I am making my home a haven this fall and thought I would include YOU!!
I am part of the “Making Your Home a Haven” Challenge with Courtney over at Women Living Well (.org) for the second year. I am just loving this challenge because it encourages me to bring the atmosphere that will give that cozy haven feeling into my home.
Lighting a Candle
The first thing in making our home a haven is to buy a candle and light it.
The Yankee Candle is a beautiful candle with a lovely smell.
I have candles that my husband bought in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where the Amish live. He bought me several of them without even knowing about this challenge.
Whenever I walk into my kitchen, I pray for peace over my home, my marriage, and in the lives of my children and their families. The candle doesn’t bring peace but it serves as a reminder so I remember to pray.
My candle also sets an atmosphere in my kitchen and living room area. I love its aroma!!
Making a Clean Haven in Our Home
As soon as the weather starts to get a little cooler and comfortable, we realize that the biggest season of fellowship and celebrating is soon upon us.
The spiders have been hard at work all summer and the dust has settled from the windows being opened all summer. Then, there is the clutter from our kids as we were busier being outside for the past few months.
There is clutter in the kitchen and living room in most of our homes and it is time to start cleaning it up!!
I love decorating for the holidays but it is no fun setting up in a pile of dust and clutter.
So although my home doesn’t have as much clutter now that the kids moved out, I still have my messes that gravitate to my kitchen table, desk, and randomly here and there wherever it lands.
1. Sweeping Our Deck or Outside Entrance
Call me crazy, but I often sweep my deck where everyone enters my kitchen when they come to our home. Dog hair, blossoms, leaves, and dirt get swept often enough before they are tracked into our home.
No one will notice if your outside entrance is clean but you. What they do notice is the welcome it brings without them even realizing it.
Adding mums or some pumpkins add a touch that speaks “welcome.”
2. Cleaning Our Kitchen
We are going to do a LOT of baking over the fall and holidays. Starting off by deep cleaning our kitchens will go a long ways.
- Clear as much clutter off your kitchen counters as possible. Find space in the cupboards or pantry (if you have one)
- Wash the outside of your cupboards with lemon oil (oil + lemon essential oil will do) or if painted use just a damp cloth. This will take the fingerprints off for just an hour or so. 😉
- Wash the walls with a damp rag
- Wash the window (I have 4 BIG windows to wash)
- Wash all the dishes and keep them washed (speaking of which!!)
- Sweep and wash the floor.
3. Cleaning Our Living Room
We are going to have people over and it will be a load off your mind if you know your living room is clean!
- DeClutter all the toys, sweatshirts, books, papers, blankets, and stuff that has accumulated from your husband, kids, and you over the summer.
- Several times a year (maybe about 3 or 4), I move all the furniture in the living room and vacuum the whole floor.
- Dust the furniture and wooden items. Wash anything that has a surface that will take getting wet.
- Vacuum the sofa inside and out.
- If you have a computer in the living room, tidy, dust, and bring the wires into subjection.
4. Cleaning Our Bedrooms
Bedrooms tend to get so messy. Clutter isn’t the word!!
- Change the sheets and make the bed neatly.
- Clean under the bed(s) and put items that you must store under the bed into low plastic containers. I am going to do this!!
- Vacuum and move all furniture but maybe not the bed.
- Dust the furniture and running boards.
- Wash the doors.
- Clean the closets. This might be a HUGE job. My walk-in closet has taken me 8 years because we had to store things in there while other storage areas were being built. Just saying.
5. Cleaning Our Bathrooms
I cleaned our bathrooms almost every day when the kids lived at home. Seven kids using one bathroom will do that for you! So, keeping up with your bathroom helps this to be an easy job.
- Move everything off the sink area and wash it all down.
- Wash the mirror.
- Wash every bit of the toilet including inside of it.
- Scrub the tub. If this is done frequently, this will be a cinch!
- Wash the floor boards.
- Wash shower curtain, curtains, and mats.
- Wash the floor.
Now that the House is Clean
So, the house is clean. That’s all. Right?
Although getting our homes cleaned of dirt and clutter goes a long way in de-stressing us, that is not all.
If we are doing everything in the flesh, our spirit will be stretched to the limit as this season approaches. There is a lot of cooking and shopping to do and instead of enjoying it, our whole spirit will be taxed to the limit!!
I’ve been there!!
Allow God to teach you how to abide in Christ daily and moment by moment.
I can give a bullet list to follow but that is not it.
Abiding in Christ is not a list.
It is a relationship with Jesus living through us so that we sail through the coming season with His joy.
So, yes. Making lists to check off that you have cleaned is a good thing as we make our homes a haven.
BUT . . .
Make sure that Jesus is at the center of that cleaning list of activities and that you are abiding in Him and you will have made your home a haven.
My Challenge to YOU: Light a candle, pray, decorate for fall, pray, clean your home in preparations for the holidays, pray and get alone with Jesus and ask Him to help you learn how to abide in Christ this season.
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