“So what did you do today?” I can expect this greeting from my sweet husband every day when he arrives home. He is glad to be home and content to make small talk, but more importantly, he graciously turns his attention to me and my day. This genuine thoughtfulness always amazes me, and it makes my heart race because for some reason my mind focuses on that one little word, do.
“So, what did you do today?”
I know Jim isn’t asking this question in order to hold me accountable, but I’m so tuned in on my own accountability that I instinctively respond, “I don’t know exactly what I did, but I do know one thing — I never sat down all day long!”
This type of vigilance about how wisely and effectively I spend my time has not always been the case for me, but that was before I learned a valuable lesson from the Proverbs 31 woman, a lesson about time, life, and home management:
The woman who is beautiful in God’s eyes “watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.” (Proverbs 31:27)
The wisdom from this verse vividly showed me what I should and should not do. It continues to challenge me over and over. I’ve become so established in a routine that idleness has no place and because it is second nature, I don’t even remember doing it most of the time.
There is something spiritual about the way a clean home can lead to a productive life. However, I also think life is more abundant when you have a home that’s actually lived in. That means messes are going to happen along the way. That’s where routines come in; specifically, nighttime cleaning routines.
Granted, if you still have little ones at home, it can be a challenge to clean while they are awake. By the time they are tucked in, the last thing you want to do is work on the house. The temptation to skip maintenance items to watch TV or sleep can be overwhelming.
If, however, you can muster up a little bit of energy to go through the three following routines, you’ll have a much cleaner home and a more productive morning.
Three Late Evening Routines for a Productive Home Management
- Sacrifice a few minutes to prepare for that one chore. Some of you may not have laundry to do each day, but if you do, put the dirty clothes and detergent into the washing machine. The next morning, hit start and let the machine do the work. If tomorrow is the day you will be tackling the bathrooms, pull out the supplies the night before. You’ve already got a head start and you’re much more likely to do the chore early just to be able to put the supplies away. Soak the dishes in preparation for loading the dishwasher or washing the dishes the next day. This one simple step alleviates a lot of manual labor having to be put into getting those dishes clean and it takes mere minutes.
- Spend five minutes doing a quick clean up every night. Go though the main living areas and put things back in their proper places. Throw away any trash you find. Wipe up spills or spots on the floor. Fold the blankets and fluff the pillows.
- Take time today to prepare for tomorrow. Start with a brief to-do list of things that are a priority for the following day. This keeps a record of it and you won’t be kept up at night trying to implant it into your memory. After the list is made, pack lunches, pick out your clothes, lay out school supplies, or put your bags in the car. This gives a great head start for the day and gives you a much more peaceful and relaxed morning.
Lord, make us masters of ourselves that we may be the servants of others. Amen.
RENEWING RESOURCES:Beautiful in God’s Eyes: Exploring the timeless wisdom of Proverbs 31, Bible teacher Elizabeth George reveals how you can become a woman of true beauty.
“She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms.” (Proverbs 31:17)
All that stands between your goal
And the deeds you hope to do
And the dreams which stir your soul—Is you!