Let’s Face it, our homes are only clean and “guest worthy” about 20 % of the time. Am I right? My husband and I have started to reevaluate certain areas of our life and determine how we could live more simply, so we could live more fruitfully. We also recognized that both my husband and myself function better in a clean, less cluttered environment. We are more patient with our kids, with each other, and we enjoy life more.
Although this is probably true of most people, many of us settle for living in chaos because, A- we think its impossible to keep a clean house with our crazy busy schedules, B- we have simply settled and have learned to function in the chaos, or C- we have no idea where to begin changing the way we live. We have experienced that ourselves, and for the first time in our married lives, I can say we are finally living more simple and fruitful lives.. and our house is clean (most of the time). We have changed things in our life in order that we might better enjoy it. These changes can be hard at first, but when done right, you will feel the freedom of life again.
Everything should have a Place
It means exactly what it sounds like. Everything in your home, garage, car, office, and other spaces should have a place. Start by going through each room (this step has taken me months), organize by finding a place for everything. Purchase bin that can hold meds, throw away that blanket that you never use but takes up half the linen cabinet, go through the old lotions grandma bought you at Christmas and donate them to a local thrift store or homeless shelter. When items have no place, they end up on counters, on floors, in corners of our home. We all have our Junk drawers and paper piles (on top of the washer.. wink wink) These homeless items are what cause our homes to be clean one minute and in the next look like a tornado has passed through. Been there, done that. But Going through each room and dejunking has completed changed my process of cleaning too. Have you ever noticed how unmotivated you feel to clean when you feel like you don’t know where to start? When items have a home, we feel more motivated to jump right on it, and stay on top of it.. which brings me to the next tip.
Stay on top of it rather than letting the mess grow
Stay on top of cleaning. I believe this is an important rule to teach our children as well. My husband and I use to be THE worst at doing the dishes right away. But we have realized something as simple as cleaning up right away rather than waiting keeps our house clean continuously. Those smaller messes are quick easy cleans, when we let our home go rapid, we wake to chaos and the BIG mess takes us forever to clean. This cycle demotivated us each time we think of the cleaning process.
Set a schedule- (and stick with it) 😉
We have a weekly schedule. We are type A people so duh… we live by the seat of our planners. But really, this helps a lot. You’ll be amazed at how much more you can do when you’re not worrying about when to do what. We sit down Sunday nights and discuss the week ahead. What do we do normally? What are extra on the agenda? I even schedule in what nights and mornings I give my kids baths. This helps me better prioritize time. A friend of mine is creating a planner and I have had the privilege of trying it out. She adds in areas of life like Soul, Mind, & Body, …. this helped me realize that if I don’t purposely schedule out things like the gym, or reading (for fun), or special time with my guys… my life quickly gets messy and out of control. We are busy people, and I don’t want some of those areas in my life to suffer. We also schedule out our meals for the week and do all of our shopping Sunday evening for all meals. Then I have more time to do the things I love rather than grocery shopping through the week. My “Deep Clean” Days are Saturday and Sunday, depending on the week. I mop, dust, vacuum those days only, and do the light picking up all week long.
We have started a new once a week ritual of Sabbath. On this day we rest. I do not clean, I let the dished pile, the kids go crazy and well.. we do nothing but fun things. Honestly this sounds nuts right? But you guys… this has changed everything. Because I rejuvenate, I have enough energy to keep the house clean the rest of the week when I have had a day to break the monotony of cleaning.
When we allow our lives to become cluttered with stuff that has no place, we hide the things that matter. When we try and live by the seat of our pants, never being intentional about the important things in life, we fill our time with the silly things that don’t matter as much (even cleaning). When we don’t take time to rest properly, we become exhausted with the tedious tasks in life, and in turn give up some of those important things that should matter the most.
All that to say, we are no experts in time management, keeping a clean house, or keeping a well balanced life, but we are working on it and in this last year these little changes have made a HUGE difference. We are loving the space we have created so that we can bette make memories and love on one another. There is nothing like it.
If you have questions regarding my crazy methods or simply want to chat, I would love to hear what you think. Leave your comments below and I will get back to you. 🙂
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