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I often talk about having a happy home. I think it's the most important part of homekeeping.
One thing I'm frequently asked about are the homes seen in magazines. Are they really as clean and perfect as they appear? The answer is definitely, NO! And in real life, they shouldn't be. Because perfect isn't comfortable. But we don't buy magazines to see other people's messes, we buy them to be inspired. And if the photos weren't beautiful and showed messes, our eyes would focus on the mess, rather than the home. So please don't beat yourself up if your home isn't always as clean as you'd like it to be, because the truth is that most homes never are.
I'm reading a mother's book from 1902 and have enjoyed discovering that the importance of a happy home has been around for a long while. In fact, I think this content is perfect advice for what I'm trying to convey.
Beautiful furniture on its own will not make rooms cheerful. The charm of a cozy home rests with its homemaker. If she is fortunate enough to have sunny rooms, her task is half done. In homes where the sun never shines, something must be done to make up for it. A sunless room should have bright and joyous color in its furnishings. The walls should be warmly tinted, and the curtains give a rosey glow to the light that passes through them. Ferns and shade loving plants may add cheer to the room and suggest quiet forest nooks.
An attractive room need not be too orderly. A book left lying on the table, a bit of needle-work on the window sill, an open piano, indicates the tastes and styles of those who live there, without suggesting that there is not a place for everything in that room.
There is such a thing as being too neat and nice to take comfort in everyday life, and this is anything but cheerful. And there is such a thing as being so disorderly and messy that comfort and cheer are impossible.
If a mom cannot rest while there is a fingermark on the paint or a spot on the window panes, she may have a neat home, but her tension will keep it from ever being cheerful.
A bird singing in the window, an aquarium on the table in some corner, plants growing and blooming, pets moving about as if at home, these give life and brightness to a home.
The microwave really needs a washing. This is what happens when children heat food until it explodes. I won't use cleaners that are full of chemicals because I don't want those fumes seeping into our food. Here's what I do instead.
I remove the tray and give it a wash in hot soapy water. (I love Mrs. Meyers dish soap!)
Next, I slice a lemon in half and squeeze it into a little microwave safe bowl of water.
I place it into the microwave and cook it on high for 4 minutes. The lemony water boils and steams.
When it stops, I don't open the door for 10 minutes, allowing that citrusy steam to loosen up the grime.
When I open the door, I wipe everything down with a clean cloth, and just like that, it's lemony clean.
I really enjoy this time of year when the focus is on cleaning and organizing. It's surprising what a difference a tidy home can make in your life. A clean home really is a happy home.
My mom used to drive me crazy when she was assigning chores. She'd go on and on about how beautiful the dishes were and how much she loved to clean and make those colors sparkle. I remember thinking, If you love it so much, why don't you do it?!
And although I won't profess to love cleaning, I have found lots of ways to make the most of it and I do love the results.
Coming this January, I'll be sharing some of my favorite homekeeping tips with you.
Here's a few to get you started:
Stay tuned, I'll be back soon with more tips.
....and with a little homekeeping, she'll change the world.
P.S. my love of Rit is personal. I was not paid to endorse their product.