Tag Archives: housekeeping

It’s a Skill, Like Anything

Houzz had the BEST article today (by Alison Hodgson, my FAV writer there).  It’s about “How to Build Your Housekeeping Muscle,” but honestly – it is just a great perspective on how to develop your abilities at anything you might find perplexing.

She shares an example of a man who has loaned lots of money to friends and relatives over the years and how he isn’t bothered by it because he just sees himself as some one who is really good at saving money, as in “skilled at it.”   His viewpoint took something we usually judge others about and turns not being very good at handling money from being some irreparable character flaw  (the writer’s profound revelation about this totally hit me) in them as people ~ to something we can, with a little effort, actually become skilled in ~ whether that includes housekeeping, or managing a budget well, or making new friends, or good communication, getting fit or whatever it is that perhaps has been pointed out to us as being a weakness or imperfection calling our very value into question.

While we are often quick to judge other people harshly for what we see as a major character impairment, a proof of a lack of development in who they should be as a person (#don’taskmehowIknow), maybe they are just good people who have not yet developed skills in certain areas – just. like. us.

I won’t tell on myself, but…

My mom was the most “distracted” housekeeper on the planet, which drove my perfectionist dad up the proverbial wall and caused him to rule the roost by making endless, demanding lists of to-do for every member of the family.  Even after I was married,  and moved hundreds of miles away, when we came for a visit, I was given a list!  OH-Yes,  he did!  :)  It’s an honor for me now, to get to be helpful to my parents, but in my early 20s I was probably pretty incredulous.  Haha.

Now, my dad is known to be highly competent and get-things-done-well NOW! and I like that.  He is a high-capacity leader, a pastor trusted for high-impact ministry and church growth.  But my mom is also known ~  as the woman who makes him bearable.  She is without guile in any way, so loving and non-judgemental.  She can make a lifelong-wholly-devoted friend from the most snarky and committed enemy.

There were church ladies and relatives who judged my mom’s housekeeping as inferior, but her character: above reproach.  There is not a person in the world who doesn’t want to be around her because of how she cheers them on and showers them with love.  Over time, she learned to follow my dad’s “guidance” and keeps a lovely home.  But she wasn’t born that way and she is in NO WAY deficient in her character!

comparison is the thief of joy quote

Source: here

It is interesting, I think, how we like to compare some one else’s weakness in skill against our own strength as though it automatically makes them flawed.  Or we do it to ourselves, thinking, “I wish I weren’t so awful at ______,” feeling doomed forever by some label (“I’m the messy one,” or “I’m the one who can’t do _____,” or “I’m the clumsy one,” etc).

So, the article:: This was just so thought-provoking to me, I wanted to thank Alison Hodgson and share it here.  Hope it gets you thinking, too, and giving yourself and others GRACE and great hope for the future.  Just simple tips to follow to get the skill you need to strengthen the area you feel condemned about, housekeeping or whatever else.

It is never too late to become the person you might have been…or to develop a skill that will help you to the end!

Your character is fine, you’re no villain or person of lack and nonsense.  You just need to adjust a bit.  Read these great tips!  Get hope!

Vacuuming Seems So Redundant


I use a Hoover.  My grandpa was a longtime Hoover vacuum salesman and Hoover shop owner (they had lots of home appliances, actually).  So, it pretty much doesn’t matter what bells and whistles and pretty colors I see in the vacuum cleaner aisle.  If there is a Hoover in that aisle, I will naturally assume it is of better quality than the others, regardless of what Consumer Reports may say.  I’m a Hoover girl.  I come by it naturally.

Ah, yes – I love those vacuum-cleaning-machines.  I salivate in the vacuum cleaner aisle like a Mad Men character in an early 1960’s car showroom (the show on AMC, you know?).  But I hate vacuuming.  Seriously.

My friend, Corky, whose 7-year-old carpet looks as if it was just installed yesterday, told me that you have to go v e e e e e e e r r r r r y slowly over each section 5 to 10 times.  Doing so, he promises, will make your carpet stay just like new for at least 30 years.  But?  I have a life outside vacuuming, you know?  This is not to imply Corky doesn’t, but his carpet is looking pretty good…

I actually do employ his method just before I use the shampooer.  Maddeningly, Corky is right.  When I do this, Dave walks through the room and will inevitably say something like, “Wow-the carpet sure looks nice now that you have shampooed it,” positively unaware that the (Hoover) shampooer has not yet been used.  Grrrr.  Or maybe he is just trying to avoid the “honey-could-you-come-and-run-the-shampooer” call?  As if.

