House Cleaning?? Cue the Eye-Roll Emoji!!
I worked a full time job outside the home for the first 25 years of my married life. During that time I developed the habit of doing ALL housework and chores on the weekends only. Because I did everything at once, it took multiple hours to accomplish. So naturally, over time, my mindset became that anything and everything to do with housework or cleaning was very, very time consuming. I would not even consider beginning a task unless I had an entire day to dedicate to just that. Needless to say, my house was not often cleaned or even very “picked-up”. I would sooner die than have anyone just “stop by”! My Mom used to try to tell me that I could accomplish small tasks during the week and not be so overwhelmed, but I guess I could not hear her due to my deeply entrenched mindset that it ALL HAD TO BE DONE AT ONE TIME! (Okay, some of my inability to listen was hardheadedness…a topic for another blog someday!)
This misguided mindset continued even after I became a stay-at-home mom. At least then I could schedule in a day to do a lot of housework on a more regular basis. It’s a good thing! With all of us at home all day on most days the mess we created increased exponentially. Not to mention all the new clutter of a homeschooling family being added to the mix!
Fast forward with me to around 2004. We decided to move from our home of 27 years in Mandarin, live in my Mom’s garage for 3 years, and build a new house on my parent’s property. (I know, I know! What in the world were we thinking?!?! Again, another blog for another day!) I was faced with the overwhelming task of going through every single thing we owned and downsizing greatly. I literally had to touch every single item in my home, garage and attic and decide for it to go in one of 4 places: pack to stay with us at Mom’s, pack in storage for 3 years, put in the garage sale stacks, put in the give-away/Goodwill stacks. What an enormous undertaking this was! I took me a full year to work through it all. This was when God taught me that I was WAAYYYY too attached to things! Why did I had several sets of twin sized sheets when we had not even had a twin sized bed in years? This is just one small example.
So now you know the background for my thought process when in 2009 we were able to finally move in to our new home. That experience made me determined to limit my clutter of “things” and to develop a mindset of doing small amounts of housecleaning very faithfully. Never again did I want to be ashamed of someone just coming by to visit. I was convicted over my prior slothfulness and lack of organization. I was sad when it dawned on me how much it prohibited me from practicing the gift of hospitality that I enjoyed so much.
I’m such an avid reader. So I found a few books that were very helpful in my search for just the right plan and I will list them at the bottom of this post. I used a bit from each author and their experiences and developed my own plan of attack. We have been in the house 10 years now and I am pleased to tell you that my plan still works! Certainly I’m still not perfect at it and there are definitely times that I need to spend a full day (or more) catching up and getting back on track.
I want you to know though that success lies in the little things! I plan to share with you some tips and plans of action. So I’m adding in the “Home Executive Tip of the Day” page to my blog. Jump on over to that page now and see today’s tip, then check there often for a new one! Maybe you have some tips to share as well? Put them in the comments and let’s all together whistle while we work!
In His Service,
P.S. – Here’s some good reading materials: Is There Life After Housework? – Don Aslett; Sink Reflections – Marla Cilley (“The Fly Lady”); Sidetracked Home Executive – Pam Young & Peggy Jones