Saturday, January 26, 2013

One Clean Casa

It's traditionally Italian to keep a very clean home, meticulously so. Also, traditionally, the Italian mamma tends to keep her fairly simple home well-maintained so it can be passed down to family for generations and that items inside do not go to waste. Things are not so plentiful nor disposable as they are in so many American households. The casa is significant because it's the backdrop for the all-important family life and thus should be treated with respect. Plus, there's the value of putting one's best foot forward in everything, fare la bella figura (literally "to make a good figure").

I grew up in a messy house, full of collections of things, ...with marathon cleaning sessions right before welcoming visitors, but as an adult, became neat as a pin! In college, my roommate happened to be neat and she was an influence. Living in a dorm and a very social atmosphere, we also didn't live in a pig sty because friends would often stop by, even if just to collect us for the next meal in the caf. We needed our small room to be presentable enough for company. A made bed served as seating, for example. Wherever I've lived since, I've always made my bed and kept my space straightened.

I like to live in a nice and neat environment, plus I prefer to incorporate a little cleaning as part of a routine, not a monumental chore that bogs down an entire afternoon, which is not so much fun! My co-workers tease me because my home can be ready for show at nearly any time and stands out on property for its cleanliness. (As a Leasing Consultant, I show apartments for a living.) I actually keep it very straightened at all times, but not so clean it sparkles all the time, with my busy work and social schedules. Every single item has a home and I exercise discipline to return everything to its appropriate place when not in use. I try my best to keep everything clean as in disinfected, washed, dust-free, stain-free, hair-free, vacuumed, freshly laundered and smelling pleasant on a regular basis. I do keep it pretty clean, if I do say so myself. This way, I don't knock myself out cleaning immediately before I entertain. Furthermore, I am more likely to spontaneously invite someone over to a clean space. I love my apartment and it shows. It's nice to enjoy such a nice place while currently snowed in (instead of being out and about as usual on this Friday evening).

I also only own things I love and actually use. Since I don't have so much stuff, that makes straightening and cleaning easier and helps keep everything in check. It's not very Italian of me to use so many disposable cleaning products, as well as some paper napkins and plates and plastic cups. Maybe I'll use my cloth napkins more...

a recent picture
My living room nearly always looks this good!



5 comments:

  1. I would love if you were to do a post about keeping things tidy even with all the time you work. I grew up in a home similar to your parents' and I still have trouble forming a routine and keeping the clutter at bay. Which leads to arguments because I love a tidy house! Yours is beautiful!

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    1. Initially inspired by Famille Chic's discipline in returning things to their homes, this particular post was a long time coming. I just didn't wanna sound, I dunno, preachy... I like that I attached it to an Italian value, even if it's not a modern one! Plus, the fact that I have had progress. I will think about it as I do have methods... You may see a post. Always suggest these ideas because I still think of this as my personal journal I've always had rather than the social media it really is. I like to have an audience in mind as well.

      Thankfully, after the holidays, I am only working 50 to 54 hours over 6 days a week now, instead of 62 over all 7! I am much happier.

      Thank you so much! I love it.

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  2. I love this topic! I would love to hear more about how you do it. I try to keep a clean home but there are hidden areas where I know I need to clear out more. I would really like to get to a point where i only own what I use and love as well.

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  3. I agree with Kate and Stephanie. I'd love to hear more as well about how you keep your home so clean when you work so many hours. Your home is lovely.

    I know you like to eat well and like good food. I'd also love to see a post on how you cook for one, and perhaps the recipe for your pasta speciality.

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    1. Stephanie and Jacqui,

      I promise to reveal how I keep my home so straightened and pretty clean with so many work hours. Stay tuned...

      I grew up with salt and pepper as spices, so I learned to cook plainly as well! I'm afraid that my cooking wouldn't be very interesting! I have been cooking for one for years though... I'll give it some thought. Maybe spin it, documenting a new recipe I try...

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