Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Cleaning: What is the Point?

I don't know how many mothers love cleaning: yucky toilets, never ending dishes, bathroom sinks dotted with toothpaste, laundry strewn on the floor, sticky kitchen floors, and messy playrooms.

I think sometimes we get so overwhelmed we forget why we do what we do.

What is the point?

Why do we sweep when crumbs will cover the floor after the next meal?  Why do we pick up the toys when they will just get dumped out again in a few minutes?

We actually find a beautiful answer to our question in the scriptures.

In the dedicatory prayer of the Kirtland Temple it says:

Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God; (Doctrine and Covenants 109:8)

We are striving to become like God and we are striving to have our homes be like his home, the Temple.  

C.S. Lewis said, “The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only - and that is to support the ultimate career. "

This earth was created for families to progress together for exaltation.  As we make our homes a piece of Heaven on earth and provide a spiritual shelter from the world we are fulfilling our purpose.  

In Daryl Hoole's book, "The Art of Homemaking."  She quotes a "Dear Abby" Column that read:

Thank God for dirty dishes;
They have a tale to tell;
While other folks go hungry,
We're eating very well.
With home and health and happiness
We shouldn't want to fuss,
For by this stack of evidence,
God's very good to us.  

So next time you feel overwhelmed by all you have to clean remember how blessed we are to have everything.  

In Daryl Hoole's Book the "Ultimate Career, the Art of Homemaking Today" she has a list of jobs that need to be done daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonally.  

make beds
prepare and serve meals
clean up and sweep kitchen
spot-clean bath fixtures, mirrors, and floors
pick up throughout house
empty wastebaskets
wash and fold clothes
remove snow in season

clean bathrooms
change bed and bath linens
remove fingerprints
damp-mop hard floors
dust furniture
vacuum floors
carry out trash
iron and mend
plan weekly menu and grocery shop
water indoor plants
mow and edge lawn in season
tend garden in season
rake leaves in season
sweep porches and steps

clean refrigerator
clean stove, oven, and microwave
dust ledges and baseboards
clean lampshades
clean surfaces of mirrors, TVs, computers, and telephones
dust picture frames
clean light fixtures
straighten and clean closets, drawers, and cupboards
clean furnace filters, air conditioning filters
flush drains with bleach
make home repairs
clean and sweep garage
wash and vacuum vehicles
clean patio or deck in season
purge magazines and newspapers

Seasonally or Semiannually
wash window
clean faucet aerators
sort seasonal clothing, sort and store or give away children's outgrown clothing
prepare yard and patio for next season
turn off or on outside water sources as needed
prepare for holidays
wash or dust walls
spray-wash house plants and polish leaves
clean blinds, mini-blinds, or plantation shutters

It is a long list and can seem overwhelming.  I realize that I can't possibly do all of it alone and maintain a whole house by myself so my family is involved in the process.  I look at the daily list and each child has a daily chore that helps to accomplish tasks on that list.  For Saturday work the kids have jobs based on what needs to be done weekly.   The best part is that when they help clean on a daily and weekly basis they recognize how important it is to be responsible and keep their things picked up daily.  


Janie in Rochester said...

I once heard someone say that every time you clean something (which is A LOT when you're a mom), offer it as a silent prayer/sacrifice to God. I also add my own bit, asking God to help me become a grateful servant when I start to get resentful over the endless nature of it. It is a big job to stay clean and organized, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

Okay, after reading this post I got my BYU Alumni magazine and there was a brief article in there about Daryl Hoole. There was a link to a talk she gave at a BYU devotional. I was going to e-mail it to you before I realized, oops, I threw it out. That's what I get for being so quick to throw out.

I would love to know which of her books are your favorite. I want to look into buying some.

To me, the reason we clean over and over again is because it is a refreshment of the space we live in and a refreshment of our soul. We need to pay attention to the way we FEEL in a clean house. It is worth it to me. Totally and completely worth it.

love S.

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