Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cleaning Up MY Act

Jeff's tidy little bedside table

When it comes to housekeeping, I have long been more of a "stasher" than one who puts. every. thing. in. its. place. A terrible habit and one I have so far (thankfully!) not passed on to my children irreparably. The past two weeks I have been very interested in following blogs that have cleaning schedules, ideas for organization, ideas for keeping areas straight, etc. On top of that, I am in a semi-annual phase of getting-rid and so am determined to declutter as much as I can while the mood lasts.

I would chalk more of this up to "nesting" and the whole pregnancy thing, being that I'm in my 29th or 30th week, but I really do go through this phase is truly something I go through at least a couple of times a year, regardless of whether or not I'm pregnant. On top of that, each time, a little more sticks and the house is getting easier and easier to keep clean with minimal efforts. Eventually I'll even hit the point where I can get into the deep-cleaning of the curtains, etc. and keeping dust off of everything!

Well... One step at a time, there, Tillie!

So about a week ago, I landed all over Smeagol and Bruiser for their room. It was a wreck - things stashed in the wrong drawers so they wouldn't even close, broken toys everywhere, papers in drawers instead of in school folders, a desk that was largely unused other than to... what else? ... stash things. SO they spent the morning "cleaning" it on their own; needless to say, they didn't get very far, otherwise I would not have had the idea for this post. I went up and helped them finish going through every toy drawer/cubby, their desk, desk drawers... all but their clothing drawers and their bookshelves, which we'll get to later. So far, they have kept it fairly well clean.

This got me to thinking... how come I can't crack that same whip on myself to get my desk straight and kept tidy, keep my "clutter areas" of my room clean, etc.? Here's what has happened in the last two weeks to that end:

  • I started on the kitchen. It is now at a place where I don't struggle to keep it up and where I get the dishes done (hand-washed!), counter clean before 9:30 every night - a HUGE accomplishment for Midnight Mel.
  • We get at least one load of laundry washed, dried, folded and put away each day as part of our bedtime routine.
  • The dining room gets picked up and cleaned up after each meal and several times during our school day so it remains fairly tidy.
  • The living room is similarly kept up, with toys being regularly policed and put away, broom being taken to problem areas for a quick sweep, etc.
My goal for each area is to be able to "fix" it in ten minutes or fewer, thereby making it easy to do housework and then get to let the kids go free, try new recipes, read a book or just relax and play games with the kids for a while.

So today I am tackling my second-biggest "problem" room: my own bedroom. (The biggest is the storage room. I am having to do some internal talking to get worked up to that one!) The pictures you see in this post are largely the "before" shots of problem areas in my bedroom - with one shot of my dear, sweet, fairly tidy Jeff's area beside the bed. He is more of a "natural-neatnik" than I am.

We have been good for one another that way - he is less sticky about everything being exactly in place, and I am less of a stasher. As suggested on several of the other blogs I mentioned earlier (Clean Mama, Angel Navy Wife, A Heart Like Water) I have made it a "rule" to finish each area of a room entirely before moving on to clean the next. Sort of a FlyLady thing I guess but I can't keep up with all of the stuff she does just yet!

Tally for the Day

So for today, I got half my bedroom done, but my dining room, living room, kitchen, bathrooms and den are largely in order before Maestro has a friend over to spend the night. Oh yeah - and I broke the "rule": I did take time out to organize the boys' bookshelf. I got in there to put a couple of books away... and couldn't figure out where they were supposed to go so I had to fix it.

Right then.

I'm happy with the day and ready to make pizza crust for dinner tonight while Buttercup takes a (unfortunately) late nap.

My newly-tidied bedside table

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