Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Beware! Even this may feel cluttered...

Hi! Welcome back.  Congratulations goes out to Laura (S)!... on winning The Olde Summer Kitchen Giveaway!  She chose... well, I don't know?!?!  She didn't say.  Laura. Would you please let me know which item you would choose?  And also, please email me your mailing address, so that it can get mailed directly to you from Heather at The Olde Summer Kitchen.  Thank you!  for you participating.  You're going to love this product. ;)

To reiterate my thoughts on cleaning... and how much I hate to clean.  I will say, that as much as I "like tidy" and as much as I can't stand clutter, I still struggle, even in these two areas.  And. Yes! there is a His, Hers & Ours - type of clutter.  (Which makes this topic even harder to cover).  I'll just stick to what I'm primarily responsible for...

Last week, I enjoyed reading the challenge from the Simple Woman's blog regarding - Sloth Syndrome.  If you haven't seen her post, you should take a moment to read it now.   What do you think?  Do you agree? 

I like to say this phrase, with tongue in cheek; My house may not be ready, but my heart is - Come on in!!  And, I don't know if that is just a 'cop-out' phrase to ignore areas that need attention, or what?  Sometimes  I struggle with knowing where the boundry line is. Obviously motives are mixed here. Somedays It means people don't get invited over at all because my house isn't tidied up enough.  Some days it means a lot of elbow grease is needed so that I will have people over.  That said.  Bottom line.  If I need to clean really, really bad, then I'll usually invite friends over and that means some serious cleaning is in store. ;)   Just don't show up all at once & unexpected...please!  Regardless.  I do find myself often telling friends, "Come on over.  Stop in anytime, I'm always home."  - giving myself the challenge to be able to welcome friends inside without cringing.

I love going out to Lancaster, PA. I get so inspired going out there. Everywhere you turn - on a beautiful day, no matter the season- you'll see rows and rows of laundry hanging on the lines.  There are always floor rugs hanging over porch railings... And if you look close enough you're bound to see some young lady up on a ladder, washing windows.  As if washing their windows were a part of the everyday routine of cleaning.  Most likely, it is.  I think it's great...

Makes me wonder... and the Simple Woman eluded to this.  Is it the example we've learned from, mainly our own mothers, who we've gotten our cleaning habits from??  I'm just asking.  Is it a generational thing?  I will tell you I had one grandmother who was not so tidy and would rather be outdoors... doing farm life.  And the other grandmother that as far as I know...never even drove a car, and kept herself indoors - doing housework - always tidy.
Somehow, I do believe that life habits do have a way of filtering themselves down through the generations.  Does that mean it's okay?  Not if laziness is involved.  And, again I think the Simple Woman spoke pretty clearly about this in her post.

I loved all the comments I've already recieved in regards to your own cleaning habits.  I appreciate knowing that I'm not the only "pebble on the beach" in this area. We all approach our responsibilites differently. And there is so much more that could be factored in here.  Like, what if your a full-time mom, part-time student and you have a job outside of the home - all at the same time?  I think it's important to remember God's grace in this sort of season of your life... and not to go down roads of condemanation. 

Here are some of my cleaning methods.

I think one of things that matters to me, most, is the immediate living areas.  What gets noticed the minute you step in the front door?   Have you ever done this?  Walk into your own house.  Pretend that you've never met the lady of the house before... look around "her" house, as though you were a guest... and, what do you think?  What do you see?  Would you honestly really feel at home, welcomed and at peace?

If you happen to have a front porch or foyer area... this is a very crucial area to saying Welcome! to your friends and family... as they enter your home.  I admit, I've been getting a little antsy about the looks of our front porch here of late.  I keep trying to think of ways to make it look a bit more "welcoming"... not for more clutter, but for our guests to feel like "we care" about what our home is all about.  Not necessarily about what they'll think.  Again, I admit motives may be mixed, here.

I'm torn to the fact...that kids are kids and there will be toys.  This has been a hard thing for me to "handle" in becoming a mom.  All of the toys.  But, one thing that I have insisted on is that for sure at the end of every day (if not some or several times, during the day)...that ALL the toys/books/etc. get picked up and put away.  For sure - out of the kitchen.  No toys, stay for long, in the kitchen or left on the stairs.  This, in turn, teaches our littles, one the issue of respect for others and two, a way for them being responsible to "helping do their part" in keeping our home clean and comfortable.

