Friday, April 30, 2010

Can't post pictures!

I'm not going to be able to post pictures until tomorrow :( I'm super bummed because it looks so good!

One month down, eleven to go!

Well, the kitchen is done :)

I've been absent from the blog for a few days because between work and actually working on the kitchen, the kids and all that family stuff, I just didn't have time to get on here. But I did get it completed! I'm so happy with the final results and my kitchen runs much more smoothly with the newly organized cabinets and counter top.

I'll post pictures this evening.

Tomorrow starts a new month, a new room and new challenges. It's the bedrooms and with no closets, they have always been a big challenge to keep organized.

Off to do my weekly shopping!


Monday, April 26, 2010

The Break-up

The Break Up, with Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston was on over the weekend and my husband and I caught part of it. The part where, well, they break up. Jennifer starts by asking him to help clean up, that it will only take 15 minutes and that she doesn't want to do it in the morning. He is reluctant and complains but finally relents and gets up to help. She promptly says to forget it, that she wants him to want to wash the dishes. He says that isn't going to happen and then everything and anything that has ever bugged the other comes out of the wood work.

My husband and I were chuckling because we have had those kind of disagreements as well. I ask him to do something, he complains about it and resists for a while and then eventually does it, but not happily. And I think this one clip out of the movie resonated with me so much because while I know that there are things that he doesn't like doing, I really do sometimes wish that he would do it without the song and dance before hand.

Don't get me wrong, Peter is a great husband and a wonderful father, but I think that I have told him that one too many times and it is going to his head. I have frequently heard that I should be happy that he does what he does because it is more than most husbands/fathers do. That may be but I'm not married to most, I'm married to him and while I do stay at home, I also expect him to do his share. It isn't like I'm asking him to build the Taj Mah Hal. I'm asking him to unload the dishwasher.

My favourite response is "I just unloaded the dishwasher." Um, yes ok, two days ago, and it is full again. Funny how that happens, isn't it? Seriously, can't you just say, OK. He usually follows with "I hate unloading the dishwasher" and "When this one breaks we aren't getting another" and then a sigh and a huff and off he goes. Really, was the second and third act needed? (By the way, when this one breaks, we are getting another one.)

Another one of my favourites "I already changed her diaper". Yes, congratulations. The badge of honour and certificate are in the mail. Do it again, will you? I seriously wouldn't be asking if I wasn't already doing something.

I am a pleaser to a certain extent. If he asks me to do something and I know it'll just take a second I tend to do it right away. Partially because I'll forget if I wait until later (sad, but true) and partially because I enjoy doing things for him. Sometimes the list gets longer and I have to tell him that things are going to have to wait because I still have a bunch of stuff I haven't done, but really, I'm at home so I do most of the phoning to inquire, picking up of stuff etc etc. If it needs to be done, I do it.

Not that I'm an angel. There as been many a time that I have groaned a the request to go to the outdoors show or the cottage show. But the things that need to get done, I do typically without any complaints because it is what it is and it needs to get done.

When we go through the song and dance about garbage, dishwasher, kitty liter and diaper changing, I always wonder. Really, is there anyone out there who really really REALLY enjoys doing these things? No. We just do them because they need to be done. And in my mind that should be enough to just say OK when I ask for them to be done.

Really. Seriously. Just do it.

Friday, April 23, 2010


I just noticed that I have two followers!! Thanks Deb and Shannon!!! It means a lot that you are here with me :)

Ok, so I'm starting to feel the crunch of only one more week left to get this kitchen organized. I'm really ticked off that I spent the first two weeks doing what the organization book asked me to and nothing more.

When looking back at the book, I really feel that the book was written for a certain demographic, and it isn't the unorganized one. I really feel that it is geared toward someone who has more money and space than I do. I wasn't sure at first why, and then I realized.

This book was written based on what she has done with her clients. Her Clients. I'm thinking that if you have the money to hire a professional organizer, you probably have a bigger kitchen than I do, LOL.

And while all the principles she has taught me hold up, I really feel that her quick methods do not. The speed that she expects me to accomplish the actual organizing in is unrealistic.

Today's example: While it may only take me a second to discover that having the rice in the same drawer as the pasta is not working at all, it takes me a good 15 minutes to figure out where to %#%@#$^#$ to put it. And then another 20 minutes to rearrange what I already arranged to fit the rice in there. And then an additional 30 minutes to figure out where to put the thing that got bumped out because of the rice.

