I had a question recently as to what are my "Top Ten's in Homemaking?"     
So, here's an idea of my top ten, plus a few! Here you go:
It's grown from ten to many!

    My List of Must  Do's
 by pamela spurling

 Never allow cream-of-wheat to dry on the highchair tray!


My top of the list decision is the decision to be grounded in the Word. This is my number ONE. Without this, I have no foundation on which to build---without this, I build my house on the sand.  This means that I live for the LORD, listen to Him, wait on Him.  This cannot happen randomly, nor can it happen at the end of the day when the day and the mind is spent.  Give Him the first part---first fruits---first thoughts.  Too many times, unexpected evening things come up---the time runs late, a woman is understandably tired and then the quality time with the LORD is neglected.  If a woman decides to begin her day in the late evening, then she might arrange it in such a way as to have her quiet time then---and make a determined habit of doing so.


One of the biggest things that will make you a motivated wife is seek to nurture a happy and contented husband---This is so important that I am including it at the top of the top ten... I don't need to detail what this happiness consists of (!), yet, you know what I mean! Okay---enough said on that one---it's critical and you know when that area is satisfied, life is soo good---when there is tension in that area, then your marriage suffers, you suffer, your home suffers.   Your husband is a gift, your marriage is an heirloom for your children and your marriage needs to be cherished and nurtured.  This is one very very important facet of your life.


  Do a Top-to-Bottom Tidy at least once a day  every day if at all possible without fail.  Go around your whole house as fast as you can and put away anything and every thing that is out of place.  Load the dishwasher and run it, load the washer and run it; load the dryer and run it; fold a load of dry clothes and put them away immediately.  If you have many children, then you can assign a person to a task and make them responsible for that area.


 Then... organize your home into exact places for things.  I have a floor to ceiling shelf... on it are 14 stacking plastic "shoe boxes" paper dividers, 4 Sterilite pull out drawers---everyone of them are labeled on the outside with what the contents are on the inside.  We train our selves to only put those things which belong in those boxes in those boxes.  Example1 each for crayons, felt pens, stamping markers, glitter glue, stencils, glue sticks-glue-tape-rubber cement, coloured pens, coloured pencils, hot & cold glue guns with the glue sticks, ribbons and lace, acrylic paints, charcoals, flash cards, play doh, fimo clay, modeling clay... etc.  I took the doors off the cabinet so the shoe boxes are sticking out by 2 inches---I don't care and it doesn’t matter---it's perfectly neat and we are forced to "obey" putting things in the right place or things don't fit!


Next... I am big on rolling carts of drawers... one is exclusively for sewing...  another is just for rubber stamping... another has hand and needle work supplies in it.  Again, inside I have very cheap drawer dividers and every single thing goes into its own drawer divider section... pins, needles, snaps, buttons... several "tiny bins" for different types (children's, men's novelty, etc.) sippers and a narrow bin for my scissors and rotary cutter---if it's empty I am to blame for not putting them away and just sticking them somewhere---so I force myself to do it!  I have the cart so that I can roll it over to the table when I am sewing, pull out the drawer reach for my scissors, pin cushion, measuring tape, etc----then roll it back, with the machine on top when I am done.  It's neat/it's easy.  The rubber stamping cart can be wheeled to the table, the drawer pulled out with the pre-cut stationery, the drawer with that type of stamps, maybe the drawer with the stamp pads or ink pens... you get the idea.


Next, I am big on labeling shelves and plastic bins in the kitchen cupboards, too!  An example:  I have the large baking cupboard in one corner of the kitchen.  This way, I open the doors and on the inside of the doors I have taped my favourite/ most often used recipes, lists of lunches and dinners/pictures of my family.  This whole area is the baking centre... On the shelves I have spices in baskets that can be pulled out, (one for baking spices, one for entree spices) I have a plastic box for my KitchenAid attachments, the attachment box that came with the KitchenAid food processor, an embroidery floss holder holds all my cake decorating tips/couplers.  Another bin holds the use everyday type things: pan spray, vanilla, almond, salt, honey.  On that counter I have all the ingredients for any thing I might bake---flour, master mix, sugar, br sugar, wheat flour in large glass "candy store" containers (Wal*Mart--$16+.) or in gallon glass jars with fabric lid toppers that I sew;  then in cobalt snap lid containers I keep salt, soda, baking powder---inside them I always keep a measuring teaspoon in each one---I never hunt for one and put it back after use.  Below the counter are the baking pans in a plastic dish basin, a bigger plastic bin holds the glass, metal, and plastic measuring cups.  I keep a two cup measure in the flour bins, a one cup in the sugars, and a one cup in each of the other jars.  This has saved me hours of time, I am sure.


