HOUSEKEEPINGThe truth about housekeeping is that it takes time and discipline just like anything that’s worthwhile in life. If you are a star athlete, or an aspiring athlete, you are diligent to take the time and train your body, you eat right, you exercise and perfect your craft. It takes time and diligence to be a marathon runner. You don’t wake up one day and decide your going to run a 10K and then just go out and do it. You practice and train, and then practice and train some more until it’s perfect. I use this analogy to give you an idea about keeping house. It takes discipline and time and training to know what works best in your home. The dishwasher doesn’t magically load itself, and stuff doesn’t magically pick itself up. We have to do it, each day with a streamlined efficiency that doesn’t overwhelm and control us on a daily basis. What kind of messes does your home seem to generate? Where does the main problems seem to lie? It’s so easy to let the messes of each room, spill into all the other rooms of the house. Do you have dirty laundry in several rooms? Do you have clean laundry waiting to be folded? Realistically, do you have TOO MUCH laundry? Finding a balance between throwing away things that are no longer serving us, putting away essentials, and decorating with simple items is a challenge that is worth pursuing. Part of living simply is choosing not to be overwhelmed by excess, but being intentional and deliberate about our time and space. Ultimately, rest happens when our minds and bodies are in states of relative peace. We all go through times of high stress and chaos, but this is the time to put routines in place that will help maintain our sanity.
In the Morning:
- Open the blinds or drapes and make your bed. You will be amazed at what this one simple thing can do to make a huge difference in your day. If you stay at home, or work from home, it is calming and peaceful and aesthetically pleasing to pop into your room every now and then and see your made bed. And there is just something about a made bed that feels amazing at night when you crawl back into it. It’s a huge comfort to have the sheets and blankets straight, flat and crisp and the blankets all going the right way, the pillows fluffed and ready for another nights sleep. Letting the light pour into the rooms of your home will keep things open, bright and positive. Bright light is perfect for making a home feel more spacious and airy.This is only going to take a couple minutes of your day, but will make a world of difference.
- Let in some fresh air, or use an oil diffuser to infuse some lovely and healing aromas into the air.
- Take some time to meditate or pray. This is a perfect time, before everyone is awake to spend some time with the Lord. Pray for the day ahead, for wisdom and strength, and for the members of your family. Take some time to do daily Bible reading. I find that if this is put off to the end of the day, I’m often too tired and it doesn’t always happen. This is such a great way to get centered and focused and remember what priorities are most important.
- This is also a good time to organize your thoughts for the day, write in your journal or check your day runner to see what needs to get done, and how to prioritize your daily most effectively.
Throughout the Day:
- Use a collection basket. I REALLY love this idea and have been doing this for awhile now. If you have one main basket or bin that you use, you can throw items that are misplaced throughout the day into it for a quick cleanup before bed-time. You’ll find that once you start with one item, its easier to get the whole basket done at once then trying to clean up room by room.
- Gather laundry that’s laying around and take it to the main wash area for laundry time.
- Keep a bin for donations nearby. Find a place in your home or garage for a donation box that’s always available. As your going through your home each day, keep an eye out for things that just aren’t serving you anymore and throw them in the box, knowing that your one item lighter in your journey to a stress free home.
- Clean up after yourself. It sounds simple, but so often we just don’t! Deal with messes right away, when your done eating, rinse your plates and put them in the dishwasher. When you change your clothes, throw the old ones in the hamper. When your done brushing your teeth or hands, wipe down the sink. Vacuuming only takes a few minutes too. This is also a good time to teach your children that when they are done playing with something it needs to get put away.
- Use essential oils to clean. I make a lot of my own household cleaners with essential oils, and it makes cleaning SO much more enjoyable when you are smelling something lovely and healing at the same time. My favorites are rosemary, lemon and grapefruit.
In The Evening:
- Put away the items from your collection basket. It only takes a few minutes and you’ll be ready for tomorrows items.
- Finish the dishes. This is something I learned from my mom growing up, even when she was so tired and it was so late and everyone had gone to bed, she always stayed up to finish the dishes. Iv’e timed it several times, and it literally only takes 20 minutes. The only thing worse than coming home to a sink full of dirty dishes? Waking up to it. Do your morning self a favor by finishing those dishes. They really aren’t going to do themselves. Really.
- Enjoy your evening. It’s very important to your mental, emotional and physical health to take time each day to wind down and do something that you enjoy. Once things are put away, it’s time to sit back and enjoy your space after a long day of work. Light a candle, build a fire in the fireplace, watch a movie or take a hot shower or bath, play your favorite relaxing music and enjoy the quietness of a clutter-free space!
- Add some greenery. There is something so wonderfully fresh and full of life about adding plants and florals to your living spaces. Green plants provide a calming color while helping breathe life into your home.
- Pick a calming color palette. Choose a color palette that you love and stick to it, keep your space clean and your design streamlined.
- Make your own cleaners. I mentioned it earlier but making your own cleaners with essential oils has really changed my perspective on cleaning. I use to hate having to breathe in smelly chemicals during household cleaning. Then I learned how to make my own natural, lovely-scented cleaning products, and it really has made a difference in my attitude when it comes time to clean up.