Sunday, July 21, 2013

What Household Chore Do YOU Ignore? Make It A Non-Negotiable

Making your home sing Mondays

Welcome to the Making Your Home Sing Monday linky party! Every day you are doing something to make your house into a home for yourself and your family (if you have one). 

My point with each Monday post is, what are YOU doing or going to do today to make your home sing?  It can be an attitude or an action. So have fun, do some blog hopping, and link up!  Thanks!

Topics can include marriage, parenting, encouraging women, organization, cleaning, saving money, our behavior and attitudes, homemaking, homeschooling, recipes....the opportunities are endless.

Note:  We had 86 linkups last week which is awesome!  I'm sorry I wasn't able to visit all of you, but I do thank you and appreciate you linking up!  Don't forget to visit one another and try to leave a comment on at least one blog to encourage someone today!  :)

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

I don't know about you but I can ignore certain things around my house. To a certain point.

I can ignore the dog hair piling up on the floor.  I can ignore the baskets of clean laundry waiting to be folded.  I can ignore the hamper of dirty laundry waiting to be washed.

I can ignore the dust on the wood furniture and I can ignore the lint on the carpet.  I can ignore the bed not being made.

I can ignore the water spots on the bathroom mirror and toothpaste spatter in the sink.  I can ignore the makeup that I left out on the kitchen counter.

I can ignore the mail or papers piling up on the table.  I can ignore the garbage can that is getting full and needs to be emptied soon.

I can ignore all of this for at least a day or two, some of them maybe even more.

But I cannot ignore the dirty dishes piling up in the kitchen sink.  I can't ignore the clutter piling up on the kitchen counters.

At least, not very often.  I suppose you could say that it is a non-negotiable.  I pretty much have to have my kitchen clean every day.

Long ago I decided to make a clean kitchen a non-negotiable.  Before that, my kitchen was almost always a mess. But one day I decided that I was tired of the mess and I wanted to wake up to a clean kitchen every morning.

In order to do that, it meant I had to go to bed with a clean kitchen every night.

It was that simple. I made one "rule" and stuck to it.

By saying I wanted to wake up to a clean kitchen it meant several things had to happen:

1.  It meant that I had to unpack the groceries right away and put them away, instead of leaving the canned goods in the grocery bags for days on end.

2.  It meant that I had to train myself (and eventually our future children) to load the dirty dishes straight into the dishwasher rather than leaving them in the sink all day.

3.  It meant that I had to unload the dishwasher every morning so that I could load it back up again with dirty dishes throughout the day.

4.  It meant that I had to remember to actually RUN the dishwasher at night so that I could unload it in the morning.

5.  It meant that I had to clean up the kitchen after every meal so that I wasn't faced with cleaning three meals worth of dishes before bed.

6.  It meant that I had to put my meal making supplies away, rather than leaving them out.  In other words, I had to put the peanut butter and jelly away after making a sandwich, had to put the flour and sugar away when baking something, had to put the spices away when making dinner, etc., instead of leaving it all out on the counters.

7.  It meant that I had to wash any dishes that couldn't fit into the dishwasher rather than leaving them in the sink.

8.  It meant that I had to stay on top of my grocery shopping so that I could make sure I had dishwasher detergent or dish soap in the house so that I could wash the dishes.

It meant that I had to establish the habit of cleaning my kitchen. Period.  It had to become something that I didn't have to argue myself into or motivate myself to do or bribe myself into doing every day.  It had to become a habit.  But it didn't start as a habit.

It started as just something that I wanted to do and felt I needed to do and so I DECIDED I was going to do it. So I did it.

The next day, I decided to do it again.  I made the decision to do it over and over and over, until it became a habit.

But it wasn't just ONE habit that I had to learn.  It was several habits, all rolled together to make one thing happen: a clean kitchen.

Sometimes, we have things we want to do, but we don't take steps to make them happen.  We say "I want a clean kitchen" but then we don't do the things needed to GET it clean and keep it clean.  Wishing will not make it so.  You have to take that first step, and then the next step, and so on.

Let's say you want to keep your living room or family room neat and orderly.  It's not going to magically happen.  You need to establish some habits, such as returning the dirty dishes to the kitchen (or establish a rule that you don't eat in the living room), put the newspaper away when you're done reading it, put the shoes and coats away where they belong, put the children's toys away (and teach your children to do it when they're old enough), etc.

You're not going to get your kitchen, bathroom or any other room clean by establishing just ONE habit and not doing anything else.

However, ONE habit can build upon another habit, which can build upon another habit and pretty soon, you have the clean kitchen that you wanted.

