The big question this whole challenge starts with is: Why do you want a clean home? Well, in my case it’s a matter of personality. I have a much higher tolerance for disorder than most of the women in my family. However, I do notice a change in mood when the house is dirty. If the kitchen floor is sticky it makes me angry. If the laundry is overflowing it makes me want to run away. When I can’t walk from one side of the room to the other without having to clean a path with my food, I want to throw out everything we own. So yeah, I think my mental health is a great reason for us to have a clean house.
I think simplification also fits into this. We have a small house, so if we want to avoid being cluttered and claustrophobic, we need to prioritize. Everything we have must be useful or beautiful, to borrow the William Morris phrase. We can’t hold onto things just to have things. So part of my cleanliness goal isn’t just about cleaning, it’s about loving what I own and getting rid of what I don’t use or love.
The Mary Challenge: Describe why you want your home to be a haven.
Well, I’ve already outlined that quite a bit. I want our home to be a place we can enjoy. So it shouldn’t be fussy or high maintenance. But it should also look inviting. Large piles of clutter aren’t appealing. My husband shouldn’t dread coming home at the end of the day. I don’t want to dread getting up in the morning because I know I’ll be greeted by a week’s worth of undone housekeeping. Plus, when my house is in decent shape, I’m work likely to feel ready to take my kids out. If the house is a disaster, I feel like I can’t leave until the situation has improved.
The other recommendation is that I write a mission statement and then dress it up in a pretty way. Not sure if I’ll actually display it but I can’t come up with a mission.
Creative, Inviting and Joyful. I’ll borrow the William Morris phrase as well, though I know I am far from the only person who feels this way. “Keep nothing you mind neither useful nor beautiful.” Perhaps I’ll at least write it on the white board in my kitchen.
Sadly my life is filled with items that are useful but also hideous. But I’m too frugal to replace a perfectly serviceable item just because it isn’t stylish. But I do keep a running list of things I’d like to replace if the money should ever be available. (Like when we are debt free and or win the lottery).
The Martha Challenge: Look over the upcoming challenges and make a list of needed supplies.
Turns out that I have most of what I need, aside from a few more storage containers for my kids outgrown clothes, but I already knew that. I realize that this is going to take me longer than recommended but I also know myself, and that is probably a good thing. One month wouldn’t happen at my house, unless I stopped everything else. But one project a week, even if it’s a big one? That I can manage.