Housekeeping Routines and Maintenance Are No Fun, But They Work

By | March 27, 2011

I discovered something last week.

No truer words have ever been spoken than:

A stitch in time saves nine.

You see, I have fallen off and on the wagon of daily routines and housekeeping “maintenance.” I have been a FlyLady devotee—and I have wallowed in my dirty laundry. (I’m great at exploring all places on the spectrum.)

But last week, I decided to try something.

I decided I would put on my big girl panties and just. do. it.

Just. Do. It.

Empty the dishwasher before your day begins.
Photo credit: vilhelm from

Wipe out the bathroom sink, make the beds, and empty the dishwasher before the day begins. Keep the laundry moving (OK–it’s not all folded and put away, but it’s in process) and the dining table cleared of debris. Keep the kids’ backpacks cleaned out and papers put in the right places.

And you know what? I did it.

And I learned what I knew all along. FlyLady is right. If I just do the bare minimum of maintenance every day, I’m not faced with creeping junk and visual clutter. And I finally timed myself to see just how long it really takes to straighten beds and wipe down the bathroom counter. About 10 minutes. The dishwasher takes me about 10 minutes and my own bed takes about 2 minutes to make. If I really hustle, I can have all the areas cleared and tidy in about 15 minutes total.

15 minutes.

Really? I’ve been neglecting a 15-minute task and in doing so, my motivation takes a beating all day long. Not doing these things really impedes my productivity in other areas, especially my writing and blogging.

You know what I’m discovering?

It’s hard to see anything in your house when there’s clutter, junk, and debris obstructing your view.

So, put on your big girl panties and just do it. Yeah … you may not like it, but it will help you see more clearly inside your own house. I promise.


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Mary Bernard is a Nashville-based writer and mother of three. She's worked in a variety of corporate and creative environments, but none is more comfortable than the dining room table in her own home. Mary loves to help moms discover God's unique call to look in their own houses for their priorities, passions, and provision.

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