At 81, my grandmother (my dad’s mom) keeps a beautiful, warm and immaculate house. And she makes it seem effortless, too. While the 20 people in her house are devouring Christmas dinner, she’s doing what seems like puttering around until you realize that the entire kitchen has been cleaned.

And even on an ordinary day, she makes casual comments in passing that hint to her internal mental calendar and standards for homemaking, like, "Well, it’s the second week of March, so I had the cleaners come pick up the draperies and called to schedule the carpets for next month."

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