In her book Dancing with Housework, Colleen Ciavola ’08 M.A. writes, “I would like to change your mind about seeing housework as a horror…and make it an instrument of living well and at peace.” She earned a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Immaculata and combined that knowledge with her sense of humor to offer these motivational and practical housekeeping tips.
- Accept your tendencies, whether you prefer a spotless home or are more laid back. Think about how much cleanliness suits you.
- Look at the time you want to spend cleaning and the housework you can tolerate doing.
- Plan which days you will do specific chores and how often—daily, weekly, biweekly, seasonally or annually. My weekly tasks include:
- Examining the refrigerator for ghosts of meals past and giving them a decent burial.
- Cleaning the bathroom and lifting out the stopper in the sink’s drain. Under it lives a blackness worthy of a Steven King novel. I scrub it out with bleach.
- Spend five minutes on “down and dirty” room cleanings. Do it in small chunks so it does not seem like misery unlimited.
- Choose one “room of emphasis” (ROE) to clean well every one or two weeks. Use a tchotchke to remind you which is the ROE and then move it to the next one in the rotation.
- Admire the clean area. Appreciate how it contributes to your feeling of well-being.
- Evaluate your cleaning plan periodically because there is no Goldilocks cleaning plan.