Can you imagine if you booked a day at the spa and when you walk in, there are kids running around screaming, magazines, mail, and newspapers piled up on the counters, used cups on the tables in the waiting room, toys on the floor, a loud TV in the background, and a stressed out person greeting you at registration telling you about all the customers’ problems and how difficult they have been all day? Would you feel peace or tension? Tension. No doubt about it, we would want our money back!
Is this anything like what you or your spouse may feel coming home after work? Maybe it is not as extreme, but has your home lost its tranquility? Has it turned into your children’s jungle gym? Are you tripping over toys in the living room? Do you have clothes in mounds on the floor because you are two weeks behind on laundry? Have you still not unpacked from the visit to your parent’s house over Christmas break or your last business trip? Do you have mail piled up on the kitchen counter that is three weeks old? This can undoubtedly be a source of stress that we aren’t even aware of.
I know that not everyone is as obsessed with order as I am, but when my home is disorganized, I find it really hard to decompress. Even though it’s hard to keep up with the demands of a fast paced life, your home can still be tranquil with a little extra effort. Here are some easy ways to make your home more peaceful.
- Do a ten-second-tidy at least twice a day. Literally for only ten seconds, everyone (kids, sitter, mom, dad, whomever) picks up the room and places everything where it belongs. The kids actually love this game!
- Teach your kids the one toy rule. When my kids were little, they were allowed one toy in the livingroom at a time (as many as they wanted in their bedrooms, but only one at a time in the common areas of the home). The one toy rule simply teaches them that everything has it’s place and helps them focus on one thing at a time. This will also reduce the day’s clutter.
- Set a tranquil tone for the evening. If you have a sitter at home, you are staying at home with the kids, or you are working from home, at the point when you expect your spouse to arrive, turn off the TV and/or the video games the kids are playing (really anything loud), do a ten-second tidy, settle the kids down (no running around, screaming, or wild play), and maybe even light some candles and put on some tranquil quiet music. Just focus on creating a calm environment.
- Never, I mean never, greet your spouse with a recount of your difficult day. This is a two-way street, no matter if you both work or not. This should not be the start of your conversation. Perhaps you can catch up on the important things over dinner or after dinner, but never in the greeting or the first 30 minutes to an hour.
Taking these simple steps will change the whole feel of your home. Give it a try for the next 30 days and you will feel an incredible difference.
Let all things be done decently and in order. 1 Corinthians 14:40