Day 18: Clean, organised house (the quest of an undisciplined housewife)
I know for a fact that the natural housewife gene is not contained within my DNA! In some areas of my life, I am well organised. When it comes to my house, clutter and chaos are an ever growing battle. My stress levels rise when the house is a mess and it does not make for a pleasant home environment. Being home for a significant part of each week with my daughter makes this even more of an issue. Thus the intentional focus on establishing a clean, organised house this year.
Another motivating factor for me is that we are hoping to sell this house and buy a slightly larger place in the not too distant future. The thought of home opens left me sick to my stomach with the way the house had been (and continues to be). We need to declutter, spruce up the place and generally make inroads in getting the house to a place where it can be sold.
You know that imperfect progress I’ve been working to embrace? This is certainly needed for this goal. I have had successes, set backs and absolute failures in my quest to discipline my mind and habits around housework and getting organised.
For the general housework, I’ve been using an app called Motivated Moms 2014. This has generated checklists that you can customise and tick off each day, breaking down larger jobs into more manageable chunks. I love that a daily quiet time and reading to your kids is included. I am far from completing that list each day but it has certainly made a difference in keeping me more on track with what needs to be done and not forgetting some of the more infrequent jobs around the place. I have also made it a point to put relationships first before housework, which means sometimes the list will be ignored in favour of a play date with my daughter or needed catch up with a friend. It will still all be there the next day!!
I have had flashes of brilliance in getting organised and decluttered. The most recent cleaning bug hit me this morning actually. My husband was fixing the drawers in my daughter’s room leaving all of their contents on the floor. This was the perfect opportunity to sort through all the clothes and donate what no longer fit. I forgot to take before pictures (think overflowing, overstuffed drawers) but am happy with the results:
The biggest area left to be tackled is our study/storage/chuck everything we don’t want daughter to get hold of room.
Believe it or not, this is actually an improvement on how it looked earlier in the year. I have started in this room multiple times but have never gotten to the point of actual declutter and organisation. Part of the issue is that it is an impossible job with a toddler around. Being a teacher has the perk of school holidays. The plan every holidays has been to use the days that my daughter is in daycare to tackle this mammoth task. Every holidays either my daughter or myself has been too sick.
I am seeking solutions to how to store my daughter’s numerous busy bags and arts/crafts supplies in here. I also need to take my emotions in hand and sell the baby gear that is being stored. The biggest challenge will be finding homes for what is laying around as we are short of storage opportunities in this small place. Getting the headspace to find creative solutions has been difficult. As the time draws closer to getting this house on the market, the urgency escalates. Maybe I will have success over the summer/Christmas break?
If you have any creative ideas for storage, let me know!!
Earlier this year I was chaffing at the mundane tasks of housekeeping. I have dreams bubbling down deep that seem so far beyond my current daily existence. The Holy Spirit brought some much needed conviction. If I cannot discipline myself to get organised and maintain what I have been given, how can I be trusted with more? This comes down to my character, my habits and my self-discipline. I was cut deeply by this and it has given me a fresh perspective on my everyday life. My house will never be a display home but I will get to a place of order and taking the time to keep it that way (eventually!).
I also want to pass on better habits to my daughter. One of her favourite activities with me is doing the dishes. Seeing the world through her eyes has made daily tasks more fun. We have a ball doing cleaning some days. I have made an intentional choice never to complain or grumble through doing my chores. Time will tell what legacy this leaves in her life.