A TIME TO CLEAN: 10 Tips For Spring Cleaning Success
To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away
Ecclesiastes 3:1,6 (NKJV)
If you haven’t done your Spring cleaning yet, then now is a great time to start. Cleaning is actually a great family activity! It’s a great way to instill fundamental values in our children, such as perseverance, diligence, humility, and charity.
Yes, God actually wants us to keep our homes clean, organized, and clutter-free. 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’re 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, Simply put, cleanliness and order can edify the soul and reflect peace: which helps us to create the life God intended.
TIME TO CLEAN
In an age of new viruses such as the COVID-19 coronavirus, keeping our homes clean is a necessity. Unfortunately, this coronavirus can stay alive on surfaces for hours or days at a time, so it’s best to clean and disinfect surfaces often. “Regular cleaning with normal cleaning supplies does a great job of removing all kinds of germs, not just coronavirus, from surfaces,” said Catherine Roberts, associate health editor at Consumer Reports. Her advice is to “focus on high-touch areas…the things that you have your hands on all the time.” These include cell phones, faucet handles, doorknobs, stair rails, and countertops.
Here are 10 tips for Spring cleaning success:
- Say “No” to clutter. As First Lady Mae L. Blake teaches us in her book, “Getting Rid Of The “Stuff” That Clutters Your Life“, 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”.
- 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)
- Make your own cleaning solutions. Solutions made with alcohol, bleach, and ammonia have great disinfecting properties. Dilute ½ cup of vinegar with 1 gallon of warm water; use it to clean glass, 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.
- 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.
- Organize your important papers. 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
EVERYTHING HAS ITS TIME
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.
See below for resources and more –
By linking to the external sites mentioned in this article, West Angeles Church of God in Christ is not endorsing their products, services, or policies. We recommend you thoroughly review the business or organization, as well as their policies, terms and conditions.
Catalogue Choice.org – A free service to opt out of catalogs, coupons, credit card offers, phone books, circulars and more. https://www.catalogchoice.org/.
Direct Marketing Association’s DMAchoice – https://www.dmachoice.org/. Everything you want to know about direct mail, the mail preference service and more.
*Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, some services have been suspended until further notice:
The Salvation Army – Pick-up service is expected to resume after April 20, 2020. Schedule a pick-up of your donated goods online here – http://satruck.org/. Call 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825).
Goodwill – Use the Goodwill Locator for more information on your local Goodwill branch. http://www.goodwill.org/donate-and-shop/donate-stuff/. For more information, call 1-800-GOODWILL.
West Angeles Church and West Angeles CDC – West Angeles accepts clothing and other donated items through the West Angeles Community Development Corporation and through its Missions and Skid Row Ministries. Services have been suspended until further notice.
GETTING RID OF THE STUFF THAT CLUTTERS YOUR LIFE – Lady Mae L. Blake has an essential tool to help you start to get rid of the clutter in your home, your mind, and your life. Read more online at the West Angeles Christian Emporium.
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.