Monday the 27th Day of April 2015—Launch Your Week, Clean Your Toilets Area of Focus= Front Porch, Entry, and Dining Room

My China Cabinet
My China Cabinet

Each Monday take a few quick moments to put your home back in order after the weekend. Trash into the trash can, dishes into the dishwasher, laundry moving through your washer to the dryer to folded and put away. Beds made. Quickly with the aid of your young assistants (aka kids) put things back where they belong. When things begin to go pear shaped call a quick pickup throughout your home before they are too far gone.

Each Monday

  • Clean Your Toilets
  • Check Your Bathrooms for Any Needed Supplies—paper, personal or cleaning and add them to your shopping list for when you run errands.

I keep a pad of paper that is magnetized so I can stow it on my fridge on the counter in the kitchen and write down what I am going to need as I notice it. If someone asks me to pick up some after shave or toothpaste or their favorite snack, I ask them to write it on the list on the kitchen counter. I fight to keep a pen right there with the list so it will be easy.

Please don’t ever think that I think I am more together than you. Whenever I get it all together I forget where I put it. The truth is my mom did not teach me how to care for my home and I had to struggle to learn. I want to help you in that struggle but I have learned by being in the trenches of daily life with so many demands and what seemed like too little time.

Saturday at 6 am the phone rang. It was my almost 36 year old daughter. She had been awake since 3 am feeling terrible. Could I take her to Patient First when it opened at 8? I jumped up and began to make my bed when the phone rang again. Could I take her to the ER? She felt too terrible to wait.

Her 11 year old had spent the night at our home but Papa was here to look after him so I threw on my clothes, combed my hair and headed out the door.

I enjoyed being with my daughter for 5 hours in the ER and I am not being sarcastic. I enjoyed just being with her and chatting and trying to encourage her. When they released her around noon I drove her home and took my 14 yo grandson to his appointment to get his hair cut. Papa had taken the 11 yo home earlier so I returned home a little exhausted. We had a delightful commitment to share dinner with a group of friends that evening and I had promised bread and dessert. I got the ingredients for bread into my breadmaker and realized I would not have time to make the triple chocolate cake I had planned.  (to be continued)

(Continued) Roy walked into the living room and asked me to pick him up from the garage. His truck is going in for repair. I dropped everything. Ran  upstairs, made my bed, threw on some clothes and ran a comb through my hair and out the door!

Back to my narrative—So when I went to pick up  Brayden from his haircut, I ran to the store and picked up a peach pie to bake. Home, shaped the loaves and let them rise, baked the pie, showered,  baked the bread and out the door to a lovely dinner with friends. And then—home to a thoroughly trashed home.

  • Bed half made before heading off to the ER
  • Blankets on the couch from Kobe spending the night.
  • General chaos all around.

I usually do not do much of anything on Sunday. It is a day of rest. I took a little while to put everything back in order early in the day. I cannot rest in a mess. Today, I will go off my routine:

  • Dust
  • Sweep
  • Vacuum
  • Mop

Even when you are not at home your house accumulates dirt. I cleaned the toilets as soon as we got home last week but unpacking, laundry, preparing to share at In His Garden on Thursday and then sharing morning and evening on Thursday, as well as getting some groceries, spending time with grandkids, opening 3 weeks’ worth of mail, making sure  bills have been paid and family business was up to date.

When we were in Utah I heard Roy talking to our daughter Summer and her husband Paul. He told them I take good care of him. It made my heart happy to know he knows he is important to me and I do try to take care of him.

Enough unloading for the day—I do want to do a calendar for May and post it under the Files tab on My Heart’s at Home on Facebook.  I hope you will print the calendar and post it where you can see it. The Weekly Tasks and Areas of Focus will be on the calendar and you will not have to wait for me. I will post on a regular basis  going back to the beginning and trying to review all I do to work smarter, not harder.

