I have this love/hate relationship with my house. It's small, but it's ours. It doesn't take much, though, to get me started on a list of its flaws.
My husband developed the flu at the first of the year (the kind of flu NOT covered by the shot), so my son and I waged war on the germs by cleaning the house from top to bottom. I was thrilled with how clean things looked and felt. I wanted things to stay this way, so we've started a weekly cleaning routine, trying to stay on top of clutter and piles and to take care of some areas where we've done some renovations lately that we want to keep nice. We each have our tasks from dusting and mopping the floors to cleaning crumbs off the stove top to dusting and vacuuming.
I've also tried to tackle larger projects in smaller bits. Instead of trying to do everything in one Saturday (making everyone grumpy about losing the whole day and failing to get everything done anyway), I'm trying to pick one piece and assign it to a week. Like this past weekend, my son and I worked on his closet, emptying my stuff out of it to open up space for his stuff as he has gotten older, and moving his stuff into it. Is his room perfect? Hardly! But we are a little bit closer. Next weekend, the extra task is mine and mine alone - the boys can have the day off after we finish our regular cleaning routine.
After a month of this, I noticed something I didn't expect.
It's made me more grateful for our home.
It feels like a privilege to care for it week after week. It feels like OURS when we work on making it look nice together. I am hoping our weekly care and cleaning as well as future improvement projects will help me continue to make peace with our small house - to see it as a gift to use for our family and to show hospitality to others.