Posts Tagged ‘cleaning’

Adulting: Housework

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Ever since Christmas, I’ve been on a mission to have a clean house. I read the Lifechanging Magic of Tidying Up. I joined some organization groups on Facebook and revived my Pinterest boards dedicated to improving my home. I read lots of blog posts. I looked at dozens of house cleaning schedules and charts. And then I threw myself into it.

It’s been going pretty well. Here’s what I’ve done so far:

  • Cleaned and organized the coat closet
  • Bought a shoe rack to solve the pile of shoes by the back door problem
  • Cleaned out most of the kitchen cabinets and got rid of TONS of things I didn’t use or love
  • Cleaned out the banquette storage
  • Cleaned and organized the file cabinet
  • Moved the cereal/snacks/crackers/misc food stuff to a cabinet so my countertop is mostly clean
  • Cleaned and organized the fridge
  • Bought new pillows for all the beds
  • Created a laundry system* with multiple baskets
  • Started emptying the sink every night before bed
  • Started unloading the dishwasher every morning after the kids go to school
  • Prioritized an evening clean up every night before bed
  • Started making my bed, complete with throw pillows

Now, weeks later, I wouldn’t be ashamed to have surprise company show up at my door. (I mean, I will probably be in pajamas and no bra, but my house will be in pretty good shape.) I’m not saying things are spotless or that you could eat off my floors – I have a dog, a cat, and four kids – but if you wanted to come in for coffee I wouldn’t be mad. I still don’t live in a Pottery Barn catalog or a blank white box, so those toys on the coffee table are actually supposed to be there, as is the downstairs laundry basket, the art supplies on the dining room table and the bins of small plastic things. The look I am going for is “well-loved and lived-in family home not occupied by hoarders”.

Are you dying to know the secret to my success? Do you want the link to my eBook on how to solve your messy house once and for all? Am I so smug you can’t wait to poke holes in my system? Let me tell you how I have accomplished this 180 turn around from trash heap to nice home. Here it is, my secret to a clean house:

You just have to f**king do it.

There aren’t any tricks. There isn’t a magic organizational chart or schedule or Pinterest board that made my house clean. I have to do all those stupid, repetitive chores every single day to stay on top of the mess. Even my laundry system boils down to “Oh you put away three loads of laundry yesterday? DO IT AGAIN.” I sit down less. I see something that needs put away and I get up and put it away. I don’t let things “soak” in the sink for five days. I pick up the same toys five times a day and then one more time after the kids go to bed…then I do the same thing the next day. It is never-ending. It is stupid. It is necessary.

It sucks.

The peaceful sleep of a child who isn’t living in chaos, made possible by the fact that I made my bed. And then I had to make it again because he slept in it.

But it is starting to get easier. It’s become a habit to clean the sink and clear off surfaces as soon as I can. Same thing with the laundry – I finally remember to throw in a load/switch to the dryer/empty the dryer several times a day. I’m learning to value how 20 minutes of work can help me stay on top of the housework instead of constantly playing catch up. I mean, I am ALWAYS playing catch up. Always. I have four children. I am very tired. But by constantly climbing towards the top of housework mountain I don’t end up buried under it.

It would be foolish of me to say this is a permanent change. I doubt I will ever be someone who finds it easy to stay organized. But by changing my attitude from “I need a strategy” to “Just f**king do it” I’ve made definite progress. You too can have a sort of clean home if you sleep fewer hours, relax less often, and follow your children around cleaning up their messes as they make them.

*I ordered medium sized laundry baskets for every member of the family at the advice of a friend. That way when I’m throwing clean clothes out of the dryer I can throw them into the baskets and putting away each person’s laundry takes a lot less time than sorting from one giant pile. These baskets are the perfect size: http://amzn.to/2mO0gmx.

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Monday, January 30th, 2017

My wrist hurts a little less so hopefully I can get through this before any children need to be fed. Based on a very scientific method called “I told my friends my wrist hurt and they suggested it might be the same thing they once had” I have diagnosed myself with De Quervain’s tenosynovitis. Basically, yes, your wrist hurts, you’re a woman, you’ve recently been pregnant and you do a lot of baby care. That seems like a pretty definite diagnosis, even though the treatment is “take some ibuprofen and stop lifting so many babies”.

Sunday:

The plan is to turn this into a playroom that is sometimes a guest room

Lashes

My children are as good at ignoring me as I am at ignoring them

Monday:

Today’s task: clean the toys that were on the front porch

Shopping helper

The other baby needs cuddly naps too

Tuesday:

Everyone wants to help

Salt is important

More lashes

Wednesday:

This is not Linc’s bed, but don’t tell him that

The waiting room at my OB’s office has an actual working fireplace

No more pile of shoes by the back door!!!!

Thursday:

Help, I can’t find my body!

 

Remember: not being on Jeopardy makes you a failure

 

Belleh

Friday:

Good humans stand on tables, I guess

I give this a B+, will drink again

Saturday:

Caroline’s first protest

Good job, Hartford

Finn is still skeptical that anyone would be against equal rights

If my baby would agree to take a nap I could officially get caught up on blogging for the rest of the week, but as of right now he thinks biting me and laughing is more fun that sleep. It’s not my favorite. I’d much prefer crossing stuff off my to-do list, because I am on a roll and the chances that I might actually get ALL THE LAUNDRY IN THE HOUSE put away are pretty good. Miracles do happen.

