Hi Ladies!In our last discussion, we talked about how to motivate ourselves to clean our homes. After thinking/praying about it, I realized that I'm motivated to clean my home, both by visual beauty and by the fragrance of beauty. My house must not only look pretty, but must also smell fresh and clean. In my mind it all goes together, like a beautiful woman. She's dressed beautifully of course, but she must also be clean and fresh, and smell pleasant for the fullness of her beauty to be complete. The effect wouldn't be the same if we detected that heavy perfumes were used to mask uncleanliness. The same thing happens in our homes, we shouldn't try to cheat with candles, trying to cover up dirt.
So if I see that the pretty home picture is spoiled, I know I need to quickly put things right and banish disarray. The sooner I DO something, the quicker my home will be restored back to its maximum, visual beauty. And if I notice that my home looks beautiful, but it's lost that clean, fresh smell, then I know I have some real 'roll up your sleeves' work ahead of me, involving elbow grease and lots of hot soapy water!
So for me, the two unchangeables are: that my house must not only look beautiful, but it also has to smell beautiful, to feel right.
Now this is just me, you might be motivated by something else. It's up to each of us to find out what that 'something else' is, and then get to work!
As far as the way our homes smell... if we want our homes to smell fresh and clean, we have to realize that every single thing in it gives off some sort of odor. Everything. Even us! This odor will either be pleasant or unpleasant. And sometimes it's the things we can't see that emit the most odor, such as dust. Yes I'm serious! I have such an acute sense of smell that I can actually walk into a room and smell the dust! I can smell electricity too, but that's another blog post!
Anyway, I guess we actually can see dust, just like we can see mildew, if we look closely enough, so it's not exactly invisible. But dust falls on everything and with added moisture, dust turns into grime, then bacteria goes to work on it till they emit odor, and that's where we come in hopefully, to end this nasty, smelly cycle.
Every surface in our home must be tended to regularly, and cleaned with fresh soap and water or the cleaner of your choice to wipe away this grime, thereby leaving a fresh clean smell in its place. We must systematically clean every single surface and every single item in our home to rid it of this dust/grime film and potential odor maker. Many homemakers, I find, are going through the motions of cleaning but don't really know why, so its easy for them to just quit, because they don't exactly know why they're cleaning in the first place. Especially if they can't actually see, the dirt. There are many reasons to clean our homes, such as bacteria, pests, health reasons, but today we're just concentrating on one, and that is to eliminate odors.
Nature's best cleanser hands down is pure water. What would we do without it? Hot water cleans just about everything, and nature's other remedy for a dirty home is fresh air. Clean, crisp, fresh air will go a long way in deodorizing our homes and will blow out all the stale dead air filled with dead, smelly stuff.
And don't forget the benefits of sunlight. Sunlight is a good source of Vitamin D and so is good for us! Better to suffer from too much sunlight than to live in darkness day after day, without enough light. So open up those heavy drapes and let the sun shine in! I don't believe all the bad things they accuse the sun of. My cat ignores them too, and follows her God given instincts, which tell her instinctively to lay by the sunniest window in the house, soaking up all those good, warm sunrays. We don't accept the wisdom of this world, and refuse to believe the sun is at the root of so many problems. Sunlight is a gift from God.
So far we've found that sunlight is good, pure water is the principal cleaner and that fresh air will help deodorize our homes, so will washing the laundry! You'd be so surprised, if you actually took the time to notice the bad odor coming from your dirty clothes hamper, containing all those dirty socks that just hours ago covered smelly athletes feet! That's a basket of odious odors cooking in your home. Just like we expect a bowl of lemons to emit pleasant smells into the atmosphere, so a bucket of dirty socks, and sweaty t-shirts and underwear will do the very same thing. But we can change all that in an hour or two, can't we? Just wash the laundry and eliminate the nasty odors! What's so hard about that? Yet women dread it and procrastinate. Why?
