Prayerful cleaning

So here I sit, exhausted, at the end of a long busy Monday.  For me, Mondays are working days.  I sacrifice one day so that the others are not quite so crazy.  As a stay-at-home mom, I feel like if my house is a mess, my head is a mess.  I have to have some semblance of order or my mental organization just isn’t.   But you know as well as I do, having a family and a clean house don’t usually mesh.  So how do you do it.  Here are my tips for your own clean house, based on what works for me.  Feel free to adjust it to your own way of life.busy mom

  1. Sacrifice one day.  I start first thing Monday morning, digging out from the weekend.  I try not to schedule any playdates or activities on this day.  And I have the same routine plan of attack for each Monday.
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  3. Take small bites.  Don’t try to start this plan all at once.  I have been building up to it for years.  When my children were smaller, all I could hope to do was clean the house piecemeal.  If we were expecting company, I started a week in advance.  I cleaned the least used parts of the house on one day.  Dusting the next; bathrooms the following day.  And finally the vacuuming and freshening the day before so the house had that “finished look” before company arrived.
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  5. Divide your house into sections.  I clean the basement first.  Then the upstairs with the bedrooms and bathrooms next.  If I get those finished by noon, I know I’ll be able to finish the main floor by the end of the day.
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  7. Include the laundry.  When I am cleaning my house, I figure all that dirty laundry has to be cleaned too.  So since my day is already devoted to work, I may as well do the laundry while I’m at it.
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  9. Expect some help.  My school age children are expected to pick up their rooms the day before I attack the house.  They also bring down their laundry Monday morning.  Depending on your own children’s abilities, you may have other ways that they can help.  And my preschooler is all too happy to help dust her room, reorganize her dolls, and scrub the bathtub.  Yours will be too!
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  11.  Alternate weeks.  Keep in mind that if you are cleaning weekly, you can alternate some activities.  For example, my carpeted stairs don’t need vacuumed every week (unless the kids have trekked mud through the house!) so that is usually an every other week job.
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  13. Make it meaningful.  This is the most important component of my cleaning day.  Do all of your chores with love – without resentment for endlessly having to clean up after your busy family when you would much rather curl up with a good book.  As I vacuum the floor of my daughter’s room, I pray that she is having a good day at school and that she is able to be a good friend to all of her classmates.  As I fold my son’s shirts, I pray that he is doing his best in school and that he will someday become a strong Catholic man, devoted to God.  As I iron my husband’s slacks, I pray prayers of thanksgiving that he has a job and that I am able to stay home with my family.  As I take breaks in between scrubbing the shower and folding laundry to read a book to my youngest, breathing in the sweet smell of innocence.  Realizing that I am fulfilling the Lord’s vocation for my life in caring for my family, makes a hard day of work actually a day of storing up riches in Heaven.  My job is my prayer.

One Response to Prayerful cleaning

  1. Lisa says:

    I love the idea of cleaning one day a week!!

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