Last week I talked about Addi’s new school schedule, and promised that I would be coming back with “Cleaning tips from a Messy Girl.”

Here is my story:  I like things clean.  I like the feeling of walking into a room when you are NOT immediately overwhelmed by the sensation that the room needs a lot of work.  I like knowing where things can be found. But none of this comes naturally to me.

One of the things that makes it hard to keep things clean is that evolutionary theories don’t work well in real life.  Order never comes from Chaos, but rather, CHAOS is constantly taking over places that have been set in order.   So you could do the dishes 10 times a day, but they don’t stay clean.  You can vacuum the whole house twice a day, but things will still be on the carpet when you turn around to check.  It is rather frustrating. The constant battle with chaos, the constant “revenge of the dirtiness,” this is the reason that people get into the dirty-all-the-time cycle.  They just give up on anything ever being clean.  But, don’t do it.  Don’t give up.  Here’s my messy girl tricks!

Thoughts to ponder:  Where would your rather drink your morning coffee? 
Which place would make you feel more sane, patient toward your kids, happy about life? 
 Where would you be better able to focus on reading your Bible, writing a freelance article or making a grocery list?  
Picture from
Picture from

Modivation:  To have a clean house, you need a reason.  Here are my reasons.
1) I want to enjoy the place I live, instead of constantly feeling like a slave to it
2) I hate getting sick, and want to keep germs away
3) I want my husband to be sane.  A clean house is one of the main factors in his sanity.
4) I hate stepping on toys.  They hurt.  Real bad.
5)  I hate losing my keys, cell phone, binkis, bobbie pins, etc.
6) I don’t want to have to spend a whole day cleaning, just to have people over for dinner.
7) I want to teach my children good habits, not good “how to avoid responsibility” lessons.
So fellow Messy Girl,  how would YOUR household benefit from things being a bit more clean?

You have to start somewhere:  if you are in a cycle of dirty, here is where I would start. Where I DID start.  I mean, ya gotta start SOMEWHERE!

1) Make some “no fly zones.” These are the areas in your house that you don’t allow ANYTHING to be out of place in.  If you have a super dirty house, to keep from being overwhelmed, start with just a few NFZs.  The purpose of the NFZ is to create a few places of non-chaos, and get you used to the idea of how EASY it is too keep things clean.  Every single time something is out of place in a NFZ you pick it up and put it away.  No excuses.  Because you don’t let anything be out of place, it will never become a burdensome mess that takes hours to clean!  Great places to pick for your first few no fly zones are:  Fireplace mantle, dresser top, hallway and bathroom counter.  Having a few of these places makes your house easier to live in because there are some places of peace, and some proof that you can dominate that chaos.

2)  Get rid of some stuff!  If you can never quite stuff all the dirty laundry into the dirty clothes basket, and you can’t quite put all of the clean clothes away, and if can’t walk through the room without stepping on a toy, maybe you need to downsize. Get rid of the things that are broken but aren’t going to get fixed, put the preggo clothes, (or skinny clothes, or summer clothes) away somewhere, and get rid of all those mismatched baby socks.  If its been in the bottom of your laundry basket (the clean one OR the dirty one) for more than a month, get rid of it!  If its been in your bathroom drawer for more than a year, without having used it, its probably time to throw it out.  The LESS you have to clean, the easier cleaning will be.  Since I’m a hand-me-down junkie, I have to go through my clothes every three months or so, to see if that shirt that I was convinced I could pull off is actually working, or if it needs to go to someone else’s house. Another thing is that just because you will use it again doesn’t mean you will use it again SOON.  So have a place for important things that aren’t currently useful.  (I have my baby clothes for any future babies in the attic, my clothes for the kids to grow into is in a trunk.  Accessible, but not in the way.) Also, mail is one thing that always kills me.  So I have gone paperless on a few of my accounts.

No Fly Zones were a big part of changing how I look at cleaning. Getting rid of stuff was simply an easy way to embrace sanity.  Instead of writing a ridiculously long, blog, I will share some more of my thoughts on cleaning next week.  My next blog this week will address the other two things I promised to talk about:  Scripture memorization with small children, and getting more done with less time.
~Disclaimer:  If you get rid of things because of this blog, and then you realized you threw away some heirloom, do not blame me.  Get rid of things, but do it in a sensible way that you wont regret. Duh! :~)