31 Days to Clean – Day 13

Today’s post was about being overwhelmed. I only feel overwhelmed when the house gets trashed. If I’m behind on dishes with a dirty bathroom and a huge pile of laundry, I start feeling overwhelmed. Thankfully that doesn’t happen very often! I try very hard to keep on top of things so that I don’t have hours of work to do at one time.

The Day 13 Challenge is about imagining the big picture of what I want our home to be. Right now, the only thing I want is cleanliness. I would love to put up pictures, buy a new couch, and decorate somehow. But there is no money in the budget to improve our home. Our apartment is actually more sparse now than it was six months ago. We have no bookshelves and no tv now!

In order to avoid fostering discontentment, I’m going to skip this challenge. If I can keep our apartment clean, that is good enough for now. But I did make an extra effort to remain on top of our dishes today!

31 Days to Clean – Day 12

“So much attention is paid to the aggressive sins,
such as violence and cruelty and greed with all their tragic effects,
that too little attention is paid to the passive sins,
such as apathy and laziness,
which in the long run can have a more devastating effect.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

Today’s thought is about laziness. I will admit that I can be very lazy sometimes and I will often blame it on being tired. However, I believe that by forcing myself to be active, I can overcome the feeling of being tired and instead become productive.

The challenge is this: Every time I find myself being lazy by procrastinating, I will stop and pray that God will give me a spirit of service to Him and to my husband. Then I will immediately do that task that I was putting off until later. If I fail, I will ask for forgiveness and try on. If I succeed, I will thank God for His grace in allowing me to succeed.

I spent some time today in “home maintenance.” There isn’t much deep cleaning that needs to be done. Instead, I worked on the laundry, washed the dishes, and picked up around the house. I’m going to try keeping our home clean instead of letting it become messy and dirty. I never want to be embarrassed by our home when someone shows up unexpectedly.

31 Days to Clean – Day 11

Dannie pointed me to a free personality test. This personality test matches up to the 31 Days to Clean personality assessment. Now I can determine ways to keep me motivated around the house.

My test results pegged me as personality type D. The results were very skewed in this direction.

The “D” Style

You are very results oriented and you like the bottom line. You’re not into routine, and you want the fastest way possible to get your work done. You thrive on challenges, and you are also a great motivator. Let’s use these qualities to get you moving!

Motivation: Challenge

You need to be challenged; so try giving yourself a challenge each day. Maybe it’s one big challenge, or a few small ones. Either way, you will achieve real results if you meet your challenges. If, for example, you want to go to sleep in a clean bedroom each night, challenge yourself to spend 20 minutes a day straighting up your room and making your bed. Challenge yourself to do it during a particular time of the day until it becomes habit (say between 9 and 9:20am every morning). You need to see results or you will soon give up, so developing a habit for you is imperative! Heck, challenge yourself to form a new habit, just one, and give it all you’ve got!

Bingo! I am extremely results oriented and I love challenges. Jeff and I were just discussing how the Julie and Julia project (365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen) is the sort of thing I would tackle. I’m not sure I would enjoy that specific challenge, but I love big goals and challenges that have concrete results.

My second strongest personality type is the “C” style.

The “C” Style

You are a super detailed person, and you love structure and quality. You are a natural organizer, but you can sometimes be critical and perfectionist, which can get in the way of the big picture. You seek facts, and you want to know the most systematic way to get things done.

Motivation: Structure

Make a schedule and get yourself into a routine. You won’t have much trouble with this, but what you may have trouble with is how to do everything “right” and still relax to spend time with your husband or kiddos. You need to have realistic expectations – get what you need done, but don’t expect perfection. Strive for excellence, but land in the softness of grace.

The last couple personality tests I’ve taken have nailed my personality type. Even though I’m an overwhelmingly D personality, C type fits as well. I agree with everything these personality types have suggested – I am a perfectionist, critical, an organizer, and love challenges. Now it’s time to turn this knowledge into practice as far as being a housewife is concerned!

31 Days to Clean – Day 10

One third of the way through the 31 Days to Clean challenge! How time flies…

Today there was no cleaning challenge. Instead, I took a personality test. The link on the original post was broken and I couldn’t find a free DISC exam. I appealed to my friend Google and completed the first free personality test that Google presented me with.

Some of these results are spot on!

Inclined to choose luxurious things, which are gratifying to the senses. Turned off by things which are tacky and tasteless. – True, which is interesting as we are broke, broke, broke and cannot afford anything nice. However, I refuse to compromise and will usually choose to buy nothing rather than buy something of a lower quality.

Feels empty and isolated from others and wishes to overcome this feeling. Believes life has more to offer her than what she was experienced thus far, and doesn’t want to miss out on anything. – True, especially lately. I have an unsettled feeling that I’m not fulfilling God’s entire will for my life but I can’t quite put my finger on the problem.

