When life gets busy, even the smallest task at the end of a long day can feel like a project. Our family has been in a crazy busy season, and the little tasks have turned into monstrous to do lists. We’ve had events every weekend for months, several of which we were involved in/in charge of planning, others which included travel. Our home has felt the brunt of this busy time. The laundry piled up, the toys and dog hair were EVERYWHERE, and opening cabinets meant a quick game of dodgeball.
I know that for some of you, just reading those things will send your heart into an uneasy rhythm. Sorry ’bout that. For me, this is just reality. I am so thankful for my house, but it has fallen to the bottom of my priority list the last few months. It was time to do something about it.
So, I set to cleaning. I dumped out dresser drawers – sorting, re-folding, and getting rid of stuff. I moved furniture to scrub baseboards and boxed old baby items to be put in storage. I spent intentional time, energy, and effort getting rid of the clutter and getting my house back to its shining self so that ongoing maintenance could prevent this catastrophe from happening again- at least in the near future.
And right in the middle of vacuuming out underneath my bed (Are there dog hair donation places? If there was a Locks of Love for puppies, we could majorly bless some sick pups!), I realized that this wasn’t just about our house. We are doing the exact same thing in our lives.
Here are a few ways we are deep cleaning our life:
Emptying the Cabinets
Before we could begin the deep clean, we had to lay everything out on the floor. We had to ask some big questions and figure out where we have been focusing our time and energy, where we would ideally like to be, and who we want to be by our sides on this crazy ride we call life. Taking inventory was the first step in cleaning up our home, from the inside out.
Scrubbing the Floors
My living room floors are one of my favorite things about my house. When the dark, wide-plank hand-scraped wood is clean, they are gorgeous! Unfortunately, they seriously show dust because they are so dark. With two dogs and two kids, it doesn’t take much to get them dirty. Ignore them for too long, and you forget they were ever pretty! My life had started to feel like my floors. There was so much stuff that had tracked its way in and out of my heart that I couldn’t even see the beautiful life that we have. We started with the priority list we had initially made and began the process of cleaning up the grime.
Taking Out The Trash
There are some things in our life that we have been holding onto- whether it was shoved in the corner of our hearts and forgotten about, or there was sentimental value and we just didn’t want to let go. Well, the time has come. We are breaking ties with negativity and chaos and moving toward happiness. Once we had prioritized and began digging through the layers of dirt, we just had to start taking out the trash. Not everything that we removed was necessarily trash, but it just didn’t belong in our house anymore.
We had to figure out how to make sure this didn’t happen again. Just like I created a cleaning schedule for the house, we decided to plan for the things that matter to us. We took our priority list and created an action plan. We decided that our top priorities are our faith, our marriage, and our family. We end each month now creating a calendar for the next month, including 2 date nights, 2 family nights, and a family day which we will intentionally spend together. We also take time to decide which friends and extended family with whom we would like to spend some intentional time.
It sometimes feels rigid and cold to schedule time in for people, but let’s be honest, if we don’t plan for it, it just doesn’t happen regardless of the best intentions. We also write in time for my husband and I to individually do things that we independently enjoy. We’ve decided that we’re no longer okay with life passing us by and making excuses for people and relationships falling away. Being intentional and focused on our priorities has made our life so much richer, and for that we are so very grateful!