One of the best quotes I ever read regarding housework was on a magnet at some highway trinket and gas station on some vacation from some yesteryear. It said, “My house is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy.” I should’ve bought it and put it in my kitchen, but in any case, I’ve always remembered it.
I find I go through phases of keeping everything really clean, working in zones, decluttering daily, and so forth. And then….and then there are times that weeks go by before I find the countertops or clean out the fridge. Both situations drive me crazy; one because it seems there is no free time at all and if I’m not just barking chores, I’m just shooing everyone away to get it done myself…and the other because that much clutter makes my brain hurt and my kids get lazy about just picking up their pajamas off the floor. But most of the time, there is balance, and we’re able to welcome friends who just step over stuff during the day; and we can still have supper guests later who find not only clean spaces to put down their purses, but a clean sink and hand towel to use in the bathroom.
Here is my own balancing act:
- I make my bed every day, because every time I walk into my bedroom it just feels nice to see it made, even if (“if” LOL) there is a disaster load of books and notebooks on my nightstand.
- I keep up on the laundry. Mondays for clothing, Thursdays for bedding and towels, and diapers and kitchen linens are done as needed. I confess to being spoiled with TWO sets of washer/dryers, and I’ve trained my children how to use them to do their own clothes, bedding and towels (on their own schedules). In my opinion, life’s too short for mountains of laundry to do, but I realize for someone else, their life might be “too short to make the bed”.
- I try to vacuum the floor every.single.night. Food crumbs, hay from boots, hair, and all that other *stuff* just multiplies during the wee hours of the night. Plus it feels gross to step on.
- I try to clean up the dishes after every meal, and just about never leave a dirty sink until morning. I just find it depressing to welcome a beautiful brand new day and then have to face stucco from meals the day before.
- Once a week, we run around with dusters, vacuum the carpets and clean the bathrooms. I might hand a small child a window cleaning cloth or send an older kid out to wash the garbage cans, depending on what’s needed.
That’s about it. When I have more of my act together, we do stuff like deeper cleaning, planning menus, mopping floors, and brushing the dogs. But my minimums listed are the ones that keep me *happy*, and sometimes a little dirt is the price I’m willing to pay for it.
You can read more thoughts on keeping it clean this week at other High Five Mom posts. Tell them I sent you!
Health, and Happiness,