I’ve been thinking, once more, how we all have almost limitless opportunities for useful employment at home, and for home improvement. I almost ceased writing on the subject lately because I felt it was so obvious, but as it is, there are still people who seem bent on thinking that unless you get a paycheck, you “just sit at home”.
The words “home improvement” usually bring to mind renovations or buying new furniture, and that is all undoubtedly very nice – however, we can all improve our homes without any strain on our budget. We can all clean more vigorously and put more thought and effort into our homes being neater and better arranged – I daresay no one is perfect in this regard. Nothing is so welcoming as cleanliness and lack of clutter, nor speaks so obviously of the homemaker’s pride in her home, however humble.
I’ve been in homes where furniture was sparse and the walls bare, but everything sparkling clean; and I’ve been in homes with fancy interior, but with an inch-thick layer of dust on all the expensive furniture. I found the first kind of home more welcoming, thanks to the obvious presence of a caring and devoted homemaker.
Of course, we can’t all keep perfectly clean homes, as we all have our own limitations, especially those of us who have little ones, and cookie crumbs and sticky fingers seem to get just about everywhere. But when you put an effort, it shows, and even if you can’t always keep up it is obvious that the home isn’t neglected, and you have the satisfaction of a job well done.
We’ve had a good deal of sandstorms and dusty rains here lately, and each time a layer of dust was left on the windows, and each time I cleaned (I still have to clean up after the last one). It seemed, perhaps, like futile work, but not so – cleaning was far easier since I didn’t let the dirt sink in.
To my delight, I’m discovering how a two-year-old can be pleasantly occupied by being given a dusting rag, or shown how to pull weeds, without any of it seeming like work at all. It’s so very nice to be able to convey the feeling of real usefulness to such a small child.
There are so many talents that can be pursued while making a home a more welcoming and interesting place to be. To name only a few, trying out new recipes, growing plants (whether in your garden, if you have one, or in pots), making things out of your own handiwork for decoration or for gifts. This, too, is very interesting and useful for little children to observe.
I know we all have periods of low energy and no motivation, and for such times, it’s good to keep a list of inspiring reading – books, websites, and blogs. Right now I have no internet at home, so I’m almost completely cut off from all the wonderful homemaking blogs out there, but I have the wonderful book “The Hidden Art of Homemaking”, by Edith Schaeffer, and some great quotes I printed out to keep. I highly recommend having your own notebook with inspiring quotes, which will lift you up when you don’t feel like there is a lot you can do.