A Clean Home is a Pretty Home

A Clean Home is a Pretty Home

Have you ever noticed that it doesn’t matter how beautifully decorated a home is, how large it is, how many modern appliances it has, or how much money is spent on it if it is a messy home? These things are not what make a home beautiful. It is a clean home that makes it pretty.

“Disorder is actually defined as a breach of peace…bringing order to any home would also bring peace. Simplicity is key to creating order in your home.” (Cyndy Salzmann) “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:35).

Years ago, I decided we needed another cat. We had one and we knew it needed a friend. I found kittens on Craigslist so I went to pick one up. To get to this kitten, I had to drive into a gated community of large, gorgeous homes. The home that I went to, however, was absolutely filthy and smelly. Yes, the mother had a few small children but this was SO bad.

She had all the modern appliances, gorgeous floors, and furniture but it was cluttered and ugly. She showed me the bathroom where the kittens were and there was urine and feces all over the floor. It was so disgusting. I should have known right then and there that this was NOT the kitten for us. However, I held one of the smelly, little black ones and brought it home.

Of course, it peed all over my furniture. I hated thinking of taking it to the pound so I tried SO hard to train it to not go on my furniture. Well, guess what? She is trained now and never goes anywhere except her kitty litter, thankfully. Cat pee is WAY too smelly to have to put up with for long and can destroy a home.

Several years before this, we needed a new mattress. Yes, I know you aren’t supposed to buy used mattresses but I thought if I could find a good price on one that came from a clean home, it would be worth it. It was just for a spare bedroom anyway; my oldest son’s room after he moved out. I went to pick up the mattress that I found on Craigslist. It was in a poor section of town in a small apartment. The apartment building was unkempt.

However, when I went into the apartment of the people who had the mattress, I quickly noticed that the place was spotless! It was a owned by a lovely Christian couple expecting their first baby, a candle was lit, and her home was beautiful. The mattress didn’t have a spot on it and it is the MOST comfortable mattress in our home!

My Mom and Dad lived in a condemned building when they first got married, but she kept it neat and tidy and made it into a home. We don’t have to live in a mansion to have a beautiful home. It’s the care that is put into a home that makes it beautiful.

I make sure my kitchen is clean every night before I go to bed. What a difference this has made! I love waking up to a clean kitchen. It helps me to keep it cleaner throughout the day and I clean as I cook. I make my bed every morning. (A lot of the time, I neatly fold the covers back so the sheets air all day!)

If you have children, they don’t need a ton of toys. Teach them from a very young age to pick up after themselves and put what they use away. Teach them to keep their rooms tidy. The more habits you can train them to do when they are young, the easier it will be for them when they grow up. Also, keep your car from gathering clutter. I like my cars clutter-free as I do my home. The less clutter and stuff you have, the easier it is to keep clean.

God is a God of beauty and order. We should strive to have order, because when there is order, there is beauty, no matter how humble your home. Don’t look for perfection or being spotless all of the time, especially if you have small children, just clean and tidy!

He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Ecclesiastes 3:11

25 thoughts on “A Clean Home is a Pretty Home

  1. While I know it’s hard to keep a house clean with toddlers, it is doable. And there is absolutely no excuse for dishes to pile up, trash to pile up and general filth to be everywhere. That is no way for a child to live at all.

  2. Thank you for this great reminder… we live in a smaller than average home (800 sq feet, including the garage), and it can be difficult to keep it looking designer chic because there’s just not enough room for decorations. A clean home is a pretty home!

  3. Dear Lori and Friends, My poor mother had to work full-time, and although us kids had chores which we did, kids are not as particular as moms are. So, the house was cluttery, and sort of messy. Mom was overwhelmed, all the time. No wonder she was grouchy, more often than not. By the way, with no time EVER!!! Mom didn’t have the time to read (the Word) to us kids, and she sure wasn’t of any heart-set to teach us (Godly) songs either.

  4. I needed this. I have such a hard time doing this. It gets mundane and tiresome. I get quickly overwhelmed and then get the ‘all or nothing attitude. It’s stealing my peace and joy. I messed up when the children were little. I would say it was my biggest mistake. I told myself that they were little and shouldn’t have to clean. HUGE MISTAKE. Now, they are 17, 18, and 19 and they don’t lift a finger until I get upset. If you have small children, do not make that mistake. It will bite you later.
    Anyway, thank you for the posts.

  5. Oh, I have a question. Since my father was widowed and now my new stepmom lives with us part-time, is it my solely my job to do chores at home the days my stepmom is not here? I actually do a lot of housework daily in addition to schoolwork, such as laundry, vacuuming, dusting, cooking, and washing dishes. My father does things like mow the lawn and take out the garbage. Should I be the one doing these chores too? And what about my younger sister? I’m 18 and she’s 15,but she virtually does no chores besides cook occasionally and do basic clean up after herself. She does not have a job or anything, she just has schoolwork right now like I do. I was the one raised to help out more as a child and my sister not so much. What should I do, if anything, to make her pitch in? Or should I leave this matter to my father?

    Aw, your cats sound adorable Lori! I have quite a collection myself : a handsome brown tabby named Archimedes, a cute ginger cat named Aristotle, and a sweet mix breed dog named Marie. My family got them within a few years of each other. At first the house was loud, damaged and messy. But we quickly trained them and now all of them are well behaved pets. We live in a rural area, so our cats are actually outdoor for the most part.

  6. Hi Hypatia,

    You can’t make others do housework or take responsibility. But I do want to tell you that as you serve your family in this way, you are serving Christ and storing treasures in heaven. You are a unique 15 year old who works hard for others. Your future family will be blessed since you are training to minister to your own family one day.

  7. Please moms, make your kids help you around the house. I had such low self esteem as a young mother. It was a time when women were going to work and stay at home mothers were looked down upon. I felt like I had to do everything in order to justify my existence-keeping house and all that went with that plus I mowed the grass and worked in a huge garden. My kids and husband did very little. They dog me now because they were unprepared to go out into the world. I wish I knew then what I know now.

  8. Thank you for this! I was lacking motivation today but reading your post helped me find it. Having a clean, organized home really does life one’s attitude and also the general atmosphere. I know that my husband is in a much better mood when he comes home and the kitchen is clean, laundry is done, and most toys are put away. Having to step over toys and move things around all day is less than ideal. I’m working to become more minimalist and clear out the excess that we don’t really need. All it does is take up space!

    Today I went through both bathroom medicine cabinets and cleaned out expired products and things we don’t use anymore. It couldn’t have taken more than 10 minutes and made a huge difference.

    I’ve also found it helpful to give away excess clothing that no one was wearing. Does my son really need 12 pairs of long pants and 20 t-shirt’s? No! I’ve focused on keeping the favorites and also buying less to start with! It’s refreshing to open a drawer or closet door and see neat, organized clothes instead of wrinkled chaos crammed inside!

    A home really is beautiful when it is well cared for inside. Open the blinds, put on some music, light a candle, and spend some time cleaning each day; it will become a habit in no time.

  9. This is a blessing. I thank you for your words and thoughts. I was recently told another person had suggested “Spend 10 minutes at one task then move to another task and spend 10 minutes there. Repeat as necessary to accomplish the needed jobs.” If time is limited, you will have progress to be uplifting.

  10. Love this! I do not feel like I can rest when my house is messy. It feels so much more chaotic when messy.

  11. Cat urine is the worst! I am a crazy cat lady and have 3 cats as well as 4 kids under 5. One of my cats started peeing in the house last year and I tried everything to fix him since it’s not an option for us to have an animal destroying our home. I did manage to fix the problem but it was a close call and I got to keep him. ?

    I try to have routines in place to keep my home looking presentable, despite the young kids. It adds a lot of stress to me when things are a disaster. I think I’m rubbing off on my kids because my 4 yr old opened a cabinet this morning and declared, “Mom, I’m going to clean this cabinet because it’s stressful!” ? (Even more funny was the fact that the cabinet is one of the more organized ones since I’m the only one who uses it)

  12. One story that greatly encouraged me years ago – it may have been in No Greater Joy magazine – is someone went home with a coworker to a literal wooden shack, and was highly surprised when invited inside to see that the wife had varnished and polished the inside until the walls and floor gleamed, there was a tablecloth and flowers on the table and it was set with chipped china dishes for dinner. Much of life really is “where there is a will, there is a way.”

  13. Exactly. These are my top three.

    1) Fresh Flowers
    2) No TV
    3) Clean

    If you feel like you don’t want to clean that day…go find some flowers…I guarantee you you can’t put fresh flowers in a vase in a dirty house. Won’t happen. It will bother you too much.

    I will say this though…because I’m the annoying naysayer…

    It’s not healthy to use Cleaning as a way to Avoid Doing Something.

    The best example was a roommate who had a huge test in college and she decided to clean the apartment from top to bottom before Studying. Nothing she cleaned needed to be cleaned, she needed to be studying.

    Also passive aggressive cleaning is pure evil:

    – Vaccuuming when someone has a test to study for
    – Using bleach when your husband tells you over and over again that it bothers him
    – Vaccuuming or using a cleaner at inappropriate times- like before bed when people are trying to sleep
    – Using carpet freshner when you know it bothers people (a girlfriend has horrid story about a crazy roomate who did that…they had to rip out the carpet)
    – Getting angry and losing your temper over a messy house especially if the person who was supposed to clean was physically incapacitated…shut up and help

    And finally the key to happy relationships…If you see it…Don’t stand there and say to someone else ‘What is this?’ You Fix It!
    (People who do that very rarely have successful marriages)

  14. I’ve found that there are a lot of messy people who pretend to be clean who love to stand around and yell at everyone else to clean.

    This is a true story…but I was in the presence of a woman who yelled at her husband for being messy…

    After he had hip surgery.

  15. Great article. Nice to see that I’m not the only one who likes black cats!. Another thing I would add to doing daily chores, is open your windows. We always do. Wide open in the summer and just a trickle in the colder months. It’s amazing the affect fresh air can have on the atmosphere in a home. Definitely more pleasant.

  16. I have a great cat pee story!

    My little baby girl cat started peeing on the couch when she was 4 months old. [Baking soda soaks got the smell out, don’t worry]

    My husband, who never had animals, and was against cats from Day 1 was very upset.

    BUT…I treated her just like a toddler. I woke up early every morning and I woke her up and I said ‘Baby girl, it’s pee pee time! Pee pee time!’

    And together me and the cat would go up the stairs to the litter box and we would pee together. (Not actually together, u get the idea)

    Anyways, I had to do that for a month. I did it once in the morning around 9 am…and then at night around 9-10 pm.

    “Pee pee time! Come on baby, pee pee time!”

    Now she has no problems. Occasionally she will act a bit like a kid wiggling and holding it and I will look at her and go ‘Pee pee…go upstairs and pee pee’ and she’ll run upstairs and pee.

    They just need a schedule, and some hand-holding.

  17. Thank you for this article Lori. I go back and forth between feeling guilty that my house isn’t as tidy as I think it should be and finding some grace for the season I’m in. My youngest is 8mo and my oldest is 8 years. We have 4 children and we homeschool. My husband works 2nd shift so our schedule is always a tedious frustration for me deciding when I can easily accomplish cleaning and chores with the kids. . . I’m still struggling to find a schedule and a rhythm. Some day’s Im simply sleep deprived and feel like I need to survive though ?

  18. Hi Haley!
    I have four and my oldest is seven and my youngest is 10 months. We homeschool and my husband is just about to start a (strange-to-us) new shift and job. I just wanted to tell you that you are not alone struggling schedule, chores, and Sleep. I’m struggling in all those areas too.
    God bless you ?

  19. Setting aside one day of the week for the more major cleaning chores such as cleaning the bathrooms, wiping down cupboards, chairs, etc. and mopping the floors is a good practise. Your preschool child can mop floors with supervision if they need something to do or you are busy with the baby.

    During the colder months of the year (if you live in a place in the world as I do, when you don’t have outdoor work) you could set aside another day of the week to wash walls and ceilings, organize closets, sort children’s clothes, etc.

    Wash dishes, sweep, and pick up toys daily. I might tell my littles we will do something fun or have a treat when the cleaning up is done to motivate them.

    Do the best you can in the stage you are in. Life has different stages and seasons and for some of them it’s easier to get the cleaning done then others. Perhaps a friend or family member could help you sometimes if you aren’t feeling well or recuperating from a birth.

    God knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts.

  20. I love a clean house. I do a little bit every day to keep it that way. I focus my energy on the inside of our home. Clean kitchen, freshly washed laundry, vacuumed floors, dusted surfaces, and clean bathrooms. I would love to get some paint to refresh our walls as well. I don’t do yard work. We are a family of three men and one woman. I do the inside and the men do the outside work. I encourage my sons to keep their rooms neat, but I don’t do it for them because they need to be able to care for themselves. We all cook together, eat together, and tidy up the kitchen together. The only issue is that with everyone at home doing schoolwork or remote work, I have to work around their schedules to get housework done. Before, I was able to get it all done while they were out of the house at work or college.

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