MUST REVISE BECAUSE SOME READERS MISUNDERSTOOD MY INTENTIONS:
Having a clean home makes a heart cheery.  If my home is a mess I feel down and overwhelmed.  I stare at the clutter and mess and wonder where to start.  A clean home is a welcoming home.  People feel at ease when they step into a clean and orderly home.  It is a sign that all is well if the home is in order.  A home filled with the love of Christ and a love for each other is paramount.  Never put your clean home above that! I have learned to like cleaning from my mother.  She is the best cleaner I know.  When you are in her home, it just smells clean.  It is inviting and restful.  Anyone can trust they will not contract a disease by entering her home.  You can walk barefoot and not feel a crumb.  My mother would teach me how to clean properly just as her mother taught her when she was growing up.   They would do the white glove test.  Testing every surface to see that nothing was left undone.  And now, I am teaching my children the same.  These skills are passed down from generation to generation.  My grandmother did this, not even my mother did the white glove test.  I have never done the white glove test.  My grandmother ironed her sheets, bleached her babies white shoes, ironed and bleached the shoestrings.  Everything had to be perfect.  We live in a different time.  I am not even close to that meticulous.  I have a very relaxed and joyful home.  We all enjoy working, eating, playing, and fellowshipping together.  Pigpens...
I have noticed that a mother that is not concerned about a clean home will produce daughters that are not concerned either.  They find it comfortable to be in the dirt, clutter, and filth.  In fact, they do not see the dirt.  If they do see it, they do not care.   The house smells foul and the floors are almost just as bad as a pigpen in the barn.  They have animals living in the home that shed and leave messes that are not cleaned up properly, and I either want to breathe out of my mouth to avoid the fumes, or I felt the need to vacate.  I have only seen one situation like this a long time ago.  It was bad.  Anyone would agree.  I do not meet others that live that way.

When my children were still babies, I would take them to visit others.  If the home was a mess I worried about choking hazards and germs.  I did not want to leave the child on the floor because I could see the grime.  That grime would coat my children's feet, hands, and knees of their clothing.  It was an uneasy feeling that I had.  I did not want to make the hostess feel badly, but I was literally grossed out.  My children would tire of piling on my lap and I would tire from propping up all their weight.  Again, this did not happen but one or two places, but it would make anyone do the same.  I assure you, it was bad.  The home had dog feces 2 feet thick in the garage just to give you some background.  If that is not enough to make you sick.  If you think you would put your kids on the floor there, more power to ya. It is not good etiquette to have a home that resembles an animal pen.  Even if it does not affect you, it is teaching your children to be slobs.  Someday they will teach their children to be slobs and every home will smell bad.  Every toilet a cesspool.  I agree, I was a bit harsh here.  I should not have focussed on this.  It is much to negative.  Keeping things positive is always better.  Toilets...
A home that is rarely cleaned will always have a bathroom that has a very dirty toilet.  The smell of urine is so strong.  My mother always had a sit down rule.  Everyone, including men, had to sit on the toilet to go.  She told me it was because of splashing.  Urine will always splash out and it can run down the side of the toilet to the floor around the base.  The odors get trapped there.   My mother had that rule, I do not have that rule.  My husband can use the toilet how ever he chooses.  Sorry for the confusion.

I have learned to check bathrooms in restaurants to see how clean they are.  Bathrooms are a reflection on the overall cleanliness of an established business.  If the bathroom smells nice and is spotless, you know they care about every detail.  I check them at restaurants, Everyone should.  I did not say I check my friends bathrooms.  You should be alarmed if a restaurant bathroom is filthy. Food preparation in restaurants is a very crucial thing.  They can pass very harmful bacteria to you and your family in the food.  I once got very sick from a restaurant and it was a very bad situation for me.   

Dirty Happy Homes? 
I have heard the argument that a dirty home is a happy home.  Some women will tell me that they would feel stressed and be nasty if they had to keep their home clean.  My question is WHY?  Why would cleaning a home make anyone stressed if they keep it up each day?  I am a reformed slob.  I know all the excuses.  Now, rather, I find cleaning to be very satisfying.  If I have a dirty or cluttered home, I feel stress like nothing else.  I feel unmotivated, lazy, and just plain overwhelmed to look around at the mess.  I get nasty and grouchy if my house is unclean.  I aim to teach people how to overcome the big brunt of the job so you rarely have to deep clean.  You can take 20 minutes or less and have it stay nice.  No stress.  

