A Clean Life: Why?

A Clean Life: Step One: Why? | Nerd in the Brain


Welcome to this, the first post of my shiny new blog! As some tragic mistakes were made in switching to self-hosting, it will take a bit to plump up the content here, but I’ve decided to just go ahead and release this into the wild. Why? Because I’m excited about a year-long (at least) project, “A Clean Life,” and I really want to get this party started on January 1. 🙂



What is “A Clean Life?” Simple! It’s a way of cleaning and maintaining a home that is simple, clear, and organized. Neat!

I’ve spent a lot of years tinkering with my cleaning routines, and I’ve come up with a system that I believe to be pretty awesome. Why so awesome? Because it’s easy to maintain and doesn’t take a lot of time out of each day…spiffy!

But, of course, we all have different lives…different schedules, different families and family dynamics, different tolerances for mess, and different priorities. And that is all so okay! All of the “steps” in “A Clean Life” are meant to be customized to your own life from the get-go…and it will still work!

Who is this for? Everyone who cares for a household! A lot of the posts in this series will be aimed at those who feel overwhelmed and lost, but even domestic ninjas may pick up a thing or two from the whole process. (I know I’m forever learning new tips and tricks from other domestically-inclined souls, and I consider myself to be pretty good at this.) 😉



So, let’s look at the first step of this process, shall we? (And it’s important not to skip! Really, this is important!)

Step 1: Why

Why? Why do you want to improve or maintain your cleaning and organizing skills? Is it because you need to live in a chaos-free zone to be content? Is it because you want to feel like you’re taking care of and providing for your family? Is it because you want to model for your children? (If the situation is really, really bad, is it because you want to improve the safety of your home?) Is it so you’ll be comfortable having guests over? Is it because you want to feel in control of your surroundings? Is it one of a billion other reasons?

Chances are pretty good that the “why” of things is actually a combination of reasons…and that combination of reasons will vary from person to person.

The important bit here is this: You need to know why this is important to you.

And why is it so important to know why?

When we fully understand why something is important to us, we’re so much more likely to work for it…without resentment or irritation. When our reasons are deeper than “supposed to” or “should,” it’s so much easier to work happily. “Supposed to” and “should” come from outside forces and influences, and it’s really easy to want to kick “supposed to” and “should” in their little weasel-y faces. We’re aiming for “want to” and “because it makes me happy.” And it’s hard to want to do something when we don’t even know why we’re doing it.

Figure out your “why.” It’s important.

Want to know my “why?” As you probably suspected, there are several facets, but here are the main ones:

  • I derive a lot of joy from excelling at my job…whatever my job may be. At this point in my life, one of my biggest jobs is running our home, so I want to excel at it.
  • I also get a lot of happiness from feeling like I’m taking care of my family, and for me, that includes providing a clean home, clean laundry, good food, and a smoothly running day-to-day schedule.
  • I want Grace (for those of you who are new to Nerd in the Brain, Grace is my fabulous 15-year-old stepdaughter) to be prepared for adulthood by seeing what it takes to run a home.
  • My brain is happier when it doesn’t have mess and clutter to contend with. I am very easily distracted, and a tidy, clean environment really helps me to focus. (Seriously, y’all, I’ve walked away from blog posts before because I noticed a dirty baseboard…that certainly had to be taken care of immediately, right? I mean, who even knows what could have happened?) 😉

Knowing my “why” really helps to eliminate grumbling about sweeping the floors or getting that “murder in my soul” feeling of resentment while peeling potatoes. (Do other people get that? Please tell me that’s not just me.) 🙂



Your Homework: Start Your Clean Life Journal

Yep, there’s homework. (I did used to be a teacher, y’all…of course there’s homework.) 😉

It doesn’t matter if you use a cute journal, a binder, an old-school 3-subject notebook, index cards, a Word document, or a clay tablet, you need some sort of journal…but absolutely, positively DO NOT go busting out to the store to buy some expensive bit of cuteness in the name of a new cleaning plan. A new journal will not help you to do this better or more quickly. Remember, this whole plan is all about keeping things simple and easy-to-maintain.

Okay, do you have your method of journaling/note taking selected?

Once you do, spend a few minutes writing down your reasons for wanting to improve your domestic way of life. Write down your “whys.”

Write them down.

Write. Them. Down.

Write. Them. Down.

It will only take a few minutes to jot down or type your reasons, but it will help your focus and motivation so, so much…and it will be great to refer back to as a reminder of why having A Clean Life is awesome.



And speaking of awesome, I want to tell you that you’re awesome…and I so appreciate you joining me on this new journey here at Nerd in the Brain!

The next step of A Clean Life will be posted on Wednesday (January 4), but I do hope you’ll join me before then to see some of the other shenanigans going on in my life…there could be science projects or crazy snacks or goofy games…you’ll never know unless you join the fun. 😀



Do you think you’ll be joining me for A Clean Life? What domestic task do you struggle with the most? Which do you enjoy the most? What reasons do you have for wanting to improve your cleaning, planning, and organizing?

Happy New Year!


  • Allison January 1, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    Wait.. you mean I have to use one of the adorable, decorative, and fun journals I’ve already bought? Well… I suppose I could do that… but.. but.. new journals… 😉
    This will fit perfectly into my grand-plans for 2017, so count me in!!

    • Nerd in the Brain January 1, 2017 at 12:29 pm

      Yep, you’re just going to have to make do with the cuteness you already have. 🙂

      I’m so glad you’ll be joining in the fun…I hope it helps you so, so much!

  • Carol January 1, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    Love this! I so need this! It is definitely easier for me to concentrate when I have a clean, neat, and organized home. I think that’s the reason I escaped to the library so much. I hate dusting! I learned when moving it was better not to have too many knickknacks. So much easier to dust without all those things. My favorite is laundry. Not sure why but it seems like a task that once it’s done it’s done for a week at least.

    • Nerd in the Brain January 2, 2017 at 11:21 am

      I so agree with you about the minimal knickknacks! I know some people get a lot of joy from having lots of doodads around, but they’re just distractions and extra work for me. It must be so nice to love laundry! It’s one of the chores I internally grumble about the most, but I’m implementing a new house-wide laundry system this year that I think will help with that quite a bit. 🙂 I’m glad you’ll be following along with A Clean Life!

  • The Snail of Happiness January 3, 2017 at 4:43 am

    Hmmm… I really wish you had a ‘like’ button for posts… this self-hosting business makes my head hurt!

    • Nerd in the Brain January 3, 2017 at 4:59 pm

      Oh, I wish I had one, too! I think my life’s mission this weekend is going to be figuring out how to add a like button to posts. And self-hosting is very, very head-hurty…I had no idea how different and crazy it would be!


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