April 28, 2008 at 6:23 am (Home)

I always knew I was not a particularly great housekeeper.  Once I had started packing I realized that I wasn’t just not a particularly great housekeeper, but rather, I really stunk at it.  I had tried ‘systems’ of keeping order, lists, home management binders and the like, but found that they were usually more work to keep up than the house itself.  (I even wrote a post about being a home management binder flunkie.)  For the most part I just did what needed to be done and all seemed right with the world.


Then we packed, and there was more dust stirred up in my house than in Oklahoma during tornado season.


Then the men showed up to load the truck and I couldn’t move fast enough to pull the dust off the furniture before it was loaded, and moved into the new house.


Then I had to go back to the old house and clean it.


Then I had to come to the new house and clean the dirt from the old house to keep it from spreading in the new house.


Father in Heaven, I was so sluggish in my old house (which was lovely) and yet you provide this new house (which is lovelier).  Your grace amazes me.


Isn’t that a song?  😉


In the middle of all this, I ordered an old book called Sidetracked Home Executives.  Apparently, two sisters were a mess, and could never pull it together.  I wasn’t ‘a mess’, and I could pull it together, but only if you weren’t looking very carefully.  After laughing through the book I realized there method just might work!  A few weeks ago I sat down, made out dozens of index cards, and now we’re in business.  While I didn’t follow their suggestions exactly (my edition was was written before Microsoft Outlook and cel phones – the link above will take you to the latest edition) I did lay out the work that needed to be done for the new house, every job, room by room.  So far so good.  The house looks great, and if someone stops by and has to use the guest bathroom, I don’t have to cringe and pray that it’s in ok condition.  I’m telling you, I’m about ready to put on pumps, pearls, and a shirtwaist dress.


Mental note:  When I think I have a grip on something, I need to take a seriously good look at every nook and cranny.


Recommendation:  Every six months pack up a different room in the house as if you were moving.  Sort, throw, donate, pack.  Move everything out, clean the shell of a room, and only put back those things that are functional, meaningful, or lovely.  It is amazing how much we can squirrel away, and how much stuff we really don’t need or even want.  Packing it up forces me to think, “Do I really want to go to the trouble of packing, moving, and then unpacking and finding a place for this?”  Really now, the Goodwill box is so much easier!


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