Men love a clean and orderly home.  Mine does, but of course, some men do not.  All people are different and that is okay.  They work all day and truly enjoy coming home to a fresh environment.  It sets the mood for a relaxing evening for him to unwind with his family.  Again, the main thing is peace, joy, and love in a home.  Clean homes are a second on the list.  BTW, my home gets trashed after each meal.  We just clean it up.  Homes that looked lived in are great.  Do not feel condemned.  I am not saying your home should be perfectly clean, there are a lot of other things that are more important than a clean home.  But learning some cleaning strategies are great for anyone.  So hop on my blog each tuesday and I hope to impart some great tips for cleaning.   


****Here is a positive note.  Have some cleaning buddies.  I have 5.  And my daughters are now cleaning other peoples homes to make money.  They love cleaning.  I started teaching them to clean when they were 3 years old and I guess I made cleaning fun for them.  You can try that too.  It would not hurt.  

Some women also argue that they want to spend more quality time with their children.  Hey, you can spend a lot of time with your children cleaning with them!  That is a part of our family time.  As soon as my kids could walk, they were my cleaning buddies.  They learned so early that cleaning was just a part of daily living.  It was not a mountain to climb, it was just a few short steps each morning.   It brings such a feeling of working as a team.  We all live
here, we all clean here!  The more kids a person has, the more cleaning buddies.  The older kids can buddy up with the younger children in their chores to pass on their skills.  It is a win/win situation.  Building relationships while creating a haven of refreshing beauty!

Learning to Clean...
Maybe a person can get used to filth and it just does not affect their wellbeing but that would be an exception to the rule.  Everyone is different, but EVERYONE can learn to be a good cleaner.  It is not a gift.  It is not even a personality trait.  It is just good common sense.  It is just a good thing to know.  God calls us to be keepers of the home.  Not all women have been taught to clean.  I get that.  I know I have offended many people by this post.  I am sorry for that, my intentions were pure.  I actually was hoping to help people, being a blessing and encouragement and not a burden.  Trying to make your life easier in the long run.  
I plan to make a step by step video tutorial on house cleaning among other things useful to the housekeeper, wife, and mother.  I realize people just have fallen through the cracks.  They need encouragement and the tools to know where to begin.Each week I will focus on one room and post some youtube videos to go with my blog posts.  I will do my best to share what I know about cleaning in hopes to help you enjoy the blessing of a clean home.

Just for a reminder…

Tea Time Talk Show Tuesday Upcoming Schedule:

Tuesday, May 1, 2018  at 10 am CST will feature Co-Host Owen Newman

  • The following Tuesday will be featuring Owen Newman from the hills of TN talking about homesteading and the simple life.  He has a lot of wisdom and experience living with less and making the most of each and every resource they are given.  If you have any specific questions, please leave a comment below or send us an email or message on facebook from the keeper of the homestead page.  

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70 thoughts on “The Blessing of a Clean Home

  1. Very much needed video series! Not everyone has been taught. They would like a clean home, but just don’t know where to start. I, too, am a reformed slob! As a young wife, I was so messy, but I just couldn’t even stand it myself. Thanks for all you do!

    • I know I was taught and was still a slob because I was an “Artist”. I kinda made that excuse for myself. I can not be creative in clutter. I have to have a clean working environment to feel creative and ready to share. I am glad I have been en encouragement to you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me! I truly appreciate them. 🙂

      • Oh that is my 6 yr old daughter! I’m trying to teach her to be neat and organized, but she is such a Dreamer!! Any advice on how to encourage an artist type child how to be clean? 🙂

  2. I am definitely among those who are not taught by the generations previous to me and cleanliness was not a priority in my parents house; it was however something that I wanted to do differently as an adult and I have struggled to teach myself routines and skills.
    Your YouTube videos would be an education I think a lot of us can appreciate

    • I am so glad to know that others would appreciate some tips on housekeeping. I plan to have a book and video combo to sell someday, Lord willing! I hope you will find the you tubes helpful. I have to get filming! Pray I can do a good job!

