Archive for the ‘Spring Cleaning’ Category

Hint of the Day:  Help your kids learn how to Spring Clean!  Not only is it appropriate for kids to help with Spring Cleaning the home, it is also healthy for them to learn how to organize and Spring Clean their own personal space (bedroom, bathroom, study areas…).  They may not express appreciation for this training now, they may insist that they like being messy, but it will help them grow into responsible adulthood and their future spouse will thank you.

*Every child old enough to get toys out of their toy box is old enough to Spring Clean.  Be realistic…the attention span and physical ability of a two year old is far different then an 8 year old.  But by starting early and making it a fun activity rather then a chore, you will build a foundation for future years of training.

*Teach your child to plan a strategy for cleaning their area.  Just issuing the order to “clean this mess” can be overwhelming to a child and they will not know where to start.  Show them how to divide and conquer their project by picking a starting point and working their way through the task. For example, start at the door and move clockwise with the dust cloth on the baseboard;  or transfer winter clothes and summer clothes, and next tackle the toy box and remove broken toys, etc.  Let them create their own plan of action with a check off list, if they like.

*Partner with them to get it done.  Particularly challenging areas will intimidate the average elementary age child…they are going to need some help to get it done.  That is ok!  Work alongside them so they can see how quickly a task can be accomplished when you really get going after it.  As they get distracted (and they will) gently remind them to stay focused to the task at hand.  As they grow into their teens, they will have the ability to do these tasks on their own and you will be grateful for the time you had with them in their younger years.

*Spring Cleaning happens just once a year so offer a special reward for a job well done.  Maybe it is ice cream at Doodles, or perhaps just some one-on-one time with mom and dad…everyone works better when there is a reward waiting for them at the finish line and you know what will best motivate your child.

“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.”   (Proverbs 22:6)  This verse is intensely spiritual and at the same time, intensely practical.  As parents we have a wonderful responsibility to look at our child, understand their heart and their mind, and train them towards maturity in all area’s of their life…from their relationship to God, to their social lives, to good stewardship of their belongings through Spring Cleaning.  Thank the Lord, He is willing and able to help us train our kids.  “If anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault…”  (James 1:5)

Have any Spring Cleaning Hints?  Leave a comment and share in the conversation…we would love to hear your thoughts!

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Cleaning Hint of the Day: A planned party or an event at your home can be used as motivation to get your home into tip top shape this spring.  Are you planning a celebration at your home this year?

With spring comes the promise of graduations, baby showers, wedding showers, weddings, kids leaving home and kids coming home.   All are wonderful things to celebrate.  If it’s your year to host one of these celebrations, well you most certainly have much more to add to your spring “to do” list this year. If you are in need of motivation, take heart, you’ve clicked onto to the right site.

Here are some helpful hints that will motivate you to get the job done:

Getting Started – Make a list of things you would like to have completed around the house before the scheduled event.  Begin by starting with the little jobs on your list.  As you complete them, cross them off your list.  Motivation will start to really kick in once you finish the first few jobs.

Be Realistic – Time is the biggest obstacle to overcome in preparing your home for a party.   Be realistic about setting goals you know you can attain.  For example, if you have two extra hours to work on a project, however tempting it may be, do not decide to paint Tommy’s bedroom that will take you more like 2 days to finish.  Most people will not notice the new paint job.  Instead do something that you know will be visible and that needs immediate attention.

Involve others – During the weekend, enlist members of your family to tackle a project on your list together.  Many hands working together can accomplish much.  Yard clean up tends to be something that families can do together.

Pace yourself – Don’t try to accomplish everything all at once.  Give yourself plenty of time to complete all of your planning, projects, cleaning and shopping prior to the big day.  Be sure that you get plenty of rest.  You don’t want to over extend yourself so much so that you are not able to enjoy your party.

Keep focus, set your eyes on the prize- In this case, the prize is the celebration that you have been planning.  Deal with distractions as they come, but don’t get too wrapped up in the little details.  Keep your focus on the end result.  When all is completed, sit back; enjoy your party and all of the wonderful people that you have invited to share in your special moment.  That’s the reward to look forward to.

We put so much time and energy into planning a party, with an end result in mind; in the same way we are to set our focus heavenward.  God wants our relationship with him to take priority over all things in our lives.  Our number one goal should be to know Christ more.  Our motivation is the prize at the end…Our celebration in Heaven.   How about you, what motivates you to keep your relationship with God growing strong? Are you looking forward to the celebration of all celebrations?

Phil 3:14 says this, ” I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

What motivates you?  What is your favorite party planning tip?  (Leave a comment and register to win  a $25.00 gift card to Blockbuster.  We will close the contest on Friday.)

