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I don’t know any moms who can’t relate to this–feeling overwhelmed. I don’t know why it happens so easily to moms, especially when our kids are young. There is always more work than we have hours or strength, whichever runs out first. Fortunately in this chapter Sarah gives some practical suggestions.
She seconds the Fly Lady’s suggestion to set a timer for 15 minutes and just clean, choosing tasks that you know can be finished in this amount of time. Things I find that work well here are emptying or filling the dishwasher, picking up toys, clearing a table or countertop, emptying old food from the back of the fridge. I’m sure there are other things, do what works for you.
The next suggestion is similar, just get moving. Any little amount of effort is better than nothing. Dealing with the mail as it comes in instead of putting it on the table. Rinsing the dishes right away and putting them in the dish washer instead of sitting in the sink until it’s full. (Can you tell this is a regular problem at my house?) When we are overwhelmed, it’s easy to just give up before we start. When we do that we underestimate the power of baby steps.
Keep your eyes on the goal. This one is so hard for me. All I see is the mess and I sometimes forget the point. I want my home to be livable but inviting. So if there are some pillows on the floor or a pile of books on the table, who cares? It shows we live here. But when there are so many toys on the floor that I can’t walk across the room, then something must be done. The goal is for my home to get to the point where we own items that we use and love, and maintaining our home only takes regular but short periods of time. If it takes me hours a day, something needs to change.
Light a candle, (only for 10 minutes), sip a favorite beverage, close your eyes, and envision your big picture. Then write down your big picture. Ask God to help you physically create the vision for your home life.
This is a tall order. When I have just a few moments of quiet, my mind usually wanders to all the tasks that need to be done rather than my ultimate goal. But I’m going to try and focus on the big picture I want for my home. A place for everything and everything in its place. Owning only things we find both useful and beautiful. These two goals mean that I need to purge the things we don’t like or needs and be very careful about new items that come in. It also means that I need to focus on storage, and make sure I use that storage.
Living Room – Clean window treatments and wash inside of windows. This is timely in that I don’t know if I’ve ever really washed my windows and it has probably been a while since I washed our window curtains either. If the eyes are the window of the home I’ll try to think of this as clearing my vision of the future.
31 Days to Clean: Having a Martha House the Mary Way