Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cleaning House

I rarely have time to clean my house. It's something I've posted about before. It just isn't something that I make a priority so my house is very cluttered. I don't make my kids clean their rooms or even pick up their toys. It's a huge weakness for me- I know that. But I still don't have the oomph to change it. This week, I'm home with Zach all week as daycare is closed. Teagan has chosen to stay home from Little Explorers for the week. So I thought my plans of getting any house cleaning done was pretty much shot. See, when I'm home with the kids, I feel this urge to do do do and go go go. I want to do all the things I can't take them to do because Jeff and I both work all week. I want to pack up the schedule with oodles and oodles of fun that we don't get to have when I'm not on vacation. But that's not realistic and not good for the kids or the family. Monday and Tuesday were packed, busy, fun days. Wednesday was mostly at home but with a very exciting trip to visit Mommy's work and Mommy's gym. Today... I'm cleaning house. I'm going to get my kitchen freed from the chokehold that all the grocery bags have on my floor space. I'm going to pitch and toss and throw away all the stuff that's sitting around, not being used, piled up. I've got the stove and my main counter cleaned up, I'm about to do dishes, and then I'm hitting that piled up corner and main floor space and reclaiming my kitchen. Next up... the main entryway. Right now, the shoes are in disarray, there is stuff piled up the steps from top to bottom. I want the entryway to be functional and welcoming. I always feel better when 3 areas of my house are in good order: the entryway, the kitchen, the main bathroom. The bathroom is clean (always- it is one place that I clean regularly). The kitchen is in progress. The entryway is on the list. Then I hope to tackle the living room... it kind of scares me. So much stuff. I really think there is a lot I could just get rid of and no one would notice. I took a break to write down these thoughts and to find some music to keep the house energized... and now my kids are here having a seriously fun dance party. I want to go dance and skip the dishes... But I will do the responsible thing and dance on my way to the kitchen and maybe shake my booty while unloading the dishwasher. What are the areas of your home that have to be clean in order for you to feel good? Are you a good housekeeper? Is your home perfection, free of dust and germs and clutter? Is your home taken over by stuff that you are just too exhausted at the end of the day to put away? EDITED TO ADD: Accountability! First project is to tackle the pile of clutter in the kitchen. I tend to keep up with the usable side of the kitchen- sink, counter, stove- and the storage side turns into a mountain of clutter. It's really bad right now because the part you can't see in this pic is the mountain of paper and plastic grocery bags. Ugh.

AFTER! Still need to take out the trash and am hoping I can find someone to give my massive collection of paper grocery bags to (checking into the local food pantry)... but I think it's time to move on to the entryway!! Here's the front entry way before: And almost after. I have to figure out the shoe situation and I have those couple things on the steps to carry back to the bedroom. But everything is vaccuumed, too. Including the icky spider that almost stopped the project altogether.

And while I was vaccuuming the front steps, I decided to go ahead and do the hallway edging which led to cleaning up the hallway. I was on a roll so I didn't stop for a pic but I did this lovely rendering of what it might have looked like before: And after: So my goals are almost completely accomplished for today! Will get started on the finishing touches (putting away stuff that was set near the correct location). Might even get started on the living room... but that will be easier to do when kids are in bed. Photobucket

34 comments:

Garret of Jim and Garret said...

I have to have organization. My parents are like that too. Every night the TV remote when to it's place, shoes always put away, and pantry cans lined up and organized like a supermarket.

Taryn said...

Overall, our house is fairly tidy - I truly hate clutter. Can't stand it. I've had to let go of some of that because, as you know, kids' toys have a way of migrating all over the place! And I don't make them pick up everything every night, because I work too and feel the same guilt/urge/whatever to spend the evenings with them doing Fun stuff instead of cleaning up. But usually one of us goes around after bedtime and herds the toys back into the playroom.

Also, one of the many benefits of having someone come in and clean your house is that it forces you to remove the clutter in order for them to do a proper job! Sadly, the one area of the house that I really *need* to keep tidy for my own sanity is the one that tends to collect the most stuff - my office. That's because it's gated off from the kids, so anything we need to keep out of their reach tends to end up in here :S

Lynn said...

