BEHOLD. I have found THE source for ever-lasting joy: A clean house.
Not that I have a clean house right now, but I did have one for about 14 hours (total, not consecutive) around Thanksgiving. Now, I’m swimming in a sea of tissue paper and candy canes, but I know that underneath the frothy chaos exists the possibility of clear tables, gleaming mirrors and glistening counter tops.
I don’t have any magical tips or tricks. Two “rules” that have stuck so far (inspired by husband and Gretchen Rubin)
1. “Have a place for everything, and PUT IT THERE NOW” (or, always have consistent answer to the question- “Where does this thing go?”).
2. If you spill it/take it off/drop it/set it down – wipe it up/ hang it up/ pick it up. NOW. Right now. Literally now. (originally inspired by “Adulting”
I’m not a black-belt declutterer (yet), but I’ve found two immensely helpful sites that are inspiring me to get my act together:
–http://flylady.net/ – a rather intense, but thorough, organizational system/cult. I’m simultaneously inspired and overwhelmed every time I open her emails, but I do give Flylady credit for my new habits of making the bed daily and having a spotless sink at night.
–http://unfuckyourhabitat.tumblr.com/– similar to flylady, but more cussing and more irreverence.
Both of these sites detail the importance of morning and evening “routines” to keep a house and its inhabitants in order. They both have basically the same evening routine, but site #2 calls this “unfuck your morning.”
- Wash the dishes in your sink
- Get your outfit for tomorrow together, including accessories
- Set up coffee/tea/breakfast
- Make your lunch
- Put your keys somewhere obvious
- Wash your face and brush your teeth
- Take your medication/set out your meds for the morning
- Charge your electronics
- Pour a little cleaner in the toilet bowl (if you don’t have pets or children or sleepwalking adults)
- Set your alarm
- Go to bed at a reasonable hour
I have slowly begun to realize that if I want to enjoy this gloriously rich and glittery time of year, it is absolutely necessary to be able to retreat to a clear, calm, clean environment. Season, bring on the reindeer, ribbon, sequins and snowflakes! We’re ready!