ALWAYS (especially Sunday) have dinner planned in the morning (or prior) and do *something* for the meal in the morning by a certain time:  thaw the meat, make the salad, make Jell-O, make dessert---whatever it takes to make you be *committed* to making that meal that day on time---this is important for randoms like me who change their mind fifty times a day as to what sounds *fun* for dinner! 

CLEAN UP THE KITCHEN IMMEDIATELY AFTER EVERY MEAL and make sure it's neat and tidy before you go to bed.  Work smart!  Clean as you go.


Other tricks:  I am sure that clipping socks is a necessary training for families with more than two children... we all clip our sock with clothes pins after we wear them and put them in the dirty clothes----yes, wooden clothes pins that go into the bleach wash and through the dryer for years---don't wreck the clothes and don't hurt the washer either.   A large "camping type bin" Rubbermaid bin sits at the bottom of the stairs... anytime I find anything left out anywhere I put it in the bin-----NOW here's the deal... randomly the bin gets emptied by someone who wants to eat dinner!  The big bin is called the QPU container: Quick-Pick-Up container---everyone is aware that their things will end up in there and that *they* may be the one to distribute the contents at the end of the day or whenever!


A drawer a day---that's the way to stay on top of keeping crumbs out of the silverware drawer... cleaning it periodically makes it stay cleaner.  Clean one drawer or one shelf every day. This is a ten-minute a day commitment.


STAY OFF the computer for hours at a time and get things done!  You won't regret this, you won't miss anything... it'll be there when you get back to it.


Go► into the bathroom, rollup the rugs, sweep, spray every single thing down with your cleaner then start at the mirror, then the window, then make your way through wiping down the whole bathroom as fast as you can... then shake out the rugs, put them down, light a candle and then brush your hair and put on a little blush and lip-gloss... you'll be ready to say welcome home!


 A load in the washer every single night... and at least one put away every single morning will make laundry effortless---I am sure about this.  If you will spend a minimum of 15 minutes a day on this task, you will really enjoy effortless laundry.


Posted jobs for everyone in the home---even if they can't read them, you can use the posting as a memory jogger as to what everyone is supposed to be doing---things that are to be done every single day by that person for that month---whatever it is, it must be done before breakfast or before lunch or whatever you decide---but *check it!* to make sure the child has complied.  It will help them gain trust points with you and enable you to train them to be responsible and efficient.


And Finally:  Have a *daily short list* of the stuff you think is absolutely mandatory to be done every day and *do* them---

mine is something like this:


QuietTime / bath time/ Bible study- family study time-- total about 2 hours

o       House: all over tidy every single day---30 minutes (15 in the morning & 15 at night)

o       Sweep/vacuum all floors 30 minutes.

o       Dishes DONE after every meal / No soaking!! N0 sitting! 45-90 minutes or so, daily.

o       Laundry - 3 loads a day--- 45 minutes +/-  daily (depending on your family size)

o       General super quick wipe down of all surfaces/ledges--- 20 minutes

o       School work ---several hours a day

o       Reading together ---an hour or so a day

o       Scripture Memory ---10-15 minutes a day

o       Sit down to eat/talk together ---an hour

       Stay busy --- a busy    body  cannot be a busybody!!! *

Even if you add all these up and do them every day, you will still have a few hours a day for other things that will be particular to your home.  When you have other pressing needs, do the above jobs faster---drop one or two but don't allow yourself the indulgence to neglect them.  You really will be sorry later if you do.  It's like eating cake and ice cream on the third day of a diet... it's not really worth it and you'll pay double in the end.

By the way, 
Trust me  on the suggestion:
allow cream-of-wheat to dry on the highchair tray!
Floss your teeth and KEGEL.  Really.

pamela spurling ~  http://www.achristianhome.org   2001-2004, 2005

Also read:   Where Do I Start When I Don't Know Where to Start?
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