First of all - big difference between messy and dirty. We all have messy houses - me included at times. But there's no excuse for dirty. I grew up in a dirty house - my mother preferred to live like a pig and we learned by example. However, I grew into the complete polar opposite of what she was. I'm very OCD when it comes to the condition of my house. I have 2 big dogs who shed which force me to vacuum every day. I have 4 bathrooms and live with 2 men which force me to clean them twice a week. My main living area is the kitchen/family room so I can't sit on the couch or watch TV with a dirty kitchen behind me. I can't stand footprints or dogprints on the floor. I hate clutter so I'm forever putting away the things that the other 2 housemates leave lying around. I can't stand being disorganized - and when I go to work with my house in disarray that's how I feel. Every night it's about an hour of housework by the time dishes are done, vacuuming is done and floors are washed. On the weekend it's about 3 hours Saturday morning because that's "dusting day" and I have the dustiest house on my street - I'm convinced of it. I've gone to some houses where I refuse to go back. If I can't sit on a toilet and worry about it being clean I just can't be there (my sister in law's place comes to mind). But then I've been to places that are immaculate - moreso than mind. I'd like to find a happy medium for me and not mind the "mess" so much. But my fear is that if I let the "mess" go on too long, it's going to turn into "dirt" and I just can't live that way again. And, I truly believe, healthy home, healthy body, healthy kids, healthy life.

You've got it right Liz....keep your house clean (as in not dirty), focus on your kids while you can and pick away at the mess. And good luck with tackling your kitchen!

Carol said...

Far from perfection. It's too messy with kid stuff to be perfection. It isn't gross, but I admit that I don't vacuum as often as I should. The main bath gets cleaned about once a week. The kitchen HAS to be fairly clean before I go to bed. I grew up in a home where the kitchen was cluttered, dirty dishes were piled on every available surface and only washed when there were no more clean ones. I can't live like that. The downstairs is vacuumed about once a week, sometimes twice. The upstairs is only vacuumed about once every 2-3 weeks....bad I admit. Living areas are downstairs, bedrooms are upstairs....we spend the most time in the main living areas, so those get way more attention than bedrooms. No, I never make my kids pick up their rooms. There aren't toys in them really. I do make my son help with picking up the living areas though (baby is too little).

Eternal Lizdom said...

Editing to add info about my plans for today...

Momza said...

There's a saying:
"Cleaning the house while the kids are still growing is like
shoveling the sidewalk while it's still snowing."
It's true, maintaining a house when your children are young is constant work. But!!!--This Momza of 7 has to have order to be a happy momma. I hate looking for things because they weren't put away right, or digging thru drawers for clothes, or stepping over clutter! I need order to function.
My thought is if the kids can't put away their clothes/toys with ease, then they have too many to care for, and we thin things out. Same goes for me--when there's not enough room in the house to put things away, I know it's time to go thru closets, drawers, etc. and make some room.
As for daily cleaning, I can't go to bed with dishes in the sink, trash in the kitchen, and a cluttered floor because I hate waking up and feeling like I'm already "behind"...so the house is picked up before bed.
You hang in there!

blueviolet said...

When I walk in the house, I don't want to see any clutter. That and the kitchen. The upstairs...it can wait. :)

Good luck!

Flartus said...

I like Momza's quote!

Our biggest messes are piles of paper in the office, and piles of dirty dishes in the kitchen. Can you believe it?

I tend to blame a lot of our clutter on Miss Chef. She's horrible about leaving things out after she's finished with them, plus she's a collector. Doesn't want to throw anything out. I know what you mean about wanting to just toss stuff, 'cause you're pretty sure noboby'll notice.

I do have to acknowledge that when she does get around to picking up, she does a great job of it. Just wish she could develop some more routine pick-up habits, and get rid of stuff so storage spaces aren't so cramped and unworkable.

Lisa said...

With 5 kids and a job my house is never as clean as I want it to be. We have a new rule that helps tremendously that I thought I would pass along. Before bed everyone (including adults) picks up as many things as they are are old. We changed the rule a little bit and if you are 40 years old you can do 40 dishes or fold 40 pieces of laundry too. Doesn't matter what it is as long as everyone does their job every night. It only takes a few minutes and it has cut the clutter by 2/3 or more!

Flartus said...

lol, Freudian slip? "noboDy"!

Huckdoll said...

