Spring Cleaning for the Heart and Home

Welcome to all of you familiar cyber-friends as well as those of you who have made your way here by way of today’s Proverbs 31 online devotional. If you missed that post, you can hop over and read it here.

swapandhoplogobutton.gif And…..speaking of hopping…..beginning today I am linking up with my friend Lysa TerKeurst, president of Proverbs 31, as we participate in a “Swap and Hop” on organizational ideas. Here is the game plan:

First, hop on over to Lysa’s site, where you will be given complete instructions for participating. The Reader’s Digest condensed version is that Lysa will show us one area of her home that is an organizational challenge. I will attempt to fix it for her below. (FYI–Her payment to this Michigan gal will be in free Chic Fil-A coupons and a Starbucks decaf, skinny, mocha-mint latte that I will consume at this summer’s She Speaks Conference in Charlotte, NC. Did I mention that part to you Lysa? Oops!)

Anyhow, after seeing Lysa’s problem area, you will get the chance to click on the handy-dandy Mr. Linky button and post your own area that needs help, complete with an uploaded picture for all cyber-friends to see! This will be a sistah-bonding time ladies. We ALL (me included!!!!!) have organizational ‘hot spots’ in our home that need attention. If someone has a home that is organized 100% of the time…..well, I get suspicious! Either:

A. They have no kids, no job, no hobbies, no charity work projects and unlimited time

B. They have kids whom they are ignoring

C. They are very rich and hire everything done

D. They are foreign spies living an assumed life, seeking to wow and impress we average American women so we will sit at their feet, drinking in their wisdom and, in the process, inadvertently spill our national security secrets

But I digress.


Now, if you don’t have the means (or are computer-challenged like me and don’t know how) to post a picture, still leave a comment describing for us your area of difficulty. We then will spend the weekend hopping and swapping ideas to help offer solutions to our cyber-sisters in the areas mentioned. In addition, we will choose a few gals to win a copy of my new book The Complete Guide to Getting and Staying Organized . Golly, I’ll even sign them so they will be worth a quarter more at your garage sale someday!


Now for dear Lysa’s recipe disaster: I had the same dilemma at my house about 6 years ago. I was tired of the cluttery mess that held all of the family-favorite recipes as well as the ones I’d clipped from magazines to try out “someday”. So, here was my solution. I purchased a 2-inch three-ring binder and some scrapbooking pages protectors. Some were full-page ones so I could put entire pages from magazines in them. Others were designed to hold photos. I bought some in both the 4 x 6 and 3 x 5 size to house my recipe cards. Then one Friday night, a friend and I worked from after supper til past mid-night while the kids ate pizza, played games and had a sleepover. We sorted, trimmed and ruthlessly weeded out our overflowing boxes, getting rid of recipes we never tried and probably wouldn’t, as well as ones our families really didn’t like. The ones that were yet to be tested and still looked promising, we kept along with those we used regularly. Then we placed them in our brand spankin’ new handy dandy binders by categories: breakfast foods, breads and muffins, soups and salads, main dishes, side dishes, deserts, birthday cake and party treat ideas, holiday foods, misc, etc… This solved our dilemma in a few ways.

  • The recipes were now in logical order and easy to locate.
  • They were protected so splatters wouldn’t ruin them as the binder lay open on the counter and, best of all…
  • No more dumped recipe box disasters!!!

Now, my only dilemma today is as I said, I am so computer challenged that I cannot get the picture I took of it to upload on my computer and my kids, who could assist me, are all still sleeping!! (I’ll try later)

By the way, this weekend, while you are getting revved up to tackle the areas of your homes that need tidying up, give attention to your heart and soul as well. Couldn’t we all use a little spiritual sprucing up too? So, please spend time with the Lord first. Hit your knees and open your Bible before you hit the computer. Pinky-swear sister promise?


Although I love to help women learn to better manage their time and organize their stuff, I know that God is much more concerned with the condition of our hearts than the condition of our homes.

Spring cleaning blessings—the home and heart kind,



  1. I found your site somehow..lol..lurking from one blog to another. Absolutely love your tips!! I have often said to my husband I would love to have a business helping people de-clutter and organize. With 3 young children, I find no other way then staying clutter free and organized. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!! Great site!!

  2. I couldn’t find Mr. Linky on your site. Lysa said to add our name to both sites. I need help. I live in chaos. We were going to have our baby’s room ready but he came very early and we spent alot of time at the hospital. He is finally home after almost 2 months in the NICU. He has to share a room with my clutter.

  3. Hi- My hot spot is my home office that I once shared with my homeschooled daughters who returned to traditional schooling and left much behind to deal with. It is my nest, my sanctuary and now my junk pile. I added the link for my “home office arm pit” pictures on Lisa’s blog post linkie. I would love your book and motivating tips.

    With me the key is motivation! The rest of the house motivates me because people see it. I can shut the office door however and no one is allowed (if they could get in anyway).

