Image Courtesy: lepiaf
Learning new housekeeping habits (or improving old ones) is like losing weight. Just as someone who commits to shedding pounds will work hard to resist chocolate cake and other desserts in the beginning, those of us who are trying really hard to shed bad housekeeping habits that cause clutter and chaos will need to be more firm with ourselves starting out. For awhile, it will seem as though we are over-compensating to the “neat freak” extreme. I think this is almost necessary, though, as we discipline ourselves to put new habits in place, just like the beginning dieter saying no to triple chocolate chunk cookies and eats some cherries instead.
After we have maintained tidier housekeeping habits for awhile, we can begin to lighten up, just as the dieter who’s maintained her goal weight for several weeks can add in previously “forbidden” foods. We can feel comfortable knowing that leaving a room a little messy for a day is not going to cause our home to approach chaos again overnight, just as the person who’s lost twenty-plus pounds knows she can eat three cookies or two brownies without instantly regaining all the weight she worked so hard to lose.
For me, personally, the biggest housekeeping habit I am working intensely to put into place is #3: “Say yes when others say no.” Right now, I need to be much more firm with myself (“yes, I need to do it now”) when it comes to picking up all the miscellaneous things that get strung all over my house all day. I need to firmly tell myself “yes, now,” when it comes to washing dishes, and—especially—putting them away (I tend to leave them to dry in the sink all day, even overnight). I need to firmly tell myself, “yes, do it now” when it comes to mopping the floor, even though I really never “feel” like doing it.
Once I’ve grown in these disciplines, I can arrive at that place of balance, where I can say “Not now, but I will later” with complete certainty that I will indeed do it later. Since I’m not there yet, I shouldn’t give myself that option, just like someone setting out to lose weight should really not sit down and down two pieces of cherry pie with four scoops of vanilla ice cream. Cleaning, and dieting, are really very similar, after all, you see!
Do you have a homemaking tip for getting it together you'd like to share? Please post in the comments section; we'll start link-ups next week, if you'd like to link up a homemaking post you've written to encourage the rest of us!