Coats/jackets get hung in the closet or in the laundry room.  Now, why this matters to me, I'll never know... when in my own bedroom I struggle to keep "my clothes" from piling on the bedside chair.  I'm just humbly being honest with you all.

Shoes get put side-by-side....uhmmm! this also is one of our biggest problems and my frusteration.  I'm still trying to figure out a good way to keep our shoes contained to ONE area.  And, I'm just as guilty.  We have our little places, but they still feel like they're all over the place.

My dishes (for the most part) get done every night before going to bed.  That is so I'm not waking to an unfinished job task from the day before.  There is nothing worse then coming downstairs to be greeted by dishes that are begging to be washed -just so that your little ones have bowls/spoons to eat their breakfast with, that morning.   For some reason, I'm okay with emptying the dishdrainer in the morning.  I guess its something that I can do while half-awake... and IF the little ones are still asleep (which anymore, these days, they are both guilty of waking up the rooster)...than I appreciate the challenge to see how quietly I can put the dishes away. ;)  Yeah! I like to make it feel fun...

So, You're wondering... "No mention of a dishwasher?"  that's right.  I'm it.  And it depends on which mood I'm in for that day as to if I'm a Speed Queen, Whirlpool or Hot Point.

I think I clean "deeply" when the bug bites or when someone something bugs me about it really bad.  Like, I'll clean the bathroom... if and when I have an extra minute and no one's interrupting me at that precise moment. Meaning, I acutally was able to close the door, do my thing, and clean the bathroom.  I call that multi-tasking and that feels good too. ;) 

I clean up after myself, as I'm cooking or baking. I try to remember to put something back (right away), after I'm finished using it, to it's intended place of keeping... rather, then getting to it later.  And, by all means... trash cans get used in our house.  I remember that was something my mom would "hound into us" as kids... by saying, "There is a trash can in every room.  Use it!"

I don't really like this about myself, but it's true.   "Keeping Tidy" looks so good, and feels so satisfactory...and somehow that's enough. But really?  I have to ask. How dare those "lace curtians" (a.k.a. spider webs) find themselves hanging there?  Or those dust bunnies - Who said they could crawl under there?  I didn't order or invite them.  And, so the menial task of keeping up with regular household cleaning remains a challenge and even possibly a change of heart.

I just want to say one more thing.  I think if you can feel at peace (NOT COMPLACENT) in your home... then you're probably doing a pretty good job, as far as your cleaning habits are concerned.  What is the standard or boundry lines, for you, in your own home?  What really matters to you and for your family? 

: :   Even this post feels so cluttered to me....  I'm really surprised that you read all the way to this point.

Hey! I just want to know... What have you implemented into your cleaning schedule that helps you keep on top of things?

 I think I may have answered my own question...  I'll just stick to what I'm primarily responsible for - and, spray a little more room spray!! ;)  What do ya think?


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Anonymous said...
    Hi Bevy:

    How exciting to win!!! If possible I would like the Cappucino Coffee Cake candle. Thanks so much! And again, I am so enjoying your insight, encouragement, and openness in this blog! Truly an enjoyable read every time.

    Laura Suermann

  3. When my kids were a bit younger I assigned a cleaning chore to each day of the week except Sunday to help me keep the house clean. Now that my children are older they each have cleaning chores each day of the week to help keep the house clean during the week. Then on Saturdays I vacuum, sweep, mop (every other week), clean both bathrooms (scrubbing one tub one week and the other tub the next week), dust, clean the mud room, and give the kitchen a really good wiping down. Windows, curtains and deep cleaning is reserved for spring and fall. During the week since I am busy schooling the kiddos, I focus on laundry, keeping the kitchen clean and keeping everything tidy.

  4. My point of view on this cleaning subject is this: I have children and therefore I have mess. I can't even believe I'm going to admit this but most of you don't even know me so here it goes: For the first time ever, we've had a mouse or 2 in our KITCHEN this past month. Does that mean I'm not keeping my kitchen clean? Oh, probably. No, it's not bad enough to be featured in an Oprah segment on "wives who don't clean" but it's not going to make the cover of Home Beautiful, either. The wisdom I've learned about this subject is this: we only have this season in our life where the children are with us for a short time. One day they will be gone to college or to their own family but where ever they are, they won't be in our home any longer and that, to me, is a very sad thing. So, instead of wasting time making certain that the dust bunnies are gone and the windows shine, I choose to spend time with my children. I'll have plenty of time to scrub my floors when they've moved on. I'll need something to fill my time with then, anyway :)
    LOVE to you and yours, Bev!


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