DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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3 May 2016

Housework - a productive necessity

Without a doubt, our homes are the starting point many good things we'll experience. We all interpret "good things" differently. What I can't live without, you might turn away from. What you hold dear, I might find irrelevant. Even the way we use our homes is different but from that diversity comes opportunity, strength, complexity, sustainability, resilience, respect, generosity and the potential for many good things, and it all flows from home.

All the photos today where taken at my sister's home when I was there in March.

I used to be one of those people who didn't take the time to think about the significance of my home. I thought it was just a shell that held my possessions and where I slept. But as I changed the way I lived, I came to understand the importance of home and how it makes things possible. I'm not a perfectionist, in fact I think that mindset stops many things happening, but although I never aimed for perfection, what I have now in my home is exactly what I want and need to thrive.  Don't get me wrong, we don't live in a flash house in the best suburb. Our home is a 1980s brick slab in a rural town an hour's drive from our capital city. But it's quite here, we have plenty of room to grow grandchildren, chooks and food, we're surround by pine forest so the air is clean, we have family and friends close by, we have enough of everything we need, and the work we do here gives us good reason to smile when we wake every morning. We are fulfilled by our work, we are satisfied with enough, we are sustained by each other and our home.


Work is an essential part of life for all of us, even if we don't want it to be. I've never quite understood the people who've told me they don't like housework and therefore don't do it. I don't believe it. Not because I enjoy the work I do here but because of the mess and chaos that would result if you didn't do any housework. We all need to clean the floor, fridge, stove and bathrooms at some point. We all need clean clothes. We all have to eat and shop for food.  And if that is the case, doesn't it make sense to do the work that will give you the standard of life you want for yourself? Even if you hate housework, doing it is better than living in a house where no housework is done.


I think homemakers are broadly divided into two group. There are those who go out to work on a full or part-time basis and there are those who spend most of their time at home being productive, raising children, caring for loved ones or in retirement.  It doesn't matter which group you're in - if you fluff up your nest to make your home comfortable and productive, if you modify your home to support how you work there, if you use your home as a place where you relax and regroup, you'll be making the most it. Putting the time in to organise yourself and your home will provide you with a springboard from which to launch yourself, your paid workers and students every day. Everyone will be prepared for anything. It will also give the homemakers a sanctuary where children can grow, retirees can grow older and time spent fluffing the nest will be seen as a productive necessity rather than something to be endured or ignored. Rose has written an excellent series of realistic organisation threads on the forum that could help you. Day one is here.

If you feel this animosity towards housework, try to think of it as something you do to give yourself a clean, productive and beautiful place to live. Read Rose's threads too because they'll probably help you think differently about your housework. If you allow yourself to see beyond the work and experience instead what it gives you, it will be enriching every day and life changing in the long run.


31 comments:

  1. I have a schedule of deep cleaning that I do every weekend. I work a different area. But I clean as go daily. Working outside the home makes it hard to deep clean daily. I actually enjoy it!

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  2. Lovely post, your sisters home is beautiful :)x

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  3. I love that you are growing grandchildren at your place, Rhonda. I am growing a son and it's here, at home, where so much of that growth happens. Lovely words! Meg:)

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  4. Tricia's home is beautiful, it looks so cosy and I love all the coloured glass in the various windows.

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  5. Thank you for this post Rhonda. Frankly, your last paragraph where you mention "animosity towards housework " has struck a chord with me. You have hit the nail on the head for me personally. I could not quite understand the irritation I felt at being busy with my chores. The moodiness makes me sad. But, after spending the last two days in bed with bronchitis, I used that time to read through the forum as a Newbie. I felt encouraged by many comments and experiences written there. So today, first day up out of bed, I was determined to sort out my kitchen cupboards so my chores in the kitchen will flow nicely. (I enlisted the fresh, youthfullness of my daughter to help bend down and clear out the bottom racks) That's all I did today. Slowly does it. I have climbed into bed this evening, feeling chuffed with myself and feel satisfied. Accomplished!
    Back to the office tomorrow, but am looking forward to tackling the next big "organizing" chore of the Laundry area tomorrow evening.

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  6. Thank you for this lovely and encouraging post.

    Your sister's home is very nice and serene.

    Have a wonderful week ~ FlowerLady

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  7. You have expressed the art of homemaking so beautifully! It makes me proud to be a full-time, very committed homemaker. Thank you!

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  8. A good post, and one that I agree with. For me, especially as I age, the tension arises between finding time for writing, photography, etc.and keeping the house reasonably clean. Although my house is never as clean as I would like it to be, I have decided it is clean enough so that when guests come, they aren't secretly horrified ;)

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  9. Hi Rhonda,

    doesn't everyone want a 'clean, beautiful and productive place to live'? I think many have forgotten what that is, and therefore don't strive to create it - that's sad! Home just feels so comforting when it's orderly, clean and cosy. I loved seeing the photos of Tricia's beautiful home.

    Have a lovely day all, Madeleine.x

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  10. I must say that I, too, love your sister's house! It does indeed look like a well-lived in and comfy home.

