A decluttering experiment

I’m conducting an experiment to see whether an uncluttered home is easier to keep clean and tidy.

My decluttering journey started because I was desperate to pursue my passions and creativity rather than tidying up and cleaning. I’m not interested in having a show home or become a perfect home maker, but using time wisely and reducing stress is important to me.

Why clean up for guests?

All my life I have only ever known the ‘frenzied tidying up for three hours’ method of preparing for guests, which mainly involved moving stuff from A to B and stuffing things in cupboards. My friends are not judgy or obsessed with cleaning, but when they come to my home I want to respect them by hosting in a clean tidy house. Three reasons I clean up for guests:

1 respect  

2 hygiene  

3 minimise stress

An uncluttered house is supposed to be easy to clean. When friends came to dinner last night I made a note of everything I felt I needed to do before they arrived (bear in mind my house is fairly uncluttered). I was suprised by the brevity of tasks:

1 quickly clean loos (I like them to be sparkling white)
2 empty and wash kitchen bins (built-in bins for recycling, compost, landfill)

That was it. No hoovering, picking up magazines, books, jackets, shoes, No puffing up cushions, hiding laundry, hurriedly washing up or clearing paperwork away. Everything was in its place and I had hoovered the day before (easy when there’s nothing to move off the floor).

Sisyphean housework or a delcuttered home?

My experiment shows that a decluttered home reduces the need to tidy up and clean. Further tweaks I will make include checking the sparkliness of the loos everyday and emptying the kitchen bins before they’re full. It’ll take 10 minutes. These will be two fewer things to do before guests arrive. My ultimate aim is to not have to do ANYTHING before guests arrive!

I’m looking for liberation from housework (but I’m not one of those people who can live in a dirty messy house though), so I’m clearing the excess stuff which reduces cleaning time.

My thoughts expand to thinking about decluttering and freeing women from the drudgery of housework. In The Second Sex (1949) Simone de Beauvoir writes “Few tasks are more like the torture of Sisyphus than housework, with its endless repetition, the clean becomes soiled, the soiled is made clean, over and over, day after day.”