Scrub, scour, dust, wash, wipe, brush, vacuum and declutter

When family and friends used to visit

Time to face the facts–no one is coming over for Thanksgiving or Christmas during this covid year. No one will visit our little house in the woods all winter. We’ll be lucky if we entertain friends or family in the spring. Maybe, god forbid, until next summer. Or later (ominous music plays…)

The facts are such: I do not like to clean house down to the cobwebs in the basement on a regular basis. Our little house is usually neat and tidy and relatively clean, but it takes visitors to get me truly reaching every out-of-the-way nook and cranny. It takes visitors a’coming to scrub, scour, dust, wash, wipe, brush, vacuum, and declutter for maximum results.

So what’s to be done about this sad state of affairs?

It’s still too dark this early in the morning…the better to not see dust. πŸ™‚

Let’s think about this from a spiritual angle because, well, this is a 75 day spiritual committment.

What’s house cleaning have to do with spirituality?

The old saying goes: as within, so without. I might posit this statement can be expressed backwards as well: as without, so within.

What clutter and mess exists in our outer world mayhaps reflects a clutter and mess in our inner psyche.

Think how much better we feel when we’ve lugged boxes or bags of unused items to Goodwill or St. Vincent de Paul. It can sometimes feel like we’ve actually lost weight. Suggested book title–How to lose weight this holiday season: Declutter Your House.

From Christmas past. We no longer decorate a tree in our neck of the woods.

When we undertake deep-down cleaning it can feel like fresh air in our psyche. We’re dusting off emotions, scrubbing floors of our soul, wiping away cobwebs in our spirit. After a housecleaning blitz don’t we truly feel like we’re somehow cleaner? More expansive, spacious, encompassing? I know I do.

Therefore…drumroll…I am making another commitment. To deep-clean this house. To declutter yet again. To make the manger of our little house in the woods ready for Jesus’ birth come December 25th. (Or you could commit to doing this for your Higher Self by the New Year, if you do not celebrate Christmas.)

The visitor is the Holy.

Because I do NOT want to clean EVERY day, let’s make Christmas the goal. Anyone want to join me in some deep cleaning and decluttering for the Holy? (Playing Christmas music while cleaning is preferred–Run, Run, you cleaning Reindeer!)

Day 33 of a seventy-five day journey to connect more deeply with God, Spirit, Holy, Love…to explore β€œWhat the Heart Knows” during the waning days of 2020.

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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48 Responses to Scrub, scour, dust, wash, wipe, brush, vacuum and declutter

  1. Larissa says:

    Cleanliness is next to Godliness! The Holy decluttered my house for me a couple of years ago, but there are probably a few dust bunnies that I could evict from under the sofa πŸ™‚

    • Kathy says:

      I’m glad the Holy came and decluttered your place already, but those dust bunnies! Will they never stop coming? They just multiply like rabbits. I did a major session last December before my brother and his wife visited. And another minor-major session before we had dinner guests in August. But something must be done… a public commitment seems to be enough ooomph to actually get this going.

  2. Val Boyko says:

    Love this Kathy! Like you, I rely on visitors to get the house in order. A Holy decluttering sounds just right. πŸ’›

  3. Susan D. Durham says:

    This is so timely! (love the pictures, btw). I am a natural clean freak from the days of youth. I adore organization and clean surroundings, and so agree about what’s without reflects what’s within. But I, too, have laxed into not vacuuming and relying on dim mornings and evenings to fool me into thinking my digs are relatively dust-free. No one has been in my apt. since … hmmm? Long ago.

    So, yes, joining you in the cleaning commitment. There are two closets that need some serious decluttering and organization. Your inspiration has lit a spark! Thank you!

    As weird as everything is, it does seem to be a wonderful time for commitments, both new and refurbished. What blessings you offer, every day. 🧑

    • Kathy says:

      Smiling that you liked the house pictures. It seems a long time since one of the kids has sat around our kitchen table…or we’ve had a Christmas tree. I do know you are a natural clean freak–and you’ve gotten rid of so much over the years–so it will be interesting if you can find more to toss. Maybe this commitment thing isn’t too awful because it provides some structure in our covid days? Glad you’re joining in. Now I’ve just got to get motivated and decide if today is the day to start. πŸ™‚

  4. Carol says:

    If I were still in my house south of here, I would join you in your quest to deep clean. However, I am not, so I shall not have to suffer that punishment. Because punishment is what cleaning feels like to me, although I do love the results.

