January is the month that I typically do what I call “homekeeping.” To me homekeeping and other rituals are my way of taking care of my home and other necessary things that make life run smoothly.

I also call it homemaking. The word is synonymous to me.

Unsubscribing to emails?

One of the things I tend to do is “unsubscribe” to a lot of emails. So when I get any of the emails I’m tired of getting, I scroll to the bottom and click Unsubscribe.

It takes time to do, but it also takes time to open and/or delete them every time. I tend to get a lot of email, so this is necessary “homekeeping” in my book.

I need to clean out my two bedroom closets. But right now it’s pretty cold in there, so I keep putting it off.

Lately I’ve been lax about a lot of things around here.


I no longer keep to a cleaning schedule. I know the floor needs mopping. But I don’t let it bother me anymore. I’m basically the only person who sees these floors, so I can ignore it a little longer.

Same goes with cleaning out my refrigerator. Which for some odd reason I just hate to do. I’d much rather clean the toilet.

I seem to have this mental block when it comes to taking everything out of the refrigerator and cleaning the inside and then putting it all back. So I put that off too.

I need to take some boxes to the trash. But that is at the end of the block. So since it’s cold, I keep putting that off too.

I need to do a lot of things, or at least the person I use to be would say so. But it may not get done today. Or even tomorrow. Maybe that person is semi-retired.

Giving myself a break:

Or I’ve just come to the point in my life when I’m giving myself a break from what I use to think had to be done pronto.

The sky isn’t going to fall if I don’t clean the windows or scrub the bathtub. Funny how it’s taken me this long to figure that out.

How about you? Do you keep to a regular cleaning schedule?


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  1. I heard something years ago about making fridge cleaning somewhat easier. Get the laminated type placemats and put on the shelves. That way if just a minor spill happens it doesn’t run down onto other shelves. Taking a placemat out to wash off instead having several shelves to wash can be helpful. It doesn’t work with all areas of the fridge but it does help.

  2. I feel the same. I use to be a fussy housekeeker. I thought everything needed to be done on schedule or now. As I have gotten older I have relaxed a little. I have let things go I once would have never postponed or ignored. As long as clutter is put away, and dishes are done and my bed made, I can wait for another day to do other chores. I am so glad I am not the only one who is no longer a hard taskmaster to myself.

  3. I guess I’m fussy. I like to keep my house neat and clean every day. But that’s stressful. I give myself slack a little bit at time.

    I’m trying to declutter this month. I’m confused that you mentioned ‘housekeeping’ at the start of your post, and then wrote about all of the things you won’t do. Sort of like un-housekeeping. Believe me, I’d take that in New York minute!!

    Thanks, Brenda!


  4. I used to be so anal about my housework, and drove my husband crazy. Now that I am older I am still pretty tidy and clean, but not nearly as rigid as I used to be. I sometimes go a couple of weeks without scrubbing the floors or vacuuming. It is only me who sees it and I sometimes do not have a lot of energy like I used to.

  5. Me too. Hate cleaning the fridge. Used to have a cleaning schedule. Now I’m retired one would think I have time for all that stuff…and yes, I guess I do…but…does more get done?….Nah! I tidy up as needed but am no longer obsessive about dusting the bookshelves, the fireplace mantel, etc. I do that stuff when I feel like it. I am the boss. No one can fire me.

  6. The only thing I am strict about is laundry. I live alone, am 64 years old, still working, and if I don’t get my laundry done on Saturday morning, the whole week is in chaos. Last thing I want to do is laundry after a hard day at work. I love a clean house, but as long as it’s picked up, I’m good. I tend to “leave a trail” wherever I go. I love to sew, knit, spin yarn and am learning how to weave. A better way to spend my time.

  7. Nice to know that someone else is trying to use January to get a lot of the indoor things done. I no long
    Get things done in a speedy fashion
    but in more a step by step manner.
    Cleaning the refrigerator is one of my least favored tasks, but having it done boosts my spirits. Instead of
    taking Everything out like I used to
    I just do one shelf or drawer at a time.. I start with the top shelf and
    work my way down. Maybe I only
    work on one a day depending on
    how much time or energy I have.
    It isn’t such a monster task that
    way and is easier to keep up.
    There is something self satisfying
    about accomplishing this job
    and I have been known to go back
    and open the door a few times to admire how nice it looks.
    Thanks for this post, Brenda.

    1. Whenever I rearrange the room or something, I have to keep going and looking at it too. Guess it’s a source of pride or accomplishment.

  8. Homekeeping—that’s Chicago for keeping-one’s-self-INSIDE in January. But, I have started a one-drawer a day plan. Day two…and it’s success. Great part, if you miss a day—two drawers isn’t that daunting and on to the next. Grins!

  9. Enjoyed this post. Ihave a cleaning schedule, but it is not set in stone. If a day finds some thing fun to do , house work can wait.lol. I do have a place for every thing. And keep things put in place. So things stay tidy. I too, hate to clean refrigerator. Worse job in the house.

