Managing Your House

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Have you ever watched an abandoned house quickly fall to ruin with no one caring for it?  It is easy to spot vacant homes because they look as if no one cares.  Grass grows in cracks, shutters hang cockeyed, and the entire place takes on an air of sadness and despair.

Without effort and care, your own home can easily begin to resemble a dilapidated vacant home full of sadness and despair.

What needs to go into the care and upkeep of a home?

1.  Regular cleaning
2.  A general tidiness
3.  Occasional deep cleaning
4.  Regular maintenance & repairs
5.  An air of peacefulness

Next week, we’ll talk more about schedules and using them to stay on task, but for now let’s just talk basics of each of these 5 points.

Regular cleaning
I’ve done everything from a one day house cleaning to an everyday chore board to a mix of both.  Each of these methods have fit perfectly with a particular season in my life.  The bottom line on keeping your home clean on a regular basis is not the particular method you use, but the conscious choosing of a method that works for you!  Don’t be afraid to try something new, but also don’t be afraid to ditch it when it doesn’t work. (note: be sure to give it time to work!)

The other part of this equation is consistency.  Do the cleaning on a regular basis, so it never feels totally out of hand.  Again, we’ll be tackling this more next week, so I won’t go into too much detail now.

A general tidiness
There is a difference between a clean home and tidy home.  You can have a clean home and also have a home that is in total disarray.  In fact, as a homeschooling mom, this is going to happen every single day, several times a day!  The worst part of this is that it creates “eye clutter” and makes it difficult for the family to function at its best.  It’s one thing to have your home cluttered for a period of time, but to live in constant disarray only serves to create a very unproductive home because you have to sidestep messes and search long and hard for the things you need.

The best way I’ve found to keep up with the messiness that is homeschooling is to implement several 15 minute Tidy Up Times throughout the day.  To get you started until you find a groove that works for you, try putting one right before lunch, one right after school is over, and one right before bedtime.  All you have to do is set the timer for 15 minutes and everyone in the house works as fast as they can to pick up.  We like to put on music so the children know exactly how long they have before time is up and they can race against the music.  Also, don’t be afraid to exempt yourself from actual cleaning in order to follow everyone around and point out the things that need to be picked up…especially for children under the age of about 6.  Trust me, folks, they just do not see what needs to be done and need mom’s eyes!  Of course, I do not advocate not pulling your fair share of the weight, but they really do need your help to actually be productive.

Occasional deep cleaning
This one is difficult for me.  I just don’t seem to find the time to really deep clean twice a year as I would like.  In the “olden days” it was a necessity because of the way people heated their homes and the need to clean the winter soot from the walls and linens, etc.  Today, we don’t have quite the necessity our ancestors did, but it is still a good idea to get your home really deep cleaned once or twice a year.  Here are a few suggestions for making this happen:

Delegate.  Write down all the deep cleaning chores you think need to be done and delegate them out to whoever might be capable of handling them.  Baseboards can be wiped down by the 4 and under crowd, fans can be dusted with the help of a duster and a step stool, cabinets can be wiped down by just about anyone over 5.

Get help.  If you only have littles or you are not able to do it on your own due to physical limitations, get help.  Enlist family, friends, maids…it’s ok.  Reciprocate in whatever way you can, but let go of the pride and let others bless you.

Stretch it out.  We’ve gotten in our heads that you can only Spring Clean in the Spring.  Wrong!  Take all those deep cleaning tasks you’d like to have done and spread them out over the year.  One a week or even two a week will give you a huge sense of accomplishment.  I’d also suggest writing the task of the week on a piece of paper big and bold on the refrigerator and then enjoying crumpling the paper up and throwing it away after the task is complete!  (yes, I’m sort of preschooler-ish about such things!)

Be inspired!  One of my favorite things to do is read a blog like OrgJunkie and then get so inspired, I just have to go clean something!

Regular maintenance and repairs
Here’s where a planner comes in handy (like the one I’m giving away!)  Write down in a planner all the regular maintenance that needs to be done throughout the year on the calendar pages and then as things come up that need repaired, you can also add those in.  By the way, if your husband is not much of a home repair sort of guy, teach yourself what you can or make it part of your son’s education!

An air of peacefulness
If you never pick up another broom or dust another shelf, this is the one thing I would suggest you not go another minutes without…peace.

In my book, 10 Days to a Peaceful Home, I give you some tangible, practical steps to follow to gain peace in your home.  I cannot stress enough how important it is for mama to have peace in her heart.  We have to not just know, but believe and live in a way that exhibits that peace that passes all understanding that is Christ in our lives.  Get yourself in the Word, mama and cry out to the Lord for wisdom and understanding and His merciful peace in your life!

This post is part of the iHN Hopscotch.

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7 thoughts on “Managing Your House

  1. Amy I am loving this series. This post has really hit home. I have such a hard time letting go of doing it all and delegating to my kiddos who are old enough to help. Right now I have no choice. I’m on doctors orders not to do a lot of lifting and movement due to a back injury. My husband and kiddos have really come through helping out around the house and with shopping. Like I said I have no choice but to delegate.

    I’m also frustrated because right now I’m in that “my home is in disarray” mode and the hardest part is just knowing where to start. These past couple of posts have been just the kick I needed to get started and prioritize and actually do something. Thanks for these encouraging and inspiring post. I can’t wait to see what else you have coming.

  2. Last week I implemented a new chore/cleaning schedule for our home in anticipation of a new baby. It is working fabulously! I would love to have a planner to replace the sticky notes!

  3. The tip about recruiting help for the deep cleaning tasks hit home for me. This is something I need to be willing to do more. Somehow I think I’m expected to do it ALL, and I forget that keeping the home was oftentimes a family effort AND a neighborly effort.