Ecclesiastes 3:1&6 (NKJV) – Everything Has Its Time
To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
6 A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away
If you haven’t done your Spring cleaning yet, then now is a great time to start! Does God actually want us to keep our homes clean, organized, and clutter-free? Actually, yes! 1 Corinthians 14:40 tells us that “all things should be done decently and in order”. Order facilitates preparation*, and preparation allows everything else in our lives to flow efficiently (Proverbs 13:4).
We are called to exhibit self-control as a reflection of God (Titus 1:8), and when we mirror Him, we can be a light and an example to others (Titus 2:5 and 1Timothy 3:5). Along with self-control, the cleaning process is also a great way to instill other fundamental values in our children, such as perseverance, diligence, humility, and charity. Simply put, cleanliness and order can edify the soul and reflect peace: which helps us to create the life God intended.
Here are 10 tips for Spring cleaning success:
1. Say “No” to clutter. Taking the first step toward a clutter-free lifestyle begins with changing our mindset. Often, we hoard possessions out of fear of loss. But God tells us in Luke 12:15 to “beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses”.
2. Be prepared. Gather cleaning tools and cloths; gather boxes to organize unwanted items; use old newspapers for cleaning windows and glass surfaces. Make sure your vacuum cleaner is operating properly; empty debris and dust from previous use. Use boxes for organizing, and to toss unwanted items. Preparation is key (1 Chronicles 22:5)!
3. Make your own natural cleaning solutions! Dilute ½ cup of vinegar with 1 gallon of warm water; use it to clean glass, counter tops, and the refrigerator; wood and tile floors. Mix ½ cup of baking soda, ½ cup of vinegar and 2 gallons of warm water; use it to clean walls, sinks. Make a paste of vinegar and baking soda to make a scouring cleanser; this also cleans chrome and removes stains. Mix vinegar and ketchup to polish brass and copper; mix vinegar, baking soda and boiling water to clean silver. Remove soap scum or mildew with a solution of 1 cup of ammonia or bleach in a gallon of water. Spray surface; leave for a few minutes until stains disappear. Rinse well with hot water.
4. Make a plan. Take one room at a time; work from ceiling to floor, leaving the vacuuming and floors for last. And don’t forget the attic, basement and garage.
5. Organize your important papers – Download our Monthly Expense Form to help organize receipts and expenditures. Sort bills and receipts by month; store in an accordion folder. Safely store important documents and booklets for your appliances, insurance policies, automobiles, and medical history; place all in a dedicated space in your home.
6. Organize your closet – Wash or dry clean soiled clothing; polish shoes; mend, tailor, or repair if needed. Organize items by type and color (this method even works for books too).
7. Donate old family photos. Don’t throw away those old photos! Our lives are an important source of history; give photos and memorabilia to an archive, library or repository.
8. Stop the junk mail! Yes, you can opt-out of mailing lists! You can contact any company yourself to make this request, or you can contact Catalog Choice or the Direct Marketing Association; both organizations will submit your opt-out requests for free. Virtual junk mail and even unwanted phone calls create clutter too. Click here for additional information from the Volunteer Guide.
9. Don’t forget the yard – The outside of your home is as important as the inside. Rake up dead leaves, prune bushes and trees, pull weeds, dust away old spider webs. Hose down garden furniture; discard any unwanted junk that’s lying around.
10. Have a yard sale; GIVE your excess to charity. Luke12:33 (NIV) – 33 “Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.”
When your Spring cleaning is completed, complement your fresh new home by choosing one room to enliven with a pop of color: add a bouquet of flowers, a new throw pillow or two, even a new paint color on an accent wall. By adding a softly scented candle near your home’s entryway, you’ll awaken the senses and welcome visitors.
Spring reprsents humankind’s annual opportunity to “make all things new”, to move ahead with renewed purpose and passion, and to create room for God’s power in this season of renewal and strength.
The Salvation Army – Schedule a pick-up of your donated goods online. Website – http://satruck.org/, or call 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825).
Goodwill – http://www.goodwill.org/donate-and-shop/donate-stuff/. To donate items call 1-800-GOODWILL.
Catalogue Choice.org – https://www.catalogchoice.org/. A free service to opt out of catalogs, coupons, credit card offers, phone books, circulars and more.
Direct Marketing Association’s DMAchoice – https://www.dmachoice.org/. Everything you want to know about direct mail, the mail preference service and more.
*DID YOU KNOW:
The day before the Sabbath is called “Preparation Day” (Mark15:42)? It’s traditionally the day to do all remaining work and cleaning in order to prepare for a restful Sabbath Day. The most significant Preparation Day known to Christians is the day the body of Christ was prepared for burial, preceding His glorious Resurrection.
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