Five Minute Friday-Laundry

Every Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays. She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and write until the timer goes off. The word for today is Laundry. Happy Friday Divas and here goes:

Laundry is one of those things that always NEEDS to be done.  It is cyclical.  It begins but never seems to end and even if it does end, it really doesn’t cause in reality it is piled up somewhere.  I often joke and say that I would like for the laundry fairy to come and sprinkle a little of her magic fairy dust and viola clean laundry all folded and put away.   Soooo not reality.

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In reality, laundry is like the parts of life we would rather say we did but really didn’t.  In life and in laundry, we can whine, wish the problem-solver fairy would come and handle things, or simply let our dirty laundry pile up.

I am the laundry-pile up queen.  Some weeks I just go to the laundry mat because it would just take too long to finish it at home.

I went to a conference a couple of years ago and the speaker said:  “we get the path that we are on and we have to walk it.  In fact, God wants us to run with endurance on our path.”

Endurance is a hard thing to muster when the task at hand is really hard, you simply just don’t wanna, or the craziness of life has you stuck on the spin cycle.

A quick look back at an old devotional reminded me of the prescription for endurance with laundry and life:

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. 

Hire Help or Not-31 Days to Clean-Pour Your Heart Out

Hello Divas! I hope all of you had a fabulous Holiday.   Perhaps it is just me but returning to work after all the eating and family time was very difficult. Then I pulled out all our Christmas decoration boxes and immediately got OVERWHELMED! Getting the decorations up makes a MESS!  Perhaps that is why my mom used to clean up BEFORE we decorated;)

Holiday stuff, keeping up with housework on top of working, wifeying and mommying can be a bit much. Progressing through our 31 days to clean challenge based on Sarah Mae’s ebook “31 Days to Clean” has really challenged me. The ebook is all about the why and vision for caring for our homes.  Want to know more about our challenge? Go HERE.

One thing that I keep focusing on is IMPERFECT PROGRESS.  Imperfect progress is slow steps of change wrapped in change.  Y’all I need a lot of grace!  In addition to a lot of grace, I honestly need some house cleaning help.  Keeping up with the laundry, putting things back where they go, sweeping, and basic bathroom/kitchen maintenance keep me BUSY!

When was the last time you managed to clean baseboards or dust your blinds?

The lesson for day 29 is all about the decision to hire housecleaning help or not.

Do you have a paid house-cleaner?

After each day’s reading, Sara Mae gives two challenges:

  • The Mary Challenge -Something you do that encourages/engages your heart
  • The Martha Challenge – Specific cleaning tasks

The Mary Challenge–Spend some time thanking God for all that you do have.  Ask God to show you where you can find help with the areas of home maintenance that you are struggling with.

The Martha Challenge-Utility Room-clean out and organize closet

This post is part of a weekly meme hosted by Shell over at Things I Can’t Say.

31 Days to Clean Day 26-The Laundry Monster

Hello Divas! Can you believe it is almost Thanksgiving?  Well we are still plugging along on our 31 days to clean challenge based on the ebook “31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae”! With “imperfect progress”, we are finally on day 26 of the challenge! With life as it is for me, this whole challenge thing is taking me longer than 31 days but I am still moving! 

The lesson for day 26 is all about laundry!  Yuck!  Perhaps it is the never-endingness of laundry that makes me despise it so?  I think my laundry is secretly out to get me!

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After each day’s reading in our challenge, Sara Mae gives two challenges:

The Mary Challenge for Day 26 is to find a laundry system that works best for your family.

Pam over at Household Management 101, suggests a Marathon Laundry Day Weekly. With her method she picks one day of the week and does all the laundry that day. I like her idea except it is very hard for me to focus on one thing for a large amount of time. I can just imagine something coming up and my marathon being cancelled AND totally forgotten; only to be remembered by my daughters informing me they are out of clean clothes.  But hey, if you can really buckle down and Git’ R done, a marathon day may be helpful for you!

I just love how Marinka, over at The Mouthy Housewives equated laundry to capital punishment. She described the Marathon Laundry Day as being executed by firing squad due to the drama of it all–(good stuff)! I honestly think I WOULD rather be shot than do laundry all day!

