Step 8: Training maintains the house

“T” is for training your family to clean and maintain the house.  Creating good traits and habits is critical or your work will become unraveled.  I wish we could have a discussion on what are the most life-changing habits in your life.  Recently I had a traits discussion with my cousins and one person said that overcoming the phrase “I can’t” was the most life changing for habit for her to develop.  Another said daily prayer was the most life changing for habit for him.  Decide on the habits you want to have in your life and then have a family meeting to discover what habits your family wants to have.

My 7 Habits of highly effective motherhood are the following:

1-      Physical Habit:

Get enough sleep.  Establish a set bedtime, rising time, and nap time that is energizing.  I get enough sleep so I can wake up from 5 to 7 a.m. to make my creative dreams come true.  If I  am starting to feel depressed my #1 question to ask is “Am I sleep deprived?”  The answer is usually “yes” and so I know that once I get my sleep under control again, my brain heal, and I will feel normal again.  A man has a body, a woman is her body.

2-      Physical Habit:

Get dressed down to shoes and put on makeup within as early in the day as I can – definitely before my husband gets home from work in the evening.  Exercise 3 days a week.  Go outside and get daily fresh air and sunshine.

3-      Scheduling Habit:

Work with a planner and calendar.  I’ve tried working from planners, lists on the fridge, and right now I use a 4 x 6 inch clipboard which is nice because I can throw it in my purse and then I know what to buy at the store.  It’s always open to the right page whereas a planner has to be opened to the right page.  My most important hour of the week is my Monday morning planning meeting with myself, my list, and my calendar.  If Mom’s organized – the whole family’s organized!

4-      Spiritual Habit:

Put first things first every day.  Put God first daily by read scriptures, writing, planning and praying for a few minutes each day.  I decide on a service focus for the day.  Then prioritize your stewardships which is first your husband, then children, extended family, church, community, and the world.  I try to do what my husband asks each day as #1 priority.  For example, if he wants me to pay a bill, that’s my number one priority for the day.  That way he knows he comes first!  Follow the Holy Spirit to know your focus.  I love writing.  I write in a journal so I can see the hand of God in my life.  I write my focus on a post-it note and put it on my clipboard because I figure every day is worth a post-it note and I can’t get much more done than a post-it note each day which is about 2-items.

5-      Children Training Habit:

Children need 3 things to grow up healthy and happy.  Each of these area are like the legs on a 3 pillared stool.  If any of the legs are missing, your child will not have a good foundation for a happy, stable childhood and adulthood.  All three are critical.  Let’s hear a drumroll please for the grand 3.  They are in priority order the need for gospel teaching and living, the ability to work and the ability to play.  Don’t let the simpleness of these 3 skills dismiss them in your minds for they are the “meat of life”.  Don’t give your children twaddle, shallow, and fluff activities to fill their time.  They hunger for meat, for truth, for knowledge, light, and wisdom.  Seek the meat and then give it to them.  Challenge them to do something difficult every day.  Teach them to be Christ-like, to be finishers, and to find gratitude and joy.  Help them gain these skills.  Don’t wait until they are old.  Start when they are 2 years old or younger.  Train daily.

6-    Kitchen Habit:

Clean the kitchen every night and start the dishwasher.  Then in the morning we have clean dishes and we can cook breakfast easily.  The kitchen is the heart of the home.  If it’s clean, all the rest of the home will follow.  Clean it up after every meal.  I used to only clean the kitchen when I was in the mood.  Every morning was depressing because it was difficult to clean the crusty, dried up food off the dinner dishes and pans.  I had to force myself to dig out the kitchen so I could make breakfast.  This single habit has changed my home more than any other habit.  After I committed to this new habit I would wake up each morning and think, “Why is my house so clean?  Is company coming over?”  Waking up to a clean kitchen makes me feel excited to cook breakfast.  I enjoy eating and conversing with my family so much more!

7-      Cleaning Habit:

Organize the housekeeping.  I use the Creation plan where each day gets a cleaning focus.  If I don’t get the job finished it can be done the next day, but I know I have a plan, so each week I don’t have to re-invent the wheel on the cleaning plan.

  1. Sunday – Rest, Church, Family Council, Visit Family
  2. Monday  – Plan for 1 hour, Family Home Evening
  3. Tuesday – Laundry
  4. Wednesday – Papers
  5. Thursday – Plants/ Yard
  6. Friday – Errands, Date
  7. Saturday – Honeydo’s & Recreation

Extra Habit #8-  Maintenance Habit: “Touch things once and put it away correctly the first time.”

Remember the 2 Year Rule:

*Warning:  Organizing a home takes time!  It took me 2 years to organize my whole house because I’d work for a month, then I’d take 3 months off because I was overwhelmed and discouraged.  Don’t power out.  Keep going!  It’s worth it!  After I finally got my home organized it took me another two years to train my husband and children on reading labels and putting things away correctly.  I don’t think habits take 21 days because I’ve tried that and I usually quit or forget my new habit after 1 or 2 weeks.  I think it takes 2 years for something to become a permanent habit in your life.  It took me 2 years to develop the habit to read the scriptures daily, but now daily scripture reading is on auto-pilot.  Habits and organization are challenging. It’s so wonderful once you’ve done it!  Imagine it being easy to clean, cook, pack, unpack, decorate, find things, and live deliberately the life of your dreams.  Be patient!  Plod along.  Say it, “I Can Do It!


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