Monday, February 10, 2014

The Housekeeper

First let me say that I am glad I had some de-cluttering concepts in practice already, because this process would be taking at least a month longer if I had not.  At the beginning of this last week I had two things marked on my to-do list 1. Garage 2. Craft room.

The Garage was a one day deal, and as I mentioned in my last post, there is more to be done out there.  My plan is to park the van outside and spend an hour or two making sense out of the large cabinet that sits against the back wall.  I would also love to put some personal touches in the laundry area.  I have always loved the idea of a mud room, therefore I would like to get this as close to that as possible.  Maybe it is time to start googling ideas!

The Craft Room: Two days
This room is always a challenge for me because it is where I store every fun activity I ever took the time to learn so that I could participate in.  Sewing, knitting, scrapbooking, stamping, screen printing…the list really does go on.  About the screen printing: I have the YUDU, but in one of my hastes to clean the garage and get rid of things, I think I threw away the power cord!  I sincerely hope to find that thing because I would love to make some hoodies for my business.  Tangent, sorry.
About 2 years ago I went through my craft room and made sense out of it.  I have a lot of cabinets, so I dedicated each cabinet to a craft.  I hung a shoe holder on the back of the door to hold odds and ends, and I have a couple of rolling drawer carts that hold ribbons, paper, and sewing notions.  The main closet is built like a book shelf and there it holds the many books I bought over the years to help me learn.  The reason this room is a challenge is because while I am looking and sorting through everything, I have dreams about playing in it all.  Gotta stay on task!

I really tossed the idea around of which photos to show, as I don't want to bore you all with the craft room details, you have the choice to scroll down or stop.

 This is the back of the main door, as you can see it is multipurpose.  The bubbles can probably have a place in the storage above the RV, but I really don't want to treck out in the melting snow just to slip and fall.
 This is the closet with the book shelves where I put all of my books, including scrapbooks, and photo albums.  There is also a basket with markers, crayons, coloring books and some paper.  It makes for a quick grab when the kids and I need some downtime together.  I have found that no matter how old my kids get, they are never too old for markers and paper. (Neither am I).  This space also holds my cricut and it's cartridges.
 This unit was sold to us with the house.  Instead of using it for hanging files, I used the fact that it has big deep drawers.  The bottom right hand drawer couldn't keep up with the weight demand I put on it, so it is empty.  The other three drawers hold some sewing projects, patterns, batting, and other notions.  They also hold my knitting notions and my gym bag.  I know I mentioned that this house did not come with a coat closet…right?  It's okay, I would rather have a downstairs bathroom anyway.
 Not certain how much money I paid for this several years ago, but I don't regret it.  And to the right is of this unit is my paper divided by, specialty, patterned, colors, and plain.
 For me, this was really thinking outside the box to put my stamps in here.  My drive was to have clean counter space.  Sewing requires a lot of space for pinning and cutting.
 These are my stickers.  I love this because the kids can look through here and get my approval on which stickers they may use.
 What's left of my yarn collection on the left, and under it in the box is craft magazines mixed with running magazines.  On the right is what is left of my fabric collection.  I have so much to share with my girls, I sure do hope I don't wait till too late to teach them more of this stuff!
Above is where I found room for the sewing machine.  I would put it on the bottom shelf, but I won't fit.

So, above is where I started on Monday

This is how I finished.  I must admit I was quite frustrated that I had let things get so out of hand, but was determined to find a place for the odds and ends.  

So, what is this book I keep talking about?
I came up with the name: The Housekeeper

I think this is the closest I will ever come to having a maid.  In this binder is a system.  You have heard me talk about the Fly Lady, well I have read her book 
Sink Reflections
This is the book I read, this is how The Housekeeper came to be back in 2007.  I loaned out my copy and have no idea where it is now.  I just hope it is being passed around and helping others as it has helped me.  After I had put this into practice I knew I needed help as far as organizing, not long after, I found Monica :)  She helped me think outside the box, and to get things off my counters and put where they belong.  She helped me to realize that just because I am going to use it everyday (toaster) that doesn't mean it needs to sit out where I have to look at it every day.  She taught me to sort, group, and repurpose, she taught me to shop within and make a space my own.  She taught me to simplify and streamline.  I am grateful to her, and The Fly Lady.  

