Tuesday, September 30, 2014

CAED Day 19: The Art Of Cleaning

A perfectly kept house is the sign of a misspent life.  True statement and a great book by Mary Randolph Carter.

When I was a kid everyone, including me, thought I was a lazy slob because I hardly ever cleaned my room.  No one really took notice of the fact that the few times a year I did clean it, I did an extremely thorough job.  

Of course I know now that I wasn't lazy, I was a perfectionist exhibiting classic all or nothing behavior.  Unfortunately that pattern would follow me well into adulthood.  It took me decades to realize that I didn't have to move all the furniture every time I vacuumed or scrub grout lines with a toothbrush every time I cleaned a bathroom.

You can imagine what a relief it was when I finally figured out that just tidying up a room for five minutes is often the difference between total chaos and "not so bad" and that "not so bad" is good enough!

However, I still like to do that thorough cleaning just a couple of times a year.  So to give myself some extra motivation in tackling it, I usually combine it with some sort of decorating project.  In the case of my messy, cluttered hallway, I decided my project would be re-painting the art shelf Hippie helped me build and install a few years ago.

Before: My messy, cluttered but still very functional hallway.

I decided I wanted to try something different so I went with a bright orange color.  All it cost me was the price of a sample pot of paint and maybe an hour of total painting time.  

After: The newly painted bright orange shelf compliments my art work.

I had also treated myself to a couple of new hardcover books recently which helped motivate me to clean and reorganize my hall bookshelf.

You can never have enough bookshelves.

I found a new rug for the hallway as well but I didn't buy it just for me.

All the rugs in our house belong to our cat, Poe.

These few changes were enough to make clearing out cobwebs, wiping down baseboards and mopping the floor more rewarding.  And now I have a newly clean and organized hallway for my whole family to enjoy.  At least until we mess it up again.

After: My clean for now hallway.


  1. Love how your artwork is displayed along your hallway, & what a wonderful splash of orange for your art shelf!

    1. Thanks, Lisa. Choosing that bright orange shade was a bit of a risk for me but I think it worked out well.

    2. I'm thinking that pop of orange must make you smile each time you walk down your hall! : )

  2. Love it! Thanks for the fresh ideas!