Make A Note Monday: Sometimes you only have 30 minutes

I found this in my inbox this morning from! It is a simple way to keep your kitchen clean every day. I found it to be very useful for a busy wife and student especially around midterms. All you need is 30 minutes, and I am sure you can use these tips for other areas in your house/life. Good luck and let me know how these tips work for you.


35 Minutes to a Clean Kitchen…Every Day!

March 3, 2014 By 

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Every time I write a column for Homemakers Challenge, I have to giggle at the irony. You see, I hate to clean. Luckily, being a homemaker is so much more than cleaning. After 6 years of staying at home, I have finally nailed down the most elusive task in my house — the clean kitchen. Incidentally, it’s also the one my husband gets the most peeved about. Good thing he’s patient!

35 Minutes to a Clean Kitchen . . . Every Day!

0:00-5:00 Put away clean dishes

Every morning, the first thing I do is put away clean dishes. I empty the dishwasher & put away any dishes that were washed by hand the previous day.

5:00-10:00 Load the dishwasher

If you don’t have a dishwasher, you have my sympathy. If you do, load any dishes that didn’t fit when you ran it last night, breakfast dishes and every other dish you use as you go. Run it when full or after dinner, whichever comes first.

10:00-15:00 Hand wash dishes

Even though we have a dishwasher, not everything goes into it. Certain cups, measuring cups and all pots & pans are done by hand. I clean up in the morning (after rinsing & setting pans to soak overnight) because by the time we are finished eating, my son wants to nurse & sleep. He’s more amiable in the morning. Do what works for you.

When you are done, wipe out the sink if its not clean after washing.

15:00-20:00 Wash the counters & table

I love microfiber & your cleaner of choice. If you stay on them each day, it’s easier to do. If you are on them after each meal (you know, before the oatmeal turns to cement), its even quicker. I have a long counter and it still doesn’t take that long. If you have extra time, add a chair or two!

20:00-25:00 Clean the appliances

If you have a microwave, start by boiling a bowl of water & baking soda in the microwave — 4 minutes should do it, I think, but I always put mine in for 5-10, just to make sure it was steamy & hot in there :) .

If you’ve dripped pancake batter on the stove, clean it up. Stirred your burger too vigorously? Sweep it off. In fact, if you keep up on it daily, cleaning your stove top takes a minute, tops. Swipe the front of your dishwasher & fridge.

25:00-30:00 Sweep the floor

I never sweep until after I’ve cleaned the counter & table. I invariably have to redo it if I don’t wait. If you are in a hurry or have a large room, spot sweep. I know in MY house, food collects under my 2 youngest kids chairs as well as the counter where I do most of my food prep. If you have time, you could even move chairs and things, but I save that for days I mop.

Then go back to the microwave & use oven mitts to take out the water & wipe out the inside.

30:00-35:00 Pick Your Task

Is there something that you should to do regularly that I didn’t mention? Maybe clean & prep the coffee pot? Or put away/clean small appliances?

If there is nothing you can think of, set out a new kitchen towel & washcloth and grab a glass of water.

What is essential to consider your kitchen clean?

Your Home Is A Tool By Mystie Winckler

This is a blog post that I found from one of my favorite blogs Homemakers Challenge! It just gave me such relief to see someone say that your home is to be a tool, and it’s supposed to be functional not something that is never used… It was very refreshing and I hope you enjoy it…

Your Home is a Tool

April 22, 2013 By 

Many of us are task-driven. We want to see things done, accomplished, finished. This is what the world tells us is productivity.

However, our life at home is not the kind of world where things are often finished. You might check off “laundry” for the day, but before the day is out, there will be more dirty laundry in the hamper. You might check off “make dinner,” but dinner will have to be made again tomorrow. Not only that, but because you made dinner today, there are now dishes in the sink to wash.

This can be supremely frustrating. It can be discouraging, disheartening, even depressing. But that is because we have the wrong framework for productivity and accomplishment.

dinner helper

Our aim in home cooking and home keeping is not to check off as many boxes in a day as we can; there are no deals to close or contracts signed or paychecks earned. These areas of our lives are means, not ends in themselves. Our aim is to build people and to build people up.

The goal of home cooking is not, actually, to put a meal on the table. It is to feed people. The cooking, the eating, the cleaning up afterward, are part of the cycle of feeding people. It isn’t a task worthwhile in itself. A beautifully set table with a piping hot meal is picturesque, but pointless if there are not people there to enjoy it, to use it, to make a mess because of it, and to need it again only a few hours later. Nourishing people with food and with fellowship is the point of the effort, the meal and the dishes are tools for that effort. Tools must be maintained, but not polished and sharpened merely to hang on a wall. Effective tools are used and reused, dirtied and cleaned, over and over.

messy kitchen

The goal of home keeping is not to have a clean house. What a frustrating goal that is as a homeschooling family! We use our home all day every day for everything. There are lots of people doing lots of things in our homes. That is good. That is right. Our homes, also, are tools to be made use of, not display pieces to handle gingerly. Tools get dirty, tools have to be taken care of, but the point is to keep them useful and functioning. A shovel left out in the grass all winter will rust and rot and not be much use in the spring; a home left untended will run to weeds. But a home cared for will not be immaculate. The aim in cleaning house is not to have a clean house, but to prepare the house for further functioning.

When you find yourself looking around and sighing and cringing and feeling deflated and defeated (as I do almost every day), it is a sign that your hope is set on the wrong end. Do not confuse your tools with your projects. Your home is a tool of investment into your family.

Let it be used.

