Copyright © 2008 Happy Clean Living

Monday, August 31, 2009

Motivational Monday - "Cleaning Your Home"

I have been asked to present a "cleaning class" for our Relief Society Enrichment Night this week. I've been trying to organize my thoughts and prepare to teach this class. While I have my own way of cleaning .... others have their way and it doesn't mean that their way is wrong. I hope to be able to present cleaning tips in a motivational way.


“When your environment is pleasant, you’re more likely to be” – Emilie Tolley

-Ask yourself if it is really worth my time and the space it is taking up in my home. “Have nothing in your house you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful” – Henry David Thoreau

• Attack one closet a day
• Set timer for 15 minutes and work until it goes off
• Set up 3 large bags – garbage, D.I., and storage – get rid of bags quickly before family members start going through them or you change your mind.
-A place for everything and everything in its place helps cleaning up become a simple task. (It should be easy enough for children or husbands!)

• Plastic bins and inexpensive banker’s boxes are beautiful things. Assign one category of toy, game, (those flimsy cardboard boxes are worthless) food item, craft item, etc. to each box. Use these in my toy closet, pantry, linen closet. Use inexpensive disposable Tupperware containers to organize bobby pins, elastics, and hair bows in the bathroom; batteries, screwdrivers and nails in the miscellaneous drawer. They come in any size and you can get them to fit snug in your drawers.

• Label each box. The labeler is my favorite toy, but of course a marker works just as well.

• After throwing away all those unnecessary items in step 1, there should be plenty of room in your closets and cupboards. If you are still cramped on space, use creative solutions like under-bed boxes, space bas, or hand closet organizers.
-Don’t get depressed and overwhelmed first thing in the morning by waking to a messy home.

• Enlist help from your family and spend 15 minutes getting everything back in its place before bed.

• Do not deep clean each night – save that for once a week. Concentrate on each member of the family putting his or her stuff away.

• Assign each member of the family a “zone” (a room or area of the home). Each night remind about checking to make sure their zone is clean before bed until it becomes a habit like brushing teeth and saying prayers. We like to choose new zones each week at family night to mix things up. If zones are not done each night, the full allowance is not paid.


Put a wastebasket in each room including bedrooms.
Have window cleaner and disinfecting wipes in each bathroom for quick clean-ups. Teach boys to use the disinfecting wipes if they miss.
Have a vacuum on each floor of the home. If you have to go all the way to the basement to retrieve the vacuum, you are less likely to clean up little messes before they get big.

Restrict deep cleaning to once a week. Knowing that I don’t have to scrub the toilet each day gives me freedom to play and do the things I want instead of feeling guilty for not cleaning. That does not mean you have to live in a mess. Use your wipes and spend 30 seconds cleaning down the counter and then be off.

Have set jobs for each member of the family. Small children are great with little jobs. Give your four year old the responsibility for using the rechargeable hand vacuum under the table after dinner. Give kids a sock and let them put it on their hand and dust in small areas that you can’t reach . Every one is responsible for cleaning their place setting off the table after dinner and put in dishwasher. Husbands and teenagers can empty the trash or do dishes. The key is to make it clear what you expect from them. Example: let your teenager know they are in charge of the trash. It has to be emptied on Wed. and Sat. and taken to the road on Thurs. Turn the responsibility over to them and let them suffer the consequences.

“The great gift of family life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never even introduced yourself to , had life not done it for you” – Kendall Hailey

-Let each member of the family have a designated spot for their belongings.

• Keep a separate container for school or paper work. Go through it once a week and keep only the best of the best. Put these items in their designated file or scan into the computer. Scanning is a great alternative to saving every scrap of paper. If it is in your computer it is probably a lot safer than in a box hidden in the attic.
• Let family members keep an under-bed box with anything they want. They get to keep what they want – you get a tidy home.

• Lockers or designated hooks for coats, back packs and shoes. Give them the responsibility of keeping their locker/hooks in order.

• Over the door shoe holders work great for small items. Put these organizers on the inside of coat closet for mittens, earmuffs, sunglasses and keys, or on the inside of bedroom doors for markers, crayons, card games and other small treasures.

“…A true Mormon home is one in which if Christ should chance to enter, he would be pleased to linger and to rest.” David O McKay

“Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.” D&C 88:119

The Lord gave man instructions in the Garden of Eden “to dress it, and it keep it” Moses 3:15. The Lord requires this of us today as He did then. We are expected and required to care for and beautify whatever space we occupy on this earth.

President Kimball often reminded members of the Church of the need to clean, repair, and beautify their homes. “Now we ask you to clean up your homes…. We urge each of you to dress and keep in a beautiful state the property that is in your hands” “Whatever your circumstance, let your premises reflect orderliness, beauty, and happiness”.

Doctrine & Covenants 132: 8 “Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion.

As you can see, there are many things that can be done randomly to help end clutter and save time. You will have a few of your own items that you can add to this list. It is always best when everything has a proper place and then is kept there. One cupboard, drawer, or shelf at a time and you will be humming before you know it. When it comes to clutter, and ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure! It’s a constant chore, but always easier when you are on the upside of this task instead of on the downside. You need much less than what you think. The important thing is that you keep trying and have confidence in your progress! If we allow it, the world can dull our senses and drown out the peace in our lives. Joy is created, not found.


Ann Marie said...

It sounds like your throwing in some organizing stuff as well.. Great tips and great quotes! I'm sure you will do great with the class because you are passionate about cleaning.. and when you teach about things your passionate about.. it's all good.

Beware! It all started with me teaching a little organizing class for our RS, and then pretty soon I was teaching them for MANY wards.. he-he

The Garden of Egan said...

Wish I could be there! Your suggestions and thoughts are great. I have many closets that need my love and attention.
Thanks for sharing!

Small House said...

This makes me want to tackle it all right now!

I think they are in for a treat on Enrichment night. AND IF YOU EVER WANT TO VENTURE TO MY CORNER OF THE know where I'm getting at with this. HAHAHAHA We have enrichment here to. SMILE!

Lynn said...

Oh Sondra, Fabulous post !

I need this so badly. I have been lagging on organization, cleaning and de-cluttering the house, mainly because I've been traveling so much the past 6 months.

When you do this class, you will be helping so many families...I know you will do a wonderful job !

Zoey said...

You are going to do great! I'm laughing, because we do almost all of these things daily. It helps to do deep cleaning just once a week. Another thing that I remember when I get frustrated that nothing is staying clean is to do one permanent thing a day (such as a closet or a drawer). The sense of accomplishment comes and I feel like I can clean one more day. I really use a timer and just clean for 15 minutes, then take a break, 15 minutes back, and so forth. It really works! Can't wait to hear your feedback!

Connie said...

Such great tips! I need to hire you to come get me organized!

Cherie said...

That is definately an organized and manageable way to tackle a house. Sometimes it really can feel so overwhelming. Great tips - You will do a great job!!

TheSurvivalMom said...

This is so not one of my strengths. In fact, tonight at dinner I was talking with my husband about the need to declutter our cupboards and drawers. My problem is that I haven't yet been able to train my family members to utilize the organizational systems that I do set up. Frustrating.


Koolest GlamawEver said...

Sondra...Bravo!! What great ideas!! I follow almost every directive you've suggested already. Thank you for the tips and cleaning items. We THOUGHT we were empty nesters, my son and his family are now back with us while their home is being built. Two babies and then of course the two of them, and our h ok me is cluttered!! I'm going insane! Lol lol Everyone has their own idea of clean. I am on your level and my dtr in law is not. Thank you for your blog!! (I found you thru Pineterist).


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