“You look “very fancy”, my daughter said when she came home from school the other day. There I was, dressed in a skirt, top and cardigan, with my hair pulled back. A normal day, where I had gone to the car dealer, the library and the supermarket – nothing particularly exciting, but apparently I looked “very fancy”.
Made me wonder, have our expectations become so low that casual is now the norm, and anything that shows effort is labelled as fancy?
I love nothing more than to go into a home that is a little undone; it makes me feel comfortable, and, most of all, it feels as if people live there. But, taken too far, it can appear a little neglected, like our appearance…
Caring about ourselves, and where we live, is a self-taught lesson on the journey to happiness. It takes some effort to keep a home, and dress in a way that won’t get you stares from the people at the supermarket. (Maybe you have been ill, but does wearing your manky slippers out in public really make you feel better?).
Everyone wants to be comfortable, but there are times when it is nice to put a bit of effort into where we live. Whether we admit it or not, a cared for home makes everyone in it feel happier. Straightening pillows, putting flowers in a vase, folding laundry (and putting it away) are all signs that we care, and who doesn’t want to live in a place that feels cared for?
I admit, I have dust-bunnies almost permanently in my home; with a dog and a cat, vacuuming could become a twice-daily event, but it isn’t. Frankly, it is not my main priority. A fact that was lovingly pointed out by a dear friend who recently gave me a lint-roller as a present…
She, and I, both know that I justify the dust-bunnies in my home by knowing that my home is, overall, always reasonably tidy. Not perfect, or super-clean, but straightened. Lived in, but cared for.
I know, that life can become overwhelming, and that thinking about housework is one of the most depressing things on the planet, but unfortunately no magic fairy will fly in and do it for you.
Here are some ideas on caring for your home, while making it easy on yourself:
– Open the windows and doors as often as possible. A closed up home will smell stagnant and lifeless, no matter how clean it is. Spend a few hours just listening to the outdoor noises!
– Integrate laundry into your day, so that it is not such a chore. Most of it can be done while watching TV, sleeping, listening to music, cooking dinner etc.
– Make an effort to keep your main living rooms tidy (not perfect). Straighten them constantly, and remind the rest of your family to do the same. If they don’t, just gather all of their debris in a plastic bag and present it to them (nicely, of course).
– Wash floors, vacuum and mow the lawn as late as possible! This way you will be too tired to complain, and will wake up to a nice clean floor etc.
– Add life and energy to your home with flowers, plants and anything organic. Even a pile of (clean) rocks on a table will help.
Remember, it is not about keeping up appearances, it’s about showing that we care.