Monday, January 23, 2012

There's Nothing Like A Clean House...

....unless you ask my mother (who has a board in her kitchen that reads : A Clean House is a Sign of a Mis-spent Childhood.) My obsession with cleaning (and cleaning out) other people’s homes started innocently enough. Mom was having company and needed her house cleaned. Since I am an avid cleaner - I was on the job. I tend to move everything as I clean and so I began to move things around, and out of, her house. My title of “house cleaner” changed to “house cleaner-outer”. Even my grandmother, who is 92, when asked if she wanted me to come dust for her replied, "only if she doesn't throw anything out!" This may be a little over-stated because I would never throw anything out that wasn't mine...I would just reuse, re-purpose, recycle it!

Seriously, my mother wanted help cleaning, organizing and re-decorating her home. She had just bought new furniture and was planning a big party. She new I loved to do those things and she absolutely hated to do them. Not only could she not get started, she didn't know how to start. She now has a beautiful home. Crisp, (mostly) clean and organized. By clearing out her clutter, we also cleared out the stress behind the mess. Now she doesn't have to worry about the piles of books in her bedroom - she can focus on writing her own book.

Fast forward to today - I spent 8 HOURS cleaning a friend's house. No, she's not messy - she’s just like the rest of us - too busy for baseboards. Plus – she has three children, a full time high-stress job AND is going through a divorce. The last thing she could think about was her house.

I LOVE to clean and she called me up for help. There is just something about putting a home back in order that makes me feel wonderful.

Baseboards? Check.
Walls and Doorframes? Check?
Ceiling Fans? Check.
Knickknacks on top the kitchen cabinets? Double Check (they get double checked because they were double-dirty!).

All those little things that nobody really pays attention to but builds up after time.

My friend couldn’t enjoy her “down-time” at home worrying about those dust bunnies under her bed. By helping her get things back on track, I helped her move forward with herself as well. She can work on her life instead of her home. It felt wonderful to hear her say when she walked in her clean home, she felt the world lift off her shoulders – if even just for those few moments – she felt lighter.

Why do we worry about keeping our homes spotless? Germs? First Impressions? Exercise (Nah....). Our homes are an extension of ourselves. When we walk into our homes after a long day out and it's clean and clear of clutter - we can relax and enjoy the rest of the day and not worry about the clutter around us - WE are emotionally uncluttered. How about you? What keeps you weighed down? House clutter? A full garage? An un-weeded garden? Check my Simpler Life Series for more great ways to ..what else? Simplify Your Life!

Leave me a comment on your favorite house cleaning tip....


Cindy said...

hehe. I agree.

I'm a follower now!

Momstart said...

My House is a disaster, I clean it and then my kids dump something else out