April 27, 2017

Saturday’s with Shandy Showers

6 Weeks to Make Your Home Shine for the Holidays!
Week One by Shandy Showers
Forty-seven. Seventy-nine. Eighty-six. Do those numbers mean anything to you? I’ll give you a hint… Thanksgiving. Christmas Eve. New Year’s Eve. Can you believe it?  Have you done anything yet to prepare for the most wonderful time of the year?
How many of us have had holiday celebrations over the years that have been marred by anxiety because our house wasn’t as clean as we would have liked it to be, or because we waited until the last minute to do everything and exhausted ourselves in the process? I will be the first to raise my hand and say, “ME!” But not this year. Not for me, and not for you if you follow along with us!
Welcome to “6 Weeks to Make Your Home Shine for the Holidays!” Whether you are a domestic diva or don’t know a duster from a dishcloth, this is for you! Every Saturday for the next six weeks, we will meet right here on the blog to learn how to prepare our homes for the upcoming holidays. (And when we’re through, don’t go anywhere, because we will have a new series on decorating for Christmas and making handmade gifts!) You will check here for your weekly assignments, and are welcome to leave comments and/or ask questions. Maybe you’re not sure how to do something or are wondering if there‘s a better way to do it… just ask 🙂 Then we will head on over to our secret Facebook group, where we can post before & after pictures and have some fun with what we’re accomplishing!
In my experience, any successful cleaning spree starts with clutter control! So to kick off the first week, we are kicking out some of that clutter! I just moved to a new state this past weekend, and did some major purging the last week of packing. We took nearly 20 bags to Goodwill, made 4 trips to the city dump, put several items out for bulky waste pick up, and gave our neighbor several pieces of furniture and knick-knacks. Even after all that, I bet I can come up with more to banish from my home, so I’m going to do this with you.
Let’s dive in, ladies! First, take a garbage bag and quickly go through every room in your house. Anything that needs to be thrown away, throw away! Last week’s newspaper, that drawer full of old makeup, junk mail, those shoes that should’ve been retired a year ago, the sweater that’s beyond repair, the bag in your teenager‘s room from last night‘s fast food run… fill up that garbage bag! Now you’re going to take a box or a bag and find 25 more things to either give away or throw away… the pile of sweaters you never wear anymore, the jeans that don’t fit or went out of style in the 80’s, the old toaster you have stashed away as a backup, the old books you’re never going to read again. 25 things. It’s really easy, and your house will start to breathe again.
I’ve done this before, and because I love a good challenge, I found my first 25 items, then found a bunch more! It feels so good! I encourage you to have your kids do this as well. Maybe start small with them and have them put 5 things in the giveaway box. Or maybe 10. Make it a game and see who can fill up their box the fastest! The only rule: don’t overthink anything. If you have to think about it, it doesn’t mean as much to you as maybe you thought it did.
We want to see how much you’re clearing out and cleaning up and congratulate you on a job well done, so be sure to take before & after pictures every week! You’ll have the opportunity to share them each Saturday in our facebook group! A clean home is a happy home, and your home is going to be very happy for the holidays!
Let’s pray:
As we prepare our homes for the holidays, let us remember to do everything enthusiastically, as something done for You, Lord. (Col 3:23-24) May our preparations be done decently and in order (1 Cor 14:40) and let them be an act of service to You and our families, so we are able to welcome the holidays with gladness rather than anxiety, keeping You at the forefront of all our celebrations. Thank you, Father, for these women and for this opportunity to support and encourage each other. Bless our efforts, Lord, and help us make wise decisions so we do not become distracted or discouraged. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Your assignment:
TODAY – Comment below to let us know you’re taking part in this series and let us know the biggest challenge you face in preparing your home for holiday celebrations.
Today & Mon – Throw Away & Give Away Challenge (see above) Remove those items from your home right away.
Tues – Gather/Buy/Make Cleaning Supplies, and you’ll need a 3-ring binder (w/ a clear pocket on the front) and a 3-hole punch. You will be using this binder for this series, as well as future series. We’ll have some free printables for you along the way!
Wed – Front Porch: Shake out welcome mat. Use your outdoor broom to knock down webs, and to sweep the front porch and walk. Wash windows facing the porch, as well as your front door and doorbell. If your siding or trim is dirty, or if you have railing, take a bucket of warm, soapy water, and wash that as well. Clean outside light fixtures. Tidy things up, and put up some fall decorations if you’d like!
Thurs – Entryway/Foyer: clean out & organize the coat closet. Wipe down closet door. Wipe down walls, trim, and baseboards if dirty or dusty. Wipe down light switch(es). Sweep and mop floor. Clean light fixture.
Fri – Catch up on anything you haven’t completed, then enjoy your evening! You’ve earned it!
We’d like to invite you to be part of our online Bible study! Click on the “Sign-Up Here” button at the top of the page to learn more or to register for the Women’s Bible study and be added to our Facebook group!
If you have not yet accepted Jesus as your Lord & Savior and would like someone to pray with you, email  Robin@GirlfriendsCoffeeHour.com and someone from our Prayer Team will contact you soon.


