In the interest of loving my family and keeping my sanity, I have been spending time organizing my home by creating "zone" cleaning areas - based on cleaning in 15 min. increments. Now, I am a fairly neat and tidy person -most days - However, I seem to have some areas that never quite get tackled.
I am retraining myself to not just clean my house, but rather to "bless my house." I have discovered that when I change the way I look at housework from "chores" to "blessings" it really changes my attitude of what I am called to do. I love my family and I want them to thrive in a place of peace and order. I am more at peace when my home is well ordered so I know my family must be as well. I am also reminded that "housework done imperfectly still blesses my family."
I love to have an efficient system for things and I think this zone cleaning thing may be the ticket. We'll have to wait and see.
We are also working on finding 27 items to either throw or give away every day (actually within 10 min.), purging our house of accumulated junk. The kids were in charge of finding 27 things in their rooms today in the span of 10 minutes. Brooke found 72! I said hey great - that's 27 backward! Way to go! In case you're wondering why "27?" - in Hebrew, the numbers represent letters which, when put together, make up a word. The two that make up 27 translate into English as "pure, spotless, clean." These ideas can be found by going to flylady - she is the founder of this system. She actually calls the collecting of 27 items the "27 fling boogies" - now, as an elementary school teacher, "boogies" mean something entirely different to me. It took me 2 chapters to figure out she meant dancing. It is still a little hard for me to get a rather icky image out of my mind here. I must rename this assignment. Here are a few ideas that have worked rather well for me in the area of housecleaning:
~ start the day by always making your bed - first thing!
~ get dressed first thing in the morning - you will be more productive if you're dressed for "work". It is easy for stay at home moms (this is me this year) to stay in sweat pants or pj's but you will increase your productivity and desire for a clean home if you do this one little thing .
~ have one day a week you plan your menu for the entire week, make up a grocery list at the same time.
~ clean in 15 min. increments
~ keep your sink clean! Don't let dishes pile up in there.
~ decide the night before what you will wear in the morning- this is a very helpful tool to teach your kids - they will learn that a little forethought gives them peace in the morning.
~ Divide your home into 5 zones. Clean one zone a week.
~ Give yourself one day a week for weekly "house blessing" - this will be one hour of house cleaning that must be done. Stay focused here! Set your timer for 10 min. increments and "bless" away.
~ Keep bathroom cleaning supplies in every bathroom. I teach my kids to swish the toilet with the toilet brush every day - I let the toilet brush sit in a disinfectant solution so this is really easy for them to do. You won't want to do this if you have really little kids! Every time you go into the bathroom clean one little thing.
~ Don't wait to see dirt before you clean. Clean one zone faithfully for 15 min. every day even if it doesn't look dirty to you - this is proactive cleaning so you won't have a big job later on.