Wednesday, December 26, 2012

How to Rescue the Day at Home

Christmas House by Susan Rios

You've had a celebration the day before and you wake up to a mess. Maybe you slept later than usual and everyone is already awake and wandering about the house.  How in the world do you redeem the part of the day that you needed?

You might try some of these things:

1. Get yourself  "together" mentally and physically, before tackling the house work. No matter how far behind you think you are, try starting over, even if it is nearly noon, or afternoon. Have a shower, put on clothing that inspires you to want to approach your job cheerfully and professionally, wear some light scent, and "do" your hair.  These things are like turning on the headlights of the car, indicating getting in gear and getting ready to go.

2. Begin with the room that is first seen or is in the most public view. Remove anything in it that does not belong there, and then put everything else in order. If you are not sure how to do this, try enlisting the help of someone who is experienced in this, and follow her around her own house or room while you observe what she does.  If you are daunted by an unusual amount of clutter, try first cleaning the part nearest the front door and just clean up a square foot at a time of the mess. 

3.Encourage yourself by frequently looking at the newly cleaned areas. Take "before" and "after"
 pictures so you can critically look at your progress. Sometimes there are details and things out of place, which  we see in photographs that we do not notice when looking, in general.

4.Clean the rooms that are the most important in use. The kitchen and bathroom are very important, for the sake of sanitation and good health, besides appearance.  

5. Pay attention to details.  Sometimes a house is clean and tidy but lacks something. This is where the placement of a bowl of fruit or a stack of books, a candle, etc. comes in. Those things, though not necessary for good housekeeping, add sweetness to the home. Though no one else may appear to notice it, the homemaker can use it as motivation. Drape a pretty blanket on a chair or place a fluffy rug in front of the fireplace. Set up bright place settings at a small table. Fold towels uniformly or according to color. These little "sights" do something for the heart, even though they are not "practical."

6. Keep your mind active, planning things, or thinking ahead of the next thing you need to do in the house. Mentally map out rewards for yourself after the work is done. Finishing a sewing project, working on a special interest, or blogging, can be points of motivation.

7. Visually survey your completed areas as you go, to keep your enthusiasm and interest and to remind you how far you have come.  You may be working on another room, but go into the first area of the house you have already cleaned, and look at it, just to remind yourself how good things are looking.

8. Though it seems a trial to clean up daunting messes, thank God for it. It gives you a purpose and it is an area in which you can really shine. A lot of women become "teachers of good things," (Titus 2) or learn about interior decorating, specialty cleaning and furniture arranging, just from the experience of working in their own homes. It also gives a mission and a purpose for women at home, to increase their excellence and serve the Lord.


Anonymous said...

Such a practical and wise post. I've found number 3 to be especially true....The camera seems to bring clarity somehow.

Jill Farris said...

Thank you for this. I always feel inclined to write a post such as this especially after the holidays. It can be overwhelming to recover a regular schedule, to clean the house and to regain energy after overeating and sitting around in the winter months! These are some wonderful practical suggestions.

Jill Farris

Finding Joy said...

Whenever my mum entertained, we always made sure everything (almost all) was back in order before going to bed) - no mess the next morning and everyone wakes feeling so much better. We always pulled together and did the dishes etc.. so that wasn't ever a problem. I don't think my mum could ever wake to a mess, it just wasn't her style and its a good practice to get into. Mess wasn't a word she ever knew!!

My husband pulled out the vacuum cleaner on Christmas Day to do a quick clean of the living area which made all the differences and he took all the rubbish to the trash can for me. My sons helped with the dishes and took home left overs so my fridge wasn't over flowing.

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas Day.

Anonymous said...

This is most practical information. You are so right, getting dressed, fixing yourself up really starts the day, no matter when you get up.

To get me through that sinking mid-morning slump, I need to eat a really nutritious breakfast also.

Thank you for sharing this, its going in the homemaking folder.
Mrs. J.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post. Right now, after having baked like a banshee, decorated, shopped, cleaned, cooked huge meals, entertained, and kept a sick grandbaby overnight on Christmas, I find myself sick in bed. Just a bad cold that I am trying to keep from escalating into a sinus infection.
I have not left my room in almost a day, and can only imagine what may await me downstairs when I do go down there. I will use your suggestions soon I am sure. I brought this on myself for "overdoing it ", and would just like to exhort people to find their balance and to make sure they are putting themselves to bed at a reasonable time and interspersing work with times of rest. Part of my problem was procrastinating on gift wrapping, so that after all my work and singing in the choir for midnight mass, I wrapped gifts till 5:30 in the morning. Then back up at 8 a.m. which was very foolish.

sunnyskiesandsweettea said...

Another encouraging and inspiring post Lady Lydia! I spent the whole day yesterday cleaning and organizing and taking down all of the decor... I still have at least another full day of work...

Blessings to you,
Amy Jo

Anonymous said...

I want to thank you for this post and many of the others you have done recently on home care. I have been practicing not leaving a room until it is straighten. Even hubby has noticed and likes things better. Now just to make a habit of it. Thank you for being so encouraging!!

VerityGrace said...

I tend to start clearing the pots in the kitchen and open windows to get rid of any cooking smells and then like you I: "Begin with the room that is first seen or is in the most public view". I start at the front door, then the living room, then the bathroom...then I tackle other rooms.

There's nothing better than getting a bit of order back to the house! :)

Anonymous said...

I am always shocked at how linked my own mood is to the state of my house. As soon as I get going on it, I can feel my spirits start to lift.

I have a layered system...The first is called "stabilization." This means just going around, maybe a half hour at most, and stabilizing the rooms. So making the beds, grabbing the dirty laundry, putting the dishes in the sink, that kind of thing. Then the second level is what I call "tidying" which goes deeper and includes wiping down the bathroom and kitchen very quickly, changing towels, washing dishes, taking care of the garbage, sweeping very dusty areas. I try to do this every day, but if I am low on energy or time, I can settle for stabilization in a pinch.

Then there is deep cleaning, that has to be planned and usually takes about two days.

Anyway, my point of this long comment is that sometimes even just getting through the first stage, and connecting with the rooms again, can give me some peace in the moment and nudge me towards doing more.

~ Ann

Sarah R said...

I think the day after Christmas is an excellent day to organize! My children received some new clothing and so I went through their closet and got rid of anything was ripped or unrepairable. I also have bags ready to donate.

And after all the baking and cooking, it's a fine time to go through the pantry and see what needs to be purchased, or perhaps throw items away that may have expired.

It's a cold chilly day here in Florida (45! Brrrr!) so I took the opportunity to wash the sheets and hang them up outside. Before I pop them back on the kids beds, I will throw them in the dryer for a few minutes to take the chill out. How blessed am I to have such a sweet happy home!

Lydia said...

Ann, I also have something, and it is called "maintenance." After a room is cleaned, even while working on the next one, I go around and "maintain" all the other rooms previously cleaned and pick up anything out of place, etc. This is a constant habit for me now and prevents having to save up things for a cleaning day. There is rarely a cleaning day when this takes place, although I must admit that a day after a holiday really is a cleaning day, unless it can be done before bedtime

Anonymous said...

I especially like your idea of a mess being sent from a purpose for us in the home...that is a fresh approach to our messes and I appreciate that.

Anonymous said...

yes...I like your idea, Lydia, about the use of a camera too....thanks Mrs. B for your reminder!

Sarah said...

Thank you so much for this and your other posts! My mom was a good housekeeper but she never explained or taught me HOW she did it. I have learned so much online, especially from you. Happy New Year!