Tag Archives: homekeeping
14 Feb

As I was reading this NYTimes article last night on the increasing amounts of dust in the world, I came across a mention of a book by Cheryl Mendelson:

I clicked the link which took me to the book’s Amazon page.  The reviews were overwhelmingly positive, with several people mentioning they enjoyed it as bedtime reading.  Hmm.  That piqued my interest.  I am one of those people who does enjoy housework to an extent and the calm, relaxed feeling that a comfortable and clean home brings.  I decided I would really like to get my hands on this book.  The cover was very familiar and I realized that my mother had given it to me years ago when I was living in New York.  Had it survived my most recent book-purgings?  I was very severe with the last one, getting rid of many, many volumes and I knew this was one I hadn’t cracked in years.  So, I wasn’t very hopeful as I went downstairs to look in the bookcase.

Yet there it was, laying peacefully on top of a stack of old Elle Decoration magazines I never will get rid of.  I settled comfortably on the couch for a bit of light reading…

The sections that interested me most were the topics of schedules for housecleaning and the order in which tasks should be completed.  I have my own routines for cleaning and thought it interesting that my days for certain things corresponded quite closely with the suggested routine of the old days.  Mine goes something like this:  Mondays are for a mini cleaning after the weekend and starting the laundry, a task that continues throughout the week, Tuesday is for ironing, Wednesdays I (supposedly) dust, Thursdays I grocery shop, Fridays I clean the house for the weekend and give the floors a more thorough cleaning…in fact I do laundry and vacuum every day; with a toddler around I find that a little at a time works best for me as I never have a spare few hours at a time to clean the house from top to bottom.  And I will admit that I employ a cleaning lady twice a month, a luxury for which I am truly grateful, as she is able to get the whole house clean at one time, and she does the bathrooms.  In between her visits, I try to keep up with daily vacuuming, damp mopping floors once or twice a week as needed, dusting and tidying up.  Let’s not pretend that my house is spotlessly clean, of course, but I’m not embarrassed to have anyone over most of the time.

This book is certainly more relevant to my life now that I’ve had a few more years of experience in keeping my own house, trying out different routines and figuring out what works for me.  It’s an evolving process and I’m glad I picked this book up again because it is inspiring to see where I could improve on a few things (more sweeping and dusting!) or try out some new methods.  I will be putting this book on my bedside table so I can work my way through it and see what new information I can pick up and perhaps even implement.

How about you?  Do you have housekeeping routines, and if so, how have you developed them so that they work for you?

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