There are many sayings to the effect of you can have happy children or a clean home but not both. I think there is some truth in that in a small way. Right now, I have gymnastics mats that have been made into a large track circling my kitchen counter and the children run “P.E classes” all day on and off complete with laps and push ups and sit ups. Eventually the mats will have to be cleaned up so I can mop my floor, but I can live with it for a few days. There is a 2000 piece puzzle on my dining room table that most likely will sit there for some days. However, the rest of the house is clean and tidy. The laundry is done and folded and put away. We have food in the refrigerator and I know what we are going to make for our meals.
This is for me. An ordered home that reflects beauty and peace mirrors how I feel inside. I am a very visual person, and therefore I find that for me, it is easier on me to keep my home clean and orderly for my own mental health. When everything is strewn everywhere and dirty, I cannot focus on anything else. I live here all day, and it has to reflect a certain something of myself and what we value as a family. We value love, and one way we love and nourish each other is to have a home that is livable, where food and clean clothes and cleanliness is apparent.
There has been some studies that suggest cluttered homes actually equate with depression and that clutter in and of itself can make us feel more anxious.
I have come to the conclusion after many years of homemaking, that the foundation of parenting (and homeschooling) is homemaking. It may be tiresome to do dishes day after day and know there will be more dishes tomorrow. It may be tiresome to wash, fold and put away five loads of laundry and know there will be more laundry tomorrow.
Yet, I think this is the foundation of a practice of serenity. This is one of the biggest spiritual practices we can find, if only we will slow down enough to take up the opportunity. Trying and doing cultivates the will. So, knowing how you want to tackle your home – what system works well for you, is important. Flylady has worked well for me, along with having a specific day to run errands so we have food and other necessities on hand. I use a home delivery service for eggs, honey, organic produce and organic dairy; Amazon Prime and Costco helps keep my pantry stocked; and I am trying a meat CSA that delivers about every six weeks in order to keep everything stocked and on hand. Sometimes it is not in my nature to be organized (except for school work for some reason!) and I have to work hard to try and do and pass this on to our children, who will be running their own homes some day.
Share with me the homekeeping rhythms that you have established that give you peace.