September 27, 2011

creation cleaning.

i have spent many, many years trying to learn to be a better homemaker. 
for me, homemaking is not something that came naturally... it is something that i really, really, really had to try hard to learn.
when i was younger i was creative, and lazy, and i rebelled against spending time cleaning.
as i got older, i had many young children and couldn't figure out HOW to keep everything orderly.
i prayed a lot asking God to help me learn to be a better homemaker.
i read many books.  i talked to many women who i could see were great homemakers and i would ask them how they did it... again, and again.
these women, are the ones that should write blogs on how to clean your house.
today, i am pretty consistent in my homemaking.
(in younger years i was VERY cyclical-- messy, clean, messy, clean)
my house is never perfect, and i am still learning new things every day.
i'm sharing this tidbit with you, because it changed my life when i was really searching...

i went to the temple one evening pondering strongly WHAT i could do to be a better homemaker.
my thoughts were directed to the creation.
As I was thinking about God organizing the worlds, the Spirit said to me very clearly...
Jen, it is important to organize/plan first.
Then I was thinking about God, separating the waters from the land.
The Spirit said, after you organize, cleanse.
By this time I was quite interested and I was thinking, organize, cleanse... i wonder what comes next.
And, next I almost laughed out loud.
The Spirit whispered to me, Organize, Cleanse, Then separate the LIGHT from the DARK... ahhh laundry!!
(That was my favorite creation/cleaning comparison.)
Fourth came plants/trees/bushes... food.
Fifth came BEASTS in all their variety...  friends/kids.
and Sixth came MEN... a day focused on my husband.
and of course, seventh was a day of rest.

For many, many years I ordered my week around this creation cleaning schedule.
I also have friends who used this idea and created a home that was much, much more ordered than mine ever became.
I don't believe there is ever ONE perfect way to order your home.
{I do know the KEY to a clean house is PURGING... not having too much stuff.
That is a continual battle.}
I also believe cleaning a little at a time is better than doing major overhauls.
And finally, I think creating your own set cleaning schedule is great because it takes away the overwhelming questions "What should I do today?"  You already know, because you do the same thing every Tuesday.

Because my cleaning schedule reminded me of God creating the world, I was able to find NOBILITY in HOMEMAKING.  As I cleaned I would think about the world I was CREATING here on Earth, with God's help. 

I also have spent many hours thinking of what Christ did when He was here on the Earth.  He cleansed the lepers, He healed the sick, He calmed the waters, He preached, He endured, He created, He fed...  I have found nobility in many of my everyday mundane homemaking tasks as I thought how similar they were to what the creator of all mankind did when He was on the earth.

I don't think it's as important WHAT you do, or HOW you do it... but, having a really great WHY can get you through many repetitive tasks.

I have a dear, dear friend who completely mastered creation cleaning, even with 6 young children.
We would talk on the phone every Tuesday while we both scoured our toilets and floors.
I have many sacred memories of the spiritual things we would discuss as we cleaned together.
Tuesdays became a sacred day for me... a day that I would magically cleanse my home while I was on the phone cleansing my spirit. 
Life gets busier as our children get older and our Tuesday conversations are more sporadic... but we still laugh because anytime we have a minute to chat, our floors just magically are cleaned and our toilets sparkle.  It's instinct for me to clean while I'm talking. 

So, one more time... here was the schedule we used--
Monday- Organize your home (Just do a quick run through and put things away.  I liked to vacuum on Monday.)
Tuesday- Cleanse (Bathrooms and floors and windows.)  I always picture the ocean waves as I'm cleansing my home... :)
Wednesday- Laundry (Yup, all in one day... it is possible.  You may have to do a load or two on another day, but it's nice to plan the bulk of a day for laundry once a week.  If you gather and sort on Tuesday night, you can wash and fold on Wednesday and have the kids put their laundry away after school on Wednesday night.)
Thursday- Shopping (I still plan my grocery shopping trips on Thursday... this was always a long, fun day.  I always tried to plan a menu, shop, put it all away and cook some good things on Thursday.)
Friday- The Beasts.  (We love to invite people over on Friday... usually play dates or families over for dinner.  Friday is the best day-- Saturday just made me tired on Sunday, and Sunday made Sundays hard work NOT restful at all.  Oh how I LOVED my many, many Friday night friends... in all their variety.  I tried to do fun things with my little girls during the day.  And, have friends over after school or for dinner.  On days when we didn't have friends over, we ALWAYS have pizza and a movie night on Friday.  love those beasts...)
Saturday- the MAN.  (I am happier when I focus my Saturday on loving my husband.  When I try to make a great, productive plan for Saturday we clash heads.  When I say that Saturday is time we spend with Dad, life is good.  Sometimes we would plan our date nights on Saturday night.  i love Saturday date nights.  These days, Saturday is sports and i suppose that is pretty much a man thing, right?)
Sunday- a Holy Sabbath day. 

Today, I hope you enjoy your work of CREATION!!


The Wife said...

Interesting the many different levels of things we can learn in the Temple. :)

Amy said...

I love this concept. I have never really thought of that before. I too am not a natural housekeeper, though I try. I think it is time for me to sit down again to organize and make a plan.

Thank you for sharing your life with us. I love to read your blog. So many times when I read it I think of how I want to be like you.

The Davis Family Three said...

I love your insight about the creation and keeping a house of order! Thanks for sharing!

Shelly said...

This is wonderful. I love reading about your insights into motherhood and how you are enjoying your moments.

Taneil said...

I love this blog. Truly Changed my life. I miss our sacred Tuesdays too. I'm sure we will get them back again as soccer/football season is over. :) LOVE YOU

LAURA said...

I've had housecleaning on my mind a lot lately, because as my husband has a a real job now (finally) both my mother and MIL think I should get a housekeeper to help do the deep cleaning (gee, thanks). I'm struggling keeping the house clean with very needy little people, and yet I see the benefit for them in teaching them to work and clean and seeing there mom doing it. Any thoughts?
Thanks for your insight.

Lorraine said...

I don't know if you remember me, but I met you when we were living in Lubbock and loved being at book group/quilting when you were there. I love hearing about your family and mothering, as this is something that I struggle with and want to do better! Thank you for sharing this.

jenifer said...

thanks for all of your comments.
lorraine- i definitly know who you are! you are a great mom!!

and laura-- i know many people who hire help. i've considered it...
I can say, that i have learned SO MUCH by learning to keep my home orderly. It is possible, especially while your kids are younger and you are at home. I wouldn't trade these lessons for anything-- not even a cleaner home. good luck!!

jill said...

I love your take on this. Thank you! I originally read about mirroring the creation in an ebook I found on Deseret Book by Betty Meyers. With that and your suggestions, I think I can do better than I have been. Thank you so much!!

chris said...

Hi Jen. I found your blog through a another blog I read...and can't stop reading. :) I appreciate your example of righteous motherhood. I am teaching RS today, and am including creation cleaning as part of my lesson on making our homes an extension of the temple. Lots of love to you and your family as you settle into you new home in New York.

Michele Adams said...

Thank you for posting this schedule. I used to use one like this many years ago while raising my six daughters. I hope you won't find if I sharer this in my blog "Finding Daily Joy". I will post a link to yours as well. I am new to blog writing. Again. Thank you.

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