Monday, February 27, 2012

Domestic Support

Let me invite you to a home full of CHAOS!  If you know Fly Lady, you know what I’m talking about.  Home has a stale smell, stuffy from dust.  The entry way is tough to navigate with shoes, bags of purchases, book bags and coats spewed about.  In the living room the couch might be cleared enough for one person to sit down.  Many piles of magazines lay about, going back years, in case an article is needed in the future.  The TV is covered in dust, it is a wonder it can be watched.  There are video cassettes and DVDs piled high.  There’s even several old gaming systems under the pile of newspapers.  There’s not an open space that isn’t filled.  Any flat surface is stacked high with papers or projects in works.  Open a drawer and you’ll find it empty.  For if something goes into a drawer, it is quickly forgotten.  Yes, everything must set out.

In the dinning room, the table is not for eating, but a place to collect mail (and all the junk mail along with important pieces).  The side board has dishes set up, covered in dust and hidden behind the clutter that has joined it.  There’s a load of clothes in the washer needing dried yesterday.  There’s a load in the dryer that will never be folded, just placed on the top.  If the item is wrinkled, it will go back into the dryer. 

In the kitchen the sink if full of dishes.  There’s still clean dishes for dinner so no dishes done today.  The floor edges are sticky.  The panty has outdated food and food that will never be eaten, bought with a coupon.  The fridge contains science experiments.

I’ll stop there, since you get the picture of the home and can just imagine the condition of the bathroom, spare junk room and bedroom.

Sad to say that at one point in my life, this was my home.  I knew how to clean.  I didn’t grow up that way.  In my home we cleaned only when my mother got tired of the mess.  So maybe once a month (besides her doing laundry and the kids doing dishes).  At least that’s how I remember it.  I spent some time living with a friend in high school.  They kept their house fairly clean and did not have a lot of clutter around.  They cleaned every Thursday so that the house was clean for the weekend.  I learned a lot about cleaning up after myself because her parents expected it.

Yet, when on my own and no one expected it, I allowed my busy life of a full time job and college full time consume me. 

I did Fly Lady for a while to help me get into the habit of cleaning so it wasn’t a once every so often cleaning.  I was also encouraged to get rid of a lot of junk.  It even rubbed off on my mother who has slowly over the years let go of the clutter that has filled her home, including clothing that do not fit her.

So a look into my past.  Now look now.  My house is clean, but often cluttered.  I’m ready to tackle this.

I went to a marriage seminar for women at my church.  The bullet point that jumped out of me was Domestic Support.  The idea is to have a peaceful pleasant house when your husband comes home.  It’s for me to be peaceful even if the house is not.  Yet I know I can do more to make this house peaceful.  I know my husband likes clean surfaces and hidden clutter.  So he doesn’t mind collecting junk, which he is guilty of, but he doesn’t want to see it.

I’m striving to keep the desk and dinning table clear of my junk.  That means forming a habit that in the evening, sometime after dinner, I review these locations and put away what may be on top.  Often my Bible is on the desk in addition to school papers, magazines.  I have drawers to file these things away.  We have a Bible basket for all our translations of the Bible. 

It’s a simple step.  Right now I’m successful on the desk for over a week.  I just added the table.  After I get that down, I’ll add in other surfaces until it’s second nature to keep these cleared off.  I’m finding as well that I don’t walk away from the surfaces, I’m taking the time to put things away even if I’m not done with it totally, but just for now.

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