While You Are in Your Bathrooms Cleaning the Toilet, Check Your Supplies (Cleaning, Personal, and Paper) to See if Anything is Needed and Add Those Items to Your Shopping List for the Next Errand Day
Remember to involve your miniature assistants in the work of your home. It is no favor to anyone for your children to not learn how to clean and to be invested in the care of their home.
The Area of Focus through Wednesday is The Master Bedroom, EnSuite Bathroom, and Closet. At the same time many of your children are on Christmas vacation and can spend time in their rooms. I believe in -“Inspect, don’t Expect”. When my adult children were young I checked their chest of drawers on Tuesdays and their closets on Thursdays. In that way things did not have too long to get into chaos. In putting away laundry, when they were babies I put their clothes away but as they grew I involved them more and more in putting their clothes away.
The Special Project this week, as through the month of December, is Christmas. This is the week to spend time with your children. If they have friends over, involve them also. Many kids don’t have as much family time as we once did. Work together, play together, and first of all, pray together. Play games, make cookies, decorate their spaces, talk about why we celebrate.
Have a happy day filled with love, hugs, and smiles,
Area of Focus: The Front Porch, Entry and Dining Room
This is the last day this month in this Area of Focus. What can you do to make it less cluttered, more orderly and functional, cleaner, and a lovelier place for your family and guests?
Each Tuesday is Duster Dance Day. Grab a duster, put on some music and dance that dust right out of your home with the help of any youngsters in your home.
Declutter for 15 to 30 minutes.
If you do not have a dining room, front porch, or entry, don’t take the week off. The same is true after you bring these areas in your home into order. It will take less and less time to keep your home free of clutter, orderly, and clean. Use your time to bring areas not on the regular rotation in order—office, craft room, children’s room(s), laundry room. When you are really feeling brave you will be ready to tackle the garage, basement, and/or attic.
Know Where You Are Headed Tomorrow
Each night before bed ask yourself:
What do I have to do tomorrow? What is on my calendar?
What are the needs of my family tomorrow?
What time do I need to be up and moving to accomplish my goals for tomorrow?
What will I wear?
What is for dinner?
What one thing can I accomplish to make progress in my home?
What deadlines are coming up? Is there anything I can do today to prepare for those deadlines?
Don’t wait until morning to check your calendar. Prepare the night before for the events of tomorrow.
Walking Through Ephesians: Ephesians 5:1-14
Remember when you see the word “therefore” that you are being to take action based on information you have just received.
What is the last line of Ephesians 4? What reason is given for us to take action?
32Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Because of God’s forgiveness how should we respond?
Each Monday I am sharing the Areas of Focus and Tasks for Each Day for the week.
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.
Pay your bills
Take care of any personal and family business—Cards to send? Phone calls to make? Emails or letters to send?
File any papers you need in a way that you will be able to locate them, if needed. Don’t clutter your life with papers you will never look at again. Toss them!
Each Thursday—Clean hard floors—wood, laminate, tile, or linoleum
Each Friday—Wrap up your week—
Clean out your car
Clean out your purse, backpack, diaper bag, tote, or computer case.
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.
Clear the Decks
Keep the surfaces in your home clear of clutter. I am as good as the next person at creating a mess. My nest on the love seat in the Living Room regularly gets cluttered with papers and electronics. I simply make sure that I put things away daily. I keep baskets for the papers I use routinely. As I have worked through my home I have placde some lovely things on the surface to discourage myself and my family from leaving papers and other stuff on those surfaces. When anyone leaves anything on the Dining Room table I put it away right away. I know if I leave papers on the table, someone will add to it. So clear your decks. Put away papers and other stuff that seems to multiply on flat surfaces, as quickly as you can. If you are facing this dilemma for the first time:
Get a box or boxes—I like white banker’s boxes.
Collect the papers and other clutter that are on the flat surfaces, room by room.
Label the box with the name of the room where you have collected the papers/clutter. Otherwise you will have a stack of white mystery boxes.
Stack the boxes in an unused corner
Make an appointment each day to deal with a box at a time until you have gone through all the boxes.
Don’t get comfortable with the boxes. Make a point of dealing with clutter as it comes into your home.
When a surface is clear and clean, put something lovely on the table to discourage junk buildup.
Dealing with the boxes
Sort the contents of the boxes by type. Bills to pay, coupons, materials you want to read, school papers.
As soon as the contents are sorted.
Toss the trash
Deal with anything that is due or overdue
Put items you want to read into a reading file.
These are some earlier posts on dealing with papers:
April 24, 2013—Papers and Files
July 10, 2013 –Setting up a Simple Filing System
July 26, 2013—Do You Know How to Declutter
August 28, 2013—What Papers to Keep—For How Long?
Titus 2—Submission—A concept the enemy has marred.
3Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers.aInstead, they should teach others what is good. 4These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, 5to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes,b to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.
