On Housework

Lately, I've been trying my hardest to keep on top of housework. Someday in the next few months, I'll be taking care of a house possibly (but not necessarily) twice the size of the apartment we're living in now, and I think I want to prove to myself I can at least handle the little bit I'm entrusted with. My husband says that things seem cluttered all the time in the apartment because we don't have room to store things, and it will be better in a house with more cabinets and closets. I don't know. I hope so- and I also hope we don't fill the house with stuff as we have the apartment. That's a big thing for me- to avoid accumulating. I like the saying I've heard lately about that subject, that I am increasingly believing very strongly:

Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful.

What does this mean? This means I think about my purchases and additions to my home. I don't collect knick-knacks, which turn into clutter. It means I don't buy the Next Cool Gadget unless I know I need it. It means that, even though I tend toward utilitarian rather than aesthetic, I do choose things I believe to be beautiful, so if they are left out, they are not clutter, but decoration. My inspiration in all of this is Like Merchant Ships. There, Meredith gives beautiful, practical, and frugal examples of living out this philosophy.

Now to head home & face the mountain of laundry & dishes. Alas. I hope to someday figure this all out.


ashley@twentysixcats said...

I don't think we ever "figure" housework out. :-) It's a growing learning process, as our families and situations grow and change.

I am with you, though. I am so disorganized and I am almost getting to my wit's end. I actually am contemplating writing a post about this same thing.

The Mommy said...

Haha, then, when you think you're finally on top of things, BAM, you have kids. I was on a roll right before Benjamin was born. I was cleaning the whole apartment once a week. Even dusting and the cleaning the bathroom! Alas. Neither of those have been done in four months.

Brett said...

I like that quote. Over the last year or two, my wife and I have been trying to a) limit useless accumulation and b) get rid of some things we'd previously accumulated. I'm certain we'll have more to ditch in the near future. Most recently, we've discussed scaling back Christmas expense to help ensure our son doesn't confuse the commercialism with what Christmas really is.

I don't have trouble resisting the latest and greatest fad but, personally, I struggle with the "believe to be beautiful" part. And that's where I end up with cheap albeit mostly useless Goodwill finds. Still working on that.

Joanna said...

Clutter stresses me out. I need order. I suppose you'd never know it looking at my desk, but its true. So, Ashley, I understand. And, Beth, I can't imagine picking up after an extra couple people when I don't feel I can always handle picking up after just myself & Josh!

Brett- What I struggle with the most is the Goodwill finds that I think are lovely and cute or perhaps fun, but really won't be utilized by me very well. And then they sit around and collect dust, and take up table or shelf space.

Hans Leibken said...

How did I miss this post earlier?

Anyway, YES x 100.

As we're getting ready to move, getting rid of things and decluttering is a big part of it. Especially since for us it will involve selling a house, which means the house will have to be showing-worthy... ugh. The farm stuff is the worst because we don't have barns for it yet!

Hans Leibken said...

WHAT IS THIS?? Oh joy! Blogger is not making me type in captchas any more! Hallelujah!!!

Meredith said...

What a nice thing to say!

I agree with your husband, though--more closed storage IS easier on a household. My husband still jokes about our first kitchen and "the drawer" it had.

You just have to be on your guard not to fill those closets to the brim.


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