So, this Diva needs another method! I found an awesome method in a post by Shawna Wilson entitled “I Tamed the Laundry Monster”. Shawna suggested doing a load of laundry every day. Hmmm. I have tried washing everyday and I would put a load in and totally forget about it and then have musty, mildew clothes in the washer that had to be re-washed.

However, there are a couple of things that Shawna suggested that I have not tried.

1. She figured out how much time it actually took to run a load in the washer from start to finish. For her that was 90 minutes. This means she would NOT start a load when she only had 10 minutes to spare!!  (I am sooo guilty of this!)

2. Shawna also uses the buzzer on the washer to alert her when the clothes are ready to go into the dryer and the buzzer on the dryer to alert her when the load is ready to be folded. What a marvel idea–no more mildew clothes!

3. Finally, she attributes her success to concentrating on finishing the load from start of finish. Ohh, mono-tasking.

I am planning on implementing some of Shawna’s ideas along with an extreme change in my attitude towards laundry. (I am so blessed.)

Philipians 2:14 (The Message) Do everything readily and cheerfully…

How do you tame the laundry monster?

Closet Made Me Smile-Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop

Mama’s Losin’ It
Today I am participating in Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop.  One of the writing prompts for this week is to tell or show something that made me smile this week.

I cleaned out my closet last week and as part of our 31 days to clean challenge.  Our 31 Days to clean challenge is based on the ebook”31 Days to Clean” by Sarah Mae.  Go here for more info on our challenge.

After purging and organizing, every time I go into my closet I smile!  I just love the way it looks and I put a sign at the top that I used to have at my party studio that says “Good Girls Always Win”!  Boy do I need that reminder when I head out for my day in the morning.

We are on day 25 of the challenge.  The lesson for day 25 is all about the “High-Low” cycle.  Y’all know how it goes, you start a new diet or you diligently clean and maintain for a couple of weeks and then, right back to messy-business-as-usual. 

This is most definitely not the first time I have cleaned my closet.  Since I had to clean it out AGAIN, you know that it was all kinds of krazee when I started.  I have maintained it all this week but a couple of late nights and mad dash mornings could take me back to krazee closet land very quickly.

Success, my dear Divas, IS Fabulous it just isn’t forever.  Right after success, we find ourselves going down into the slippery slope of despair.  It is often said that we are either in a valley, coming out of a valley or on our way into a valley.

The ebb and flow, peak and valley-ness of life seems unchangeable.  What is a Diva to do?

In the words of Walt Disney:  Keep Moving Forward.

My translation:  Don’t get so comfortable when things are going well that you stop striving and don’t completely fold when you fail.

I think the important thing is to not give up.  Embrace “Imperfect Progress”—slow steps of change wrapped in grace. (Lisa Terkeurst)

Galatians 6:9  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

After each day’s reading in our challenge, Sara Mae gives two challenges:

•The Mary Challenge -Something you do that encourages/engages your heart

•The Martha Challenge – Specific cleaning tasks

The Mary Challenge for day 25 –Pay attention to the days when you are most and least energized to clean.  Look for patterns and then think of ways to better prepare for your low energy days.

The Martha Challenge—Home Office-Clean off and organized shelves. Shine and protect wood floors.

31 Days to Clean Challenge-Days 19-22

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Happy Sunday Divas!  We are chugging along on the 31 Days to Clean Challenge! Our 31 Days to clean challenge is based on the ebook “31 Days to Clean” by Sarah Mae.  Go here for more info on our challenge.

Girlfriends, this cleaning challenge has been something else! Trying to complete all of the tasks with working, wifeying and running a business has helped me embrace a  new mantra…”Imperfect Progress”—(Slow steps of change wrapped in grace).

 I think I am the definition of the cliche “biting off more than I can chew”.

The lessons for days 19-22 focused on being disciplined with cleaning, better time management, the importance of having a plan, and developing a workable schedule. 

Of course the classic time management/get things done things were included:  set and complete goals, learn to say no, envision the goal, and formulate a plan. 

