Jan 22, 2012

The feathered nest


Just think about the word.  It's two words:  house and work.  For many of us it calls to mind negative words like "routines" and "tasks" and "chores" and "drudgery."

But then I think of the phrase "feathering the nest."

It alludes to how birds (and it's probably the girl birds) who line their nest/home with feathers to create a comfortable and safe environment for their family.

Most of us have been blessed with a home that is warm, safe, dry and comfortable.  We have added furniture for seating, sleeping and eating; appliances to keep and prepare our food, wash and dry our clothes, and generally make our lives easier.  Even the most humble American home or apartment is palatial when compared to how most of the world lives.

If birds are happy just to methodically gather up feathers to cushion their nests, why do we view taking care of our homes as menial work to be avoided as long as possible, and then done under duress?

Don't get me wrong - I've often viewed it that way too.  And some tasks are not particularly pleasant, but if they're done regularly, they really aren't that gross or off-putting.

These thoughts went through my mind as I did a fairly deep cleaning of our bedroom and bathroom this week. (I have no idea if I'm in sync with FlyLady or not; I follow her general philosophy and do general surface cleaning regularly, and focus my efforts on various areas of the house in a somewhat regular rotation.)

On this particular day, I stripped the bed down to the mattress, tossed the mattress pad and blanket in the wash, rotated the mattress.  While the laundry was going, I let some bleach work its wonders on the shower grout, cleaned the bathroom and then hopped in the shower to finish wiping it down and wash my hair.  When the bedding was dry, I remade the bed and hung fresh towels.

All-told my efforts took about an hour.  When I was done, the bathroom sinks were shined and the toilet scrubbed (as they are each week); the baseboards were wiped down and all the shower crevices were bright and clean again, and the linens were all changed.  Vacuuming and mopping had been done just a few days prior, so I skipped it.

An hour to "feather my nest."  How can I view that as drudge work?

Happy cleaning,

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