A while back I found Marla Cilley’s book Sink Reflections at the library and checked it out. I had been surfing through her FlyLady website trying to make sense of things, so when I found the book I figured it would be a good one to read. It definately was good, but to be honest I didn’t really understand the concepts she was preaching. Yeah, I’m a little slow on the up-take when it comes to housework.
Fast forward to about two weeks ago. Reading through my Proverbs 31 bible study and I get stuck on needing to be a better housekeeper.
I work 40 hours a week, and while I am thankfully out of the small person season, I still come home tired still needing to get dinner and do laundry and prep for the next day. And I’m supposed to add cleaning to that too? In my dinky little over-stuffed house? Argh!!!
But, just because my hubby expects me to work outside the home doesn’t negate my (to me and to him) God-given responsibilities in the home. Women’s libbers and 50-50 marriage types, please keep any ugly comments to yourself. I won’t agree and you won’t change my mind with your uglies.
So, in the spirit of working on the things God was showing me in my study of Proverbs 31 I went on a journey to find help. Surfing through Barnes and Noble I came across Sink Reflections again. I figured, what-the-heck, I’ll buy it and see if it will make any more sense a second time around.
Ok, so now I get it! First off, she’s just like me. Side-tracked by many good, but not necessarily profitable ways to use my time. She’s clutter-prone. She doesn’t live in a mansion with maids and a butler and personal chef. She really does speak my language. And she offers a proven, time-tested way out of my housekeeping doldrums.
She starts you off by telling you to “shine your sink”. Ok, so for me I tweaked that a little and made it “rotate the dishes into the dishwasher before you go to bed so they can wash overnight and your sink will be empty in the morning”. Let me tell you, that little thing really makes a difference. A nice empty sink in the wee hours of the morning is just a good feeling thing to see.
Then she gets you to make your own morning and evening routines. I already had those to an extent, but looking over her examples helped me tweak mine to make better use of my time both in the mornings and in the evenings before bed. I already prep the coffee pot and hubby’s coffee cup at night and lay out his clothes and at least decide what I’m going to wear. But, my mornings were still too busy for my comfort. Why? Because I was trying to fit making lunches in with getting dressed for work. It made me cranky. Not a good start to a morning. So, I added about 6 extra minutes to my night time routine to make lunches before bed and stick them in the fridge. Now I just have to pull everything out and pop it into the lunch bag. That one small change actually gives me time to read through my Psalms/Proverbs daily reading in the mornings like I prefer without being so rushed that I just skim the words without taking in their meaning. A win.
Next up, a weekly cleaning routine. This is where I got stuck before. “You mean I have to do this stuff everyday?” No silly, this is what you have to do over the course of the week to keep your house up to snuff in a basic kind of way. Ooooohhhhhhh. Duh. I was kind of already doing this anyway on Saturday mornings. No need to change that. I just tweaked what I’m doing a little bit to add a few things I like to have done more regularly than what I had been doing them.
Now for the biggie……zones. This one really blew my poor little head off before. I could grasp dividing my house into zones, but couldn’t grasp how in the world I was supposed to do all this cleaning on top of everything else in my life! No, no, no. I’m only required to spend 15 minutes per day on that week’s particular zone. If I want to spend more I can, but it’s not required. Working through the zone each week isn’t meant to completely de-clutter and deep clean everything that first week. It’s meant to get things moving in the right direction. It didn’t get cluttered and dirty all in a week and it doesn’t have to get perfect in a week either. Well, not unless you have company coming and have to crises-clean, but that’s another story. So, I’ve tweaked the zones for my tiny house (for instance, I only have one bathroom so Ionly have to have one zone for that) and worked out what things need to be done in those zones for our happiness.
Ahhh. Thank you Lord for your faithfulness to your daughter to give her the tools and techniques to do what you have called her to do.
It’s the first of the month, so I’m working on Zone 1 which is my entry, dining area and back porch. With just a measly 15 minutes a day I can get sooooo much done to make things look better. I’m excited to have a less cluttered, cleaner house without so much stress. Plus, I can go to school with hubby without feeling like I have to neglect the house to do so. Win!!
If you are housekeeping-impaired like me, this is really an excellent book to get you moving in the right direction whether you are a SAHM, or working wife. I’m so glad I found it again.
Linking up with Titus 2sdays, Teach Me Tuesdays, Far Above Rubies, Raising Homemakers, Raising Mighty Arrows