Many years ago at the dawn of Spring when bright blue skies, billowy white clouds and warm, sunny days would appear after months and months of gray skies and snow-covered landscapes), my neighbor and friend Mark would announce the arrival of ‘baby kissing weather’. He never offered a definition, it was more a feeling and an energy. This pronouncement has always stayed with me.
Today in the Lowcountry, we are having a ‘baby kissing weather’ kind of day. It is a day when everything just looks greener, fresher and more beautiful. It is a day that invites you to be outdoors. And so, Mr. Ed announced he was going to mow the lawn.
I am always amazed by how good everything in the gardens look when he mows the lawn!
This one simple task (simple for me because he is pushing the lawn mover!) yields such enormous visual impact. The crispness of a newly mown lawn makes our garden beds appear well-groomed and so welcoming. So rather than spend hours and hours tending the beds, Mr. Ed pushes the lawn mower for an hour and voila! our home looks amazing!
It started me to thinking. What other tasks can yield such benefits? What other tasks would have positive visual impact?
I think there are six household tasks that will have an immediate and positive impact on your surroundings and quite possibly your mood.
1. Mow the lawn. I’ve already waxed poetic about the benefits of this task. And it is always better, I find, if I am not the one doing the mowing! This is a double benefit – no effort, awesome results!
2. Make your bed every morning. I cannot claim credit for this advice. This advice was given by a Navy Seal during his commencement remarks at the University of Texas.
3. Put the dishes in the dishwasher (or wash them by hand) before going to bed at night. I love starting the day with a fresh and clean kitchen sink and clutter free counter. I find my mind is clearer and I enjoy that first cup of morning coffee without distraction!
4. Swiffer (it’s a verb, right?) your floors and furniture. Mr. Ed and I are pet parents to two very furry Ragdoll cats and they shed, shed, shed their white fur throughout the house. The Swiffer products (not a paid endorsement) pick up everything little thing and make my home shine!
5. Vacuum your carpets. A must with the kitties running around. Get a good vacuum cleaner with strong suction. We could not afford a Dyson, so we purchased a Shark and love, love, love it (not a paid endorsement). It cleans so well, sometimes I am embarrassed by how much debris has been collected in the bin.
6. Sweep the front and back porches/decks. I get this from my grandmother. She would sweep the concrete front porch and the dirt back yard every day. Yes, I said dirt back yard. It was meticulous and as I recall, it made a huge difference in how things looked – neat, tidy and cared for.
I am not an efficiency or clutter expert. I find, though that when I eliminate the distractions of an unkempt lawn, an unmade bed, dirty dishes, dust bunnies, dust dander and crushed carpeting I am much more focused and relaxed. I enjoy my home a bit more. I am less concerned and stressed about the big things that still need doing.
When these tasks are complete I focus more on what’s right with my home, my gardens and myself and others than I do on what is wrong or undone. It is a bit liberating!
I digressed! I also wanted to share with you my new finds as I toured the gardens – while Mr. Ed was pushing that mower!
I hope it is ‘baby kissing weather’ where you live! And get to those tasks and free your spirit!