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Do you find cleaning your house a drag?
You're not alone! But we all know that a certain amount of cleaning is necessary to keep our home a healthy place, so it just needs to be done, doesn't it?
But how can you stop feeling so bad about that particular side of homekeeping? My answer is:
Do like the French!
I must confess: I have never liked scrubbing floors, toilets etc., or handling garbage. Some people quite enjoy it. I don't. I kind of like doing the dishes - that's more therapeutic and gives room for reflection, the way I see it - but the other stuff ... well, I used to find that more of a drag. That is: Until I learned how the French do it. Oh happy day! It was a revelation! It took away the stress of it for me, and I feel that it's my pleasurable duty to share it with you so you can finally be a peace with it, too. From this day forward you'll suffer from no more "cleaningfobia" (I don't even know if that's a word, but if it is, I've had it...)!
Here are the 3 simple rules I have learned from the French when it comes to keeping the house clean:
#1: The French don't look upon cleaning as another chore
The word "chore" implies that there is work to be done, right? And more work often means more stress, more obligations, and we don't want that. We want to have a good time, enjoy our house and spend our time doing the things we love.
Well, to the French, keeping a house nice for your family is to "faire le ménage", which can be translated with "make the household", and they see it as just part of the little things you do every day to keep the surroundings nice and enjoyable for all. It's included in the other little daily routines and not really a chore of its own. This mentality takes the stress out of it, I think, and here's another reason why:
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#2: The French keep it simple
The French usually don't have one whole day set aside for cleaning every week. Instead, they do the cleaning and tidying as they go along, like making the bed as soon as they have aired it in the morning, hanging clothes into the closet instead of letting them lie around, putting a book back on the shelf when they've finished reading it, putting the dishes in the dishwasher when they've finished a meal - you get the picture.
The French also don't have the same fixation about disinfecting all surfaces like many other Western nations do, but they like to keep things streamlined and organised. They might also sweep the floor with a broom instead of dragging the hoover out every time the floor needs a bit of cleaning up.
#3: The French don't clutter
Photo by Max Vakhtovych from Pexels
The French generally go for quality over quantity in all things, whether it's their wardrobe or their home, which means they have less things that need cleaning and dusting. A good excuse for doing some decluttering, I'd say! Besides, it's been scientifically proven that clutter is a cause for low-anxiety disorder, so there's also a medical reason for getting rid of some clutter in your home.
So if you have lots of children's toys lying around, piles of papers and books everywhere, an unmade bed, or anything else that is like an eye-sore to you in your home, I suggest that you start with assigning everything its own place and start putting them back where they belong after each time you've used them. A little bit of tidying "on the go" is so much better than having to spend hours clearing everything up once a week or so.
You might also want to consider sweeping your floors with a broom on a regular basis, rather than dragging the hoover out every time they need a bit of cleaning up. This is especially recommendable if you have wooden floors or other smooth surfaces that can easily be swept instead of hoovered or washed every time.
These habits are straightforward and easy to implement, and they'll save you time in the long run to do more fun things in your life. I suggest that you start doing this little by little and work it into your daily routines. It's far less time consuming than you'd think, and you could be on your way to a cleaner and more "chic" home in no time at all.