Love and Hugs,



Next Week from the 22nd to the 28th Your Area of Focus is Your Front Porch, Entry, Dining Room

leaning Checklist for Front Porch, Entry and Dining Room
D=Daily W=Weekly S=Seasonally

IMG_0008Front Porch Cleaning Checklist
• Get rid of clutter. Put away unneeded items. (M)
• Clean light fixtures and replace any burnt out light bulbs. (M)
• Remove spider webs (M)
• Wipe down banisters and light fixtures. (M)
• Wipe down porch furniture. (M)
• Sweep porch and walkway. (As needed)
• Get rid of dead plants. (M) Deadhead live plans (D)
• Do any shrubs need to be pruned back?(S)
• Do any plants need repotting?(S)
• Does your doorbell work? Does it need to be replaced or a new battery?(M)

IMG_0007Entrance Cleaning Checklist
• Clean cobwebs (M)
• Clean light fixtures and replace any burned out light bulbs. (M)
• Wipe down window sills and front door (M)
• Remove handprints and marks from doors, door frames, walls and switch plates(M)
• Clean window treatments and windows. (M)
• Polish furniture(M) Dust weekly
• Dust baseboards (M)
• Straighten the coat closest (M)
• Sweep, vacuum or mop the floor (W)
• What can you do to personalize your entry and make it more welcoming? (M)

Dining Room Cleaning Checklist

Keep those flat surfaces clear or put lovely things on them to discourage the dumping of stuff there.
Keep those flat surfaces clear or put lovely things on them to discourage the dumping of stuff there.

Clean cobwebs (M)
• Clean light fixtures and replace any burnt out light bulbs. (M)
• Wipe down window sills and front door (M)
• Remove handprints and marks from doors, door frames, walls and switch plates (M)
• Clean window treatments and windows. (M)
• Clean and straighten china cabinet and buffet. (M)
• Clean top of dining table (As Needed)
• Dust chairs including bottoms and legs (M)
• Polish furniture (M) Dust Weekly
• Dust baseboards (M)
• Sweep, vacuum, or mop the floor (move chairs and vacuum under table)(W)
• What can you do to personalize your dining room? (Centerpiece, table cloth, decorative touches.)
Each day select a few tasks from the cleaning checklist. A download for the cleaning checklist is on my Facebook Page (My Heart’s at Home) under the Files tab. You can access it from the Files tab on this page. I printed a set and put them in page protectors. I keep them in my planning notebook.
Today I have a trip to Lavender Fields with the wonderful ladies of In His Garden, a gardening Bible study that combines information on gardening from Master Gardeners and wisdom from the Master Gardener so I am cutting this short to get ready to leave.
Have a lovely day!
Interesting Quote I read today from Adrian Rogers: “If you are without offense you are without effect.” What do you think?

Laundry and Areas of Focus

Laundry Area
Laundry Area

When I was talking with a friend recently, I discovered that one of her challenges was laundry. Strangely enough, this morning I was looking at a plan that included a load of laundry a day 5 days a week. Add a load of sheets from one bedroom a day and for most of us the laundry would be moving in the right direction.

The plan from :

Monday               Wash whites

Tuesday               Wash darks

Wednesday            Wash towels

Thursday             Wash bathmats and towels

Friday                     Wash baby clothes

Any plan we decide to use should be adapted to our family’s needs. Where will the individual loads of laundry live while waiting for their day? A hamper/ laundry baskets in a closet or the laundry room? How can you implement this and keep your home orderly?

Now that it is just Roy and I, I gather the laundry and sort by color. If there is enough for a load of laundry I run that load of laundry from washer to dryer to folded and put away. If there is more than one load, I keep going. If there is not enough for a load–tomorrow is another day.

I have used an Area of Focus approach for years. I focused on one area of my home a week

Week One (Days One to Seven): Living Room and Den 

Week Two (Days Eight to Fourteen): Kitchen

Week Three (Days Fifteen to Twenty-One): Master Bedroom and Closet while supervising (and assisting as needed) the children in their rooms

Week Four (Days Twenty-Two to Twenty-Eight): Front Porch/Entry/ Dining Room

Week Five (Day Twenty-Nine to End of Month): Bathrooms

Miscellaneous Rooms can be assigned to weeks with available time. Office with Living Room; Back Deck on week one with front porch and entry; Laundry on the same days as the bathrooms. I have confidence in your ability to make good use of your time.

You could also use a weekly zone plan:

Monday  —Bathrooms

Tuesday—  Front Porch, Entry and Errands

Wednesday— Kitchen

Thursday  Living Room, Dining Room, Family Room

Friday—  Master Bedroom and Closet

Saturday—  Family Projects and Fun Day

Sunday—  Worship, Rest, and Plan

Gently inspect one child’s room each day. Give directions and encouragement, not criticism. Weekly inspections keep full blown disaster areas from developing. Insist beds be made daily.

