Welcome and Blessings!

Thank you so much for stopping by! I have named this blog "Running to the Cross" because that is what I often find myself doing...running to be with my Lord Jesus! I often cover many aspects of life on my blog, as it is my journal. I used to write things down in all sorts of notebooks, but my writings would soon be lost. So I decided that it was time to start a blog and share my thoughts and ideas with others. Many topics you will find here are prayers, homemaking and organization, children and pregnancy, funny stories, and the challenges of parenting and motherhood. If you enjoy my blog and leave me a comment, you are likely to have me visit! I love meeting others and gleaning from the lives of others. May you be blessed! Your friend in Christ, Heather

Friday, May 23, 2008

How DO you do it?

Thank you ladies (Leanne & Hadias), for your concern in regards to keeping on top of things in my home...yes, it is difficult and yes, I have learned that it is IMPOSSIBLE to keep things spotless all the time. In fact, if my house is even remotely tidy, I am thrilled.

I know that I need to lower my standards...but in a sense, I just can't. I DEEPLY desire to be a good steward of my home. I DEEPLY desire to please my husband with a tidy home...he really needs it to be that way. Although, I have never been able to keep it clean for long (at least not since I had my 5th child), I have tried. So if you are wondering, YES, I did keep it clean when I had 4 children (all under the age of 5)...now it just seems like a dream.

I guess part of the reason why I want to get it clean is because I once asked a born-organized individual for some tips on keeping my house clean and they looked at me, shook their head and told me, "I don't know how you can be disorganized." Ever since I have backed away from asking others (especially the organized) how they do it.

However, I am going to be brave today and ask again...HOW DO YOU DO IT?

What kind of cleaning schedule do you keep? Do you get everything done on your schedule? If not, HOW do you fit the undone tasks into the rest of your schedule?

Now, I know you folks are out there...I have visited your blogs and seen your clean and tidy homes. I have also read your comments (at other people's blogs). Although, I dare not ask you on your blog how you do it...I will here (that is, ask you that very question).

Keep in mind, I DO have seven children...ages: almost 11, 9, 7 1/2, 6, almost 5, almost 3, and almost 10 months. Also, I NEVER get a full night's sleep...I wake up exhausted, but I try to get up around 7 or earlier. My children DO help...as they have assigned tasks. They also help with the baby, holding her and such...

If you were to give me some advice, what would it be? I tend to stress with schedules because I NEVER get it all done, but I am a list maker. I know how well menu plans work. AND as a homeschooler, I know that usually when you have 5 children under the age of 10 to school that you find yourself overwhelmed (esp. with NEW curriculum)....

Anyway, enough time spent...if you have some kindhearted advice (not criticism) and would like to share, I am all ears. If your are one of those who can keep on top of everything (in the home)...what a gift you have! If not, I'm with you on that!

Have a blessed and wonderful day and weekend!


Leanne said...

Well, here's what we do: We buddies in our home. Both of the older girls (ages almost 11 and 9 1/2) are buddies with the other two girls (ages 7 and 5). They help their buddies and do schoolwork with them.

We also have our home broken up into jurisdictions. They are: Bathroom/hallway, dining room/living room (our home is not that big). One set of buddies is assigned to one jurisdiction for three months each, then we rotate.

With Sofia, who's 2, the two older girls take turns taking care of her. Hannah gets to take care of her on M,W and F, and Samantha gets to take care of her T,TH, and Sat.

For laundry, I mark my calendar with each set of buddies initials per week, and that means that team is responsible for the laundry, like taking all of the dirty clothes out to the garage and sorting them correctly, starting loads correctly, and putting things in the dryer and bringing them in. Everyone folds around here, and we put clothes in each person's pile on the back of the couch to be put away by that person.

Since the girls are all in one bedroom, they all pitch in to clean it up.

Whew, that was a long comment, but I hope it helps to give you an idea on what another big family does for order! It stays pretty spiffy around here, although I have to do lots of reminding!! I just try to remember that they aren't adults....but we aren't perfect!

Have a good day!


mama said...

woah.......scary question:) I don't homeschool so I don't know if you'll think of me as qualified. I have kids ages almost 14 down to 13 months. I HATE schedules as they stress me out too and I can never stick to them as the many needs require flexibility. However I have sort of a loose routine and that really really helps!!! Let me know if you want to know more specifics and I'll email you. BTW my house is not perfect but I think it's clean enough for having 8 kiddos and 33 wekks preggers. And yes the good old standards question.......yup goota lower it as much as you possibly can and still function well. Then work on stuff with your new standards in mind!!! That REALLY HELPS!

Hadias said...

Every wife/mother will need to formulate her own schedule based upon the needs of her family but I will try and give you the basics that I teach my daughters pertaining to homemaking.

Focus on keepinf the guest area, kitchen and guest bath clean first.

A good kitchen habit to cultivate is cleaning up while preparing meals and promptly after meals are served. (see my homemaking posts regarding this)

If you have multiple bathrooms, then one can be designated as the guest bath. Set a standard for what it should look like when each person is done using it. Ex: Shower curtain pulled closed, stool in the corner versus the middle of the floor, sink cleared.

Guest entertaining area: The entry way and upper living must remain tidy. The children are aloud to play any where in the house but they are told 10 minutes before playtime is over that we will begin tidying up in 10 minutes.

We used to dump clean clothes on the couch but never get around to folding them, so when company would drop by I would be so embarrased. When my children were very young it was just so much for me to stay on top of.

I started focusing on the areas that guest saw first. Once I mastered teaching the children to keep those areas tidy then we moved on to reinforcing personal areas such as bedrooms.

Be clear with your children what your idea of tidy is and express your goals for doing IT in the first place.

I hope that this is helpful Please stop by and check out my homemaking archive, There a many valuable resources there to encourage you with homemaking.

prayzgod said...

Well, I only have four children, ages 8, 5, 3, and 21 months, but I can tell you one of my main tricks:



-Keep floors picked up

If you at least do the above, you're house will at least apear tidy, even if it isn't. I didn't get a change to clean the toilet in one of the bathrooms last week, so now it's got a yucky ring around the bowl. Oh well, close the lid, and I'll clean the toilet on my next assigned day for that type of cleaning, which is Wednesday.

Make a schedule, or list of what you want to get done, but make sure you do the basics for sure. The other stuff? If you don't have time, you just don'e have time.

this is a season in your life; it won't always be like this, so enjoy it while you can. ;-)

PS - Today was an extra busy day for me. We did the first 1/4 of our homeschool at the kitchen table while eating lunch. :-)

Don't forget that you can combine some things with meals - example - devotions with breakfast, read alouds and some homeschool at lunch, family things at dinner, etc.

Also, your children should be doing a lot of the cleaning for you, while you focus on homeschool, and the cleaning chores that aren't safe for them (like bleach).

My kids vacuum, sweep, do dishes, and if I'm really busy, make breakfast and lunch (peanut butter toast or sandwhiches).

mama said...

I seecond what Candy is saying there! If the dishes and clutter is under control...even if your floors are sticky your house will still look "together"!

Anonymous said...

I don't have kids and I grew up with a housekeeper so I might not be much help but I do understand how you feel because I don't think I keep things clean enough. Honestly, I HATE cleaning but I've found that it's easier when I do what works for me.

I tried to do cleaning schedules that other people suggested (including my mom) and it just wasn't natural. So if I like to clean the kitchen in the morning instead of doing it right after dinner, then that's what I do.

Good luck in finding what works best for you and your family.