Ephesians 5: 15-16 “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”
Project “Tidy Up”
Ready to be let in on a little secret?
I’m lazy. Not just kinda lazy on a Sunday afternoon lazy… nope I’m REALLY lazy. I’m not making the best use of my time and am not walking carefully in an area of my life.
Yup, I have a million “irons in the fire” and responsibilities that would leave many head a spinning but I am quite possibly one of the laziest women I know. I am a procrastinator by nature and find myself busying myself with the fun stuff of life while much of the ho-hum responsibilities get pushed to the side until my husband says something about them. Then I turn into a busy little bee cleaning up whatever area he mentions just enough to get him to stop mentioning it.
Ladies, this is not good and I intend to change my ways… Does this sound at all like you? Want in on the action? Want to get these things done BEFORE your husband has to be the bearer of your untidy bad news?
First, some background so you can understand where I’m coming from and in what areas I may need some accountability help… Share your background if you’d like so we can get an idea where you are coming from too!
Growing up my room was almost always an absolute mess. Stuff everywhere! I always claimed I knew where everything was but truth be told I spent much of my time digging through the piles of things to find any little item that I needed. I would clean and organize but within three hours you wouldn’t have known I had done a thing… except make a mess. I loved a clean room but just seemed incapable of keeping it that way.
It went against every fiber of my being in Air Force basic training to keep everything perfectly neat and tidy but I did it for fear of being recycled and staying in that dorm of dread one second longer than my mandatory 6.5 weeks. Fail a couple inspections and you got a few weeks tacked on to get it right… seriously why is it so important that my underwear be ironed and folded into a perfect square…or was that the t-shirts? Who knows, it seems I ironed and folded everything into a perfect square in basic training. See, I am CAPABLE of the whole neat and tidy thing though I’m not even coming close to suggesting we go this far in our homes… but don’t let me stop you if you want to iron and fold underwear into little squares.
It didn’t get any better in Air Force tech school. I had a roommate who was quite possibly just as messy as me and we always had stuff everywhere in our dorm room. We knew to clean up for the scheduled room inspections and were magically tipped off when random ones were going to occur so we would have enough time to jump back at lunch and clean “real quick” (born and raised in Wisconsin, get used to my use of “real quick” even though it is a grammar nightmare).
We moved a lot in the Air Force and always went over on our weight limits but the Air Force took care of packing us up and moving us around so I never really saw how ridiculous things were getting. On our last move the packers actually chuckled as I said, “Yes, pack up those old magazines because I want to look through them for recipes and other ideas.” They packed several big boxes of old magazine… YES, OLD MAGAZINES! I’m still going through magazines from the early 2000’s.
I look around my house and I see stuff, lots and lots of stuff. My husband likes things simple, non cluttered and I have to admit I do too. I claim the piles of papers, boxes of papers and other stuff, and random toys that my boys no longer play with just need to be gone through, sorted, filed, put away, or admittedly thrown out but I just don’t have the time to get to it.
Really? I don’t have the time? I do have a hobby farm, but morning chores, afternoon chores, and evening chores only take a sliver of my time. I do have a large house but there are many rooms and areas that we hardly ever go in. I am working on my Master’s Degree but it’s an online program (not necessarily easier but more flexible with time management) and I’m only taking one class at a time. I do homeschool our sons but we unschool and naturally learn from daily life around us every moment of every day. I’m a stay at home mom with two sons who are not only old enough to not create messes but to help me pick up the ones that a family naturally produces as part of this thing we call living. The boys are ten and fifteen and they do plenty of chores but I just can’t quite bring myself to the point of letting them help with our “stuff” situation. On two occasions we have gone through their closets and rooms and gotten rid of things that no longer fit or they had outgrown playing with. They are good at this… several garbage bags and boxes of stuff left their rooms and about half of it made it out of the house and into the hands of Goodwill and friends with boys who could use the clothes. The rest is in the basement awaiting further inspection by me. Oh my… I think I have a problem.
My point is, I have the time. I just choose to fill it with everything other than keeping a tidy home. I like to run to town to look at ideas for home remodeling, to the humane society to volunteer, making soap and lotions when I have a bajillion soaps and lotions already, walking around outside thinking of ways to “better” the farm, sitting and watching goats or other critters, running around with the boys here and there and everywhere (when your boys love the “smell” of Gamestop as they just “check out” what they have you may be going a little too often), and watching documentaries or recorded episodes of “Chopped” with the boys.
I hear friends talking about many similar struggles in this area of their life. I’m not sure if they share the same home laziness affliction that I do but I just felt some personal honesty would be refreshing. I know how to work hard, am not afraid of it, but I’d rather just do the things that I WANT to do… hmmmm that describes many people out there I bet. The issue for me… I’m able to kinda get away with it on a daily basis.
I’ve had a friend come over and help me tackle certain areas of my house… namely my craft room and my soap room (why they can’t be the same room is quite beyond all comprehension) with limited success. We got the one room half done and the other completely done but at this moment they are both a complete disaster with more stuff piled in. My soap room is somewhat like my childhood bedroom. It gets cleaned up and looks amazing when it gets to the point that it drives even me crazy but then is back to its sorry state in no time flat. The time spent with this friend in these endeavors wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be (I was able to part with A LOT of stuff) but I haven’t been eager to tackle a second session even though my dear friend has offered on several occasions.