Give the tasks in your life a place to live in your schedule and remember that work expands to fill the amount of time allotted for it. Get your work done first and quickly and then enjoy time with family and friends.

Love and Hugs,


Review of the Basic Plan


The Hall Tree in Our Entry
The Hall Tree in Our Entry

Care for yourself, your family, and your home intentionally.

Share plenty of kind words, hugs, and kisses with the people you love. Balance constructive input (aka criticism) with appreciation for things done well. Look for the best.

Each Day:

Plan a morning afternoon, and evening routine.

Use your evening routine to start your day the night before—lay out clothes for everyone in the family beginning with yourself, put items near the front door (keys, purse, backpacks) for everyone headed out of the house, set the table for breakfast and put out whatever does not need to be refrigerated, put the house in good general order.

In the morning:

Get up, brush your teeth, clean and moisturize your face, and get dressed.

Have your Quiet Time with God.

Our HomeDo your basic home maintenance (daily tasks) and declutter.

What’s for dinner? Do you need to get anything out of the freezer to thaw? What can you do to begin to prepare dinner?

In the afternoon—

Get ready to welcome the people home who have been out of the house—healthy snack for children who school outside the home, a pleasant re-entry for dad. Plan some down time for your husband before addressing any concerns. Greet him when he walks in the door. Not just “Oh! Old What’s- His Name is here!” Give him a hug and kiss and ask how his day was. Save unloading until later. In the same way, welcome your children home. Give them some down time before home work and family tasks.

Life can be pleasant.


Each week:

  • Sunday is for worship and planning.
  • The Coat Closet
    The Coat Closet

    Monday is launch the week day—pick up the house after the weekend and clean the toilets. While working in the bathroom—note what paper, cleaning, and personal products are needed and write the items on your list.

  • Tuesday is Duster Dance Day—put on some happy music, grab your duster and go room by room. Take the duster outside and liberate the dust back into the atmosphere.
  • Wednesday is Desk Day—pay bills, review family business and do what you can to bring it up to date (make calls, send an email, write a note), file (filing is simply putting away papers you will need in the future in a way that you can easily find them, if you will never need that piece of paper again, file it in the waste basket)
  • Thursday is Floor Day—sweep, then mop your hard floors.
  • Friday is Wrap up the Week Day—clean out your purse, backpack, computer bag, diaper bag, or whatever you carry with you when you go out the door; clean out your car; and vacuum the traffic areas of your home. (The other areas—around, behind and under-are done in the week’s focus room)
  • Saturday is Family Fun Day—Play or work playfully as a family. If you work, plan a reward for when the work is finished.


Each seven days of the month focus on one area

Days 1-7                                                               The Living Room/Great Room/Den

Days 8-14                                                             The Kitchen

Days 15-21                                                          The Bedroom, Closet, and En Suite Bath

Days 22-28                                                          The Front Porch, Entry, and Dining Room

Day 29 to the End of the Month                                Family Bath

This work is spread out over the 5-6 days in each area. Sunday IS a day of rest.

In each room start high and work downward. First look for cobwebs in the corners and dust the ceiling fan, then make sure the windows, blinds, and curtains are clean and dust free. Next work your way around each room dealing with each area as you come to it. Finally, on Friday you vacuum.

Choose the amount of time you will give to begin at your front door and declutter your way through your home. When you have gone through, go back to the front door and start over. The first time may take a year or more. I can basically do it now—after 30 some years of decluttering—in a few days. Do not expect this in the beginning. (5-30 minutes each day: 5 minutes will give you 25 to 30 minutes of decluttering a week, 10 minutes will give you 50-60 minutes a week, 15 minutes will give you 75-90 minutes a week, 30 minutes will give you 2 ½ to 3 hours a week.)

Maintain, maintain, maintain what you have accomplished. Don’t let all that work go to waste.



I have learned to set the tone for the day by getting up from what I am doing when my husband comes down in the morning and giving him a big full body hug and kiss. We found out yesterday that Roy has major hearing loss especially in the higher range and will need hearing aids. We work to maintain communication. Talking civilly to each other is an absolute must to keep our relationship vital.