  3. I agree. I was raised in a filthy home. My mom just did not care and she did not pass any homemaking skills on to us girls. However my dad was in the military before he became a dad and knew how to clean and well! Although my past was rough and my dad very abusive, I do appreciate that he taught me to how clean thoroughly and be organized!
    Now having said all that, I do have some questions…do you believe that it’s possible to have a clean house in every season of life? Right now I have 5 children 6 and under, the last two being 6 week old twins. I have days where it feels like a miracle to just feed and clothe the kids that day! The house is a mess (though not filthy, no inside animals) I have no help, and I’m not sure what is age appropriate to have my kids do or high my standards should be. They make their beds, empty the dishwasher (they can’t quite fill it yet), pick up their toys, feed the cats and chickens, gather eggs…but the laundry, dishes, vacuuming, sweeping/mopping seem like monumental tasks right now! Am I doing something wrong? I would really appreciate some advice. I truly have no godly older women in my life and my husband and I are trying to figure life out on our own as both of us were raised in dysfunctional homes. Thank you so much!

    • I have 5 children ages 6 and under, too (well, I keep forgetting – my six year old turned 7 a couple days ago). And it is possible to have a clean home, if you stay home! I find that even going out for an afternoon can really set me back, because when we’re home the children always need something. I have 2 in diapers and who need me to feed them. But children can help wash the floor if you give them a wet rag and tell them to put it on the washing machine when they’re done, and they can learn to sweep under the kitchen table, and they can fold wash cloths, towels, and even their own clothes if you patiently repeat how to do it. They are good at replacing hand towels on the bathroom rack each morning, or washing a shelf in the fridge, if you supervise. I think the big key is to lower your expectations of how much you’re going to accomplish in a set time, and try to enjoy being with them. They need love and acceptance so much, and it really does fulfill them to see you happy with ‘What a good job!’ they did. They can learn to rinse their dishes and put them neatly in the sink after meals. They can vacuum the middle of a room (my kids love to vacuum!). They can also shake small rugs outside.My older two are energetic boys, so I have to come up with ‘useful’ things to keep them busy, and they love to help clean. They even clean the bathroom – first they wipe the sink, then the floor, then the toilet, and throw the rag into the laundry. Theoretically, they would do this each day (we have two bathrooms). But, you know what? Cut yourself a break. For goodness sake, most people with twins – alone – don’t get done all the cleaning they hope for, let aloe in the newborn stage (I have 2 friends who each have twins). Especially since you’re sleep deprived right now, try to focus on what you’re doing at the moment, and do it with a smile. If you can do that, “Good Job!” (P.S. You might like the devotional book “The hand that rocks the cradle”. http://www.clp.org/search/results?utf8=✓&query=rocks+the+cradle&x=0&y=0)

      • Exactly! Give those little ones some fun things to help with that are age appropriate and parent guided. It is loads of fun to hear of all your stories of you and your cleaning buddies. How fun! Thanks for sharing!

      • Thank you for the replies. I guess I’ve done something wrong in that my children do not find cleaning fun. Even tho I’ve tried to by singing silly songs, making up games etc. They still don’t enjoy it. I don’t know why, my husband and I are both hard workers, but I know I must’ve messed up somewhere. They will do what I ask, but I guess I feel guilty asking because 1) they don’t like too, they just want to play and 2) I’m almost always nursing or tending the babies so I feel like I’m just bossing them constantly. We live in a large house and we could spend all our time just cleaning! Plus I cook everything from scratch and my husband’s a farmer and he needs me to be on call, running back and forth from the different fields, bringing him things etc. Other than that I don’t go anywhere! I guess I’m just trying to figure out life and how to do everything! I very much appreciate all the advice 🙂

    • I think I can show people a way without it feeling like a HUGE task to keep up. I was once in that situation with 5 children 6 and under. One was very busy while another was a brand new colicky baby, keeping me awake all night. It was busy and I had to figure out how to have fun with the kids or I was going to sink. It is my hope that I can impart some hope to others by some simple tips and practical know how. If you could bear with me and give it a try, I know you can do it, too! Be encouraged today:)

