**This article is part of an ongoing series of posts taken from my book “How do I Get it all Done …and Still Have Time to Enjoy it? “

To start at the beginning and read the articles in order click here

 

For the last few weeks I’ve been posting three tips at a time from the article “Cookies Anyone?”  helpful tips for a busy  mom; from my book “How do I Get it all Done… and Still Have Time to Enjoy it?”

To start at the beginning of this set of tips click here.

Here are the last three tips;

 

Designate a “stay clean” spot:

Choose one spot in your house that you want to be  clean all the time. No matter what else happens in the house, you know you can go there and the clutter and messes won’t come with you. It could be your bedroom, the chair you read in (and ideally the surrounding area), maybe it gives your great peace of mind to know that no matter what else, the guest bathroom is always clean (and has toilet paper).  Start your day by making sure that the area you chose is clean and ready for you to use at a moment’s notice. Throughout the day, do quick pick-ups any time your area gets used. Just having that one spot clean can keep your from feeling completely defeated when things get out of hand.

From there, decide which areas would come next if you had, say, 5-10 minutes to work on an area. Any time you can take 5 minutes, go to the area that’s next and do a quick pick-up there. You’ll be surprised how neat you can keep the house if you do it in quick, focused sessions, starting with the places you most want clean and working from there.

 

Work fast and focused: 

You can make a huge difference in 5 minutes if you focus.

You can make a game out of it and get the whole family involved. Everyone in the house chooses one room that could use some attention. Bedrooms are individual responsibilities, so for this, work on common areas. Rooms can be shared if they are in need of extra attention. Set the timer for 5 minutes. Everybody works as fast as they can to pick up things in just their chosen room. If you have to bring something to another room, don’t get distracted and start working there. Put the item where it belongs and then  go back to the room you started with. No dancing, no reading the mail that got left on the counter, and no snack breaks. (Believe me, you kids will suddenly be starving!) When the timer goes off, have the kids look around and see what they’ve accomplished in only 5 minutes! Remind them that it takes very little time to make a big difference in how the house looks and feels, for the whole family.

 

Don’t neglect your need for rest and to nurture you soul:

I placed this one last not because it is least important, but because it is most important and I wanted it to be the thing that you carry with you as you finish this article. Make sure you are spending time with God. Do whatever you have to do. Even if it means you sit the kids in front of a TV for 30 minutes, or you get up a little earlier or stay up a little later. Your time with God spills over into every aspect of your life. Nurture that first and everything else will come together more easily and be more enjoyable.

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”   John 10:41

You have an enemy who wants to destroy you and your children. You’re a strong woman. He knows he’s not going to “get you” with “the big sins”. 

All he has to do is render you ineffective by wearing you down and pulling you away from the one needful thing, your time with God.

Don’t let that happen.

Protect yourself, your marriage, your children, by staying close to God, the only one with any power.

God loves you and wants you to take care of yourself and to spend time with Him.  A nice side benefit is that you will be  more relaxed, more filled, more joyful, and therefore, more productive! Its a great return on your investment! Maybe you’ll be so filled with joy you’ll decide to make some cookies! After all, you’re home all day, right?

Thanks for reading my tips for busy moms. I hope you’ve found a few that have worked for you. If you know a mom who has a lot to do and could use these articles, please send them the link to this site and encourage them to sign up for my mailing list. Next week we’ll get into the next part of the book entitled “Relax; its all in the Routine”.

 

blessings,

Beth