What household chore or chores do YOU ignore that you want to become a habit in your life?  Is it cleaning the sink? Making your bed?  Cleaning the bathroom?

Today, I encourage you to select a non-negotiable in your home or in your life.  What is your motivation?  Why is it important?  Is it going to make your life easier?  Will you be less embarrassed when people drop by?  Will it improve your health?  In other words, why is this going to be a non-negotiable for you?

Once you decide what it's going to be, decide how you're going to get there.  What steps can you take to make this a reachable goal?  What habits can you establish NOW to get there?

What ways can you motivate yourself to do it every day until you reach your goal or it becomes a daily habit?  Can you make it fun? (i.e. race the timer, promise yourself a chapter of your favorite book after you do it, or maybe buy a new outfit if your goal is to lose weight, etc.)

What are the rules or habits that you need to establish to get there and, once you are there, to STAY there?

Then pick one or two of those habits that you need to establish in your life and begin to work on them, every day, until they become a non-negotiable habit.  Then add a couple more habits.

What is YOUR non-negotiable in your house or your life?
Why do you want or need this to be a non-negotiable?
What are you going to do to GET there and.....
When you are there, what habits do you need to establish to STAY there?

Dream big and start small and you will reach your goal and make your home sing!

What are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing? Please go here for instructions and/or ideas and come back here to link up to join us today! Please do not put your own "Making Your Home Sing Monday" Linky on your blog.

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  1. Ahh, the dreaded dishwasher! One time I decided to time myself unloading the dishwasher and realized it only took about 2 to 3 minutes to do. So now I don't hesitate to unload it. Loading it, however, is another matter! ha! But since I've been reading your blog posts, Nan, I've pushed myself to have a daily cleaning schedule--one that I didn't really have before. Sure I cleaned, but I didn't have a schedule to catch areas that were my "negotiables." So those negotiables never got any attention! ha! So now, I try to focus a little time on everything throughout my week. Thanks for always keeping us improving as keepers of the home! :)

    1. Good for you, Beth! I know that things stay neater around here when I stick with my daily cleaning schedule then when I just do it haphazardly!

  2. Hey Nan!! Great post again and thanks so much for getting this linky party up early so I don't have to stay up to all hours of the night!! I try to do that with my linky party and don't always make it but this week . . . watch . . . because I might be able to get it up earlier!!

    Over the years, even when the kids were little, I had a trick. That was keeping things picked up at least when they are done playing. The las5 months, I have had trouble getting around to dusting. Maybe most ladies don't dust (that was a daily habit from the 50s and earlier) I am doing good if I dust weekly or at least b-weekly BUT I dusted after FOUR months!! So not good!! I am going to change this bad habit back and not make excuses for 'why' I didn't dust for four months!!

    1. I HAVE to dust because I am allergic to it, lol! I have to wear a mask when I dust. My 20 year old is supposed to dust every week but sometimes he doesn't do it exactly on schedule and I get tired of waiting so sometimes I do it.

      I try and have my meme post prepared and ready to go by Saturday but sometimes I am not able to get it done on time and then I get it up late on Sunday! ;)

  3. Ugh..I need to clean inside all my light fixtures! Thanks for hosting!

    1. Oh I know what you mean. You have to get a ladder out and sometimes there are dead bugs. Double ugh, lol! ;)

  4. Sweeping and mopping! We don't have a very big kitchen or bathroom (the rest is carpeted) so I don't sweep or mop everyday. I really need to sweep at least every other day,but it's one I can ignore. I can't ignore dishes or a dirty kitchen like you said OR an unmade bed. :) Found you at The Better Mom.

    1. So happy you found me and popped over, Heather! I think it's awesome that you can't ignore the unmade bed. I can to a certain extent. I can just pull up the blankets so that it "sort of" looks made, lol!

  5. Yep, dishes and an untidy kitchen table would be mine. But with 8 children and no dishwasher, it seems that there are ALWAYS dishes in the sink! And being the unorganized woman that I am, I am CONSTANTLY working on scheduling to make this non-negotiable a habit.

    Thanks for hosting the link-up again this week!

    1. 8 children and no dishwasher. Wowzers, girl!

      Good for you for working at it. I assume you assign some of the kids to wash the breakfast dishes and lunch dishes (and of course dinner).

      When my kids were younger I NEVER washed the dishes. They took turns every night. Of course, I cooked the meal (and they took turns setting the table and being dinner helper too).

      We all helped put the food away and we all loaded our own dishes in the dishwasher, so the dinner helper only had to wash or load the serving dishes, as we all loaded our own. Oh, and he had to wipe off the table too, and sweep the floor. So it wasn't a big job after all.

