Spring Cleaning Advice
The temps are warming up. You’re opening your doors and windows to allow the fresh spring air in. After basking in spring’s glow for a moment or two you spin around and, there it is. A cluttered room. Maybe a cluttered house. And you feel the stress set in.
How did it get like this? And how in the world will it get cleaned up?
Deep breath, friends! Author and popular blogger is here to help bring order to your house and, more importantly, peace to your soul. Having a Martha Home the Mary Way: 31 Days to a Clean House and a Satisfied Soul will give you short, practical daily tips to get things in order.
It will take just a few days to get your house turned into a welcoming home for your family and friends to enjoy.
Sarah Mae wants to let you in on a little secret about being a good homemaker: It’s not about having a clean house. She’d never claim to be a natural, organized cleaner herself—yet, like you, she wants a beautiful space to call home, a place where people feel loved and at peace. Where people can really settle in with good food, comfy pillows, and wide-open hearts.
Is it possible to find a balance? To care for your heart—and your home—at the same time?
Journey with Sarah Mae on this easy, practical 31-day plan to get you moving and have your house looking and feeling fresh. But even more than that, you’ll gain a new vision for the home of your dreams, and how to make it a place of peace, comfort, and community. Originally published as the e-book 31 Days to Clean and now revised and expanded in print for the first time, Having a Martha Home the Mary Way will inspire you to find a happier, healthier . . . cleaner way to live.
I’m happy to have Sarah stopping by today to share a few tips with us that we can begin to implement today.
The house is a mess—again. There are dishes all over the countertops, toys everywhere, papers askew, laundry piled up, and an overall “I’m-so-behind-on-life” disarray. It’s disheartening just looking at it. I catch myself wondering how it got this way so quickly. Didn’t I just get this mess cleaned up yesterday?
When I look around at the mess, I see Mount Everest. I get stuck, I feel depressed, and I have no idea where to begin or if I even want to. I just feel so overwhelmed sometimes.
Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. (Psalm 55:22, NASB)
I can see the eternal reasons for taking care of my home and family, and the immediate gratification of a well-kept home is like the frosting on the cake. But I still struggle with the mountain of work in front of me. So, what’s a girl to do?
Here are some tips I’ve come across over the years, suggestions that have been helpful to me.
Work on Only One Room at a Time
When the house is a mess, work on only one room at a time. This little nugget of advice has helped me so much! I tend to just start cleaning, haphazardly moving from room to room, cleaning a little here and a little there.
Then I started doing only one room at a time—what a difference! I stay focused on my task, and when I’m through with one room I can look at it and see results.
Be Generous to Your Trash Can
Throw things out! The more things I realize I don’t need and can definitely live without, the less stress I create for myself. Just let it go!
Get Rid of Half the Toys
I’m serious. Okay fine, maybe half is too much (or not enough) for you, but the point is that your kiddos don’t need to have five thousand things. Grab the toys they don’t play with all that much (or won’t even notice are gone) and either get rid of them or store them in the attic. You can always pull them out on a rainy day.
Take 15 Minutes
Professional organizer Marla Cilley (aka the FlyLady) suggests putting the timer on for fifteen minutes and going to work, doing everything you can in that amount of time. Imposing a time constraint is helpful, especially to those of us who like a challenge. Turn on some Pandora radio and you’re set! Just get moving! I spend so much time fretting about how much needs to be done that I’m often motionless, which makes me feel worse. Ultimately, I give in to laziness and a “why bother?” attitude. Just get up! Force yourself to do something because as it’s been said, “Action is the antidote to despair.”
Envision the Big Picture
You know that warm and comfy feeling you get when you walk into a home that is well cared for, clean, and inviting? It’s not sterile (i.e., no plastic coverings on the furniture), but tidy, warm, and peaceful. That’s the kind of home I want, and that motivates me to see the big picture instead of the piles. What’s your big picture?
Get Off the Computer
This is probably the best advice I can give you. For me, the more I’m on the computer, the more depressed I get and the less I do. Shut it down, friend.
Keep Your Eyes on the Goal
I believe getting your work done while pushing through the tough stuff will reap eternal rewards. You and your family will be more comfortable and less stressed. Think about the outcomes as you persevere and scale the mountain. The view from the top will be exhilarating or, at the very least, peaceful and clean.
Get Something New
Buy or find something new to put in your home that matches the vision you have for your space, an item that brings a smile to your face. Perhaps it will be something unique you nab at a yard sale this weekend, something you repurpose, or something beautiful that lifts your spirit. Whatever it is, find it, place it, and enjoy it.
You may not be able to do all of these suggestions at the same time, and that’s okay! Focus on one or two. Baby steps forward! You’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish!
Sarah Mae is an influential Christian blogger, founder of the popular Allume conference, author of her new release, Having a Martha Home the Mary Way, Longing for Paris and coauthor of Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe (with Sally Clarkson). She has been featured on Good Morning America as an example of someone who has found success in generating an income as a stay-at-home mom. She celebrates life with her husband and three children in the beautiful Amish countryside of Pennsylvania, where she often ponders what life would be like is she actually finished all the laundry.