Jo’s Journal: Learning Lessons While Cleaning House and Doing Laundry

Housework at Mustard Seed Sentinel
Credit: Felix Prado in

Learning Lessons While Cleaning House and Doing Laundry

Finding Joy Even in the Tedious Chores of Life

by Joanne Troppello

“Housework is what a woman does that nobody notices unless she hasn’t done it.” – Evan Esar

I usually clean house on Fridays and do laundry on Saturdays. I decided to do both today (Friday). I figured since it was a workday for my husband tomorrow (Saturdays 2x a month) I could still have time to get work done and squeeze in a Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel movie that is still saved in my DVR before he gets home, and then we’ll need to pick up our Instacart grocery order.

Doing a thorough cleaning and the laundry as well was more work for one day, but it will make tomorrow even easier for me—especially since our tax forms came in the mail and I want to get the taxes done also this weekend.

Maybe you’re the type of person who loves cleaning and doing laundry. I am not. I’d rather spending time working on another article or story instead of cleaning. However, that’s not reality and someone needs to do it, and I LOVE a clean house. Yet, when the cleaning and laundry is done, and you get that moment to just sit down and relax for a bit—that’s heavenly.

Feeling Joy During the Tedious Parts of Life

As I was doing the housework today, I thought about the tediousness of life and how it can sometimes get annoying. I’m not only talking about cleaning house once a week and doing laundry. We do not have a dishwasher in our rental. I am the dishwasher.

Anyway, when I get up in the morning, after doing my devotions and exercise, I need to clean the breakfast dishes that my husband left there before going to work. [NOTE: My husband works 10 hours a day and drives 1 hour to and from work. Since I work from home, I willingly took on the housework and cooking. When we both worked outside the home when we first got married, we shared those chores.]

At night, I need to make dinner, then clean up the dishes, and make lunches for the next day. Since our counterspace is small, I need to constantly wash and then stop washing to start drying the dishes, and then repeat and repeat. I can’t leave everything out on the counter to dry (like I did in our previous condo and also our townhouse) since we don’t have the room. This takes me A LOT longer to complete the process. I’m not complaining, just sharing that this is the same routine day in and day out—aside from my daily writing work for clients and my magazine writing and editing.

With a tedious routine, it’s easy to get bitter or annoyed. That’s one way to go. I always like to think about the reward for the work. If I keep a clean house, then I have less allergy issues due to too much dust everywhere if I wouldn’t have dusted and vacuumed and cleaned the wood floors. I like to think about the rewards that after cooking dinner, I get to spend time with my husband watching a tv show and unwinding. After I clean everything up and make lunches for the next day, I think about how I’ll soon be able to relax for a bit and watch one of my shows on Netflix before doing devotions and heading to bed.

Doing housework can be tedious, but I continually remind myself while I’m doing the work that I am thankful I have a husband who works hard for us, we have a comfortable place to live, and God always provides for all our needs.

“If you are a writer you locate yourself behind a wall of silence and no matter what you are doing, driving a car or walking or doing housework you can still be writing, because you have that space.” – Joyce Carol Oates

I agree with that quote because anytime I am alone with my thoughts is a good thing for me to think, plan out my next article, or to pray.

Is housework tedious for you? Have you found a way to complete these tasks joyfully?


About the Author

Joanne Troppello at Mustard Seed Sentinel

Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.

Connect with Joanne on Twitter. You can find Joanne on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, and Clouthub—with the same username, @JoanneTroppello—and @joannetroppello.mseedsentinel on Instagram. Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel.