Tag Archives: housekeeping

Chaos

At the moment, my head and heart actually feel quite peaceful.  My kids are all in their room playing nicely together and they had a big breakfast which means they won’t be begging for lunch for another hour or two.  Tomorrow afternoon, Mike and I are dropping the kids off at his parents, checking into a hotel and having nearly twenty-four hours alone!  So I’m feeling pretty good.  But I know if I turn around, my stomach will flip.  My house is a DISASTER!  And it’s an uphill battle – just last weekend, we actually had it looking pretty good.  The toys were cleaned up and the kids room was spotless on Friday, I vacuumed the living room and dining area thoroughly a few days after that.  Mike had picked up all the garbage, recycling and dirty clothes and put them where they belonged.  And now, you’d never know any of that had been done.  I hardly know where to start!!  I felt like cleaning yesterday but I only made it as far as doing dishes and folding laundry.  My desk needs to be cleared off and the floors desperately need sweeping and mopping.  Most of all, I need organization.  And space.  The organizing will take work, but the space is all used up.  The best thing I can do is to look around and try to figure out what can be moved, what I can get rid of, what I can pack away in the shed. 

Things I can pack away:

English Corner stuff.  We gave it up when no one came forward to help but we were first given all the materials and they are all sitting by my front door still, taking up precious space.  It will either go in the shed or go to the church to be stored.

Kids clothes.  I have one bin of Jenny’s too-small clothing and one or two of Erik’s that have no business being in the house.  Out they (should) go.

Unused household items.  Like my waffle maker.  The one that was last used by my father when he was here visiting in 2005.  The one I had never used before.  Also the rice cooker (I cook my rice on the stove and it works just fine!), mini food processor and probably a dozen other small things that I imagine must be packed in the back corners of my cupboards.  I know they are in there, but I have no idea what they might be because I haven’t seen them since we moved in four years ago.

Unused books that I’m not quite willing to part with.  This one is iffy.  I don’t really want boxes of books in my shed.  But my bookcase is totally full and I really want to clear the books out that are in the open window of the dividing wall between the living room and kitchen.  Some can certainly be given away and some even thrown away – can you say 2007 Sears catalogue?  But some I know I will probably have to pack up and save.

Things that can be given away, thrown away or recycled:

The growing pile of junk in my bedroom that is destined for the thrift store.  The one I started in June.

The masses of recycling all over the house.  This part is hard and is worth explaining.  The recycling depot here is in a not so nice part of town.  During the day, they are open to take things inside and recycle.  This requires all sorts of sorting – separating different kinds of paper, cardboard, plastic and tin.  If you wait until that part is closed – around six o’clock – you can use the outside bins which do not require so much sorting.  The other downside of having to go inside is that I nearly always have my children with me during the day.  I will not leave them in the vehicle while I stand inside sorting things.  It’s illegal.  And I don’t feel like having my children taken from me because I was sorting recyclables.  So, the answer is to go at night by myself.   The trouble with that is that now it’s dark at six o’clock.  The last time I dropped things off at night during the winter I was totally creeped out the whole time I was there.  So, there lies the reason that I have so much recycling lying around.  We’re talking two full small blue bins, two full diaper boxes of paper and cardboard, three full garbage bags of plastics and tin and one large blue bin full of the same.  It’s pretty bad.

Things that can be moved:

The nightstand sitting in the living room.  It should probably go into our bedroom, even though there is no room for it by the bed.  I don’t mind our bedroom being crowded as we mostly just sleep there and don’t generally invite our friends over to hang out there.  However, I greatly mind our living room being stuffed full of furniture. 

The masses of paperwork, books, craft supplies and goodness knows what else on the table by the front door, the dining room table, the kitchen counter and my desk.  It might not  all be destined for the garbage, but it does need to find a better home.

So, that’s about it.  I’m quite sure there’s more, but my mind is cluttered now and I can’t think of anything else.  There goes the peaceful feeling.

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Filed under Home Sweet Home, The H Word

The slacker returns

My apologies for my lengthy absence.  At least I think it was lengthy.  I was thinking about the blog recently and realizing that I’ve gotten pretty far away from my original purpose.  I had a plan with this one – to give other bad housekeepers the comfort that comes in knowing that you are not alone.  Now if I had miraculously changed and become the perfect little housewife, it would make sense that things would change, but things are more or less as they were when I started: messy.  I have about a dozen different areas in my house that need a LOT of work right now and about an ounce of motivation to work on them.  I am much more interested in reading, crafting or just lying around being lazy.  And pregnancy doesn’t help this lack of motivation.

