Whether it’s the in-laws coming or a special occasion or meeting the future son-in-law, cleaning house for company is guaranteed to send modern 21st century women into a tailspin of anxiety and depression.
It reminds me of those Internet memes….This is what I think I do, this is what my friends think I do, this is what… You get the picture. Maintaining a clean or even an orderly house with technology or help is definitely a challenge in the 21st century. And thanks to the feminist movement and its “enforcers” most women are left without help amidst the guilt of trying to be both homemaker and career woman.
So what’s a girl to do?
Several months back while search the Kindle book store I ran across a little book by Marie Kondo called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.
It definitely is life changing. I’ve spent my entire life (half a century) under the burden and guilt of trying to maintain an orderly house when I’m NOT an orderly or organized person. Let’s face it…housework is mind-numbingly boring, not to mention backbreaking hard. It’s also mundane and repetitive, NOT the way I want to spend my days or weekends.
So imagine the sheer delight of finding a way to have my cake and eat it, too. This little book changes the way women think about cleaning and organizing, dismissing all the so-called “rules” as unworkable myths and moving on to give an easy, workable solution to the age old problem of juggling life and housework.
What ‘s also remarkable is the “extra” time I’ve found as I work through the process which has become noticeable to all my friends. Not how clean my house is, but how free the rest of my life is. Now they’re reading the book. My daughters-in-law and I enjoy (yes, I said enjoy) sharing with each other what we’ve done. Imagine showing off closets and drawers that have stayed neat for months with little or no effort!
I know…I would have laughed in your face if you’d told me this time last year I would be an “organized homemaker and proud of it.” But I am and if I can do it, so can you.
The best thing about this life style change? It’s super easy. Let me give you a small example.
We had company coming – the kind where you wish you could afford to hire a maid because you really want everything sparking—and I was in a panic trying to get everything cleaned while still teaching school during Homecoming week. Then I remembered: what is the purpose of my home? To be squeaky clean? No! The purpose of my home is a refuge, a place where people could relax and escape the pressures of the world.
Instantly, all the things I felt “needed” to be cleaned melted away, along with the stress and guilt. I focused on making the place a refuge, finished cleaning without becoming exhausted, and we had a wonderful weekend and no one noticed the baseboards or cobwebs. (smirk)
Poets have written reams about the way to a woman’s heart. Flowers, candle light dinners, chocolate, diamonds, romantic encounters, etc. Yet, these all pale in comparison to the true way to a woman’s heart: a self-cleaning house!
There is nothing more mind-numbingly boring than housework. Oh, I have friends that take pleasure and pride in keeping their homes spotless and beautiful; and while I like a clean house, the repetitive effort needed to keep it spotless seems pointless to me. While technology produces cutting edge products for the office and entertainment, no serious attention has been given to making housework easier. We have more efficient vacuum cleaners and mops, but one still has to stoop to do either chore; and bathrooms are the worst places to clean in the entire house.
Until now. I’ve fallen in love with the elegant design, the clean look: no dirty tanks to crack, no ugly pedestal with nooks and crannies to catch and hold filth. Ah, the sheer beauty of its multistage self-cleaning regimen that requires I do nothing! No abrasive, smelly cleaners. No ugly brushes, no ring around the collar!
Japan is the land of techno marvels light years ahead of the U.S. and in terms of making life easier for housewives they have outdone themselves with the Washlet, a series of self-cleaning toilets. With a unique sense of style and flair, the Japanese turn an uncomfortable aspect of human life into something pleasurable.
My question is this: Why is the U.S. so far behind in creating elegant, useful and affordable toilets that can clean themselves? We have the technology. We can rebuild them. And advertising would have customers lining up by the droves. Maybe there’s still a bit of chauvinism in the technology field. Maybe women are still enamored with having maids. Maybe Americans haven’t realized that housework is meant to be shared and what makes life easy, also makes life pleasurable.
Meanwhile, I’m saving my dollars and for my next anniversary I’m asking for an international order: my very own self-cleaning toilet!