We Interrupt this Movie Monday to Bring You this Special Edition of
The Home Blessing Brigade!
Spring Cleaning has begun! You may be like me and are sitting at home after reading all these great Laundry Mom posts and thinking…
Where on earth do I begin?
How do these ladies find the time?
How can I EVER make this FUN?!?
Today I am here to give you some HOPE and some practical ADVICE on how to maximize your cleaning efforts, minimize your guilt, and multiply your hours!
Ever wondered how you are going to EVER…
Deep clean the house?
Clean out that garage?
Weed that front yard landscaping?
Purge your children’s closet?
Paint that family room?
Organize ALL those books?
Well, I sure have, and after 21 years of marriage and eight children, I understand a little about the difference in work that is done by a ten year old, and work done by a MOMMY. Moms just seem to get it done BETTER and FASTER and don’t like to waste time.
Moms also LOVE to VISIT!!
Well, what if I told you there was a way to get to those projects you have been putting off, enjoy a home cooked meal, fellowship with your girlfriends, and have play date for the kids?
THE HOME BLESSING BRIGADE!
The home blessing brigade is a group of moms who join together to do more effectively as a group, projects they want to do in their homes. Think of Molly Maids (minus the expense!), who always send in teams to deep clean homes, or your family on the weekend (minus the grumbling!) when you are all working together on yard work. The beauty of the brigade, is that you can keep it short and sweet, spend some time visiting, enjoy a home cooked meal once a week, and work smarter…not harder to get things done efficiently and effectively!
My goal is to break down the who, what, when, where, why, and how of creating and sustaining a successful home blessing brigade so that it helps you with your cleaning and organizing goals.
WHO? Four Women – Or, in other words, the ones who know HOW to actually work effectively and efficiently. That equates to YOU PLUS THREE of your friends. Five is really too much, and three will work, but there is always an off week in the month.
Four is the perfect number.
Preferably, you are choosing girlfriends you enjoy spending time with, or ones you want to spend time with. If there are childcare needs, then I recommend setting up a rotation system for the kids to stay in a home OTHER than the one you are working on. Hire a sitter for two hours if you need to and share the cost. In our group, we had some older teens who would watch the younger kids for us while we worked. Sometimes we would bring kids that would play outside without interrupting us, but in order for this to work best, leave the kids offsite with a sitter or at home.
WHAT? The HBB provides you with EIGHT quality man hours (or mommy hours) to get things done around the house. This is a group to help you with projects that you have been putting off and need help with. These might be projects you are too intimidated to do on your own because you realize it will take more time than you have to spend. Like deep cleaning the house, painting the living room, or just cleaning out the kitchen cabinets and pantry. It’s very important that you know ahead of time what exactly you want help with and have the supplies ready for your team.
When it is your turn to work in your own home, you are the one who also prepares food for the other three moms. It can be a simple frozen dinner you make ahead of time, a large pot of chili for Frito pies, or an easy crock pot dinner with some bags of salad and bread (just collect their crockpots when they arrive). The meal is a perk for the moms who come to help you out, so enjoy planning something easy and enjoyable. One month, I was determined to put all my photos neatly in several photo storage boxes. They had been bothering me for years all scattered in moving boxes. I purchased a dozen photo boxes I would need ahead of time, and while the chili was brewing on the stove, the home blessing brigade helped me organize and sort through thousands of pictures – the kind that pre-date the electronic picture era! Chatting and laughing together was just another perk to getting that chore done. When I was finished, they all stacked neatly in my master closet.
WHEN? – Choose a time block every week and stick to it. Ours was Wed from 1-3pm. If your kids are in school, you may want to use the morning hours. If possible, chose a time that maximizes energy levels, happy kids, and happy husbands. We never wanted to cut into family time or husband time with our group. If you are a single mom and work full time, this is a great way to connect with other moms on the weekend. The goal is to pick a time everyone will honor and not have to back out of.
Avoid setting your time over lunch, try not to complicate it.
Keeping it simple will keep it successful!
I recommend that you start with a one month cycle goal. When you are finished with your first month, evaluate how it went for everyone and decide as a group if you want to continue for another four weeks. On the months when you have five weeks, either take that week off, or you can take your group to another mom’s house and BLESS her with some housecleaning during that two hours as a ministry time.
WHERE? – Each week you rotate homes, your home is worked on once a month, on the other weeks you are helping out a friend, and bringing a hot meal home to your family.
WHY? – Lots of reasons, #1 is to GET THINGS DONE! Another great benefit is that this type of group builds community. You are able to get 8 hours of quality mommy work hours in only two hours, enjoy time together with friends, laugh and share together, allow the kids some play time, and bring a hot meal home to hubby. It’s a win-win for everyone!
HOW? Set up goals and guidelines for your brigade. Keep a strict schedule, honoring the start and stop time to maximize your efforts, don’t waste time in the driveway chit-chatting, get to work immediately and have fun while you are at it! Nothing ruins a group quicker than one person who comes late and has to leave early, not valuing the other member’s time. You can talk while you work alongside one another, or crank up the music! Figure out a plan for the kids ahead of time. Decide if you want to include dinners for the group, or maybe just a dessert for everyone to take home. Know ahead of time what work you want done and plan ahead.
In our groups we have:
- Folded massive amounts of laundry
- Weeding or planted garden
- Painted a room
- Organize photos
- Clean out garage
- Deep clean home
- Cleaning out a master bedroom closet
- Organizing a kitchen or labeling the pantry
- Raking leaves
- Other yard work
- Purged a child’s closet
- Organized games and toys
The beauty is that YOU decide what’s important when your Home Blessing Brigade arrives!!
A little history…
Years ago when my children were young, I struggled desperately to keep up the house, the laundry, and the meals. In spite of those struggles, my biggest one was that of LONELINESS. As I thought about all the things that I wanted (and needed) to do around the home, and my need for fellowship with other moms, I decided to start a group in order to force me to find fellowship with other moms. I called up three of my friends and we started a cooking co-op. One day a week I was responsible for preparing one large meal that I would divide between four families. After cooking and separating meals out, I traveled to each home, with my kids in tow. On the other three days a week, someone delivered to my home a hot delicious homemade meal. There were SO MANY benefits to this approach to bulk cooking. I was able to teach my kids how to multiply recipes, buy food in bulk, and briefly see my friends at different times during the week. It was a HUGE blessing and brought us all closer together. Not to mention enjoying the great meals every week. The Home Blessing Brigade evolved out of that idea, instead of just cooking one day a week for three other families, we decided to add in the two hour time block where we HELPED each other! What a concept! Spring and Summer months are a terrific time to launch your very own HBB!!
Sometimes it really does take a village…or a few close friends!
Visit us on our facebook page for more ideas that a Home Blessing Brigade can do!