Neat or Clean?

yellow rubber gloves Do you consider yourself more of a ‘neat nick’ or a ‘clean freak’? (Or maybe neither??) How about your hubbie or significant other? Does it cause friction in the harmony of your home? Well, if there is a desire to change, it is possible, and I will share an interesting book on the subject – but first, let’s start with Ginger: She was both. VERY MUCH SO….extremely neat, extremely clean….and while our home was certainly beautiful (looked like out of House Beautiful magazine), it was not comfortable, it was not a relaxing place to be….shoes off at the door, do not sit on the bed, linen closet decorated with fancy soaps and lacy paper liners, must scrub the tub with Ajax every day, wipe any containers before putting in fridge, wash all dishes by hand wearing Playtex yellow rubber gloves, etc, etc….”I love a clean house!”, she would say, and my dad came to like living that that too….Fast forward to the present. I am definitely a neat person, do not like clutter, and do like everything in its place…it gives me a sense of order and control when life gets crazy busy…Super clean? Not so much….don’t get me wrong, my home is clean enough, I have a cleaning lady twice a month, but my floors are not spotless, seek dust and ye shall find……Let’s face it, extreme of anything is not good and there is always something we can learn regardless of which side we fall on…which leads me to this book…..tidy book This was given to me as a gift recently, and the attraction for me was – no big surprise – related to clothes….how to “let go” of clothing that is cluttering your closet….well, yes, I know that! I preach that myself to friends and family……even so, this book gave me a different perspective that already has been helpful……
A very powerful focus of the book in helping people discard items (clothing is a major example) is to take each item in your hand and ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?”……..It might sound crazy, but it really works – you know the things you really love, and if you don’t love it, why let it clutter your closet? In applying this technique through spring/summer wardrobe inventory, I held in my hand a perfectly functional Banana Republic pencil skirt, black and white small dot print…fits perfectly, like new…NOTHING WRONG WITH IT….Does it spark joy?? Eh! No…It’s fine, but there ain’t no joy…Goodbye skirt, hello Revolve! (Hopefully will spark joy for someone else…) I won’t go deeper into her philosophy so you can enjoy this easy read yourself…..I will say that after taking a bag to Revolve and a bag to my daughter, I still had five trash bags full of discards (not all clothes)….and there is a lot more to go once I get Peter to participate…….

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  • This little book has been a game changer for me too…basic, sound, and thoughtful insight into discarding items that have outlived their usefulness to me but might add joy to someone else.
    “Thank you for your service”

  • Agree…..I also like clean, neat orderly, everything in It’s place but not a clean freak !!!!
    I just discarded a bunch of clothing items when I retunrd from my trip. Why? I had been working out of two closets. When I moved here 2 yrs ago I had a California closet built in my my master bed room…..much smaller space than I was used to. So I put many of my things ups stairs in the big walk in…..the reason we came to a condo was to down size….so now I realize that working out of two closetes is too much work and too much frustration. In order to simplifying my life ….I purged several items and have just the things I know I will use frequently not the things I look at and say well some day I’ll use that…..gave several things to someone very poor and unable to buy things for herself….feels good to have less stuff to think about and worry that I’m not using things..

  • I’m not obsessively clean, but it is nice to keep things somewhat orderly. Clutter and too much stuff weighs us down.

  • Speaking of being clean, I do have one thing that really annoys me – I keep a LARGE number of hand towels in the bathroom, on the counter, immediately adjacent to the sink bowl. Do people USE them? Oh, NO, they prefer my soggy, used towel! Yeeecchh! I have to TELL them, “Please take a fresh towel, just put it over to the side when you’re done.” And, they leave the toilet seat up! Even though it is DOWN when the go into the bathroom. What’s up with that? Do they not know that flushing the toilet with the seat up spews germs all over the bathroom? I’m thinking of posting a sign above the toilet!

    • That’s funny, Rita – I bet people don’t know they are supposed to use a fresh towel…maybe signs (cute, decorative ones of course) would help!


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