Monday, March 4, 2013

On Her Side of the Bed

While the bedroom is the place we often "hide" our messes, or at least pay little attention to because "well I just sleep there - my eyes are closed, why does it matter?" it is the place that more than anywhere else in your home should be your serene haven, your special place.  This week we're going to work not only on our bedrooms, but what contributes to the chaos and clutter that seems to reign in there despite our best efforts.

A study in 2011 showed that less than half of the people surveyed felt they got good quality sleep every night or almost every night.  Now don't get me wrong, I'm well aware that as a parent every night or almost every night is nearly laughable.  Many of us would give our left arm for once a week and those of us with children 2 and under would give both our arms and a leg for once a month!  I get the problems - but hear me out!

Among the rest of these findings, people who made their beds were 19% more likely to get a good night's sleep (remember that being step 2?  See why?) and 2/3 to 3/4 rated a cool room temperature, fresh air, and a dark, quiet, and CLEAN room as important for a good night's sleep.  Last, but not least, 75% said they got a more comfortable night's sleep with freshly scented sheets!

Maybe you aren't one of these people.  Heaven knows my husband can sleep wherever he falls.  The Army trained him to do that. ;) But there's a pretty good chance that 1 of the 2 of you may be one of these kind of people.  So, at least for the rest of Lent, let's try to keep up with the bedroom.

Here's another tidbit - we're all familiar of the Bible Story of Moses when he was hidden in the rushes to escape being murdered - but did you know he's not the only child in the Bible who escaped a death spree by hiding?  In 2 Kings 11, the infant prince Joash was rescued from the killing spree of one of the other royal families in the palace in a bedroom where he remained hidden for 6 years before being revealed to a group of guards and then was revealed to the world as king. 

Your bedroom is more than just a place to stick stuff and to sleep.  It's a haven, quite literally in Joash's case.  It's a safe place.  It should feel that way to you.

This week we begin to tackle the place we often leave behind because no one sees it but us, the Master Bedroom.  We're also going to take this Family Mission Friday and work on our family's bedrooms using what we've learned this week.  So know that's coming up in the near future. :)

For today, since your bed is already made (right?), you're going to move onto the area directly around your bed.  Concentrate on your nightstands, headboards, footboards, and other areas around your bed.  Are they cluttered or clear?  If they're cluttered, take care of it.  If there's a pile of reading material there, pick ONE book/magazine to remain and put the rest somewhere else.  Are there drawers?  Empty them out and make certain what is in there belongs and what is not, isn't.

Here's my "must have" list next to my bed:

  1. Reading Book - usually not something intellectual but rather something to help me fall asleep when I'm having nightmares.
  2. Bible - for reading when I want something more challenging or need to look something up that is on my mind.
  3. Notebook and Pen - for taking notes on other things I am reading and for emergencies!!!  PLEASE keep a notebook and pen by your bed so if you ever get that dreaded midnight call, you have it available to take notes so your recollection is what actually happened and you know what you need to do next.
  4. Lip Balm - a necessity as I live in a very dry climate
  5. Foot Lotion and Hand Lotion - same reason as above - plus I find a happy smell on my hands helps me sleep. 
  6. Nail File and Clippers - for when I'm on the phone hiding from people and talking on the phone.  Talking on the phone is an excellent time to file your nails. :)  It's also excellent to have a nail file/clippers so when you have nails catching on the sheets you can file them down right away before they create a snag and/or drive you crazy when you're trying to fall asleep. 
  7. Phone - for me, this comes and goes with me as I only have one cordless phone at the moment (the other shall be located during this Lenten Activity if I have anything to say about it). 
That's it.  If it doesn't contribute to your sleep or peace of mind, get it out of there!  

Now for the rest of it.  Take a damp rag (not too wet!) and wipe down or dust your bed and bedside furniture.  If you have a dresser right there, it can wait until tomorrow.  Otherwise, tackle it now!  Give it a nice wipe down and give the dust bunnies names.  Really, it's the least you can do after all these years of them spending such intimate time with you. ;)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Mea Culpa

Well, let's suffice it to say that this past week hasn't exactly gone as all.

I set up Friday's post and figured I'd be back on Sat/Sun to give you your weekend list...

and then...

Life Happened.

From Saturday to Wednesday I drove 1040 miles, did 3 major Cub Scouting events, and generally lost my head.

Mea Culpa.

This week was originally to be dedicated to your bathrooms.  Since I'm SO far behind, the good news is this week was light anyway (because I knew what I was going to have going on - well, 180 miles of it and the 3 events).  So we can definitely catch up on Family Mission Friday by doing it as a group. :)

So, everyone take a bathroom!!!  You will need the following supplies:

1 toilet brush
1 rag
1 cleaner (your choice!)
1 scrubbie
1 laundry basket
1 trash bag
and if your cleaner of choice doesn't do windows, window cleaner!

Now, I call this the 5 minute fly in my home.  I can clean almost any bathroom in 5 minutes.

First step - Flush toilet.  By allowing it to completely cycle through to clean water and be wet, but not running before adding your cleaner, you have a better chance of your cleaner staying where it belongs and doing it's job instead of sitting in the bottom of the bowl.  Turn on the shower to the hottest it can go and let it run for a few minutes.

Then start grabbing everything that needs to be washed, linens, clothing, mats, everything.  Into the laundry basket it goes.  Take off your socks now and place them in the laundry basket.

Next, trash.  Get all the trash off the counter, out of the baskets, and if you have people in your home who think empty toilet paper rolls fall wherever, now would be the time to corral them. (note: for homeschoolers/teachers/CCD Catechists - those empty toilet paper rolls can be used for THIS fun actvity!)

Now go back to the toilet.  If you have a favorite toilet cleanser, knock your socks off.  If you're cheap like I am but go through tons of shampoo trying to find the right one, those "extras" make awesome toilet cleaner. :)  Squirt, swish, and let it sit.

Now back to the shower.  Turn off the shower (learned that one the hard way! ;) lol) and grab your scrubbie, rag, and cleaner.  Toss all the bottles, gadgets, and doo dads into the bottom of the shower so the places you put these things are now empty.  Now spray the cleaner right onto those spots and let it sit.

Back to the sink and clutter attack.  Get everything where it belongs.  Spray the sink with your cleaner.  Let it sit. 

Go back to the tub and start grabbing bottles.  If they're empty, pitch.  If they're not being used, make a line up to go to the closet.  If they are "active duty", wipe them down (scrub bottoms if necessary) and put them back in their homes.  Last step, turn the shower back on and rinse out the tub.  Voila!  One more down!

Back to the sink.  Any crud is now loose BUT wait a minute and clean the mirror first with your window cleaner.  Then go down and clean the sink and counter.  Then go one step further.  Take that cloth that just cleaned the mirror and wipe down your faucet so it's nice and shiny!

Quick, go back to the tub and wipe down the shower's "parts" (the shiny metal stuff) with your mirror cloth to shine.

One last step, spritz the toilet with cleaner.  Then open it, swish, and flush.  Then wipe it down and grab that mirror cloth one last time to wipe the handle and then the door knob and light switch on your way out.