Anyway, I don’t have time right now for a long post as I have to pack up a baby gift, clear all the snow off my van, have sandwiches ready for Mike and drive the gift to the church when he comes home for lunch.  I am going to a partylite party tonight so I won’t be able to make it to the baby shower happening at the church.  I don’t plan to buy a single thing at the party, but the hostess is a good friend and I told her I’d be a body for her so she has enough people.  

If I have a bit more time in the afternoon, I may write a bit more about the house then, but otherwise, it will probably be later in the week.

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Filed under Blogging, Home Sweet Home, The H Word

Current state of affairs

Well, I’ve quit my pain pills already, which is great because I was starting to get overwhelmed by all the different times and doses of meds throughout the day.  I also thought that the naproxin might be making me feel sick, so I thought I’d test my theory. Unfortunately, I was dreadfully sick to my stomach most of yesterday and ended up getting less than six hours of sleep because it took me so long to fall asleep and then Erik threw up and wouldn’t sleep in his own bed and I had to try to fall asleep  next to him smelling puke.  (Big breath out, that was quite a sentence).  So this morning I felt great when I woke up – not too tired and not sick.  And then I took my antibiotic.  Within ten minutes I was hurting bad again.  I had some breakfast and I do feel a bit better now, but I have to eat with my afternoon dose and if it still makes me sick, they’ll give me a new antibiotic.  This SUCKS because when I get my tonsils out in a week, they’ll have to give me another antibiotic.  Three different antibiotics in a month is a bad thing.  So with any luck I’ll feel better this afternoon.

Last night I wrote a long to-do list and a shopping list.  My plan is to get as many loose ends tied up this week as possible and to stock the cupboards and make at least three meals to freeze.  I don’t want to resort to sending Mike for take-out all the time, so while I feel decent, I’ll make a few things that he can throw in the oven when I’m recovering from my surgery.  The kids have basically eaten macaroni and cheese and alphaghetti all weekend, so I figure it’s probably a good idea to have more options for them.

I’m quite certain that my list contains lots of tasks I won’t manage to get done, and I’m not going to start much until tomorrow, as I was told to take three days to rest after surgery.  I feel good enough to get a few things done, but I’m going to try to keep it to making phone calls and other things I can do without moving too much.  I’ll have to stretch my grocery shopping out a bit if I don’t want to totally wear myself out and at the moment, I’m beyond thrilled that my house is in decent order right now because cleaning it like crazy does not sound like it would feel great.  I’ll have a bit to do right before my surgery, just to make it a friendlier place to be for my friend who is coming to watch the boys, but otherwise, most of the big work is done.  Except our bedroom.  Which I am NOT looking forward to cleaning. 😦

Anyway, the good thing is that the recovery from having my teeth out seems to be going as fast as I expected it to, although I am a bit concerned that my jaw will still be stiff next Monday, which could be bad for a surgery that requires reaching back into my throat.  I’m just guessing that they have to keep your mouth wide open to do that.

I’ll keep updating as things change, but then I may be silent for awhile depending on how busy I get and how hard the recovery is next week.

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Filed under Home Sweet Home, Illness and Injury, Life, in general

Life in these parts

Life as of late has been rather busy lately.  And a bit lazy as well.

Oh, you want more details, do you?

Okay, then.  I have had another bout of tonsillitis, thus the laziness, although it’s not really fair to call it that.  It’s very important laziness, leading to a full recovery.  I have also had sick children coming out of my ears (not literally – that would be really bizarre and I imagine quite painful).  As of my last post, Erik was sick.  I took him to the doctor and was told that he has asthma.  I was warned that he would probably develop it, but didn’t know it would happen so soon.  He now has an inhaler and a baby aero-chamber to get him to breathe it.  Thankfully it seems that he only has trouble breathing when he is sick, so it may not be something we deal with very often.  Jenny and Elias have both had ear infections, although Jenny’s seemed to clear up on its own without medication.  Elias is currently on antibiotics and a ridiculous schedule for taking them.  Whoever makes these things up has got to be missing part of their brain.  The amoxicillin I have to give Elias must be given every eight hours.  During the day, this is no big deal, but if I want to give it to him while he is awake, I would have to give it at six in the morning, two in the afternoon and ten at night.  I know there are people who keep their kids up late or get them up early, but who does both?!  I imagine that the person responsible for the dosing guidelines on this medication did not have children.

