My house is clean and tidy. Perhaps you might be unaware of how significant this is. In my lifetime it has happened before, albeit briefly, mostly when estate agents had just called to let us know people were on their way round for viewings. Our last house we sold on the first viewing (hurray!) but that was spring 2007. Our previous house had 3 fallen through sales and a total of 52 viewings. I hated it.
This time is different. This time I have achieved it slowly, not in a manic 3-day clear up. This time I can maintain it. I have several people to thank for this. Firstly, Danielle Raine. She wrote this book:
I devoured this book. It completely changed my mindset, and made me aware how self defeating my attitude to housework was. Yes, I might be educated and intelligent. Perhaps I could be earning loads of money in some important job, but I chose to be a housewife. There are parts of it that I love, and parts I hate. The parts I hated really showed! There was no visiting me without warning and expecting the bathroom to be clean, and the ironing pile was looking likely to take on a life of its own. I think for years I was just waiting for some magic fairy to come and do the bits I neglected. Sadly, the fairy never came, and do you know what? I like living in a clean and tidy house more than I dislike housework.
My second thanks go to Domesticali, because it was her review of the book that directed me to it in the first place. Go blogland!
Thirdly, Flylady. Once I had the enthusiasm and motivation, I needed the routines. I needed to be reminded what to do, and how often to do it (how often do you wash your front door?) I now swish and swipe the bathrooms each morning, and my biggest housework bug has disappeared – my bathrooms are automagically clean! It takes virtually no time at all, but makes a huge difference to the house. I have decluttered and kept up (most of the time) with my routines, and a year in, it feels like a completely different house. The best thing about Flylady? If you stop for a while you can just start up again. No marathon cleans.
We have just taken our last couple of bags to charity shops, and we are officially into ‘maintenance phase’. Some of my new habits are firmly ingrained and some still need a bit of work (I still don’t keep my sink as shiny as I should!), but I really feel like I’m getting there.