I’m finding myself thinking a lot about the cleanliness of my house these days. Recently, one of Katie’s friends turned to her when leaving the Nutshell and said, “how are you guys going to keep a big place clean?”
I’ve begun to wonder if it’s going to be possible to keep a 2000 square foot earthship clean and tidy when 600 square feet seems to evade us. Yes, I do recognize that we are consumed by construction, homeschooling, and for me, paid work outside of all of that. When the earthship is complete, am I really going to say, “o.k., now with all my spare time, I’m going to wash the floors?”
I’m not actually a really messy person. When I met Chris I was amazed at how tidy he was. So what’s the deal? Kids, construction, small space (clutter), half finished living quarters are all conspiring against us.
I do clean the Nutshell from top to bottom on occasion. Feels pretty good when it is clean. I wave my hands and point my fingers at the other people living with me and command them to “keep it that way!”
I think a big part of it is loving where you live. I’m grateful for the Nutshell. It’s allowed us to live rent-free and mortgage-free while we build. But…I don’t love it. I don’t lovingly run my dishcloth over the counters or in the sink. When I sit down to relax and have a coffee, it’s simply to relax and have a coffee, not to settle into any sort of homey atmosphere.
I actually haven’t LOVED anywhere I’ve lived. So many of the places Chris and I have lived since we met in 1989 have been temporary places that we chose because they were the best we could find at the time. I’ve never had input into what my home would look or feel like.
When I was mixing mud-plaster today I was looking around the inside of the earthship and dreaming of what it could look like. I was particularly thinking of how our partially circular steps from the front door would look coming down to the planters. With the sun streaming through the front windows, I imagined sitting on a bench near my banana tree (!) and Chris’ fish pond and reading a good book in the sun. I’ve even been planning out my pantry-I’ve fought my food storage at every other place I’ve lived.
Since closing it in, I’ve been able to see how the earthship might look finished. It’s quite a neat feeling to feel like we are finally on the downhill side of all the work. I’m not sure when we will move in; I think because we were gunning for Christmas I might have subconsciously thought that the next time I cleaned the Nutshell it might be with a torch!
So I’ve bitten the bullet in the Nutshell. I just couldn’t stand it anymore. Yesterday I cleaned out the pantry and most of the cupboards. I attacked the fridge and freezer and gradually over the next few days I will finish the kitchen while I continue to work, plaster and volunteer. Next I will clean the bathroom and the remaining rooms will be easier still.
Our move in date is vaguely set for “spring”. I guess I’ll have to resign myself to cleaning the Nutshell a few more times before then…