Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fall Cleaning?

Is there such a thing? Why on Earth put a seasonal label on something as mundane as cleaning?!? Everyone does some kind of spring cleaning, whether they like to admit it or not. The opening of windows, deep cleaning carpets, pulling everything out of closets and basements, going through the old junk...only to close the windows when it gets too muggy and hot, stomp around on the carpet with muddy boots from the spring rains, pile the closets with summer playthings, and shove "new" junk into the basement. It's a cycle, when really all we need to do is get rid of stuff and stop getting new stuff.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I've had an epiphany recently (like, in the past 24-48 hours). This house is ours...as much as the bank likes to think they own it (ahem), it's not their home...it's our home. We're the ones living in it every single day, and I truly believe "Cluttered home, cluttered mind". I see evidence of it every single day. I simply cannot think or function normally when there is no order around me. True, some of this would be considered "organized chaos" by true obsessive-compulsive people, and although I'm anal about some things, others I'm fairly lenient on.

How much easier would life be if I stayed up an extra 15 minutes every evening to do the dishes? FlyLady preaches this practice...shine your sink every evening, because mornings are so much brighter with s shiny sink facing you than one full of dishes and stink.

How much easier would life be if Big Boss Man went through the mail while standing over the trash can? Does he realize how much junk mail we get in a single week? It's enough to pile up and overflow from our kitchen table, that's for damn sure! If he went through it over that big blue plastic thing in our kitchen (yes honey, that is the trash can), throwing junk mail out as he went, we'd get maybe 2 pieces of mail a day that need attention.

How much easier would life be if laundry were done on a daily basis? At least one load a day. I used to think saving it all for the weekend would make things easier...just do laundry while I'm cleaning house or in between running errands. But that is time that would be much better spent going exploring with Bean Pole and Little Linebacker. Or better spent driving to the nearby lake to feed the ducks or go fishing. If I picture a scale with cleaning on one side and family time on the other, I know which one would be weighed down to the ground. But I know which one I'd rather weighed more.

Seasonal cleaning makes sense. Change of weather/time/colors/foods makes even the most pre-occupied mind notice something different. It's a time for cleansing...a time for change...a time for renewal. But I also want a time to play in the leaves. Time to have movie night with my kids without getting up halfway through to switch laundry from washer to dryer. This time will only come from saving time in other areas of life...simplifying other areas of life. De-junking other areas of life. I see this revelation as an opportunity not only to re-learn how to manage things, but to teach my children that things go so much smoother when you keep what you need and toss what you don't.

It's takes time to learn the difference between what we need and what we don't. But it is time that's well spent, and will save us from ourselves in the long run. I mat restart this learning process every seasonal change when I get the gumption, but each season it will last a little longer than before, and one spring/summer/fall/winter, it'll stick. It'll keep hangin' on without me thinking about it every day, or having to put effort into it.


Gina said...

Oh, I have that same junk mail problem, only for me it's in the vehicle since our mailbox is an acre and a half away and Sr opens all the junk mail in the vehicle (and then it stays there until I throw it away...*sigh*)

I like fall cleaning too. I love the holiday season, including Hallowe'en, and it is really the only time I decorate deliberately, so I like a clean slate so-to-speak!

Elizabeth said...

"I simply cannot think or function normally when there is no order around me."

I'm sooo with you there. Sometimes when the kids go nuts and the house becomes a nuclear fallout shelter I want to go into my bedroom and hide under the covers.

Maybe I should bribe someone to clean my house for homemade pizza? ;)

Catty Ax Lady said...

What?!?! I'm fairly certain that I've never seen your house remotely resemble a nuclear fallout shelter...at least not compared to this place. I'd gladly clean it for homemade pizza...or at least the pizza dough recipe (hint hint)!

Patrick Truax said...

Another good post, honey..