I know that these cleaning posts are really for my own records, but the fact is, I do want them recorded in this online journal of mine. For so long the house cleaning issue has weighed on me, and I am thankful to finally feel some freedom from it.
It has been one of my big prayer things over the past six months, and as silly as it may sound, it is something that I have trusted God with--something that I wanted him to work out in me, and He is faithful, isn't he?
I am continuing in my daily "tasks," beds made, kitchen cleaned (which is an over and over thing throughout the day), and laundry rotated. I am sticking with my plan to keep folded clothes on Ada's bed throughout the day, and at the end of the day we all put them away. The bigger weekly tasks are also getting done, though I have found that having a set day for each task doesn't really work for me, so I just sort have in my mind those things that need to get done each week--bathroom (having only one to clean makes this an easy job!!), sheets changed, kitchen and laundry mopped, floors vacuumed, etc. etc. The dusting is the thing that I hardly ever get to unless "company" is coming--just being honest. It rarely gets done until it is so bad that I can't stand it, and I just jump up and start dusting all of a sudden. The part that continues to overwhelm me is the clutter.
The bad thing about a small house is it gets cluttered so quickly, and the good thing is that it really doesn't take long to declutter if I can just make myself do it. I finally, finally listened to what everyone has said, and I have started setting the timer for 15 minutes, and then Ada and I "race the clock," to see how much we can get done. It's amazing. Usually in about 5 minutes most things are put away, and I can use that extra 10 minutes to focus in on a certain spot--the dining room table (which is also a gathering spot for everything that doesn't really have a spot), the top of my dresser, etc. etc. The problem is that during that 15 minutes I begin to see bigger projects that need to be done--toys organized and weeded out, the bookshelf organized, the hall closet organized--organization is an issue for me--and I start to get overwhelmed. So, I am forcing myself to focus only on the task at hand--decluttering.
With each new habit that I start, I make myself stay there for several weeks before I add anything, so that the task becomes automatic, and I think that is what has worked for me. It has been slow going, but there is a huge improvement in how I run our household. And I can tell the hugest difference when someone is coming over, and I need to do a whole house clean--it's so much easier and so much less stressful. I also have in the back of my mind that a year from now we will be moving again--Lord willing that he provides another rental home that works for our family and has a bit more space--and that the more organized I am now, the easier it will be then. I want to keep that in mind throughout this next year as I begin to tackle the bigger projects of getting rid of toys, organizing closets, etc, that the more I can weed out, the less there is to move. I want to move in the direction of less stuff=a more organized, peaceful home.
Bottom line, in this project of figuring out a way to keep my house in decent shape, I have been reminded that God is faithful. He sees me and sees the things that are weighing me down, and He has helped with this. He is personal and He is real and He is merciful and good.