    1. I SO need to get those closets straightened out. But once I do, it won’t be long before they’re all messed up again. It’s my biggest source of storage.

  10. I also worry a lot less about doing certain things. I am 78 and some things are just a lot less important than they once were. Like you, no one sees my home but me. I also have medical issues. I was in hospital the first part of December for an upper GI bleed and had to have 2 units of blood. I still don’t feel up to par whatever that is. I also have lower back issues that just will not go away. There are some household chores that just wear me out so I put them off until they become necessary to do.
    I enjoy your blog very much Brenda and look forward to reading it each day.

  11. I can’t sweep and mop anymore (per my doctor), so my husband does this. He usually does it on Tuesdays because our youngest son and his boys come to visit/eat dinner with us that evening. However, it’s not a hard and fast “rule” that it MUST be done! Last week, I had a long doctor’s appointment plus lab work, and no cleaning was done. This week, it was very cold here, and we had a little snow (Northeast Texas); we decided that it was just too cold for anything except maybe cooking. I love your blog and have read it for several years; I remember when you first started it … and I do LOVE your pictures and your “furbaby” stories.

    1. You’ve got a reason not to have to sweep and mop, so don’t do it. I don’t think there have to be hard and fast rules about cleaning.

  12. I’ve lived 3 weeks in our new smaller, downsized home. Still overwhelmed by the amount of stuff to go through! I keep it somewhat picked up, but have not begun a cleaning routine yet. I have no idea where to begin! Definitely not a perfectionist as I once was…

  13. My priorities have changed as I have aged. Keeping a spotless house is much less important to me. As long as my house is relatively clean, I am fine. I am taking time to smell the roses.

    1. You’re so right. Taking time to smell the roses (and during summer, keeping those roses pretty) is much more important to me.

    2. And reading has become more important to me in my retirement years than cleaning house. When it gets so bad I cannot stand it anymore I hire my 17 yr old grandson who always needs money to do the heavy things my hubs and I can’t do anymore. I can keep up with the smaller things and do but not on a schedule! lol

  14. I think your approach for winter cleaning is fine, Brenda. It’s cold out there so you have to adapt. I don’t have a regular cleaning schedule. I keep the house in a general tidy order every day, which probably wouldn’t meet the standards for some but works for us. I do bigger jobs every two or three months, such as pulling out appliances and cleaning, so that it doesn’t get too gross. But I don’t have a regular schedule on when I do which chore.

    We always have some messes around that would upset some people. We do outdoorsy stuff and my husband has lots of hobbies so there is a lot of gear around that creates clutter. As long as it’s reasonably organized, I can deal with it. We are trying to do better at deciding where to store things so we don’t get frustrated when we need something and can’t find it. When the freezing weather hit last week, we agreed on where to place flashlights and other emergency items we might need in a power outage. The things are in prominent spots in the kitchen and living room, which doesn’t look so great, but we knew we wouldn’t have to dig around searching and that has been a relief.

  15. I used to keep a semi-regular cleaning schedule. But now, I’m retired…and I clean as it needs to be cleaned. Or…if company is coming, lol! My kitchen and bathrooms are always at the top of the list. But after that…life’s too short to worry about dusting. I have more important things to do! 😉

  16. I’m glad to know that it is not just me who is feeling this way. I used to be way ahead of everything and now I it just doesn’t seem important anymore. We have lost quite a few friends/family this past year, all sort of close together and around the holidays. It is like they were here yesterday and now they are gone today. My husband has and is experiencing some heart problems. He had an ablation right before Christmas, his blood pressure his extremely high and his dr’s are not agreeing on course of treatment. All of this has been a real wake up call for me and has jolted me into seriously changing my perspective and outlook on life. We are not promised tomorrow has taken on a whole new meaning for me and I am making great strides in just enjoying today and letting some of these tasks you mentioned just slide. Your topics are frequently just what I am needing on a given day!

  17. I don’t keep a regular cleaning schedule any more either. You are right, some of those things just aren’t as important as they used to be. Although from now until our warmer weather, I do try to do more in the house. So, that when Spring pops her pretty head, I can spend more time outside with my flowers.

  18. I try to do the floors and change the sheets every weekend. And take out ashes in the winter, which I do before the floors so I can vacuum around the fireplace. Other than that? The rest gets done as needed or when time allows. I keep up on laundry in the mornings before work and I’m a neat freak so the house is never too bad. The floors take the most abuse with the dogs, bringing in firewood, snow, etc.

  19. I don’t keep a strict schedule, but talking to some friends/neighbors recently, they said they clean their windows at least every two weeks. One does it once a week. We have lots of windows, and even the thought makes me tired. I let it go when I know it’s going to rain and ruin them anyway. All that work ruined!

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