourage everyone to do it, and I really would like to start a business.”
“Alex would be on the computer buying things from the Container Store, like, she knew exactly what to do and how to organize everything in my apartment, so everything has a little container,” Stassi says. “There are like three beads that I might use for an arts and craft at some point, and they have a frickin’ snapped container. There’s a container for everything. You’re just so good at all of that. After you left, I looked in my closet and I looked in my shoe room… I’m the type of person that is attached to things, and I’m also lazy. So add being lazy and wanting to throw things in a cabinet, shut the door, and let it all fall out when you open up that cabinet, with being attached to things… I’m like, ‘I remember this pencil, I used it that one time that I got my period and it really sucked but I had a good day the rest of the day, so I can’t let this pencil go.’ That’s how I am. But you were able to help me get rid of most of my shit.”