Securing a Reasonably Clean House: An Introduction – Simply Convivial

Have you yet discovered Auntie Leila at Like Mother, Like Daughter? She has a great series called The Reasonably Clean House. I have a weakness for reading articles and blog series that claim it is possible to have at least a semblance of order and cleanliness while homeschooling a brood. Keeping things clean does not come naturally to me, but I cannot shake the idea (try as I might) that it is an area I am to grow in, and that at least keeping things decent and presentable is possible.

I find that writing through things helps get the ideas sunk into my head, which in turn helps them actually get into my fingers. Plus, it brings an element of accountability as I can hardly write and publish on housekeeping and then turn a blind eye to my routines and my laundry pile. My plan is to go through Like Mother, Like Daughter’s Reasonably Clean House tutorial posts in 5 posts.

Series Contents

  1. Initial Steps & Secrets
  2. Zones
  3. More on Zones
  4. The Blitz
  5. Maintaining an Even Keel

How to Keep a Reasonably Clean House

It is always helpful to start by reminding oneself of the reasons you are doing what you are doing. I have spent some years, now a number of years ago, thinking that keeping up with the house was actually not an important thing, not a thing that really mattered, not something worth the time and effort necessary. Not surprisingly, I didn’t keep things very clean or tidy during those times, and it seemed an impossible effort to do so. I have been convinced otherwise. And it was only after that convincing that I began making progress, and the more I go on, the less impossible it becomes. I still have a long way to go, but the farther I get on, the more I actually start enjoying the process. Who could have guessed?

Listen to this post!

SO009: A Reasonably Clean House

In “A Reasonably Clean House,” speaking from and of her years of ups and downs, Leila gives us some reasons for cleaning:

“The sooner you embrace [your duties] the happier you will be.”


“Order is liberating. You can think about other things when your home is orderly.”


“You will be nicer to your children and your husband if you aren’t constantly irritated by the dirt and ‘background noise’ in your house.”


“You will be content with your things and finally conquer that vague ‘If only my house were perfect’ nagging feeling that makes you waste time and spiritual energy.”

Leila then defines “reasonably clean” as “one that has order, but doesn’t take all day to get there, and one we can whip into shape if we need to, as opposed to booming and busting.”

So “reasonably clean” is a personal, individual balance between not shirking one’s work, giving a good effort, and not being anxious or spending too much time on it (ha!). In other words, absolutely spotless is not our goal. Our goal is to apply ourselves evenly across our domain, not booming and busting (something I am always doing!) and not being uptight in one area while ignoring something equally important like meals or clean clothes or not-disgusting bathrooms. Leila’s series zeroes in on the basics and gives some great tips for making it happen and — most importantly — keeping it happening.

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