September 29, 2016

I once read that in Downton Abbey days, each spring the entire mansion was aired and cleaned to a spotless shine.  This was almost entirely because heating over the winter was such a messy affair that everything in the house acquired a black sootiness and that had to be polished off and aired and only when it was finally warm enough to do so.  Maybe this is where the term "spring cleaning" originates?  (I've always wondered why spring?!)

What a great idea, in theory, one thorough house cleaning per year, and one that I'd be behind 100% - especially if I had a cohort of servants to do the work with me, and a Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson with the knowledge and know-how of what and how to do it.  Sure.  I'd be all up in that.

In thinking on all this, and on the Domestic Arts, I've been wanting to establish some kind of cleaning routine for a while now.  My great grandmother used to have a schedule - every day of the week (save Sunday) was dedicated to a certain chore: Mondays was baking bread, Tuesday wash day, Wednesday floors, Thursday bedrooms and linens, Friday all-house get the idea.  This was back when most women were at home, on the farm and housekeeping was more an art, and less a chore.

These days, due to all kinds of circumstances, everyone works outside the home.  What little energy is left after our nine-to-five is given to spouses, children and friends.   House cleaners and cooks must be hired to do the "domestic work" because there just aren't enough hours in the day.

And the domestic arts are lost a little bit more.  And this makes me sad.

But this past year I have not been working full time, or even part time.  I have been home quite a bit and it's become increasingly clear that not only do I need a cleaning routine, but I need it fast.  My housework gets done at random.  I will spend several intense days cleaning, and then not think about it for weeks, months (or, gulp, even years).  If I don't see that it's dirty, I won't clean it.

So you can imagine the parts of my house that I don't see daily?  They don't get cleaned.  Ever.  

Therefore, routine needed ASAP.  And where does one go when lost and in need of ideas, tips and tricks for anything under the sun?  


Only, every time I start pinterest-ing for cleaning routine ideas,  I get incredibly overwhelmed.  There are a hundred different ways to approach housecleaning - daily, weekly, monthly and yearly chores - and also hundreds of ideas on what should be cleaned, how and when.  Here's one cute example:

This example is ok - the colours and the chevron are attractive - but it seems like every day would be full of unneccessary cleaning for me.  Like, clean the oven every Tuesday?  My oven certainly doesn't get that dirty with two people in the house! Dust ceiling fans every Friday?  Wow!  Also just the sheer amount of chores each day contains - well, that doesn't work for me. Just because I don't work 40 hours a week, doesn't mean I'm not busy with other things.   It seems like this example tries to fit everything into a weekly schedule, instead of some of the others which fit many of these chores into a bi-weekly or monthly schedule.  I'd like to not spend all day every day cleaning, thank you. 

And here's another:

This one gives me a bit more flexibility, and a better "type" of schedule, while still alerting me to everything that needs to be cleaned in my home.  I mean, if it's in a home, it should be cleaned and decluttered at least once a year, right?  But these ideas are a bit intense and complicated - like Tuesday is the "monthly chore", and the monthly chore is broken down into each week of the month, and then the "yearly chore" is done on monthly chore day of week 4?  Gah!!  I'm sure this would be easy as pie...once I got into the routine, but that's exactly my problem.  Getting into a routine.  If I'm honest with myself, Imma gonna need lots more simple than this.  

Here's an interesting one:

This one was probably my favourite - tied closely with the very first pic in this post (the "Home Ec" one).  With a few tweaks, either could work for me.  (ie. We don't drink coffee much, therefore do not need to clean the coffeemaker every week - although, come to think of it, I've never cleaned that coffeemaker!)  They're both more my speed, having a list of things that need to be done generally throughout the week, month, season/year, and then I get to assign each item a day depending on what's going on in my week.  I'd have to be careful though, that the monthly, 3-6 monthly and yearly things actually get done.  If it's not scheduled in somewhere, I will likely....wait...not likely, I will forget about it.

But there were more - many more of them.  I made notes on several other approaches to housecleaning, and so in addition to my pinterest board, I have pages of notes I took on good ideas or tips that I could use, which only added to my overwhelm-ed-ness.  I put all of this down 3 weeks ago and haven't looked at it since.

But I've thought about it, every time I did the dishes or put in a load of laundry.  It's time, I think, to buckle down and be more intentional about the domestic arts.

Here's what I'm thinking I'll do:

1. Start by compiling a list of the chores I know I need to do in my house.
2. Apply them to one of these schedules that I like.

Start cleaning!

Anyone have any time-honoured, tested and true blue routine/schedule they'd like to share?  I'm up for anything right now!

September 17, 2016

I’m finding myself drawn to minimalist living these days – not that I’m a minimalist by any stretch, good gracious no.  I can’t afford it.  But I am attracted to simple living and have been for a while.  My interest originally stemmed years ago, from reading Fr. Thomas Dubay’s book, Happy Are You Poor.   I was convicted by it and began de-cluttering the extraneous-ness going on in our lives.  I asked myself why I was keeping
June 10, 2016
The following is a post written by monthly contributor Alexa.  

It’s hard to live in the present when your future seems so uncertain, and it’s also hard to live in the present when your future seems an endless routine. Let’s be honest, it’s hard to live in the present no matter what state of life you may be in.  

June 5, 2016

There’s been a lot of hype about an ape lately – Gary or Terrence, no Harambe the Gorilla.  Last week the agitated400+ pound male gorilla at the Cincinnati zoo got hold of a toddler who had breeched all the safeties and fallen into the gorilla enclosure – dragging the little one through a channel of water by his limbs.  It’s an extraordinarily frightening video, watching the ape pausing, dragging, pausing, and in between the screaming fits of the little boy his mother can be clearly heard saying from the gallery “Mama’s here baby, mama’s here!”  The zoo shot the animal to save the life of the toddler, realizing very quickly that doing anything but would likely have resulted in the death of the child.  And many like me watching the spectacle online, sensing the extreme danger and unpredictability of the situation, audibly sighed in relief. 

May 28, 2016

We’ve had company staying for the last couple of days and when this happens, I sometimes feel guilty since I can’t get anything done around the house.  Laundry piles up, the carpets and floors don’t get swept or vacuumed, and the sticky stuff in the fridge doesn’t get cleaned out.  When people are visiting we ignore our chores, we relax, we eat, tour local sights, imbibe a little and reconnect. And it reminded me, this time around, about the importance of leisure and rest.  


What is a woman? What does it mean to be feminine? There is softness and hardness, compassion and ferocity. There is contentment and adventure, freedom and service. We're conundrums, especially to ourselves, but we all, in some way, possess beauty, creativity, intuition and love. We were made for love, and we are loved, cellulite and all. Here we aim to show every woman the richness and beauty of her own femininity and explore current issues relating to women in our world. We also wish to share our own experiences - exploring the joys and challenges of stay-at-home moms and single professionals and everyone in between. Welcome! So glad you're here!


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