The First of the Four Characters: Cinderella

Updated: May 12, 2020

HGTV's 2019 Urban Oasis Home, Interior Designer: Brian Patrick Flynn
A dreamy corner of cleaning tools in HGTV's 2019 Urban Oasis Home, Interior Designer: Brian Patrick Flynn.

Most girls have a Disney character that they relate to specifically. A princess, usually. In the age of “me-too”, I know this is a tricky subject – but it’s true. And let’s be real - it’s not the princess-rescue part that any of us was attracted to, was it? Not for me. I loved Cinderella, but not because she became the beautiful princess in the glorious ball gown and glass slippers. Cinderella was my Disney idol because she made it “cool” to clean. When I saw Cinderella in her rags with her hair pulled back in the scarf…I wanted to jump into that picture book, give her a big adoring hug, and join her! I wanted to pick up a broom!

And I did.

Every Saturday morning, my mom would place THE LIST on the kitchen table - one for each of her four children. Most often, the four lists were printed out on neat, thin strips of crisp cardstock paper (maybe 3” wide x 7” long). Each of our names was printed across the top and underlined. Then, under our name, was the list of maybe 4-7 chores for us to accomplish that morning. God, I wish I had a picture of this. Anyway – our friends thought it was some form of child slave labor. They could not believe that we (by the age of 8 and on through our teenage years) were instructed to dust, vacuum, mop, and CLEAN THE BATHROOMS (OMG!!!) and more EVERY SATURDAY!!! I think I probably rolled my eyes and joked along with my friends, but I secretly loved my Saturday morning list. By 9:30 a.m. I’d have my Walkman on (this is a device you plugged your headphones into that held a cassette tape of music and clipped to the waistband of your jeans in 1984 - HAHAHA) and sang along to Madonna for the next hour or two - gleefully polishing, mopping, and crossing items off my list. I’m smiling and my heart beats a little faster just thinking about it. WHY? Maybe it’s the Virgo in me, but I have always loved and respected the power of cleaning.

I’ve also always loved to straighten and organize. I shared a bedroom with my sister. Before I turned out the light, I had to straighten up our bedroom. (I’d straighten my sister’s stuff and sometimes my younger brother’s room too. My older brother had too much power as the oldest of four, so I didn’t dare enter his space to clean it, dang it.) I just needed things to be in their place before I could relax enough to fall asleep. It sounds like I have obsessive-compulsive disorder. Nope (okay yes maybe a teensy bit). I just know that our homes feel better when they’re clean and organized, and so do we. When you’re cleaning your home, you’re moving and clearing old energy. No matter how messy my life is (on the inside or outside) I can make this little corner of the world better-good-glowing-happy. As a kid, I knew inherently that the action of clearing energy would spread to the rest of my life / my world. I loved it so much that ‘housecleaning’ was my college job of choice! One day each week I drove from campus to a beautiful neighborhood where the affluent doctors lived in my university town and cleaned their houses! Gleefully polishing, mopping, and crossing items off my list once again 😊

This is Cinderella’s secret super-power. Her power does not stem from some mystery fairy Godmother. The Godmother shows up to serve Cinderella because of her super-power. Cinderella’s world falls into place for her because she takes care of her little corner of the world. You see what I’m saying? Do you get it? Taking care of your space is a BIG DEAL that carries over into all aspects of your life. One of my four monthly blog posts will always focus on what I call “the essence of Cinderella” - dedicated to all things house cleaning.

A clean house is a happy house, and a happy house is a magic house!

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