Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Housekeeping

I've never been much of a housekeeper. I always thought that fussing over the cleanliness of every little thing was obsessive and a waste of time. I want to live in my home, not spend every spare moment cleaning it. What I'm learning? That the more clean/neat/comfortable my home is, the more time I'll want to spend in it.

This weekend I read part of the book Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House while house-sitting (ironic, non?). The takeaway point from the intro is that having a nicely kept home is not about how it looks to other people or for people who have loads of spare time on their hands (which is what I often assumed), but to make it comfortable for you and your family to live in. It may seem obvious, but it was a revelation to me. If I spend a few minutes a day making my house neat/clean I'll want to spend more time there. It will feel more like "home", which can bring about nothing but good. Another angle the book presents: having a regular cleaning routine makes it not so much of a chore (literally). Instead of a cleaning spree every few weeks/months (guilty), after which you enjoy a clean home for a few days before the filth builds up and disorder creeps in, you have an enjoyable place to live daily. Brilliant! Imagine having a regular laundry day instead of waiting until you run out of underwear or socks! I realize all of this may seem obvious to most of the world, but it wasn't to me.

So I've been inspired.  Here's what I've done today:
  • Cleaned and organized my pantry and cabinets
  • Washed the kitchen floor (not going to lie, it may have been only the second time since we've moved in)
  • Cleaned the bathroom
  • Took out the trash
  • Put away laundry
  • Changed sheets
I'm working to get to the point where I'll have a few tasks to do a day/week so it won't be a monumental event to keep up with.

And you know what? I am already enjoying being in my house more.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Does this bring me joy?

That's the question I am trying to ask myself every day. I spend a lot of time doing activities because they are habits (reading blogs, watching television shows online, etc.), not because they bring me any lasting satisfaction. I'm trying to cut those activities out and reevaluate how I am spending my time by repeatedly asking myself: "Does this bring me joy?" I'm still working on actually stopping the activities that don't, but recognizing them for what they are is the first step.

One day at a time.