First, I want to say a belated “Happy Mother’s Day” to all of you! I pray it was a good day for you filled with time with your loved ones. I was blessed that I had just spent the week before with my Mom and older daughter and my precious granddaughter! Then my younger daughter from Houston came up for the weekend.
But after being out of town and then having a visit from my daughter, it was hard to get back into the swing of things. If ever you feel overwhelmed, disorganized and frustrated please know that it’s normal! Life goes up and down and all around. The secret is to focus on the Lord and His Word first – this will ground you into keeping your eyes on Him and off your life. And the next step is in doing little things each day to help you stay organized.
When we are more organized, life won’t seem so complicated. I promise.
1. We worked on closets in the last blog. I hope you have been able to clear out and start fresh for spring and summer.
2. Now start with your bedrooms. Clean each room from top to bottom. Literally strip everything off of the beds, washing everything down to the mattress. If you can take the mattress outside to air in the sun for a day, you will be able to kill any dust mites. If the mattress is too big to handle, vacuum it and perhaps buy a mattress cover that completely covers the mattress to prevent mites or bed bugs from getting into the mattress.
3. Look over the room and see if there are any light bulbs needing to be replaced, ceiling lights or lamps to be cleaned, furniture to be polished, windows to be washed, picture frames wiped and glass cleaned, floor molding to be cleaned, carpet to be vacuumed or cleaned. I like to take a room at a time (you could even designate one room and bathroom a week) so that I’m not overwhelmed.
4. Next, tackle the bathrooms; clean as much as you can, even walls and light switches, toothbrush holders, throw rugs, mirrors, drawers, etc. This is a great time to add new liners in the drawers or wipe them down and reorganize the contents. Keep a trash bag close by! It’s also a good time to buy new towels for the bathrooms to help them look fresh.
5. The kitchen will probably need more work than any other room. If you can, move your refrigerator and clean behind and underneath. Wipe clean the inside of the refrigerator, throw away out-dated food, wash the food storage drawers and vacuum the coils under the refrigerator. Also, clean out the pantry by throwing away out-dated food and wiping down the shelves. Clean your oven and don’t forget your microwave (if it is wiped down daily it will stay clean).
6. Laundry Room. Clean out your dryer’s lint hose and wipe down the outside of both washer and dryer. I run a wash cycle with white vinegar to clean the inside of the washer.
7. This may be a good time to clean the windows (I have the outside of the windows cleaned professionally and I wait until I get a good special), blinds, curtains, lamp shades, ceiling fans, chandeliers. For the chandelier in my foyer, I ask the person who cleans the outside windows to wipe it down and then I have all the lights replaced at one time since it is too high for me to reach with my small ladder.
8. Check all your hallways and see if you need to wash doors, marks off the walls, light switches, etc. Replace batteries in your smoke detectors.
9. Check your front door, as well as your back door and clean, paint or stain them. Add a new welcome mat if the old one is looking worn. Check the light fixtures and see if they need to be cleaned and lights replaced.
10. Last, clean out your garages, basements and attics. Yes, these are hard places and may take more time and man power than you have. So do sections at a time. Shelves and plastic bins can really help put items in their own place and help organize these areas. The best way to clean these large areas is to remove all the items, clean the floor and then as you bring items back in, determine what should be thrown away, given away or brought back in.
11. Make sure you delegate! The family should all pitch in and work together to make your house a clean and workable home.
12. Of course, there is always yard work to do in the spring. So, I do a little at a time. One weekend we will fertilize the bushes. Another, we will put the cushions out on the patio furniture which, this year, will need to be spray painted. Then, on another day, I will plant my pots with flowers.
13. As I look over this list, it does seem like a lot of work! But I really do believe if you do a little at a time, and as you see your home transformed, it will become easier. I have found that if I am constantly working on some part of my house or yard, I am able to keep up with its upkeep!
Manna from Heaven
When I was a new mother, I remember thinking how easily I could keep the house clean if no one was there! Then I read this verse and realized that keeping everything clean and perfect may be nice and easy, but there is no joy in living a life without the fruit of love and family. I think this verse will make you laugh and put what is and is not in the right perspective!
“An empty stable stays clean – but there is no income from an empty stable.” Proverbs 14:4, The Living Bible