Sunday, September 07, 2014

10 Simple Habits to Having an {almost} Always Clean Home



I have a confession to make. I used to be a harried housecleaner - meaning I had major messes to clean up before anyone would come over and I would dread the thought of an unexpected visitor.  Having children and realizing I don't get any more hours in my day made me re-think and change some of my daily habits and routines.

Let me share some simple tips that have helped me to always have a home that is tidy - not perfect - but tidy.

1.  Start your morning off with some specific tasks to get your day moving in a forward direction.  Examples are get a load of laundry started, empty the dishwasher, make the bed etc.

2.  Always try to make your bed daily - it takes up 80% of the room and instantly makes the room feel tidy.

3.  Keep up with the dishes after every meal.  Try to go to bed without dishes in the sink (not fun to wake up to a sink full of dirty dishes).  It takes 15 minutes at most to clean up after a meal if you work together as a family.  With an automatic dishwasher it is probably even less.

4.  An obvious one but usually neglected is put things away where they belong when you're done using them.  Teach your children this skill when they are young too.

5.  Never let clothes pile up.  Put laundry away before the end of the day and put your clothes away at the end of the day.  No piles of clothes in the bedroom.

6.  Take the time to figure out a home filing system so paperwork doesn't clutter your counters.  You will have more peace of mind if you're not forgetting to pay bills or continually losing important papers.

7.  Have a spot at your backdoor where family members can easily remove shoes and coats with a place to put everything.  Teach your children to use it too :).

8.  Clean up as you go along through your day.  Spot on the counter, wipe it.  Spill, clean it up.  Crumbs on the floor, sweep them up.  It is much easier to do it as you go along instead of waiting until these messes become overwhelming and then you don't know where to begin. (If you're there now see - Where to Begin When You're Overwhelmed).

9.  Continually declutter as you are tidying areas.  Periodically clean out drawers, cupboards, closets and get rid of unused items.  When there is a place for everything it is easier to clean up and put things away. Remember clutter cannot be organized ;).

10.  Have some sort of cleaning system in place.  I do dust and vacuum weekly and you find me vacuuming several times a week. It takes minutes and keeps dust and dirt at a minimum.

And a bonus tip - this one's a favorite:  Before you leave a room take two minutes to tidy it up. (Fluff pillows, fold blankets, pick up books, toys, put games back, straighten tops of coffee tables etc.)


Related Posts:
Homemaking 101 Series
Cultivating Beauty in Your Home
5 Minute Daily Bathroom Tidy


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Thursday, September 04, 2014

Three Thoughts on Encouraging Young Women in Preparing for Marriage & Motherhood



A sweet young friend from Facebook wrote me the other day and asked me:  


"What are the three top things you would encourage someone in my position to be actively doing to prepare for marriage, motherhood, and/or homemaking?"

I loved this question and as I am writing this post my hope would be all you "older women" would chime in on the comments and share with us your top three things you would share with a young woman to help in preparing her for marriage, motherhood and homemaking.



Please come visit me at Raising Homemakers to read my top three encouragements to young women at: 






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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Favorite Fall Clothes and Where You Find Me Shopping



Shopping for clothes at a mall is not a favorite pastime of mine but I do love to browse online and I have favorite sites that I purchase my clothing from because I know I like the items and I know they will fit.

Here are a few items you will find in my wardrobe this fall:

Sacred Threads Skirts -The length is wonderful and most of them are one size fits all.  You really can't beat the price and the beautiful selections of patterns and colors.  These will be a favorite in your skirts that you will turn to again and again.  The photo below is just one of the many patterns, colors and designs available.





Deborah & Company - Great place to shop for skirts and accessories to help in dressing modestly.  Their fleece leggings are a favorite item and their layer tees and tanks are a staple item here.




J Jill - Their tall department is one I appreciate as my arms and legs are a bit long and I can get the extra length I need here in pants or long sleeve shirts.



Fresh Produce - This is a great comfortable clothing company that I came across when we were on a vacation.  I am not a comfortable short wearer but they have some lengths that are very modest and comfortable.  We have an upcoming trip to Florida and Africa (more to follow on that one) in the future so it is a help to find some cooler, comfortable, modest clothes to have to pack and take along.



If I'm shopping locally I usually end up at Kohl's Department Store - there is always a sale going on and they have some great selections.

