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!

denise a

Cleaning · home · Home making

Turn Your Household Jobs into Joy!

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We often view household chores like a fire breathing dragon waiting to be slain. They’re breathing down our necks and we would like to run, but we know that killing that beast is necessary and needed. I’d like to give you a different perspective of those tasks, because God created our work at home (and outside our home) to be done for His glory. You see, with just one little change, we turn the word

JOB

into

JOY!

So, too, we could make just one little change in our household work and turn it into a joy, rather than a drudgery.

What picture would give us a right view of dusting, laundry, washing dishes and mopping the floor?  How about an artist standing before his canvas!  Let me tell you why.

  • An artist has to have an end in mind.  He has to know what he’s going to have when he’s finished!  Is it a painting of a sea, the mountains or a vast valley?  Is it to be a portrait?
    • As workers, we need to know what our goals are.  What do we want to have accomplished in the end?
  • An artist has to have the right tools.  The right paint brush can put leaves on a tree with a simple stroke, or cover the canvas with the background color needed for a sunset.
    • As workers, we need the right tools to accomplish each job.  It will make it easier and more effective!
  • An artist has to have a time table to complete the work.  He may have a time limit because of the person for whom the work is to be done.  He may have time limits because of the mediums with which he is working.  Clay hardens!  Acrylic paints dry quickly!
    • As workers, we should use our minutes wisely, not wasting time by making the work more difficult, or by distractions.

So, artist, let’s think about our housework and how we can apply these principles!

  1. Tasks 
    1. Each day have a plan as to what needs to be done.  Don’t try to do it all in one day.
    2. Divide the weekly chores into the days of the week.
    3. Write down what you need to do.
      For daily chores, like beds being made and dishes washed and put away, you may want to write that into your goals as well, but not necessarily each day unless it’s not a habit yet.  If you need to get into that habit, write it each day!
      Know what your desire is – should the beds be made right after rising?  Should the dinner dishes be put away before you head to bed?  Seeing chores written down will help you to accomplish them, and then have the satisfaction of checking them off!
  2. Tools
    1. Dusting – Don’t use the nastiest rag you have in the house. Use a cloth you’ll want to see, like a swiffer duster, or a microfiber cloth to dust your home.  Get an extension duster to use on the ceiling fans and behind the headboard of the beds.
      Invest in a dusting spray.  I love the Pledge multi-surface anti-bacterial cleaner. multi surface everyday cleaner antibacterial
      It helps pick up the dust and it leaves everything smelling fresh and clean!
    2. Mopping –  Swiffer mops are my favorite.  I made my own covers for dry mopping and I can wash them and reuse them!  But I do buy the Swiffer brand for wet mopping.  They, too, make the house smell nice and clean!
    3. Cleaning Windows and mirrors and bathrooms – Put your mirror/window cleaner as well as your bathroom cleaners in pretty little spray bottles from the Dollar Tree.  I have several – one in each bathroom, and one in the kitchen ready for use!
      I use my own recipe for windows and mirrors – 50% water 50% white vinegar and a few drops of Dawn Dish Soap.  Shake it up and spray it on!  It works great and doesn’t leave streaks!
    4. A cleaning caddy can carry all your supplies without you having to run from room to room gathering the needed cleaning sprays and cloths. You can buy something similar at the Dollar Tree.
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  3. Time
    You don’t have to spend hours cleaning!  As a matter of a fact, you could spend less than 30 minutes a day and get more accomplished than you can imagine, but you have to be diligent.  Here’s how:

    1. Set a timer.  Play a game with yourself (sounds silly, but this works wonders!).  Set a goal to try to accomplish a,b,and c before the timer goes off in, let’s say, 15 or 30 minutes.  It’s amazing what you can accomplish in a short amount of time!
    2. Set aside distractions.  Put your phone in another room, or on vibrate and vow not to touch it until you’re finished!  Turn the television off.  Focus on the work at hand.
    3. Do the least liked job first!  You hate cleaning the oven, but it got splattered from the roasting chicken?  Do it first.  Then you can move on to the easier jobs!

With these three simple ideas, you can complete that work like an artist and you’ll end up with the beauty of a home that no painting could capture!  The audience will be your family and friends.  There’s no embarrassment of people seeing an unfinished project on the easel!  Oh, and the

A JOB can be turned into a JOY
with just one little change.

What change do you need to make in your housework to change it into a joy?

Denise Signature 150 px

Cleaning · home · How-to Video

My Morning Cleaning Routine

A sweet reader recently asked me if I had a daily cleaning routine.  My immediate thought was, “No, I don’t.  I just clean when I see a need.”  THEN I began to go through what I do each morning, and I realized that I certainly DO have a routine!  It’s so ingrained in my morning, that it’s just natural and doesn’t even feel like I’m working on a list of household chores!

