Friday, January 6, 2012

Secret to a clean house

There is one, right? A secret to a clean house?

I think most of us are sure that there is, indeed, a secret that we just haven't figured out. When my first baby turned one, I set out to discover that secret.

Image Source here
It started on the internet. I read blog after blog with all kinds of tips and tricks to keeping a clean house. I tried many with no lasting success. So, I got serious. I marched right into my tiny town library and checked out a book, "The Ultimate Career: The Art of Homemaking for Today," by the cutest little lady, Daryl Hoole.

I read that book and set my mind to follow through with Daryl's advice. My favorite of all her secrets? Clutter attracts clutter. (Read a great synopsis of her book here.)

But, I want to stop there with the cleaning advice, because really you all know I'm not qualified for or interested in cleaning advice.

I want to point out the true secret to a clean house.

It was after my first daughter turned one year old that I started to have the energy and desire to clean my tiny apartment.

See, the first year after my babies are born is a hard, hard year. Not only do I insist on nursing at whatever cost to myself, I am exhausted, paranoid, anxious, depressed and insanely lonely. I barricade myself in my house, too overwhelmed with the thought of going anywhere. (Add to that the fact that with baby #1, my car was covered in 2 feet of snow every morning from October to June.) Cleaning is the absolute last thing I want to do during that time.

After baby #2 and fourteen months, I am finally feeling that spark of motivation. I am actually starting to regain interest in homemaking, but with more perspective this time around. Before, a clean house was spotless with only a few toys out at a time. Now, a clean home looks like this:

Haha. Seeing this pic makes me laugh. It's true, though. It's clean underneath the clutter. I mean, come on, humans live here. It's not a children's museum. And this is my definition of clean, anyway. We all have our own.

So, what's the secret to a clean house? You feeling like you. This is the constant battle for so many women. I don't really know what the answer is for each person, since we're all going through different trials at different times. But, I do know that if you start somewhere, even if it's just going to the doctor or talking to a friend or writing a blog (so therapeutic), you'll find your vivacious self eventually. I know you're in there.

So, here's to healing.


  1. When I got married I swore I was going to "keep" the best house...never dirty and ever sparkling:) Well 15 years later my husband thinks u keep the best house...considering how his Mother "kept" house thus is very true!!;) lol. It's a win, win for both of us:)

  2. I just found your blog and I think I am in love :) No actually I think I'm just one perfectly clean/organized/crafted blog away from stabbing my computer screen. Thanks for the reality and stopping me from thinking I'm the only one who has a 'real' house!

  3. Before kids my husband said 'if you stay home the house SHOULD be clean. I mean your home all day.' Then we had kids, and then he had a sick day, then he apologized. Now he says anytime I clean even the slightest. "Thank you so much for all your hard work." Perspective. Glad to see your home joined the "normal" ranks again. :)

  4. My house is clean if the kitchen is clean. Sometimes I'll ask to go out to dinner just so it can stay cleaner a couple more hrs. Everything else can be wiped down with a Clorox wipe and be good for a couple of days. No ever visits so its like I need to be afraid of my own germs. I totally get the depression thing. I have to keep an eye on mine to avoid medication.

  5. Bec, I really really needed this. As you know, I'm coming up on week 6 post birth of the twins. 4 kids. 2 infants. constant chaos. I tried cleaning the other day to prep for the bishoprich coming to see us. Our bedroom became the "dump all" and I just got back to it today. the living room suffered greatly for the bedroom to become clean(er). It really is a never ending battle, along with the baby blues.

  6. Haha "clean underneath the clutter", I feel like this sometimes! Love your blog, makes me smile every time!

  7. You know we really need to start a linky...What my house REALLY looks like!! Becky your house is way cleaner than mine...Im not even sure how clean mine is under the clutter!

  8. That's exactly right! Clean underneath the clutter is so true. AND there IS a difference between cluttery and dirty. :)

  9. My house is neither clean nor uncluttered but I did get the kitchen 3/4 done the other day and I tackled the junk mail pile and Christmas is put away. So that helps. Yet here I sit reading blogs! Clutter makes me crazy but I'm also tired and when the baby rests I need some "me" time too. I don't want to sit here in it - I want to get out. See friends, run errands by myself, whatever, but running away doesn't make it better either. I just tackle what I can when I can. The baby is seven months, and I think it's true the first year is the hardest, and the pregnancy was also! Thanks for your honesty and inspiration. :)

  10. The secret here is to move often or have your house on the market - forevah ;)
    My kids have moved so many times, they know to just put stuff away - poor things.
    Tortured childhoods xxx

  11. Becky,
    You are consistent - Your bedroom always looked like the picture when you were growing up but we still loved you even when we had to search the clutter to find you. Your mom and I do love your blog and we love you too.

    PS Wish you would have discovered this when you were 14. Give your sweetheart and the kids a hug for us