Tag Archives: organization

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

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

Moving, Weddings and Houseguests

Well, apparently, it’s been quite a while since I last wrote.  How do I let it get so bad?!  Life, I suppose, keeps me from staying on top of most things. 

My house has gone the way of six months ago…my husband’s grandmother moved south and basically cleared out half of her possessions and either gave them to family or threw them away.  So we came home with a number of new things for our house, many of which don’t actually fit in our house.  For instance, we inherited an upright freezer.  Thankfully, it can be kept on the back porch…all the food Grandma was giving away has to fill my kitchen, though.  She decided not to take any food at all with her.  No spices, no canned food, no nothing.  So we came home with an awful lot – which is great for us – but we hardly have room for it all.  I had to reorganize a few things to fit most of it, then ended up getting even more when she cleaned out her fridge just before moving.  My refrigerator is packed at the moment, mostly with things like teriyaki sauce and mustard.  

Add to all of that the fact that I agreed to help bake for my sister-in-law’s wedding this coming Saturday.  My mother-in-law called me one day last week and said she was coming over with supplies for lemon squares.  The perk was that I got to keep everything I didn’t actually use for the lemon squares.  Quite convenient since I was nearly out of sugar and unbleached flour before she brought them to me.  It’s not so bad now that the six trays have been baked, sugared and frozen in the back porch freezer, but for a while it looked like I was attempting to start up a bakery in my little kitchen.  I still have a few things left to do in the kitchen before Thursday, but then, I swear I’m not touching a whisk or mixing bowl for two weeks.  (I’m also pretty certain that I’ll go back on that word)

Again, another wrench is that my dad is coming up for the wedding and staying with us Friday night through Tuesday afternoon.  We have no guest room and no basement and the mattress on our sofa bed is rather uncomfortable, so my dad will be sleeping on our extra bunk bed mattress in the middle of the living room floor.  This requires re-arranging of furniture because one of the things we acquired is a locking video cabinet, which is currently taking up space that we don’t really have.  A bit of moving around and I think we’ll be okay…but first I have to feel up to doing all that moving around…and, you guessed it – cleaning up. 

The FlyLady system has a term for what lurks in every corner of my house: Hot Spots.  My desk is a pretty bad one, and the plastic organizing towers to each side of the desk.  The table by the front door is a catch all and at the moment is hard to even see under all the junk mail, library books, church bulletins and shopping bags destined for return to the car.  My dresser top can be a pretty bad one, too, but I usually get to it before it is totally covered.  At the moment, I would love to have a day without my kids so that I could run through the house cleaning up all this mess.  Jenny is at the age where she greatly enjoys getting into things she knows she shouldn’t, and Elias has picked the last two weeks to be incredibly clingy.  I try to clean or bake or re-arrange while they are awake, but it’s futile.  And then I’m worn out from chasing or intervening or chastising by the time they have their naps that I don’t feel like doing what needs to be done.  Laziness?  Perhaps. 

Mike has a hockey game tonight at 10:45, which means he will be gone from 10:15 to sometime after midnight.  My body would greatly appreciate it if I went to bed, but I may have to take the opportunity to clean up after everyone’s mess.

Well, off I go…to attempt to do something productive.  Hmm…maybe if I just shut them in their room to play, they’ll leave me alone..Jenny doesn’t know how to open her door yet.

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Filed under All things mommy and daddy related, Home Sweet Home, Kiddos, Life, in general, Mi familia