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Saturday, January 28th, 2017

My wrist really hurts. I realize that’s not a super good reason to be almost 3 weeks behind in posting, but when you add “typing is painful” to “I could be napping right now” and “WHY ARE MY CHILDREN SO LOUD” it means blogging is really low on my to-do list.

Sunday:

I bought an actual nursing shirt that I don’t hate

PASSED OUT

Dinner helpers

Monday:

Skeptical baby is still very skeptical

Linc stole my phone to take pictures of his favorite thing

Tiny Batman

Tuesday:

Shopping

These were not good

Nope. Did not watch.

Wednesday:

Good morning ducks

In progress

When it’s almost 60 degrees we go for a walk

Thursday:

Evan brushing his sister’s hair before school

Sad baby is calmed by looking at himself on my phone

OH NO WHERE IS LINCOLN I CANT FIND HIM

Friday:

Being kind to kitty

Being kind to brother

Being kind to mama

Saturday:

Fish-tac-toe with the scuba divers

Bye! Have a good trip!

Super Linc is Super Sleepy

My baby just woke from a deep sleep screaming as if someone stabbed him with a needle, so I guess I won’t be a) catching up on the next post or b) taking that nap I wanted. Fingers crossed he doesn’t cry for the rest of the day.

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Sunday, January 11th, 2015

It’s really cold. I have a lot of feelings about it being so cold, but they’re all very negative and I’m trying to remain upbeat. But basically, eff this effing weather and eff you January I hate you why can’t it be effing June already?

Sunday:

sunday1

As if he didn’t already eat enough, now he thinks he should get PEOPLE FOOD too.

sunday2

I mean, look at those thighs.

sunday3

Kids these days with their selfies.

Monday:

monday1

She insists on greeting her bus driver in french when she wears her “french hat”

monday2

Really impressed with the post office

monday3

This was the highlight of their day. Evan wants to know if he can wear Linc all the time.

Tuesday:

tuesday1

Before…

tuesday2

…neglecting the children during…

tuesday3

…After. It still looks mostly like that. One whole week!!

Wednesday:

wednesday1

STILL COLD

wednesday2

Let’s play a game called: Whose baby is in your lap?!

wednesday3

Irony: That wrap I’m wearing probably could have paid for the plumber to fix my dishwasher. BUT I’D RATHER DO IT MYSELF AND HAVE THE WRAP.

Thursday:

thursday1

It’s a little staticy in our house

thursday2

SHUT UP DON’T MOVE

thursday3

So…basically I’m done here?

Friday:

friday1

We tried to wait outside for the bus

friday2

But gave up and stood inside staring out the window instead. Well, I stared. Linc continued to think he’s people.

friday3

Pretending she’s at a cafe

Saturday:

saturday1

She’s got a teenager attitude – sure, you’d make a good seat, whatevs.

saturday2

He ordered celery, so I let him order red drank instead of milk

saturday3

And we out!

Last week was our first week back at all our activities…and yet I completely forgot to go to them. We just skipped swim class. So my goal for this week is to make it to all our appointments and classes and activities and dinners and stuff. If you see me on Wednesday and my hair looks like crap, you’ll know I’ve already failed, since my hair appointment is TUESDAY.

And someone please fix this weather. Ok, good talk.

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Sunday, July 14th, 2013

I don’t even remember this week. Seriously. It’s all just  a blur of hot, hot, rain, rain, hot, rain in my head.

Sunday:

sunday1

Recycling is fun!

sunday2

Slip and slides are NOT fun. Especially as an adult.

sunday3

Yes, clearly that part of the immensely overgrown garden needs more water.

Monday:

monday1

I found 100 of these photos on my camera roll. I did not take them.

monday2

Working on potty training. I took the carpet up not long after.

monday3

They’re surprisingly fast for small children. I didn’t get in a real focused run, but it was definitely exercise.

Tuesday:

tuesday1

First day of summer school is a happy day for EVERYONE.

tuesday2

Exhausted from summer school.

tuesday3

MOMMY TIME.

Wednesday:

wednesday1

Funny, that’s the outfit I wear when I clean too.

wednesday2

Grilled cheese love

wednesday3

She cried off all her butterfly facepaint (from being super tired and cranky) then passed out.

Thursday:

thursday1

Morning Netflix in the bounce house.

thursday2

The bush in my yard exploded with hydrangeas, so I filled my house with them.

thursday3

“Mommy mommy mommy sumpin’ else to eat” – REPEAT FOREVER

Friday:

friday1

My house always gets messier before it gets cleaner.

friday2

He suddenly remembered he loves trains

friday3

Looks: Innocent. Acts: Like a TERROR.

Saturday:

saturday1

The kids were SO excited to see the Pigeon.

saturday2

Selfies during story time

saturday3

Adding their own pigeons to the wall

This week is going to be another one I barely remember. I’m determined to get my house – and life – more organized, so we’re alternating busy days out doing stuff with boring TV days for the kids while I CLEAN ALL THE THINGS. I’ve made it 75% through the first floor and am officially able to have people over for playdates again without dying of embarrassment.

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