Anyway, rant over.  The productivity of the past few weeks has mostly been in crafting.  I’m signed up for a craft swap on Craftster..yes, I mentioned that already.  I’ve been working on the items for the swap with most of my free time.  I’ve now finished slightly more than half of my scavenger hunt.  I would give details, but in case my partner is stalking my blog, I won’t yet.

I haven’t only been crafting, however.  I have also dabbled in cleaning my house.  Dabbled is the word because I really haven’t done much other than upkeep.  However, last night, I cut the kids nails and didn’t bother putting them straight in the trash – this was a good way to force myself into cleaning the bathroom floor.  A simple vacuum or sweep turned out to be only the start.  I cleaned the bathroom top to bottom and managed to clear out quite a few things that were really contributing to the mess in there.  When I’m on a roll like that, it doesn’t matter what time it is or how tired I get.  I didn’t go to bed until two in the morning, but my bathroom is practically sparkling.  Even better, I did it in a good mood, so it’s not a bad memory.  I have bad memories of cleaning parts of my house that are completely related to the mood I was in when I was doing the cleaning.

Anyway, that’s all for now as far as updates go.  Now that I’ve finished the most time consuming part of my craft swap, I feel like doing something a bit easier for a change.

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Filed under Art, Illness and Injury, The H Word

Attitudes vs. habits

at⋅ti⋅tude:
–noun

1. manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to a person or thing; tendency or orientation, esp. of the mind: a negative attitude; group attitudes.

hab⋅it: 

–noun

1. an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary: the habit of looking both ways before crossing the street.

 

I am not suggesting that people confuse these two words.  I doubt that it happens often, if ever.  I just think I have made a discovery about myself.  It has not been life-changing yet, but I suppose if I continue to be aware of it, it could help things a bit.  In regard to my home being constantly cluttered and downright messy, I have always tried to change my habits so that it won’t be so bad.  What I realized today is that the root of the problem is not those bad habits in housekeeping, it’s my bad attitude about it.  I do dishes each day – more or less – but my attitude remains the same: I hate doing dishes!  I find it very hard to see the point in daily housekeeping, but I also can’t stand the way my house looks when it is a mess.  I feel like taking care of my house each day will just make me bitter about my role – this is all about my attitude.  And to be honest, I don’t really know how to change it. 

I realized something else yesterday – I try to make change occur quickly, rather than one step at a time, and this is probably why that change never sticks.  It’s like fad diets – they work fast if you stick to them, but if you come off the diet for even a short time, it’s all too easy to gain weight back.  The picture that came to my mind was a mountain.  The distance from the ground to the top of the mountain is equal to complete change.  You may have access to a helicopter that can fly you directly to the top, saving you time and helping you to feel as though you have changed, but hiking up will actually be more effective.  It may take far longer to change – weeks, months, even years, but in the end, you will have experienced the change one step at a time and will know the way if you backtrack at all. 

So, as uncomfortable as it is, I am going to try change one step at a time.  This is applicable not only to my house, but also to my faith, my relationships with others and the opinion I have of myself.  It may take years to accomplish a noticeable change in any of these areas, but I know it’s the better way to go.

Philippians 1:6 says, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”   This scripture backs my view that change cannot be accomplished in one move.  If the work God began in us cannot be finished until the day Christ returns, then surely a change in attitude or habit cannot be finished for a good long time, either. 

I generally don’t mention my faith much on this blog, as its purpose has been more of a rant about the state of my house and other earth-bound topics, but here, I feel it is worth bringing up.  Whether you believe what I do or not, I believe most people will agree that any change is best accomplished slowly, so as not to fall off the wagon, so to speak.

Anyway, I will try to keep you up to date on how my step by step change of attitude and habits is going.

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Filed under Life, in general

