An All-Over House Cleaning

I don't know about your home, but I know about mine right now. With Ladies Jubilee this past weekend, I've hardly been home for the past week...and the house looks like it. There's a lot of work to be done and it's often hard to know where to start. This is how I plan to tackle things today, and I pray it will be a help to you.

1. Pray, pray, pray. It's so overwhelming to look at everything that needs to be done. Spending time in prayer before I ever get started focuses me and helps me clear away all the mental clutter. There may be things God wants me to accomplish today that weren't on my list, but by taking the time to listen can show me exactly what's important in His priorities.

2. Do a super-fast, room-by-room straightening. Trying to tackle everything in a room all at once gets discouraging, so don't even try. From the front door to the back of the house, start with just the surface "stuff" and put them back where they belong. Carry a basket with you and throw in anything that doesn't live in that particular room. Then clear off all the counters, tables and floors in each room as you do.

3. Multi-task the right way. I am notorious for getting distracted because I think of 27 other things I need to do while I'm trying to complete another project. To get through that temptation, the only things I will multi-task are time-consuming and mind-numbing. I can run the dishwasher while I'm scrapbooking, answer e-mail while the carpet powder is doing its thing and do the laundry while I do anything. What I won't do is anything that requires me to get up or leave the room while I'm working on something unrelated. If I do, I'll never come back!

4. After the basics, go back for a deep clean. Once you see some real progress throughout the house, you'll get some serious motivation to keep going. Stay with the room-by-room strategy and tackle whatever tasks need to be done in that order. Start at the front door and work your way back, or choose the rooms people see the most first. Whatever way you choose, work in a circle around the room and really get things clean and straightened.

5. Pace yourself. Making my plans for today, I was all gung-ho about what I thought I could accomplish. I'd love to see the whole house picked up in one morning so my afternoon will be free...but that's not going to happen. Instead of being frustrated when I don't do everything everywhere and then giving up on the whole process, tackle the house in chunks, take plenty of breaks and reward your self in little ways for what you do accomplish.

Ultimately, housekeeping is a calling, not an activity to be done in a day. I know the potential in my home, and building it for the Lord is a great goal. I look forward to clean carpets and clear counters, but my real purpose is in accomplishing God's plan for my day, my home and my life.

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