We’ve been doing a deep clean on various rooms of the house over the last few weekends. We’re really rather messy people; none of us are inclined to clean up after ourselves and two of us are children and three of us are animals and the adults all have their own idiosyncratic way of producing clutter (1.) never throw away trash 2.) accumulate stuff and stack neatly on every surface 3.) fail to see clutter in corners) so really, it gets kind of unpleasant in here sometimes. Not Hoarders bad or anything, but yucky. We got better after Robin was born, and then worse over the last year. But now! Killian is mobile and he puts everything in his mouth, so it’s time.
It’s not the cleaning I’m proud of, by the way.
It’s the maintenance. Picking forgotten trash even if it’s not my own. Doing pots and pans after dinner. I’m aces at running the dishwasher daily but I hate handwashing pots and pans and they often accumulate. Sweeping our great room (which we use as a combination dining room/living room/office for the kid and I. It’s a big room) daily after the baby’s breakfast.
We’ve started work on the kitchen. The kitchen surfaces get really cleaned semi-regularly, where I declutter the bread corner and the sideboard and scrub stains off the counters and the stovetop and sink. But this time around, we’re going into the cupboards and decluttering those. I’m as excited as if we were getting a kitchen remodel. It feels like we ARE getting one, because reorganizing how I use cupboard space will be really freeing.
I’m good at ignoring clutter (alas) but it always seems like it takes some kind of mental energy to do so, because when I’m in a clean, decluttered space, I always feel light-hearted, free, and focused. So I’m really hopeful and excited. We’re implementing a few other habit changes that should help in keeping things from accumulating, but the basic maintenance is the most important.
Hell, if I develop good maintenance habits, I could probably maintain this blog more. Although maybe not… writing a blog post takes a lot more time than sweeping a room or washing a few dishes and a tired cranky baby Does Not Help.
See, right there, I went off because the baby was cranky and then I had to help the kid get ready for kindergarten and a whole hour passed. But now we have a 10 minute space before the bus comes and I can try and recollect what I was saying…
I was going to draw a parallel between housekeeping and writing. You’ve got to write that fifth chapter! That twentieth chapter! You have to write every day! You have to sweep everyday! Although admittedly one is a process of accumulation and one is the process of preventing accumulation. Still, I think skills from one area can carry over to another. It’s really all about persistence and believing in the value of what you do as compared to the cost, and resisting temptation to do other things instead.