I’ve made a short video to take you through what I do in the first hours I’m awake – just as I go through the regular parts of each day.  I work as I go along, and by mid-morning, many tasks have been completed! Come along and see…

Just as I ended my video by saying, let me repeat – the comment from a reader inspired this video.  If you have a question or comment, let me know and perhaps it can be answered in a future post!  I ‘d love your input!

Happy cleaning!
Denise Signature 150 px

Family life · home · Home making · organization · refreshment at home · Work

Breaking the Habit

“Negative Habits Every Family Should Break”  is the title of the series my husband is preaching on Sunday nights. This past Sunday night he encouraged families to get rid of disorganization. The very evening he was preaching his message, I was reminded of why it’s so important for my home to be organized.

As the service was being started, one of our very own missionaries who was passing through the area, felt led of the Lord to come to Boones Creek Bible Church’s evening service. He was by himself, due to his family being away for a few days, and so he was on no time schedule. After spotting him in the congregation, my husband had him come up and pray during the service. When our missionary guest announced how the Lord directed him to our church, and that he was on no schedule, the Lord prompted my heart that he needed to come and stay with us for the night. It was no surprise that when I talked to my husband after the service, he felt the same way. And so, our missionary friend returned to our home after the service.

As my husband was preaching, and I had been given the prompt to invite this dear man to stay with us, I thought, “I’m thankful that everything is in order at the house. I’m not going to have to go home and apologize for the messy kitchen, dirty dishes or laundry piled up on the couch. Whew!” Oh, not that my house couldn’t have used a dust rag or mop in places, but overall, it was ready for a guest to drop in.

Being organized and tidy isn’t only about teaching your children good habits and responsibility, it’s also about being prepared to be used of the Lord when He prompts your heart. There have been times that I would have resisted having a guest enter my home, trust me! But on this night I was thankful that I was prepared – not so I wouldn’t be embarrassed, but because my lack of organization would have caused my husband and me to miss the blessing of serving this servant of the Lord! It was a delight to have him in our home, and to be able to quickly obey the Lord’s leading.

So, if you look at your lack of organization and say, “It’s just my family, and they don’t care!” You’re missing the whole point. First, we’re stewards of what the Lord has entrusted to us (that includes our belongings, as well as the training of our children), and secondly it will free us up to serve others.
Paul reminds us in Galatians 5:1 – Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. I realize that he’s referring to legalism, but disorganization can also be a type of bondage that keeps us from being free.

Look around your home right now and ask yourself if you’d be good with guests stopping in. If the answer is “No way!” why not start on a path to orderliness? Perhaps you could free yourself from the bondage of disorganization by:
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  • Check out Fly Lady’s “Getting Started” Tips
  • Determine to get rid of 7 things every single day. Put the unused items in a black bag and when it gets full discard it – Goodwill, Salvation Army, Consignment – something!
  • Read Emilie Barnes Books on organization, such as “Organizing Magic: 40 Days to a Well-ordered Home and Life

If this negative habit has been a part of your life, it’s not impossible to get rid of it! Start today and make a little progress at a time. It will be so freeing, and you’ll be ready to serve at a moment’s notice!

Would you be ready and willing to serve others today? What would it take to get you there?

 

home · refreshment at home

Taming the Laundry Pile

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Happy Friday, friends!  Maybe you love Friday, until you look in your laundry baskets and find them all overflowing with dirty clothes, towels and kitchen linens from the previous week.  Now this weekend you’ll spend most of Saturday getting caught up, knowing that in three days, it’s going to be flowing out into the hallway again!

Please forgive me if I’ve shared this already (I searched my blog and couldn’t find it, so I feel safe! I’m losing it!).  One little thing I’ve begun doing in the last six months EVEN WITH JUST THE TWO OF US IN OUR HOUSE is doing one load of laundry every day.  I alternate between dark clothes and whites.  It might not always even be a big load, but if there’s enough to do even a small load, it’s going to be washed. The blessings of doing one load every day are:

  • It only takes a short amount of time to gather that color of laundry.
  • It’s just a little bit of clothes to deal with once it comes out of the dryer.
  • I don’t have a whole day where I’m dealing with laundry all day long!
  • The clothes get back into the closet/drawer quickly, so they’re ready when needed.
  • It’s become a part of my morning routine as soon as I get up.  I throw them in when I feed my kitty (her dishes are in the laundry room).  By the time I’m finished with my Quiet Time, the clothes are ready for the dryer.  By the time I’m showered and dressed, the clothes are ready to be folded.
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Add the word, “Daily” to this sign and you’ll reduce your laundry stress!

I might add that I don’t do laundry on Sunday, but doing it six days a week has been a real help and refreshment!  I hope it will help you, too!

What will you do to refresh your heart this weekend?  I trust you’ll go to a Bible preaching church!

Stay refreshed,