On a recent vlog, “The Tartan Topiary“, shared the following quote from Jackie Kennedy.
“If I was born to do anything, it would be housekeeping; this brings me true joy.”
When I heard this, I couldn’t envision Jackie Kennedy with a mop in hand and a chocolate souffle in the oven! I did, however, recall how she managed the restoration and redecoration of The White House while she was in residence.
It’s remarkable what Jackie Kennedy accomplished at such a young age. She was only 31 when they moved into the White House and immediately she set about converting the private residence on the second floor into a home for her young family. Soon after she began restoring the public areas by raising money to fund the project as well as scouring the attics finding prized furnishings, art and accessories left behind by former Presidential families.
There were plenty of formal and state dinners to oversee but, she considered the White House her home and entertained close friends and family with parties, high tea and gave elaborate birthday celebrations for her children.
The menagerie of animals…dogs, horses, a cat and rabbit and numerous birds were very much a part of their family home.
Jackie Kennedy started the tradition of the First Lady choosing the annual holiday decor at the White House.
I wouldn’t call what Jackie Kennedy did at the White House housekeeping, but she certainly kept a lovely home.
Housekeeping is a chore that does not bring me joy, but I must say when my house is clean, I really do love it. Getting reacquainted with the interior of my home is off to a slow start, mostly because I’ve had to edit, edit, edit. I think(!) I have too much stuff. Over the summer I don’t take the time to put things away or organize, therefore, there are little “piles” everywhere. Marie Kondo would have a heyday!
So as not to be overwhelmed, I start with one room at a time. My living room looked lovely…for a few hours, at least before Charlie dragged out all her toys and bones and left little nose smudges along the newly polished table tops. I moved some (a small edit) books out. While I was cleaning off the front hall table, I decided I’d start on the plan for holiday decorating, hence the empty bowls and negative spaces. I’m not putting up a tree in this room but will hang some ornaments on pruned branches from the garden…that’s next month’s project.
With seasonal festivities about to begin many of us will be welcoming friends and family into our homes. Housekeeping or keeping a well loved, comfortable home is an art. Being a gracious host/hostess is a gift. And if you are whiz in the kitchen you have won the trifecta.
How are your housekeeping (or keeping house) skills?