They explained why…and this is what helped me so much.
They explained why…and this is what helped me so much.
I'm done worrying about what people think. I have been in a blogging funk for awhile. I was even considering taking a week or two (or more) off to really think about what my purpose is for my blog. I got so caught up with caring about what others said, and these super "religious" Christians who want to attack my way of thinking, that I actually FORGOT my purpose. My purpose, with this blog, is to help other Christian women, wives, moms, homemakers, feel better about themselves (and to have a little fun along the way). And if that means I have to do it by showing my own faults (because I would be an utter failure in the eyes of many women) and risk getting criticized (the delete button is going to be my favorite button!! lol), then so be it.
Linked to: Growing Home, A Pause on the Path, Lessons from Ivy, Cornerstone Confessions, Call Me Blessed, Time Warp Wife, Our Simple Country Life, Raising Mighty Arrows, Intentional Me, Your Thriving Family, Consider the Lilies,
Do you ever feel deprived?
Money is tight for us right now and even a simple grocery shopping trip makes me depressed. Always having to buy the store generic, go without, put stuff back, etc. Seems to be the norm these days.
Well I was thinking this morning...my grandmother, Alice, passed away last year suddenly. I talked to her one day, and a week later she suffered from a massive stroke. The one thing that stands out in my mind about this woman was her frugality. She's a child from the great depression. When my parents came to visit last month, they brought some items that I wanted that were hers (crochet stuff, cookbooks, her sewing basket, etc). I was looking through her sewing basket and it cracked me up. The amount of containers she reused. You know those international delight coffee rectangular containers? She had a ton of them that held buttons in one, ribbon in another, etc. She didn't have special organizing containers for that! It was actually pretty cool to see since they were really old and definitely don't look the same anymore.
This woman was frugal until the day she died. Only as she aged did she finally get herself a dryer. When she was a young housewife, she hid money away and saved for YEARS, and then out of no where (not even telling her own husband) she put an extension on the house (boy was my grandfather surprised when he got home! lol! I wish I was there for that!).
Very rarely did I ever see her by anything new. She got good quality stuff when she needed it and made everything last for years. If you wanted advice on how to be frugal, she's the one to talk to.
There is one thing that I never thought about until now with her. SHE NEVER FELT DEPRIVED. It didn't bother her to go without. She didn't find a need for many of the modern things. She only got a cell phone once her elderly mother lived with her, and if my grandmother was out, she wanted her mother to be able to reach her. The only way she had a VCR and then a DVD player was because my dad would get her that stuff like that for her birthday or Christmas. She just couldn't care less. In fact, she thought people were foolish with how they spent money.
I keep pens and crayons (I use them as highlighters) in an old crystal light container and use them for when I spend time in the Word. Just this morning as I was finishing up 1 Corinthians, I grabbed for a pen and this feeling of deprivation came over me. Why? Because I was using a crystal light container and not some pretty container. REALLY? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
I need to get over myself!!!....and QUICKLY!!
Do any of you deal with this craziness?
If you live in a house with running water, plumbing, electricity, doors that lock, and food in the fridge (whether it's generic or not!), you are blessed! I am blessed. I get mad at my son when we buy him something and only after a few days it's no longer "new" and he wants something else. But I do the same thing! Yay! I got a new skein of yarn. I start crocheting with it and then wish I had another color. I buy a few plastic drawer organizers and now wish I had another type of organizational thing. I get cable TV and then want the bigger packages. I get one book in a series, and then I want them all. I get a new eye shadow, and then want another color to go along with it. This needs to stop!!! Pray for me and I'll pray for you!! lol!
Please tell me I'm not the only one who deals with this!!
Linked to: lowercase letters, The Better Mom, What Joy is Mine, A Mama's Story, From My Mountain View
Anyone else hate mail? I've always struggled with it. Before, when we were living in an apartment, I left the mail in its box for about 4 days or so before going to get it. Now that we are in a house, with the mailbox by the street, I get it daily, in fear of people stealing it (you never know!).
I created a mail bin, but what ended up happening was I would just throw it in the bin and forget about it. Before tossing it in there I would look through the mail to see if anything was important, and put that to the side. But WEEKS would even go by (do I even dare to admit months?) I used to use a shredder which is what slowed down the process. I had to keep the shredder hidden due to curious little ones. So then I would have to pull it out, go in a place where my little one won't follow me (usually the bathroom if I close the door) and shred stuff. Because I didn't want to do this every day, I would wait until I had a pile. Well, if you are familiar with shredders, they fill up fast and can overheat after too much use. So then I would cut out all the things I wanted to shred...which took time....which led me to PROCRASTINATE.
Then one day, it happened. The shredder broke. And a bright idea occurred to me. When we first moved in, hubby built a make do fire pit in our backyard. We live in a rural area where everyone likes to BURN stuff. So I decided, instead of getting a new shredder, we could just light that stuff on fire. And I have been forever changed! lol!
I now have a mail system that I love. I'll share it with you...you may not like mine or do something like me, and that, of course, is fine. There are a ton of other ways to do it...just google it! lol.
I have 3 (not sure the technical name) shelves that are wall mounted for files (similar to the things on the front of the doctor's doors that they store your file in.) They are labeled, "Bills," "Flyers," and "To-Do."
Bills - well...bills go in there...enough said
Flyers - I use this to store the current flyers I get in the mail/paper and also any store coupons (like bed, bath and beyond, etc). If I definitely will be using the coupons, I put them in my purse.
To-Do - You know those papers that you can't quite file away because you're going to need them again? I put them in here. If I need to call someone, it goes in there. Stuff like that. Here's a pic:
Then I have my mail bin and my burn bin. Now you'll notice that the other one isn't labeled (that's the burn one). That is because my 2 year old peeled it off and ATE IT!
I'm raising a termite! lol!
Well he didn't exactly EAT it. He sucked on it until it became a giant spitball and threw it on the ceiling! Yup! My 2 year old has discovered spitballs. I thought I had to wait until he was in high school...but apparently not. lol
Now I try to keep the Mail bin empty, and lately I have been. But let's say hubby comes home with paperwork I have to file, and I don't want to put it away just yet, I toss it in there. At least I know where it is.
Those 2 bins are sitting on top of our old TV stand that we used to use in our bedroom. Now we keep our magazines and catalogs on the inner shelf and our CD/DVD disk holder thingees underneath.
So now when I go and get the mail - I look through it..toss the junk in the burn bin, put the bills in the bill slot, open up anything else and decide if it's junk, a bill I didn't recognize from the outside, or something I have to do later. If I have to file it away, I try to do it then, but if I can't for whatever reason, I toss it in the mail bin and get to it later.
So...how do you organize your mail?
As you can see from my previous posts, I'm all about cleaning in a way that you don't have to take special time out. Because I rather do something ELSE with that "special time."
So, if you talk on the phone for a bit, you can do what I do. Think of the things that you need to clean that you are able to talk on the phone at the same time and write it out on a list. I can make the bed, fold clothes, sweep, load the dishwasher, etc. You can also tackle some of those things on the "While the Coffee Brews" list. Then when you get on the phone, work on those things.
When you are off the phone, you can do something else!
Linked to: Call me Blessed, Growing Home, Cornerstone Confessions, Time Warp Wife, Far Above Rubies, Lessons from Ivy, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Creative @ Home, Women Living Well,
WHEN THE COFFEE BREWS
- Clean fronts/doors of cabinets and appliances
- Clean top of fridge
- Clean shelves in fridge
- Clean crisper drawers in fridge and wipe down the "walls" of the fridge
- Clean freezer
- Wash windows [pick a room(s)]
- Change Sheets
- Organize a drawer(s) and/or cabinet(s)
- Clean microwave inside and out
- Dust blinds or vacuum curtains [pick a room(s)]
- Vacuum Ceilings (where the cobwebs hide)
- Clean TVs, Computer Screens, and mirrors around the house
- Throw washable area rugs (bathroom, kitchen, etc) in the wash
- Change Sheets
- Dust furniture [pick a room(s)]
- Dust walls and ceilings (I like using the Swiffer dry one)
- Organize your sock drawer and straighten other drawers if time permits
- Clean Floor of Closet
- Organize Medicine Cabinet
- Pick up the living room or organize something in there
- Change Sheets
- Clean up your desk area
- Wash knobs on stove, clean stove top, spoon rest, and teapot
- Clean toaster, clean out your purse
- Create a box for goodwill and place an item(s) in there
- Clean baseboards
- Empty all trashcans
- Change Sheets
- Clean all switch plates, and door handles around the house
- Go around the house seeing if you can get rid of 10 items
- Straighten bookcase or any type of "open" shelving
- Clean 1/4 of your closet
- Clean 2/4 of your closet
- Clean 3/4 of your closet
- Finish Cleaning your closet
- Change Sheets
- Dust pictures around the house
- Refill stuff around your house (soap dispensers, salt & pepper, etc)
- Sweep front entrance way and wipe down door
- Clean ceiling fan(s)
Once a load in the wash is done, and contains any washcloths, I take a damp washcloth (it's the perfect dampness by the way!) and wipe down the dryer and washing machine. Once I'm done, I just throw it back in the washing machine to be washed next time. I know one of the Daily Mission's of Flylady is to clean them, and by developing habits like this, I don't have to "remember" to do it, or schedule to do it, etc.
When emptying the kitchen garbage, throw 5 trash bags in the bottom underneath the new bag. When I empty my last bag, then that would be when I wash out the trashcan (same goes for bathroom trashcans). This way I don't have to remember to do it...the fact that I have to add more bags to the bottom tells me I should clean it first! If it doesn't need cleaning at that time, then I don't do it. Just add 5 more in and see if it needs cleaning next time
Pick up after yourself! It only takes a few seconds to put back the box of cereal, or that book back on the bookshelf, or that CD/DVD back in it's case. But when you have a ton of stuff like that, those seconds turn into many many minutes.
Keep up with laundry. I HATE being behind in laundry. Here's a tip that I started doing. If you are one of those who does a load a day, how about starting that load at night? Before bed have it going in the dryer so then the next day it's ready for you to fold when you are ready for it. If I want to knock it out at 7am I can. Just an idea
Leave a grocery list on the fridge at all times, even if it's just a scrap piece of paper. Add columns by departments (produce, household, beauty/meds, dairy, etc) and the second you know you need something add it to the list. By having the departments already planned out, you don't need to rewrite your list. Just grab it and go. I recently bought a clipboard and I would like to purchase some magnets to put on the back of it. I keep track of how much I'm spending by rounding each item to the nearest dollar and continue to add everything up as I'm putting stuff in the cart. I finally caved and bought a clipboard because I need something hard to write on. So I want to put my grocery list on the clipboard, keep my clipboard on the fridge, so then I can really just grab and go. I might even make a special column for me to write out the figures as I'm adding. :-)
For your kids' rooms - have a system where everything has a home, even if that home is a box with a taped piece of paper with it labeled what goes in it. Diaper boxes work great! I even use them in my closet...I rip off the flaps and lay them on it's side. I have wire wracks for shelves in my closet and by putting the boxes on its side, I'm able to store books and DVDs in them. Also, the top of the box creates another type of shelf, so I'm able to put stuff up there. Here's a pic:
Clean stuff that the kids can't mess up in the morning time and then clean up the stuff they can mess up, before hubby comes home
When you are in a mood to clean, take advantage of it! Work in one space at a time, even if it's one counter or one shelf.
Linked to: Your Thriving Family, Consider the Lilies, Finding Joy, Finding Beauty, Call me Blessed, Growing Home, Cornerstone Confessions, Time Warp Wife, Far Above Rubies, Lessons from Ivy, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Creative @ Home, Women Living Well,
The Roadtrip-a-Matic (pa-roadtrips) offers DOZENS of ready-to-ride roadtrips for visitors to Pennsylvania looking for outdoor experiences, small town charm, historic landmarks and so much more. Whatever a visitor is looking for, the Roadtrip-a-Matic has a roadtrip for everyone.
So, let's say hubby and I decide we want to getaway this summer by ourselves and take a trip to PA to visit some small town charm. Well the Roadtrip-a-Matic can help with just that!
It takes care of some of the biggest headaches when planning a vacation, such as:
- Where are we going to stay?
- Where are we going to eat?
- What sights and attractions will there be to see?
All I have to do is pick one of their roadtrips and it does the work for me! We chose to look at their Small Town Charmy package and it is delightful! It gives you a list of destinations you can go to within that area, and tells you where to eat and sleep. They even give you a map that marks where the attractions are along with places to dine and sleep.
It's such an easy and relaxing process! So why don't you go check it out already (roadtrips) ! :-)
Now, if you're like me, I drink a lot of coffee and water throughout the day...which means I pee a lot!...which means I'm in the bathroom many times a day.
My goal here is to never have to take time out of my day to clean the whole bathroom down. I hate cleaning the bathroom! I end up all sweaty and my back hurts and then I'm cranky. Which then makes hubby cranky and my kids cranky, which makes me even more cranky. See...it's not worth it!
So here's what I've been doing and hope to continue to do. Like I've mentioned before...it's all about consistency!
