Monday, April 27, 2009

Spring Cleaning

I like to keep my house fairly tidy but as far as cleaning goes, I do a really good job in the spring and fall but that is about the extent of it! Of course I wash dishes, do laundry, pick up the food from under the highchair, wipe down counter tops and bathrooms from time to time, but for the most part we only do spring and fall cleaning.

I was thinking about this the other day after reading an article about where Spring Cleaning came from. Apparently people would keep things tidy and wipe down dishes after meals but actual cleaning was saved for one day at the beginning of spring. They would take everything outside to clean and air out. Since many homes used fireplaces for heat you can imagine the kind of dirt and smell that would collect on furnishings over a long winter! How different that is from today where people feel that their homes must be immaculate all of the time!

After reading some surveys on facebook and talking with friends the other day, and I have concluded that we have done ourselves a disservice. I can't tell you how many friends I have who suffer with Obsessive Compulsive tendencies, with feelings of guilt, or with feeling like they can't have friends over at the drop of a hat because of how dirty they think their homes are.

There is also this to be considered: Are we doing our children a disservice by raising them in practically sterile environments? I have heard it said, "A little dirt never hurt anyone." In fact having a little dirt around actually helps us build up our resistance to disease!

However, probably the biggest thing to consider is: What are we giving up so that our homes can be immaculate? Is it our children, time with our spouses, doing something kind for someone else, time to sit and rejuvenate? At the end of life will it matter if you house was immaculate? I would argue no, but I would also argue that it will matter if you took time for your children, your spouse, to do something kind for someone else, and to take care of yourself. Make sure you are putting the big rocks into the jar first; the sand will fill in wherever room is left!

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