Here are the details of my binder:
Daily tasks are the things that need to be kept up daily, such as putting away hot spots, sweeping the kitchen, emptying the dishwasher…etc.  I have put my sheets in plastic coating because I love to cross things off my list.  

Weekly tasks are for the things that need to be kept up once a week, dusting, sweeping, linens, cleaning mirrors, emptying trash from all the rooms in the house.

Zones are the things that need to be done once a month, the deep cleaning stuff.  Catching the clutter that has built up, the scrubbing cabinets, cleaning out drawers, scrubbing shower and bath.  (During the daily tasks, showers can be sprayed down with 409 or a similar cleaner.  I have cleaning baskets in my bathroom for such tasks.  
Here are my examples:

Bathroom tasks
Empty dishwasher
Load of laundry
Check calendar/make phone calls
Reconcile check book
Put away hot spots
Feed Dogs
What's for dinner?

After Dinner

Clean up from dinner
Do hand dishes
Sweep kitchen and dining room floors
Pick up downstairs area
Hallway, living room, dining room, piano room
Make coffee
Go over errand list for tomorrow, make any necessary additions.

Weekly Cleaning list


Dust living room and Piano room furniture
Clean out the van

Change bed linens

Empty old food out of refrigerator
Clean bedroom and hall mirrors

Scrub kitchen and dining room floors
Empty trash from bathrooms, upstairs, kitchen and laundry.
Clean out purse

Mop bathroom floors
vacuum all floors

Make ahead soups burgers and dessert.

Zone One

Entrance and Hall: Tuesday
Dust chair rail
Dust baseboards
Dust light fixtures
Clean switchplate and finger prints on walls around
Vacuum cobwebs
Sweep and mop floors

Front Porch and Back Deck: Thursday
Sweep down cobwebs
Sweep off porch
Wipe off banisters and light fixtures
Get rid of unwanted items
Add your own personal touches to welcome guests :)

Dining Room and Piano Room: Monday
Vacuum cobwebs
Dust Windowsills
Dust Chair rail
Clean Windows
Wipe cabinet, safe, piano, desk, coffee table
Dust light fixtures
Sweep and mop floors
Craft Room: Wednesday
Wipe all surfaces
Vacuum cobwebs
Sweep and mop floors
Get rid of unwanted items

Zone 2
The Heart of The Home

Monday: Clean the oven, top of stove and microwave, scrub two cabinets.
Tuesday: Empty refrigerator of unwanted food and clean thoroughly, scrub two cabinets.
Wednesday: Clean light defusing bowls and light fixtures, wash inside window, clean two cabinets.
Thursday: Sweep and Scrub Kitchen floors
Vacuum cobwebs, Scrub two cabinets
Wipe fingerprints off light switches and walls
Friday: Straighten drawers and cupboards, wash canisters and knick knacks, scrub two cabinets.
Saturday: Clean coffee pot and under sink, wash additional cabinets.

There are 3 more zones, and of course you will make this your own if it is something you decide to do, but I just wanted to give you an idea of what I am doing.  I figure one hour a day or less and I will be good to go!  I have also begun to map out my days as far as what times I will be doing this, what times I will be spending time in my studio, time helping kids with homework, and the other stuff for which I did not plan.

The red book above means so many things for me.  It means always clean baseboards and chair rails, no more dusty guitar.  It means company can give me a 15 minute warning and I will be ready for them.  It means a clear mind for personal touches.  It means thinking twice before I bring another piece of clutter into my home.  It means more time with my Jesus, more time with my family, more time to dedicate to my business.  For me, a clean home, and a healthy body will always require a step by step plan.  That is just the way it is.  So I have my bible, my binder, my training schedule, and Dr. Fuhrman's program.  I'd say I am one content lady.  

I have taken most of the artwork off the walls to create a blank slate.  This stuff is currently hanging out in the spare room waiting for Katie to come help me with placement.  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

I know my triggers for set backs

As the wind blusters, and the snow swirls around outside, I am thankful to be safely warm at home.  I also figured that this would be a good time to add to my poor neglected de-cluttering situation.

