Dec 18, 2013

A Fresh Start: A Simple Guide to a Cleaner Happier Home Part 2

By Sabeen


A set of simple steps that can be used to maintain a clean home and bring contentment and productivity to your life. In the last part, I used Prophet Nuh’s alayhis salaam story as an analogy for the process. In this section, I will continue discussion some steps to maintain organization and structure to the home.

  • “Why wasn’t this done before?” This was a phrase I commonly heard through the years whenever I would be scrambling to finish something at the last minute. This elusive “before” was some magical period of time when all tasks were completed. Imagine that the clutter is always ready to consume your life so you must at all times be prepared to keep it at bay. It is crucial to have a routine in which the chores, tasks, assignments etc. are distributed throughout the week. Do plan on completing tasks ahead of time and inshaAllah you will. For example, iron the clothes for the next week on Thursday, cook for the weekend on Friday etc. Life does not have to be lived in a constant state of breathless emergency. Be flexible in your routine and change it as necessary till you have fine-tuned one what works for you.
  • “Put it back where you got it from!” was what we were told while we were growing up. Later in life, when I would proudly inform my mom that I had finished cleaning three closets, the garage and the patio, she would respond, “Why did they get messed up in the first place?” It is important to sustain a system of maintenance cleaning that you are comfortable with. Make a list of tasks and assign them on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
  • Enjoy the ride. As the days pass, a sense of flow will overtake your life. The routines that you had to impose upon yourself with great willpower will instead begin to sustain you. The days will have a certain predictability to them and you will not be stressed out and rushing from one incomplete task to another. Thank Allah subhana wa ta'ala for the blessing of time that you have been granted by using it in actions that will bring His pleasure and in the service of His creation. Do not forget you are one of His creations as well.
  • Forgiveness. If you are unable to retain your routine be ready to forgive yourself promptly. Allowing yourself to drown in self-pity is guaranteed to bring back the disorganization and disarray. The one very important pair that you need to keep on your boat are sabr (patience) and shukr (gratitude). The pair that should not be allowed abroad are whining and complaining. Ingratitude will dangerously rock your boat, and you will risk losing all the progress you have made.

And say, 'My Lord, let me land at a blessed landing place, and You are the best to accommodate [us].' "(Quran 23:29)

Please share any ideas or insights that have helped you become more organized and productive in life.

1. Quran
2. Al-Adab Al-Mufrar Al-Bukhari


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