If my house isn’t very, very clean, then I have a tendency to get very, very irritable. So this place stays clean. Unless I’m overwhelmed. Then I begin letting little things slide and my office space suffers the worst. My husband can tell when I need to have a break because it manifests as looking like a bomb went off in my office. And my office is carefully designed and curates space that has orchid walls, white furnishings, a handmade (by my husband) bench and it is the company center for this blog and my nonprofit company. It’s a very important room.
But as good as I was at cleaning the house, I wasn’t great at keeping the house. Meaning, Duncan would rip a toy and it would sit for months to get stitched up. There was a lack of organization with a lot of kitchen items. My toiletries were out of control. My makeup and brushes weren’t well organized and on a good schedule for cleaning and clean outs.
So I started reading Home Comforts before bed after my school work was done. To wind down my brain. Studying PTSD, trauma and a specialty in childhood and adolescent trauma is fucking draining.
I started to remember when grandma would clean the house and as she says in the book, declare the house done. Which was code for, don’t fuck it up.
I began doing that right after we’d finish dinner. Before homework, before bedtime, and that way I could make sure Duncan was doing his chore correctly. I even worked my system down to a little under 14 minutes every night. That is to dust, sweep, mop, do the dishes, vacuum, declutter and make sure the beds were ready to be turned down. They are always made in the morning as an expectation in this house.
Within 14 minutes, I look around and declare “the house is done.” I don’t include laundry in this equation because we don’t have any need to do laundry everyday. That shit is saved for the weekends. Also once a week I go through the declutter basket and see what needs to be dealt with. That where torn stuffies go, random notes, etc. Also know as my this shit can wait basket.
I got it at the Dollar Store. It was one dollar very well spent. The peace of mind it gives me is next level.
One of my rooms that has to be perfect is our living room. We sit in there after the house is done and play some records or a game or read or snuggle. It’s the cornerstone of quality time.
My husband surprised me with that couch last year while I was away in Columbus, OH. Not what I would have picked, but it is cushy! And it was so nice that he did the shopping for me.
I thrifted that purple secretary nearly 15 years ago. It is a solid piece of furniture in need of a new finish. Perhaps that will be my summer project.
It’s modest and cozy and that is what we are all about. Everything we need for great family time is right in there.
The reason it only takes 14 minutes, is because I do it every single day. Even on the days with a deep clean on a certain room , I still bust out that 14 minute routine to make sure everything stays above a certain expectation or level. If you let it slip, you’ll quickly find yourself a slave to housework.
In full disclosure, I work a full-time job, do some part-time stuff, freelance stuff, and have several other commitments that until this weekend had me working seven days a week for the last year. I’m down now to six and a half days. It actually feels amazing. I’m saying this because the excuse of being too tired or too busy isn’t a great one. It may be valid somedays, but I know I sleep better when the house is done.