Thursday, September 11, 2008

Clean and Shiny; Visitors Welcome!

Last weekend we hosted our families for a summer barbeque/gathering/house warming shindig. Our two families hadn't socialized in nearly two years, not since our September wedding. Time flies so fast it didn't even seem possible, and of course everyone gets along so well that the visit seemed like all picked up where they left off. Very cool. (I would post photos, but for some reason I can't ever remember to pull out my camera, and therefore don't have any. Drat!)

This was a potluck thing, with Paul and I providing Scottish Highland beef burgers and corn on the cob (and the baked beans I accidentally quadrupled instead of doubled...oops!), and the family bringing salads, side dishes and desserts. The weather was perfect, although it did get a little cool after 5:00 p.m. (The next day was quite breezy, so I think the weather was getting ready to turn a bit.)

Having slogged through the seven month period when our 1910 Craftsman house in Tacoma was listed for sale and developed a routine for keeping it show-ready 24-7 is something I can be grateful for in retrospect. I haven't ever been someone to hold onto things I no longer use or clothes I can't fit into or don't like, and having most of our possessions boxed up and put away for so long taught me that keeping it simple in the house makes life easier for me. I grew up with both my parents and my grandparents attending to Saturday house-cleaning chores (vaccuming, dusting, bathrooms, kitchens, etc.) and don't have a hard time following that...except that I'm usually too busy on Saturdays to chain myself to the house. I find, though, that when my house is messy, my brain is jumbled, too, which is weird, but there you go. I just can't go too long without taking care of business.

What works for me today is keeping those things that do pile up here and there picked up and put away (including retrieving hubby's pjs from wherever he happened to toss them in his bleary-eyed-way-too-early work preparation on any given morning...could be the dining room table, the kitchen counter, or best yet - learned while the other house was listed for sale - stuffed behind a couch cushion), keeping the kitchen surfaces tidy and wiped down, and cleaning the bathrooms every Thursday morning. (I don't know why, but that's bathroom day for me. Weird.) I save the vacuuming and stuff until weekends or evenings (if I'm feeling really inspired, or, alternatively, completely grossed out by the state of our floors). The two greatest inventions ever (in my mind, anyway), are Clorox Wipes (bought in bulk at Costo...don't like the scratchy Lysol ones), and the Swiffer Wet-Jet mop. Love them!! They make my life so much easier.

One of the added benefits of having the families over last weekend was that I felt the need to get the house as spotless as possible. The beauty is it didn't take long...maybe a couple hours, tops, including mopping (Swiffering? Is that a word?), removing/washing/drying/re-putting-on the couch slipcovers (another great invention!) and some quick tidying of the front walk.

Double bonus: when a women's Saturday morning potluck I planned to attend this weekend suddenly needed a new location, it took me all of 30 seconds to volunteer my place. After all, it's already clean!

My hubby occasionally bursts out with (post shower, usually after a very dirty work day when he's just about fried, mentally): "Clean and shiny from my head to my hiney!" I don't think the house has a hiney, per se, but wherever it might be (crawl space excluded), it's clean and shiny!


  1. I feel the same way about messy house/messy brain, but I am far less dedicated to keeping things clean than you are. Your point about keeping fewer things around is a good one, and I'm just starting to cull unnecessary things from my life. It's a process.

    Also, I'd love to see your place sometime!

  2. I'd love for you to visit! When are you in town next? (Granted, "in town" is still quite a way from Tenino, being I live in the sticks now!)


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