How do houses always manage to become so dirty? At my house it seems like dust accumulates at record speed. If dust were silver, I’d be a wealthy woman. While dust parades its way across my shelves, green scented monsters seem to lurk around my trash cans. In my kitchen, it looks like someone mistakenly tried to make a craft and ended up gluing pieces of macaroni onto the countertop. Try wiping that off! If that isn’t bad enough my fridge looks like a science experiment that went south. Why does iridescent mold always seems to hold my bread captive when I am living in hormonal city? I don’t need anything else to cry about.
Is cleaning hard because we eat off of enough dishes to build a skyscraper? Or is it because I am too lazy to get off of the couch and tackle Mount Laundry? Even if I did try to fold my socks, many of them would probably be missing. My washing machine must be very lonely, but won’t admit it. I want to lock her in solitary confinement until she tells me where she has put my stolen socks.
Why is it that I hate to pick up a broom? How am I supposed to sweep when there is spilled jelly on the floor? By the time I’ve noticed, my bristles are all sticking together as a cherry faded stain is being formed on the floor. My toes are sticky!
If you are like me when it comes to cleaning, I would highly recommend getting Sandra Felton’s book “Smart Organizing.” Felton not only gives tips for cleaning your house, but offers organizational advice that will simplify your home. Here are some helpful things I learned.
3 Steps to an Organized House:
- Consolidate– “Group everything together with like items.” For example all of the gift- wrapping items (ribbon, tape, bags, scissors, etc…) need to be together. I was amazed to find 7 tubes of tooth paste when I started consolidating at my house! After 2 ½ years of marriage, we still haven’t purchased any new toothpaste.
- Containerize– Once your items are in a group, put them into a container. The containers can be boxes, baskets, bins, etc…whatever you personally like. Next, label the containers so your family can easily keep the items put away.
- Condense– This does not mean try to stuff 4 more shirts into an overflowing drawer. Condense means get rid of the excess. “Get rid of duplicates and unused, unwanted, or unneeded items.” A decluttered house is easier to manage.
- “Do four things in the morning.”
- “Do four things at night.”
- “If you get it out, put it away.”
- “Apply the thirty-second rule constantly- if it takes thirty seconds or less to do something, do it immediately.”
- “Leave a room the way you found it.”
- “Look, really look at your surroundings.”
- “Use little minutes to clean.”
I find Felton’s book freeing because she said, “No one needs to be 100 percent organized or even 80 percent organized. Just find the significant 20 percent that will accomplish what you want and do it.” I may never have a perfectly clean house and it will never be 100 percent organized, but I can handle 20 percent.
Even though my slothful laziness may try to hold me down from time to time, and I may want to start crawling toward my bed at the mention of a vacuum, I know I can keep my house clean when it is organized. I have to remember the reason I want a clean house. It is so that I can focus on my family, enjoy them, and serve the ones I love most.