The Art of Keeping House

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The Art of Keeping House

Have you ever thought of your home as a ‘work of art’ ?  After seeing so many beautiful homes on blogs around the country, I'm pretty sure most people do. Certainly decorators like Maria of Colour Me Happy and Mary Ann of Classic-Casual-Home, understand the subtleties of beauty in the home.

I know that I revel in the texture of fabric, ornately carved crystal, and the detail in every day decor. But what we don't talk about much is how...
Housekeeping is the key to revealing a home's beauty. 
 A beautiful home won't stay pretty long, if it's buried in clutter.

This hit home for me the day I noticed that my new refrigerator didn’t look so ‘spandy nice’  as it had at the store. Most of the 'new' feel of an item is tied in to the clean factor, isn't it?

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to ruin the 'look' of a stylish hotel room?  It’s simple--just leave out your shoes, clothes, shopping bags, and paperwork.  And for sure...“Don’t worry about the bed--just let the maid get that!”

If you leave messes all over your hotel room, it won't look lovely for long. And the maid isn’t going to pick up your stuff--that’s your job. :o)  When I stay in a hotel room, I want to enjoy it's beauty...not live in the mess of my own clutter. What a waste of money that would be!


Here’s the rub though. The same thing happens in our own homes every day. Why buy a lovely home, furnish it stylishly  and paint it lovely shades of just the right color, just to bury it all in clutter? In order to enjoy a beautiful home, you have to keep it clean and picked up. It's that simple.
A room truly can be a work of art..if we are willing to see the beauty in every day things and to maintain that beauty .

Sadly, no fairy godmother is going to show up to whisk away the mess.  And it doesn't work to clean once a week either, because you still have to live in the mess the rest of the week.  As Denice Shofield, said in Confessions of an Organized Housewife  a house needs daily attention. Things need to be put back in their rightful places--often!


It occurred to me, one morning, that if everyone in the house would pick up after themselves,  I'd gain a couple of spare hours of prime work time.

Yes, I am the homemaker, but I’m not a butler or personal maid.

We all need to show common courtesy by  not leaving things out for someone else to pick up. If I don’t train my kids to do this, I’m doing them a great disservice. Habits like orderliness will serve them well for the rest of their  lives. If they don’t learn it now, the messy habit will plague them forever.

Did you know that stuff causes stress too? Jamie of Life and Love in the Country talked about the dramatically improved attitude of her son after removing excess toys in her post "Lessons from a Toddler". Less stuff equals a happy toddler!

by Rebekah

So, I had a chat with the kids and let them know that, as of today, all items left out for an hour or more, would be ticketed at a quarter per item (using sticky dots). Somehow, my regular reminders had not eliminated the messy habit up to now.

I'm hoping this new system will...
  •  Train the kids to pick up after themselves.
  • Net some extra free time.
  • Get them used to an orderly environment.
  • Help us be more prepared for emergencies.
  • Eliminate ‘big’ cleaning days. 
  • Leave time for more Family Fun.
  • Help us find things more easily.

If an object isn’t adding to the beauty of a room..
then it should be put away.
italian glass

The heart of housekeeping is the idea of maintaining the beauty of our home. That's something even young children can understand and help with.


Even the most simple home can be pretty with regular maintenance.  Why do your work in a messy environment when you could function in a lovely one? Finding beauty in every day things  and maintaining that beauty is part of what makes homemaking …an art.

Linking with My Romantic Home's Show and Tell Friday
and Raising Homemakers' Homemaking Link Up


Floss said...

Very true (I have that book too). Have you 'ticketed' things belonging to your husband, too? I'm not sure how mine would handle that - although he has come on well recently, aplolgising for some tools left in our tiled hallway to dry out after getting rained on, and asking me if I could cope with them there until they dried!

I read one commenter recently (on The Happiness Project) who wrote: 'My mother did housework and hated it. My grandmother kept house and loved it'. She pointed out that 'work' is a chore but 'keeping' is a pleasure. I found that helpful.

Anonymous said...

Yeah beautiful Art of Keeping House. Really Great your idea and Fantastic of this art . i like that and interesting your recently post. Amazing and Unique your thought for house .

Romantic Dinner Bruges

claudia b said...

love this post, so true, I think so many people just focus on embellishing and not actually keeping the home.

Donna said...

Floss that is a great idea about how 'work' is a chore, but 'keeping' is a pleasure. I know my grandmother loved 'keeping' house. It helps to have the picture of a 'beautiful' home in your mind.

No, I don't ticket dear hubby! He can leave stuff anywhere he likes. LoL! I consider that a labor of love. :o)

What a sweet hubby! Mine tends to leave things like that out too but he's not messy. He will leave the oil in the hallway to remind him to do an oil change but most of the time he tries not to do that.

Decor To Adore said...

I gleaned so much from this wonderful post. Thank you so very much. I do hope your new kitty is setting in. Be blessed!

Entertaining Women said...

I'm sharing this with my entire family. Wonderful explanation of the art of a well-kept home. Thank you for sharing your perspective. Cherry Kay

RedBettySummer said...

You are so right! It is an art, and it is so worth the effort. Enjoy the journey of teaching your children the importance of homemaking/keeping. They may seem like they are not getting it now but it will be there, in their brains, when they need it. I guess I better get on to the art of ironing now. My table is full!

GlorV1 said...

Sometimes I do have to remind my husband that this is not a hotel and that I am not the maid. He has started getting a little messy as of late. He works though and is tired when he comes home. Great post.

Rae said...

O...I just loved reading this post.
I can so relate. Nice to come back to blogland with a post like this. Love you friend.
keep them coming.

Jill said...

Great post Donna! I do believe it's important to encourage the children to help and learn that sense of responsibility. We also do allowances.:-)


Mary Ann Pickett said...

Donna, YOU SWEET WOMAN for mentioning that I like a pretty house...but I have to say, I do a "pick up" of all the stuff left out every night...and unfortunately, I do nag at my son. But my daughter, out of the nest, likes a clean house after many years of living in one and is a good house keeper. I hope you make very little money with your new system. :)
Mary Ann
PS. I think your tidy home is a happy one.

Maria said...

so true...

Between you, me and the Fencepost said...

Donna, we just recently had a family meeting for everyone to pickup after themselves. Not working yet. I still have to nag and request to pick up! It's frustrating. Considering your lovely post . . . it seems to have struck a nerve over here! I love having things in order and looking nice but it seems I'm the only one that cares!

Donna said...

Dearest Anita.. Really, it does seem like we are the only ones who care...but I've found that when I'm gone for a few days..and the house falls apart, everyone starts missing me. :O) They don't like the mess.

Funny, I got the livingroom all decluttered and sort of 'undecorated' so it was a bit more stylish..and my daughter started hanging out more instead of spending so much time in her own room (which is in a separate building). She said it was just so nice. :o) What a complement!

Just hang in there and try to make the ticket thing more of a game. :o)


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

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