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Life around home / Monday, September 3rd, 2012

Yesterday on May 29 I told you I’d write a sequel post “soon” and so I thought I’d get right on that.


You remember me writing about being on a treadmill entitled Trying To Keep Up With This Household?

Yes. I’m sure it was only yesterday. Uh-huh. I can tell you’re trying to correct me in some way but (in the words of Winnie the Pooh) there’s a small piece of gray fluff in my ear, and I can’t quite hear everything you’re saying.

So. Yesterday I was talking about having slight difficulty staying on top of my housework (the only analogy that comes to mind being a hamster on a wheel) and you gave me lots of feedback, which I promised to compile and share with the class. Thank you for your ideas! There are some treasures here.

1. Get your rest (from Ruth Byler). A rested mama is a happy mama, and you will probably be more equipped to face the mess after a night of sleep.

2. Remember what is really lasting (Carla Zehr). Of course we want to do well with our day-to-day responsibilities. But what will matter most in 100 years, when I am no longer around?

3. Count your blessings (Suzanna Weaver). What is normal and exasperating to you (endless laundry, messy floors, fingerprinted walls) would be a dream-come-true to someone else.

4. Pace yourself, and

5. Plan ahead (Renee Shafer). Spend time at the beginning of the week listing necessary tasks, then slice them into manageable chunks for different days instead of trying to do it all on Monday. Planning menus a week at a time helps too, reducing stress and unnecessary shopping trips.

6. Minimize (Wendy Zook). Keep it simple, eliminate what you don’t need, pack away extras.

7. A little extra goes a long way (Lydia Beiler). Doing just one load of laundry per day can go far in helping you to feel on top of things. Or making a double batch of your supper and freezing half for another night!

8. Find out what bothers you the most (laundry, dishes, floors, paper clutter) and stay on top of that rather than trying to keep the whole house spotless. (Who does that anyway? said my new friend, an anonymous mother of four, and made me laugh. Tips 8-11 come from her.)

9. Stop feeling guilty for cutting a few corners. You save money or you save time; rarely both. A cake mix, a clothes dryer, or a dishwasher can be your maid, costing you slightly more money but saving you valuable time. Allow yourself some helpful shortcuts, especially in order to focus on what’s more important. Being superwoman isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

10. Make lists. At the end of the day, you’ll be able to look back and see you’ve accomplished something, even if the house looks like Hurricane Isaac took a detour through your living room.

11. Find useful and entertaining things for your children to participate in.

  • String a clothesline down low, for them to hang the little pieces of laundry on—it saves you time and gets them outside. You’ll be surprised how long it keeps them happy! They can also be responsible to fold those pieces in the afternoon.
  • Take them to the library—it will buy you several hours of quiet work time as they browse their new books back at home.

12. Don’t wait to rest till the work is ALL done; learn to slip rest into your day. Squeeze in moments of unnecessary joy. Stop for ten minutes to enjoy a cup of tea, a read-aloud story, or a breath of nature. You won’t lose as much momentum as you fear! You’ll return with more energy, instead of working till you’re too exhausted to care. One of my prayers in these moments of rest is “Jesus, thank you for the dirt that’s sitting there very comfortably waiting for me to get to it.”

What else have you learned since yesterday?

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10 years ago

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but if I could just have several ounces of energy right now to do a little housework, I’d be happy. If I could just work from morning till night, I’d be VERY happy. Instead, my husband throws the next load of laundry in on this dreary Labor Day. Hmmm…maybe I did mean to be ungrateful! 🙁 Well, at any rate, I like your list and seems like my favorite one to practice these days is #1. 🙂

Wendy Zook
10 years ago
Reply to  Jean Nisley

Jean, I needed to read your comment today. I get so tired of always trying to keep up, but thankfully, I have the energy and health I need to do my work. Keep on with your resting and I will keep trying to keep up! 🙂

Shari, I think it is time to share your tips. I went back and read my previous comment. I had to chuckle when I had to realize how little minimizing I got done this summer. Maybe soon . . . (and so it goes and it is why I am not caught up.)

10 years ago

How did you know I needed to read some homemaking inspiration today?

Or maybe I just needed the reminder that there are other moms muddling through their days like me!