Permaculture Plus Houskeeping Manifesto Fundamental: Slow Down and Be a Sherlock

Believe it or not, the first step in Permaculture Plus Houskeeping is to avoid binging on housework and to simply relax. How can this be? I’ll tell you how it, um, be!

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Permaculture House Cleaning Design Starts With Laziness

Get your wu-wei on - the first way to apply permaculture design to your house cleaning is to do nothing.

You heard me.

Just sit back, relax, and fail to clean. I mean, much. If you get the urge to wash a dish or two, or maybe take out the trash, by all means. Go ahead. But this is not the time to do a massive house cleaning spree. This is not the time to apply innovation or to try major repairs or organizing projects. Just sit back, maintain the status quo a bit, and watch what happens.

This is How Permaculture Gets Jiggy With House Cleaning

This requires both patience and a good lazy streak. When you’re designing a permaculture garden, the standard advice is to take a year to just watch the site. You’re to observe weather patterns, note which areas get muddy, notice where the water flows and at what time of year, and other natural patterns like that.

Natural patterns. That’s what you’re looking for here. That means that you need to see what happens when people are being exactly themselves, without coercion. Where do items and furniture end up? Where are the bottlenecks? Which tasks get addressed quickly and which tasks languish in neglect?

Don’t even step in with a cleaning blitz right now. Take a month.

One month. There, see? Bam! Permission granted.

Practice Permaculture House Cleaning Design like an Anthropologist Observing a Newly Contacted Tribe

And just notice. And make notes of your findings. It’s important to be neutral and nonjudgmental about what your discover. “My husband leaves his socks here when he comes home from work” should be noted in the same neutral way that you’d discover that “the creek is very full in January.” Here are some things you can look for:

  • Where is the furniture? (Is anything consistently getting dragged to a certain spot and left there indefinitely?)
  • Where are the piles of clutter? (note all locations)
  • Where is the garbage? (note all locations)
  • Where are the cleaning supplies? (note all locations)
  • Where do you tend to hang out?
  • Where do you tend to avoid?
  • Which surfaces tend to remain clear?
  • Which items tend to get lost?
  • Which items can you typically find on the first try?

Coalesce Your Findings into a Permaculture Houskeeping Journal

Store all of the information you gather in one place. You've just made your own Permaculture Houskeeping Journal. You can print out your own loose sheets and create a binder, or you can just have a hard copy delivered. You know, lazy style.

You might be inspired, during your time as a detective, to swing into immediate action. Hold up - being lazy right now is actually the more prudent course of action.

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Permaculture Plus Houskeeping Footnotes!

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