It seems like there is a growing question and frustration out there for moms with young children on how to keep one's house kept up and things together for the occasional "pop in" visitor. Or to just feel like your house is not falling apart when running a bazillion different directions in day would be a really nice feeling! I will post on my “secrets” to hospitality another day, but today I want you to see that in your home sanity and peace is possible!
Today’s “secret” is that sanity is possible and a “put together” home is possible with kids and busy schedules. Mind you, I did not say a PERFECT home!!!I have no where arrived in any way, shape, or form, but I love to organize, clean, have 4 little ones, and have a CRAZY busy life. On top of that, I have a growing number of visitors scheduled at least 3 times a week! May I remind you that "My way" will not be "YOUR way." It is not the "best way," but the best way for me, and it has truly worked! But, I hope that you may glean a bit from it and then develop YOUR OWN way to stay sane and have a relaxing and fun home to welcome you, your family, and guests in any second of the day! So, this is how I do it!
Cleaning: I surface clean my home every morning! This usually takes me about 15-30 minutes. Each room gets vacuumed or swept, toilets and sinks get wiped down and I check the showers and tubs to make sure there are no wandering hairs (I hate hair). I make sure the trash cans are emptied and quickly tidy up whatever may be out of place. If you do this every day, the big cleans really don't take long at all. (My children ages 7, 5, & 3 have actually taken the daily cleaning completely off of me) My 5 year old is the best bathroom cleaner ever! Teach ‘em young, mommas, teach ‘em young!
Declutter: I love having things organized and having a place for everything. This alone eliminates tons of mess, because when you have nowhere to put something it clutters a counter, a drawer, or wherever you can throw it to "hide" it from sight. More on this subject is coming soon. :)
Laundry: I have been doing a load of laundry a day which is miraculous and takes but a few minutes. I have a hamper in my girls room and then for our room. I'll do a load of kids stuff and then ours. This makes folding and putting away much easier too. I fold and the kids put all their clothes away. Yup, Madelynn ( my 3-year old) does her own too.
Don’t you just love those chunky little feet? Elianna loves to help me throw clothes in the dryer.
Scouring: I thoroughly scrub the bathrooms, move some furniture, windows etc.
Clean out refrigerator and freezer (again, this won’t take long if you wipe down quickly once a week)
Make sure there is cookie dough made or cookies ready to pull out for visitors (Post coming in a few days)
Wipe down baseboards. (this is my son’s favorite (for now) job)
Ha ha! My fridge isn’t always this empty, I promise!!
Get rid of stuff: Don't let clutter control you! I HATE just keeping things if I never use them or they are just taking up space. So, my solution/ “secret” : Once a month I go through each room and get rid of anything I never use or don't like anymore. Honestly, it takes but a few minutes now because I haven't let stuff accumulate for months on end. I rummage through all drawers and closets/cupboards and weed out what I don't want or what is too small or worn out. Don’t be afraid to get rid of stuff!
We host a young couples dinner after every Sunday night along with a luncheon with about 8 college students every Sunday afternoon. Bible studies are on Tuesday mornings, and I typically have 1 unannounced visitor a week and often have others pop in or ask to stop over! I love it, and I know that it is only the Lord that allows me to have these opportunities. But, when I keep up throughout the week, I am not running around like a chicken with my head cut off on Saturday.
So, I know everyone's lives are crazy, but we are all in this together. I am excited to hear how you chose to develop your own “secrets” in helping with the sanity and general upkeep of your home. I certainly am not super woman, and my home is not perfect, but I will say that you can have a busy life and still find time to keep your house cleaned. Might I encourage you to think about your home as your Ministry? You can read a post I wrote months ago about that here.I cannot take credit for my home or how it looks, but I can give credit to the Lord for giving me a godly momma who taught me the importance to manage my home in such a way that I can someday be a blessing to a weary soul or bring glory to the Lord by being hospitable to my own family and others!
It may seem like a crazy schedule, but I don't have a schedule. I just clean the quick things up now by habit, and I don't feel like it is a chore. Enjoy your home this week, and I hope you may find a few helpful “secrets” in here to get your home in order for a "pop-in" visitor or maybe your weary, hardworking- husband!
Come back tomorrow to hear my “secrets” about toy organization.