So, here’s the deal. Here is what I’m going to do. I’m going to set up for myself weekly goals, projects, and outlines of specific things to get done each day. If something legitimately comes up I’m going to offer myself (and all of you who participate) grace and understanding. However, I’m not going to create excuses and I’m going to be pushed outside of my comfort zone focusing on the things that the Bible teaches should be a priority in my life. Keeping the home a welcoming place for you and your family is a Biblical priority. Proverbs 14:1 “The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.” Ladies and gentlemen, I have been tearing my house down, not building it up.
This is the aspect that has lacked in my past. I have always made up my own priorities based on what I thought was important and what would get me the fewest eye rolls or negative comments from my husband. Whatever housework was done I did for my husband, our kids, me, friends, and guests. Did I do it for The Lord? Nope. This time I want to communicate with Kevin as I do this, gathering his input about what makes him feel calm and comfortable in our home and then work to honor and glorify God by making my house a home in which to glorify and praise Him (God… just in case you thought I was talking about Kevin… yup want to make Kev happy and comfortable but God takes priority even over my husband!). What kind of environment is my husband looking for? What about me? Do they match? Is it practical? When someone walks into my home are they hit with our love for The Lord in everything they see, smell, hear, and feel? Oh how I want this to be true in my home! That’s the point of this project!
Here’s how this will work… At the end of the week (by Friday night) I will post the goals, tasks, and ideas for the week. If something doesn’t apply to you feel free to get a free pass or substitute something else that does apply. Feel free to chat (here or on the Simple Hobby Homesteading Facebook page) how it’s going for you, ideas, or frustrations.
I know it’s Tuesday today but I wanted to get this out there to start next week. You won’t see me list anything for Sundays because this day is up to you on how you spend it. Personally, I still do household chores (dishes, vacuum, etc.) but it is also more of a relaxing play some games with the family and get homework done kind of day for me. You’ll see a list of weekly things to do. You make up your own schedule and post your schedule so we can help you with accountability. Each week there will be an area (more areas as we move along) where I will be getting rid of things, decluttering. I need to start small but feel free to declutter or tackle more areas if you want. Just don’t run yourself too ragged or you won’t feel up to doing the rest of the items for the week.
Week of Monday Oct 27th– Nov 1st
This week it is all about the kitchen… I need some big organization help in my kitchen as it has become a “catch all” room as of late.
Jhenna’s POA (Plan of Attack)
Monday: Fun project: “Coffee Station.” Pick a fun project for your week… something perhaps you’ve always wanted to do (not looking for bank breaking or super elaborate projects), something you saw on Pinterest, in a magazine, or a friend mentioned! I am choosing to finish my “coffee station corner.” It was started months ago but I never got it done and am tired of making excuses for it.
Tuesday: Light fixtures and ceiling fans: Take down light fixtures (the glass things around the light bulbs or plastic piece for fluorescents), clean them, and put them back up. Replace burnt out light bulbs. If you are doing this over your table or counters I recommend spreading a sheet over the area to catch big globs of dust, dead flies, or anything else hiding in those glass light globe things. I have a tool that I especially love for cleaning my two ceiling fans in my kitchen (too bad I only remember to use it once or twice a year). I think I got it at Lowes a few years back but you can get the exact same one at Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Ettore-Products-Fannie-Duster-31001/dp/B000RN7GIE/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1413911257&sr=8-6&keywords=ceiling+fan+brush+with+pole ) if you can’t find it at Lowes.
Wednesday: Refrigerator: Take everything out, take out shelves, wash them, wipe down inside, check expiration dates, and put everything back in. As you put things back in make a point to talk with your family about cleaning up spills right when they happen, throwing away empty containers, and putting things on the grocery list as you run out. Many people have found they like putting simple plastic place mats on their shelves to easily catch spills and help with future cleanups. I highly recommend soaking fridge shelves and drawers in a bathtub of soapy water, scrubbing them, and using the shower to rinse them off!
Thursday: Microwave. Yup, clean the microwave. Here’s my sure fire way to clean AND deodorize my microwave. Just fill a microwave-safe bowl with a mixture of half vinegar and half water, and nuke it for two minutes. Then, dip a sponge into the vinegar-water solution, and use it to wipe the food off of the walls of the microwave. It’ll fall right off – no strong-arming required. I do usually need a toothpick to get into the cracks and crevices. Don’t forget to wipe down the inside and outside of the door as well as the touch buttons/knobs. Make the microwave a once a week cleaning chore (teach family members how to wipe down messes when they happen and how to clean it weekly the easy way!)
Friday: Wipe down the outside of cabinets. First dust the tops, fronts, sides, and bottom parts of cabinets. Then wipe down the cabinets with a soapy solution of your choice (I start with a simple dishwashing detergent in a bucket of water and then have my Norwex cleaning past handy for any tough stuff)
Saturday: Tupperware/storageware cabinet. Sort through and get rid of any extra lids that don’t have anything they fit. Evaluate how much you have, what you really use, and pieces that you can get rid of. This is the area of decluttering for the week. Be straight up with yourself in this area. Are you a Coolwhip container keeper? I’m not judging because I am totally a Coolwhip container hoarder. They are just so handy when they dogs or cats carry off their food bowls and hide them under the pile of laundry. However, let’s be honest. I could just as easily use a bowl for a dog food bowl in a pinch. What’s your excuse for collecting food containers?… I’m seriously curious!
There we have it folks… our last week of October at a glance. I know I may seem to be starting really really small but I think I need to ease into some of this. What days are you tackling each of these projects? Keep up with cleaning up little messes in the fridge and microwave and keep a close on eye on what goes into that Tupperware cupboard. Wear your sunglasses inside like a movie star if the bright lights shining through your newly cleaned fixtures blinds you and enjoy some creativity with your fun kitchen project! Spoon art anyone?