I do not enjoy cleaning. My house is sanitary and all, no random roaches or health code violations. But the sink has a pile of dirty dishes, there’s a toddler trail through the house of discarded items and the floor is in desperate need of a scrub.
I’ve never been successful at developing a cleaning schedule for myself, though many people swear that is the only way to keep up. I’m very convinced I will have more time tomorrow for whatever needs to get done. Then tomorrow comes, not so much. And my unwillingness to clean didn’t start when I had a toddler. No, I’ve never been a fan. And Brett doesn’t really seem to care either if I’m behind on dishes or the bathrooms are not exactly sparkling clean. So I don’t care, he doesn’t care, and Hannah hasn’t complained. So what’s the problem?
In an attempt to seek help, I downloaded the e-book “31 Days to Clean – Having a Martha House the Mary Way.” I even spent $4.99 on it. Each day, you read about a heart attitude or a practical reason for keeping up with those chores. Then there is a Mary challenge which is more emotional and introspective, and a Martha challenge which is a systematic, thorough cleaning project. The Martha challenges are more like big “spring cleaning” tasks, not daily upkeep, but they are divided nicely into do-able projects that one could do in the 31 days if desired.
I read the entire book and was thoroughly convicted by the heart attitude inspection. As part of basic hospitality, I should have a house that is comfortable and welcoming at any time. Not necessarily spotless and scrubbed, just free of clutter and ready for unexpected guests or playdates. I had a real-life example of this when one of my neighbors locked herself out of her house a couple weeks ago on a hot day, and I invited her in to hang out until her boyfriend came home with the key. You never know when there will be a guest in your home.
As well, I should be a good steward of the house that God has blessed us with and maintain it to the best of my abilities. It is honoring to God and to my family to have a clean, organized environment. There were many references to the Proverbs 31 woman, and one of my favorites was about v. 15 which makes reference to her servants. We could say, of course this amazing woman can do all this, she has servants! However, the book points out, as 21st century women, we may not have actual human servants, we are blessed with modern appliances which do so much work for us. My “servants” include a washer, dryer, and dishwasher. I just need to get them started!
The Martha challenges were… challenging. Honestly, I did not do a single one. I have good intentions of going through the book again at some point and actually tackling each day’s task. I felt a little overwhelmed taking on her daily projects when right now I can’t even keep up with the day-to-day tasks I should be working into the schedule.
I think I’m going to try doing a cleaning schedule (again) and really committing to sticking to it. We are having several houseguests in September and October, so I’d love to have a successful routine down by then to avoid the panicked pre-guest house attack.
How do you get motivated to clean? Any tips to staying on a schedule?