There’s More to Life than a Clean House

I used to be a little OCD when it came to cleaning. When I had the kiddo it took me a little while to find balance and peace with learning to be okay with mess. I still struggle sometimes and if I take a day off I will spend most of the “free” time cleaning but for the most part I’ve learned how to be okay with some mess. This is what I’ve learned that helps.

1. There is a difference between dirt and clutter. The war against dirt is never ending, there will always be more dirt. (Be warned if you have pets and a kiddo never fail when you finally do mop the floor in less than 24 hours all that effort was a waste because the dog just artfully placed muddy footprints all over the floor.) The war against clutter can be won in small battles in learning how to organize and downsizing of stuff.

2. There is no such thing as too much storage and creativity is helpful. (Especially when you live in a 1950’s house that has all of three closets one of which houses the water heater).

3. More people than you think use some type of cleaning service, so if your house isn’t as clean as so-in-so’s especially if they have small children they are either insane and never sleep, they waste time cleaning when they could be enjoying time with their littles or they hire out. So don’t compare your situation to theirs, really, it’s a waste of frustration.

4. Dishes in the sink overnight won’t hurt anything. I learned this one from my husband, because sometimes after dinner it’s straight to chasing the kiddo…Leaving Dishes sit does make them harder to clean sometimes, but I seriously doubt anyone has ever died from leaving dishes to sit overnight. If you can’t stand looking at them avoid the kitchen. (That’s what I do).

5. I’ve tried chore lists and “it only takes 20 minutes a day to keep your house clean” tips, and have come to the conclusion that the only two tips I’ve used that seem to work for me are: Do one load of laundry a day andIf you take it out, put it away. If I actually utilize these tips it seems to make life easier. Because really I’ve timed it and it takes more than 20 minutes to mop the 3 very small tiled area’s of my house, clean all the sinks and toilets, dust, etc … I just clean what I can, when I can.

Lastly, if you have an impending event that you will be hosting at your home you can always plan the week ahead of time to makes sure everything you want to have clean is cleaned, you could do like me and pull and all nighter the night before or hire out to have the house cleaned, just this once.

Simple Gestures

One thing I’ve learned is that simple thoughtful gestures can really make a difference in someone’s life, and honestly they make you feel good too.

I love getting Christmas Cards. I love the ones that have pictures of families inside or on the cover so I can see friends who are locationally challenged. I try my darndest to make sure I send out Christmas Cards every year (I will inevitably forget someone, and have at least one sent back because I was dyslexic in penning the address.) but I try because I believe the recipients truly appreciate them as much as I do. I try to remember to send birthday cards or at least send some form of birthday wishes to remind my friends I care. I love sending baby butt balm and name flags to new mom’s. I might send a token and a card to someone whose parent has just passed. Perhaps I’ll send a book to someone going through a rough time, or pass along a book I’ve read just so someone else can enjoy it. Little gestures like this can really make someone’s day. Even something as small as smiling at a stranger, holding a door or elevator or picking up something a child has dropped in the grocery store when the mother is also wearing an infant. All of these things are small, minute really, but when you do them it can really make someone’s day.

So I challenge you. Do something simple today to make someone’s day. As my very inspirational friend Cathy would say “Throw kindness around like confetti” and see what happens.