Managing the home is something I have always personally struggled with.... from being a messy child myself; old habits die hard!
But no one wants to live in a messy environment. The home is a place of rest and a place of refuge from the hustle and bustle of the outside world.
For myself, I struggle to do anything when everything at home is in a state of disorganised chaos.... and believe me, chaos is what I find too often for my liking!
But when everything is in its place, everything runs smoother, happier and a lot more productive Alhamdulillah.
So how can we get in control of managing the home when juggling all our other responsibilities and commitments? ....well, I am certainly no expert (my family will testify to that!) but I have picked up some tips and tricks which have certainly helped me a great deal, so I thought I'd share a few things which works for me (when I remember to do them that its!!!)....
Here are my 8 tips (8 is a random number I know....but 8 is what I have!)
- Waajib: Meaning if an act is waajib, then it is obligatory that the Muslim action it. He will be punished if he doesn't carry out the action and rewarded for doing it.
An example of this is the 5 daily prayers.
- Mustahab: Meaning that these acts are recommended. They are something which pleases Allah and will be rewarded for doing them, however he will not be punished if he doesn't.
An example of this are the Sunnah prayers.
- Mubah: Meaning that these acts are neutral - they are actions which neither gain reward or punishment.
An example of this is eating or sleeping.
- Makrooh: Meaning that these acts are disliked. They are actions which do not please Allah, however no punishment has been declared for performing them.
An example of this is standing whilst drinking.
- Haraam: Meaning that these acts are strictly prohibited. If one commits one of these acts then he will receive punishment and if he abstains from them, he is rewarded for obedience to Allah.
An example of this is to lie.
Taking care of the home with an intention to take care of our family and please our husband; in order to please Allah, is rewardable!
To prepare healthy meals that our family will enjoy so that they have enough energy to fulfil their duties to Allah in the way of worship and other responsibilities they may have, again, is rewardable!
So next time you are running around picking up mess off the floor, or cleaning the toilet, or preparing dinner....just change your intention. Its as simple as that. Changing our intention will raise our mundane daily chores into something which is rewarded bi'ithnillah.
Think about picking up that mess so that your husband and family can enjoy a clean home that will help them feel rested and motivated in their own worship.
Think about keeping the toilet clean so that its users will be clean without any fifth rubbing onto their clothes.
Think about feeding your family with the food Allah has provided you with to allow them to grow and carry out their own obligations.
Have a big clear out and throw out the clutter! For me, anything which doesn't actually serve a use, is clutter. ....Ornaments, decorative items etc. Clearing all these things frees up surface space and makes cleaning a much more straightforward process!
Everything needs to have a home! If it doesn't, you are gonna find things thrown everywhere because no one (including you!) will know where to put them!
If everything has its own place, then it makes it easy for everyone to put things away (a little reminding or gentle prodding may be necessary!).
Use storage boxes / baskets to keep things in....these are especially useful for toys and kids things. In my girls room, they have 5 boxes - each box storing a different type of toy.
So for example, maybe dump all the cars in one box, all play shopping stuff in another, etc. It makes for putting away a lot simpler and clearer.
For me, nothing is worse than walking into the kitchen with a day's worth of dishes to do....plus extra from the day before!
Clearing up throughout the day means everything stays clean and organised. I tend to wash up after each meal - breakfast, lunch and dinner. On a really good day then I'll make sure the sink is empty before I go to bed (it a lovely feeling to walk into a clear kitchen the next morning!) but I have to admit more often than not, any thing used after dinner-clear up will usually wait in the sink until breakfast (Gimie a break I am human!)
This really is a no brainer....but a lot of us fail to utilise the little hands we have because we foolishly tell ourselves it will be quicker if we just get it done our self!
Get the kids helping.....no matter their age, they can do something; be it picking up random bits that trail across the floor, picking up everyone's shoes, or doing the laundry. Everyone can pitch in and help.
yes, it may not be done to "standard" ....but it will get done and take a load of your shoulders. And they will improve with age and practice.
I don't mean get a take out here .....but something I have found to work in keeping my kids room tidy is having a great big plastic box..... what does this great big plastic box do I hear you ask? It takes things away!!!! Before bed, Mum or Dad will take the box into their room and do a sweep! Anything that is not in its home (remember...everything needs a home!) is taken into the box and kept until the weekend. At the weekend, the box is given to them so they can empty it all out and put things back in their proper place.
....This helps to keep my stress levels under control because their room is kept tidy without me having to loose my mind screaming "pick up your stuff!" ....if its not put away....its gone!
I started menu planning maybe a year or so ago. It helps hugely in making sure we have enough to eat throughout the week, as well as saving money because you can plan exactly what you need to buy.
It saves time, because you are not having to stand in front of your cupboards scratching your head trying to figure out what you can pull together.
I'd also say plan simple meals when you know you are busy. For example, during the week, I am finding it easier to prepare meals that require little preparation and cooking time because I have a lot to do at home with the kids. So things like homemade potatoes wedges and fish, jacket potatoes, tuna pasta salad, couscous etc......quick, simple and easy...anything that requires less than 10 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to cook!
Then at weekends, I like to prepare something big we can eat over a couple of days like a curry or bolognaise - allowing us to go out with my husband or visit family and not have to worry that we don't have dinner ready when we get back. (left overs are fine in my house Alhamdulillah!!!!)
So there you have it - my top tips! Please share any tips you might have in the comments below, I'd love to hear them!