I am going to repeat a series I had written a few months back because understanding the basis for submission becomes easy when we realize that Jesus—God with skin on—modeled it for us long before Ephesians, where the principle teaching on submission is taught, was written.
One of the most misunderstood concepts I have encountered is submission. The idea of submission as presented by the Lord is one of mutual support, service, and protection. The world has changed it into lording it over other people, and demanding compliance.
If we look at our example—God with skin on—Jesus the Messiah—we see a totally different picture.
One portion of Scripture that speaks clearly of Jesus’ attitude is Philippians 2:5-8(NLT).
5You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.6Though he was God,He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.7Instead, He gave up His divine privileges;He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, 8He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross
We are called to have Jesus’ attitude and chose to serve other people. Even in leadership we are to be servant leaders not seeking privilege and prestige but to serve with integrity, putting the interests of others ahead of our own.
On the night before He died as Jesus prepared to share the Passover meal with His disciples:
Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
From a position of power Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. One pair of feet Jesus washed was the feet of the man who was already in the process of betraying Him. Washing the feet of guests and family members was a task for the one of the household servants of lowest rank. Jesus told them that He was doing it as an example of how we are to treat others.
John 13: 12-17
12When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.16Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Jesus wasn’t speaking just of washing each other’s feet but of a life of service to each other. We are told in Romans 12 how to walk this out in our lives. Read this chapter and note the specific instructions there. http://biblehub.com/nlt/romans/12.htm
Return also to Philippians 2 to see Paul’s specific instructions in that chapter:
make my joy complete by
having the same love,
being one in spirit and of one mind. (v. 2)
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.
Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, (v. 3)
not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.(v. 4)
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, (v. 14)
Our obedience to others in authority is actually obedience to God.
Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.
Insofar as governing authorities do not violate God’s commands, we are to obey them. We are also to pray for them. 2Timothy 2:2:
Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.
These verses apply Scripture to serving and submitting to governing authorities, tomorrow we will look at our family relationships. Bottom line—service and submission is to God and not to man. There is never a right to do wrong so we are not commanded to submit to ungodly commands by anyone in authority over us. We hold ourselves accountable to God for appropriate response to those in authority over us and for those we have authority over.
Clean out your purse, backpack, briefcase or whatever you carry with you
Clean out your car—get rid of any trash, put away anything better stored elsewhere, shake out the mats, run the car through the car wash or rinse the car off with a hose.
Your car is not a storage unit on wheels. In a sudden stop, anything in your car can go airborne and injure you or other passengers including the littlest of passengers—babies secured in car seats. Do not leave stuff unsecured in any part of your car.
Cars are major investments and you will get a better return when you sell or trade in your car if it has been cared for. When was the last time the oil was changed?
Vacuum the traffic areas in your home. This is not a thorough vacuuming but traffic areas only. Exception—your area of focus (zone) gets an under, around, over, and behind vacuuming.
Your Area of Focus (Zone—The Kitchen) Continue to work around the room dealing with each area as you come to it. Years ago I was told by a highly organized friend, Jean Watson, that organized people did not have to clean out closets because they straighten them every time they find anything out of place. I am not as highly organized but I do try to quickly put things back into place when I find them out of order.
HINT—When preparing to shop for groceries:
Check your food storage areas. Put anything out of place back where it belongs.
Note what you are in short supply of and add those items to your list.
Please note—for some unknown reason, loved ones tend to put empty boxes away and leave full boxes on the counter. I do not know why this is true but I see it regularly. Shake boxes that may be empty—the open containers of family favorite foods.
With your storage areas in order it is easier to put groceries away and you are less likely to discover you are out of some crucial item after you return home from shopping
Keep a magnetic pad on your fridge and list items you are about to run out of. Do not wait until the last smidgen is gone.
Your refrigerator is a cold storage cabinet. Regularly put it back into order. Check its contents before shopping, also.
A couple more words about your refrigerator:
Dairy products and eggs are better stored on the shelves inside the fridge instead of the door because of the constant temperature changes as the door is opened and closed. They will remain fresh longer.
Keep a basket with masking tape and a sharpie on top of your fridge. Label your containers with the date and contents. Use or toss before they become science experiments.
I made a label for the storage drawer where I keep lunch meats and cheeses requesting that whoever opens the package put the date on the container. Sometimes it works.
From this morning’s Quiet Time:
Psalm 59: 16-17
But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning, For You have been my stronghold And a refuge in the day of my distress.
O my strength, I will sing praises to You; For God is my stronghold, the God who shows me lovingkindness.
And from the Genesis of the New Testament, John 1:1-5; 14:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
14And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
That was from the New American Standard Bible (NASB or NAS)
When studying the Bible use a translation rather than a paraphrase. Translators use one of two methods or a degree of each in translating the Scripture: formal equivalence and dynamic (functional) equivalence. Formal equivalence tries to give a word for word translation of the original language. Dynamic equivalence tries to give a thought for thought translation in an effort to have the original “dynamic impact” on the reader as it did to the original readers and hearers.