First off, get a cleaner just for the bathroom. Whether it's a small squirt bottle, old hairspray bottle, etc, fill it up with whatever cleaner you use. Get one for each bathroom. I personally like Lysol Multi Surface - the lemon one.
1) After going to the bathroom, wipe down the whole toilet with a baby wipe, or washcloth and some cleaner. I personally don't decorate the back of my toilet because that means I have to move it to clean it (I'm lazy! lol...and...I'm worried that my little one might knock it off into the toilet!). I'm talking cleaning under the seat, down the sides of the toilet, and the base
2) Use your toilet brush and "swish and swipe" as Flylady would call it. Doing this daily prevents a ring around the toilet.
3) After drying your hands off, spray some cleaner on the towel and wipe down the sink really quick and the front of the cabinets (it helps to not have too much on the sink. I keep the necessities there (soap, toothbrushes, etc) and then I have a basket with everything else in it)
4) Empty trash (I use grocery bags from the store and as I put one in the bin and wrap the handles around the edge, I put in about 5 more on top of that in the same manner. So once I pull the top bag out, there is one already ready to go without having to do anything). Before tying up the bag, take a quick walk through the house to see if you can throw anything else away and put it in the bag
5) Spray some cleaner on a towel and wipe down the mirror and windows (if needed). Spray more cleaner on the towel and wipe down the floors. If you don't feel like getting on your hands and knees to clean the floor, spray it on the floor and drag the towel back and forth with your foot! Yup, laziness at its best!
6) Wipe down door, switchplates, door handles, toilet handle etc (this doesn't have to be daily, but often)
If you have more than one bathroom, then go pee in each one and work on these lol. If the kids are occupied, and I'm not in the middle of something, I'll do a few of these at one time. And after being consistent with it for a while, you'll notice that each task gets quicker and quicker...then you can do more than one at a time. It's so nice to walk into a bathroom that is always cleaned. And it's even nicer when you make out a cleaning schedule/routine and you can skip this room(s) all together!
Linked to: Time Warp Wife, Call Me Blessed, Growing Home, A Pause on the Path, Lessons from Ivy, Cornerstone Confessions, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Raising Homemakers, Women Living Well, Deep Roots at Home, Our Simple Country Life, Intentional Me, Raising Mighty Arrows, Your Thriving Family, Consider the Lilies, Finding Joy, Finding Beauty,
The process went like this:
1 - I realized I did work well on schedules...I just don't work well with the interruptions that kids and family life bring and mess up that schedule. Click HERE to read about that.
2 - I also learned that a routine that you have when you were single, with no children is totally different than when you have a family
3 - I learned my expectations are too high. That is also in the "click HERE" link above.
4 - I learned that I needed to be flexible..that is also on that same link. Speaking of that link...when I wrote it, I was on fire to start a routine again...only for it to come crashing down. I felt like it was just something else telling me what to do. It was something hovering over me to condemn me when I didn't do it. I didn't have the freedom to enjoy a schedule/routine like so many other women. Dear God I want to be able to enjoy a routine! Then...
5 - God showed me that it's okay to not fit in that mold. I don't HAVE TO do anything. Click HERE for that post
6 - He even showed me ways on how to fit cleaning in without taking a lot of time out of my day. Click HERE for that post
But oh sweet Christian lady...God wasn't done with me yet...and I hope what He changed in me, will encourage you.
After He healed me from feeling like I HAVE TO clean and that I don't NEED to follow a schedule He showed me something I never thought before.
I was on a blog (can't remember which one) and the writer runs marathons. And as I was reading about it, God immediately put it on my heart something like this "see, she doesn't HAVE TO run, she doesn't HAVE TO practice, she doesn't HAVE TO do anything. But the day that she runs to win a race...she will LOSE."
See...you don't HAVE TO do anything. You can eat whatever you want, when you want. But you won't lose weight.
You can buy whatever you want, when you want. But you won't get out of debt.
You don't have to clean, but your house will be a mess.
You don't have to be organized, but you'll be stressed when you can't find something
Isn't this all true?
Before, whenever I would make a routine or schedule, it would end up being RULES for me. I became LEGALISTIC with it. It controlled me. It condemned me.
But God has shown me that it's not a set of RULES. It's something called Discipline. And with all Discipline comes blessings right? As we speak, we planted our first garden. Tilling that grass to make the dirt, to plant the seeds, was REALLY hard work. But now I'm seeing little things sprouting up. It was worth it.