What I liked the most was: developing a workable plan and don’t quit.   A “workable plan” for me will most likely be totally different from your “workable plan”.  In my life,  a “workable plan” for this week will be NOTHING like a “workable plan” for next week.  My “workable plan” may only  include doing the laundry, cleaning the bathrooms and kitchen this week and that is OK. 

31 Days to Clean is about the “why”, the vision and the heart for taking care of our homes.  It is not about perfection.  It is about my family feeling loved.  It is about my daughters having wonderful memories growing up in our home not just about how clean Mommy kept things. 

I want our home to be a place of encouragement… a place where my girls can “bounce back” and then head out again!

So, even though keeping things clean can seem to get the best of me…. I am NOT QUITTING!

After each day’s reading, Sara Mae gives two challenges:

  • The Mary Challenge -Something you do that encourages/engages your heart
  • The Martha Challenge – Specific cleaning tasks

The Martha Challenges for days 19-22 are:  Bathroom—clean and organize medicine cabinet and closet {that’s right, throw away all those old cosmetics! It is hair products for me;) }, clean toilet, scrub shower & tub, clean floors, wash mirrors and inside of windows, and dust ceilings (seriously?).

The Mary Challenges for days 19-22 are: 

  • Do a bible study on the words “self-discipline” and joy
  • Take an honest apprasial of your time.
  • Take some time to prepare a plan for managing your home.
  • Write out a realistic routine for your family and put it where everyone can see it!

Psalm 90:12- “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

I “numbered my days” and I  have been alive 14,320 days.  IF I am blessed to live until I am 75, I have 36 years left.  Wow, less than I have already been alive………….only 13,140 days left.  I want my remaining days to count so what am I going to do with them?

  What are you going to do with YOUR remaining days?

Cleaning Personality Types-31 Days to Clean Challenge Days 17-18

Hello Divas! We are slowly progressing through our 31 days to clean challenge.  Wanna know more about our challenge?  Go here

The lessons from days 17 and 18 deal with our personalities and the way we clean. 

After each day’s reading, Sarah Mae gives two challenges:

The Mary Challenge-Something you do that encourages/engages your heart

The Martha Challenge-Specific cleaning tasks

The Mary Challenge for Day 17 was to take the D.I.S.C. personality test (http://www.quibblo.com/quiz/aw8npyx/DISC-Personality-Style)

I took the challenge and determined that my personality style is I or “Inspiring”-“influential, interactive, and interested in people. This person likes to interact with others and have fun. They tend to focus on talking with people and keeping things exciting over tasks”. (From the Quibblo website)

Y’all, this is soooo me! I love people.   Planning and throwing a party is definitely my thing!  Tasks on the other hand, can exasperate me especially if they are B-O-R-R-I-N-G.

I just about laughed out loud when Sarah Mae described “I” people:  “You would rather do practically anything than clean! If you could just have someone over to talk and clean with you, this whole cleaning thing wouldn’t be so bad!”  AMEN

The Lesson for day 18 defined the different personality types and gave tips to help each personality type navigate cleaning easier.  For those “I” Divas out there like me, here are some get-your-cleaning-mojo tips:

  1.  Reward yourself for doing certain tasks.
  2. Have fun with cleaning by playing music and dancing while you clean!
  3. Have a friend over to help you clean. (One of my best friends and college roommate (Traci) and I used to clean and decorate together all the time!  We would talk, laugh, organize and clean while having a ball! Now we both have our own families, jobs, and such so getting together just to clean is hard.) Perhaps there should be a new trend of cleaning parties!

The Martha Challenge for days 17 & 18- Clean, dust and organize shelves.  Clean out and organize closets. Ugggggh!  Y’all Pray for me! 

Who wants to R.S.V.P. to the “Help Katina Clean Her Closets Tea Party”?

Want to know your personality type?  Go HERE.