    • Kathy says:

      Carol, it DOES feel like punishment sometimes, doesn’t it? So hard to get motivated! I am hoping my change in perspective–plus being publicly accountable–will make it all easier somehow. This is one instance that you are lucky to be north of your home!

  5. jeffstroud says:

    I feel ya Kathy! Funny thing is slowly but surely I have been to declutter the apartment, a little bit at a time. I have of a habit of “saving” things, paper bags, class jars, you know reuse, recycle etc. yet I end up with too much, to many. Though many get used for storage, leftover dressings or sauces and so on.
    Plus with eight months of urology issues and recovery much of the cleaning, organizing was not done, plus the fact of maintenance in and out my bathroom for over a year cause dirt and dust and fumes to discourage regular cleaning…
    Holy will see us through the Holidays, whether we clean or not. The process does seem to let new energy through our homes and spirits seem to lift.
    Sending (((Hugs & Healing)))

    • Kathy says:

      Jeff, you are so right–the Holy will see us through the Holidays, whether we clean or not. In fact, I am not sure that the Holy thinks cleanliness is next to godliness, as mankind has proclaimed. You have been through a lot in the last year. It’s good that you are slowly decluttering and that your spirits are lifting. ((Hugs & healing back atcha, my friend!))

      • jeffstroud says:

        mankind is not always correct. It may have been when they motto was expressed and maybe in sense one to improve on during these days. I’m not sure cleanliness is exactly what we are ask to accomplish but more organization.

  6. Robin says:

    This is quite timely. I am the same way when it comes to cleaning. Line up a guest coming to visit, and the deep cleaning commences. Without guests, I haven’t been keeping things up to snuff. It will feel good to join in and get some of the cobwebs cleared (maybe it will clear them from my head, too). Thank you for the challenge. πŸ™‚

    • Kathy says:

      Yay, Robin! May the cobwebs clear from our heads, those sticky spiderwebs of thoughts and beliefs! I am so happy you’re enthusiastic. I think we need each other to get through this. I haven’t been able to start today, but am hoping tomorrow will suffice. πŸ™‚

  7. Barb says:

    Kathy, You are a master of analogy and metaphor! This is right up there with the pond post. We did a major house clean this week – Bob is probably a better cleaner than I am. He even did the wood blinds! We’ll be alone for the holidays, but we’re feeling pretty good about the deep clean. The spiritual cleansing is on-going.

    • Kathy says:

      Awww, Barb, I don’t know about a master–but it’s super FUN to play around in the fields of metaphor and analogy. So darn fun!! Hey, I think you need to hug Bob a big one–blind-cleaning can be a big job. Oh, I don’t like cleaning blinds. Do you think Bob would mind flying to Michigan and providing his services here? (Just kiddin’–I would NOT want anyone to be flying during these crazy times.)

  8. sherrysescape says:

    I love your attitude towards life.

  9. Ally Bean says:

    We usually clean like the dickens [get it?] the week of Thanksgiving, then kick back and enjoy December. As for a tree this year, I don’t know if we’ll put one up. Seems like we have the time, also seems like without guests in the house it might not be needed. Is it being too Scrooge-like if we don’t?

    • Kathy says:

      Clean like the dickens–LOVE IT! What a good idea–to do this the week of Thanksgiving. As to the tree dilemma, let me reassure you (as we have not put up a tree for at least ten years) that even Tiny Tim won’t mind your decision. As Tiny Timy will not be visiting this year! πŸ™‚

  10. Sarah Davis says:

    I woke up motivated on Sunday a couple of weeks ago and took care of a mess that had been bothering me all summer. It felt sooooo good to no longer feel that heavy, nagging burden and I love how space has opened up. As usual, it did not take that much time. I had made it a bigger chore than needed.

    • Kathy says:

      Now isn’t that the truth, Sarah? Our minds can make it into a massive chore–but it’s usually not anywhere near as bad as we think. I can put off vacuuming thinking it’s so awful. But it takes ten minutes and it’s easy. Our minds can blow things WAY out of proportion! Glad to hear that you opened some space in your world.

