The Art of Homemaking: Putting the House to Bed

A few months back when Elizabeth and I were able listen to Daryl Hoole speak we took pages and pages of notes.  (She just had so many great things to say!)  And one of those things is what I’ve been working on this week.
Mrs. Hoole says that before you go to bed you should put your house to bed.
Basically that means before you go to bed straighten up your house and get it ready for a new day…put all dirty dishes in the dishwasher, pick up all toys, make sure laundry is folded and put away, etc.  This gives you a fresh start on the day.  When you wake up you don’t have a pile of chores already waiting for you to complete.  She says that this will make sure that “your new day is a success before you’ve even opened your eyes”.
So, every night this week I’ve made sure that I’ve “put the house to bed” before I’ve gone to bed.  Except for one night—the day had been full of errands, and homework, and grocery shopping, and the carpool.  Then that evening I was gone at a meeting.  When I came home I was exhausted.  All I wanted to do is crawl into my bed and under my electric blanket, which is exactly what I did.
And I regretted it the next morning! 
(I really did—after days of waking up to a clean home it was discouraging to wake up to dirty dishes, a pile of unfolded laundry, and scattered toys.  Before I could do anything else I had to catch up from the previous day—and it wasn’t awesome.)
In her book Mrs. Hoole says,
“Each evening, before our children go to bed, they are required to pick up their toys, books, paper, and clothes.  Then before my husband and I retire for the night, I go through the house, taking a survey of each room, and putting away anything that is out of place.”
And that is exactly what I’ve been doing this past week….with only one minor change.  Right after the kids go to bed I have my husband help me go through the house and “put it to bed”.  Then we have the rest of the night to relax in a quiet, peaceful home.  It’s heaven on earth.
 It seems so obvious and makes so much sense.  I only wish I’d have gotten into this habit years ago.
Have a good weekend everybody.

8 thoughts on “The Art of Homemaking: Putting the House to Bed

  1. i have been doing that for months now and it makes a huge difference! ok, so maybe the laundry is not folded and put away but the rest of the house is clean. what is it about the laundry that i just cannot get it into the dressers?! it really is amazing how much better i feel when i walk downstairs to a clean house.

    i finally ordered the book yesturday. now i just need learn how to add an e book to my kindle. i cannot wait to start reading it. i know i will love it!

  2. I agree–an organized/clean home is a happy home. I can’t imagine living in messy chaos. I think we should remember there is a certain level that is fitting for each person. I do leave a huge pile of laundry, at times, to be folded the next day. Rarely, but at times it has to happen. And having to do it the next day is NO fun! I will not, however, ever leave a sink of dirty dishes. That would drive me insane! I am still saying “touch it once” (usually to my youngest) regarding clothes left on the floor after school. Her reply “I’m not quite ready to touch it once yet.” She understands the concept but her reply is cute!

  3. I’ve done that for quite sometime now and you are totally right. When you do skip cleaning up before bed you really regret it in the morning. I like order and starting the day at least somewhat organized makes life much better.

  4. I feel so much better the next day when I’ve put my house to bed. It amazes me how my husband can just shed his clothes and jump into bed. There’s no thought to checking on the kids, locking the doors, starting the dishwasher, putting dogs in their kennels, washing his face, nothing. It takes a long time to put the house to bed, so it takes me 20 minutes to actually get into bed!

  5. I love the idea of doing it as soon as the kids go to bed so you can enjoy it together. Thanks for the inspiration, the other night I had been helping my sister move and when I was done for the day, I was ready to throw the unfolded laundy on the floor. I took the time to put the clothes away and I was so happy when in the morning when I didn’t have to deal with it the next morning.

  6. The thing that I love to do and makes a big difference in my day is I set the table for breakfast before I go to bed. Having one less thing to do in the morning, actually makes my morning better. I am a night owl so I’d rather do things at night anyway and something like this takes seconds at night, where as it takes minutes to my soggy morning brain.

  7. This is so true and not how I have been living AT ALL. I must change. I really like that phrasing…putting the house to bed. Lovely.

  8. I’ve never heard it called putting the house to bed but I kind of do that anyway. There’s nothing better than a clean kitchen sink. :) I do leave clothes in the dryer though (not the washer) and don’t pick up Ansley’s toys every day. I did finally decide that if she doesn’t pick up her legos (and I do it) they’re mine for the next day (meaning they don’t get played with). :)

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