Develop a Routine

My mom liked a clean house. I learned very early how to clean a bathroom and keep my room tidy as a youngster. My mom lived in a mobile home for several years and even though she was up in years, her floors were scrubbed and everything was in its place. After she passed away in 2012 I took my camera to her modest mobile home to take pictures. It's going to sound a little crazy, but one of my favorite things in my mom's house, besides her neatly folded lingerie drawer, was a deep drawer in her kitchen. Inside was every size baggie imaginable. Each box containing the different baggie sizes was packed tightly together like a puzzle whose designer configured it with beauty and perfection. That was my mom! 

As fastidious as my mom was, I wasn't aware of a cleaning schedule or a daily routine. I know my mom must have had one in her mind, but all I remember as a teenager was our traditional household cleaning from top to bottom in preparation for dinner guests. In those days, there was an Ajax commercial on television that promoted their product as "the White Tornado." The "tornado" ripped through the house and made everything in its path sparkling clean. That is how I learned to clean house-starting from one end of the house to the other, thoroughly cleaning every room, from top to bottom.

Once I got married, I continued the "white tornado" approach to cleaning. After having children, I soon discovered that this approach was exhausting. In fact, whenever we entertained guests, I was so fatigued by the time they arrived I could barely enjoy the evening. It was about that time that I was reacquainted with Emilie Barnes and her book More Hours in My Day. Emilie taught seminars on how to approach household cleaning in an orderly routine. She recommended using a card file box similar to a recipe box and having dividers which designated daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly duties. I took her seminar and even ended up becoming one of her instructors in the early 80's. It was through her training, encouragement, and love that I got my life back. I was no longer overwhelmed but had a routine for keeping up my house that allowed for more freedom, not less. Emilie also provided examples of ways to incorporate the assistance of your children while making it fun and productive. 

If you feel overwhelmed by taking care of your children, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and trying to keep your household chores up, I'd encourage you to check out Emilie's system. It really made a huge difference in my life as a young wife and mother. Develop a routine--it will surprise you, and your family will thank you for it!