    • Lisa, Michelle and Erin,
      Great questions, great answers.
      Harness your children’s energy. You’re in a season and so are they. Make age appropriate lists.
      Inspect. Not done right? They can do it again– RIGHT!
      Work can even be a disciplinary action: Give them a task from your own list of House Blessings since the s/he feels they have “the time” to act inappropriately or disobey.
      Read Michelle Duggar’s blog posts about work. Read Lisa Pennington’s blog posts about work. Read Laine’s Letters about work. Read God’s Word about work to your kids. Say inside their ears and before their eyes, “Smiths (family name) are not lazy. Smiths are good stewards of our home, our room, our clothes, our toys. God is a God of order and He abides here. Smiths like the house to look nice when our daddy gets home from work. Smiths take care of what Daddy worked hard to provide,” etc.
      You are nurturing and training your grandchildren’s parents, and the future leaders in our community, county, state and country!
      Remember to pray over your kids now for their spouse. Hopefully each future spouse is also scrubbing toilets and cleaning out the garage, too– make and female! When you praise and thank your kids for a job well done, let them hear you say, “My, God is building a great leader, husband and father in you, son.” “My, God is making a great leader, wife and mother in my daughter.” They will equate hard work with leadership, excellence and integrity.
      Way to go, Mommy! You’re doing well, sweetie. God is using you to mold little lives for His glory. Sure, it’s hard work, and everything worth having is worth working hard!
      Hugs and happy highways,
      Kelley~

  4. Mess equals stress is what I always say. My husband doesn’t care if the house is messy though. He usually doesn’t even notice if I haven’t swept or done the dishes. He does know, however, that for me, mess equals stress.

    • I think I am going to be linking up your posts on cleaning to my blog since so many of my readers want to have a clean home and don’t know how. You are blessed to have a mother who taught you so well!

    • This is fantastic!!! I just read your post and just loved it. So true. I would be very blessed to labor with you in the endeavor to help encourage other wives and mothers. What a blessing! You are a gem! I truly enjoyed reading your posts today. I bet I could learn a ton from you!!!

      • That sounds great, Erin! I will definitely link directly to your blog and give you all the credit. I think I am going to be learning a lot from you about keeping a clean home!

      • Yes, Kath, I have a housecleaner come once a month since I have suffered with brain tumors, two brain surgeries, neck fusion and have been very ill health for 10 years. A home needs more cleaning than once a month, however, to stay clean so I do the best I can to keep it clean and tidy in between.

  5. I have always been a disorganized person and when faced with a mess would feel lost as to where to start. I just thought it was who I was. But we recently sold our house and had many showings before we did. Each time I would do an entire house cleaning, I would get better and more efficient. I am now able to see where to start and make a plan for cleaning that we can all carry out. You really can learn how to clean. I still am dealing with getting rid of clutter and establishing a cleaning schedule but I have learned how to buckle down and get the work done. I look forward to reading your series!

  6. I do like a clean home also but I like many others was not taught the proper ways to clean things. Although I do the best that I know how, I am afraid it is not always done the correct way. I hope you will start a series on how to properly clean each room of the house. I know to some it may seem obvious bit it isn’t. Thanks for all of your wonderful advice.

  7. I sure will want that book and dvd combo when you will have finished it. I am very much in need of housekeeping ideas, also especially when it comes to teaching the kids to clean, in a fun way.

  8. I plan on never missing a post. I am cleaning and decluttering- again. I am trying to make room for some of my sweet mother-in-law’s things,that recently passed away.
    I need all the help I can get.
    Linda

  9. Any helpful ideas for a large family living in a very small house? We have 4 children and live in a 800 sf house. It is a old house with no closets! I am very particular about things being neat and clean,but since my husband’s decision to move to such a small house I can’t keep it tidy or clean!! I try and try and get rid of more and more things we really do need in an effort not have clutter. I’m very discouraged and wiped out feeling and my home is still mess: -( I have been working on a solution for almost 3 years. Any ideas would be appreciated!

    • Jen,
      We evangelized for three years in a van that towed our 30-foot RV. We had two tweens who turned into teens during that time. They slept in the bunk portion of the RV.
      My husband used the one teensy closet in the RV while we girls used the back of the van for ours. Our rule was: If you buy new, something else goes out before the new one comes in.
      I ironed outside usually. We went to the laundromat. We each had our towel that we alone used every day; it was washed on laundry day.
      Everybody cleaned the “house.” My husband maintained the van, all the tires, the exterior of the RV, etc. We girls did all the inside cleaning.
      I did not get my kids up for home school each morning. I expected them to get up when they needed to. These and other disciplines grew them up. They went to college with slobs who were consistently dropped from classes for absences.
      Not my kids. They worked two and three jobs to walk away with a degree and no debt. Their names were on the dean’s list each semester. I did not do that, but as their mother, I had a hand in it. Why? Because I saw hope in my children’s future and I spoke that into them in word and deed.
      As a wife and a mom, we can negate and criticize the season or the current state of affairs, or we can choose to bloom where we’re planted. Your children are watching you. They hear you murmur and complain about “my husband decided…” and that it’s only 800 square feet. I live in the Philippines, and believe me, your home is a mansion compared to what some people are content with and grateful for here.
      I’ve been married 33 years and moved more than 20 times. Every move came with one goal: Make it home, rich with treasured memories. A wise woman builds her house. A foolish woman tears down her house with her own two hands. This medicine may not taste good, but my friend, you are not alone. You’re children are looking to you to teach them about joy, peace, contentment and gratitude.
      I would like to personally challenge you to speak grateful words to your husband. Let your family hear you thank God for your home. Speak into your children, “Smiths (family name) are good stewards of what God has provided. We take care of everything our daddy works so hard for.”
      Apologize to your man and your kids. They need to see your sincerity and humility. You mark my words: If you do what I admonish, you will see a remarkable difference in the cleanliness and atmosphere of your home.
      With heartfelt love, your sister,
      Kelley~