Cleaner Cupboards

My cleaner cupboards

My cleaner cupboardsThese may not look remarkable to you, but they are incredibly cleaner than they were yesterday afternoon. I went on a very big shopping trip and upon coming home, realized that I hardly had a place to put all those groceries. I then thought about all the times that things have randomly fallen out of my cabinets because I have had to shove things in to make them fit. You open a door and look, a box of baking soda has spilled all over the counter. I thought to do it right, I should start at the top and see what lovely things had accumulated there over the years that we've been in this house. One of the first things I found was a carton of molasses that had started to leak and left a nice big puddle of stickiness at the back of the cupboard. Fortunately, there was a liner on that shelf that I was able to tear up, since cleaning it out would have been quite time consuming. Along the way, I found things I had completely forgotten about and things that should have been thrown out months or even years ago. I found a bag of rice that I hadn't bothered to close up when I'd put it away, resulting in a big spill all over the shelves, counters and the floor. However, after all of that - two hours of work - they are much more organized. Admittedly, organization is one of the biggest problems I have in this house, primarily because I have nowhere to store things and also because I have so many things. I made an effort to put the things that I still need but don't use often at the back of the shelves and I was also able to organize by type of food - baking things on the top, spices on the second shelf, canned food on the bottom. I decided that I would get as much done as I could by midnight and then quit and go to bed. I worked hard, vacuumed up rice, scrubbed the counters, put away clutter and finally swept the floor and thought it must be long after midnight, but it was exactly twelve when I checked the clock in the bedroom. That I was able to get so much done in two hours was very encouraging. Now for the other three disasters - the laundry room, master bedroom and the kids room - it's hard to say when I'll get to them, but at least I know I can potentially get them done in a few hours. I am well aware that part of my success was my willingness to throw things away and I certainly will have to do that when I tackle the other rooms. I have clothes stored in our room that I haven't worn in years and it's time to say goodbye.I promised a picture, so here it is - my purple knitted pink lined purse. If I had to name it, I'd probably call it the Girly Girl, but maybe it's not as girly as they get. I'm still trying to come up with a good design name, just in case I decide to go all out and start selling on Etsy or at the Farmer's Market. My first knitted purse

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Filed under Art, The H Word

Justice prevails

I know, that’s a bit dramatic and mostly not the right way to say what I’m going to say..but I was suddenly struck with a rush of 1990s Saturday morning hero-cartoon nostalgia.  Or something like that.

My point is that after a talk with my mother-in-law, I decided to follow her advice and stay home this morning so that the kids can have a nap before we go back out to the lake.  I expected to be at the lake really late last night, but as it started getting dark, it also started looking stormy – lightning and thunder included.  We decided it was best to leave before it was totally black out so we got home by 10:30 or so.  Mike will work eight hours today and then we’ll head out to spend the rest of the day there.  We’ll go back in the morning for breakfast, too, before we go to church. 

So today while the kids are napping, I’ll be able to get a few things done.  Yay!

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Filed under Life, in general, The H Word

Frustration of the day

My sister-in-law’s birthday is today.  She decided that for her birthday, she wanted to go camping with as much of each side of her family as possible (as in, our family and her husband’s).  This is great – except for the fact that we are leaving in less than a week and I really need to be home getting things done.  I explained to the birthday girl that we would probably come out tonight and then I may just stay home tomorrow until Mike gets home from work around three and then come out.  I told her right off the bat that we wouldn’t be camping, just visiting, which she expected.  We don’t really have a tent and aren’t set up for it, and the family seems to be okay with this.  But even visiting requires packing and thinking of a dozen things you will need for three children of different ages.  I think what my sister-in-law wanted to hear from me was that I would come out with the kids in the morning for breakfast and then Mike would come out when he was done work.  The trouble with that is my kids’ need for naps.  Erik is small enough that he can sleep anywhere and Jenny can sleep in a bed, so she could take a nap in someone’s tent, but Elias hasn’t learned to sleep out of a playpen yet and I’m not about to cart the playpen out to the campsite.  Grrr.  So the best thing for me would be to stay home Saturday morning and get some work done and give the kids an early nap and go out at three o’clock.  But the response I got from my sister-in-law made it sound like she’s going to be very disappointed if we don’t go out all day tomorrow.  Ahhhh!!!  Why does this have to be so difficult?!?

The facts are – 1)all those projects I listed still need doing, although I did take the recycling in and cleared the countertops in the kitchen.  I also took a few things to the shed, so I am a tiny way through the list.  2)I hate it when my kids don’t nap and the fact is that for all the help I’m promised, it’s me who deals with them when they’re grumpy, which they definitely are when they haven’t had naps. 3)Erik had shots today which means that I didn’t get any work done today. 4)I am not looking forward to the process of packing for our trip, but if I can get a bit more housework done before we go, it will be easier.  If I have to pack a bunch of stuff and then wash it all after this weekend and turn around and do it again on Wednesday, I’m going to be stressed out and grumpy for the first half of the week and it may prove to be a bad beginning to my trip.

So what do I do?  I keep people happy.  I go in the morning.  I hope that I can get enough done this afternoon and the beginning of next week to be ready for leaving on Wednesday.  I sit around in the heat at the lake, wishing I wasn’t there, just to keep people happy. 

I really need to learn how to say no.

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Filed under Life, in general, The H Word

The rut strikes again

Yes, that’s right.  I’m in a rut.  If I made a list of all the things that need doing around the house, it would be pretty long.  Wait, why don’t I just do that?  Then you can either feel sorry for me or you can think terrible things about my housekeeping skills.  Whichever you like, really.

