Since I can remember, I’ve been overly compulsive with the appearance of my house-what would people think if they saw my home today, right now? That’s a lot of pressure. And quite frankly, I’m tired of it.
After moving too fast with too much stress for too long, the universe forced me to slow down. It took suffering from a series of stress related medical issues (not from good happy stress) to tell me to stop. Breathe. Be in the moment, or at least try.
So as I sat today and watched my children prepare valentines I looked at the mess- and it was big- and loved it (I say this as I am listening to my dear boys teaching eachother how to best throw “spitballs” in the basement. That’s beyond messy, that’s gross I guess). My office was buried in snippets of pink and red construction paper, which brought a smile to my face. The counters were dusted heavily in cake flour, cabinets smeared with greasy buttery film and the floor coated with cookie dough crumbs. But the smell of the oatmeal butterscotch cookies that my four year old so proudly whipped together overwhelmingly won my heart. And my house looked more beautiful than normal.
Order and organization will always be whats helps keep structure alive, in my home anyway- the well oiled machine running smoothly. But taken too far and the machine breaks down, it blocks up. And everyone riding that machine is effected. I’ve grown to love a happy “hot” mess. I’ve learned to let go a little. And when we let go aren’t we embracing the love of living?
Keeping the following areas maintained on a daily basis has helped me let go of the little stuff that used to cause BIG stress. I guess I could say it’s helped me feel balance in a somewhat chaotic lifestyle, for a girl with some “issues”:
- FLOORS- Clean floors are big to me. If floors are vaccuumed/swept daily and mopped often then at least your base can feel clean. My guilty pleasure cleaner, that makes me feel like a super hero mom and wife is Murphy’s Oil Soap. The smell is pure cleanliness! How I would imagine Dennis The Menances house to smell (it always seemed perfectly kept, right?) It’s not great in terms of toxicity, check out www.ewg.org for the details of it’s C+ rating
- TOILETS AND SINKS- spend 10 minutes each day (or every other) wiping down with your favorite bathroom cleaner. I love nothing more than the Mrs. Meyer’s Bathroom Cleaner. Preferred scents change with the season for me! I think Geranium has always been my #1. It will make you WANT to clean. Rated with a B+ at www.ewg.org
- KITCHEN SINK- There’s something about the routine of a morning and evening sink and counter blast! Then the little pile ups during the rest of the day can feel ok, as long as you’ve started and ended on an extra clean note. A good pair of rubber gloves, that fit well and feel “professional” is my incentive. Splurge on a boutique pair- trust me, it’s worth it.
Perhaps this seems minimal to some, or maybe overwhelming to others. I am now seeing tossed backpacks, thrown jackets and kicked-off winter boots (not to mention the 874 matchbox cars and 6,897 lego pieces strewn throughout the house) less bothersome and more adorable when the basics are clean. And I can feel a little detached from the unmade beds and clothes on the floor once in a while. It’s a good thing.