31 Days to Clean Days 13-14

Happy Morning Divas!  This weekend marked days 13 and 14 of our 31 days to clean challenge!  As you will recall, “31 Days to Clean” is an ebook written by Sarah Mae.  It is all about the “why”, vision and the heart for taking care of our homes. Each day, readers are encouraged with light hearted lessons and then ”challenged” to put those ideas to action.

The lessons for days 13 and 14 were all about fatigue and finding the energy to clean.  I don’t know about y’all, but just mentioning cleaning makes me feel tired.  Especially when there is alot to do.

The traditional advice on getting on fighting fatigue like getting enough rest and not getting overwhelmed, were shared but the following quote really spoke to me:

Planning for your energy involves thinking about your meals, sleep hours, workout schedule and stress management ahead of time and making time for them.” – Dulce Zamore, WebMD

My feet hit the ground and I am off about my day.  IF I am lucky, I have planned my meals but planning sleep and stress management is a marvel concept to me.  When I think back to the “6 most important things” that was taught in lesson six, I get a clearer picture.

On the days that I complete my “6 most important things list” I get more things done and tend to stay on track.  On the days when I don’t, I find myself down a rabbit hole of distraction.  Mind you, my distractions are not all time wasters like TV and Facebook, some of them are “good things” just not the “best things” for me to be doing RIGHT THEN.

One other concept that was discussed on day 14 that I found interesting was:  “Allow yourself to do something you get jazzed about”.  Often when we can participate in an activity that we are really interested in, we feel more energized!  As women, we do so much to take care of everyone else; we need to do something for ourselves!

The cleaning challenges for days 13 and 14 were:  Steam clean or wash wood floors in the living room.  Change bedding in the bedroom, flip mattress, and wash pillows.

I did get the bedroom linen changed but hubby is out of town so flipping that huge mattress of ours was a NO GO!  I steam cleaned the wood floors in the living room and did a couple of loads of laundry.  That was it for me in the cleaning department this past weekend.  I taught my fitness class and my daughter had a field hockey game on Satruday and Sunday.  With all of our coming and going we are in desperate need of a :”put-everything-back-where-it-goes session”.

Ahhhh, Imperfect progress—“slow steps of change wrapped in grace”.

How do you find the energy for housework?

 

31 Days to Clean Day 12-Imperfection

Hello Divas! Thank God today is Friday!  This week has been a doozy for me!  Well, we are on day 12 of our 31 Days to clean challenge.  Want more info about the challenge, go HERE

“31 Days to Clean” is actually an ebook by Sarah Mae. 31 Days to Clean is about the “why”, the vision and the heart for taking care of our homes. Each day, readers are encouraged with light hearted lessons and then “challenged” to put those ideas to action.

The lesson for day 12 is very near and dear to my heart because it is about Imperfection.  If there is one thing that I know about, it is imperfection.  In reading the book Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst, I came in contact with a phrase that has really revolutionized my thinking: Imperfect progress. 

Lysa defines imperfect progress as slow steps of changed wrapped in grace.  I just love that.  I think the reason it resonates is because deep down we KNOW that we are not perfect and those around us are not perfect but we still strive for perfection and EXPECT it!

I EXPECT to be able to get everything done, get everywhere on time AND have little perfect children in tow.  ( I am sure NONE of you ever think like that, right?) 

In the rush to get it ALL done, I often lose my joy.  It is hard to be joyful rushing ALL the time and BUSY crossing things off the to do list. 

These words by Ann Voskamp stopped me in my tracks:

“If you don’t fight for joy, it’s your children who lose.”(or those you love the most)  

What do I want my children to remember — my joy in a clean home”, {my joy in accomplishing things;work, job, business)} — “or my joy of the Lord?  You will be most remembered — by what brought you most joy.”

What do you want to be remembered by?

After each day’s reading, Sara Mae gives two challenges:

The Mary Challenge:  Think about some areas in your life wher you have been striving to be perfect or comparing yourself to others.  Think about any unnecessary burdens you have placed on yourself based on what someone has said to you.  Take these areas to the throne of grace and ask God to fill you with truth.

The Martha Challenge:  Living room–clean and organize shelves and electronics.