Kitchen – desk needs de-cluttering, floor needs sweeping and mopping, recycling needs to be taken out, counters need cleaning and organizing, fridge could use cleaning pretty badly, plus a few other small jobs here and there

Living room – de-cluttering, more recycling to go out (we have a huge bag that wouldn’t fit in the kitchen anymore sitting by the front door), fortunately not much else; it’s my cleanest room

Bathroom – shower and tub need a really good scrub, floor needs cleaning

Master bedroom – needs a total cleanup and de-cluttering, vacuuming, sorting clothes, etc.

Kids room – also needs total cleanup and de-cluttering, shelves need to be put up (still), top bunk needs to be cleared and set up for sleeping

Laundry room – top to bottom cleaning and clearing out needed…it’s really bad.  I just try to keep a path to the backdoor visible.

If I really started looking, there would probably be more jobs to do, but this is pretty thorough as it is.  I also have lots of excuses and really, I think most people would be okay with me using them.  Let me describe my summer to you:

June: pregnancy, bad cough/cold, Erik’s birth, cough lasts at least a week after Erik is born.

July: cold is gone for a short time, trying to get used to three kids and get into a good routine, hit with series of breast infections and then the flu.

August: first week is ridiculously hot, so housework feels impossible, weather cools down and I promptly get a nasty cold that has now turned into a sinus infection.

Add to this the fact that we’re taking a trip south next week so I feel that leaving the house in this state would be awful and the pressure is just mounting!  Also, Mike started working Saturdays in July and Sundays are usually spent with his family, so I have had hardly any time with him at home when he could actually help me with a few of these projects (I can’t put up those shelves by myself, which means I can’t clear off the kids’ top bunk and de-clutter their room).

I do have a cunning plan for the kids room, though.  I’m going to pack up nearly every toy they own.  I will leave a few favourites and some books (like less than ten of each), but everything else is going in a big box for awhile.  I suppose after awhile, I’ll switch out the ones that are out, but the main reason I’m doing this is because my kids seem to be trashing their room because they are so bored with too many toys.  It feels like any time I clean everything up, they just throw it all around the room again.  Elias has decided that his favourite thing to do to a clean room is to throw all of the books onto the floor from the bookcase.  These books then get spread around, creating the first top-layer of stuff over the floor, followed by stuffed animals, dolls, Little People, parts of Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, blocks, and various other small toys.  It gets old.  They’ve now gotten so tired of it that Jenny is climbing on top of the bunk to see what she can find there.  A few days ago, I went in to get them and found that she had thrown a whole file of literature and newsletters onto the floor from a box on top of the bed.  So obviously, those need to go right away.  Also, if she’s ready to sleep on the top bunk, she needs to have it cleared off.  I thought it was a great idea – using the top bunk for storage.  But now I’m dreading going through everything and organizing.

It all comes down to the same thing – I really hate cleaning.  So if I can watch movies, read books, sleep, bake, etc. I will instead of cleaning.

Same old thing, I know, and more complaining.  My apologies.  I’ll try to get better. 😉

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Filed under Life, in general, The H Word

Did I write yesterday? And the day before?

I was just saying to my mother that I prefer to write no more often than every other day, because I don’t want to get obnoxious.  And yet I keep coming back.  My apologies.  Maybe if I think of this as a journal that no one reads, I can get over my fears of disappointing people.

I’ve learned something about myself (again?).  I’ve really been wanting to paint, and have managed to do some sketching, but just haven’t gotten around to pulling out the canvas I bought and starting on something.  I have been spending too much time on the computer and not enough time doing other things.  What this means is that my house is wrecked (no surprise there) and I haven’t done anything creative.  In many ways, doing something creative – and cleaning up after myself – would relax me enough to get some housework done.  The trouble is that when my house is so messy, I don’t feel that I should be doing anything creative.  Yes, folks, it’s a vicious cycle. 

I just searched to see if “vicious cycle” could be found on wikipedia as one of the most overused phrases of all time, but instead found out that Vicious Cycle is a tribute band for Lynyrd Skynyrd in northeast Ohio.  Fascinating.  It also seems to be the name of a number of bike shops across the country.

Today, as much as I could complain more about my kids and the weird things they do that make my life more difficult, I won’t.  I need a nap and I think today I won’t deny myself the luxury of it.  I’ll just set my alarm for an hour from now and then if I can manage to get up, I’ll do something productive. 

Or just end up on the computer some more.  We’ll see.

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