The Sacred Homemaker: Cleaning

I really hate the term ‘homemaker’, it’s really just a way to disguise the reality of the fact that we are (mostly) house wives, and since it’s difficult to live on one income alone, the housewife has become a less than desirable occupation. But as a witch, I feel that those who are looking after a house and family and creating a home, whether or not they are also doing some paid work, are working magic in the world.

Really, sweeping is magic? Yes it is. The broomstick, the cauldron and the knife are all women’s tools and their primary purpose is to create a happy and healthy place to live. There are plenty of spiritual ways to work on this, but if the floor isn’t clean to begin with, no ‘happy home’ spell is going to work.

The trick is to work your spiritual practice into your daily chores, to make the work meaningful and sacred as it used to be and still should be. Much of the work needs to be done by you and done by hand.

Why you? You live in the home, so if something needs attention, someone else is not going to see it as their problem. By hand? Because it slows you down to the level where you can really pay attention to what you are doing.

There can be a lovely rhythm to sweeping a floor, mopping, dusting, banging out rugs and evicting spiders. Sometimes it sucks. But sometimes, there is a flow and a rhythm which brings energy into the house and creates a harmonious feeling that a hasty wipe down cannot.

As you work, have in your mind what you want to accomplish by the cleaning. It works much much better when you don’t have a deadline, and you don’t actually have firm goals. We tend to set ourselves unrealistic targets and then feel like a failure when we don’t meet them.

I always start with the most urgent job, hygiene and health wise. So the garbage and the washing up are high on the list. Tidying my art studio, not so much. Also high on the list is toilet cleaning and vacuuming the worst of the dust. Towels get changed once a week. Sheets once a month. Doonas get washed once a season.

The trick is to know how to potter, but also to stay focused.

So go slowly, but only clean that particular room. When you have to go out to put something else away, stay focused on getting back to that room. It’s easy to get distracted and do a hundred things half way and end up with a worse mess than when you started!

But one room completely clean…well that gives an amazing sense of accomplishment.

When you get interrupted, as is inevitable, focus your thoughts not on what you haven’t done today, but what you have. Feel good about that achievement and you will begin to have a whole new outlook on cleaning.

The Sacred Homemaker: Frugality