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Spring Cleaning Hint of the Day:  Hidden places in your home need Spring Cleaning too…like the medicine cabinet, the utility room cupboards, and your bedroom closet.  Get rid of the dust and cobwebs, but also take the opportunity to remove potentially dangerous items or un-used things that just take up space.  No one else may ever see these areas, but you will feel great knowing it is organized!

We all have hidden areas in our lives…dark spots due to hidden sin.  Maybe these are sin’s from our past that cause us feelings of shame or guilt.  Or perhaps we have a hidden area of un-forgiveness, or an addiction that we can’t seem to completely conquer but that we keep tucked away out of sight from our friends and family.  No one else may ever see these areas, but we can be sure that God does and it is impacting our relationship with Him.

Psalm 19:12 says this, “Forgive my hidden faults.” God longs for us to clean out these dirty cobwebs of sin that we keep tucked away behind closed doors.  He hates it when sin clogs up our relationship with Him.  Let’s take the time today to focus in on those hidden areas, flinging open those locked doors, exposing our great need for forgiveness from our Almighty God. Let’s specifically ask God to forgive each and every one of those hidden sins.  He will not fail us, out of His faithful love and mercy for us He will always forgive.  There is no other feeling on earth like  knowing we are completely clean before God!

What hidden area in your house do you most need to clean?  Leave a comment to register to win the $25.00 Blockbuster gift card!

(Contest runs only from May 17-21, 2010. One comment per day and per person, please.  And don’t worry…your email address can only be seen by blog administrators and you may use your initials if you like. You will be notified by email after Friday if you win!)

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Spring Cleaning Hint of the Day:  White vinegar is a non-toxic, inexpensive, all-purpose cleaner and it is great at removing unpleasant odors!  Use it to wash windows (half and half with water), clean out your refrigerator shelves, wash down the trash bins in every room…

One of my favorite things about Spring Cleaning is the fragrance of “clean” that pervades the entire house.  It is inviting and while it lasts it is wonderful, but eventually that clean smell fades away, at least until the next cleaning spurt hits.  We can try to duplicate the fresh clean smell with all kinds of sprays and plug-in contraptions.  We light sweet-smelling candles and place them strategically in bathrooms and in kitchens.  But as time goes by the pleasing fragrance of these things disappear as well.

Scripture tells us that believers in Jesus Christ carry a spiritual fragrance with us wherever we go.

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.” 2 Cor. 2:14

As we clean our homes and enjoy the fragrance of “clean,” or the beautiful floral aroma’s of our favorite candle, meditate on your spiritual fragrance as a follower of Christ.  Ask God to help you be a fresh breath of fragrance by your actions and your love that invites others to draw close to the God you serve.

What is your favorite odor-removing tip or your favorite scent?  Leave a comment to register to win a $25.00 Blockbuster gift card!  And if you are one of our new readers…welcome!  We are so glad you stopped by!

(Contest runs only from May 17-21, 2010. One comment per day and per person, please.  And don’t worry…your email address can only be seen by blog administrators and you may use your initials if you like. You will be notified by email after Friday if you win!)

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Spring Cleaning Hint of the Day:

Stay balanced!  Organize your tasks in do-able chunks so that you start and finish a job in one session…and then STOP!   For example, clean all the windows in one day, and then move on to other things that are non-cleaning related.  This will help keep your valuable time balanced and you can still celebrate finishing a task before moving on to other responsibilities (and pleasures) in your life.

Balance is hard to achieve in homemaking.  I have a friend who qualifies as a “neat freak.”  She delights in the smell of lemony fresh furniture spray, she adores squeaky clean tile floors, and nothing is ever stacked in piles on her dining room table…but she is ALWAYS cleaning.  We are polar opposites, and the current state of my house proves it as I look around!  What we have in common is that we both need balance in this area of our lives!

Luke 10:40-42 reveals a key to finding that balance in our homemaking.  In this passage, Martha is hustling around…cleaning, cooking, arranging…and Mary, her sister, is sitting quietly at the feet of Jesus.

But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.  She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?  Tell her to help me!”  Martha, Martha, the Lord replied, you are worried and upset by many things, but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.

Only one thing is needed. My private time with Jesus MUST take priority over all else that falls under my responsibility if I am going to bring glory to God and please Him.  Taking the time to pause in quiet meditation and prayer is really hard for my “neat freak” friend when there are things out-of-place and just aching to be cleaned… but it is needed. And I find that as I faithfully spend time with the Lord in prayer and reading His Word, I am more motivated to joyfully fulfill my own responsibilities (mopping the tile, washing mirrors,etc.) to His glory.

Father, help us to find the right balance!

So do you lean more towards being a Neat Freak or are you a Messy?  Leave a comment to register for a free $25.00 gift card to Blockbuster.

(Contest runs only from May 17-21, 2010. One comment per day and per person, please.  And don’t worry…your email address can only be seen by blog administrators and you may use your initials if you like. You will be notified by email after Friday if you win!)

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