The Area of Focus from February 15th to 21st–The Master Bedroom, Closet and En Suite Bathroom

Master Bedroom Checklist

DSCN0056Work from Top to Bottom and around the room in whichever direction you want.

  • Is your bed made? (D)
  • Are there cobwebs that need to be removed?(M)
  • Are there any burnt out bulbs in the light fixtures?(M)
  • Do the light fixtures need to be cleaned?(M)
  • Are the ceiling fans clean?(M)
  • Are the windows and window treatments clean?(M)
  • Is the woodwork and walls free of fingerprints and marks?(M)
  • Are the sheets clean? (W)The duvet? The dust ruffle? The Mattress pad?(M)
  • Are the surfaces (night tables, dressers, tables) free of clutter?(D)
  • Does the furniture need to be polished?(M) Dusted?(W)
  • Are your drawers and cabinets in order?(M)
  • What’s under the bed?(M)

The Closet:

  • IMG_0075Are the shelves in order?(M)
  • Are the hanging clothes in order, clean, in good repair?(M)
  • Are the shoes in order?(M)
  • Are there items stored in your closet that should/could be stored elsewhere like the attic?(M)
  • Does the floor need to be dust mopped or vacuumed? Does the carpet need to be shampooed or spot cleaned?(M)

Cleaning Checklist for Your Bath

  • Wash Area Rug—also toilet seat cover, and shower curtain. (M)
  • Clean sink—I wipe mine out after each use (D)
  • Polish faucets (D)
  • DSCN0054Clean toilet (every Monday) (W)
  • Clean tub after every use. Clean and wax shower. -(Use car polish. DO NOT GET POLISH ON THE SHOWER FLOOR) (M/S)
  • Clean shower door—Lemon juice works. You can even slice a lemon and apply directly to the glass. It will cut soap scum and smell fresh, too. (M)
  • Clean mirror (W)
  • Polish countertop (W)
  • Clean cobwebs (M)
  • Clean window treatments (M or S)
  • Wash windows (M)
  • Vacuum fan grill (S)
  • Clean grout (M or EOM)
  • Wipe down woodwork, cabinets, baseboards, doors, door and window frames (M)
  • Clean blinds (M/S)
  • Clean out medicine cabinet (S)
  • Clean and organize cabinets and drawers (M)
  • Clean brushes and combs (M)
  • Clean scale (M)
  • Wash floors (Every Thursday)
  • Empty trash. (as needed)

Each Friday Wrap Up the Week

Each Friday Wrap Up the Week

  • 01b72d01ea70cce06770af3771b9c44308c124462bClean out your purse, diaper bag, totes, computer bag, backpack, or whatever you carry with you when you leave your home.
  • Clean out your car. Think of your car as a room on wheels. Make it a habit to not leave anything in your car that does not belong there. Containerize what does belong in your car—if you have books and toys to entertain your children when you are on the road, keep them in a tote. Store your maps in the pockets on the back of the seats. Take trash out of your car whenever you stop –at home or on the road. There are usually trash cans near the gas pumps at service stations and most stores have trash receptacles near the door. If you throw away credit card offers or any other papers that have sensitive information, tear that part of the paper into little tiny pieces.
  • Vacuum the traffic areas in your home and while you have the vacuum cleaner out, give special attention to your Area of Focus—in your bathroom you may want to vacuum the blinds, the curtain or valance, and the corners.

The Area of Focus for This Week is the Kitchen

The Area of Focus for next  Week is the Kitchen (March 8th to 14th). Spread the tasks over the week.

Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

  • DSCN0037Are there any cobwebs? (M)
  • Are the light fixtures and ceiling fan clean? (M)
  • Are the windows and window treatments clean? (M)
  • Is your refrigerator clean —inside and outside? (M) Are there fingerprints? (as needed) Are you using leftovers? (D) Do any items need to be tossed?(M)
  • Is your freezer clean? (M) Are there any foods that need to be used before they go out of date? (M)
  • Is your microwave clean inside and out? (M or as needed)
  • Are your stove top and oven clean?(M or as needed)
  • Are your drip pans or grates clean? Do they need to be replaced? (M)
  • Is the stove hood and filter clean? (M)
  • Are canisters and decorative items clean? (M)
  • Are there fingerprints or other marks on walls, window sills and woodwork?(M)
  • Are doors and door frames free of marks?(M)
  • Are baseboards clean? (M)
  • Are cabinet fronts clean? (M)
  • Do your cabinets need to be put in order? (M)
  • Is your under sink cabinet clean and in order? (M)
  • Are your countertops clean and sanitized? (D)
  • Is your sink clean and sanitized? (D)
  • Are your floors swept? (D)
  • Do your floors need to be mopped? (W or as needed)
  • Are the dishes done and put away (D) Is the dishwasher empty?(D)


