Confession – I am not a super tidy housekeeper, and my kids and I will likely never be featured in any magazine article titled “Best Dressed” anything. At home, we regularly wear clothes with holes in them – GASP! – and sometimes they have stains. Oh oh! But clothes feel so comfy right before they fall off your back, and new ones never seem to fit quite the way the old ones did.
Use it Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do
I have also been known to repair my favorite garden gloves with duct tape.
Hmmmm….looks like they might need a fresh layer of tape before spring…
I found out in fall that my eldest son had been repairing his favorite shoes the same way. Duct tape does not hold well on the bottom of wet shoes in a rain storm. The silly kid should have used a layer or two inside and out.
I use household items until they are truly beyond repair, and mend things as best as I am able. I’m willing pay extra for products that will last, but I also try to take care of even the “cheap” items. A penny saved is a penny earned.
House Cleaning – Only “as needed”
As Grace noted in her comment on my post about cleaning the shower, sometimes my house gets downright grimy.
Above: My messy shower, right before cleaning.
No matter how hard I try to keep my kitchen neat and wash dishes as I cook, I always end up with dirty dishes after a meal, and usually there’s some sort of project, or ferments, or experiment or produce (or all of the above) filling up my counter tops.
My mama always preferred to be out in the garden or in the kitchen cooking instead of cleaning. I’m afraid I inherited those tendencies from her. Every so often I do go through and deep clean, but I don’t have a regular schedule. If you’re looking for tips on how to have a lovely, lady-like home, I highly recommend visiting my friend, Jasmine, at Far Above Rubies, or Amy at Homestead Revival. They’re much better at that sort of thing.
Good, Clean Dirt
Not only do I not mind my dirt, I revel in it – just a bit. Homes that are super neat make me a little uncomfortable. I don’t take the dirt and grime level to “skanky” or “stinky”, but a little dust is not a cause for alarm. When bits start sticking to the bottom of my feet, it’s time to vacuum, but I purposely chose flooring that will hide dirt well. (No carpet, because that hides way too much dirt.)
I also believe in the concept of, as my son puts it, “good clean dirt”. I was talking with a friend of mine, and we both noted that small cuts and scrapes exposed to good, clean garden dirt seemed to heal faster than those exposed to household dust or wood shop dust. I haven’t been able to find an empirical data on this, but I suspect that some of the naturally occurring antibiotics in the soil that keep plants healthy can also form a symbiotic relationship with your body’s healing crew, too. (In case you are not aware, several pharmaceutical antibiotics, such as streptomycin, have been developed from soil antibiotics.) Please note I am talking about healthy soil from a known area, such as my organic garden. Soil may also harbor pathogens, especially if it’s contaminated with feces or chemicals such as industrial herbicides and pesticides, which destroy the naturally occurring ecosystem.
Germs Don’t Make You Sick
I think the Germ Theory of disease is largely bunk – it’s not the germ, it’s the terrain. If your body is healthy and well-nourished, you’re not very likely to get sick. Germs are simply opportunists, if you will, taking advantage of conditions which are favorable to their growth, scavenging off tissues that are already damaged. (Now there’s a pretty picture…) If you want to learn more you can research “Biological Terrain Versus the Germ Theory“.
Further, the “germs” and other microbes that are most likely to be found in my home are ones to which we have already been exposed. Better to have a population of relatively friendly and benign microbes than clear them all out and make room for nastier pathogens. Studies are now suggesting that there’s a link between overly clean homes and an increase in allergies. Better safe than sorry!
Dirt and Grime in My House?
Yep, a little.
So what do you think? How clean does your home need to be? Do you clean on a schedule, or “as needed”? Am I the only one who’ll admit to being messy? I can live with that, too.