I am not really into housekeeping. I like a clean, ordered home. Most of the time ours is clean, but not very orderly. We always seem to have a clutter problem which I attribute to three things: full schedules, too many possessions and the fact I refuse to take care of other people’s clutter. My Granny was great at taking care of other people’s clutter, namely my Granddad’s. I remember on more than one occasion them frantically searching for an object or missing paper while my Granddad muttered, “You probably threw it away.” For a time they lived in a trailer house near my cousins. Shari and I used to sleep on the floor on little pallets Granny made with her handmade quilts. I got up around 5:30 one morning to go to the bathroom and quickly ran back to my pallet to finish my slumber only to find my comfy quilts gone. Granny had seized the two minutes I was in the bathroom to fold it up and put it away for the day. This sleepy granddaughter was not happy, but it was a prime example of her ability to keep clutter at bay. I did not inherit this gift.
I have never been blessed with a hired housekeeper. There was a time when child number three and four came close together and my dear husband told me to hire some help. That was easier said then done however when you lived twenty miles from the nearest town and two miles from the closest neighbor. We managed through and now I am still keeping our home. It is one cost saving measure we have used so I could be a stay at home mom all these years. I do make my children care for their spaces, but the majority of the work falls on me. I have found four things that really help me have a better attitude about doing this.
- I buy good tools that help me get the job done well. I am saving by not hiring anyone so I invest in tools that are efficient and effective, like a Dyson vacuum. You get the idea.
- I have set days for specific chores and try to schedule everything else around these. For the most part, I clean the majority of my home, including my bed and bath onThursdays. I have some chores I do once a month, either in the week that the 1st falls on, or the week that includes the 15th. This just helps me keep up with it. Obviously, there are occasions where I have to adjust this, but it helps keep the house maintained.
- I tell myself that cleaning our home is like getting a workout without going to the gym. The French clean their homes (for the most part) and consider all their daily chores to be their physical fitness. Most of the French do not “go to a gym”. They walk everywhere, use the stairs and take care of their homes. Granted, their homes are much smaller than Texas homes, but it helps to pretend. On a side note, I wear a Fitbit and I usually hit over 12,000 steps on Thursday without ever leaving my home.
- I listen to podcasts. Yep, the number one thing I found to help me get through my big cleaning day is to listen to podcasts. Since I started doing this over two years ago, I have found I actually look forward to Thursdays as it is the day I can soak up several stories in a row. Occasionally, I will listen to a book on Audible instead, but I have found I can focus on shorter podcasts better than a book. My husband encouraged this habit by buying me a great set of wireless headphones so I wouldn’t get my cord caught on everything. (refer back to number 1., good tools help). Obviously, this is not the best thing if you have small children, but you can work with anearbud out, and turn it off to engage with your child. I love the earbuds because I can do noisy things like running water or vacuuming and still hear the podcast.
Some of you may be saying, “What is a podcast? How do I get one?” If this is you, click here for an amusing little video explaining it. Also, the “Serial” Podcast they mention is like the number one podcast of all time. Very addictive; great for a long road trip, but not for young children.
So what do I listen to? Well, I am going to list some of my favorites. I also listen to a bunch of writing related podcasts, but I won’t include those here. Here is my list, in no particular order. S
I usually start every morning with:
Proverbs 31 Ministries. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/proverbs-31-ministries/id757953988?mt=2
For Spiritual Encouragement:
Family Life Today. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/familylife/id903170704?mt=8
Timothy Keller Sermons Podcast by Gospel in Life. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/timothy-keller-sermons-podcast-by-gospel-in-life/id352660924?mt=2
This American Life. (sometimes contains rough language, but they warn you.) https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/this-american-life/id201671138?mt=2
Revisionist History. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/revisionist-history/id1119389968?mt=2
How I Built This. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/how-i-built-this/id1150510297?mt=2
The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-way-i-heard-it-with-mike-rowe/id1087110764?mt=2
I want you to know that I do not agree with everything that is said on these podcasts, but I find all of them thought provoking and entertaining. They make me want to learn or know more or they give me a story to share with my family at the dinner table. They keep me moving through my cleaning list! Which reminds me, it’s Thursday. I have to go now. I must clean. The house is a mess and I am the only one who has been here since the last cleaning day. Hmm… Oh yeah, the dog has been here too. Of course! That is why the house is a mess, it’s the dog’s fault!
Be sure and leave a comment sharing your favorite podcast, there are so many good ones out there, I love discovering new ones!