Managing my home
I have been asked on a number of occasions how I manage to run a home and work full-time without becoming stressed or worn out/exhausted. And it is true, I am, on most occasions neither stressed nor worn out by the end of the day—but I would be, if I didn’t find ways of making things easier for myself. BUT the most important thing that keeps me going everyday is the strength provided to me by God. Without this strength I would struggle to function. Nothing is too difficult with Him, all things are possible.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
To my tips, one of the most important things for me is keeping my house mess free. It doesn’t mean I live in a home that looks “un-lived in”— quite the opposite, but my motto is: “everything has a home” so I make sure that if something is used, it is returned to its place of origin! I have been doing this since the children were small and they learnt quickly how to tidy up at the end of the day.
I'm not one for hours of housework, I have far better things to do than spend hours cleaning my house, so I am always looking for ways to make the process as efficient as possible ( ef·fi·cient: " working in a well-organized and competent way"). So here are some of my time saving methods— they may not work for everyone, but for me, they do make a big differences:
- I never go to bed without a quick walk around the living area putting everything away. This takes me 10 mins. It means I wake in the morning to a neat and tidy living space. This includes putting the pillows neatly on the couch, folding up the throw rug, putting the foot stool away, TV controls go "home" etc.. When the children were small they learnt to clean up before bed—everything went back into their toy boxes. Waking up to a tidy room makes you feel so much better about the day.
- After I have cleaned my teeth in the morning I clean the bathroom sink (and sometimes the bath tub)—this takes a couple of minutes but keeps it clean and removes any dust that has settled in the tub. If I have time, I will give the shower a quick scrub whilst I am in the shower—now, that is multi tasking!
- As soon as the washing basket is full I do a load of washing. I try and avoid a large washing day, especially in winter. I do admit this is much easier with only 3 people in the house.
- Before I leave for work in the morning I wash any dishes (and leave them to dry)—I come home to a kitchen that is clean and tidy with no outstanding dishes (coming home to a clean kitchen certainly reduces stress). I also take out the garbage and remove anything “yuk” from the kitty litter.
- If I am walking around the house and see something that needs to go back to its “home” I try and do it straight away rather than leaving it, leaving these items creates a bigger job down the track. I am not one for "bigger" jobs! I also keep the house clutter free where possible.
- When I am using my fridge I will often give it a quick wipe (takes a few mins), this way I can keep on top of any dirt in the fridge and don't have to clean it as much.
- This one my mother use to do—if I am taking some washing to the basket and pass a shelf that is dusty, give it a wipe with the washing, its dirty anyway and about to be washed. A little dust won't hurt it!! Killing two birds with one stone as the saying goes. As I said, I am not the sort of person who wants to linger on the housework all day.
- I like to buy in bulk when I can and keep a well stocked pantry. I generally have a spare of all food items—this saves a stop at the food store on the way home. I try and avoid the shops all week, it wastes times. Those items we use more often, I have an increase of in the pantry. Freezers are very handy as we all know!!
- For any meal containing a lot of ingredients I prepare everything first, clean up any messes from the preparation—then start cooking. Keeps any “work mess” to a minimum.
- When I am cooking, I fill up the sink with hot soapy water. As I am cooking, all dirty dishes go into the sink. While I wait for things to cook I wash up those dishes. By the time I have finished cooking, all dishes are washed and almost dry. If I have some time whilst the dinner is simmering, I will also dry those dishes. Once I have served I will quickly wash the pots/pans or at least have them soaking (I keep these to a minimum by using the microwave to cook the veggies). By the time we have eaten there is very little left to do. I do this as it keeps the kitchen tidy while I am working and means I have no “nasty” dishes to do after the meal. When the children were younger they would dry for me whilst I was cooking.
And finally, I always find time to sit down and relax; to read, watch a DVD, to do crafty activities, surf the net and occasionally just close my eyes and listen to music. I am not one for work, work, work – relaxation is just as important as cleaning ones house.
Just one other thing that I find very important — I don't feel guilty if I haven't done something, the world will not end if the dusty is missed. Too often we feel guilty when we should not. Once again — housework should not dominate our lives.
But most importantly in all I do in my home, I:
Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.
1 Chronicles 16:11