Cleaning · Home making

Dealing with the Messes at Home

Recently I stooped over to the cabinet below my kitchen counter to retrieve the toaster and as I lifted the appliance from its resting place, I saw crumbs on the cabinet shelf which had fallen from the inside of the toaster. I moaned….

I cleaned crumbs from out of there not long ago and it looks like a mess again!

My husband quickly reminded me that it’s just because we use our kitchen every day. That’s means it needs maintenance. True! I cook and bake a LOT, so of course there will be regular messes in the kitchen.

The truth is that when people simply live in a house there are constant messes. So if we know that simple fact, wouldn’t it also make sense that we wisely organize our efforts in keeping it clean?

As we continue our series of Maytag, Messes and Meals, we remember that the first step in all of these areas is PLANNING. Nothing grand will ever just happen (unless you’re Cinderella!). Here’s what I do in an effort to keep it clean (note that I didn’t say “perfect!”

Plan when to do household chores. For example:

Monday – Laundry, Dust
Tuesday – Sweep, mop and vacuum
Wednesday – Deeper kitchen cleaning – Fridge, oven, stovetop, microwave
Thursday – Iron laundry
Friday – Deep clean one room
Saturday – Magic Eraser on walls and door frames, clean glass

My little grandsons and I had fun working together!

Plan to do some chores EVERY day
Bathrooms cleaned after showers.
Kitchen cleaned after each meal. Wiping the stove off and the oven each time you use it will keep it from being a huge task. Beds made each day. This only takes a few minutes. It takes up the biggest part of your room, and making it will make the room look instantly cleaner!

Before bedtime – Get the house tidied up before heading to bed. Put away dishes in dish drainer, throw away the paper, put away shoes, Put drinking glasses or snack bowls in the dishwasher. Clear off the kitchen counter. Fluff the couch pillows.

It’s wonderful to wake up in the morning to a clean, straightened up house!

Feel overwhelmed with the current condition of your house?

  1. Decide which area needs the first attention – perhaps the entryway or the kitchen counter. The first area that is seen or the place that is most disturbing to you might be your sore spot.
  2. Designate three areas/bags – To keep, Throw away, Give away
  3. Set a 30-minute timer.
  4. Pick up one item at a time and deal with it. (You might want to ask someone to come over and help you make some hard decisions!)
  5. Keep moving until the timer goes off.
  6. Continue this daily or twice a day until that area is cleaned.

Sometimes it’s helpful to watch cleaning videos to get inspired.  A couple You tube channels I love are Do It on a Dime and White Cottage Company.  They have awesome cleaning videos with good suggestions about products and tools. Their cleaned up messes will inspire you, too!

Maybe you’re asking why this even matters?

Ecc. 9:10a

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; 

Remember that we’re creating a little “heaven on earth” space for our families to resort to. It won’t be nearly as peaceful if it is cluttered and dirty.

With some good planning and daily effort, our homes can reflect the beauty of our Creator.

Refresh your home with some planning and hard work. It’s worth it!

refreshment at home · Home making

Managing Your Laundry

I’m half way through the day and I have done two loads of laundry, ironed linens and put them away, and also pressed our clothes for the weekend. Then I got brave and peeked into the clothes hampers in our closets. I saw more dirty clothes wadded and waiting for the the Laundry Lady (that’s me!) to rescue them from the basket and repeat the process of my earlier hours.

Laundry Never Ending Story Wall Quotes™ Decal | WallQuotes.com

It’s true, isn’t it? Laundry never stops. It could be really easy to get cynical and resentful, but as I shared recently in this post, we need to make sure our heart is right in regards to our home. Having a right heart will safeguard us from attitudes that can make us begrudge the work that is so repetitious, but also God-given.

Home began In the Garden of Eden. As a matter of fact, the only thing we have left from the Garden of Eden is the family. What a gift!

And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. Gen 2:15

The word, “dress,” literally means to work it; for though a paradise, the garden still had to be tilled and planted. Seeds needed to be sown. and the cultivated plots kept in order; but all this really added to Adam’s happiness, because Adam hadn’t sinned yet and responded willingly to the husbandman’s care. 

“To keep it.” The animals weren’t all so peaceful and domesticated that Adam did not need to fence his garden against their plundering. Ever had deer eat your garden?! 

God made the family – Adam and Eve. He provided the place for them to live, and also gave them the responsibility of caring for it. They were to WORK. Work was not a result of sin.  Sometimes we treat it as though it is a curse, but work is a blessing. Work is necessary in order to keep a home a suitable place to live. Someone needs to oversee that the work is done – they need to manage it all.