Might the problem be, that when all the clothes are washed, folded and stacked that we have to leave them on top of dressers and tables because our drawers are packed full of things we never wear? Get rid of all those things taking up room in your drawers and closets so that you'll be able to put away all of the clean clothes that you DO wear everyday! The clothes that you're actually wearing are the ones that are stacked on top of every available surface in the bedroom! Dressers and closets are meant for the things you wear every day, not to neatly store away clothes you hardly ever wear. If there are clothes you aren't wearing filling your drawers and closets, those are the things that must be put into storage and clearly labeled, or else donated or lastly, thrown away.
That brings us to another subject, clutter. If we know that everything in our home must be washed of grime frequently, then doesn't it make sense to have the least amount of stuff that's necessary, so you're not overwhelmed with cleaning, and bogged down with chores never ending? You've heard it before, but now you know why, you must get rid of clutter!
What is Clutter Anyway? How Can We Know It's Clutter?
Clutter simplified is this:
It's Wintertime, you have to go somewhere and you'd like to put on a sweater, so you automatically reach for your red sweater, but quickly change your mind and go for the white one instead, or the blue one, any one really, but not the red one, even though you just love the color. This goes on all winter, off and on. Next year winter rolls around and the same thing happens, only this time you look at the red sweater but you don't really reach for it anymore, because you're so used to grabbing it and then putting it right back by now, that you automatically pass it by without even thinking. It's become a settled agreement between you and your red sweater -- that you'll never wear it again.
OK, so you have this darling peach sweater that you just love to wear and so you wear it often. So where is it? Why it's laying on the chair because you wear it so much. Matter of fact you wear it practically everyday. Sometimes you pile other stuff on top of it, but when you're getting ready to go somewhere, you'll move the whole stack of clothes just to get to your beloved peach sweater.
Now Ladies, why is it that the red sweater you hate is given the dignity, and place of honor in your closet, in that it is neatly hung on a hanger, but your beloved peach sweater has no real home? Is it because your closet is too crowded with dozens of other 'red sweaters' preventing you from being able to comfortably hang up your favorite peach sweater? Might there be room if you removed the red sweater from your closet and replaced it with the peach one? Do you think that the rest of your clothes lying all over your room in little piles should also be given that same honor and dignity, since they're the clothes you actually use and wear? Think about it....*
Go Through Your House And Eliminate Odors
Haven't you noticed that your whole house smells clean when you wash the floors? Even if you didn't really see any dirt, there actually was a film of grime that you washed away. That thin film of dirt, even though not very noticeable, was still giving off odor, but water dissolved it and the invisible bacteria with it and replaced it with freshness and cleanliness.
The worst place for odors in my opinion is the kitchen. Sour sponges anybody? Smelly fridge? Pungent garbage pail? Leftovers rotting on dishes from last nights dinner? Pots soaking too long now growing mildew and other unexplainable things swimming on it's surface? It's a potpourri alright, a potpourri of garbage! That's certainly no place for an elegant lady, to cook meals for her family, is it? No, that's not who we want to be. We're diligent workers at home, not lazy sluggards. We take good care of our homes so much so that "our families rise up and call us blessed." (Prov 31)
We want to be numbered among the diligent. So let's make up our minds and set our wills towards excellence! Even if we miss, we just start again tomorrow, each day we try to make it a perfect day. Keep score if it helps. Make a chart. Today I made my bed, check! Washed the dishes right away dried them and put them all away perfectly, check!
You Can Be A Good Housekeeper
Be encouraged, you can be a good housekeeper if you want to bad enough, but many of us will need a little help. Always pray and ask the Lord for His help if these things don't come naturally to you. None of us are perfect, but we must try. That's all we can do, is try. Practice following a routine until it becomes a habit. If that routine doesn't work, no big deal, write up a new one and try again. Leave reminders for yourself of things you want to do. Chores, things to accomplish by the end of the week, etc.
It is God's will for us to be able to do a good job at home and to bless our families this way. He wants this for us, so know and believe that when you ask God for His help, He will answer you. Pray with confidence in this matter, knowing that its His will for you to be the best housekeeper you can be.
With determination and enough practice, you'll find housekeeping much easier, and just like riding a bike, once you learn, you'll never forget!