It gives me a headache just thinking about it, let alone doing it.

The only silver lining to this whole kitchen project is that in one week, I'll be moving on to the bedroom :) Not much more room in there, but at least there isn't any rice.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Odd Ball Behaviour

Crazy behaviours.

I have tons of them.

Many of them are related to cleaning.

Here is a list :)

1. I can't vacuum with socks or shoes on. I have to have bare feet. I need to feel the clean. If I still feel things on my feet when I'm vacuuming, I need to re-vacuum that area.

2. I have to have the windows open when I vacuum because I hate the smell (not even my love affair with my vacuum has made the smell go away, although he does smell less than my last one).

3. I can't touch the food at the bottom of the sink without gloves. It actually makes me gag. Don't know why because I've caught my child's puke in my bare hands before...

4. I can't use mops because of the smell. Even my brand new one had a weird smell that I couldn't stand. I have to use the swiffers and it drives me nuts because it is so wasteful. I'm still trying to find a solution to this issue.

5. Dishes that my husband washes and leaves in the drying rack I re-wash. Shhhhhh. Don't say anything. I don't trust that they were washed properly, and we have a dish washer so it really is only the odd time that this happens.

6. If my pots and pans and stainless steel bowls have not been put back properly (AKA my husband unloaded the dish rack and dishwasher) I can't cook until everything is back in it's proper spot.

There are many more, but those are the ones I ran in to tonight as I was doing the 20 minute tidy.

Have to go shower and clean the tub!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I have too much kitchen stuff.

Or not enough cupboard space.

Or both.

And what is really irking me is that in all the books they all recommend going out and buying things so that you can make your kitchen workable. Nice to suggest but 1. This is not supposed to be costing me anything and 2. I don't have any room for anything else in my kitchen. Isn't that kind of why I'm doing this????????

Even the Organizing book is telling me that I need this or need that. Well, all I have is a big mess and no room for any extra stuff!

I'm about ready to throw in the towel. The tea towel that is. BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE ANY DARN SPACE FOR THEM IN MY KITCHEN!!!!!! I don't have enough drawers, my shelves are never at the right height no matter how many times I adjust them, and my counter space in severely lacking. And the tea towels are supposed to be in the kitchen for ease of access so you don't have to go traipsing around the house to go get one.

Rant over. Exit left, dim lights, drop curtain.

Sigh. I'm not throwing in the towel because I refuse to live an unorganized life anymore. I feel like I am looking for a puzzle piece and I`ve been looking and looking and I all I'm doing is confusing myself. What I should do is step away for a day, but that just wouldn't be me, lol. And the fact of the matter is, when I open up my baking cupboard, I know it is all worth it.

My baking cupboard is a work of art now :)

I have a crazy sense of pride when I look at it.

I like to open it up, just for the fun of it, and look at its beauty.

I guess that is a step in the right direction. The rest will soon follow.

I hope...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Why I'm doing this

People have been asking me why I am doing this year long project to finding my inner housewife (and my living room floor). One person even asked if it was a joke, lol.

I've had many emails and Facebook messages from people wishing me luck, but not the nice good luck.

The sarcastic kind.

The kind you get when you tell someone that you are going to train your cat to fetch your slippers and pee in the toilet.

The kind you get when you say that today is the day you are going to win a zillion dollars in the lottery.

Yes, the kind that essentially means that you are crazy.

One person that I don't even know but through passing told me I was setting feminism back 80 years. I wasn't aware that I had that much of an influence on society, you know, with only six followers...

So I stopped to seriously think about the real answer to why I am doing this. Why do I feel this crazy need to learn how to organize and cook better, keep to a schedule and fold a fitted sheet? What is the driving force behind all of those new skills?

And after a long time contemplating, I came across the answer just as I was drifting off to sleep.

I want to make a home. In its simplest form, that is what I am doing.

And I know, home is where the family is and it doesn't matter what it looks like as long as you are all together. But what it looks like and how it functions does impact the enjoyment we get out of being at home and it impacts how my children will create their homes and to a certain extent, how they live their lives.

I want to set a good example and give them the opportunity to learn the same skills. Whether they use them or not will be up to them.

