For an Introduction and Table of Contents for The Intentional Home, click Here.
Week One: Thursday
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
We will continue creating a lovely restful bedroom today by tackling the clutter. Let’s focus our attention on the top of all the hard surfaces like the dresser, nightstands, even the floor, whatever you have in your room where an object can sit.
First, just examine these spaces. Are they cluttered? Do you have meaningful things that are not being showcased because of clutter taking away from their beauty? Are they things that simply aren't your style anymore or that you don't find beautiful?
Let’s start by walking around your room and picking up anything that doesn't belong in that room. Is there a stack of papers, kids’ toy, or maybe some books that belong in a bookcase? Go ahead and put them back into their proper place.
Now, let’s take one piece of furniture at a time and remove everything from that piece of furniture. The goal will be to only put back the things that you find beautiful and meaningful.
While the surfaces are clean why not take a damp cloth and dust? Remember the fewer decorative items you put back, the less you have to dust and clean! On a side note: I use a damp cloth to dust and at times I will use a non-toxic brand of furniture spray on wood pieces. Microfiber cloths or old rags work great. Even when dusting decorative pieces, a damp cloth is a must. If you were to use a dry cloth, it would simply lift the dust into the air where it will once again settle somewhere in the room. If a glass or ceramic piece is extra dusty or dirty, I will soak it in my kitchen sink in a little warm water with dish soap and then rinse and carefully dry with a towel.
Now, you probably have all the stuff from your dresser on your bed and this is where it gets a little tougher. You need to examine each object and ask yourself a few questions: Do I find this object beautiful? Is this object sentimental? Does this add to the peace and feel that I want for this room? If you answer yes to at least two of these questions then you will want to keep it.
Often times, we hold onto objects that we may not really like out of obligation. Perhaps they were gifts or a family heirloom. If that is the case, I know it makes it harder to give it away or sell it. But, I challenge you to read our Scripture for today and remember that this is only just stuff and letting go of the stuff doesn't mean that you love the person who gave it to you any less. If all that stuff is not adding to the life and beauty of your home, how is that honoring the person who gave it to you or the previous owner? All of that stuff might even be making your house impossible for you to clean and maintain. I do not believe that is how God wants you to live. So, if you're having a hard time in this area, pray and ask for God’s help.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
Just remember: the best way to get the clean, clutter-free house that you desire is to really get rid of some stuff. You will thank yourself later, I promise!
Put everything that you are discarding in a box or bag to be stored elsewhere, perhaps in a garage or basement. We will deal with it later and I will guide you through the process. If you have already thought of someone or a charity to give any of these objects to, then, by all means, go ahead and give it. That is one of the most rewarding parts of the “decluttering” process.
As for the objects that you are keeping. If you have a knack for decorating and styling your room then go ahead and have at it. I'm sure you're already chomping at the bit to do it anyways! But, for those of you who are not so gifted in this area (but highly talented in many other areas, I'm sure), just set them back on the dresser, night stand, etc. I'll be helping you more in this area in the following days.
Let’s continue to be intentional about our daily chores, you can do it! I want to simply add wiping down the kitchen counter and sink every evening to our list. If you cook or eat at home then you may already do this. Intentionality is the key to a clean home, so let’s not neglect even the small things!
One load of laundry from start to finish
Make your bed
Unload the dishwasher in the morning, load and run it at night
Wipe down the kitchen counters and sink
Cleaning tip: Here’s an easy homemade counter spray: Just mix one cup of water, one cup of vinegar and a few drops of your favorite essential oil in a spray bottle. The vinegar is a super cleaner and the smell will disappear leaving only the essential oil fragrance in its place. For dusting, put a drop or two of your favorite essential oil in a spray bottle filled with water, and then lightly mist your dust cloth with this dusting spray when dusting wood surfaces.