From Chaos to Calm: Day Forty-Eight
The Front Porch
Scripture Memory: “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2
Today, we are moving on to the front porch, back porch, entry ways, and foyer/ mudrooms of your home. Take a quick walk around your home outside, and take note of unsightly debris, overgrown bushes, peeling paint, dirt, and clutter that may be making the entries to your home less than welcoming.
At my house, most people come to my backdoor. It is important to me that my back porch look as pleasing as the front porch. However, even if it was only my family that ever saw the back door, I would want it to welcome them in the same way that I welcome guests at the front door.
Planting seasonal flowers around the porches of your home is a quick and easy way to bring life, love, and color to your home. Some flowers are especially pleasing to look at or smell. Pansies, petunias, impatience, periwinkle, and mums are easily available at most garden centers. If you have a knack for gardening you might want to try your hand at other flowers such as stock, hollyhocks, delphiniums, and peonies. I personally love bulbs and perennials that return year after year with little maintenance. I can then choose a few flowers to add color in smaller beds near the doorways so that my yard looks pleasing year round.
Spring time is a good time to re-evaluate your garden and I encourage you to pull out the self-discipline if gardening is not your thing and force yourself to get outside and plant something pretty! You might want to mark your calendars now and plan for some gardening!
For now, I want you to do what you are able to clear away the clutter and make your home presentable. Mow the grass. Purchase some flowers. Paint the door an beautiful color you love. Hang a wreath or other decoration on each door. Plant geraniums in pots on the porch or even hang up some window boxes. Purchase new outdoor light fixtures. Anything you can do to make your home inviting for your family and guests is your assignment for this week. Then, all you will need to do is maintain the appearance.
After your walk around the house, walk back into your home and take a deep breath. Does your house smell really good? Stale? Musty? Too much like Rover?
The way your home smells makes a huge impression on people when they come into your home. You could be a very clean person, but if your carpet smells like doggie urine from way back when you were house-training your family pet, you really should do something about the smell!
If the weather is good, open all the windows and air out your home. Purchase candles that smell wonderful and use them! Or plug in some handy air fresheners that make the room smell good, but don’t forget to periodically change them when they run out! You might want to try a big bottle of Frebreeze and use it on your curtains, linens, and upholstery. If you have pet odors, invest in a good cleaner for cleaning up accidents.
Next, I want you to tackle the inside of your entries. The foyer, if you are blessed to have one, should be clutter free and simply decorated. In my foyer, I have curved stairwell, and below that is a book case with a picture hanging above it. We also have a chair so that guests can take a seat if needed, or we can use it to sit on when waiting to go out the door. Actually, my own family never goes out the front door, but the chair looks nice!
If you have children who walk in the door and immediately dump all their shoes, schoolwork, hats, gloves, etc. by the front door, you will need to implement some new rules.
In our home, we have a mudroom with a nice bench. With five kids and often many guests, the shoes can really pile up in the mudroom since we have a no shoes on the carpet policy. Teach your children to take off their shoes neatly. If you are able, purchase pretty baskets or bins for each of your children and label them with their names so that when they come in the door, their possessions can go directly into the bin.
Determine any other problems, like mail piling up and find a solution. Visit organizational websites or look through magazine to get ideas for storage in your entry ways. You might want to hang a cupboard on the wall or install hooks labeled with each child’s names, or purchase a bench that has built in storage solutions.
Do what you can over the next few days to get these areas of your home organized. Enlist the help of your family. Explain to them what you are trying to accomplish and why it is important to you that they help keep their personal belongings picked up and put away.
Hopefully, this will be one of the easier tasks. Over the next few weeks we will really be digging into some of the harder tasks of bringing calm to your home. If you get stuck on a particular task, if something takes you longer, don’t try to move on to the next task until you have completed it. And don’t give up! Do what you can to set aside several afternoons, or a day (or days) to get your home organized. I promise, when we are done you will rejoice!
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