A housewifely day

This being another dark, rainy sort of day, nourishing the approaching summer and my salad boxes, I’m inside pretending to be useful, rather than lounging with a book in the hammock. Wait, it’s been so cold we didn’t even put that out yet!

Making jam and buttermilk bread.

Ironing my new shirt-to-be.

Pondering how to reach cobwebs at the top of the stairwell.

I don’t really like the words housewife or homemaker for whoever does the obvious assignments needed in a home and family, no matter how you organize them between yourselves or not. What else can we call it? Does it even need a label? And chores. I know I don’t exactly enjoy cleaning, but the word really emphasizes that feeling. I wonder if the dislike is simply the old brand of women’s labour that makes it not as interesting or important as our more high flying creative endeavours. Something which lowly creatures are made to do, subservient wives or slaves. But really, nobody enjoys a filthy house, so it doesn’t make sense. (of course those of you who actually love to clean won’t get what I’m talking about)

I’ve been making a list of mikro tasks to get some of those things done that I otherwise don’t get to, because I never finish the overall big ones before they begin to pile up from the other end again. You know, dusting on top of cabinets, that sort of thing. Or emptying one and making a box for donation of things untouched for 10 years. A room per week/day is simply too vague, because I sit down to rest too soon and all the while things explode around me.

So now I’ll spend some time, once in a while, focusing on the rare or once only tasks, the ones you can barely see when they’re done (who looks at the baseboards anyway) compared to ALL the floors having been cleaned. But the ones that keep nagging at the back of your mind, telling you that you’re not done. I just think so much better without clutter.


I’ve been off formal lists for a long time, and it’s worked really well, but these are items I tend to forget 3 seconds after I see them. I don’t have a proper calendar and I use my bullet journal less and less, I just go about things one after the other, or try to. Works a lot better than you might expect coming from a control freak with chronic stress.

Am I the only one who has to resort to all sorts of antics and trickery to get things done, because something more interesting is calling? Is the solution discipline or habit?

I’ll tell you later this week about one of the things that has been stealing my attention. 😉

12 thoughts on “A housewifely day

  1. I use lists all the time, especially to remind myself about the little, icky things you describe. I don’t need a list to remind me to weave or read or enjoy life but . . . weed that garden where the mosquitoes hang out? Yeah–the list helps. I get ridiculous satisfaction from deleting things from my list . . .

    1. Crossing things off is the BEST thing about lists.

      I tidied and wiped the dining table today as a mikroproject. So as I could cut some fabric for sewing handwoven shirts…

  2. definitely a list maker here–necessary! i *know* what has to be done, but sometimes there are so many steps, or things related, that i’ll forget–and crossing off is, i agree, a bit of accomplishment 😉

    1. I find that lists can stress me too much, I try to keep up, push myself to do ALL the things NOW. Especially if I put it on a calendar with deadlines.

      But for breaking into steps, it’s really great against overwhelm, so you don’t waste energy repeating the steps in your head to remember.

  3. Løsningen på hvad man skal gøre, har jeg desværre ikke fundet endnu. Men også i Uglebo er der så mange andre ting der er mere interessante end kampen mod nullermændene eller entropien. Jeg tror vanen er det bedste våben – og så en liste hængt et synligt sted, så man har fornøjelsen ved at se alle de udstregede opgaver.
    Måske burde du gøre det til en ugentlig tilbagevendende blog-ting med links og det hele – en ryd op-along for alle os rodehoveder 😉

  4. Normally, I am a HUGE list person- I make one or two or three a day, for chores or art or schoolwork. But now that my energy levels are, well, very unpredictable, I kind of give myself 2-3 tasks a day, which is a small enough number that it doesn’t need writing down (which many days is just another thing taking my energetic reservoir). And sometimes I need to “trick” myself into the tasks. You are not alone!

    And completely agree about housewifery- a fine term on its own, but carrying the baggage that doesn’t really honor what it requires. Making a home neat and cozy is a craft. And no one likes clutter. When I can, I take 10 minutes to declutter and it’s amazing how wonderful it feels.

    1. It’s mostly the gender thing in those expressions that I resent. Just as when people say that the man in the house “helps” with the cleaning or taking care of his own kids. Implying that it’s the job of the female, and he’s just graciously lending a hand. Shared house = shared responsibilities. These are family tasks regardless of how each family chooses to divide them. If one person does more of one thing, I’ll expect the other to do something else. Not the “both come home from day job and one of them has an extra job to do” scenario. And the other one shouldn’t need asking before picking up that broom, nor should they expect extraordinary praise for doing so.

  5. I use lists when I’m on a big cleaning bender … otherwise I just hope the household fairies take pity on me 😉 I do have a blackboard on which I write the most important tasks to be done … when I remember to write them there, that is!

    1. I just leave the broom leaning against the wall like that and somebody magically comes along to sweep the high ceilings + the others. Pretty neat trick, huh?

      Other than that, I do have to be the organizer, so some lists are happening. But it’s been interesting to do without them, because I get just as much done, I just fret less.

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