Spring Cleaning

Anyone who knows me well, will know that this post is not really about cleaning.  Cleaning is not something I spend a whole lot of time on.  I have been fortunate to marry a person whose dirt tolerance is lower than mine, so, while I will ignore the sticky spot on the floor for quite awhile, the husband cannot.  Mostly, when people ask me how I have time to knit, quilt, bake, teach school, etc., I tell them that I rarely clean.  And it is mostly true.

Now, please do not misunderstand me.  I would not consider my house really dirty and I think most of my friends who come here would agree with me (just don’t look too closely at the corners!).  There are a few strategies I have implemented over  the years to minimize the amount of cleaning that needs to be done.

Firstly, a place looks much more dirty when it is cluttered.  Yes, we have lots of books, blankets, toys, and crafty bits floating around the house, but they are all in fairly neat piles.  Orderliness goes a long way toward giving an impression of cleanliness.

Secondly, we keep our floors as clear of stuff as we possibly can.  A large(ish) expanse of clear flooring also helps to create an illusion of clean.  It helps also if your carpet or flooring is brownish and splotchy (or stripey) so that real dirt gets camouflaged.

Thirdly, we live in a small house.  This forces us to go through our stuff regularly and get rid of things we no longer need.  If something comes in the house (besides food), this generally means that something else has to leave the house for good.

Fourthly, I try to remember than no one ever wishes at the end of their lives that they had spent more time cleaning their house.  Doing what you love, with people you love is more important than a clean house.

All this helps us to keep our house fairly tidy and efficient.  And it allows me to clean less and get more work done on what I like to do.

Like bake more bread.

olive bread dough and country sourdough loaf

And quilting this quilt.

Oh my.  I realized last week when I got it out of storage that I had made this quilt top 12 years ago when the husband was in grad school.  The last time I worked on it was last summer when I took it up to a friend’s house.  I am a little more than halfway done on the quilting and would really love to be finished with it.  I am thinking that I will finish hand quilting the blocks in the center and then machine quilt the border.  Do you think that will look strange?  I don’t know.  I have this sinking feeling that it’s going to go back into storage unless I find a groove with it.  Maybe an audio book will do the trick?

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Posted on March 13, 2012, in Baking, Quilting, Sourdough and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. It’s SO true! If you keep your house tidy, it looks cleaner 🙂 And it’s easier to clean when you need to dust/vacuum, etc. Thanks 🙂 ~ Liz

  2. I’m totally with you! At my mother-in-law’s funeral several years ago, when people got up to speak of her, all that was mentioned was her cleaning & penchant for same. Nothing else. I was horrified, just horrified that all anyone had to say about her related to her keeping an immaculate house (and it was). Now my house isn’t filthy, but it is far from immaculate. 2 dogs, a husband who feeds horses every day and a woodburning stove do not make for an immaculate house-even if I did clean every day. I do keep my kitchen clean, but everything else waits until it disgusts even me or we have company coming. I tend to clean as I go and put things back where they belong after use. That goes a long way toward helping with the appearance of tidiness. And I have no children, which makes a huge difference :).

    • Yes! Cleaning on an as-needed basis is my style as well. Tidiness is different. That’s not cleaning, and it’s more of a necessity in our house. I hardly leave the house with homeschooling, so if I was constantly stepping over or on things everywhere, I would go mad. Interesting about your mother in law. I seem to know a lot of older folks who were/are “focused” cleaners. I wonder if it has to do with the time in which they grew up.

  3. I’m with you, I want a clean house but I want fun memories more!

    The quilt is great. My vote is to keep hand quilting it, including the borders, but don’t try to put a complex design in the borders, just get it finished. Audiobook, movie, great conversation with a friend to keep it going.

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