Which would you rather clean--a beautiful home or a messy one? The choice is yours!

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Which would you rather clean--a beautiful home or a messy one? The choice is yours!

As I was cooking, cleaning, and washing clothes the other day,

I marveled again at the fact that I was always going to be doing these activities, but the environment that I chose to do them in 
was up to me

If I got the house clean and KEPT it that way, I would still have to do all the things listed above and would probably spend X amount of time doing them all, but I would enjoy getting to work in a lovely environment.  On the other hand, if I let the house fall apart, before doing all those activities, I would spend the same amount of time doing the same activities but all in a messy home which would be MUCH less rewarding. Many of us do the latter and don't get near the enjoyment out of our homemaking activities that we could.  We end up feeling like failures at our 'chosen' professions! Why would anyone want to live like that? And no wonder if we don't feel motivated since there is no clean orderly home when we are done working as a reward for all our efforts.

The most astonishing thing I ever read about homemaking, was that ...

The key to a beautiful and orderly home is maintenance.

I had honestly NEVER thought about it! In the early years of married life, the way I cleaned house was to wait until I couldn't stand it any more and then go on an all out cleaning marathon.  I often wondered why no one 'dropped by' on the day my house was clean. Yipes!  Until I read Denise Schofield's book, Confessions of an Organized Housewife, I never once thought of KEEPING the house clean. I thought everyone let their house fall apart before cleaning it.

I think I had the same perspective that the authors of Sidetracked Home Excutives did. I kept thinking the 'house fairy' was going to drop by and pick everything up for me. I can't tell you how much I wished I could just snap my fingers like Mary Poppins and everything would go back to it's proper place. :o) I wanted to sew, quilt, cross-stitch, and write music--not clean and wash clothes!

Denise said that maintenance was just a necessary fact of life. As she put it, "after all your hair needs combing every few hours, and your stomach gets hungry regularly too. Nothing maintains itself!" That is especially true for housekeeping.  The key to eliminating 'growing' work is to DO IT DAILY!  Things like laundry, dishes, and clutter have to be handled on a daily and sometimes hourly basis.

It was a revolutionary idea to me. To KEEP things clean instead of always rescuing them from a state of chaos made so much sense. It required developing a habit of maintaining order rather than allowing things to fall apart.  It was HARD!


I discovered that I didn't like the discipline of putting things away when I was through with a project...

or washing dishes right after a meal and washing clothes as soon as I had enough to make a load.  I enjoyed the relaxing and luxurious feeling of leaving things out. But I didn't enjoy the hassle and time required to get it all back in order.  If the plain truth be told,

I definitely didn't like living in chaos!

So I worked very hard to develop the habit of cleaning up after myself and making the kids do the same thing.
And guess what? I discovered that I  LOVED living and working in a beautiful home! It took me a good solid week to get everything in a fairly orderly state the first time, but keeping it in order had the hidden reward of living 'all day long' in a beautiful home. I felt so special...even pampered. The kids seemed amazed and even told me "I love our house now, Mommy!".  And Tim, my dear hubby, was the most appreciative of all. I think he thought he had died and gone to heaven!

I discovered that it was so nice to not live in a state of crisis!

I could have company without scrambling or getting stressed out. I was much more likely to tell the kids that they could have their friends over. When the family got the flu, we could handle the crisis with so much more ease. And when we had to make an unexpected trip, it was so easy to get ready!  It was hard to be disciplined  on a daily basis, but the rest of life was incredibly easier to handle. There were always clean clothes, towels, food in the fridge, and a semblance of order to outweigh the stresses of daily life.

This was the vision I had of a Happy Homemaker when I first started my career....dressed in my 1950's dress with pearls around my neck and happily pushing a vacuum across a floor that didn't look terribly dirty. :o)  

If you think about, if Wal-mart didn't clean their stores until they were dirty, no one would shop there! And really, the same goes for hotels.

Why should we work in a less pleasant environment than your average maid in a high class hotel? I decided that I deserved better and so did my family.

I like being a 'classy' homemaker. I vowed to clean, cook, do laundry, and teach my children in a beautiful orderly home, instead of a messy one. It's worth all the effort I can muster to function ahead of the game instead of living life 'behind the 8 ball'!

This week, let's take on the challenge of  getting the house as orderly as we can, and then keeping it that way. See if you and your family enjoy working in an orderly and beautiful environment instead of a messy one. I think you will feel so much better about your work and your abilities as a homemaker. Yes, picking up and cleaning as you go, takes a little more time, but not a LOT more! And the results...are lovely!

Happy Homemaking!


Jill said...

This is so true! I love the feel of a clean, organized home. Sometimes i think i may stress too much over it, but it;s so true if we maintain it, everything seems a little better. :-) Have a great day!
Blessings, Jill

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

So true...GREAT post...loved finding your blog....

Have a few hours to blog hop....Love nights like this.......Hope you will stop by....new giveaway on my holiday blog...A BOOK EXTRAVAGANZA!


Ky said...

Thank you Donna! I needed to 'hear' that. I shall make it my challenge this week and form a habit of it.

Ky x

Trudy said...

Great post, Donna.


Dee said...

oh yes this is sooooo true! I feel so much more calm when i keep it tidy than when i have to work like a slave to get it clean and tidy.

Anonymous said...

I too need to make this a habit. It's not for lack of trying. It's more for lack of space, time and availability. Having my husband sleep during the day at one end of the house and a toddler busy all day at the other end makes it hard to get the house truly clean and kept.

Needled Mom said...

This is definitely true. It is much easier to maintain it now that the children are out of the house.

Peach Rainbow said...

Every time i finish cleaning the house, I secretly 'want' to do it on a daily basis 'to maintain' whatever I achieved but I never get to do that, Hope this will be a 'fresh' reminder!
Thanks for the inspiration!

Anonymous said...

Hi Donna ~ Thank you for this post! I love having our home clean and in order! It is much easier to tend to homekeeping when our home is neat and tidy. Blessings for your day! Hugs ~ Teri

Unknown said...

After I read this article, I cleaned my kitchen. Thanks!!

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster

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