Friday, August 19, 2011


I started the Happy House Express Challenge this week.  I'm three weeks late, but no one really has to know.  Anyway, I started adding the two new chores for this week and that was all well and good.  However, my house needed more than a spruce.

Growing up our home wasn't really clean.  It was loving, it was wonderful, it was fun, but it wasn't organized.  We were healthy, well-fed, happy children with attentive and loving parents.  Parents who spent a lot of time taking us to events, classes, shows, adventures while they ignored all their own endeavors.  The fun ones and the not-so-fun ones like cleaning.  Family was more important and I'm grateful for that.

My husband grew up in a very different home.  His mother was, to put it mildly, house proud.  He and his siblings spent most of their time cleaning the home or doing other tedious chores (there was a story about picking out certain colored rocks in a rock bed that just makes no sense to me at all).  Of course they did other things, but apparently keeping the house close to perfect was important to his mom.  I have a hard time wrapping my head around this.

Thankfully, D does not share his mother's zeal for cleaning.  If the house gets a little crazy he can deal.  He'd like it clean once in awhile, but lived in is good enough for him.  Good thing too because I live in my house.  So does our toddler.  Which means that things do not always get cleaned right away.  There are often times when I only get to one room a week.  Sometimes not even that.  And so, for the past year, there has not been a single moment where every room in the house was organized, tidy, and clean.  It was livable.  The important parts were clean:  kitchen, bathroom, laundry.  Just some rooms had closed doors and a pile of stuff that needed love sometime - sometime in the future.

This week though I finally did it.  For a few weeks I ignored everything but the biggest rooms of the house.  I cleaned and tidied these until I had it to a point where with just an hour of wiping, sweeping, and some clutter control they looked neat.  Then I moved on to the smaller rooms.  They were easier to take care of and so I had a chance to also do those things that never get done.  You know, those things that professional cleaners do that normal cleaners don't.  Door moldings, the tops of the legs of the rocking chair, the corners of the ceilings.  Those things.  Who knew they could get dirty?

So I did those things along with some others and today I put the finishing touches on the last room of my house.  Now all three bathrooms, all four bedrooms (including my craft room), all closets, the office and library, the kitchen, the living room and even the foyer are scrubbed, tidy, and calm looking.  And that is with a toddler and two cats running around.  I even had time to make dinner.

So now that it's all finally perfect I can continue on with the happy house challenge and making the bed will actually mean something.  You know, rather than being a neat bed in the midst of a hurricane of dirty clothes, books, toys, and kleenex.

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