Quickly becomes an expert in any field she pursues and can sometimes come off as overbearing and nosy. – True/False. I like research and try to learn as much as possible but I’m far from an expert in anything. Unfortunately, I agree that I can come across as overbearing and nosy.

Is bothered when her needs and desires are misunderstood and she feels there is no one to turn to or rely on. Her self-centered attitude can cause her to be easily offended. – True. Very, very true. I am self-centered and I am easily offended. This bothers me as 1 Corinthians 13 says that love is not easily offended. I’m afraid I don’t know how to demonstrate true love because I fail to display characteristics described in the Bible as God-like love.

Seeking to broaden her horizons and believes her hopes and dreams are realistic. Worries she may not be able to do the things she wants and needs to escape to a peaceful, quiet environment in order to restore her confidence. – Also true. I believe my hopes and dreams are realistic but are out of reach right now. My biggest dream is to become a good wife and a good mother. I am able to work on being a good wife but having children is not possible due to financial choices earlier in life.

Takes on too much and is easily overwhelmed, but she wants to be successful despite the pressure she is feeling. Proud but tries to keep her attitude in check. She needs to feel a sense of recognition and security, and not take on so much. – True. When I commit to something, I take on too much responsibility. I am also proud and crave security, both emotional and physical.

Jeff agrees that the personality test pegged me pretty well but thinks that I need to stop focusing on the negatives. He says that I’m too hard on myself and I know he’s right. However, I demand perfection of myself and usually fail to succeed. This is something God and I have many discussions about but I still feel like I have much to learn.

31 Days to Clean – Day 8

Day 8 of the challenge! Today was all about making the bedroom a sanctuary.

Well… I don’t think there’s anything that can be done with our bedroom right now. There’s nowhere to put plants, candles, etc. and I can’t hang any pictures on the walls. I made the bed this morning and made sure everything was picked up and put away.

Instead, I worked on the bathrooms. We have two, one in the hallway and one just off our bedroom. The bathroom off our bedroom is deemed the kitty bathroom. That’s where the catboxes are. Instead, we use the bathroom off the hallway because it has a full tub.

I hate cleaning bathrooms. It’s my least favorite chore. Unfortunately, I procrastinate cleaning either bathroom. I get grossed out by the bathrooms even if I clean them once a week. Instead (confession time!), I only clean it about once a month. The toilet bowl gets cleaned more often than that, but the entire bathroom receives a scrub down about once every 4 weeks. Bad Cassandra!

Because the cleaning challenge spends several days working on the bedroom, I decided to spend several days working on the bathrooms. Sure, I could do them all at once but then I’d have to work in there for several hours. No thanks. Instead, I’ll break it up over a couple days and then everything will be clean. Hopefully then I can get back to cleaning the bathroom once a week! So today I cleaned the mirrors and the countertops in both bathrooms. Tomorrow I’m going to tackle the toilets and the showers. On Thursday I will scrub both floors. Then both bathrooms will be all fresh and clean!

Instead of posting both before and after photos, I just have the Befores. I’ll post Afters on Thursday when everything is clean.

Kitty bathroom:
Yes, the cats are messy. I can sweep and there will be cat litter on the floor within four hours… Oh, and the clothes hanging in the shower are my line drying shirts. The kitty bathroom is the only place in the house with enough room to line dry, as the apartment complex will not allow us to use a clothes line on our patio.

Main bathroom:

Posting pictures on the internet of my dirty bathroom is really embarrassing. Maybe that will motivate me to keep it clean?

31 Days to Clean – Day 7

Today is day 7 of the 31 Days to Clean challenge. I can’t believe I’ve completed 7 days already! Time goes by way too quickly.

The mental aspect of today’s lesson revolved around six tips in leading a self-disciplined life.

1. Commitment – Sometimes I struggle to remain committed. I don’t have too many issues making a commitment; it’s maintaining commitment that is difficult.

2. Set and complete goals – Again, I have little trouble setting goals. I love creating goals and steps to complete those goals. I just have trouble following through.

3. Do what you say you will do – I try but need to try harder. If I don’t think I can complete something, I need to keep my mouth shut about volunteering. Which leads to number 4…

4. Learn to say “no” – Yup. Learn to say no.

5. Practice – Practice doesn’t make perfect, though it certainly helps improve. Moving forward and making progress is more important than reaching perfection, especially if perfection isn’t something that will likely be reached. It’s still important to try!

6. Don’t give up – Never quit!

Today’s cleaning challenge is general bedroom clean up. As evidenced by the pictures below, our bedroom is very sparse and didn’t need much cleaning. I put the clothes away, vacuumed, made the bed, and took the library books into the living room where they belonged.



