I love the idea of a clean house. I love the idea of an organized house. We make time for the things we want to do, so it’s pretty clear where my priorities have not been all my life. I have always strived for the idea of those lofty goals, but for most of my life, I had a really hard time with the implementation. I guess I just wished someone else would do it for me.
But years ago, I had an epiphany that transformed our home. What if I didn’t expect myself to do everything on my housekeeping list? What if I only had to do a few important things every day? What if I chose tasks that offered immediate rewards? These questions helped me to recognize that I’d have to let some things go in order to save my sanity and to focus on what I could do consistently.
Out of that season of questions, I came up with plan for how to keep my house clean enough — four simple daily routines. Not ten, not fifteen. Not a binder packed with color-coded options. Not a different routine for every day of the week.
Pretending we don’t care about housekeeping is trendy, but most of us really do care. Still, we swing back and forth between the two perspectives.
We live here — therefore our house is a mess.
We live here — therefore we don’t want it to be a mess.
The trick is to find simple ways to reduce the mess so our homes can be pleasant places to live. My daily routines keep me from dipping into the lonely abyss of despair when I’m insanely busy! I’m certain consistent routines will do the same for you.
I have followed my routines now most days for the past fifteen years (you can read more about my daily routines and the simple joys of bed-making, clutter-busting, housekeeping, and decorating in my book Love the Home You Have and my daily habits and decluttering new book Make Room For What You Love). My morning routine literally changed everything for me and our home. Once I figured out how to control my mornings, I became a new woman and our house became a tidier place.
Do you have an effective morning housekeeping routine? If not, today would be a great day to start one!
Here are two essentials I suggest to help you create your own successful morning habits:
1. Make a list of the minimum tasks you need to complete every morning to feel productive, pulled together, energized, and ready to dive into the day’s work (for example, brush your teeth, make the bed, shower, get dressed, unload the dishwasher, have some quiet time).
2. Throw in an activity or two you enjoy, or that will inspire your morning (such as having coffee, playing music, journaling, reading the Bible, praying, or walking). These simple pleasures will make your morning routine something to look forward to, so do them every morning as a treat to yourself.
If you ask me, I think starting out your morning with Jesus is always a good idea, so even if you need to do your quiet time later in the day, I think selecting a verse you can meditate on while you go about your morning routine can make every task a more joyful experience.
As you create your own morning routine, resist the temptation to make it overly complicated, that’s what tends to overwhelm and eventually derail us! Yes, there is always more you could do, but a few simple tasks practiced every day will lead to success and more delight in caring for your home (or at least more sanity amidst the morning chaos, right?).
Is clutter and disorder in your home threatening to overwhelm you? What morning routine could you commit to this year to get your days started on a more productive note?
Find more encouragement for the home on Melissa’s blog The Inspired Room and her books Love the Home You Have and Make Room for What You Love. This article adapted from Love the Home You Have (Harvest House Publishers, 2015).