On a side note, I have really enjoyed reading books on housekeeping. I enjoy learning new things, and with a preschooler and infant in the house, my ability to learn new things is greatly diminished by the "Mommy mush brain" that can happen after a while. These books totally feed my need for organization and structure, and while they are teaching me those same skills, each book is also very organized, structured and easy to read, which helps me stay focused. I'm finding they are becoming books I pick up to just pass some time. Yesterday I was actually curled up on the couch reading Martha Stewart as if it were a classic piece of literature, lol.

So there you have it. The reason behind what some people call insanity (just not to my face). My children.

By the by, I love all the questions I'm getting through email and facebook but please feel free to post to my blog as well. I get all giddy when I see a comment on here, lol.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

A re-vamp and a Tid Bit

The re-vamp: I need to change the weekly schedule. It just isn't working. So my new schedule is as follows:
Monday: clean bathroom, vacuum/dust first floor
Tuesday: clean kitchen, organize recycling, change cat litter
Wednesday: put away laundry, clean bedrooms
Thursday: create next weeks menu and shopping list, change bed sheet, collect laundry
Friday: Clean bathroom, vacuum/dust first floor

I'm surprised at how much I'm learning from the house keeping books. For example, my favorite tidbit in today's reading was how soap works. I've never really thought about it before while washing dishes.

Did you know that detergent was created during the war because the fat used was in short supply? People discovered that it worked better than soap, and by the 50s it was used by the majority of people. Why did it work better? The suds created by detergent actually hold the particles of dirt away from what has just been cleaned. As the sud dissolve, the cleaning power of your wash water also lowers. Also, the suds actually help keep the water hot. Adding more detergent won't boost the power though because detergent works best in hot water. If you see that the sides of our sink have scum on them you are probably not using enough detergent or water that is hot enough. So turn on the heat and add in the Sunlight!

Friday, April 16, 2010

15 minute tidy.

Ok, so I ran through my kitchen today and did a very quick, speed decision 15 minute clean up of all the cupboards and drawers. Well, the whole thing actually took about 45 minutes, I had to keep on stopping the clock to go tend to either the kids or something that hubby needed. But I got through it!

I was shocked at the amount of food I had to throw away. Most of it was baking stuff, oat bran, corn starch, yeast packages that were 5 years old stuck behind a jar of molasses. I don't know how long you can keep some of that stuff (well, yeast I know gets old) so I erred on the side of caution and dumped it. Most were less then half empty anyway.

I also got rid of a lot of mixes that I don't use anymore. Muffin mix, biscuit mix, pancake mix. I make everything from scratch now. Out of curiosity, I checked out the ingredients lists and oh my goodness, there were so many things in those mixes that I couldn't say. I'm glad that I have switched to made from scratch.

The drawers didn't need much tending to because I actually just went through them before my youngest was born. I got rid of a few tools that I never use and some cookie cutters that were misshapen got sent to the play dough bin.

One thing I did do was start to fill up my new spice rack. My son helped with this, and even though each and every spice jar now has a a few pepper corns in them (I tried to dig out as many as I could when he wasn't looking) he did really well and it kept him entertained while I ransacked my cupboards.

I love how much he loves to help, and he has actually really been a help with the extra cleaning I've been doing. He is so happy just doing a task. Like tearing up cardboard to put in the recycling, that will literally keep him occupied for over an hour. Other things he loves to do is dusting, cleaning anything with a spray bottle full of water, scrubbing the tub (I'm very glad he likes to do this because I hate doing it). And while he always helped me do things before, I think that because I get more enjoyment out of it, he is having more fun doing it.

All this extra cleaning has actually really been a real bonding time for us. Most of the cleaning I do while my daughter is napping and it gives us really good time where we can clean and chat and pretend and just enjoy each others company. I know that it doesn't sound like we would be engaged with each other, each of us cleaning something, but we really are. And he loves it. He takes such pride in his work. I'm sure it isn't going to last long, but I'm going to enjoy it while it is here.

Hubby is away this weekend, but I have a full list of things that I'd like to get done.

The agenda for the weekend:
Read housekeeping manuals kitchen chapters (a night time activity)
Empty and organize the pantry cabinet (BIG job)
Take all the stuff off the top of my cabinets
Cook two one pot meals for the week ahead, freeze after they have cooled.

I'll check in again tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Perfect Poem

I thought this was so cute, and very appropriate for my day today, lol. Enjoy!


I've washed too many pairs of dirty hands.

And cleaned a zillion pots and pans.

