Thursday, January 24, 2008
Paying attention to quality
It can be a very easy thing for the busy homemaker to feel as though everything has to be accomplished and come together all at once. But, especially if you have children in the home, the reality is that everything being done all at the same time will most likely not happen.
However, if you spend your time each and every day paying heed to the quality of the work you do in the home, your family, the house and the quiet pleasures within will not be found in a state of want. I think one of the most important things to do in order to accomplish this is...to slow down! A lot of stay at home wives/mothers seem to run and rush through the chores of the day, just taking a swipe at things here and there and at the end of the day nothing has been seen to the point of completion. How much better it would be instead of quickly wiping down a counter top with a rag that is ready for the laundry bin to take just an extra five minutes to clean it thoroughly. Then find something pleasant to the eye and place in the center or perhaps strategically in one corner. It really does not take very long to take an ordinary chore and elevate it to something that results in beauty or coziness in the home.
It has been said before and I'm sure you have heard it from time to time, to think of a little girl when she is dreaming and pretending to be a wife and mother. She does not hurry through her tasks, but relishes each one. She does not quickly stash things away in her little cabinets, but stacks them neatly. Now I realize that some chores are just that - chores. But taking the time to do them properly will make such a difference in the overall mood and tone of your home.
There is no shame in taking your time with things. Do not put yourself in the frame of mind to think that every single thing that could possibly be accomplished on any given day HAS to be accomplished on that day. This is more pressure than anyone can thrive under. Instead it is good to have a core list of items that are the necessities of the day, then extras can be worked in around those. Perhaps your core each day could be making the beds, attending to the meals and one or two loads of laundry. That is certainly a core list that most of us could keep up with quite easily. When your core list is not so big as to be daunting, you will be more likely to take your time making that bed. Instead of rushing through and just throwing the covers up to the top, you will feel you have the time to take just a few minutes extra to add some fluffy pillows to the top and perhaps a pretty afghan or blanket across the foot.
Another thing to keep in mind with large projects in the home is to break them into small, workable pieces. Taking a room apart from stem to stern for a deep cleaning is a good and noble idea, but keep in mind that on any given day you have to get your core list of things done. It doesn't make sense to start a project so big that it cannot be finished by nightfall, thus leaving a big mess at the end of the day and core jobs not done. This may mean the big deep clean may need to be separated into smaller tasks accomplished over the course of two or three days. By the week's end you will have a room that has been deep cleaned and a week full of days where the beds were made, the meals fixed and the laundry done.
When you give yourself permission to take the time needed to attend to quality in regards to your homemaking, your house will have no choice but to fall into a state of cozy order within the ensuing days.
May the Lord bless you, your homes and the quiet pleasures within!