    Have a wonderful Sunday!

  4. Karen,

    I hopped over from Lysa’s site. I don’t have a specific area that needs decluttering or organizing. My whole house is in CHAOS! I am surrounded by clutter, and it makes me crazy! Help!

    Blessings and thanks for what you do!

  5. I am so glad that you and Lysa have teamed up to do this swap and hop. I was in desperate need of some motivation. I got so much done this morning and feel more at peace this evening! Thanks!


  6. Hi Karen,
    Thanks for hosting Swap and Hop with Lysa. The topic is so relevant to my stress right now. I have allowed myself to become paralyzed by lack of organization. I have received some great tips and encouragement to my post of my organization problem. I need lots of help to jumpstart my decluttering and organization mode.

  7. Great idea about the recipes. I plan to post some photos over the weekend. I am organizationally challenged. :) But I am working at getting better. I just read a book by the FlyLady, so I have small areas of my home that are slowly coming under control. Sure would love to win your book!

    I look forward to hearing all of your great ideas.

    Pearls (Jodie)

  8. Ohhhh, I was so meant to be an organizational expert. But somehow I fell short of my calling. Thank the Lord for folks like you. I look forward to getting several good ideas from the swap and hop! Thank you!

  9. Hi Karen..
    Great idea for recipes. I have the Longaberger recipe basket and that works out ok. I have so many recipes though. I actually have a binder for recipes that can’t fit into my basket anymore. If you go to my blog and scroll down, you’ll see what I do with cooking magazines.
    My problem area at home is my home office.. ICK..its a disaster. I’ve written about it on my blog. I cannot post pictures either. I thought I had it figured, but my pictures are so large, I don’t know how to make them small enough to post. oh well..
    Thanks for being so generous with your tips and give a way.

  10. Thanks for co-hosting the swap and hop with Lysa. I’m looking forward to seeing the makeovers.

    I enjoy reading your blog and appreciated your devotional today about spring cleaning your heart.

    Have a great weekend!

  11. I found you through Lysa’s blog. I absolutely love the idea for receipes. I have no expertise in the scrapbooking department but, I have a friend that is nothing but scrapbooking and I just know she would love to help me.

    I posted on my blog about my organizational challenged self.

    I just wanted to let you know I really got lost in your blog. In a good way, I looked up and realized that I had been reading for a good 45 minutes. :lol:

    Thanks and can’t wait to see what tips I get from everyone else and off to see if I can help someone else.

  12. Thanks for the reminder to give attention to our heart and soul as well. I think sometimes I have so much to do that I forget that I can’t do it all without the help of the Father.

    I need to do that to my recipes. My binder is falling apart, but I think it’s due to the recipes that I don’t need because I know I’ll never use them.

    Have a Blessed Day!

  13. Thanks for doing this Karen. I can’t wait to see your suggestions next week. I love Lysa’s Swap and Hops.

    My organizational challenge is keeping toys organized. I’m hoping other bloggers will have some tips that work.

    As far as recipes go, I gave up trying to have hard copy recipes. I kept my favorites, but most of the recipes I use now, I find online and save on my laptop. Now my laptop is my cookbook and there’s no more clutter.

    That reminds me, I better back up my hard drive or I’m in trouble. : )

    Have a great weekend.

    : ) Becky

  14. well now, I actually feel a little excited about clearing out and organizing my 28 year old collection of recipes!! Thanks for the great tips…

  15. “Spring cleaning blessings – the home and heart kind”
    I love this! More important than cleaning out any stuff in my home is cleaning out my heart and spending time with God. Working on the stuff can follow only after that. I have posted about my issue with paper clutter and I am looking forward to reading lots of great ideas I can put into practice.

  16. Karen,

    Thanks for addressing getting organized and for the reminder to deal with my heart first – that definitely helps to keep life in perspective. I’ve tried multiple times in various areas to get organized and keeping on top of the maintenance phase is a weak point. Some areas are still quite a challenge especially paper clutter including recipes. At this point it’s almost too daunting a task – but not impossible!

    PS: I appreciate your humor, it’s a tension reliever : )
    PSS: I’m new to the whole blogging thing so I hope this makes it to you.

  17. I love your idea for organizing the recipes! Maybe I can do that someday – even though I am allergic to the kitchen and I hate cooking! I am ALWAYS looking for quick and easy fool proof recipes that I might be able to attempt without having to call the fire department to put out my pot of boiling water that burned up. Pop on over and check out my blog a little later, I haven’t had a chance to post my organizational disaster yet!

  18. Hi! I found your website through Lysa Terkeurst’s blog. I posted my organizational dilemma on my blog. I look forward to browsing your blog. Thanks for the recipe tips!

  19. Karen-your P31 devotional was a gig “OUCH” for me today as it has been a tough week…especially in my role as a mom. Today I am concentrating on cleaning my heart. Thank you for the devotional…I don’t have time to deal with the utter clutter in my life (like the coat rack in the dining room)!

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