Well, apparently I need to do a little more of that myself because I thought for sure I wrote on here already about lightening your load and for the life of me I can't find that post. Basically, what I was suggesting is that you work through each room of your house (this will take time!) and go through all of your stuff! Get rid of/sell/give away anything you do not need any more. I have been doing this because it will give me more space in my house, it will mean less for me to clean or put away, and there is a sense of peace that comes from not having clutter everywhere. The desire to continue working on this (because I'm not there yet!) led me to read the book from clutter to clarity by Nancy Twigg. (mentioned this in previous post). This is what the back of her book says, "Your life doesn't have to be hopelessly complex--simplicity is within your grasp. The secret to clarity--spiritual, emotional, physical, and financial--is about more than cleaning out closets, drawers,and boxes of receipts." Hopefully that will let you know if it's a book you are interested in reading.
The other thing I've been doing lately is trying to make a Mother's Manual. :) I am a SAHM. It's the best job I've ever had and I want to be looking for ways to improve what I do in and around my home. The way I see it, if I had a full time job outside of the home I would most likely have a handbook or a manual that would help me run my job more smoothly. I'm hoping that by doing my own Mother's Manual it will help me get more accomplished around here and not let things slip through the crack. I only get one life to be "perfecting" this mothering thing. Thankfully the Lord's mercies are new each morning and if I fail one day He lets me try again the next. He so graciously sustains me for this high calling and is constantly bring resources or people into my life to help me as I seek to raise our children to "love the Lord their God (Lord-willing!) with all their heart, soul and mind and to love their neighbor as themself." That second part is currently very hard for us to do right now! God has allowed a trial into our life and I'm praying for the grace to get through it and the wisdom to deal with it appropriately.
Anyways, I first saw the idea to do a Mother's Journal on Passionate Homemaking. She gives some links that lets you print (the ones I did were free) different pages to put in your Mother's Manual (or Mother's Journal--whatever you prefer to call it). It's a work in progress, but I try to work on it a little bit at a time. I bought some tabs for my 3-ring binder. So far these are the tabs I have: Goals, Weekly Plan, Schedule, Menu Plans (includes my list of most frequently purchased items, their current price and which store carries it the cheapest), Homeschool, (I have my own Homeschool binder, but this section is for me to jot down ideas, file ideas, or write down questions I have), Hospitality (my running list of who I want to invite over, ideas for seasonal themes, list of easy meals to do for entertaining), Holidays (traditions, Christmas card list, favorite holiday meals, etc. fyi: for those of you who want to get super organized for the holidays Lindsay also references a Holiday Planner to detail what you should do between October and Christmas for less stress around the holidays. I would put a link to this, but can't get her blog to work at the moment), Blog Ideas, Household Inventory (freezer--I can't wait to get this done. It's easy to forget what's in the deep freeze!, pantry, my health/beauty items that I stock up on when they are free or cheap, and my toiletry items), Finances, Books I want to read, Household Maintenance, Routines for kids (that way if I'm sick, having a baby or out of town and someone has to take over it's already typed and ready to go), Home Remedies (natural remedies for illness and homemade cleaning products), Emergencies (contacts, CPR info.). I'm sure I'll think of more things to add to this as I go, but that's where I'm starting for now. I know it will take me a while to get this all accomplished in one binder, but I'll be working on it! I'm sorry I can't get the link on Lindsay's page for free print outs. Maybe her blog will be up and running later.
Another resource you can check out is http://www.inspiredtoaction.com/ where Kat has a whole theme entitled maximize your mornings. I'm working on getting up a little earlier each day but have had a bit of a set back due to lack of peaceful sleep!!! (again, insert neighbor issue in addition to the regular needs of babies or a child with bad dreams, or whatever!)
Regardless, make this a matter of prayer. I certainly need God's help to make my home organized, orderly and peaceful. I'm trusting that He will help me as I make strides to get up earlier to spend time in His Word and get started on the needs for the day.
O.k. I must go! I have work to do! :)