Shandy lives with her husband, Scott, and daughter, Gabriella, in Kirkland, Illinois. She also has an adult daughter who lives in Wisconsin.

She’s a Titus 2/Proverbs 31 “virtuous woman in progress” and has a passion for homemaking and raising a family. She considers it a huge blessing to be a modern-day archetype of the classic housewife. Though her infertility diagnosis has prevented Shandy and Scott from growing their family, they are not putting God on a shelf, and are believing Him for their miracle baby.

Shandy believes in old-fashioned traditions and family values, and loves the music and movies of the 1940’s… especially the musicals. She’s loves Elvis, contemporary Christian and country music. She enjoys genealogy, knitting, crafting, country road trips, cozy fires, horseback riding, and living history museums. Her favorite season is autumn, and she loves everything about Christmas!

In addition to blogging about homemaking for our women’s ministry, Shandy is the Executive Administrative Assistant to the Founders of Girlfriends Coffee Hour. She has also served as a Sunday School and VBS teacher in her church, and has also been in puppet ministry, choir, and handbell choir throughout the years. She loves to be involved and bloom where God plants her!

She is blown away by what an awesome God we serve, and endeavors to be salt and light in this world so that others may come to know and love Jesus.

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  1. Shandy I just love your Saturday Blog! I actually became excited about getting my home together for the holidays! I've always loved the decorating part just couldn't seem to get started on the cleaning/decluttering part. I'm usually running around at the last minute trying to clean, cook, finishing last minute shopping-ugh! Thanks to you and GCH not this year!

    • Shandy Showers says:

      Thanks, Christel! I am so excited about this! Be sure to print off the blog post each Saturday and put them in your 3-ring binder. That way you can refer back to them each year. The days of being stressed out during the holidays are over! Or at least lessened 😉 thanks for joining us <3

  2. I'm going to do this!!!! And I claim the victory before I even begin because He says I can! Let's do this! 😉

  3. I'm in, Shandy!

    • Shandy Showers says:

      Thanks for joining us, Liz! Our homes our going to look fantastic! Be sure to share the blog with family and friends 🙂 Us women shouldn't have to stress about preparing for the holidays. I pray that this helps you, and every woman who joins us!

  4. Megan Smidt says:

    Shandy, this is awesome!!! I'm already right there with you as we have been de-cluttering for some time now, but I'm up for this challenge! WOOHOO!!!! Let's get this party started! 🙂

    • Shandy Showers says:

      I love your enthusiasm Megan!!! Woohoo!!!! Let's do this!!! So glad you're joining us! I can't wait to see everyone's pictures along the way!!!

  5. I am up for this challenge! I am sitting right here in my office and I can see many things that need to put in a trash bag, giveaway bag, and etc. so YES, I am IN for this challenge!! I will be taking before/after pictures and posting them in our FB Group!!! LOVE this!!!!

