As a young adult renting my home, I wasn’t very concerned with how it looked. Once I owned a house, however, I took great pride in how clean, organized and decorated it was. My husband built our first home, so perhaps my experience of taking ownership is more drastic than yours, but suddenly I cared.
A simple mess–and since everything was new, that could be anything–caused this momma to go into an unkind panic as she dashed to clean it up. We had worked so hard to create our home, so there were strong emotions attached to my fear that it could all be ruined!
Even if you don’t own your home, you may also have strong, emotional reactions over “spilled milk.” Why? Because our homes are a representation of ourselves and we want our lives to be in order. Who doesn’t want their home to be the place to relax, unwind and be at peace. In fact, our whole family should be able to enjoy our home as a safe haven.
Unfortunately, our homes are not always havens.
If cleanliness is next to godliness, then certainly clutter creates the opposite.
Cleanliness is far more important to some of us than it is to others, but no matter what your style of housekeeping, life often interrupts our neat little corner of the world and suddenly junk-drawers are jamming, the refrigerator is sticky, the oven is smoking and the crumbs on the floor will bring out the unkindness!
For me, it’s a bit of a catch 22: When I’m happy–and busy–I leave a trail behind my whirlwind and it isn’t long before the mess starts spreading to my heart and I get irritable from the lack of ability to keep order or find anything. When I’m irritable and “unkind”, I clean like a mad woman. When my life is ugly, it helps me find my “godliness” by making my house look pretty again.
How you keep your home is a big indicator of your Img.ID:
- C: Classic: is organized in her mind, but her counters, desks and drawers may be a mess. She knows where things are, though, so don’t move anything on her! Her home is often unfinished or under furnished because she wants things done properly but has trouble making decisions or accepting help.
- N: Natural tends to be unorganized. Her home may be dirty, dusty and run down, but she’s so laid back that she may not even notice the mess, and it certainly doesn’t bother her.
- D: Dramatic is an extremest and her home is no exception. Where she lives may be either completely out of control with piles of laundry and dishes, etc. or exceptionally organized, immaculate and embellished.
- I: Ingénue is full of compassion and creativity, which may be very evident in her beautifully decorated home. She tends to take good care of her home, but she may become overwhelmed by the work. Finding a system for the upkeep will help any of us, but especially the Ingénue.
- R: Romantic may also be overwhelmed by her chores, but this girl actually enjoys housework. She especially loves baking. Creating an atmosphere that makes others comfortable is actually her expertise. It is important, however, that she guards her heart when her efforts are not acknowledged.
- G: Gamine likes things in order and cleanliness is very important to her. She tends to have no problem delegating her responsibilities. If she has no help and cannot afford to hire some, she desperately needs a system to follow in order to keep up the house without getting grouchy about it.
Click the letter to learn more about that Image Identity, including What2Wear.
As a young woman, I thought of cleaning as an unfair expectation put on the less-than-gender. I resented having to pick up after my brothers, and later: husband and children. I compared my endless efforts to their seemingly simple home lives. After work/school, I was the one to make dinner, clean it up, give baths and prepare lunches for the next day while they got to relax or play.
Then I realized that I actually like to clean and organize and that having the house in order was something I wanted, but my family really didn’t care if it was messy or not. No wonder my requests for help seemed so oppressive to them! Truth be told, my mom’s request felt the same way–and I suppose that was why I thought I hated the chore.
A change of mindset changes everything.
Once I realized that I actually enjoy cleaning, I stoped nagging everyone else to help me, which truly changed the atmosphere of my home. Not only did my family stop running away from me, but since I was cleaning up with a cheerful heart, they were happy to pitch in now and then. I no longer looked at the household chores as an unfair job; instead I saw them as an enjoyable ministry to the ones I love the most. I began to create ways to make the chores interactive and teachable for my kids with the hope that, one day, cleaning would be fun for them as well.
My greatest creation was the game created to keep me from nagging my kids to put things away, while keeping them in shape. The Buy Back Bin: a rubber made placed out of reach in a closet used to place toys, jackets, sox, etc. found on the floor. When requested, the item may be "bought back" for the price of (10) push ups or sit ups (the child’s choice).
So how do you feel about cleaning?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you do to create a calm and enjoyable home for your family. Do you take full responsibility for the housework or is it a shared effort? If so, have you found any fun ways to orchestrate the chores in a way that does not cause your kids to feel oppressed by the work?
CONFIDENT BEAUTY Image- and Life-Coaching
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