During the 18th and 19th centuries, missionaries preached a “doctrine of cleanliness.” Why? The unhygienic conditions in Europe and the United States were the source of all sorts of illness. At the time, it was common for people acting as a witness in court to kiss the Bible (same Bible for all witnesses), and to use a common cup for drinking at schools and at railway stations. Then when Louis Pasteur and others demonstrated the connection between illness and bacteria, it only added to the incentive for better public health schemes.
Does a clean home make a difference? Accumulated garbage can contribute to an increase in the population of rats, cockroaches, and other pests that cause illness. By keeping one’s home clean and neat we can help ourselves and family stay healthy.
The Right Mental Attitude
Some think that a dirty house or neighborhood is synonymous with poverty. This isn’t necessarily so. My grandmother, who lived through the Depression, had two sayings: Soap is cheap and Just because you’re poor doesn’t mean you have to be dirty! It’s more a mental attitude. It translates putting that proper attitude into action. And for the most part, it’s the attitude of the entire family. Wealthy families as well as poor can choose to be either clean or dirty. So it’s good to give ourselves a check-up and see what we can do in contributing to the cleanliness of our home and our neighborhoods.
Keeping a Balanced View
People can go to extremes. On the one hand, being fanatic about cleaning can rob you of any joy and consume precious time. On the other hand, dirty and unkempt homes can fester illness and may prove to be costly in repairs. Between the two is a balanced, practical and sensible approach in keeping the home clean and presentable.
Keep it simple If you are a collector, you know how much time it takes to clean. Cluttered rooms are difficult to clean, it can become overwhelming and you give up. Modest, uncluttered homes take less time to clean. Even the Bible recommends a simple life-style: “Having food and clothing, we will be content with these things.” – 1 Timothy 6:8
Keep it tidy A clean home is the responsibility of everyone living there. Untidy homes usually start with untidy rooms. How many mothers have heard themselves repeating THEIR mothers, “pick your clothes up off the floor!” More seriously, tools and toys left out and about are potentially dangerous. Many accidents in the home are due to untidy habits.
There are those who have trained their children so that when they leave for school in the morning, their beds are made, their dirty clothing is in the proper place and their personal belongings in order. It isn’t fair to have it all fall onto one person. Besides, if a child is never trained, what sort of adult will they become? A useful rule is “A place for everything and everything in it’s place.” Make up a program for maintaining the home. Whether you do it as a family or you hire someone to help you, it’s necessary to have a well defined program. Some families assign chores depending on the age of the child, others will have a list made up. The following link will take you to a rather extensive list at the end of the article, but you can modify it to fit your family and home. A Practical Home Cleaning Program