Where do you do most of your clothes shopping?


Related Posts:
What I'm Wearing This Christmas



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Monday, August 18, 2014

Need of Jesus

I have appreciated The Valley Of Vision - A Collection of Puritan Prayer and Devotions to lead me in my morning prayer time.  I'm sharing a beautiful reminder today of our need for Jesus.  When you get a quiet moment read and pray over these words:

Need of Jesus

LORD JESUS,
I am blind, be thou my light,
        ignorant, be thou my wisdom
        self-willed, be thou my mind
Open my ear to grasp quickly thy Spirit's voice,
  and delightfully run after his beckoning hand;
Melt my conscience that no hardness remain,
   make it alive to evil's slightest touch;
When Satan approaches may I flee to thy wounds,
   and there cease to tremble at all alarms.
Be my good shepherd to lead me into the green pastures of thy Word,
   and cause me to lie down beside the rivers of its comforts.
Fill me with peace, that no disquieting worldly gales
   may ruffle the calm surface of my soul.
Thy cross was upraised to be my refuge,
Thy blood streamed forth to wash me clean,
Thy death occurred to give me a surety,
Thy name is my property to save me,
By thee all heaven is poured into my heart,
   but it is too narrow to comprehend thy love.
I was a stranger, an outcast, a slave, a rebel,
   but thy cross has brought me near,
                         has softened my heart,
                         has made me thy Father's child,
                         has admitted me to thy family,
                         has made me joint-heir with thyself.
O that I may love thee as thou loves me,
    that I may walk worthy of thee, my Lord,
    that I may reflect the image of heaven's first-born
May I always see thy beauty with the clear eye of faith,
   and feel the power of thy Spirit in my heart,
   for unless he move mightily in me
       no inward fire will be kindled.

~ Excerpt taken from The Valley of Vision - A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions page 102





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Thursday, August 07, 2014

Weekend Nuggets - Is Being a Stay at Home Mom Enough?, Announcement of our Newest Grandbaby, The Gift of Time, How to Really Get Living, Biblically Communicating with Our Children & Much More!



Is being a stay-at-home mom enough? - "Is just being at home with my children today satisfactory?
If so, why the tension, and what’s with “just” entering the conversation? (When’s the last time you heard someone say, “I’m just a teacher,” or “I’m just a doctor”?)"

How to Get Really Living Instead of Merely Existing - Take the time to read this one out loud to your family.  

The Gift of Time - A Mother's Treasure - "The best gifts in life are made up of minutes and seconds. It is the time and energy you give to your children."

Biblically Communicating with Our Children - "How can we effectively and biblically communicate with our children in order to lead them in wisdom and instruction?"

My Abortion Story - If you missed it earlier this week Haven Today was so gracious to share my abortion testimony on their radio program.  The link is to their blog post with my testimony in shortened form (you can read my whole testimony on my blog here) but there is a short clip from the interview on the post and a link to the whole radio interview.  Here is the direct link to the full interview here too.  Please be in prayer with me that the Lord would be glorified through this testimony of His faithfulness in my life and that many would hear the proclamation of the Gospel and come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. 


If you're new to Thankful Homemaker or looking for something specific please take a moment to visit my Start Here page (there is a tab on the top of the blog).  Or use my search box on the sidebar as a quick reference to a specific topic you're interested in.  I am so thankful you are there!


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We are the proud grandparents of our third grandchild (first grandson) - Liam Douglas born to my daughter Amber and her husband Ruben at home on July 20th.  You can read his birth story here and I am thankful to report Mom and baby are doing so good and he is just beautiful.  Praising the Lord for the blessing of another baby in the family - what a special gift!!




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Friends I took a break from Mary & Martha (formerly Blessings Unlimited) and really missed their products for my personal use and for gifts.  So I'm back and loving it.  All the products - from home decor, to tableware to their sweet apron and tea towels - are the items that draw the most attention from every woman that enters my home.  

Check out the website when you have a moment and you can order direct online or let me know if you're interested in having an online party.  Local friends please let me know if you're interested in having a real in person party.  They have a great hostess rewards program.  

Check out all the details here and scroll down the website on the right hand side to view the catalog online.  Come and "like" my Mary & Martha Facebook page to keep up on all the sales and new product updates too.  








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