I don't HAVE TO follow a routine. But if I use it as a form of discipline, I will reap the benefits of a clean home.
I don't HAVE TO do laundry every day, but it's easier to fold only one load than five.
I don't HAVE TO empty the dishwasher in the morning, but it's easier to keep up with the dirty dishes if I start my day with an empty dishwasher
I don't HAVE TO clean the toilet all the time, but I sure am thankful when I have to throw up that there are no pee dribbles under the lid!
See...you don't HAVE TO do anything. Routines aren't your boss. It's not a set of rules! It's discipline! You are disciplining yourself to have the great results of a clean home.
So after all those lessons...I am finally free. I can write up a routine and follow it confidently KNOWING, that it is not a set of rules. I don't HAVE TO follow it.
I WANT TO follow it because I WANT TO reap a harvest from being disciplined.
I have been following my own little mail organization process for a couple weeks now. It feels GREAT to know that mail is never again going to take over my home...that is...as long as I stay DISCIPLINED in following it. Even though I've been doing it for only a short while, I'm reaping a harvest in the sense that it takes me less than five minutes to go through the mail!
I can't wait to reap a harvest all over my house!! How about you?
Linked to: Lowercase Letters, The Better Mom, Call Me Blessed, Time Warp Wife, Growing Home, A Pause on the Path, Lessons from Ivy, Cornerstone Confessions, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Raising Homemakers, Women Living Well, Deep Roots at Home, Our Simple Country Life, Intentional Me, Raising Mighty Arrows, Your Thriving Family, Consider the Lilies, Finding Joy, Finding Beauty,
They went home on Wednesday and yesterday hubby went back to work. I have mentioned MANY times on here about hating cleaning and schedules and all that. I also told you that I was healed from feeling guilty about it and feeling like I HAVE TO clean. Well that whole process has totally been God and He has worked ANOTHER level of that healing. I first started off hating cleaning and schedules because I felt like it was something telling me what to do and something I HAVE TO do. He then healed me from the guilt, and that feeling of "having to." But then over the passed week or so, He's brought on another level...which I am NOT going to talk about in this post...I'll just say the title of the post (which I haven't written yet lol) and that is "Discipline VS. Legalism." Hmmm...just think about that lol!
Yesterday I went on a HUGE cleaning spree in the kitchen. I organized everything! I remember awhile back I asked my Facebook buddies what helps motivate them to clean when they just don't feel like it. Well I found my own motivator! And her name is Holly. This woman has made me on FIRE for organization. I listened to her videos on Youtube over and over yesterday for a couple hours, while I organized.
I just love her personality. Somewhere I read from her something along the lines of "I can't cook, I can't sew, but I can organize." You know what...I am a GREAT organizer. I just battle with procrastination and the WHY behind what I'm doing. Her motto is "Less Mess, Less Stress, God Bless." Ain't that the truth! She's a Professional CHRISTIAN organizer and is doing amazing things in my life. I am now determined to organize every inch of space in my house and stay on top of it because I know how proud I am when hubby needs something, and I know right where it is. I love being able to find something in less than 30 seconds. I love opening my cabinets and seeing everything neat. I love a clean home! That's WHY I do it!
So if you want to listen/watch her, here are some links:
Click HERE for her YouTube Channel
Click HERE for my FAVORITE video by her (it's over a half hour long. I first sat and watched it with a cup of coffee...I now put it on and play it over and over while I organize. I feel like I'm cleaning right along with her)
Click HERE for her blog called "Holly's Habitude" (she's big into Vlogs...I love it...and her videos are loud enough that I can hear them great on my laptop)
Click HERE for her website called "A1 Organizing"
And lastly...HERE is her facebook page
On a few other notes, I just want to tell you that I'm going to start advertising on my blog soon. When I started my blog, I had no intention of doing that, but I would love to bless my family with a little extra cash flow. Also, once my youngest goes to Kindergarten in 2 years I've been considering if I want to go work part time or not. If I can make this a little more lucrative for my family, then I won't need to. I will also be posting ads as well. If you don't like those, PLEASE feel free to skip those posts or delete the emails.
I'm also going to work on reorganizing my posts. I don't want so many labels/tags to my posts. I also want to organize the "pages" on the top.
Also, my post for those who hate cleaning has moved its way up to the 2nd most popular post and I decided that I am going to separate each task into it's own post...so you will see it repeat on here.
So those are just some randomness that's going on with me. I'm hoping to get that post out "Discipline VS Legalism" on Monday