Today's Post is one I wrote long ago and I linked to it as recently as January. But I'm bringing it to the forefront again because we have so many new Company Girls each week...and I want to keep reminding all of us that Sanctuary is possible in really, really small consistent steps.
If you're mired in chaos and on the verge of a meltdown due to the state of your home, this is the post for you. Come now, dry your eyes and read on:
First, you are in good company. Millions of smart, capable and attractive people struggle with creating order in their homes. Lack of organization does not mean that you are less intelligent orless worthy than those whose homes seem spotless at any given moment. Let's just say that we ALL have our issues.
Organizationally Challenged people are often perfectionists, needing the right containers, proper storage and ample time to put things in order. When none of these planets align, they cannot complete the tasks at hand. I fall into this category.
Messy people are often "People" People. Our social obligations and personal desire to meet the needs of others outweigh the need to clean. If someone needs a shoulder to cry on, this is the person for the job because organizing can always wait.
We are savers. We want to hold on to precious memories of our children, so we keep burp cloths and broken toys, and every scribbled picture and craft they ever made. We keep old Halloween costumes and Christmas outfits, just because they were soooo adorable in them. We hang on to Grandma's baking pans and Aunt Martha's sewing machine because we are keepers of the family mementos. But all that stuff can keep you from enjoying life when it starts suffocating you.
We are busy. Family activities are important, but they can wreak havoc on household management.
OK, we have some bad habits. We think of our homes as a place to "relax and hang out," like when we were kids. We let things go so long that it seems impossible to even begin. We see housework as drudgery.
And maybe we lack focus. We start cleaning one thing, see something else that needs our attention, and before you know it, the original item is long forgotten.
Sometimes we simply see housekeeping as not worth the effort. It will just get messy again, so why bother? Besides, there are so many more important and interesting things to do, it is hard to take the time to do such boring, menial tasks.
There can be scores of reasons that your house gets out of control, but the result is almost always the same. Disorder affects your family's ability to function, it brings friction to your relationships, and robs your family of peace.
If it's any comfort, most people struggle in this area to some degree. But we Company Girls want to be free of this, and that's why we're here!
So where do we start??
Today, we'll start with a prayer. If you are like me, you might be sick of bringing the same "GOD HELP ME!" prayer to Him, but we need to realize that He really does care about us. He wants us to come a million times to Him, if that's what it takes, because He knows that dependence on Him is a good thing. He WILL help you. He wants you to have peace and joy in your home.
Next, institute Minimum Maintenance. Minimum Maintenance is the simple idea that:
There is a minimum amount of effort that goes into each day to make it work.
It's not a LOT of effort, but it IS effort. I'm really liking the word "minimum" right about now, how about you?
I've talked about this before, but we could all stand to review it regularly because it's easy to forget.
The outlines of Minimum Maintenance are here:
Take a few minutes to read about it, and then get out a timer. It is important to keep your activity swift, short and consistent. Don't hyperventilate: Did you notice the word "short?"
What I'm telling you is this: In about 20 minutes a day, you can have your house whipped into shape. If you have able-bodied helpers around, you can actually divide and conquer, cutting your MM time down even further. Now, I'm not talking about a germ-free level of clean here. This is just NICE. TIDY. GOOD. I can live with that!
When staring at a full-blown explosion in every.single.room. of your house, I realize that the first few times might take a little longer than 5 minutes per room. But here is my challenge:
Today's Small Thing is to see how much you can get done in 5 minutes.
Make a game out of setting a timer, and move like you've got a fire lit under your butt feet to straighten/put away/remove/and tidy.
THAT'S IT! Once things are tidy, it is SO MUCH EASIER to keep it nice.
POINTS: 50 for doing a 5 minute blitz in one room
BONUS POINTS: 30 for simply reading the posts about Minimum Maintenance
BONUS BONUS POINTS: 40 for doing a 5 minute blitz in at least one other room.
Wow, Rachel Anne! That's 120 points for about 15 minutes worth of effort!
I know. But this is the 15 minutes that's gonna rock your world!