Recently I have found myself in a rut. Life has not been running its normal course and I find myself disoriented. For someone who preaches routines and rhythms, my life has not been a picture of either of those lately.
January was preparing to live in Phoenix for a month with Reuben’s grandpa. February found us in Phoenix, enjoying warmer weather. We kept as much of our routine there as possible, but remote work routine and home routine are nothing alike if we’re being honest. March was getting back into life here at home. However, this was thwarted by sickness all month long. Lord willing, we’re on the mend and life can return to a different normal.
On arriving home piles of random items cluttered my house and a suitcase still sits in my hallway waiting to be cleaned out. Note to future self - make sure the sunscreen is closed properly before flying or there will be lots of cleanup to do. Winter definitely has shown its ugly head and the cobwebs in my mind mimic those in my home.
While we were in Phoenix we watched quite a few episodes of the TV show Hoarders. I learned that things do not bring happiness. Sometimes we hold on to things because of emotional pain. Routine and order come first and then the ability to create comes next.
After watching one episode in particular, I decided to be diligent when I got home to get back into my routine. I vowed to be intentional about picking up piles and loading/unloading the dishwasher every morning and evening. Upon doing these little tasks I realized something. Sometimes, housework is a matter of choosing, of willing myself to complete tasks that seem mundane.
Since getting married, cooking, cleaning, washing and folding laundry, or even fixing my bed have at one point or another been overwhelming. I think you could have heard me say that I hated them in fact. So what have I done to learn to romanticize them?
In a book called The Joy of Housekeeping the author is writing about cooking and says, “Cooking can be fun, be creative, and bring satisfaction to you. Or it can become mere routine.” The same can be said of homemaking in general. Yes, there will be days when the routine or schedule takes over and that’s okay. However, learning to be creative with how you do the daily routines can bring so much joy.
Homemaking is not meaningless, empty tasks. This is sacred work.Madisun Gray
5 Things I do to Romanticize Household Chores
None of the little tweaks I do to make the tasks enjoyable are earth shattering. Most times the joy of homemaking comes from a conscious effort to enjoy the work before you. You can have as many routines as you want and still hate doing simple tasks around the house.
Over the last few years I’ve been learning to slow down, minimize the noise, and romanticize my own life.
So here’s my tips for romanticizing homemaking
1. Turn off social media.
Or get rid of it all together. Delete the apps, discontinue your account, or set timers. Whatever you need to do to manage your time on the apps, do it. There are so many voices swirling around that distract from how beautiful our own lives are. When on social media you are tempted to compare your life to others and discontentment creeps in. Instead of watching the popular ASMR videos, listen to the sounds of your own life. Tune into your own surroundings instead of everyone else’s. Your life is more magical than you know.
2. Light a Candle
Light a candle in the first hours of the morning and when the sun goes down at night. Keeping the lighting in your home cozy brings a sense of calm. When everything around you is bright with fluorescent lights and screens, it can be hard to settle down and relax your mind and body.
3. Turn on some music.
Music brings joy and makes even the most everyday task enjoyable. Sing and dance your way through your house. It’s therapy.
4. Minimize the clutter
Keep less things in your home so keeping your home is less stressful. Less things to manage means less cleanup and keeping on top of clutter. A simple home is far less overwhelming. Remember this too, simplicity can be different for different people. Simply and minimize what makes sense to you. When your home is simple a 10-20 minute clean up in the middle of the day can actually be refreshing rather than overwhelming.
5. Stop the guilt.
I’m learning to stop feeling guilty for and living out of my past mistakes as a homemaker. Instead I want to live out of what I want my future to look like. This may be easier said than done, but is worth it. When my why is because I failed in the past, feelings of guilt and shame overtake me. I encourage you to enjoy homemaking and revel in the joy it brings us. Take time to write down your why so on the days when struggles persist you remember why this homemaking gig is important to you.
“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”Ecclesiastes 9:10
King Solomon had a pretty good idea of what the purpose of life was about. If you find yourself fixing your bed or picking up dog poop or changing the umpteenth diaper for the day, do it with everything you’ve got. Find joy in the simple daily tasks of life.