I've removed spots from the brand new carpet,

And made endless trips to the supermarket.

I've tripped scores of times on a toy in the hall,

And scrubbed a hundred marks from the ivory wall.

Now I am ready to run or fly

To a land where pants are always dry.

Where our spouses don't come home and say,

"What, darling, did you do today?"

By Rosalie Kramer

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

So I have officially started the kitchen organizing project. I had NO clue what ends up underneath the fridge. Totally gross.

Even my vacuum cleaner tried to run away. They really need to make an appropriate attachment for getting under the fridge so you don't have to actually move it each time.

On a happy note, I found most of Alexander's alphabet magnets, and he was ever so grateful. He even said "Mama, why you put them under there??" lol .

The two areas that need the most work are the pantry cabinets. They are filled with stuff that shouldn't be there (measuring cups, baby bottles, an old half empty spice rack, and I kid you not, a huge container of powdered ice tea from the early 2000s. I told him that we wouldn't drink it :P ) and the stuff that should be there typically ends up on the counter or the shelf. So those will be my main focus for the next few days.

I have promised myself that this house organizing wouldn't put a strain on the bank books, so I have talked it over with Peter and I have a budget of $200 for the whole house. If I need something, it needs to fit in that budget. Needless to say, I'm not going to buying much, lol. there is one exception to that rule, and it happens in the kitchen. Peter has been telling me for months to order cabinet drawer organizers from Home Hardware. They are wire and come with one shelf that you put on to an existing shelf to crate two tiers basically, but one of them is a drawer.

Explaining things is not my strong point. I'll try and find a link, lol. We already have one under our sink and I love it.

My next test of ability is tomorrow and Thursday, where I work all day each day. Will I be able to keep on track and follow the schedule? I hope so because if not, Friday is going to be very busy.

Now I've got to go vacuum so I can watch Glee tonight!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Day 12 and this organizing book is starting to get on my nerves. It is progressing way too slowly for me, focusing too much on self exploration and less on the actual cleaning of my kitchen.

I think the difference between me and the people she has worked with is that their lives were all a mess as well as their houses. My life is fine, it is my house that needs organizing. No seriously, my life is totally organized. I know I sound like I could be in denial , but really, its true. While I am currently living in a mess of papers and books, clothes with no drawers for them and kitchen utensils that have no place to go, I am very good at keeping things in my life (appointments and such) totally organized. That is one thing that I'm proud of.

This week is supposed to be focusing on creating schedules and routines. Leeds says (and I quote) "Everything you do needs to be scheduled. If you get in the habit of seeing your life a month at at time, you will be in a better position to balance your schedule." That seems a little OCD to me.

I can see how that might be necessary for someone who works full time out of the house and has children who are in a lot of programs, but I only work part time and my kids are in any groups so really, not much to plan. I do have a calendar that I write stuff on, so I'm good in that department.

One thing she points out is that there needs to be one rule everyone must follow. When you use something, it must go back where you found it.

This one is going to be tough. I feel like I am the only one who ever puts stuff away in this house. Well, let me re-phrase that. I feel like I am the only person who puts stuff back where it belongs. Peter and Alexander put stuff away, just not where it was found or not where it goes.

Time will tell.

If you have time, take a second and vote in the poll this week.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Why all the negativity

I have come across a lot of negativity surrounding the phrases housewife and housekeeping. And it actually really baffles me. I don't know if it is because I'm out of touch with society now, or if I'm just naive, but I really don't understand all the fuss.

Home Comforts begins with an introduction of sorts from the author titled "My Secret Life". Cheryl Mendelson is a lawyer, with apparently affluent friends who looked at her blankly when she told them she was writing a book about how to keep house. She didn't tell people she was very interested and actually got pleasure from house keeping because she knew she would get those blank stares.

What type of precedent does that set for people who are setting off to start keeping house. Obviously if they have bought a book of this magnitude, they have something invested in their interest to keep house. They are looking for something more from their lives and the space they live in. At least, that is where I am coming from.

How is it that housekeeping has become something that we should be embarrassed about enjoying?

Where is the pride in our homes? Why have we stopped creating an oasis of comfort and order? When did our homes become just a shell where we crash between work and errands?

I think that part of the answer is how women view their roles in society now. We are supposed to be the sex that can have it all. A job, a family, a large beautiful house, a multitude of friends and extra curricular hobbies and interests that we fulfill. What that has caused is all of this constant conflict and feelings of guilt because we feel we can't properly fulfill anything if we have everything.

