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I’ve mentioned before that I come from a long-line of women who kept clean and tidy homes. I have memories of walking through my grandma’s kitchen with her, when she paused to rub out a water mark in her sink with her thumb. Her home was constant perfection, but even more, it was somehow also warm and inviting.
I had someone tell me today that all farmers have dirty homes and that’s just how it is. Well, I just can’t imagine that is always true since my mom’s family have been farmers for generations. When I visited my great-grandparent’s home, even though it was on a farm and was not fancy, it was always clean and tidy, which made it comfortable for me.
As for my mom, you could eat off her floors. Not that she would let you, because the idea would just be too disgusting to her. I think she has vacuumed every day of her married life. We laugh together while she does it, but she will wipe under your plate WHILE YOU ARE STILL EATING DINNER. 🤣
I don’t clean the same way my grandma did, and I don’t wipe under plates during dinner, so it wasn’t necessarily a set of skills that was passed down to me. I believe what was passed from generation to generation is the expectation for order and the confidence that I could figure it out. I found my parent’s clean home to be an extreme comfort. I want to offer my children the same comfort.
(I don’t say a ton about the cleanliness of dads and grandpas in this, though I know that plays a part. My mom does the cleaning in my parent’s home, but my dad is very neat and keeps his stuff organized. It is hard to keep a clean home when one spouse isn’t supportive, so I am grateful for the good men in my family!)
Listen, we don’t get to pick where we come from, but we do have a say in how things continue. We get to decide what family traditions we keep and which ones we toss!
This post isn’t at all the one I planned to write. I had to change the title, because it was originally Kitchen Organizing and I was going to share something my mom helped me do and add some more tips on organizing the Kitchen. (We are working on kitchens during Week 1 of the Summer Organizing Boot Camp.) But I got too nostalgic for the post I planned to write.
Last summer when I was preparing to move into our new house, my mom made this preliminary plan for my kitchen. This is her artwork of my kitchen and her handwriting. I guess as I was going to write about this and then add some tips to it, all I could really think about was how grateful I am for my mom. Not only has she taught me so much, but she continues to be a help to me.
(And really, I’d recommend this process in the picture above to anyone trying to re-organize their kitchen. It is exactly what I did for my professional organizing clients. Maybe I didn’t realize where I learned it from… but I probably could’ve guessed.)
Like I said, we can’t pick where we come from, but if I could, I’d pick my people all over again.