I have given this question a tremendous amount of thought... Seriously, odd amounts of ponderings. When I was a kid, my mom cleaned on Saturdays...which meant I cleaned on Saturdays. Over the years I've tried cleaning on Saturdays- all times, Monday mornings, Tuesday afternoons, Sunday nights, hardly ever on Thursdays and Friday mornings.
I explore cleaning...it's a thing … My quest has been long and deep
Cleaning re-boots our lives and un-muddles our homes. It creates a cozy, nourishing space to rest and play. Cleaning is even one of the 7 essentials for a healthy home. I can go on and on...you know I can. I've written about cleaning on this blog for 10 years! A kindly cleaned home is good for the soul. This I get, no question there is value of what cleaning does for our lives. But...
The when of cleaning...here are my discoveries from a life of cleaning as a practice...
Cleaning needs space. If I don't have a designated time and day to clean, cleaning gets put off and before I know it my house is muddled, dust bunnies run wild and I no longer have a cozy life. Having a rhythm to this practice of cleaning- creates a natural ease in your life. Cleaning needs space- consistent time just for cleaning...putting your life back in order.
Early Friday morning is my favorite time.
Each day of the week has a natural energy to it. It's like what farmers do when they plant with the moon's rhythms. There is a time to grow, to weed, to plant and a time to rest. The days of the week have a similar feel. Friday's has the energy of completion for the week, love and art. This is the perfect energy for cleaning. I get my home in order and I use cleaning as a lovely practice of love and artistic play. Super early Fridays morning is my absolutely my preferred space for home TLC
When I need my creativity to be ignited.
Cleaning jump starts my brain for writing and creating. If I want to write about cleaning, or give a talk on clutter, the best way to dig in is to start with cleaning. We get ideas when we shower, go on walks, cook etc. By getting out of our brain and into methodical physical movement, our brains relax and our creativity gets a kick start. Cleaning cleans my brain.
When I'm stressed, feeling ungrounded or don't know where to start... I clean.
Cleaning is the great de-stressor. Having my home in order makes me feel like my life is in order... When my home is messy...it's usually a sign my life is going in too many directions. Cleaning brings me back to center and relaxes my nervous system. When my thoughts are muddled, I organize my books and paper. I use cleaning as productive therapy.
For 2 hours.
Like all things, cleaning will take up whatever time I give it. I like two hours. By cleaning in a designated 2 hour block, my mind will stay clear and focused. I will get whatever needs done- done. And here is the bonus...by only giving myself 2 hours to clean, I focus more on prevention during the week so when I do clean I have less to do. Be firm with yourself- set a time boundary for your cleaning and then be super focused and present when you do clean. (shut off distractions)
After a big project or event, cleaning re-grounds me and re-boots my space. After a trip, work project, party... my home and life need to be cleaned up and put away before I move on. On the opposite side, I clean before I begin a project or have an event. I did extra cleaning before we had thanksgiving at our house. This type of cleaning is more like a project and event related vs weekly maintenance. Having a clean home helps you welcome people into your home---with less stress.
Did that help? Here is the thing. Cleaning is a gift or it is a burden. It supports you or depletes you. How you do your work has more to do with your attitude, habits and wisdom than it does the actual work. It is what we say it is.
Denise... traveler of life chores and dust bunnies