Monday, November 5, 2012

This House was Made to Live In

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:


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?



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.


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?

Leave your idea and automatically enter to win a copy of TRANQUIL MOMENTS, SPIRITUAL REFRESHMENT FROM THE ISLAND OF MAUI.  

Thirty-one devotionals take you on a vacation from your armchair!
Experience Maui from the comfort of your own home, complete with waterfalls, gorgeous skies, luminous waters, and those oh, so famous luaus!


chaplaindebbie said...

I have always lived my life as a housewife by a saying my mom used to quote...'My house is clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy' for me.

Eileen Rife said...

Haha, good advice!

Dana Wilkerson Spille said...

If you put a denture tablet in your toilet at night it will clean it while you sleep .Love to win a copy of your book please .Thank you ,Dana"Girl" Spille

Eileen Rife said...

Haha! Good one, Dana. There's no end to the creative tips! And I suppose I clean my dentures with Pinesol?

chaplaindebbie said...

@Eileen:Pine fresh breath! Haha @Dana:I will have to try that with my toilets, thanks.

kris said...

For a clogged kitchen drain, skip the draino...pour some baking soda down drain, follow with vinegar, let sit 1 hour...pour boiling water in...should open it baking soda and vinegar also make the drain smell better!


Eileen Rife said...

Great tip, Kris! I never cease to be amazed at the many uses for baking soda and vinegar!

Jan Verhoeff said...

My favorite tip ever is the laundry basket pick up... In the morning, when I get up, my kids are usually asleep, so I run around and pick up anything out of place, stash it at the bottom of the stairs and tell the kids when they get up to put away what's theirs. Anything left in the basket when I leave the house to drop off my granddaughter, goes to good will. (I-PODS, Kindles, etc. Only have to go once.) They get the idea. My grands are learning fast too. (BTW - *I* don't replace anything that goes to Good Will. EVER.)

Eileen Rife said...

Ouch, you're a tough cookie, Jan. But a good idea. I remember a friend saying she did a similar thing with a garbage bag, but stuck it at the curb and didn't allow anything brought back in after she'd told the children to pick up their things.

On a less stringent note, when our girls were small, I used to send them around the house before supper with a bucket marked "Thing Finder," collecting all their toys. Depending on the mess, this might take a few trips. The items were then deposited in their rooms.

Eileen Rife said...

Congratulations, Dana, you are the winner of a copy of TRANQUIL MOMENTS!

Eileen Rife said...

Oh, by the way, Dana, could you send me your mailing address and I'll get this book in the mail to you?


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