Constant juggling wears us down and the first thing that typically goes out the window is the upkeep of our home. None of this is news to any of us.

But what interests me most is things I have been reading in parenting magazines and blogs. There seems to be this constant topic that comes up frequently in these two mediums. The feeling that it is currently ok to be half good at everything because that is all we can expect with so many things to juggle. In the blogosphere it is portrayed as comedic.

But is everything something that we really need to have? Can we really truly appreciate what we have if we have too much to deal with?

There was one article in a magazine this month that was discussing mom's that blog and it said that mothers most often flip on the lap top when they are "stuck at home" during their children's afternoon naps.

Another magazine talked about survey results that showed the majority of mom's didn't fully enjoy their year maternity leave because they found they didn't have enough time to themselves, and that they actually felt relief when they went back to work because they weren't being stimulated enough at home. The survey also showed that most of the same women felt guilty for wanting to go back to work and not spending as much time with their children.

Um, a bit conflicted. But do they feel bad because they really do feel that they are missing big moments in their children's lives? Or do they feel bad because that is what society has deemed proper if you are going to work and be a mom at the same time?

Back to housekeeping and all the other things that we juggle as moms (lets face it, women still do the majority of the housekeeping). Are women running themselves ragged because of two conflicting society views they feel they need to fulfill, and a lifestyle they feel they need to be happy? Are they really happy and living their (in the words of Oprah) Best Life?

I myself feel guilt, but backwards. I feel guilty that I'm not out making money. One of my biggest guilts is that I'm not taking care of our home, and creating the type of home that I want my family to live in. I want comfort and simplicity, a place to come home where when you walk in the door you feel that you can close it on all the activity of the outside world.

Could creating a home oasis for the family be the answer to some women's conflicted lives? Can we take the shame out of the title of housewife?

I know that there were a lot of questions asked here, many of them have been asked before, and none of them have easy answers.

Well, actually, that I don't know.

I think that maybe, things might be easier than we believe them to be.

I'm hoping this journey will help me find some answers.

A Change of Heart

I no longer want to find my inner June Cleaver.

I'm much more suited to be Margaret Anderson from Father Knows Best. Much more suited.

For starters, she wore pants to clean. Right off the bat has my vote for housewife of the year. And she is sometimes seen rushing (there are even a few episodes where dinner is late!), sometimes is a bit frustrated with her children, sometimes they even act like brats (especially the youngest one) and she knows, above all, that while Father may know best, most often, Mother knows better :)

My kind of gal!

On a different note, I will be changing the game plan to my project a little bit. I'm finding That many of the tasks in 101 things to do are things that are not everyday housekeeping related. It should be titled, 101 Things for the Housewife To Do when she has the time and nothing better to do. I'm still trying to get the hang of all of this housewife stuff and really don't feel like spending my evening weaving when what I want to be doing is planning the weeks menu.

What I have found though is that I'm referencing the Martha Stewart Homekeeping Book, the Home Comforts book and the Housewife's Handbook all the time. So, instead of learning a whole bunch of little things about different aspects of housekeeping, I'm going to learn everything I can each month based on the room that is being worked on.

I will still be picking two things to read and blog about, and if I have the time I will do the task, but since this project is about learning how to be a housewife in modern times, there really is no reason for me to be weaving seat cushions for my already perfectly fine seat cushions.

I'll be back later today to post about the introduction to Home Comforts and a magazine article that I recently read. The each created a very interesting view of housekeeping and I'd really like to comment about.

Until then, I'm going out with my monkey to enjoy the beautiful weather!

Friday, April 9, 2010

As promised, here are the before pictures of my kitchen:

My kitchen:

Side wall shelve with an unused spice rack.

My messy messy cabinets:




My dear husband started putting stuff on top of our cabinets and now it has turned in to an epidemic.

As I go through the kitchen I'll post side by side comparisons.
Day 9. It has been cold and rainy here for four days and I'm starting to go stir crazy in the house. But regardless, the house work continues.

I got a big fail yesterday because I was so busy cleaning the windows I didn't change the bed linens. Or vacuum the upstairs. Or put laundry away. All things that needed to be done. I guess this is going to be a busy weekend catching up.

