Having our house on the market has made me aware of both how easy and how difficult it is to keep a clean house. Because I was so busy trying to purge and get my stuff put away and the house show-ready within a short time, I opted to pay a cleaning service to come in for a deep clean so I could take that off my plate. I'm glad I did. The house sparkled after they left!
Having it super-clean gave me incentive to keep it clean. If I was going to be gone all morning, I was careful to leave the house ready -- beds made and smoothed, toys put away, socks in the hamper, dishes put away, sinks wiped out. It looked great. And when I came back home after a hectic day out, it was so calming to come home to order.
"I can do this all time time," I thought. "Why don't I?"
The whys became more apparent to me as the days/weeks stretched on before me. Running around to get everything "just so" in the morning caused me to run late. In the evening rush to get homework done and dinner prepared and served, I didn't always feel like cleaning up right away, or putting away that load of laundry that I had washed earlier in the day.
So while the house is clean and organized, it's slipped back into normal. We had some showings last weekend, and if someone wants to come anytime this week or over the weekend, I'll whip it into shape again. But for now, we are going with "lived-in comfortable" chic. It's a look that I'm comfortable with.
However, I have learned some things: I've learned that it is beneficial to take a little bit of time in the evening and a little bit of time in the morning to put the house into order. I've also learned that having it super-clean is a motivator in itself, and I'm seriously considering adding a housekeeper into the budget to come once or twice a month.
But the other thing that I've learned that I hope I will adopt is to occasionally take a look at your house through the eyes of a stranger and to do something about it, so that you can enjoy it. For example, we've had a smoke detector hanging from its wires for years right in our entry hall, because the clips broke at some point when we tried to turn it off. It took $15 and 20 minutes to put a new one in. Why didn't we do it sooner?
But I've also learned that I'm not ever going to be housekeeper of the year. And that I don't think that I want to be. Recently I was having dinner with some friends, and all 3 of the other women said that they vacuum every day. One of them vacuums her sofa every day (and I've seen it after dropping in!!). Their homes are show-ready all the time, even though they aren't trying to sell it.
So what about you? Do you have any housekeeping secrets to share that give you peace?