making it home series : how to keep house part i

a series about starting from scratch

How was your weekend? Ours was unbelievable. Temps in the upper 70's, clear blue skies, yellow and red leaves falling, plenty of pleasant house and yard work, and a happy little baby who loves the outdoors. I could go on and on, but....

Let's talk housekeeping. Most people think of keeping house, and this sort of image comes to mind:

Or this:
found via pinterest from thedeathofcool.tumlbr

The world comes crashing down. Or housekeeping = starting from scratch, demolishing and rebuilding. But it doesn't have to be that way. I am one of the usual of my generation; we have little experience when it comes to keeping house. Society and those silly 6th grade home-ec classes did little to encourage me to want to keep house. 

So now that I have a family, a home, and I'm to give my full attention to it, I want the attention I spend there to be worthwhile. When I mention that I'm studying a book to learn how to keep house, I often receive a little tongue-in-cheek comment, an eye roll, or an eyebrow raises, you don't need to read a book, there are plenty of people you can learn from around you.

So what's the advantage of learning how to keep house through Cheryl Mendelson's Home Comforts? Tons. Tons and tons. and tons. The title should give you a big clue that this isn't your normal how-to-cut-corners-and-make-your-home-barely-be-what-you-really-want-it-to-be.

First, it is all about the mindset given to making a home. You may recall how Hawk asked me to develop a mindset about finances. I would run expenses by him, and he would respond with, i can't always tell you what to do. you have to have the right mindset. Ms. Mendelson offers the same to her audience: 
Shake not your head, this is true and essential. She writes, housekeeping creates cleanliness, order, regularity, beauty, the conditions for health and safety, and a good place to do and feel all the things you wish and need to do and feel in your house. Isn't that true? I believe she's entirely right. I am unable to feel rested in a disordered house. If the kitchen is sloppy, crumbs under my feet or dishes in the sink--I am slightly irritated in the morning. I hate when the garbage smells to the living room. And trust me, ask any of my friends from my pre-Hawk years, and they will tell you that my middle name is not Monica Geller.

Early in our home-ownership, Hawk and I lamented the many times we were rushing to thoroughly clean the house--not just neaten it, but scrub the bathroom, sinks, floors, mirrors, etc.--the day before a dinner or party or guests were expected. And as we live in the sort of village where people routinely knock on your front door when they have a question, we couldn't always count on a warning.

Second, she understands the plethora of reasons women (and men) may both desire to make a home and feel unable to do so in a deeply satisfying way. So everything she offers can be adapted to one's lifestyle and event surprising events (like new babies or moves). I think this is primarily because to embrace what she offers is to transform your mindset (there it is again). Since it is a whole picture, big picture, whole house sort of thing, it becomes part of your lifestyle. 

A happy part.

I'm going to go more in depth in the coming weeks. This is just to wet our palette. 

Happy Monday!



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