We live very simply (as in, we don’t have any money and therefore can’t afford nicer furniture). The only things in our bedroom are the futon we sleep on and a flipped over laundry basket that serves as my nightstand. It’s pretty easy to avoid clutter in the bedroom when you have nowhere to put it!

31 Days to Clean – Day 6

Today is a continuation of Friday. My desk is very clean and today I purged my old files. I consolidated some files, threw some old paperwork into the shred pile, and reorganized the way my files are divided. Now I should be able to find what I’m looking for!

There is still the question of how I gain self-discipline to stay on top of my housework. I like these verses:

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do,
do all to the glory of God

(1 Corinthians 10:31).

Whatever you do in word or deed,
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks through Him to God the Father

(Colossians 3:17).

Whoever speaks,
is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God;
whoever serves
is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies;
so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ,
to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen

(1 Peter 4:11).

I want God to be glorified in everything that I do and say.

31 Days to Clean – Day 4

Day 4 of the 31 Days to Clean challenge. Today’s post talked about personality types and how we best clean. This week, listing out my “six most important things” is working very well for me. A strict schedule cramps my style, but telling myself that I will complete a, b, and c from the list by lunch and x, y, and z by dinner is working extremely well. Our house is actually staying pretty clean!

The cleaning assignment for today is the living room. Our living room is usually the cleanest room in the house, probably because we spend almost all of our waking hours here. A long time ago, the clutter drove me crazy and I spent a week long vacation cleaning and reorganizing our living room. We work, play, and relax in our living room and I try to keep it fairly clean.



The extra office chair is our cats’ chair. Of course, they slept there more before we bought the new office chairs. They prefer whichever chair we are sitting in, not one that’s designated the “official cat hair collector.”

We also have a canvas library book bag that we keep next to the coffee table. When we finish a library book, we toss it into the bag and always have books ready to return. Of course, our cats love lying on the bag or rubbing on it and it is also covered in cat hair. Gotta love those cats!

31 Days to Clean – Day 3

Today is day three of the 31 Days to Clean challenge. I’m asked to think of why I want a clean home. My first response is that it’s supposed to be clean! Dirty, messy, cluttered homes are not relaxing or healthy.

I want a clean home so that my husband feels like this is a sanctuary for him. I want him to be happy to be at home, comfortable and relaxed. For me, I want a clean home because the mess drives me crazy. If it’s not too noticeable, I can ignore it. But once the mess grows beyond a certain point, it makes me extremely uncomfortable even in my own home. There’s no peace when our home is messy.

A secondary reason I want a clean home is so that we can invite people over with no notice. When you don’t invite friends over because your house is too messy and would embarrass you, it’s time to clean. When you’re worried about what the maintenance man thinks it, it’s time to clean.

I believe the home is a reflection of the husband. When people come over, they are going to judge my husband based on my cleaning or lack thereof. They will think less of him because I failed to create a clean home for us. I want my husband to be well thought of and comfortable inviting his friends or boss over at any time.

My mission statement – Our home is to be a place where God, family, and friends would be welcome at any time. It is to be a place for my husband and I to relax in God’s company and our own.

31 Days to Clean – Day 2

Moving forward in the 31 Days to Clean series… Today is day 2 and Sarah Mae points out the importance of the “Six Most Important Things List.” I’ve heard the idea before but I’m not sure where. I’ve been implementing the list for the past few days and my productivity has sky-rocketed. The only thing I haven’t tried is to write my list out the night before. I’ve been writing it the morning of.

My six most important things list has some of the same tasks from day to day but most are different. I’ve reminded myself of upcoming bills, budget updates, work assignments, some research I’m currently doing, and various chores. Blogging is on my list today as I didn’t want to forget to write about day 2.

Sarah Mae also talks about scheduling issues. I have a very loose schedule, especially since my husband works from home most of the time. I tend to go to bed when my body says it’s time and I wake up naturally every morning. Immediately after waking, I write my morning pages (will blog about this some other time) and then exercise. Shower after exercise and then breakfast. By this time, it’s usually 9 or so already. The rest of the day doesn’t follow any sort of formal schedule. I complete my work assignment if I have one, work on my six most important things list, and attempt to tame our spare bedroom.

Maybe if my husband starts working out of client offices instead of home I will write out a time schedule for myself. But right now, I vacuum in between his calls. A formal schedule would not work with his current work situation.

My biggest productivity blocker is the internet. I try to limit my browsing time but I use the internet to work. It’s literally impossible for me to work without it. I also use the computer to work on the budget, pay bills, do research for my writing, write, etc. I think the easiest way to conquer my biggest time waster is just to limit the amount of time I spend surfing. I’m allowed to use the computer for personal reasons for a set amount of time, usually 15-30 minutes, and then I move on to something else that’s more productive.

In the spirit of productivity, I tackled the kitchen today and took before and after pictures.



Ahhhhh, much better.