Permaculture Plus Houskeeping: The Intersection of House Cleaning and Permaculture Design Theory

Everything that you know about homemaking is wrong. We're taught that homemaking is hard work, that you need to pour hours of thought, decision-making, and old-fashioned hard labor into creating a comfortable home for you and your family. This is nonsense. Read the pages on this site, absorb their principles, and you'll find that homemaking can be pleasant, bone-meltingly cozy, easy, fun, and - this is important - fast or perceptually non-existent.

If you find homemaking arduous, you need to stop your old habits and methods in their tracks. Nip those suckers right in the bud.

Then replace them with the genius hacks, new lenses, and time-saving methods that you'll discover here.

You're welcome.

The shift begins when you realize that you can design your homemaking strategy around the design precepts of permaculture.

“Wait, how does permaculture relate to homemaking? I thought that permaculture was a gardening thing.” - You, to me. I know, right? But the permaculture method moves far beyond a rain barrel here and a cob house there. It’s a fascinating and versatile and, like, super effective design method - especially when it comes to living systems. Your dwelling is a living system. It is such a lovely idea to apply permaculture concepts to your homemaking routine, because permaculture can only make things more easy and more pleasant.

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Embrace baby steps and detective work to make your homemaking easier than you ever though possible.

Yaaaaas. Do eeeet. It’s so fun. And so helpful.

What gentle, snugglesome moments are waiting to be uncovered in your home?"

House Cleaning Shouldn’t Be a List of Chores

Keeping house can seem like a Sisyphean grind. Wash dishes. Take out garbage. Vacuum floor. Wipe down counter. Repeat forever. Repeat for all of the days! But the truth is that house cleaning is an exciting design challenge. Also, habit formation is, too, an exciting design challenge. And the pleasant convergence of these two facts means that if you design an effective house cleaning scheme and mesh it with clever habit formation, you’ll clean your house on such automatic pilot that you’ll never even notice that you’re keeping house. The house cleaning will be invisible and effortless, not a series of tedious chores or a stressful blitz of crisis cleaning. And then you can

Your Home is a Living System

Your home isn’t comprised of a bunch of inanimate objects. Sure, you have inanimate objects - pens and shirts and buckets and ladders - but you have far more behaviors and processes. Dust is a process. Weekly garbage pickup is a process. Taking an impromptu morning nap is a behavior. (Lazy is a Good Thing!)

That means that even though at first glance house cleaning appears to be wrangling inanimate objects it’s actually much more complex. Your behaviors, habits, disrupts, processes, and inputs are hugely influential.

Your home is an ecosystem, not a to-do list. It’s a living system. That’s good news, because it means that homemaking doesn’t have to be an ongoing set of arduous behaviors, but a series of gentle rituals, unconscious habits, and daily delights.

Permaculture is a Design Lens that Works with Living Systems

That’s why using permaculture to design your house cleaning processes makes so much sense. Permaculture is a design method that was first applied to gardens. Permaculture gardens and natural farms are lush, bountiful, full of delicious food, beautiful, and, after an initial design process and some setup, effortless.

Seriously. I have a beautiful front yard food forest, and I haven’t weeded or pruned it. Ever. Yet it’s still luxurious and lovely.

Your home can be that way too. It just takes looking past conventional wisdom and peeking into little tweaks that you can make to your home’s inputs, outputs, and processes.

Permaculture Helps You to Design Your Homemaking Around Behavioral Patterns

Once you identify your home as an ecosystem, you can use permaculture to help you craft a design that works with your instincts instead of against them. Just as you would plant water-loving plants down-slope to collect rainwater (rainwater flows down, not up!), you can plant behaviors and objects in the places and in the ways that make most sense.

A great example of this is putting your food-scraps bucket right next to the garbage and recycling bins in your kitchen, so discarded materials all land in the same region of the kitchen area. (This may or may not work for you in your kitchen configuration.)

Permaculture provides you with a set of mental tools that will help you to figure out exactly what actually makes sense for you - and this means examining assumptions and questioning common wisdom.

Permaculture Also Provides a Solid Ethical Structure

Even while permaculture introduces flow-inducing innovation-producing design challenges, it also brings in an element of loving kindness that will blossom the heartfelt connections of your home-life. It does this through the three components of its ethos:

Plus, Permaculture Can Make Your Home Cozy and Stress-Free

The process of permaculture creates an acceptance and celebration of people exactly as they are. As behaviors and processes are honored and then related to with clever containment, organization, and habit formation strategies, the friction of living in a messy house subsides. Time expands. There are blankets near the couch, ice cold drinks next to the TV, and no arguments to be had about housework - because it’s all humming along via Automatic Backburner Cleaning.

Baby steps are a critical piece of the “slow and steady solutions” approach to permaculture. Don’t discount them as part of your strategy!

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Permaculture Plus Houskeeping Footnotes!

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Now here’s an idea…

But don’t do it alone. Do it with some friends!