Tried and True Homemaking Tips That Work By Leigh Ann

I found this on Homemaker’s Challenge and found it absolutely helpful! I hope you enjoy…

Grandmaw’s Tried and True Homemaking Tips that Work

May 21, 2012 By 

I quit my office job to be a stay-at-home-wife when I was in my first trimester of pregnancy. I didn’t know the first thing about homemaking, at least not full-time homemaking. Without hesitation, I called my grandmother (aka, Mamaw) and begged for tips on how to make a house a home. She’s going to be embarrassed, but I’m going to share her homemaking wisdom with you.

Grandmaw’s Tried and True Homemaking Tips that Work:

1. Get up and get dressed.

Don’t stay in your pajamas all day and expect to be productive. Not to mention, you never know when someone may call on you. Comb your hair, brush your teeth, and put your shoes on, you have a house to keep, children to feed, and a husband to kiss. She didn’t say that last part, but I’ve seen her kiss my Papaw. They didn’t get four kids without kissing, I tell ya’. So get dressed.

2. Treat homemaking as a full-time job.

Homemaking is a full-time job. Treat it like one. The home is your domain to keep and tend. Just as there are things that must get done in the office, there are must-dos at home. Do them every day even if it already looks clean.

3. Be done by 10am.

There are daily chores that you should do every day: make your bed, wipe your bathroom counters, pick-up dirty clothes, do the dishes, sweep the floors, and shine your sink. You will have your own routine. Stick to it and be done by 10 o’clock. People will start calling and there are other things you will need to do. Don’t waste all day on these easy tasks.

4. Stick to the work week.

Housekeeping is for Monday through Friday. Saturdays are for family. Sundays are for the Lord. Enjoy the weekend.

5. Children come before housework.

There will be times your husband will leave for work and return to a house that looks the same or worse than when he left it. You can’t keep a doll house all the time, and that has to be okay! Tend to the babies first and get a towel from the dryer for your shower. Love your babies and care for them as only you, their mother, can do. It is such a short season.

6. Do what works for you.

Always remember, everyone is different and everyone likes to give their opinions. Just listen, and then, do what works for you. Half the time, the person who gave you the advice won’t know, or care, what you ended up doing. Your home is your domain. Don’t compare it to others. Make it a place you enjoy!

Embracing The Season You’re In… By Allie Cassazza

So I read different blogs pretty much every day simply because I subscribe to them… some of them have to do with fashion, some have to do with hair, and then some have to do with how to become a better wife and mother (it’s never too early to prepare). Today I read this particular post and was so refreshed I wanted to share it with you. It comes from a blog that I enjoy called Homemakers Challenge  which is a wonderful blog full of contributing writers who have different perspectives on homemaking and life!! I’m pretty sure I found the blog itself through a friend who sent me a link she thought I’d like and well she was right!!! So here it is…

Embracing The Season You’re In

April 3, 2012 By 



In the famous passage of Ecclesiastes 3, we read, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…” As you probably know, the Scripture goes on to list the different times and seasons of life.

I came across these favorite words one recent morning, and was refreshed and encouraged. I’ve entered into a new season of life- having multiple littles in the house. Bella, my oldest,  is three, my son, Leeland turned one in January, and my second son, Hudson is due in May. With a home full of very small children and a newborn about to grace us with his presence, the word “overwhelmed” comes out of my mouth pretty often. Ecclesiastes 3 is a sweet reminder- there truly is a time for everything under the sun. There are many different seasons of life, and I need to be aware of, and learn to embrace the season I’m in. For me right now, that season is a mix of chaos, joy, blossoming love, and lots of learning.

In this time of potty training, changing diapers, repeating myself, chasing toddlers, preparing for birth, disciplining, training, and trying to balance marriage and homemaking in the midst of it all, Ecclesiastes 3 is a beautiful guide. It helps me simplify my life and see where I’m at in this moment, then act accordingly.

Ecclesiastes 3:2-3

“A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build…”

This season of my life is a time of birthing new things (both metaphorically and literally in my case!), planting seeds in my children’s hearts,  and building my family and our home. Anything that kills, destroys, or tears down what my husband and I are working to build must be cut out of our lives in this crucial time.

Ecclesiastes 3:4

“A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…”

This verse has been huge for me in this season! There are times I just get overwhelmed and need to cry, or vent, or just be alone.  I’m learning that it is okay to have those emotions and take a moment to care for myself in those times. Some days are just harder on my body, my spirit, and my emotions, and I need to allow myself to put the kids in front of the TV while I take a hot shower or curl up on the couch for a cat nap. It’s okay! In fact, it’s more than okay, it’s necessary. Some days, if I don’t get a moment to myself, I won’t be the mom God is calling me to be. Scary Mommy comes out of hiding and that’s not good for anyone! Scary Mommy tears down what I’ve been working hard to build, and she uproots the beautiful flowers I’ve been planting in my precious babies. If I feel Scary Mommy is coming over soon, it’s time to breathe, distract the kids, and take a little break.

In these ways and more, Ecclesiastes 3 has been a sweet salve to my weary soul, and a precious guide to my crowded mind. Although it’s become a little cliché and is over-quoted, I encourage you to find it and possibly put it somewhere in your home where you can be reminded of the seasons and times for everything under the sun. And remember, friend, the season you’re in now, whatever it may be, matters. It’s shaping you into the person you’ll become soon, so take hold of it, even if you can’t wait for it to be over, and soak up the lessons and building that can come from it.

So what did you think? Were you just as refreshed as I was after reading this… Did you rush over to Homemakers Challenge to check out other great posts from them? If you haven’t I encourage you to do so here.