Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Today was cleaning day. I finally dug out from Chanukah and one child's sickness that lasted for over a week and a half. So today the clutter got picked up, things got washed, organized and put away, some nice touches were added to make the general affect more pleasing for the whole family and we all enjoyed it until the next heroic effort. The truth be told, over the years I came up with a few basic guidelines for myself to help me manage the cleaning without having it take over or away from my life. The main room has to be livable - clutter reasonably picked up from floor and surfaces, table cleared and floor swept. So as long as these basics are maintained everyone could function pretty happily. If not, then things slowly begin to unravel and we have to get back to the minimum cleanliness/organization baseline. I noticed ,however, that when things get too clean, I get frustrated when things get undone too quickly and when I get to major cleaning I usually can't get to anything else big that day. So I've concluded that as long as we stay close to the cleanliness baseline and there is a certain amount of functionable clutter, which is inevitable, then all is well with the world and I can occupy myself with other more important things. Unless things are in terrible disarray, if I have to choose between doing something with the kids or house maintenance, the kids win hands down. So as much as I think that good habits have to be established and that kids need to learn some semblance of order and organization, I hope that the message I send to my children consistantly, is that their wellbeing and education is far more important to me than a clean floor or the house that looks like a museum. Yes, I love to have a neat house and it irks me when my prodigious efforts in that direction evaporate almost as soon as I'm done, perhaps some day things will be different, but for now happy clutter is my reality and I am indeed happy and blessed.