Help With Your Mother's Rule

Help With Your Mother's Rule is a forum for women who want trouble-shooting help with their Mother's Rules or about any aspect of the 5 Ps of the married vocation.

Ask Holly: This blog is composed of your questions. Contact me at the address listed on Holly's Helpers page and I will respond. Please share your unique ideas as well. The more ideas and experience we share, the more successful every mother will be in designing her own unique Mother's Rule.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Where Do I Start?

Dear Holly,
Spring is here and I am overwhelmed. I know I have to get the house cleaned. The garden needs to be planned and planted. But there's even more. Every room in my house is cluttered and messy. The back porch is full of coats and boots and more. How do I begin to bring order to my home? What is the easiest way to start? I look around and I don't know where to start. I feel a strange lethargy about beginning anything. Any advice would be appreciated.


  1. I am sure every Mom in North America understands these feelings of lethargy and being overwhelmed. However, it can be easily conquered with a little planning.

    First step - grab some paper and a pen (or the "Room Analysis" sheets from the MROL workbook), and go to each room in your house. Write down all the things that need to be done in that room - focusing on decluttering and spring cleaning.

    Then, look around outside too - what needs to be done for your garden? yard clean-up? Make a list.

    Then, check your calendar, to see what might be coming up in the next month that you will need to account for.

    After you have done that, you can choose which method you want to use:

    If you want the fast way - stop everything you are doing for a week or ten days, and start with one room, and work your way through the house, room by room. Have the kids join you. Make sure you have a 'catch-all room' to put stuff that does not belong in your other rooms, and tackle this room last.

    If you need to do these spring tasks while still living a normal life, because you don't want, or can't, take the time off - then you need to start this work by starting with your daily rule -

    - make sure you have your daily prayer times scheduled and ensure you are doing these right away.

    - make sure you have your normal daily chore times scheduled, like meals, dishes, laundry

    - make sure to account for your work, be it homeschooling or outside the home or home business.

    Then - look at your schedule to set aside a time daily that you will work just on these spring cleaning etc tasks. Following the same method, proceed systematically from one room to the other, and then outside - or vice versa.

    Have the kids join in, assigning them tasks they are capable of - they can wipe down walls with microfibre cloths, wash windows, haul stuff to the 'cath-all room', drag stuff to the garbage, climb under things for you, etc...

    Examine - think - plan - do - get help!

  2. Just wanted to add:
    I have recently tackled our bedroom in this way. The parents' room should be a sanctuary in accordance with our understanding of the sacredness of our marriages. Not to mention, Mommies need a clean, quiet area to regain their sanity! ;-) But in reality, most of us use our rooms as the landing place for everything else in the house! Mine had gotten out of control with a visit or two; I can throw the mess in our room and lock the door!
    So-- I usually approach the decluttering as "What can I get rid of...?" If that worked well, I would have won this battle with mess years ago! Now I approach it as "What is staying?" I set up the room just as I think it should be. If something doesn't belong in the ideal space-- it's gone!
    Try that. Good Luck!

  3. Thank you thank you! As I sit overwhelmed with life AGAIN...and pulled out MROL again...perhaps now I am ready.... I have begun Spiritual Direction and am focusing on priorities...but the tasks can SO clutter my brain. Off to get a pen and paper!