Monday, February 1, 2016

Homemaking God's Way...Your House

By: Jenifer Metzger

So far in our homemaking series, we've discussed homemaking with your heart, your husbandyour kids and your time. Today, we will discuss homemaking and cleaning.

Let's face it, cleaning isn't really a fun thing to do. But it is a necessary thing.

My biggest problem with cleaning is that nothing stays clean. I know I cannot possibly be the only one who walks into a room less than an hour after cleaning it and wonder how on this beautiful earth can it possibly already be dirty again! I mean, seriously people! My kids have pretty much learned that if I clean a room, they have to stay out of it until dad comes home from work. I want him to see that the room was actually clean at one point in time.

I like my house to stay clean and organized, which isn't always easy in a home with 6 people plus pets. But I have learned the messier my house is, the more chaotic I feel. The cleaner my house is, the more calm I feel.

Because I homeschool my kids and babysit a little one, I cannot spend all day cleaning. If you are a homeschool mom, you understand. Your attention is focused on schooling, not cleaning. The best way to handle this, is do what you can before school starts for the day. Once the kids are in a place where they can work independently (like writing their spelling words or practicing math problems) do some housework. If your kids are still little, try doing housework before they wake up and again at naptime.

Today I am going to share with you 10 of my tips for cleaning.
  1. My biggest tip in cleaning is something I tell my kids on a daily basis. It's easy. It's simple. You already know it. But sometimes we need reminded. What is it? Put things away where they go when you are done with them. Boom! That simple friends. I know we get tired, I know we don't feel like it, I know we think we will do it later. But the truth is, it is so much easier to do it immediately. As soon as you are finished with that dish, place it in the dishwasher. As soon as you take off those shoes, put them in the closet. As soon as you take off that jacket, hang it up. As soon as you are done with that blanket, fold it up. It's so much easier to do it right then and I promise you, it will help you keep your house cleaner.
  2. If you keep things picked up, following the above tip, it is easier to keep the house clean. Let me explain. My bedroom stays clean. Each morning when I wake up, I make the bed immediately, pick up anything that might be out of place, carry dirty laundry to the laundry room, close the closet door and then scan the room to make sure everything is put away. It literally takes me 10 minutes. Once or twice a week I dust and vacuum the room which only takes another 10 or 15 minutes. If you don't let things accumulate, it is so much easier to keep up on things.
  3. Baskets are your friend. I love baskets and bags (Thirty One bags and dollar store bins are my faves!) because of the organization they offer. We have a basket for the kids' video game things, a basket for regular games, a basket for phones to go into at night (I call it the Phone Zone), a bag for all of my Bible study supplies, each kid has a basket for their bathroom items (like toothbrush, deoderant, etc) and a bag for their travel bathroom items for when they go to a friend's house. Baskets, bags and bins help you stay organized and give everything you own a 'home.'
  4. Deep clean your home regularly. I try to do this on a weekly basis. Deep cleaning to me is scrubbing the toilets, scrubbing the floors, dusting the ceiling, corners and baseboards, those kind of things. If you do it regularly, you will be able to keep up on it and it won't take you all day. When your cleaning isn't done regularly, it can get out of hand and once you finally get to it, it takes much, much longer than it should.
  5. Do light cleaning every day. Other than simple putting things away when you are done, some things that should be done every day are your kitchen and bathroom. Keep your kitchen and bathroom counters clear of clutter so that they are easy to wipe down each day. I typically wipe down the kitchen counters after each meal. The dishes need done each day. The trash cans need emptied each day. These are things that just need to be done each day to help you keep up on things.
  6. Keep up on the laundry. Let's be real. Mount Laundry is a struggle to climb. Especially when it gets out of control. With 6 people in our home, I used to do at least 4 loads of laundry every single day. A couple of years ago we started making our kids do their own laundry. Now that I only do laundry for my husband and I, I can get all of our clothes washed, dried, folded and put away in only 2 loads. That is pretty easy to manage. Our kids each do laundry twice a week.
  7. Keep your cleaning supplies simple. I use a vinegar solution for most everything. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant so it gets things cleaned. It is super cheap and doesn't leave harsh chemicals to harm your family. Vinegar can be used for furniture, bathrooms, kitchens, floors, it is pretty much safe for everything! For the deep cleaning days, I use ajax for the toilet bowl and windex for the mirrors (hubby thinks vinegar leaves a film on the mirrors, I disagree but use windex so that it shines like he wants). We use old shirts cut up for rags. This is much cheaper than buying paper towels to clean with.
  8. I love candles! I love the ambiance. Candles feel peaceful and inviting to me. I also love filling my home with a good fragrance. Each day I light 2 candles, 1 in the living room and 1 in the kitchen.
  9. Have the kids help! All of the responsibility should not fall on your shoulders. Kids of all ages can learn to do chores. Even a 1 year old can learn to pick up their toys and feed the dog.
  10. Be proud of your home. I am not talking about sinful pride. I am talking about contentment. If you love your home, you are content with what you have and you are thankful for what you have, you tend to take better care of it. Don't be jealous of someone else's home or what you see on Pinterest. Be thankful for what God has blessed you with and take good care of it.
This week's action plan:
Be intentional about cleaning. If the mess in your house has gotten out of control, take it one day at a time. Do what you can today then do a little more tomorrow and so on. Once you get things back in order, it is so much easier to keep up on it. This week, pick one room or one task and start. You can't finish if you don't start,


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