31 Days to Clean Day 10-Cleaning Overwhelm

I had major “clean-the-whole-house” plans on Saturday and I started out strong!  But, as I was putting things back into the rooms they belonged, I kept noticing things in that needed to be done.  So, I started cleaning in one room then walking into another room and cleaning over there.  It seemed like every where I turned, there was a mess! I managed to get the kitchen floors done but not much else.  The whole cleaning process had me on OVERWHELM! 

Has cleaning ever made you feel overwhelmed?

We are on day 10 of our “31 Days to Clean Challenge”.  “31 Days to Clean” is actually an ebook by Sara Mae.  Click here for info on ordering the book an on our challenge!   The Day 10 Lesson of the 31 days to clean challenge is all about how to combat feeling overwhelmed with cleaning. It included several actions steps to take when you feel overwhelmed with cleaning your home.  Here are my favs:

1.  When the WHOLE HOUSE is a mess, only work on one room at a time!  Boy this sure would have helped me on Saturday.  I just kept going from room to room seeing more and more mess and getting more and more DE-MOTIVATED:(

2.  Do the 15 minute thing–The Fly Lady says that when you are not motivated or only have a little time to set a timer for 15 minutes and then do all that you can in that time frame.

3.  Just get moving–I tell the ladies in my fitness classes to “keep moving” and do not get discouraged when they can’t get all of the steps.  Just getting up and cleaning something is better than sitting down fretting over all I need to do.

At the end of each lesson, the author, Sara Mae, gives two challenges:

  • The Mary Challenge -Something you do that encourages/engages your heart
  • The Martha Challenge – Specific cleaning tasks

The Mary challenge–Find a cozy spot somewhere quiet, sip on your favorite beverage and envision the big picture.  Think about your home and what you want it to be.  Visualize your home as you would like for it to be.  Then grab your journal and write down your big picture.  Ask God to help you bring your vision to life.

The Martha challenge-Living Room-Clean your window treatments and wash the inside of your windows.
(We only have blinds up to our windows so I was able to vacuum them {the roller is not necessary})

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

31 Days to clean Day 9

OK Divas, I am painstakingly on day 9 of our 31 days to clean challenge.  Completing this challenge is gonna take me longer than 31 days but I am DETERMINED to do it! 

Want more info on our challenge?  Go here.

So, the lesson for day 9 is all about confronting laziness.  OUCH!  I, just like the author, Sara Mae, do not think of myself as lazy.  I often feel too busy to clean or just plain too tired but not lazy.  One of the things that I have learned in my quest to stay off of the show “Hoarders” is that you have to be consistent with cleaning.

Consistent and laziness just don’t seem to go together.  Unless of course you are consistently lazy which means nothing is getting done but at least you are consistent.

I must admit, I have been lazy with my diligence in making cleaning a priority.  This challenge has really helped me be intentional and mindful about keeping things picked up.  Are things perfect?  NO…VERY far from!

Remember divas, it is all about Imperfect Progress–“slow steps of change wrapped in grace”.–Lisa Terkeurst.

For lesson 9, the author of 31 Days to Clean refers to Proverbs 31:27

She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. (Proverbs 31:27)

Ouch! How many times have I just simply not completed some housework because I was not “feelin’ it” which is code word for lazy?

At the end of each lesson, the author, Sara Mae, gives two challenges:

  • The Mary Challenge -Something you do that encourages/engages your heart
  • The Martha Challenge – Specific cleaning tasks

The Mary Challenge for Lesson 9- Every time you find yourself saying, “I will do that later”, stop and pray for God to give you a spirit of dilligence.  Then with an obedient heart, go to work.  If (and when) you fail, all His grace to lift you up and begin again.

The Martha Challenge for Lesson 9- Sweep, vacuum and mop floors. Add fresh flowers to brighten your day.

I was able to finish the kitchen floors this weekend!  Woo hoo! It felt good to have them done! 

Ok, so y’all know I still had to complete the Martha Challege for day 8 (cleaning the kitchen drawers).  Since I could not tackle them all, I decided to do the JUNK drawer!  I thought I took a “before pic” but my phone says other wise:( Here is the after pic: