Monday, October 17, 2011

31 Days of Virtue: Day 17

So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. 1 Timothy 5:14.

Although Paul is talking to widows in this verse, I think we could all benefit from his advice to manage our homes. To manage our homes successfully, we need to be neat and organized. Let me be the first to say that I am not perfect at these characteristics. I try hard, but sometimes my house is a wreck! Here are a few things I do to help me manage my home. Maybe some of these will help you as well.

1. I designate certain areas of the house for certain things. I use one of those clips that are meant to clip chip bags close as a way to keep all our bills together. This clip has a magnet on it so I can stick it to the refrigerator. Right now my husband and I do not have many bills. We have the usual utility bills, cell phone bills, insurance bills, and house note. My husband also has an equipment note, one credit card, and an equipment truck note. All of these will fit onto that clip without being very bulky and in the way. I keep them on the refrigerator because that is a place I see them, and I know what needs to be paid when.

I do the same with our receipts. We keep all of our receipts in a basket on the kitchen counter. Although my husband will sometimes take a handful of receipts out of his wallet as he is going out the door and lay them on the kitchen table or bathroom cabinet, I do try to gather them up every once in a while to keep them in the basket. That way when I get ready to go through them for tax and budgeting purposes, I  know exactly where they are (or at least where they are suppose to be...)

2. I wash everything on the weekend. Because I'm usually busy during the week in the evenings after I get off work, I don't have time to wash any clothes or towels during the week. I will wash a load sometimes, but for the most part everything gets washed on Saturday. However, if we are planning on being out of town for a weekend, I will start washing Wednesday or Thursday and finish the next day. That way I don't have a pile of dirty clothes waiting on me when we get back. The dirty clothes that do pile up during the week stay in a hamper in our bathroom, not all over the floor of the bedroom.

3. I do most of my house cleaning on the weekend as well. How I wish I could stay home to take care of our home! But I can't. Since I'm not able to stay home right now, I do my housecleaning on Saturday. I can wake up early around 7 or 7:30 and get pretty much all the cleaning on want to get done by lunchtime.

I get started on washing my clothes and get my dishwasher going. While they are both going, I start picking up the living room. The reason I start here is because I usually have my dirty clothes separated into piles in my bedroom waiting to be washed. In the living room, I pick up any scraps of paper left from any crafts I had been working on during the week. I fold up any blankets and put them away. I file away any papers or bills that have been left out. I would then vacuum the floor, but our vacuum cleaner is broke right now; so if you know of a good one, let me know!

Whenever the washing machine is finished, I'll get to a stopping point to put those clothes in the dryer and put another load into the washing machine. Then I pick up where I left off.

Once the living room is done, I move to the kitchen. If the dishwasher has finished, I'll unload and reload it if I need to do more dishes. I wipe off all the countertops, wipe off the oven and kitchen table. Then I sweep and mop the floor. In my house you would walk from the living room into the kitchen into a small area to with the washing machine and dryer and then into our bedroom. We have two other bedrooms on the other end of the house. So when I mop the kitchen floor, I make sure to start on the side next to the living room. That way I don't have to walk across a wet clean floor to get to the washing machine, dryer, and my bedroom.

Now that I have clothes in the dryer, when they get done, I fold those and put them away right then. I don't throw them on the bed or the couch to do later. I do it right away. Then I put those in the washer into the dryer and do another load!

After the kitchen is the bedroom. By this time, most of the piles of clothes are gone from the floor. So I pick up anything I need to in the bedroom, change the sheets on the bed, wipe off the countertops and the mirror, clean the toilet, and mop the floor.

If I need to, I'll fold another load of clothes/towels, and put more into the washing machine. Then I'm ready to take a shower. After that I sit down to eat lunch, relax, and watch an episode or two of I Love Lucy or Reba!

4. Another thing I do that helps me manage my home is having a home management notebook, or a family management notebook, or a homemaking notebook, or whatever you want to call it! : ) I'm still thinking of  a good name for my notebook. In this notebook I have my mission statement, calendars, Bible studies, prayer lists, menu planner, project planner, blogging ideas, budgeting planner, wish lists, and to do lists. Below are a few of the sheets that I've made for my notebook. I got some of these from Maximize Your Morning Bible Study and then changed them to fit my own needs; other I created myself. You may use any of these that you like or change them to fit your own needs. This notebook does help me. It keeps me on track with dinner plans, what to blog about, what crafts I would like to do and how much they cost, and it helps me budget our money.

I hope these few things will help you manage your homes! If you have any ideas or if something else works better for you, please share! I would love to hear from you!

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