Today is Friday the 16th Day of January 2015—Each Friday We Wrap Up the Week

Today is Friday the 16th Day of January 2015—Each Friday We Wrap Up the Week

Wrap Up the Week:

  • Clean Out Your Purse, Diaper Bag, Computer Bag, Backpack or Whatever You Take With You When You Go Out the Door

File the receipts you NEED to keep, Remove trash. Carry what you need but don’t overload (as I tend to do). One of my failings is putting things back where they belong when I am in a hurry. I regularly take time to put things back in place in my purse. DO NOT sit in an unlocked car going through your purse. Sometimes this world is not as safe as we would like it to be.

  • Clean Out Your Car—whenever you arrive home take any trash out of your car and take everything into your home that does not belong in the car. On Friday take extra care with this. Cars that are well cared for maintain their value. Somehow a little mess gives permission to make a bigger mess.
  • Vacuum the Traffic Areas in Your Home—Take extra care in your Area of Focus—Your Bedroom, Closet, andDSCN0055 Bathroom.

The One Small Area in the Major Declutter is under your kitchen sink.  Don’t keep cleaning supplies you will never use. Pass them on to someone who will even donating them if need be. If no one will every want something—throw it out. Do not keep rusty Brillo pads, and empty bottles.

Saturday is Family Fun Day—Work or Play together as a family, and make it fun. Humor can defuse many situations.

Sunday is for Worship, for Family and Friends and for Planning—Sunday is usually not a shopping, cleaning, or laundry day. We keep the dishes done and make the beds as well as picking up after ourselves but it is a day of rest. Coordinate your family calendars and make sure you know the needs for the week. Example, my grandson has an orchestra concert on Thursday—what clothes will he need? What time does he need to be there? Who is driving him? On Saturdays he has basketball—is his uniform clean? When does he take snacks? When are his practices? Who is driving?

My planner
My planner

Plan ahead and you will not be confronted with those last minute challenges.

Monday through Wednesday the Area of Focus continues to be the Bedroom, Bathroom, and Closet. Monday is also Martin Luther King Day and you may want to use part of the day to go through your children’s rooms with them if they are not in school conventional or home schooling.

Next week the One Small Areas will be in the Bedroom and Closet.

Love and Hugs,


Today is Thursday the 15th Day of January 2015—Floor Day and the 1st Day with Our Bedroom, Closet and Bathroom as the Area of Focus

Today is Thursday the 15th Day of January  2015—Floor Day and the 1st Day with Our  Bedroom, Closet and Bathroom as the Area of Focus

Thursday is Floor Day
Thursday is Floor Day

Each Thursday – Sweep or vacuum and then mop the hard floors in your home.

Today of Area of Focus moves to Our Bedroom, Closet, and Bathroom.  I shared the cleaning checklist yesterday.

Today I found a website dedicated to healthy recipes. It looks fascinating and so I am sharing it with you.

She has a plan to put together a month of recipes in freezer bags that is current. A lot of work for a couple of days and a busy crockpot for the rest of the month. Invite some friends and work together and it becomes a party.

The One Small Area for today and tomorrow continues in the kitchen:01b72d01ea70cce06770af3771b9c44308c124462b

Thursday—Cupboards—do your cabinets store the items used nearby—glasses, dishes, and flatware near the dishwasher. Food storage and preparation conveniently located near the place where you gather items for food prep and put away items after a meal.

Friday—The Black Hole under Your Kitchen Sink—my sweet husband painted the inside of my under the sink cabinet white and installed a battery operated light.

Tomorrow is Friday the 16th of January 2015—Wrap Up Your Week by:

  • Cleaning out your purse, diaper bag, computer bag, backpack, or whatever you carry when you leave your home.
  • Clean out your car
  • Vacuum your traffic areas throughout your home giving special attention to your Area of Focus—Your Bedroom, Closet, and Bathroom.

Love and Hugs,