Please welcome my guest today, Cheryl Hackett from Moms In Need of Mercy
I was not raised in a tidy home. It was so messy, in fact, that we could never have friends over. Now that I am raising my own family, I am determined to keep house differently—not perfectly, but decently. Those of us who did not learn effective housekeeping habits from our mothers are not at a complete loss; we can teach ourselves and slowly build habits that will enable success. As I study, I find successful housekeepers follow seven basic principles.
1. All children must be over 5 years old. Partly kidding, partly serious!
If your children are small, it will be harder to keep your house relatively tidy most of the time—but it’s not impossible. It just takes a little discipline.
2. Get up and get busy.
Successful housekeepers start the day with a plan—at least a rough one. They get a head-start on the day by rising before the children (when possible). They work hard and fast to get their jobs done so they can spend the rest of the day doing what they really want to do. Without a clear plan, one finds things to do all day long and never feels done.
3. Say yes when others say no.
Instead of seeing something that needs to be done and thinking “I’ll get to that later,” successful housekeepers respond, “Yes, I’ll do that right now.” This means they’re tidying up more often than the average housekeeper. Besides, most jobs rarely take as long as one thinks.
4. They’re ruthless when it comes to getting rid of stuff.
They would rather err on the side of getting rid of something that’s cluttering up space now—even if they have to buy it again later, instead of hanging onto it for that “maybe-someday” possibility later.
5. They also tend to own less stuff, and they’re wizards at organizing it all.
They understand the whole “a place for everything, and everything in its place” manifesto. If they’re out of places to store stuff, end of buying stuff. Period. Or they clear out stuff to make room for new stuff.
6. Successful housekeepers keep projects tightly controlled, so it never gets messy.
They use something and put it away immediately. This way, they never face a gigantic mess when they finish. They always keep the process under control.
7. They maintain a proper perspective.
One can keep a clean house at the expense of one’s family, but successful housekeepers remember that, above all, they are home-makers, and they give it their all out of love for their families. They always remember that the people within their homes are more important than the jobs and things within the home, and they know when to shift attention away from the jobs and onto their most cherished people.
By instituting even just one of these habits, you will see immediate changes in your housekeeping. Put more in practice as you master one. The habits slowly build on top of each other. Before you know it you’ll be headed toward success!
Cheryl writes a weekly homemaking post called “Messy Monday: Tips for Getting It Together,” where she shares humorous and helpful housekeeping hints at her blog, Moms In Need of Mercy. She also blogs about building strong marriages, raising boys (and feeding them!), saving money and time, homeschooling, and growing in grace through the seasons of life.