I am seriously shopping for the vacuum cleaner that just sits in the middle of the room, but but you flip the switch and it sucks every dust and dirt particle (and all the grass and bits and pieces my mangy dog drags in) from the room straight into it – without me having to stand there and go back and forth, back and forth over the very same areas I just vacuumed last month!! 

Just kidding – I do it more often than that!

Honestly, if I could get one of those vacuum-robots that could walk up the stairs, too, even if it were a Eureka or Dirt Devil, I’d get it!

Hoover, can you hear me?…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF: Investigate – when did vacuum become a verb as well as a noun?

pictured: a Hoover, google image

Really? 19 Minutes?

I read this online article.  Color me wary.


Clean Your House In 19 Minutes

By Real Simple  With a plan of attack, you can maintain a sparkling house in just 19 minutes a day

Kitchen, 4 1/2 minutes daily
Always start with the sink. A sparkling sink becomes your kitchen’s benchmark for hygiene and tidiness, inspiring you to load the dishwasher immediately and keep counters, refrigerator doors, and the stove top spick-and-span, too.

  • Wipe down the sink after doing the dishes or loading the dishwasher (30 seconds).
  • Wipe down the stove top (one minute).
  • Wipe down the counters (one minute).
  • Sweep, Swiffer, or vacuum the floor (two minutes).

Bathroom, 2 minutes daily
Make cleaning the basin as routine as washing your hands. But don’t stop there. Get the most out of your pre-moistened wipe by using it to clean around the edges of the tub and then the toilet before tossing it.

  • Wipe out the sink (30 seconds). Wipe the toilet seat and rim (15 seconds).
  • Swoosh the toilet bowl with a brush (15 seconds).
  • Wipe the mirror and faucet (15 seconds).
  • Squeegee the shower door (30 seconds).
  • Spray the entire shower and the curtain liner with shower mist after every use (15 seconds).

Bedroom, 6 1/2 minutes daily
Make your bed right before or after your morning shower. A neat bed will inspire you to deal with other messes immediately. Although smoothing sheets and plumping pillows might not seem like a high priority as you’re rushing to work, the payoff comes at the end of the day, when you slip back under the unruffled covers.

  • Make the bed (two minutes).
  • Fold or hang clothing and put away jewelry (four minutes).
  • Straighten out the night-table surface (30 seconds).

Family Room, Living Room, Foyer, 6 minutes daily
Start with the sofa — as long as it’s in disarray, your living room will never look tidy. Once you’ve fluffed the pillows and folded the throws, you’re halfway home. If you pop in a CD while you dust, you should be able cover the whole room by the end of the third track.

  • Pick up crumbs and dust bunnies with a handheld vacuum (one minute).
  • Fluff the cushions and fold throws after use (two minutes).
  • Wipe tabletops and spot-clean cabinets when you see fingerprints (one minute).
  • Straighten coffee-table books and magazines. Throw out newspapers. Put away CDs and videos. (Two minutes.)

So, hmmmm…Here is what I’m thinking:

I notice they say this is the way to MAINTAIN a “sparkling house.”  This does seem to imply it should be sparkling to begin with.  Mine has somewhat of a sheen, but I don’t know that I could say it is actually sparkling.  Troubling.

Kitchens: Ok, so-my theory on the clean sink is that “A freshly scoured and polished sink will go looking for dirty dishes.”  And while I love seeing my reflection in the sink, I can’t say it actually “inspires” me to load the dishwasher – especially when I often have to unload it first.  Has the verb “swiffering” or “to swiffer” made the dictionery yet?

Bathrooms: If I spend 15 seconds “wiping” the mirror, I will then need 10 minutes to get the streaks off that I just caused.  I have one of those Scrubbing Bubble misters in the shower that are supposedly the equivalent of 30 maids filling your shower stall.  It is handy, but I’d fire those maids if they didn’t a better job than it does! 

Bedroom:  Boy-oh-boy, I can save some major minutes here.  Not enough jewelry to take that long AND I can cut off some time with the bed-making.  Two minutes to make a bed?  Novices!  I’ll make that bed in 41.2 seconds!

Common Family Spaces:  Well, these areas would not be a problem if it weren’t for the fact that I have such a big, honking family!  I don’t have any CDs with 2 minute songs (6 minutes total, by the “end of three songs”???=2 minute songs…I don’t think so).  Plus, I no longer put DVDs away.  Dave and Stormie and the Netflix people know why.

Well, so anyway, I think I’ll spend the next 6 and a half weeks creating some sparkle so I can maintain it in only 19 minutes a day…but wait-what if I take a Sabbath?  The whole plan is already shot.

Maintaining, just barely…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF: Read their follow-up article “How to speed-clean your kitchen” because 4 1/2 minutes is just too much of a time investment.

google images