Happy Inside & Out Cleaning
by Drenda Keesee
Fall is in the air!
I can’t wait for the cooler weather, the bright fall colors, and outdoor fun with family and friends, but I have also been thinking a lot about the major undertaking of decluttering and cleaning. If a long to-do list of cleaning has been weighing on your mind, I want to help you get organized and motivated to tackle your house as well as your spirit!
Cleaning and organizing your space is important, but do you spend much more time on house cleanup than on spiritual cleanup?
If your answer is yes, you’re not alone!
What if I told you that you can clean your inner spirit and physical space at the same time?
Here is a little plan I put together for myself to tackle my spring cleaning as well as strengthen my spirit…
1. MAKE A PLAN
Create a calendar and assign due dates for tasks. Focus on one room or closet at a time. Trying to tackle too many rooms at once will be frustrating and make it easier to give up. Enlist the help of your family and assign a task to everyone. Ideally, each person should be responsible for decluttering and cleaning their own belongings.
Spiritual side: Now you have a spring cleaning plan for your family, but how much time do you spend sitting down together and discussing your family’s faith plan? Having regular sit-downs about your family vision and goals is so important! How do we win and achieve at life if we don’t know what we are aiming for? My husband, Gary, and I always sit down before making any major decision in business or any area of our lives. Discussing these things and getting all hands on deck makes it easier to get on the same page and have the win!
2. CLEAR OUT THE CLUTTER
Don’t start to clean until you clear out the clutter. Focus on the most heavily cluttered areas: playrooms, junk drawers, closets, etc.
Did you know that most people only regularly wear 20% of their wardrobe? That means most of your clothes are just taking up space. Every year, I donate a large number of clothing items to the Drenda’s Loft store for our annual women’s conference. Let me tell you, it’s much easier to let go of items when you think of the joy they will bring someone else.
If you are a parent, chances are your children no longer play with many of their toys. A good rule of thumb is if they won’t notice it’s gone, they don’t need it anymore. For older children, donating old toys is a great teaching moment. You can explain how giving toys to children in need will bring a lot of joy into someone’s heart.
When decluttering, organize the process by making signs and piles like: save, toss, and donate.
Bonus tip: Would the prospect of financial gain help your spring cleaning resolve? Don’t forget, you can add a sign that reads, “sell.” You can sell valuable things that you no longer use; it’s a great way to make some extra money during the spring cleaning process.
Spiritual side: Is there anything in your personal life that needs to be decluttered and reorganized? Unhealthy relationships, anger, unforgiveness, shame? Asking God to help you recognize the emotional areas that need work is going to make your relationship with Him grow stronger! Pray the prayer of David from Psalm 139:23, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.”
God will shine His light on the areas of your life, heart, and mind that need to be decluttered and healed.
3. GET TO WORK
Now that you have cleared out the clutter, you can really get busy and do the deep cleaning.
It’s much better to clean one room at a time. Think about things that you usually don’t have the time to do: wiping down furniture, bookshelves, the inside and outside of cabinets, and the inside and outside of your refrigerator and stove. You can also clean your washer by using distilled white vinegar and baking soda to clean and remove any mold or residue. If you have carpet, a good rule of thumb is to get it professionally cleaned every couple of years, more often for high traffic areas.
Don’t forget that spring cleaning isn’t limited to the inside of the house! Consider cleaning the inside AND outside of your windows. You have waited a long time for spring. You will want to appreciate the sunshine coming through the windows, instead of being face-to-face with water spots and dirt.
Spiritual side: Just as you can’t really appreciate the sunshine with dirt and grit standing in the way, you can’t really get to a deeper level of faith with God unless you can see yourself through His eyes. Having an understanding of who you really are, means looking deep inside yourself and breaking free from the strongholds the enemy has been using to hold you back. Do you ever feel like your worth as a person depends on your performance, your accomplishments, or the approval of others? That is a stronghold!
First Peter 2:9 tells us, “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
You cannot be free of these strongholds or the many lies of the enemy until you learn and accept the truth of who you are: God’s beloved child who has an incredible value that DOES NOT depend on your own abilities.
4. TAKE TIME TO CELEBRATE
Knowing when to take a break and celebrate each victory is important. I believe setting any goal, whether big or small and achieving it is preparing you to set even higher goals and achieve them too!
After you tackle a large task like decluttering or deep cleaning, reward yourself. Go out for a nice dinner or buy something nice for the house or yourself. It’s much easier to have more victories when you are pausing to celebrate them!
Spiritual side: The same goes for spiritual victories. When you overcome an obstacle in your spiritual life, it’s important to acknowledge and celebrate the victory! You have a God who loves you, a God who is for you and has given you the victory in any situation. Ecclesiastes 3 tells us there is a time for everything, “a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” So don’t be afraid to embrace the time for celebrating. God celebrates each of our successes, no matter how big or small.
Lifting up our hearts in praise when He helps us overcome a task or difficult season of life is a healthy habit and one that will help you keep a happy heart, no matter your circumstances.
ps…Are you looking for a good church? Be sure and listen on Saturday evening or catch the 3 services on Sunday for Faith Life Church!
Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional, and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.
A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.
Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.
Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage, and family. Tune in for their weekly messages here. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary and Drenda.
Through their own life experiences, the Keesee’s have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.
That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.
She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then the irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.