THE NON-DOMESTIC GODDESS SHINES HER SINK
Hands up who likes housework?
I am certainly not one, as any one who knows me can attest to. I may have acquired the title of domestic goddess for my baking skills, but not my housekeeping ones. If there were a competition for the messiest house in East Cork I would be a strong competitor. In fact I could represent the county in the All Ireland’s. I despair at the mess in my life and am currently on a serious, sorry…fun… OK serious/ fun creation of order in my home life, so that our beautiful new home, The Pink House, is not a pit. So that at any moment, a friend/ delivery man/ plumber/ neighbour’s child/ Buddha can call in and I am not mortified by our unholy mess.
Householding, especially with so much stuff still in boxes after our move, is a reminder of the stuff we have in our lives, and bodies, that can get clogged up so easily. Healthy houses, like healthy bodies and minds, need to be clear, not aseptic, but not clogged either. The thoughts that circulate round and round and lead to stress headaches and migraines and depression, the fat that clogs our arteries and causes heart attacks, the back log of faeces that causes constipation. These are internal versions of the piles of shit that we have in our houses that we don’t deal with.
I am not a tidy person by nature – I read eight books at a go and have multiple craft and writing projects “in progress” at any one time – but I do feel good when my surroundings are clear. I work best when energy can circulate easily, and I’m not looking at clutter on every surface. I know that I am happier when our house is tidy. I am more creative. And more sociable. So it’s all good. Except someone has to do it!
I have some serious obstacles to my tidiness aspirations: 1) a messy me, 2) a messy husband 3), 4) and 5) messy children 6) the fact that I infinitely prefer spending any downtime, even non-downtime, writing, crafting, cooking, reading, watching Come Dine with Me… So what to do?
I have heard from a few sources of a wonderful woman called The Fly Lady http://www.flylady.net/ and I certainly would recommend her approach. So I looked her up, and took a few tips on board.
So now I shine my sink every night. And sometimes I managed to cleanse, tone and moisturize my face too!
I have identified the clutter attracting “hot spots” in each room. And deal with them every day.
I also have my season’s table/ nature corner in the hall, so that it is the first thing you see as you enter – a little altar celebrating nature’s bounty and our creativity: fairies and gnomes and little creatures to animate the scene. This ensures a clutter-free, well-tended, inspiring sight when I walk in the door.
I am trying to find places for everything to live. And persuade children that a hook is indeed a good home for a coat, rather than the middle of the floor.
We are setting up storage solutions everywhere. Passing on what we no longer need. And being mindful when we acquire new things – “Have nothing in your life that is not beautiful or useful”- thank you Leigh! (and Ruskin?). Though I have another shopping basket stacking up on Amazon. And Christmas is coming too…
I have always loved the idea – in my favourite Iris Murdoch book, The Good Apprentice – of carrying spaces: places in the house which you put stuff that needs to go, say, upstairs, and then when someone passes there, they continue it on its journey.
In this way, may our house, and all its inhabitants be happy, healthy, calm, ordered, and know where to find their shoes/ socks / phone /lunchbox /glasses/ Cinderella book in the morning.
Help us out, share your top household management tips with us, consider it your act of charity for the day!!