As the wife, it is our responsibility to be the manager – keep the order. That involves training our children to help, but we are to be busy managing the home so that those that live there can serve God best. If our home is only confusion, we will be hindered in serving God or doing what he calls us to do.

But how do we get it all done? Let’s look to the practical side of this management.

What kind of atmosphere do you want it to have? 

Inviting?

Restful? 

Peaceful?

None of that can happen if it’s mayhem.  

In her book, A Woman After God’s Own Heart, Elizabeth George gives a checklist for managing your time and your home. In today’s post, we’ll just elaborate on the area of laundry. I hope to give you some practical help here!

1. Plan! Nothing grand just happens – you have to plan. The more detail the better – the more you’ll get done.

A goal without a plan is just a wish.


Do you have goals for your home, or are they only wishes? We plan our work, and then we work our plan. How do we plan?

  1. If you don’t have some type of daily planning book, get one. It can be a spiral notebook or a formatted daily planner. If you use a plain notebook, list the days of the week on the page. 
  2. You will plan in the three areas – Maytag (Laundry), Messes (House cleaning) and Meals.
  3. Write down the major things you want to accomplish each day under each category.
  4. When the task is finished, check it off.
  5. Stay focused on your list and don’t get sidetracked by other chores. The list will help you do that!

Let’s start today with how you can plan for getting the laundry done

Maytag –
Plan when will you do the laundry.  Will you do one load each morning? Will you designate one day to do it all for the week?
Plan when you will fold the clothes. Note that if you leave the clothes in the dryer for hours after they’re dry, they will wrinkle. Help yourself by setting a goal to get to them as quickly as you can. This will keep your family from searching for their clean clothes and finding them still in the dryer, or spilled out on the living room couch.
Plan when you will put the clothes away, or who will put them away. Will you take each family member’s clothes to their bedroom? Will they each find their pile and put them where they belong?
Plan to teach your children to help. When they’re little they can help you sort. Folding wash cloths and sorting socks is another task they can do. As they grow older, make them more and more responsible for their own clothes. I know a mom who taught her girls to do their own laundry by the time they were ten years old. #smartmom

Whatever your Maytag goals are, keep moving forward and don’t check that chore off your list until it’s all been folded and put away. Seeing that chore on your plan will remind you that it still needs to be tossed into the dryer, or that it’s ready to be folded and put away.

Plan your work and work your plan.

Don’t just wish you could get caught up on the laundry – have a goal AND a plan about how you’re going to tackle it. As with all of life, ask the Lord to help you have the right attitude and to do even the laundry for His glory. He gave you that family who dirties up all those clothes. If we could think of our laundry as a blessing because it represents the people who live there, would we have a better attitude? Pretty sure so.

Refresh your Maytag responsibilities and your attitude about it.

Home making · Wife's Role · Women's roles

Maytag, Messes and Meals, Part 2

I recently saw an Instagram video of a house that had been flipped. The months of work were finished and it was beautiful. Not only was the structure beautiful, but so was each room! They had a professional stager come in and place furniture and decor in each room to make potential buyers see its possibilities.  It seemed to have everything, but one thing it is lacking is people.  In its present state, it is a pretty house, but it is not a home. What will it take to turn it into one? People.

People make a house a home.

So as you and I step into our house with another person – just our mate, or perhaps also our children, we must realize that the most important part of that structure is not the beautiful hardwood floors or the vaulted ceilings – it’s the people who live there. Someone has to do some building of love, structure and routines to create a happy and comfortable place for that family to live. That “someone” is you and me. God has given us that nurturing, nesting nature to help us with the building of our home. How do we build? With God’s wisdom.

Every wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pluck down with her hands.
Proverbs 14:1

I can remember a time when I was a child that my mom was away from home for a week while she had surgery. Back then you were kept in the hospital a week or so to regain strength before returning home. My dad did his best taking care of me and my sisters, but my mom’s presence was missed so much. Things just weren’t the same without her cheery disposition. A wife and mother adds to a home what no one else can bring. We minister to our family in ways I don’t think we can fully comprehend. We must be deliberate about building the lives that gather there

Home should be the one place on the earth where everything will be alright. That’s our sphere – our responsibility, our role – to build the home. We’re not talking about a perfect family – there is no such thing, but a place where there is love and acceptance, forgiveness and encouragement, provision and rest.

Home needs to be a little bit of heaven on earth. Every man needs a place that is a refuge for him.  Every child needs a place that is a safe haven from the world. That is the kind of place we must build.

The negative part of Proverbs 14:1 says that the foolish pluck down their home with their hands. How?

