Dreams of deep cleaning the house sift through my thoughts nearly daily. Cleaning. Actually a ritual I enjoy, although my home often belies the fact.

My attempts only get so far, then a million other dishes-meals-laundry-”Mommy, come here” calls-baby cries interrupt. While the clutter slides effortlessly back to the corners, tables, chairs it’s most comfortable on.

It was a gift, then. Stumbling on the #40days40bags challenge from Ann Marie of the blog White House Black Shutters. And on the day before it commenced? I found myself inspired.  Yes, cleaning can be inspiring. Out with the old and all that.

And so I took you on. You house of seven plus years of accumulated memories and assorted junk. I’ll keep what brings memories and remove the junk.

I created a forty day list of all the spaces of our living space. Divide and conquer. Stem from stern. And all that.

Day 1. Dining table, hub of life and meals and art and school and coffee breaks and… junk!
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Done! Just in time for Valentine’s. My reward. A cocoa break with my son. Seeing my grandmother’s hand-crocheted tablecloth – a labor of love to be celebrated. A bright red tablecloth underneath!
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Day 2. Buffet. Host of unwelcome snips and snaps.
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Hard to part from milky blue bowls I loved but never used. Why do we cling to things that don’t pull their weight?
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Day 3. Coffee Bar. How soon have you fallen into disarray! Restored to organized:
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Day 4 and 5. Kitchen cabinets. Up and down. You were a study in crumbs, rare gadget finds, and expired goods.
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Done! And labeled. I made a pie from expired graham crackers and pudding. Not bad, really. Does that stuff really ever go bad?
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Already there are stories to tell from this cleansing. This lifting of the head to look ’round and remove what does not fit our space, our lives.

Less is not more. Less is less! Less to get in the way. Less to clean. Less to hide what you’re really looking for.

I have three bags ready to depart our dwelling. And have I missed a single item in the past week. No. Well, maybe those blue bowls …

So tell me, how do you manage your housecleaning?

Leave a Comment

  • T Rex Mom February 21, 2013, 7:18 pm

    I am so impressed and that tablecloth your grandmother made is incredible. I know how much time that took! I find it essential to keep things picked up because my mind just feels less cluttered and in order.

    Reply
  • Diane February 21, 2013, 6:43 pm

    Thanks!!! This is so timely. Hubby is working tonight. Perfect time to organize something, but not really feeling like it. You inspired me! Going to tackle at least one cabinet.

    Reply
  • Sara Glove Company February 21, 2013, 11:40 am

    Inspirational! Love the idea of breaking up a “deep-cleaning” adventure into day by day bits. Housecleaning can be an enjoyable, fulfilling project, not a chore to dread. So thanks for your article.

    Reply