Good for you, Liz! Cleaning house is one of my least favorite things to do, but with an end feeling of peace and calm - so it's worth it!

In my case, I *need* for the kitchen counter - my natural clutter zone - to be free and clear. Laundry *must* be done always - getting to the no underwear/socks phase is not an option. Those are the two things I'm a little obsessive about.

I think I'm a good housekeeper - the affects of a cluttered house ripple throughout the entire family so I keep up on it by dedicating an hour every morning to various housework.

That said, it was most definitely NOT this way when I was working full-time or even part time. Being home with the kids allows me time to have both a clean house AND full days out doing stuff with them.

Eternal Lizdom said...

Lisa- I love that idea!!! Might need to try really hard to implement that one.

New after pic added!! Moving on to the entryway once I get kids down for naps/quiet time. While working on the kitchen, I cooked beets (more on that tomorrow), got the kids lunch, broke up a fight or 2, and had a few dance breaks. :)

C. Beth said...

That kitchen looks great!!

I feel better if my kitchen countertops and seldom-used formal dining room table are decluttered.

the Queen of Cloth said...

Good for you, Liz! I am not a lover of cleaning the house, and it's okay by me if it's cluttered & dusty most of the time.... but it's nice to have it straightened up too b/c I find that my head is about as cluttered as my house... I think they feed off of each other. If you are interested, flylady has some great tips for gaining control over the clutter. As for me and mine - well, we *live* here, and it's never going to be immaculate. Plus with having a kid on the autism spectrum - well, he has a certain expectation of how & where his things need to be, and rarely does his expectation jive with a clean house! LOL! Keep up the good work!

Katina said...

De ol' house cleaning!!! Ahh yes. Not one of my favs but ooooo soooo necessary! Good for you getting things done today!

Eternal Lizdom said...

Alright- new updates!!

Leticia said...

You're a woman after my organizational heart today, Liz! LOVE the pics! As far as the shoes go...I suggest 2 of those shoe cubbyholes stacked on top of each other. We placed 2 of them in "mud room" area and while mine are side by side, they could easily be stacked. You might even screw them together to keep them from sliding one atop the other. I know it's not the pretty solution, but it is functional.

Eternal Lizdom said...

That is EXACTLY what I was thinking of, Lety! I was going to measure it and then head to Target to find the same cubby sorter or one slightly smaller that would fit on top or one bigger to go underneath.

Leticia said...

GMTA!

Seth M. Ward said...

wow you really knocked it out today. If it's not to late, I'd recommend donating anything you plan on giving or throwing away to the Wheeler Mission. I know it's a bit of a drive to take it DT but it is a great org. I personally like giving there instead of Goodwill. I know Goodwill does alot of good, but I'd rather see the homeless get first dibs on it for free instead of having to spend money at Goodwill. Granted it's not alot of money that they charge for stuff there, but that's just my personal preference. Keep on keeping on!

Mellodee said...

Clutter is the bane of modern existence!! I have a little phrase that helps some: "Don't put it down, put it away!" If you can get everybody to try that one simple thing, it helps enormously!!

And when there isn't much clutter.....you aren't embarrassed when you hire the cleaning service!! (LOL!!)

Joanie M said...

Dani is in the midst of doing exactly that right now. She just went through a laundry basket full of junk form high school and tossed most of it. Now she's working on stuff she brought home from college.

Some weeks ago, I cleaned out the spare bedroom, moved a desk into Tim's room, moved the twin bed out and into the spare room. Within 3 days of Dani's arrival home for the summer, she tossed a bunch of stuff in there. Now her friend is arriving for a 2 week visit from Oregon with her 1 year old and Dani is getting rid of the extra stuff so we can get the porta-crib in there.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Nancy C said...

Doesn't that feel good. I try to do a ten minute sweep twice a day. The clutter STILL piles up.

Amy said...

I like Lisa's suggestion. Pick up as many things as you are old.

I have a fairly high tolerance for clutter, but I'm feeling pretty weighed down by it right now. Maybe I'll pick one or two spots to tackle this weekend. Thanks for the inspiration.

mimbles said...

I've been trying to muster the get up and go to do something about the similarly chaotic state of my house all week. Maybe if I posted pics on my blog too that'd do the trick.

