Cleaning For Company

Clean For Company

I had the most brilliant idea recently. No, really, it was. Well, is, I should say. You’ll think so too. Honest. It had to do with getting help with cleaning the house.

I don’t know about you, but I stress out a bit before a big event happens in our home. For one reason, hospitality is NOT a spiritual gift or talent of which I possess. My poor mom, of whom is Martha Stewart incarnate, must be saddened that she did not pass on to me her love for pretty things in the home. I plum missed out on that fabulous gene. Sorry, Mom.

The other reason is I’m not a detail-girl. Mostly, I just don’t see the dust and cobwebs…that is until there are guests in our home. Then, the veil seems to lift mysteriously and it practically stabs me in the eyes. ‘How did I never see it before?’ Oh, and then I am thoroughly embarrassed. I’m sure you’ve never experienced such a phenomenon yourself.

All that to say, cleaning house is a major event for me. I want to make sure the details are addressed. And since I don’t SEE them, I have to really stop and look for them. It’s a strain on the brain, folks.

And then, of course, I would really like the family to help out with this monstrous feat. Okay, I am exaggerating a tiny bit (our house isย only 1400 square feet). Because I live with people of the men group (husband and two sons), they don’t see the dust either. Let’s just say, we’re not a good combination when it comes to a neat house.

When it’s time to spruce up the place, all three men come to me to ask what they are to do next. And then my already taxed to the max brain warns me of its impending doom (it’s gonna blow!) Too many details. The trees! The trees! There are too many. I can’t see the forest.

I had a history professor in college that had the nerve to say that I couldn’t see the forest for the trees, which was exactly the truth at the time. I think she actually saved my life. It was then that I figured out why History was difficult to study. I was trying to cram in all the names, dates, locations, but they had nothing to stick themselves to. I needed to first have the jist of what was going on globally, per se, before I could understand the local stuff. –Oh, how I do digress. There is an education blog in there dying to get out.

Back to the helpful men in my life. The other drain on my brain is wondering if they truly know what I mean by ‘pick up the Living Room’. I’ll be very vulnerable for a moment here, but I tend to get a bit bossy and rather grumpy if they don’t pick up the room to my expectations. Yes, it can get ugly at my house. Very ugly.<sigh>


So, one day before the grey matter had a chance to expand beyond it’s boundaries, I had a bit of genius strike. What if I made little cards with detailed instructions for each job that needed to get done? The family would no longer have to ask me, ‘Now what?” They would then only need to grab a little card from the pile and follow its detailed instructions.

I would no longer have to stop in the middle of what I was cleaning to muster enough energy and brain power to think of what to have them do next. And then I could gather up all the little clean up cards and save for the next time we had company. I would only have to think once. Brilliant!

And my friends, just recently, two of my men went through all of those cards in one hour. Oh, yes. You read that correctly. My house was shiny clean, top to bottom in 60 minutes. And not one person had to ask me a question. It was almost as if since they knew there was an end to those cards, they worked harder. There was no lagging. It was a beautiful sight to behold and a blessing beyond belief to me.

And so, I just had to share it with you.

By the way, I set up the ‘Cleaning For Company Cards’ on our white board in the kitchen. It think the fam decided they liked the visual of seeing those cards disappear as jobs were completed.


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About kathleen

I'm a stay at home chicken momma with 2 boys and a very understanding husband. In December of '09, we moved to our dream farm. I'm excited to try to become more self-sufficient. So far I have 1 rooster, 9 chickens, 2 goats (some babies on their way this spring), 1 llama, a dog, and a cat. Come along and join us, as we city-slickers figure out how to make our own homestead. You're sure to be entertained.
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17 Responses to Cleaning For Company

  1. kendra says:

    Genius idea! I have the same thing and get grouchy and overwhelmed if I have to stop and think of new tasks while feverishly working myself. I’m going to do this!

  2. kathleen says:

    Yay!! I love sharing the wonderful ideas that God gives me. And it’s even more satisfying if it truly helps someone else. Let me know how it goes. And I’d love to see a picture of your cards.:-)

  3. Jennifer Erickson says:

    I need to make those cards just for getting out of the house on Sunday mornings. I tend to be the grouchiest when we are going to be late for church. (I know…grace, peace, and love….yada yada… Now get in the car!!)

  4. Ron says:

    Just make sure to remind the men-folk that they should SAVE the little cards for the next time and not THROW THEM AWAY when they’re done. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. kathleen says:

    I love it! What a great idea, Jennifer. As homeschoolers, there aren’t many times that we have to be somewhere in the morning by a certain time, so when there is an event in the morning, grumbly momma appears. I think I’m going to work on that too. Let me know how yours goes.

  6. Vicki King says:

    Me, an inspiration?!? Thanks for the complement. I love your idea.

  7. Traci Katz says:

    Hey friend, thanks for sharing. I am trying to do better about getting the kids to help with the daily/weekly tasks on my plate. You perfectly described how grumble-inducing it is to have to stop working to think, direct & monitor. Thanks for the great idea. Yay, God!

  8. Maralle Moffat says:

    I LOVE this idea! I am going to use it, too. Thank you, thank you : )

  9. kathleen says:

    Vicky, you bet! You’re race through your chores in 30 minutes idea reminded of this. See, we women are a source of inspiration even when we’re not trying.

    Traci, Yay, God, indeed! I’d love to hear what you’re utilizing to inspire help from the kiddos. You always have wonderful organization ideas.

  10. kathleen says:

    Maralle, take pictures!!

  11. Christine says:


  12. Dad says:

    Why not use the I PAD?

  13. Joan Porter says:

    One small step for the Peter’s household. One giant step for womankind!

  14. Mama Baer says:

    I think you have a super idea my beautiful sister-in-love! I wish I would have used it when our Cub was young — living with men who don’t see what you see that needs to be done can be daunting. Next time we need to get ready for any company I think I will just put sticky notes on my fridge and see how many I can get Papa Baer to remove. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. kathleen says:

    I love the idea of the sticky notes, Becky!

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