But I have found this statement to be true: “Order is heaven’s first law”, by the poet Alexander Pope. There is a relationship between getting clutter mastered and happiness.
I have found that a great pathway to getting your house fresh from the winter doldrums is taking it in short spurts. Here are some ideas that may help.
- First, make a list of what you need/want to get done in the house as well as the yard. Making a priority list is a huge help.
- Next, start plotting on your calendar when you can find the time to get them done as well as when to research the workmen you may need to hire. I just got some rooms painted and it took time to interview and to find the right painter.
- Make a list of future purchases or projects you want. This is the time of year I start to see what needs to be fixed or bought. One thing my husband does that helps me so much with these needs is that every time I say, “I really need more plants” or “I really need a new washing machine” he says, “Just put it on the list!” Now, this doesn’t mean I’ll get it! But it’s a communication tool between us. I know he has really heard me, I get to put my thoughts on a list and whenever we are able to make a purchase, we look at the list to see what we want/need.
- Start clearing out clutter. 40% of your weekly cleaning is picking up clutter. If you can get in the habit of picking up clutter daily, your life will become much easier. The secret? Have a place for everything.
- Work out a cleaning schedule for your spring cleaning. Clean each bedroom from top to bottom. Now is when I strip my bed and wash everything, including the mattress cover. I also take off the heavy blankets and replace with summer ones. I check and see if the windows need washing, if the front door needs a coat of sealer, how many plants to purchase for the yard, I switch out my closet from winter clothes to summer, clean out the kitchen pantry/refrigerator, and check to see what repairs we need to make. I know sometimes the list is exhausting but I have found that if I make a list and do a little at a time, I’m able to get it complete without getting overwhelmed.
- Get your family involved. Your teenager can strip their own bed and clean their bathroom. They can help you dig up the ground for your plants and help with spreading mulch or pine needles. The whole family can help with any of the cleaning or clearing out. And all your children from age 5 and up can clean out their closet by themselves. In fact, I wouldn’t buy new clothes for them until my children had pulled out the clothes they had outgrown and made a list of what they needed. It’s a great training tool for when they are on their own.
- Look over your garage, attic, basement, or closets and access if you have just too much clutter. Your stuff will weigh you down! Now is the time to get it sorted and out of the house. There are too many people in your community who could use those clothes or household items you don’t want any more. Remember, with extra stuff you can: sell it, give it away or throw it away. And when you are finished you will feel like heavy weights have been taken off your shoulders.
- And look over your laundry room. Are there piles of clothes that have been there for months? Get rid of them! Set up a competition with yourself that every time you go in there you get a load of clothes out of the hamper. This is how I have done laundry all my life and it works. My goal is a clean and empty laundry room. PS. Those of you with multiple children that will never happen but at least try to keep it up! LOL
- Look over your bathrooms. Perhaps now is the time to clean them from top to bottom including the shower curtain, inside the cabinets and drawers, and the floor rugs. Check your towels and get rid of those whose life is over and, if your budge allows, buy new ones.
- And, open all your kitchen cabinets and see which ones need clearing out and sorting.
Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Neh. 8:10
Daily life is hard and at times boring. One thing that helps me is to remember this verse. As I focus on the Lord and that He is my life, He gives me such joy which then gives me the strength to carry on.
And remember that families who work and play together are families that enjoy just being together. This may be hard for those of you with teens, but keep trying. Our families are a special blessing from the Lord. They need to be taught that they are a part of the family and so they need to contribute to it. What a great way to give them joy!