The one "room" I was able to tackle this week, so far, was the garage.  I am keeping in mind that there are still some changes I could make to it, but it is exhausting work and I just wanted it to be done.

 This kind of thing happens to my garage more often than not.  I have had this thing so spiffy, and then it's like I just stop trying, then I get overwhelmed.
Unfortunately some of the stuff that looks like clutter are summer toys that need this storage at the moment.

I am at a point where I have really begun to put the hammer down on routine cleaning.  I also have my girls helping me.  One way I learned from the Fly Lady  on how to keep a bathroom clean is to wipe down the surfaces, toilet, and swish in the toilet bowl with the brush daily.  With her plan the whole bathroom is kept clean in this type of style, you just don't ever have to do it all at once.  My girls (with incentive) clean the bathrooms in the morning everyday before school.  Their other before school task includes making sure the pets are fed and watered, on top of making certain they are ready for school.  I think I may add that they be sure their rooms are picked up.  That way when they get home from school, the only thing they need to worry about it homework.  We have put into place the idea of rinsing out ones dish and putting it into the dishwasher.  Everything takes time.

As I am still in the process of getting all the rooms de-cluttered I feel as though I cannot commit the hour a day it takes to complete the morning, evening, daily, and weekly tasks yet.  I would rather commit that one hour to de-cluttering.  So what am I doing blogging?  Oh man, I just need to share I guess.

There are two things that happen to me when I begin to keep up and use the book I made.  One is that I start to get my head above water (socks begin to have matches, all the laundry is done, all the dishes are clean an put away, the hot spots are cleaned up) and the other thing is anxiety.  I am fearful that if I do not complete my daily tasks everyday, it will all crumble.  The reason I have this fear, is because of past behavior.  Just like in weight loss, I know the cycle and the triggers for set backs.  

We bought a second dog bed, and I have begun the "kick the dogs off my couch" process.  I plan to train them to stay off my couch, then I will clean it and put a very nice couch cover on it.  Here is my method.  
I have to put stuff on the couch constantly so they do not get on it.  
In return, they can get accustomed to laying in their beds.

I am going to go for now because as it is, I cannot sit in one place for too long knowing that I could be using this time to get stuff done.  Yesterday I was a machine!  I got almost all caught up on the laundry, and was able to wash out the microwave!  When I get all de-cluttered and into full swing with my book I made, I will go into more detail of what I did.  
Thank you for taking the time to read this!  

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The week before my husbands birthday

This week has been filled with excitement (race finish, husbands birthday), and little de-cluttering.   Here is what I have accomplished.
 Finally a home for my scarf collection
 Fancy shoes in boxes at the top, and the basket is holding the scarves.  I grouped my clothes together by color
 More color grouping here.

Even though my clothes are in the spare room at the moment, I am loving the order of things.  
I even busted out my master binder that gives me chores and tasks to accomplish during the week.  I have begun to incorporate a few, such as, emptying the dishwasher in the morning.  This has been such a blessing because there is nothing like coming home from the grocery store an having the ability to get started with dinner right away.  

It is so difficult not to get discouraged and just throw my hands up in the air.  I look at the rooms that I have de-cluttered and then there are messes lying around.  The kids pick them up when I ask, but I miss being able to walk into a room and just see it clean without having to ask someone to put it away.  

The other thing is the garbage situation.  It is like a contest between my husband and I of who can fill up the trash the fastest.  I always say "I will just make a run to the dumps."  Of all the things in my schedule to do, the dumps are out of the way.  

I know, I know, and yes, I would like a little cheese with my whine.  

Next on my agenda is the garage and craft room.  I think once I clear out the garage it will be another monumental task out of the way.  This week was nice also because I did not have any runs scheduled.  It is good to take a week off after a half marathon (for those of us who do not run full marathons).  So, today I head out for 5 miles on the treadmill, then tonight is date night, tomorrow is church and Super Bowl, next week I have several appointments, kid activities, and some client training sessions (which I love), and so it goes. 

This is why I am blogging it out people.  I am sure you can relate.