Confession: While I am a very domestic person–a homebody, even–I am not a great housekeeper. I used to contend that it wasn’t in my makeup. I must confess to some amount of attention deficit disorder when it comes to housecleaning. I find it hard to stay on task. I also read a study once that said that women became less competent housekeepers, the more years of education they had. This became the excuse I used to make myself feel better about my plight. It simply wasn’t my fault.
While this is a fact about me that is incredibly disconcerting to some, I have told myself for years that it didn’t bother me. Rather than making an immaculate house my goal, being with my children and making our house a loving place was my goal. But as I became more connected with other moms, both in real life and online, I noticed even those who had those same goals still kept a tidier house than I did. I noticed something else, too. Their houses were more restful, more appealing to enter. I wanted that. But I went on thinking I couldn’t pull it off.
Recently, I realized that our incredibly ambitious homeschool and extra-curricular schedule didn’t allow me even an hour a day to clean house. (Yes, I know, lots of education, slow learner.) I realized that if I never made time for it in my schedule, it was going to continue to feel like this thing I couldn’t accomplish. Then a week or so ago I found a wonderful book: 31 Days to Clean–Having a Martha House the Mary Way. I bought it right away for my Nook. The kids and I were at my parents’ for part of the week last week, so I’m only on Day Three.
Each day contains words of encouragement, with refreshing new ways to renew one’s mind regarding the task of housekeeping, and a Martha and a Mary challenge for the day. Yesterday’s challenge: to clean out the fridge and the freezer. I added something because the floors in the kitchen were seriously disgusting, and my sinks needed a good scrubbing out. Even I could see that. Today’s challenge: clean the cupboard faces and the tops of the cupboards and refrigerator.
There are other areas in my life I’m trying to improve now, and I know it’s probably a bad idea to attack them all, all at once. But there are some really great things happening in my life. Somehow the joy I’m feeling is overflowing into these other areas of my life. I think it’s a good thing. I’ll keep you posted.