In June I told you I was "going back to school" and I have! I promised I would be sharing with you some things I have been learning and so here you go!
Places online and products that have blessed me!:
I bought these wonderful videos on homemaking and highly recommend them! So blessed by the simple example of this keeper of the home!
5 simple pieces of advice that have helped me tremendously!:
#1. Don't put it down, put it away. I have to repeat this to myself through out the day! so hard to do when you have lived a life of putting things down rather than putting them away. Which brings me to number 2.
#2. Everything has a place and there is a place for everything. Now putting things away rather than putting them down only works if those things have a place to go. I can't believe how much cleaner my home looks when I have a place for everything! If there is no place and I don't have room then I give it away. Which brings me to number 3.
#3. Get rid of what you don't use. Sounds so simple doesn't it?! But it's not! Here are four reasons it's hard to get rid of stuff and four reasons you still should.
1) "I might use it someday." Go on a major purging expedition in your home. Go through each room (with your kids if you want) with giant black garbage bags and have one bag that represents things you definitely want to give away and then another "I might use it someday bag". Then, take the ones you are giving away and load them up in your car and drive them to the thrift store THAT DAY, don't delay or the bags will probably just lay around. Next, take your "I might use it someday bags" and put them in some closet. Go to your calendar and skip three months ahead exactly and write: "Get rid of those bags". Whatever is left in those bags (that you didn't have to take out because you didn't have to use it) is what you take to the thrift store THAT DAY that you wrote on the calendar three months in advance. If you didn't use it in the last three months you probably won't use it. Worse case scenario you have to go to a thrift store and buy one. Just as a note, I have only regretted one thing I have gotten rid of: my massage table I paid like 500 bucks for that thing and sold it for 75 and now I wish I could give my husband and kid's massages on it. But considering the hundreds (yes hundreds) of things I have gotten rid of, having only one regret isn't bad :)
2) "Someone gave it to me." Yes, and someoneS are going to continue to give you lots of things. You shouldn't be bound to keep things just because someone gave you something. People who know me well know I don't keep things and so they give to me sparingly and that is okay because I am upfront with people that material gifts are definitely not my love language. More stuff means more things to find places for (see #1 and #2) which means more of my time which means less time doing the things I love which means more stress. I have gotten rid of quilts, pictures, drawings, glass thingeys and souvenir stuff that people have given me. So just a heads up, don't buy me anything. Hang out with me instead. Pray for me. Bless my children with a trip to the library or park. Try to do the same in communicating this to your loved ones. Let them know what would really bless you: a cup of coffee, free babysitting, email encouragement... things that don't clutter your home and make you feel guilty for throwing away! I have had to tell my parents and my husband's parents to give each child one present for Christmas and their birthdays. No more than that. One special gift is plenty and less likely to be thrown in the trash :)
3) "It's pretty." There are lots of pretty things out there. Now, I don't have a problem with having a few pretty things I really love. Like this one chalk board I made out of an old painting my daughter had. But the key is to have just a few pretty things. Some people think way too many things are pretty when really they are just adding to the messiness of their homes and making their overall homes less pretty.
4) "It's a sentimental object." Oh yes. This is probably the toughest for people. At times, even hard for me. I still have my mom's mother of the bride dresses from my sister and my wedding. Not sure why. I think I'll get rid of those asap. I just took my wedding dress to a wedding dress consignment store and that was a great call. I do have a few pieces of my mom's jewelry as well... but that's about it. I don't think I struggle with this one as much as most but it saddens me when I see people unable to let go of sentimental things. Not just one or two things but people who have closets just of things they don't want to get rid of. Things that serve their current living situation or family in no way. Things that add to the clutter and messiness of their homes all in the name of sentimentality. Pray and ask the Lord to help you sort through why you are attached to something and see if it would be best overall to part with these things. They are just things. "Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. "Col. 3:1-2 “Don't lay up treasures for yourselves on the earth, where moth. and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal; 20: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor. rust consume, and where thieves don't break through and steal." Matthew 6:19-20 Which brings me to #4.
#4. Keep an eternal perspective. When it comes to clutter ask the Lord to give you an eternal perspective. Everything, I mean EVERYTHING that you can set your eyes on will not come with you. It is all temporary. But the ministry you provide out of your home serves an eternal purpose. The way you keep your home will effect your ministry in the home in positive or negative ways. You do view homemaking as a ministry right? It's a ministry to your children, your husband and all your guests. Remember, people before things, always! Practicing hospitality is a command not a gift some people have and it is a command much easier to live out if you have a orderly, non-cluttered home. Pray the Lord helps you to view your home from the perspective of eternity.
#5. Your morning begins the night before. This little saying has helped me to enjoy my days much more. When I spend too much valuable evening time on the computer and not enough time sweeping, doing dishes, setting out clothes, finishing up laundry, writing my to-do-list/schedule for the next day, I always pay for it in the morning. How our mornings go often determine how our entire day will go. So don't waste your evenings! Use them for your mornings!
How about you? What is one practical piece of homemaking advice that you use daily? Which one of my pieces of advice spoke to the most? Share in the comments below!