[img align=right]http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i234/halos_glow/Blog/no_cleaning_allposters.jpg[/img]The timing seems to be perfect for my topic of the Keeper of the Home Series: daily cleaning and detailed weekly/monthly cleaning.
It seems that many women seem to be like the one in the picture on the right – they just don’t understand why they should keep their home clean (and they are also clueless as to how to clean). I must admit that I used to be one of those women and it has been a long road to change my heart and my habits.
What I am sharing with you are things that I *know* how to do but I sometimes struggle to do them. Sometimes it just seems that life is overwhelming and I let circumstances control me instead of me controlling the circumstances. When this happens, my house invariably falls into a terrible state of disarray! It is not a pretty picture! This is then a vicious cycle – I am overwhelmed and the house becomes a mess, then the mess is so out of control that I am overwhelmed. When you get overwhelmed it is often so easy to just do nothing but then things go from bad to worse… this is not how a Princess, the daughter of the King, should live!
We must remember who we are and who we serve. It is not just for our family that we need to keep our home neat and tidy, but it is for the Lord. He is a God of order and we should be a reflection of His order (after all, we are made in His image!). We also need to appreciate everything that He has blessed us with and allowing your home to look a wreck does not show appreciation. Have you ever bought your child an expensive toy that he/she really wanted and then found it just laying in the floor getting stepped on or the pieces getting lost? Did this make you feel like your thoughtful gift was appreciated? How about the roof over your head, the clothes you wear and the many other lovely things in your home… do you appreciate them enough to take care of them or is it just in a heap of clutter and junk? Hmmm, I sometimes wonder what the Lord must think of our appreciation for the gifts He has bestowed upon us?
In order to be the keeper of the home that the Lord has called you to be, you are the one that is responsible to keep things in order. You are the Mistress of your home. This doesn’t mean that you have to be a slave to your home and the care of it – it is a wonderful idea to recruit the kids and to train them up in the care and maintenance of a home. I was never trained how to cook or clean or decorate and so I have had to learn these things over the last 10 years and I am still learning (and boy do I ever have a lot left to learn).
I am going to share with you the things that help me keep my home in order. Everything I mention may not work for your family the way it works for mine, but hopefully, you can glean some ideas that you would find useful.
First, I have found that if I am going to keep my home running smoothly, then I need to be home. I try to only run errands once a week (this also saves money as you are not wasting gas) but sometimes I will be required to go out more than once in a week, however, this is the exception rather than the rule.
Second, I have found that I am more motivated to start my day if I wake up to a clean house. I can achieve this if I go through each room (after the kids are in bed) and do a 5 minute tidy. The room may not be immaculate, but it is in state of order at least. When I wake up and see how nice every things looks, I am more motivated to do more in my home in order to have that wonderful sense of peace that a clean home brings.
Third, I try to follow a daily routine that includes an outline of what I need to do and when I need to do it. I originally found this idea through the Flylady website but I have since also read about it in many books and on tons of websites. Also, I have found that this is the way that things were done ‘back in the old days’ when being a homemaker was looked upon as an honorable calling and it was taken very seriously (I love to study old books that were written for these lovely ladies).
To give you an idea of what my ideal week would look like, here is my cleaning schedule:
• Family Room – Vacuum, windows, declutter, clean out couches
• Bathroom – Mirror, sweep/mop, tidy drawers
• Living Room – Declutter, windows, dust/polish, water plants, sweep/mop
• Front Porch – Declutter, tidy furniture, water plants, sweep
• Dining Room – Windows/mirrors, dust/polish, vacuum
• Kitchen – Declutter, windows, wipe down appliances. cabinets, clean out fridge/freezer, tidy desk, sweep/mop
• Hallways (upstairs, stairway, main hall downstairs, back hallway) – Declutter, sweep/mop
• Boys Room/Chad’s Study – Declutter, dust/polish (study), change sheets, sweep/mop
• Chloe’s Room – Chloe cleans her own room but I sweep/mop it
• My Room – Declutter, windows, tidy closet, dust, empty trash, change sheets, sweep/mop
• Family Room – Tidy/declutter and vacuum
For me, following this schedule helps me to maintain daily order in my home (and keep my sanity). Also, I should note that I try to clean my bathroom shower, counter and toilet daily. I *try* to stick to this schedule but I do have moments of weakness when these things just don’t happen as they should. I know I have said it before but it needs to be repeated – I am a work-in-progress and so is my home. I don’t always get to everything on my list (on the good weeks I do!) but for the things that I don’t get to, I just try to make a harder effort to complete them the next week. I think that the areas most neglected are the front porch (right now, I have leaves all over the steps and walkway – I just can’t seem to keep them clear in the Fall) and the upstairs (I try to do the big jobs when the boys are sleeping and I can’t really do too much upstairs while they are napping… or they don’t nap long).
In addition to the daily chores, I have a list of detailed cleaning that I will work on during the week as time allows. Here are the things that I work on for each room during the month (and I try to do these things on the designated day for that room):
• Family Room – remove cobwebs, clean windows, straighten entertainment center, tidy toy closet, tidy end tables, wipe smudges from walls/windowsills, tidy changing table, tidy cords/plug-ins, vacuum under furniture, shampoo carpet or spot clean carpet.
• Bathrooms – Clean out drawers and under sink, clean molding and chair rail, clean toilet shelf, wipe down scale, remove or refill empty bottles, clean bathtub toys (I like to dishwasher these), sweep/vacuum/mop
• Living Room – remove cobwebs, clean windowsills and windows, clean glass door and windows front door, clean windowpanes in French doors, clean the switch plate and wipe down front door, tidy piano, dust/wash baseboards, clean mantle, sweep/vacuum/mop
• Dining Room – remove cobwebs, clean windowsills/windows, wash baseboards, doors and molding, windex mirror and china cabinet doors, dust/polish furniture, straighten out drawers and shelves, clean chair upholstery, tidy closet, vacuum under furniture, wash curtains
• Kitchen – Remove cobwebs, empty/clean fridge & freezer, clean microwave inside and out, clean stove & oven, toss old candy and chips, straighten drawers/cupboards/pantry, wipe fingerprints off walls, clean doors, wash inside windows, clean kids table, scrub down cabinets, clean under sink & toss old rags, wash silverware tray
• Halls – Remove cobwebs, clean baseboards/molding, clean banister/railing, clean doors, sweep/vacuum/mop, replace air filters
• Kids Rooms/Study – Remove cobwebs, clean baseboards/molding, declutter, clean windows, wipe down doors, tidy closet, flip mattress, sort through out-grown clothes, sweep/vacuum/mop
• My Bedroom – Remove cobwebs, clean off nightstands, flip mattress, wash bedspread/dust ruffle, clean windows, declutter/straighten drawers, purge clothes and misc. items from closet, check under bed for stray items (socks run under our bed!), tidy bookshelf/secretary, clean baseboards/moldings, wipe down door, sweep/vacuum/mop
I know that the things above look like a lot, but when I am diligent in keeping up on things, it only takes me about an hour to do my daily home blessings. BTW, I don’t refer to cleaning as “chores” but as “home blessings” because the things that I do are a blessing to me and everyone who enters my home. It blesses them in what they can see (the way things look) and also in the things that they can’t see (my attitude – I’m not stressed out and yelling and we have time for fun stuff).
Have a blessed day,