I'm reading Don Asletts book "Is there Life After Housework" and I must say it has really motivated me. Not that I consider my house to be that messy but I can certainly use all the tips I can get when it comes to keeping things clean longer, so there's less tidying and heavy duty cleaning later. The biggest tip that has struck me thus far is that cutting down on clutter/stuff/junk will cut down on cleaning time. It seems so obvious and yet it's so easy to let useless things accumulate in our lives.
I am a huge proponant of getting rid of things that can't be used, are broken, or no longer fit. Reading his chapter on getting rid of junk however has reminded me there is still a lot of things in my house that I could stand to get rid of. My project today is to purge! (Between entertaining a toddler and caring for an infant that is, maybe I should call it my project for the week, that's slightly more realistic)
Every time I start throwing things out however I'm reminded of a cleaning incident when I was a teenager. My family had accumulated a lot of clothes. Some were out of style, (think 90's lace and shoulder pads) some were worn out, and some had been grown out of. It had literally been years since our basement laundry stash had been well sorted. I don't intend to air my family's dirty laundry, (yuck yuck) sorting through clothes just took a back burner.
Then one day (probably close to the church's rummage sale) my mother ever so kindly (under threats of removing television and phone privileges forever) asked my sister and I to sort through our clothes in the basement. Apparently we were taking too long because soon my mother came down to "help" us. She was none to pleased.
My mother would pick up an article of clothing and show it to the closest matched sibling and say, "Is it Yours? Does it fit? Do you wear it?" She did this quickly, far quicker than unmotivated teenage girls, and soon had a large pile of items that could be donated. The comical part was however the speed at which my mother asked the questions. We were hardly able to answer before the article of clothing was sorted into the appropriate pile. (Geez Mom, why bother asking?) Pretty soon however my sister and I started asking the exact same questions of each other, except we were doing it with obnoxious British accents. "Is it yours? Does it Fit? Do you wear it?" This was of course was a risky move, but then my mother began to laugh, and my sister and I began to laugh, we could hardly stop laughing. We finished the job speaking in high-flouting British accents in a fit of giggles. I've probably never had so much fun sorting clothes and probably never will.
"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones."
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(Picture taken from http://acobox.com/node/5541)