    • Shandy Showers says:

      YAY , Christi!!!!! I am so excited to see your pictures and am thrilled that you're joining us! I want to see those piles of stuff being banished from our homes!!! We're going to have some beautiful homes by the time Thanksgiving and Christmas roll around! 🙂 woohoooo!!!!

  6. I'm ready for this. I actually have a spot in our garage that has items that need to go to goodwill. Now…it's just getting it there…or calling them. 🙂

    • Shandy Showers says:

      Awesome, Lannette! Thanks for joining us! 🙂 It feels SO good to purge! Can't wait to hear how much stuff you get rid of! Your house will thank you! Be sure to take pictures then get that stuff to Goodwill! Woohoooo!!!

  7. Kim spring says:

    I need to get rid of everything but my kids.

    • Shandy Showers says:

      Hahaha!!!! Yes, decluttering is good. Dekidding is bad. Thanks for joining us, Kim! This is going to be an awesome 6 weeks!

  8. I am in…

  9. oh the joy of purging & decluttering! happy to share it with y'all; thanks, shandy, for encouraging the ladies! right now my biggest challenge in preparing for the holidays is that we are moving (YOU understand about that, hmmm?) but still in a holding pattern. actually was holding off doing fall decorating but decided today 'moving or not, still putting the decorations out!' thanks, too, shandy, for praying and directing our actions towards our Lord! <3

    • Shandy Showers says:

      Oh, Coleen, you know I understand! Moving presents some challenges for sure! Do what you can in your current house, and purge, baby, purge!!! LOL Be sure to print the blog post every Saturday so you can start fresh in your new home as well. I'm praying for you, dear one! <3

  10. I am in the process of moving also Shandy. This will be a good time to get rid of things rather than keeping them packed in storage for who knows gow long. Great idea and I love the holidays.

  11. Harriet Hoyle says:

    Thanks Shandy, I am not a very organized person so this is truly a great help and inspiration to be cleaning with everyone else. And I too love decorating for the holidays.

    • Shandy Showers says:

      Oh Harriet, I'm so glad you'll be joining us! I love to know that this is of help to people 🙂 I can't wait 'til we're all done with the cleaning, and move on to our next series where we get to decorate for Christmas!!! Yay!!!

  12. I soooooo need this Shandy. I am a pack rat to the worst degree and I need to get free of this.

    • Shandy Showers says:

      Karen, apparently so am I hahahaha!!!! I mean, TWENTY bags to Goodwill plus trips to the city drop-off center and curbside pickup for bulky waste. Oh my! I'm excited to hear how much *stuff* everyone got rid of this past week! Thanks for joining us 🙂

  13. I just found this blog. I'm 31 weeks pregnant, and I could use some focused cleaning advice to follow before the holidays … and baby hopefully! This will be my week 1. Today is Wednesday. My husband and I just happened to have a throw away party on Monday. Looks like I just need to catch up on getting some supplies and I'll wash up my porch tonight! Woohoo!

  14. Debi, so glad you're joining us! And congratulations on your precious baby! Let me know if you have questions along the way 🙂

  15. Well here I go! I tend to be a pack rat & feel
    The need to keep everything!! So although the challenge will be hard I know thru Christ all things are possible!!! Thank you Shandy for helping on this journey! Pray for me I'll need it! Lol

    • Hi Candice! Definitely praying for you <3 I'm a former pack rat, so have loads of faith! It IS possible to get organized and to learn to let go of things. They say that something becomes a habit if you do it for 21 days. You have 6 weeks with this, so I am confident you can benefit from this 🙂 The purge at the beginning is something that is extra helpful, and I encourage you to do this on a regular basis until you have a home in which you're not drowning in "stuff." I've been known to make a game out of it, challenging myself to toss or give away a few things every week. It helped me tremendously, and I pray it helps you, too! If you need extra encouragement, please follow me on my blog so we can stay in touch! aprons-n-pearls.blogspot.com

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