(Having visitors coming tomorrow night will probably get me moving too!)

Beth Zimmerman said...

You're doing a GREAT job, Liz! I always crank the music up when I'm trying to clean and organize too!

Mrs4444 said...

Liz, it's so beautiful and relaxing in here-very nice.

Our house is typically very cluttery, too. We've always been that way. Still, a nice, clean area de-stresses me so much. For example, we are freaking out over our $4000 furnace bill, but I decided to clean the DISASTEROUS basement. It is now almost done, and my husband feels like a huge weight is off of HIS shoulders. Yes, the kitchen is a disaster, but that's okay; we live here, for crying out loud! :)

Thank you so much for linking this up.

Jennifer Eoff said...

Wow! What a busy day! Congrats on your success!

I am not even close to be a perfect housekeeper although I wish I was. I have a 19 month old & another on the way so they are my priority. I try to keep as little stuff as possible to limit the clutter but kids have so much stuff & my living room usually looks like Toys R Us on the night after a BIG sale. I have to have my kitchen clean though... counters cleared & the sink empty everyday. As long as I accomplish that then I'm OK.

Sharon Cohen said...

What a delightful post! I'm "stealing" a line and using it for a Facebook post unless you plan to sue me for it? "I want to go dance and skip the dishes..." Loved it!

I'm here from Saturday Sampling and I am so glad that I came. I'm a new follower and cannot wait to see what comes next.

BTW - Indianapolis? I can't even think that word without choking back tears. I miss my Indiana home more and more as time goes by.

Jamie said...

New follower stopping in to browse and say hello!

littlebishopchronicles.blogsot.com

Melisa with one S said...

Was that a dead body in the hallway? hahaha

I saw this in my reader but only with the first set of photos. Nice job!

I am in desperate need of going through all of my cabinets and closets and throwing away (or donating) stuff, because our living areas have become too cluttered for my taste...but I have no time to do it. It's giving me a little anxiety, I admit...

Aging Mommy said...

Visiting from SS. I absolutely hate clutter - I wrote this week in fact about having a collector/hoarder for a husband and now a daughter who is like that when I am all about simplicity and clutter free zones. I actually love having a good clear out and find it very therapeutic.

Well done to you for tacking so many major projects in one day. As for your overall attitude, I think prioritizing fun times with your kids when you have free time is so very important. All too soon they will be grown and heading out the door for the last time and we will all have plenty of time to clean house then :-)

qandlequeen said...

I have truly struggled with clutter. It's taken a while to figure a lot of it out, but the biggest hurdle was getting past what I thought of where stuff should go. It sat and sat and sat until I could put it away. I started to take a long hard look at where things were landing and why.

So now my purse isn't whisked away to a closet, but is permanently found sitting ON the desk by the front door. My shoes get dumped in a basket at the foot of my bed. I gave up trying to keep them in cute little boxes or lined up at the bottom of my closet and I got over the scuffs caused by residing in a basket. Putting a basket there resolved the stray shoes. I also put laundry baskets in everyone's room instead of proper hampers - somehow they're easier to hit?

I moved a lot of my infrequently used kitchen stuff to other areas in the house since I've yet to move into a house with ample kitchen storage. My good serving pieces that I use for Thanksgiving and potlucks are in the basement. In one house I moved the refrigerator into the dining room. WHAT? It worked! And it gave me more room for free-standing shelves.

Bottom line, quit fighting your clutter. If something is always landing at the front door, then find a reasonable way to make that the new home of the thing.

And you know what? Nobody ever said on their deathbed how they wished they spent less time with their kids so they could keep a clean house. You've got your priorities exactly where they should be.

Kirby3131 said...

I don't have children so that's not an excuse that I can use lol My house looks like someone took a pile of paper and tossed it in the air, but it landed on every flat surface available. I also tend to have large empty boxes in my living room. If I get them all out, a new shipment arrives!

Your place is looking great. I'm so proud of you! I can't take a picture of my cluttered place. I just can't.

I've been working on my place today as a matter of fact. My kitchen and bathroom are my clean spaces...all the time, no exception. My bedroom is the neatest place in the house. Nothing comes into that room that isn't sleeping related. I can go to bed and wake up without being confronted with clutter. It's a sanity thing.

Kristin - The Goat