Today’s the last day of the Spring Cleaning Party. Can you believe it? Are you excited about the progress made in your home? Are you so wiped out you want to crawl into a corner in the fetal position?
If you’re like me today, you’re feeling some of both. Much like a race, we need to sprint when we see the finish line. And the finish line is today – so let’s get at it, and end the job of cleaning our home well.
You’ve decluttered, cleaned, and organized your:
- living room
- kids’ rooms, and
- master bedroom
What’s left? Today, you’re going to finish with the front entry, coat closet, and hallway. Hopefully, this won’t take you too long, and you can end the day by either finishing up previous tasks from the past two weeks, or ending the party early in the day and enjoying a glass of iced tea and an early start to your weekend.
Mandi has some great tips for the front entry, shoes, and seasonal gear over at Organizing Your Way. Be sure to read her ideas for more inspiration!
The front entry might not seem like a big deal, but it’s the first area guests and your family sees when they arrive. It’s a great opportunity to create a welcoming, hospitable spirit, and it’s a useful space for collecting those necessities you need for heading into the world.
This area tends toward a downward spiral of disorganization – how often do you look for your car keys, your cell phone, and your sunglasses? If you’ve got a specific place for them, it shouldn’t take you any time. The front entry is a great place for this.
Create a home for those things you want to find easily, and make sure there’s room for jackets, backpacks, and purses. And if you’re a shoes-off family like us, make sure there’s plenty of room for guests to remove them.
Our front entrance is home to a cabinet for our shoes, a shoe shelf for guests’ shoes, and a simple rack for jackets and bags.
At the top, we’ve got two boxes for outdoor gear – one for winter supplies, one for summer. It’s handy to pull out the kite, frisbee, and picnic blanket as we’re heading out the door.
At the top of the shoe cabinet, we’ve got a “junk drawer,” kept pretty organized with a simple drawer divider:
We house our keys, wallets, sunglasses, coupons, and restaurant handi-wipe packets. We’ve also got a slot to toss receipts from our wallets when we enter the house, so that when I need to update our family’s account records (I do this weekly), I know exactly where all the week’s receipts are. When I’ve entered them, I marked them as such, and store them in a drawer on my desk until the end of the month.
We rent in an urban high rise apartment, so there’s absolutely nothing I can do about our front door and the outside front entrance. Since I had nothing to do here, I focused on our garden balcony. This sweet spot has become our backyard to us, and we love spending time here. We eat meals at this table from about April through October.
Until recently, this balcony served as a catch-all for random supplies – it had our dryer, clothing rack, miscellaneous barbecue gear, and even our car seats when they weren’t being used (we don’t have a car, so we only use car seats a few times a year).
But a few weeks ago, we decided to separate utility from relaxation, and moved the dryer, drying rack, and other storage-friendly items on our back balcony, adjacent to the kids’ bedroom. That area now serves as a garage of sorts – it’s strictly utilitarian.
Our garden balcony is home to our small but well-loved garden, our barbecue, and a few toys. That’s it. And it’s so peaceful. I’m out here by myself every morning by 6:30, coffee and journal in hand. It’s one of my favorite places at home.
Changing Your Home’s Purpose by Changing Your Perspective
I hope you’ve had some time to reflect on the value of your home the past two weeks. Our homes are the haven in this stressful world, the place where our children grow, and the rock where our family’s culture is created.
It’s important to keep it clutter-free. You’ll sleep better, you’ll enjoy being there more, and each room will serve its purpose.
It gets easier to spring clean your home each year you do it. If you choose to re-engage in this process next spring, it’ll be easier than it was this year. So long as you actually adopt this philosophy as to how your home operates, it will be easy to upkeep:
“Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be useful.” -William Morris
I love what Steady Mom said in the comments section earlier this week:
“I really lost my cleaning mojo yesterday as well. My three kiddos kept interrupting and I was getting really irritated with them. I finally decided I needed to let the cleaning go for the day. The idea is that spring cleaning should BLESS my family, but if it ends up making me frustrated and angry with them – that goes against the point.”
She’s absolutely right. Ultimately, the point of spring cleaning our homes is for our family. We want to bless them. We want our home management to be a gift to them, one we can be proud of. Keep your family the focus as you glorify God with your stewardship at home, and you’ll be just fine.
For those of you still working, keep at it! Don’t fade out just because I’ve finished. Continue to post links to your progress posts – head here for all the links to each post here (along with a nifty merit badge once you finish the job). Stay encouraged, and finish strong.
Thanks for taking this journey with me. I look forward to seeing your results today! Next week I’m going to take a little time off, so I’ve got some great guest posts and the weekly column lined up for you.
What’s your favorite spot in your home?