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For simplicity's sake: Clean the house the day BEFORE the party

Posted: Friday, Feb. 04, 2011

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Emily Achenbaum Harris

Hi, I'm Emily and this is my blog about career-questioning, minimalism-seeking, gardening, earth-saving, pregnancy, parenthood, and my pathological ability to make the same mistakes over and over again. See more at littlehousesouthernprairie. wordpress.com.

I’ve always loved to entertain, and have lots of parties and dinners. For years, the hours before people came over were crazy. Crazy! OH MY GOD! NOTHING DONE EVERYTHING WRONG! I knew I should have cleaned the day before, leaving plenty of wiggle room for cooking, miscellaneous errands and relaxing on the day of, but I never did it. This past year, I started doing the very thing I always knew I should have been doing. And having people over has been so much easier ever since.

So is the key to simplicity cleaning the day before a party? Well in my case, apparently yes. But it’s really about identifying, eliminating and preventing stress we create for ourselves. (Ever notice that the most stressed person you know is often whining about fake “problems” they brought on themselves?).

I make mistakes like this a lot — where I know not doing X will lead to shitshow Y. But in the past year I’ve come to realize how much of our happiness and stress levels are under our control. It’s inspired me to look for areas where I know I can make life easier if I commit to small changes. Like always cleaning the day before the party and always finishing Christmas shopping by Dec. 5. Parties are not a surprise; Christmas is not a surprise — I shouldn’t be acting like they are.

It’s not about achieving some fuzzy fluffy simplicity state, but freeing up energy and time for things actually worth pouring hard work into.

Now I just need to figure out what other energy suck/needless stress habits I have — it’s sad when you can’t even see them — and crush ‘em.

What are yours?

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