  1. Actively – Anger out of control that throws things, slams doors, slams dishes on the table, rips things up, tears things up. It can tear up a little heart and mind and it can destroy and ruin a person and a home.
  2. Passively – This is simply a failure to work – it’s laziness! We’re to be building; it’s active. We can pluck down our own home just by failing to do the work. We just never get around to it.
    We watch too much t.v., spend too much time on social media, so things aren’t getting done, or we’re not home enough to accomplish the work.

We’re on assignment from God to build a house. We must steer clear of every act, every hindrance that would interfere in building that home.

We must make a decision or a commitment to build, or begin to build.
It’s not too late!
The enemy would want you too think it is, and it won’t make any difference, but that’s not true! You can begin today by asking God to give you wisdom about how to build and then do it.

Just do one thing for the people in your home. Build the atmosphere with your loving touch. Be there. Notice. Listen. Look. Love. Care. Make a difference in their lives.

Next time we’ll discuss some of the particular ways we can manage and care for our home. Until then, do the One Thing the Lord brings to your mind.

Refresh your home by building,

Family life · God's Will · Home making

Maytag, Messes and Meals

I have never built a home, yet I am a home builder. That doesn’t make sense? It’s true! As a matter of fact, if you live in a home with at least one other person, you are a home-builder, too.

Every wise woman builds her house,

but the foolish plucks it down with her hands.

Proverbs 14:1

That verse reminds us that we are either building up or tearing down.

Recently I have had a couple of conversations about what is expected as far as the condition of our homes. Women have wondered,

Does it really matter that my home is a mess?”
“How clean and orderly does a home really need to be?


The first place we run to for answers to these questions and for our building instructions is the Giver of the home…our loving God!

Titus 2 tells us…

3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home,


Wise home-building ALL starts with the condition of our heart. The verse above said, The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness. That simply means our behavior should mirror sacred character. You and I as home-builders should reflect the character of our God. That means…

  • We must spend time with the Lord in His Word so we will know Him. We must spend more time with Him than we do the world’s influence!
  • We must spend time in prayer so we will have the same heart for our home that He has for it! As we pray for those in our home, God can give us insight and wisdom about their needs that we would never understand otherwise.
  • We must have a heart of praise to the Giver of the home. Yes, praise Him for the laundry, the spilled milk and yet another meal we have to prepare. Let’s put it this way,

    We should praise God for Maytag, messes and meals!

    They all are from the Lord and He only gives good gifts!

It’s then that we build under God’s influence and guidance and we truly have a right heart for the home He has given us. Otherwise we will be confused by all the ideas the world shouts in our ears.

So my fellow home builders, make sure your heart is in the right place. Have a heart for your home. If you’re struggling with that, tell the Lord. Ask Him to give you His heart for this ministry. He will. His Word reminds us…

Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. Psalm 127:1

You won’t be building and working with empty results! You’re going to see progress and blessing – yes, even with your Maytag, messes and meals!

If you could ask an older woman for help in one area of your home, where would it be?

Refresh your heart about your home-building!

Cleaning · Home making · refreshment at home

Four Areas Of My House I Clean, Tidy or Straighten Every Day

This spring I’ve enjoyed having the opportunity to do some deep cleaning.  That means that I got out the hand-held vacuum and cleaned behind furniture, I dusted the walls, I straightened out closets.  All that feels good, but it’s important to me to be able to walk into any room in my home on any given day and see that it looks presentable.  To accomplish that I take care of four major cleaning spots every single day, and they take very little time!

  1. The Bed.  I make the bed every day within 15 minutes after I get up.  It’s the major portion of the room, so it makes sense that if it’s all tidied, the room feels cleaner, even if there’s dust on the dresser!
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  2. The Bathrooms. After we’re done showering and such in the morning, I clean the sinks, the tub, shower and toilet.  I change out the hand towels and clean off the mirror.  In literally ten minutes our bathroom is done.  (I do give it a deeper clean regularly, but this is the daily routine.)
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  3. The laundry and laundry room.  I do a load of laundry every day except Sunday.  That way I can do one load, and it’s done first thing in the morning.  The baskets don’t pile up and it doesn’t take long to do one load!  I also clean the laundry room because that’s where my kitty’s litter box and food dishes are.  It’s also done first thing in the morning.
  4. The kitchen.  After every meal I wipe down the counters, the stove and the appliances.  A quick going over whenever it’s used keeps the clean up an easy job!  The dishes are always either loaded into the dishwasher or are hand washed.

By doing these four areas, I always feel like the majority of the house is in order and clean.  Once a routine is established, you never really feel like you’re working, but are just doing the daily schedule.  I listen to podcasts or my Bible app while I do each task and it makes it go even faster!

What areas of your home do you feel daily need attention to make your home inviting?

Refresh your home by creating quick, tidying tactics!

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