31 Days to Clean–Day 6


 I am officially on day 6 of the 31 days to clean challenge.  This challenge has shown me cleaning is truly a CHALLENGE for me!  31 Days to Clean is actually an ebook by Sara Mae.  Click here for info on ordering the book an on our challenge! 

Let me just go ahead and warn you, it is gonna take me a little longer than 31 days! With this cleaning thing, I feel like Paula Abdul..I take two steps forward and two steps back.

My “want to” is usually really low when it comes to cleaning.  Perhaps it is my perceived futility of cleaning since things end up right back messed up.  Maybe it is that cleaning is just NOT fun.  Better yet, I seem to have a hard time fitting cleaning in my schedule.

If I am truly honest, I NEVER plan to clean.   Cough…I mean who does that?  

 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 day 6 lesson in the book is all about productivity. For this quick lesson, Sara Mae shared a well known business story of Charles Swabb:

 Back in the early 1900’s, Charles Schwab was the head of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation. Consultant Ivy Lee offered to increase the productivity of Schwab’s people, and he would let Schwab decide what the results were worth. Schwab agreed.

Lee taught each executive to sit down at the end of each day, and create a list. The list must contain only the six most important things to be completed the next day. Each morning, they should start the day by working on the first item on that list, and not move on until it is completed.

After a few months of seeing results, Schwab sent a check to Lee for $25,000. That’s about $500,000 in today’s dollars.

If y’all are like me, you have probably written down a to-do list before.  My issue is that I just have not stuck with doing it consistently.  However, when I looked at this list I was able to draw a few new conclusions:

1.  Don’t write down 106 things or even six urgent things.  Write down the 6 MOST IMPORTANT things you want done.

2.  Each thing is a do-able task NOT an entire project!

3.  The 6 most important things are to be written down at the end of the day NOT in the henny penny scramble of just getting to my desk to check email.

4.  The 6 most important things should be written down EVERY DAY.

So, as you might have guessed, the Mary Challenge is: 

Write down your most important things to do for the next day.  Finish them in order.  What ever you do not accomplish on that day’s list put at the top of the next day’s list.

Martha Challenge:  Clean out and orgainze all your cabinets. 

Can I just tell y’all how loudly I laughed at cleaning out and organizing ALL of my kitchen cabinets! So, instead of laughing and getting nothing done, I picked the messiest cabinent and cleaned it.  Remember, Imperfect Progress (small steps of change wrapped in grace–Lysa Terkeurst)!



The kitchen pantry is coming up soon…y’all pray for me!


31 Days to Clean-Day 2

Welcome to day 2 of the 31 day to clean challenge!!! To catch you up:

I downloaded the book 31 Days to Clean a couple of months ago with very good intentions to read it and follow the challenge.  Yea, those intentions took me NO WHERE! So, I am singing the Barney clean up song and really buckling down!

31 Days to Clean is about the “why”, the vision and the heart for taking care of our homes. Each day, the author, Sara Mae, encourages you with some thoughts and ideas, and then she encourages you  put those ideas to action.

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


Come on and take the challege with me!

The lesson for Day 2 is entitled, Created to Give Life.  During this quick one pager, Sara Mae lists several ways that women give life!   Women give life physically but also spiritually.  Here are just a few ways that stuck out to me:

Women give life through:

Our words (Proverbs 18:21 (NIV) The tongue has the power of life and death.)

Our home (Proverbs 14:1 (NIV) The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.)

Socially (Proverbs 22:9 Happy are generous people, because they give some of their food to the poor.)

The Mary challenge for day two is to do something to bring life to your home, children, husband and/or sphere of influence.

My girls love for me to snuggle on the couch with them and watch one of their television programs.  So, last night after dinner, instead of swirling around doing my nightly “busy” stuff, I got out the blanket and we all snuggled on the couch just before bedtime!  They squealed with delight, a perfect sign of liveliness!

The Martha challenge for day two is to clean out and scrub down the fridge and freezer.  Hmmmm, my schedule just did NOT allow for a hour long freezer fridge clean out.  That will probably have to wait until the weekend.  But, I did straighten the living room and vacuum the steps!

In the past, I would have seen my inability to get today’s task done as a failure.  I am one of those people who think  it only counts if you get everything done.  Well, my dear divas, I am learning about a thing called Imperfect Progress.

I am reading the book Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst and one amazing term that she uses is, Imperfect Progress “slow steps of changes wrapped in grace.  I kinda think keeping a clean house is all about Imperfect Progress.

Perfect people put everything away ALL the time and have energy to cook gourmet meals and interact with their children without ever yelling!

Real people get busy, have great intentions and then forget, clean up only to have little people come in and mess up, put clothes in the washer and remember two days later to put them in the dyer when they keep smelling mildew, and have schedules that don’t allow for everything but if they are careful they can make time for the best things.

How can you give life to your home, family, or work environment today?

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