The Area of Focus This Week Is Christmas. Be joyfully intent on enjoying your faith, family, and friends. This week’s normal area of focus is the entry, dining room and front porch. These areas should be seeing more than regular use this week so keep them company ready. Company ready is nice but isn’t it better to have areas family ready. The Holy Spirit does things decently and in order. Should we maybe demonstrate that in every area of our lives from the way we care for ourselves to the way we care for our family and in caring for our family providing a pleasant and comfortable place for them to live. I want to represent the Lord well. What does the way I live my life say about my love for God and for other people? Stop and think. What does the way you live say about your Lord? Who is really Lord of your life?
- Pull your home back together after the weekend
- Clean all your toilets
- Check your bathrooms for any needed supplies—personal, paper, and cleaning and add them to your shopping list
Each Tuesday—Duster Dance Day—Draft any little helpers in your home to help you. Grab some fun dusters, and put on some happy music and dance that dust right out of your home.
Each Wednesday— Today is Christmas Day. Take the day of but make a point of dealing with papers as they come into your hands. You save time by handling papers as few times as possible. Make a decision:
- Toss it
- Act on it
- File it so you can find it, if you need it. If you don’t need it, see above.
Each Thursday–Floor Day–Clean Your Hard Floors
Each Friday—Wrap up your week—
- Clean out your car—don’t forget to take in trash and personal belongings each time you arrive home but Friday is the day you give your car some extra TLC
- Clean out your purse, backpack, diaper bag, tote, or computer case. I straighten the contents of my purse regularly but Friday is the day I make sure everything is in order and I am not carrying a lot of weight I don’t need.
- Vacuum the traffic areas in your home.
Saturday is Family Fun Day –whether you work or play together, make it fun. Create memories.
Sunday is the ring on your week that signifies your love relationship with the Lord—take time to worship. Then plan your week with your husband and children.
- Anticipate the needs of each day ahead of time—for activities, games, concerts. Will food be needed? Special clothes or uniforms? Write it down now and work out the details calmly instead in a last minute panic.
My Daily Routine
Note: Involve your family. You are not doing your children a favor if they are not learning to be good helpers and increasingly more able to take care of their clothes, toys and other possessions. Help them to make their bed in the morning until they are able to do it on their own. Their clothes should be laid out the night before and putting their rooms and toys in order before bedtime should be a regular part of their routine.
In the morning:
- Quiet time
- Exercise – a regular short routine is better than a longer routine you never do
Make laundry and dishes a priority
- Laundry-I start a load of laundry first thing each morning and make a point of getting it into the dryer and then folded and into the drawers.
- Dishwasher–Make a point of not leaving clean dishes in the dishwasher. Unload the dishwasher as soon as the dishes can be handled. Work to get your family to put their dishes directly into the dishwasher instead of leaving them on the counter or in the sink. Start a load as soon as it is fairly full.
At the end of the day
- Gather and Empty Trash
- Lay Out Tomorrow’s Clothes
- Before Bedtime Walk Through
The 20 minute Walk Through—You Can Put Your Home in Order in Under 20 Minutes a Day
Develop the habit of picking up after yourself. There will be less to do during your walk through.
Your Bedroom–Under 7 minutes each day:
- Make your bed either before or after your morning shower. (2 minutes)
- Pick up and put away any clothes, shoes, or jewelry (4 minutes)
- Straighten your surfaces (night stand and dresser) (under 1 minute)
Your Bathroom–Under 2 minutes each day
- Wipe out the sink (30 seconds) I keep a stack of white washcloths under the sink and use them to wipe out the sink and wipe down the counters each time I use the sink. I noticed after some time that my husband has adopted this habit, too!
- Wipe off the toilet seat and rim (20 seconds)
- Swish the toilet bowl with a toilet brush (20 seconds)
- Polish the mirror and faucet (20 seconds)
Keep a squeegee in the shower and squeegee the surfaces immediately after showering or use a shower spray (20 seconds)
Your Kitchen – Under 5 minutes each day
While the coffee is brewing:
- Wipe down the sink (30 seconds)
- Wipe off the stove (30 seconds)
- Wipe down the counters (1 minute)
- Sweep or Swiffer the floor (2 minutes)
Your Living Room—7 minutes each day
- Use a mini vac to pick up crumbs (2 minutes) (If you don’t have a mini vac use a whisk broom and small dust pan)
- Straighten pillows on the couch and chairs and fold throws (2 minutes)
- Spot clean end tables, coffee table and entertainment center – wipe off any fingerprints or other marks. (1 minute)
- Put away CD’s and DVD’s. Straighten books and magazines. Discard newspapers (2 minutes)
Make a tote or totes for each area with any cleaning supplies you will need for your quick cleaning.
- Clean from the clean area into the dirtier area to avoid spreading the dirt around.
- Work from the top to bottom to knock dust down.
- Either work from the furthest corner to the door or work around the room in a single direction.
- Vacuum after you dust.
Declutter in Dining Room for 15-30 Minutes
Straighten drawers and cabinets in Dining Room
Today we are focusing on our dining area
Declutter in your dining area
Straighten your drawers and cabinets
Polish your furniture
Don’t forget to clean the table legs and chairs.
I have been amazed at what accumulates in those places
If there is a secret to all this it is to be persistent and consistent. Our homes did not get into challenging states in one day. I always felt that if I wrote a book about decluttering I would call it Layer by Layer. The first layers, of trash and stuff that just doesn’t belong are not too hard to remove but then we get into “stuff” that has emotion and fear attached to it and it becomes more difficult. Finally, we notice the change in our home and it becomes easier to let go. These layers are not peeled away in a day or a week but over days and weeks and months. You can do it.
My grandmother used to say “By the mile, it’s a trial. By the inch, it’s a cinch.”
Get in there and have a great day. You are in my thoughts and prayers.