And another thing ...

I buy into housekeeping and organizing "systems" like some people latch onto fad diets. I've read every boo
Kathy Lilje
May 24, 2010

I buy into housekeeping and organizing "systems" like some people latch onto fad diets.

I've read every book I've ever seen on homemaking from the 1935 "Guide for the Happy Homemaker" to "Real Simple: The Organized Home."

I guess I'd rather read about cleaning than actually do it.

Books by Heloise, Peg Bracken, The Queen of Clean, Don Aslett and many others are on my bookshelves -- getting dusty.

Marla Cilley's Flylady on the Internet is the best system I've ever come across. Check it out at flylady.com. It really works.

If you do it.

I get all gung-ho for a couple of months and then one day -- nothing. I get home from work late, or friends drop in or there's a good flea market and my daily routine is no longer.

So I've developed a system for the months between my Flylady spurts of energy.

The Kathy Lilje System of At Least

Every day:

At least I make my bed

At least I load the dishwasher

At least I take everything out of the family room that doesn't belong there.

At least I dust that old dust magnet, the tiled hearth. Though I'll admit I sometimes do it with my sock -- while it's still on.

At least I clear off the dining room table -- no junk mail allowed.

At least I gather the trash and take it out.

At least I gather the laundry and fling it down the laundry chute.

At least I make some time to spend with my family.

Of all the "at leasts" this last one is the most important. There's no point in knocking yourself out to make a beautiful, shining home if you lose sight of for whom you are making it.

My husband had a heart attack last year. His brush with mortality made him realize how precious time with your loved ones is. He retired late last year and is spending his time doing -- well, whatever he feels like doing. Seems like a good plan to me.

While I'm still on the job, I, too, had a wake-up call with his heart attack. He told me to stop and think about what people would be saying about me after I was dead. Would I want to be remembered as someone who was fun to spend an afternoon with or someone who spent my afternoons polishing silver?

The choice is clear to me.

Let the good times roll. The house is clean enough.