      Do you have room under your sink for a big dishpan? You could store the dishes under there until someone was able to wash them, that way having your sing empty and clean for at least a little while! ;)

  6. Replies
    1. Thanks for linking up today, Debbie. Looking forward to reading what you posted! :)

  7. Years ago I too realized that if my kitchen was clean the rest of the house could be in total shambles and I would still feel in control :) That is my #1 non-negotiable every night before bed- with one exception- mopping! I do not like to mop so, I "spot" mop until I just can't take it anymore :)

    1. I agree, there's just something about walking into the oasis of a clean kitchen! :)

      I am having trouble with my mopping right now, too. I'm "supposed" to mop every Friday but it's summer and hot and I am busy and just don't feel like dragging that mop out every week, lol!

  8. Thanks again, Nan, for a great week! I'm with you on the kitchen. Somehow those shiny countertops just won't let me leave them covered up!

    1. Oh me too, Em! I love seeing shining countertops! ;) Thanks for linking up again, can't wait to read it.

  9. Dusting, dusting, oh my, dusting. Hate it hate it hate it. I can write my name in the dust before I am motivated to clean it. Several things help -- minimizing knicknacks-- flat, empty surfaces are easier to dust. I bought one of those dusting want thingies. It does make it easier to dust than using a cloth and spray. Then I just toss it in with the dirty clothes. I miss my girls. When they were home, I made them dust weekly!!!! Praying for you. Hope all is looking up.

    1. Hahaha, love the idea of writing your name in the dust, lol! My 20 year old usually dusts for me (it's his job). I am allergic to dust and have to wear a mask if I do it.

  10. Thanks for hosting the link up Nan! It was like I was reading about myself reading your post. Lol.

    1. Thanks for linking up! Glad I'm not alone!

  11. I love this post! I would have to say if there was a room I would make non negotiable it would have to be the kitchen. I spend so much time there, and it makes me feel so much better when it's clean and looking nice. I'm going to make myself some rules and do this!

    1. Oh me too. It's just so wonderful to walk into a clean kitchen in the morning and throughout the day. I love when my counters shine and my sink is empty.

      That's why I make myself clean up after every meal and especially right after dinner. Because I certainly don't want to be doing it later at bedtime! ;)

  12. Dishes is usually the one thing I let sit for as long as possible...probably not the best, but I seriously HATE dishes!! I'd rather sweep floors & fold laundry than wash dishes!

    Blue Eyed Beauty Blog
    Exercise Encouragement GROUP Blog

    Visiting from Wow Us Wednesday.

    1. I don't mind sweeping the floor. I just hate having to bend down with the dustpan to sweep it all up, lol!

  13. Well, I had to think it for awhile (to be honest I CAN ignore almost everything... at least for a reasonable time!) but then realized that my non-negotiable could be a quick bathroom cleaning: I simply cannot go to bed every night without cleaning the toilet, the sink and the mirror (I usually do a major clean there once a week, shower included) The dishes... they´re another story, we have no dishwasher so as I´m always the one who cooks, most of the times the dishes go to dear hubby LOL
    Warmest hugs from your newest GFC follower,

    1. Nothing like a clean bathroom! My friend's hubby always does the dishes whenever she cooks. She said her dad did that for her mom too! Thanks for the follow, my friend!

  14. Hey there! Have you read "Sink Reflections" -- it's all about a clean kitchen and how that spills over to the rest of the house. I like the counters clean for sure and a clean sink the bathroom. I'm also compulsive about changing sheets. The thing I hate doing? Putting AWAY the laundry. Ugh. Visiting from Thriving Thursdays. Thanks for sharing!

    Lindsey at Growing Kids Ministry blog

    1. Actually yes I have, a long time ago! I love her zones.

      It's funny how we're all different. I don't mind putting away the laundry at all, but I really don't like changing the sheets, lol!

  15. This blog is so refreshing, don't know if it's guilt oh misery likes company mode but I actually felt good that I am not the only person out there that has the challenge of sticking to a routine. Starting today I am getting the laundry folded no matter what. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I'm glad you know that you're not alone, my friend! Thanks for stopping by!

  16. I hate ironing.....Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop xo

  17. I tend to ignore the windows. They bother me yet they seem to get dirty as soon as I put forth the effort to clean them. I am going to work on keep them better maintained...thank you for the encouragement! Always blessed when you link up! (One of these days I will get myself back on a plan and will start linking up my own post again!)

    1. Good for you! I am not as good with windows as I should be either. My dogs mess them up as soon as I get them cleaned, lol!


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