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  11. Does your sister take house guests for respite from the world? I can see myself pottering in that kitchen, reading on the couch and feeling nurtured and recharged in that environment.
    That's all I want someone to care for me for a weekend.

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  12. I grew up with my Grandma and she taught us that housework was valuable and the contribution we made to the well being of our home meant success or failure for our home, so I viewed this as important work. We also learnt skills of home making at highschool, something that is missing from todays education. I would love to see people take a more oldfashioned look at life. thank you Rhonda for sharing your thoughts with us you are always a blessing from Judi.

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  13. "The Simple Home" just arrived today from its long journey over ocean and land! Home is indeed the center of my world; I cannot imagine not having home. Today I had lunch with girlfriends who are retired or semi-retired. One travels in an enormous travel home all year (she has three fireplaces in it -- imagine!); one has a beach house AND a lake house AND her home; and, the other is like me, sort of, we have our nests where we make kefir and bread and play in our flowers. Each life style works for the gals, but I can't imagine being so spread out in "home." I like the permanence of place. I want the sun coming through my bedroom windows and waking me each morning; and, the moon in the same place at night when I put my head down to rest. I appreciate the nonjudgmental acceptance that we all need home and that it is different for each of us. And, it is especially nice to know that home for me is okay as it is for me... and that I don't have to meet standards anyone else lives by.

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  14. This is lovely Rhonda, and thanks for the beautiful photos of Tricia's home. It's a home that really speaks to the very core of my being. I can imagine myself in that kitchen with that wood oven cooking something and a kettle on the top whispering companionable words to me.

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  15. At 72 I finally have a home just for me. It's been a long journey from a home with a husband and children, to the loss of a home and re establishing a new one to recently making my small apartment just right for me. I used Marie Kondo's method of how to let things go and keep just what I love. And now I have a welcoming comforting tidy home that is my pride and joy. My surroundings reflect who I am and bring me comfort every day.

    Thanks for your wise words.

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  16. I think I used to hate housework because I had no plan. Once I put a 4 week rotating chore list in place it became easy for me. I just needed to know what I had to accomplish each day and just do it. Having to figure out what needed to be done each morning just left me spinning my wheels and ultimately doing nothing unless it was so bad I could not stand it anymore.

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    1. I love the idea of a rotating chore list, Lana. Did you make it up yourself or find a list someone else had made up? I think that could be really helpful.

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  17. Another lovely post -- thank you, especially for including those of us who love our nests and work full-time outside the home.

    Your blog makes me want to do two things simultaneously: tidy/bake and relax with a good book and cup of tea. :)

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  18. What a wonderful post! Everyone has a different idea of "home" but I do hope they all feel the same wonderful sense of peace when they step through their front door. For me, I must have a tidy home with things in their proper places...chaos doesn't sit well with me at all. I love my little house and I get such joy out of it every single day. Thank you for these beautiful words, Rhonda. I can't wait to get back home!

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  19. I actually enjoy housework (for the most part) - and have ever since I was a young married woman! Keeping my house clean, pretty, welcoming and comfortable has always been one of my passions. Not to say that I don't get aggravated and frustrated by all the housework sometimes!

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  20. Oh Rhonda this post pulled at my heart strings. I'm a stay at home mother and housewife that has been overwhelmed lately. I do and do and do , and no one else seems to appreciate it. This post put perspective well needed into my day and heart. P.S. A little side note, your blog is what inspired me to start my own 3 years ago so thank you!

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  21. Just beautiful Rhonda ! (and Tricia) thank you! Leisa

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  22. I will admit that housework is not my favourite occupation but I do do it. You are right that we all have to find our own way of doing it and what works for me might be the wrong way for other people. I spent all day on Monday tidying and decluttering something that I do enjoy doing! I declutter quite often, doing a major one a couple of times a year I know that when the house feels cluttered, to me, housework feels ten times harder. Now I am off to clean the bathroom..........!

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  23. I loved to see the fanlights over tricias doors, I have always said all Australian homes should have these... Wonderful to see someone does have them.Sharlene

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  24. I actually got goosebumps from those pictures Tricia. It reminds me vividly of my Gran and my great Aunts houses! Beautiful!

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  25. I love Tricia's house and could see me living there. Tell me Rhonda does she have internet or cellphone access seeing she lives remotely?? Today I was thinking back to a time when we did not have those things as a world.

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  26. Rhonda, this is my first visit to your blog, and it looks like you have a very sensible approach to housework. I like to think of it as being grateful for our home and showing it some love!

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  27. Your sisters home looks so warm and cozy. I loved it

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  28. I love your home its really homely and stylish at the same time xxx

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  29. Thank you for the positive attitude towards housework. My husband and I have struggled with cleaning and keeping house more than anything else and we need to get it together now that we have a son who just started crawling. Having the baby has really changed the way I see our house.

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Thank you for your comment today. I love reading your opinions and thoughts. We have built up a wonderfully diverse community here that I'm very proud to be a part of.

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