Monday, 10 October 2011

How clean is your house?

There’s a great amount of media space devoted to having a clean and tidy home. We are bombarded and seduced with images of designer spaces with pristine interiors boasting the latest sleek furnishings and gadgetry. I’m no exception I love poring over interior design magazines and, deep down, I’m a frustrated make-over artist.
Cleanliness is next to godliness they say. I’ve had a love affair with the vacuum cleaner over many years. My children, when babies, were lulled to sleep by the familiar whirr of the motor and it’s had a vital presence in my life. By no means am I a neat freak. Despite all my efforts my home is not overly tidy though secretly I yearn for it to be so. It is clean but in order for it to be functional, inevitably, it becomes messy.
My home is lived-in so nothing that looks tidy at the outset stays that way. Another obstacle to my  style of home maintenance are my family. They don’t see the need for a place for everything and everything in its place. So…the sellotape will be on the book shelf, the kitchen scissors in the living room, piles of paper mushrooming on top of every clear space. Sometimes I’m as guilty as it can seem an arduous trip downstairs to replace the scissors. Mr Sheen and Mr Muscle are welcome at my home but they’d better not take up residence! 

Clean-a-thon : if cleaning were a sport then men would compete for it!
The only thing I truly hate is slovenliness – throwing dirty clothes on the bathroom floor (when there’s a basket nearby), a pile of unwashed dishes, unmade beds and unflushed toilets. These dispiriting chores  imply that you can’t be bothered to clear up after yourself and you’d rather leave it for someone else. Of course you can hire help but why can’t homes be self-cleaning like ovens?
Clean your mind
An immaculate home for me is a distant dream and I wouldn’t have the energy to make it a reality. It has nothing to do with affordability since money can buy all manner of perfection but more to do with comfort. To create and maintain a spotless home you have to be obsessive and have duster, broom, vaccum cleaner, squeegee and bleach at the ready. I’d rather clear my mental space.
That’s discomforting for someone who’s main aim is to make the people living there feel valued. My son recently broke a pane of glass in the living room window and, though I was none too pleased, I did manage to say that, to me, he is more important than the window.

People who strive for a perfect home can end up alienating their families through their endeavours. There are endless arguments when it comes to stains on carpets,  dirty finger marks on the paintwork, grease in the oven and scratches on the table. We often have a nice home to show off – the “ hey look what I’ve got “sort of mentality.
Keeping up with the Joneses’ is wearing to your body and spirit.
I can't look this gorgeous if I clean all day!
We were not put on this earth to clean! Indeed we are blessed if we have a home to call our own and clean. We have come here for a higher purpose and to achieve much more than bricks and mortar. Our home is not our mission statement though an unacceptably, dirty home is a reflection of our state of mind. Of course, once we clean up then there is some sort of mental refreshment so cleaning begets clarity.
We put in so much effort to our exterior environment but not so to our interior space – our minds, hearts and souls. These can be much neglected in a clean home.

The other issue is how we protect our space and I’m not talking burglar alarms here. Our home is our psychic space and we should guard it well against false friends and those who come to disturb our peace. Our home must be warm and welcoming so that we (or guests) never have to worry about creasing the cushions or spilling coffee on the carpet.
Don’t waste precious hours polishing and dusting if there’s life-changing work waiting.
On their deathbed no one ever cares about the state of the bathroom. 
When cleaning becomes a compulsion it’s the sign of a troubled soul.
When this happens…stand back…and put your soul on a spin cycle and hang it out to dry in the wind
By all means clean your home and design your life. You should know that respect is an important feature in your home as the dado rail. Love is the best décor and it comes in every colour.
There will be conflicts but they must be chiseled and sculpted with forgiveness and the cracks in realtionships plastered with kindness.
The question is not so much how clean is your home but how clean is your heart?

Instant cleanser





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