Today, “S.O.S.” could stand for “Save Our Sanity”. It’s hard for me to stay focused when there are baskets of laundry and piles of miscellaneous clutter gathering in my not-so-cozy prayer corner.
Then, when I walk out to the kitchen to find dishes filling the sink and a scattering of socks, books, toys, and various signs-of-life across the living room, I can easily slip from “gentle and quiet spirited woman of prayer” into “slave-driver” mode, ordering my kids to “tidy up this pig sty”!!!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with sloppy habits and messy living, here is a challenge that my kids and I have enjoyed!
S.O.S. Challenge #5: “Get your cabin in order!”
We’re gonna’ get this place ship shape from stem to stern. (Gather your crew of kids to help and you’ll be amazed at what they can accomplish in just a few minutes.)
Think of each of these songs as a “less than 5 minute mini-challenge”. Let them be your “timer”; so see if you can accomplish each task before the song finishes.
Let’s Get Started!!!
1. Begin in your BEDROOM
- open the curtains and make your bed
- scoop up all the dirty clothing into a laundry basket
- begin putting away any clean clothing
- spend any time remaining giving your nightstands and dresser tops a quick tidying (taking any odds and ends that need to be removed to the rooms where they belong, glasses and coffee mugs seem to multiply in my bedroom)
- if you still have time left, your room wasn’t very messy to begin with, and you can sweep or vacuum your floor
(WITH KIDS: You can either put your older kids in their own rooms on this one, or play the song a couple times working together in each little one’s room.)
If you can’t bear to move on, just play the song again. Your bedroom is the “holy of holies” of the home. Let it be your “sanctuary”! You can always come back to this page tomorrow. (Let this be a liberating tool, not a legalistic burden!)
2. Out to the DINING ROOM / KITCHEN
- fill the sink with soapy water
- empty the dishwasher if it is needed
- clear the table and counters by loading the dishwasher and putting crusty pots and dishes in the sink to soak
(Before you start this room, drink a glass a water. It’s good for you!)
3. Still in the KITCHEN
- wipe down the counters and stove top
- sweep the floor
- spray any yucky spots on the floor and let it set while you…
- wash the dishes that were soaking
- last, with a Swiffer or an old rag and a spray bottle, give the floor a quick wipe down
4. On to the LIVING ROOM
- begin by collecting everything that does not belong in this room into baskets and set them to the side
- straighten blankets, pillows, remotes, magazines, etc.
- sweep or vacuum
- if you have extra time dust, Windex the TV and windows, etc
- now play the song again and quickly deliver all the items from your baskets
5. Heading to the BATHROOM
(NOTE: Never use bleach and ammonia products together! — Remember: some glass cleaners have ammonia!!!!) It seems everyone has a different system for cleaning the bathroom (for example, I always spray a bleach mixture on the floor around the toilet first); so here’s a simple checklist:
- sink and counter
- toilet (top, inside, and outside)
- tub & shower walls
6. Almost finished. Now for the Mud Room/ Entry / Hallway
- tidy up the shoes and coats
- gather into your basket the items that don’t belong
- sweep and wipe down the floor
- deliver your basket-items
- if you dare, peek into the coat closet (put mittens and hats in their basket, coats all on hangers, etc.)
6. Finally the WALK-THROUGH…
This song is the longest song, and hopefully this task will be the most enjoyable.
- Step outside the front door and close the door.
- Then, enter your house with fresh eyes… really “SEE” your home and all that the LORD has blessed you with. You are a steward of all His good gifts.
- With a basket on one arm and a bottle of Windex in the other hand, gather anything that is out of place and wipe down smudges on walls and light-switches or any other place that catches your eye.
- Enjoy your home!!! As you walk through the rooms putting away those odds and ends you’re collecting, pray for yourself, your husband, your children. Bless them in your heart as you “bless” your home with your hands.
One Final Thought as you end this Challenge
Your home is your battleship. You will be fighting battles over the next couple months, and your family is not the enemy. Remember, your “big guns” are prayer, thanksgiving, worship, scripture… So, get yourself ready for war! The safest sailor is not the one that has never sailed through a storm; rather, it is the experienced captain that has risen through the ranks facing the roughest of winds and waves. If you feel tossed about, you’ll get your sea legs soon enough just by staying on board. You become a more competent sailor with practice; so begin today! Just keep showing up to meet with the LORD. He’s your Captain. He’s seen it all, and you’ll find no better teacher. So, on that thought, go enjoy your home, and ask the LORD to “teach you to pray”, to be thankful, to worship, and how to approach His Word.