  11. Amanda-Lyn says:

    I despise cleaning and would rather play with the boys but once in awhile I go nuts and scrub everything…after reading this, I think it is definitely time for another scrubbing β™₯

  12. Stacy says:

    I do the same thing when visitors come, Kathy. I have already started, kind of. I washed windows and cleaned cobwebs from the ceiling fans. That’s something, right?


  13. Cleaning sprees are great as long as one has the energy but perhaps you will find in your old age, as I did, that one can live without a squeaky clean house. I sweep, keep the bathroom clean, keep the stove, fridge, counter and dishes clean but as far as worrying about getting rid of all the dust- well the dust sits in place until I have the drive and energy to wipe it all away.

    Age does have a way of changing one’s perspective of what constitutes a clean house. I sleep in my recliner in the den and no longer worry about changing sheets weekly.

    When children no longer come home and the way times have changed, trees and decorations also lose their appeal. And I don’t even feel guilty about not celebrating Christmas. Just hand out the money and everybody is happy. Sending out Christmas cards is the one thing that is important to me- just to let folks know that I love them and care about them.

    • Kathy says:

      Yvonne, I am sure you are right. Energy does seem to drop off as we get older. A squeaky clean house may be nice but it’s not imperative. Perhaps it’s a matter of what we’re comfortable with and what we have the energy to accomplish. And I think the kids leaving is what maybe stops some of the Christmas traditions. Glad to hear you enjoy sending out cards!

  14. Good luck with the deep cleaning! I am sure the visits will return soon enough. I hope they do. I feel the same actually. Our tiny house was done before the lockdown was enforced and it was impossible to have friends over. However, let us keep our head above water because things will improve as they do.

    • Kathy says:

      Markus and Micah, how big is your tiny house? Is it one of those teeny-tiny houses, or is it a big bigger? And seconding your thoughts about keeping our heads above water because that’s how we stay inspired and content during these times.

  15. aFrankAngle says:

    You had me thinking after reading the title as I quickly went to our inner cleaning – the declutters and cleansing of our soul and psyche. Whew …. a huge task, but a worthy one – and something that needs to happen. Just like the house, it doesn’t have to happen daily, but our inside reach a point where order needs to be restored. Well done, Kathy.

  16. Debbie says:

    It’s kind of hard cleaning when there’s nobody around but us, isn’t it? And yet, if we think about it, we’re worth cleaning for, too! Oh, maybe not the ‘deep cleaning’ we’d do if company was coming, but certainly the ‘lick and a promise’ that shows the Holy we’re trying.

    • Kathy says:

      Debbie, it’s awfully hard when we don’t have visitors coming. We can get a tad–lazy?–when it’s just us. But I agree with you that we’re worth cleaning for, too!

  17. Joanne says:

    Absolutely joining you in the decluttering spree, Kathy! I’ve already taken a car-load to St. Vincent de Paul’s a couple of weeks ago and there will be several more car loads. And playing Christmas music as I clean and declutter sounds like a great plan. πŸ™‚

  18. I’m not so fond of the cleaning, but I do love tidying up. Downstairs has already been tidied, as the Christmas decorations are up, but upstairs is another matter…

    • Kathy says:

      Sounds like we’re similar, Andrea. Tidying up is fine–it’s the deep down dirt that requires more effort. Hooray that your Christmas decorations are up. You are ahead of the game!

  19. Reggie says:

    I love your enthusiasm for cleaning, Kathy! I too find that the impending arrival of visitors often spurs me on to do some proper cleaning. Not that I don’t keep the house fairly neat and clean and tidy throughout the rest of the year, but knowing that family or friends are going to come and spend quality time with us just gives it an extra impetus. Apart from that, there are not enough hours in my day to get everything done that I need to get done, and sometimes the deep cleaning just has to wait. I love the idea of – ‘as without, so within’ – that’s exactly how I feel! It is sooo liberating, isn’t it?! When the house is clean and neat, it’s like you can breathe more easily again. πŸ™‚ Happy winter-cleaning, Kathy! πŸ˜€

    • Kathy says:

      Shhhh, Reggie, I really am *not* enthusiastic about cleaning–well, except maybe in this blog post! Totally agree with you how family and friends can provide just the right impetus to do some deep-down cleaning. And then it feels so marvelous. Today I started in on the basement (the unconscious of our psyche) and will work up, up, up over the next few weeks! (See it’s gonna take some time…)

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