Homemaking and Hospitality: How to Glorify God in it All
-Cleaning & Organizing-
Cleaning…that word either makes you excited or make you sigh in disgust at the thought. When I hear the words “spring cleaning” my mind always goes to having the windows open and the screen door welcoming a pleasant breeze into the home. Spring is a great time for new beginnings and that includes a new method to cleaning and organizing your home. This year, Spring cleaning was a little different as we had some cleaning to do for sure but neither my husband nor I dreaded the thought. That’s because last year we decided to start a daily routine for our home when it comes to cleaning. This routine may or may not work for you or your family but it definitely has helped save me so much time and headache. Especially when life gets a little hectic and cleaning is the last thing you want to do. So in today’s article I’m going to be sharing with you my tips for cleaning and organizing the home. If you have additional tips, please feel free to leave a comment below we would love to hear your thoughts and ideas also.
#1 Know your Reason and Purpose for Cleaning?
– I know for Jason and I our home sees a lot of dust, dirt, grass, and dog fur/stains on the floors and carpets. We live out in the country where the great outdoors is our oasis. Jason and I enjoy our time outdoors because there is so much to do where we live. We hunt, fish, garden, mow, hike, bike, and so on. We also have a very hyperactive and furry dog: Maverick (who sheds like crazy in spring!) So, I can tell you first hand that going a week without cleaning is very noticeable in our home. So this brings up the question, why do we clean?
As a Christian family, we do all that we can to be the best stewards of what God has blessed us with. Part of this stewardship is taking care of what we have been given. For me cleaning our home is something I look forward to. I know that may sound odd or crazy to some but it’s very enjoyable to me. Not because I am a cleanliness maniac and want a perfect home, but because I know it makes my husband, our guests and myself feel more comfortable, focused and relaxed. This doesn’t mean ignoring your family or guests because your focus is on having the perfect home all the time. What I mean is that by following a routine, which we will discuss below, can save you so much time and make the cleaning part so much easier.
So to me keeping up with my daily tasks really pays off as it helps to avoid so many unnecessary issues.
#2 Knowing What To Clean and When to Clean
– Knowing your priorities and family routines can really help you with this step. Taking a few moments to sit down and list what motives you have for cleaning your home can help you to know when its best to clean and what to clean. (Also, it helps to create a list for the cleaning products you will need to avoid and overspending at the store. Couponing can also help you save on these products). I know I would much rather be spending time with my husband than cleaning dust and cobwebs throughout my home. So whenever I sit down to list out these motives I make sure I direct my thoughts on what really matters most. Spending time reading God’s word, relaxing and making new memories with my husband, visiting family or friends, taking Maverick on a walk… these are the things I never want to cut short because I allowed cleaning to stand in my way.
#3 Having a Routine and Good Daily Habits
– I cannot stress the importance of this step! This step can save you SO much time and hassle when it comes to cleaning. I like to think of it like trying to avoid illnesses with our bodies because daily we need to take care of ourselves. We have to eat, bathe, sleep, brush our teeth, exercise, etc to avoid hospital visits or worse. With our homes if we avoid healthy daily habits and routines we’ll be bombarded and swamped in a mess. Sometimes I don’t always have time to put dishes away or vacuum the carpet but I know it needs done and what I need to shoot for. Like for instance, holidays, hunting season and gardening seasons are always the busiest time of the year for us and my daily habits and routines become a little randomized. I may have to the let the dishes set for a bit or dirt/hay may be tracked on my feet and clothes as I go in and out of the house while gardening and making us lunch. But whenever the hustle and bustle of the day is over if I’m not completely exhausted I can then do my daily clean ups.
-Life happens and routines change quickly! We unfortunately haven’t been blessed with children in this season of our lives so we haven’t had to change our routines for little ones just yet. We did however have to change our routine when we brought a pet into our home. What a blessing he is to us as he has helped me overcome and heal from some pain I dealt with in my past. He came into our lives at just the right time. However, with this type of responsibility we also had to change how we cleaned our home. There is more upkeep, but it has slowed down a lot since the time he was a puppy but he has more fur now too. So this means having to find days in my week to vacuum, sweep, dust, and clean out his bowls to avoid any bacteria that could surface in the home. At first it was stressful since we were adjusting to a new season with him. But now we have developed a routine that keeps our home nice and clean.
There are ways to reduce the aggravation of cleaning so it’s not a big project to take up your entire day. The secret is doing small tasks every day and forming a habit of it. I know everyday I wipe down my counter tops to avoid any crumbs or bacteria in the kitchen, table and bathrooms. I also like to make it enjoyable… find a new radio station, podcast, or artist and feed your brain while you clean. We have a house that has all but the kitchen, nook area and our one bathroom floored with carpet. We are content with our carpet while we pay off one last debt, but it does require vacuuming at least three times a week since we have a very furry dog in our home. It’s a small price to pay to having a home that smells good with a pup-pup and allergies symptoms aren’t spiking.
Overall, cleaning is simply knowing what needs cleaned in your home and knowing when to clean it using a routine that works best for you and your family. Routines will change and you just have to change with it. But in the end it’s all worth it to having a relaxing and great smelling atmosphere to your home.
You can check out tips on cleaning with essential oils HERE. I love using essential oils to clean my home. It’s safe from harmful chemicals and makes your home smell amazing!
I previously wrote an article on organizing your home which you can check out HERE. Below are a few things to keep in mind when organizing your home.
#1 Declutter and Donate
Start by focusing on one part of your home and sorting through items. Throw away old papers and for the papers that you want to hold onto purchase a decorative box or tote to pack them in for easy storage. For Jason and I, we had LOTS of papers and college books that we either sold or threw away. This really helped to create space! Also, the same thing goes with clothes or decorative pieces in your home. If you haven’t worn or used an item in over a year and its not something with meaning or history, then chances are you don’t need it and its time to sell or donate. We have an Ebay account setup for items that were just wasting space. First, we asked friends or family if they could use this item and if no one could we sold it and made some money to go towards other needs in our home or we put it in our savings.
#2 Organize by making a place for your items.
This can be fun and creative! Once you’ve decluttered, donated or thrown away what you could, now is the time to organize the things that you want to keep and that are useful. I personally enjoy using bins, baskets and decorative boxes to keep organizing far more simple. This not only helps make things look attractive but it also helps you and your family locate items when you need them in a hurry. In our home we have a place for the keys, the office supplies, items to donate, and even a place for Maverick’s dog toys. For Mav’s toys we found a galvanized pail at a thrift shop. We thought it was cute to add to a country theme( he knows where his dog toys are and gets them out whenever he wants to play). Everything has a place in the home, its great to always put items back when your finished with them. This is a great habit to develop so daily you know where items are when you need them. This will also help and reduce build up of clutter in your home.