Okay, how many "out there" will stand up with me and courageously proclaim:
Hi, my name is ____________ and I am a compulsive housekeeper.
Need a little help identifying yourself?
The Random House College Dictionary defines compulsion as "an obsessive need to achieve some desired ideal of behavior." In this instance, the desired ideal is a clean house.
But what is clean? Ask ten different women what a clean house means and you might receive ten different answers.
For the compulsive housekeeper, "clean" is never fully realized. There is always one more lint speck to pick off the carpet or one more smudge to wipe off a window or one more minute dirty spot to scrub off the kitchen linoleum. In her mind, it never stops.
If you are one of these scrupulous housekeepers, you can identify completely.
Want some relief? Consider the following:
1) CHANGE YOUR BELIEF SYSTEM.
Rather than thinking of yourself as a housekeeper, think of yourself as a homemaker. There is a world of difference. Proverbs 14:1 says, "The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands."
"Building" a home that values each family member and seeks to develop godly character by emphasizing the fruit of the Spirit is a sharp contrast to merely building a house that showcases polished silver and gleaming woodwork.
One focuses on people. The other focuses on possessions.
Which would you rather invest your life and love in? People who can throw their arms around you, offering hugs and kisses or on possessions that sit in a corner gathering dust and couldn’t care less about all your efforts?
FOCUS ON WHAT REALLY MATTERS IN LIFE.
2) MAKE A PLAN FOR HOUSEKEEPING.
And then stick to it! Allot a certain amount of time each day to care for the physical needs of the house, such as vacuuming, dusting, mopping, or washing clothes. With my plan, I wash clothes on Monday, fold on Tuesday, dust and vacuum on Thursday, clean the bathrooms and mop on Friday. Tailor your plan to suit the needs of your household. Stick to your plan and you will soon discover you are not as compulsive in your housekeeping as you once were.
3) PULL THE KIDS IN ON THE ACT.
If your compulsion stems from a need for control, this will really test your limits! However, even young children can help with simple chores. In all truth, this stage of life can be one of the greatest growth experiences for the compulsive house-keeper (except perhaps the teenage phase =). Don't despair. Remember, it all goes back to what is really important: building a home where each member's contribution is valued. Lower your standards, accepting the stage of development each child is in, and thanking him for his efforts. Resist the temptation to rush in and redo what he has already done.
With some focus and discipline, you CAN overcome compulsive housekeeping, building a home that is truly a joy to live in!
Have a household tip to share with my readers that can help them save time for more important pursuits--like family?
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