Definitions of words are in the text
Contemporary English Version
American Bible Society
Thought for Thought
English Standard Version
Word for Word
God’s Word Translation
Thought for Thought
Holman Christian Standard Bible
Holman Bible Publishers
This is the version used at CHBC
King James Version
Word for Word
New American Bible
Thought for Thought
New American Standard
Word for Word
New Century Version
New International Version
International Bible Society
Thought for Thought
I prefer 1984 version
New Jerusalem Bible
Thought for Thought
New King James Version
Word for Word
New Living Translation
Thought for thought
New Revised Standard Version
Word for Word
New Testament in Modern English by J.B. Phillips
Commonly referred to as the Phillips
Today’s English Version
American Bible Society
Thought for thought
Also called Good News Translation
* According to the translators, the primary goal of an optimal equivalence translation is “to convey a sense of the original text with as much clarity as possible”. To that end, the ancient source texts were exhaustively scrutinized at every level (word, phrase, clause, sentence, discourse) to determine its original meaning and intention. Afterwards, using the best language tools available, the semantic and linguistic equivalents were translated into readable a text as possible. (Holman Christian Standard Bible theory of translation)
Friday—Wrap Up the Week Day—
• Clean your purse
• Clean out your car
• Vacuum the traffic areas in your home.
And don’t forget to maintain.
Your Area of Focus: Your Bedroom, Bathroom, and Closet: This is your last day in your bedroom, you may add 15 to 30 minutes on Saturday if you wish. Every Friday we vacuum the traffic areas in our home. While the vacuum is out, thoroughly vacuum your bedroom, closet, and bathroom. A thorough vacuuming is under, around, and behind. There are things that are too heavy to move, that’s what the attachments on your vacuum are for.
As you finish up in your bedroom, what can you do to make it more orderly, neater, and lovelier? Remember you will again be giving close attention to this room next month.
Decluttering is like peeling an onion—layer by layer. The outer layers come off easily, the inner layers often with tears. Each time through using zones you will
• Get a little better at decluttering and cleaning.
• Get a little faster at decluttering and cleaning
• Find it easier to let go of things you don’t need and don’t like
Next week we will be in our entry (foyer), front porch, and dining room. At least two of those areas are the first places our family and friends see as they come into our home. Those areas set a mood of welcome or despair, cleanliness or chaos, beauty or misery. Welcome, cleanliness, beauty—despair, chaos, misery—which do you want to choose? A neglected home where no one cares or a place that is cared for where you can find care?
My sweet friend, Beth told me she was finally catching on to zones. She spoke of the same thing I feel. When you are not working in an area, you see things you want to do in that area. This builds energy and anticipation for your work in that area. Who da thunk? When you look at your house as a massive project—it is overwhelming. When you look at your home area by area, with an allotted amount of time (1 week), the task is a little less daunting. Then in each area you go around the room, dealing with stuff as you come to it, knowing you will be back next month, and the month after that . . . .
The day will come, if you establish these habits and strategies, that you barely feel you are cleaning your home at all.
How to Declutter
One of the mistakes we commonly make when we declutter is dragging out the contents of every drawer, closet, nook and cranny. Concentrate on one small area at a time.
Before you start to declutter make sure you are showered, dressed, and have your normal daily tasks completed.
Prepare four boxes, crates, bags or containers. I like three bins and a basket.
Label them PUT AWAY, GIVE AWAY, and THROW AWAY. The basket is for RETURNS.
Set a timer for the amount of time you have decided to declutter each day (5, 10, 15, 30 45 or 60 minutes)
Start near your regular point of entry into you home. Work around each room dealing with each object as you reach it.
It doesn’t matter which direction you work in, you decide.
Decide whether an item is where it needs to be or if it needs to be given away, thrown away or put away somewhere else.
Do not leave the room to put items away in a different room. You will be distracted.
When the timer goes off put the items to give away in your car trunk to take to your favorite charity, or someone who needs them. Do not bless people with clutter they do not need, please.
Put the trash in the trash receptacle.
Put items from the PUT AWAY container where they belong. Do not attempt to declutter areas you have not reached yet. That area will have its day.
Be focused and do not allow yourself to be distracted. Work intently and quickly during your decluttering time.
Do not take out more than you can put away in a few minutes.
The kitchen is one of the most challenging rooms. Save the kitchen for last.
Do not go out and purchase organizers until you have decluttered and know what you need. Organizers can become clutter.
Store items closest to their place of use. If you don’t, these items will migrate and settle into the areas where they are used.
Finish one room before you move into the next.
Make note of the place where you stop each day.
Remember the purpose of each room and what happens in that room. (Bill paying, reading, sleeping, eating, playing, viewing television, etc.)
When I am finished decluttering a flat surface, I like to place something pretty or interesting on it. If surfaces look attractive people are less likely to put junk on it.