Jul 31, 2014

Old Fashioned Wifery: Clean Your Home

4. Clean Your Home
My fourth and final reflection on vintage domesticity is on cleaning your home. I could write a whole series on cleaning your home. In fact, I could probably have a whole blog dedicated to it!

When my home is clean I worry less. When my home is clean food tastes better. Cleaning is therapeutic and an act of love. It establishes safety and comfort and stability. It ignites creativity. It inspires. It’s not an obligation. It’s a gift. It’s something you can do right now that will instantly make your life much better. It’s nice to have that power.

I can’t work on a messy workspace!

Cleanliness is above all a habit. Establishing your habits will ensure that your house is as clean as you need it to be. Deciding how clean you need your space to be is up to you. It’s a very personal thing, and can be ever changing. When my husband and I moved in together our version of clean meant little more than having clean dishes to eat on and no hair in the bathroom drain.

I can’t believe I’m publishing that picture! This is from the very beginning of our domestic life together. We’ve moved since then and our sense of clean is a lot more expansive.

I’m not sure what initially inspired us to change our ways. I get the feeling that it was a desire to make the place more of a home for our relationship. Once the decision was made, we read two very life changing books: Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure and Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Home.

Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure is a program focused on organization strategies and home redesign. It taught us invaluable lessons on loving our living space no matter the size or location. When you’re young and/or confined to tiny living quarters, it’s really easy to view your apartment or house as merely a place to store your stuff. It can be hard to view your small space and hand-me-down furniture as respectable, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Your space can be comfortable and expressive without having to move or break the bank.

Not only does Apartment Therapy help on the superficial side, but the name “Apartment Therapy” rings true. Our cure was one the most therapeutic endeavors we’ve ever gone though. The two steps that made the most impact on our lives had us:
  1. Purge our space of items we no longer needed or valued. This was the most therapeutic step of all. As boxes and boxes of old clothes, records, books, etc. left our home we felt their emotional baggage leave with them. What was left was more room for the items we actually loved, and more space to display and enjoy them. We still do bi-yearly purges!
  2. Sit in spaces we ignore. Everywhere I’ve ever lived had a room or closet that was less cared for than others. One step in the cure is to sit in that spot. The idea is to use and feel comfortable in every inch of your home. No spot should go ignored – especially when your quarters are small.
The home cure is good for cohabiting relationships, mental stability, and finances so this book is worth 100 times its weight in gold. If you’re unsatisfied with your home in any way I highly recommend it!

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Home is so up my ally that I feel like it was written for me. It’s not a puff piece for the Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products; in fact, the products are never mentioned. It is a guide to cleaning, reusing, and preserving everything in your home with simple tools and ingredients. 

This book truly took me from a reluctant cleaner to a homemaking enthusiast. So much of my apprehension and boredom with housework came from feeling overwhelmed and unsure about what I was doing. This book is written to be accessible and fun while perfectly outlining what should be done daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. This makes it so easy to form habits.

For our habits we have our morning, afternoon, and evening chores, as well as weekly chores and chores that get done as needed. We do deeper cleans when we’re expecting guests as well as extensive fall and spring cleaning. The gist is that we do a little bit every day to maintain a comfortable environment. To us this means minimal clutter, everything in its place, clean feet when we walk around barefoot and fresh scents in every room. No matter how busy or tired we are we always find time to ensure that our preferred level of cleanliness is reached.

As we grow together as a family I’m sure what we deem clean will change. Kids are a big game changer so I’m looking forward to what priorities that might bring when we’re there.

< | * * * | >

I very much enjoyed opening up to you on my methods for old fashioned domesticity. As you can see they’re really not all that old fashioned! Basic, frugal, thorough, and thoughtful acts feel old fashioned these days, but it’s really quite achievable. I loved sharing this side of me, and look forward to including more housekeeping focussed posts on Housevegan.com!

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Purchases from these links could result in a small commission used to support Housevegan.com.