  10. Just this morning I made a video with my kids on how to make their beds properly and clean their room. I thought that would motivate them on how to do things without feeling overwhelmed. Hopefully it will jog their memory (and mine) on how to do things decently and in order! Can’t wait to see your video series! Love your blog 🙂

  11. Knowing how to keep a clean house is good, and working towards it is a worthy goal. But like anything else, it can become an idol and source of pride, especially for people like me who greatly prefer order and cleanliness. Since my husband has set a different tone for our family and prefers me to spend my time on some bigger long-term priorities, I’ve had to lay aside anything more than the bare minimum of cleaning, at least for now. If I stress about it, we are both unhappy, so I just let go and take care of the few most important things. I involve my one-year-old daughter in everything I can, and she loves helping me. Guests with high standards may stare at the carpet or dusty shelves. But if if this is the best I can do and still preserve the peace and happiness in my family’s hearts, and if we continue using our home to serve others, that is what pleases the Lord.

    • Oh, no one should never place a clean home as an idol. I am in total agreement. I would love to show people how to get a handle on the big part so that it only takes minutes each day to keep it up and it is so easy. It should not be an overwhelming thing to master each day, just a little sprucing and off you go to other priorities. I hope I can be an encouragement, not a stumbling block or a burden;)

  12. I can’t help but think there is a happy medium somewhere along the line. Would my home pass the white glove test? No. But it certainly does not reek of urine or resemble and animal pen. I don’t think it’s an all or nothing proposition, nor do I think it’s helpful to make women feel inferior for having a home that is not “white glove” ready.

    • I never did the white glove test myself, but my grandmother did with my mother. Things were definitely different back then. My grandmother used to shine all of her baby shoes, iron all her sheets, bleach socks and scour them on a board, she would make my mother clean the tops of the trim around windows, and iron shoe strings. I can not even imagine being that meticulous. No, I am sure your home is not an animal pen or wreaks of urine. I was just explaining some extreme situations I have actually seen in my day. I love visiting others and I do not sit around examining their dirt. I just enjoy my time with them:) But you bring out some good points. I am always willing to learn to be more gentle in the future about how I word things.

      • It was a different time back then. I remember my grandmother ironing her sheets and being a very meticulous house keeper. But that was the expectations of that generation and they didn’t have all the modern distractions we do now. I’m glad we don’t have to be so concerned with having our homes pass a white glove test. But I honestly do enjoy my home much more when its neat and clean. I have four young boys and with in five minutes of cleaning they can mess it up again. I used to get discouraged and feel like what’s the use in even trying to keep up with it. But that just lead me to be extremely overwhelmed and even more discouraged. I have found (after 10 years) that enlisting their help and having a daily cleaning routine has been a huge blessing. Its much easier to keep up with dishes if you take the 10 min. to clean up after each meal than letting it pile up. My house is definitely well lived in lol. I am just much happier having taken the time to establish a routine. Kudos to you Erin for writing about this! I love hearing more ideas that may help us even more!
        God Bless!

  13. I’m really excited about this series on cleaning! I need it!! I’m just getting ready to start housecleaning, and I’m going to motivate everyone around me to get it done!
    I do think that society in general has gotten sloppier. Many will go out shopping in pj’s! Although I would never make it to houseclean 2 times a year, I do need to do it occasionally.
    One thing, Erin, for several weeks now, your pictures do not come up right on my email or on your blog, is this a setting that you or I should change?

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