I use to be more organized, back when life was simpler, before kids. The last three years have been a slow surrender to the forces of entropy. Now I have to expend great amounts of energy to get back to where I was. But I must, for the sake of my family and myself.
So, my conviction to be more prepared, to be in a position to be used by God, begins with a few basic rules. (I'm almost too embarrassed to admit the level of chaos in which we now live, but confession is good for the soul, right?)
- No dirty dishes left on the counter or in the sink over night.
- The kitchen table, the bookshelves and the desk need to remain clear of clutter.
- I need to tackle at least one "problem area" each week -- "problem areas" include, but are definitely not limited to, all the closets, my bedroom, the play area, the piles of crafts and games.
So far, this has been a good week. The rules have lowered my stress around dinner time (I don't have to do dishes before I have enough counter space to cook and I don't have to rush around clearing the table before we can eat). We have also had the opportunity to invite friends over, without needing three-days-warning to get the house picked up.
My problem area for the week was the hall / linen closet. It was a huge pile of stuff that we no longer used. I also found some toiletry items that I had bought and lost (toothpaste, shampoo, etc). It took several afternoons (with only about 15 minutes available each day) to get it done; it sure looks good!
Now I just have to apply some of the discipline I was talking about to keep it up!