Oct 29, 2013

Who Cares if My House is Clean... or if Supper is on the Table?!?

Honestly? ... I do!! 

Does it seem like it all the time? No, not so much...

Do I enjoy cleaning & cooking? 

Surprisingly... I'm starting to! 

Have I always? 

NO!!!!!!!!!! :)

Basically... I started thinking about how it makes me feel, personally, when my house is in shambles... then compared that feeling to how I feel when I walk into my front door and everything is in its place... It's like comparing a panic attack to pure peace & relaxation!!! 

So then why on earth do I let things get so out of hand?

Well... I'm sure there could be many reasons, but mostly for me it has to do with feeling overwhelmed along with a lack of time, interest, & practical tools for getting the job done... and keeping it done!

I've been diving into inexpensive Ebooks through Amazon like "The Green Home Cleaning Guide.." by Michelle Anderson & "31 Days to Clean..." by Sarah Mae who reminded me that the state of my home really matters and also share tools with me to help me get things clean and keep them that way! An important thing for me was to discover "Why" I wanted my home to be clean, organized, & welcoming in the first place...

Here's what I came to realize...

I want my home to be a peaceful haven, it's where most of my time is spent with my 3 year old during the day and it's where my husband winds up after very long days at work on his feet... I want him to come home feeling calm and welcomed... not stressed or overwhelmed... I want our home to be "a soft place to land." 

(p.s. I "should" have time to make this happen because I'm a full-time SAHM = so no condemnation coming from this momma if you have a mess at your house and are crazy busy! I'm home most days and, for now, have 1 child to my name, but I want to figure this out now BEFORE my house is full of little ones!). 

Apart from making our home a haven, I also realized that since I grew up with cleaning not being much of a priority... it hasn't been a priority to me so far in life... and then I look at my little girl and how willing she is to help wipe things down and do little tasks... just to help out... and I want her to know that what she's doing matters and that she's serving her loved ones & especially blesses God's heart when she can do it joyfully!

I want to teach my child about 'stewardship' - I want her to appreciate the things that she has and to take good care of them - including her toys, her clothes, the dishes she uses, the bed she sleeps in, etc... Starting things off early like this - my hope for her is that this will come naturally to her as she gets older and it won't be a meaningless, annoying chore.. she will understand that this is a service done for people she cares for & that ultimately she is doing it as unto the Lord. I don't want to be a tyrant about it, but I try to find 1-3 little chores my daughter can help out with daily so that she can contribute. If she's struggling with the desire, I realize she's probably just not wanting to do it by herself... so we do it together :)

I seek to do at least one thing well every single day - whether it's cleaning the kitchen from top to bottom... or just clearing all the mess from our living room floor... I know I don't have time to deep clean my entire home daily, but as I'm catching up on things I strive to keep things tidy (well... as tidy as possible with a little one underfoot and so many hours in a day... wink wink). 

When I used to clean homes with a cleaning company, the motto was "top to bottom, left to right..." so I still use that when tackling an entire room - start high and end with the floors so you don't re-clean the same area twice. I also prefer easy green methods, like Norwex microfiber cloths (yes I became a consultant to buy everything I wanted at a discount, ha) or some vinegar in a spray bottle! I have no interest in leaving nasty chemicals around my house where a little person could get into big trouble. We still have cupboard locks, but you never know... accidents happen - why give more opportunity to curious babies/toddlers?

Another fun tip I learned on a youtube video back in the day was to hide a basket in each room (bedroom, living room, etc)  under a chair or something and when something is out of place during the day - just put it into the basket... don't constantly clean up messes, just put things into the basket and at a designated time (or 2) daily when things aren't hectic - grab baskets and put things where they go (kids can help 2 of course!).

A nice series on little things you can do to get things cozy at home is through the Women Living Well blog:

The most important thing, to me, is that I can feel relaxed when I'm at home. I don't want to spazz out whenever I hear someone knocking on my door - throwing toys under the couch (although sometimes I still must, ha) and I don't like feeling guilty when I hear my husband walking in the door... dreading what he might be thinking about the mess or why we can't ever have supper together... 

Speaking of supper... Focus on the Family sent an answer to my prayers = eMeals.com! You HAVE to check it out if you've struggled to put meals together that don't come out of a box! You can choose classic meals or vegetarian or whatever and you'll get weekly menus with shopping lists! It's incredible! Having daily meals together was never really a priority at my house growing up, but even back then... I remember kind of wishing we did... I liked the thought of something I could count on... a consistent time each day where I was able to connect with my family (especially as I got older and we were all running in different directions). It's also a great time to see how everyone's doing, pray together, and perhaps do a little devotion together.

Of course, please know, even if you're just having pizza - it's great to come together & connect everyday!

Just remember mommas... don't stress!!! Do the best you can with the time you are given... and if you have to choose whether to scrub the bathroom floor or play legos with your little one... go for the legos! Time with God and the family He blessed you with is your top priority. If you can implement even 'some' little changes to help make your home a little less stressful - my vote is that it's well worth the effort :) 

Take stock with where most of your time is spent during the day - if it's with your little one and caring for your home, awesome job! If you're like me and get sucked into Facebook and other electronic distractions... start to set some limits. You can do this - I'm rooting for you!    Blessings :)

"Strength & honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness. She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her; 'Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.' Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised."  (Proverbs 31:25-30)      * Amen *

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