I did on the other hand finish the windows on the first floor and had to give the bathroom once over because it got really untidy. I also managed to get started on my menu planning.

If you remember at the beginning of the month I had said that each month would focus on projects in what ever room I was working on at the time. Well this month is the kitchen so in an attempt to weed through all the recipes I've clipped out of magazines, I'm creating weekly menus using these recipes. Good ones will stay, the rest will go. That took a bit of my time yesterday because I have a huge stack of recipes. I have no clue how I accumulated so many!

so my pick from 101 things to do is interesting. I have to weave something. On a loom I guess, but since I don't think I have one anymore (yes, I used to have a loom as a child) I'm going to have to make one out of cardboard. I plan on making that tonight out of a huggies box I have lying around. I'll also be posting my before and after pictures tonight as well.

Be back soon, got to go make dinner for my babes!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Fixing a pot is not as easy as it seems. First off, most of the stuff they said to get isn't available anymore. I had to roam through the hardware section to find washer made of cork, and then I couldn't find the correct size. The book instructions are actually for holes in the bottom of the pots, but their method would help my handle stay on much more securely, if I could find all the parts. I'm heading out to Home Hardware tomorrow to see if they have anything.

Cleaning windows is my new form of meditation. It is so satisfying. I have before and after pictures I'll post later, but seriously, they should have been washed years ago. It took three swipes with my vacuum cleaner to get all the dust off the screens, and even then, I'm going to have to wash them so they get really clean.

Tomorrow I'm going to take before pictures of my kitchen so I can see the comparison at the end of the month. I'm hoping the book addresses the inside of cupboards because mine are a mess!

This is a pretty mundane post, lol. Tomorrow will be more interesting, I promise!
Day seven, 101 things for a housewife to do day and kitchen cleaning day.

I have decided to randomly pick a number out of a box for the 101 things to do, as it is broken in to sections, one of which is things to build (yes, build, not make) and that could get pricey if I have to do all of them in a row, so a random number each Wednesday and Friday it will be.

Today's number 51, Mending Pots and Pans. Very handy actually because two of my pot handles are on the verge of falling off and need to be mended. I'll let you know how it goes tonight.

Kitchen scrubbing day is today as well. Not looking forward to this as this is the first time I've actually scrubbed my kitchen, and now that I have taken a closer look to assess the job, my cabinets are looking very grungy. Around each handle there is a layer of yuck that you can't really see unless you look at it, but none the less, kind of gross. I guess wiping them down doesn't do the trip, it needs a little elbow grease.

I've also got to wash the first floor windows today. Not sure how I'm going to wash the outside of them because they can't be reached from the ground and the hose water hasn't been turned on yet. The only windows that actually come out of the tracks are those that are on our second floor.

Away we go!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Love at first sight

I love my vacuum cleaner.

I seriously love it.

He even has a name... James.

He is strong and powerful and can get through anything.

James is a Dyson. A Dyson Animal. That describes him exactly.

He can suck dust bunnies from three feet away, actually makes my carpets look cleaner and has so many attachments I don't know what each of them does.

Is it odd to care for something this much? I don't think so. He is reliable, totally comes apart so I can clean and fix him in a jiffy (not that he has ever needed fixing), is bag less, has great teeth and, you know what? He looks great too! What more could you ask for in a man... uh, vacuum :)

We were first introduced at my friend's parent's house. They had one and I took it for a test run. It was love at first vacuum, and I had to have one. And after four months of saving up, my dreams came true.

It was a huge purchase, one I shared with my Mom. But it was so worth it. We have two cats, one German Sheppard, two young children and two construction workers who drag in more dirt on their clothes than a kid in a sandbox and two avid gardeners all in the same house. It is necessary. We kept on burning out all our other cleaners because of all the hair, dirt and grime.

Having started my housewife challenge, I appreciate my vacuum cleaner even more. That being said, my vacuum cleaner is changing the way I see my housewife challenge. Both are giving me a sense of calm and both are helping me to see that doing little things add up to big life changes.

It may be a silly connection, but it is one that is making a difference. Isn't that all that matters?

Round one

This is going to be harder than I thought. Ok, well, I knew it was going to be hard.

Day 6 was the start to my weekly cleaning schedule.

The day: Monday

The room: bathroom

The chore: clean it.

Broken down like that, sounds pretty simple. But let me tell you, it took 5 trips in and out of the bathroom across the day to actually get the whole thing cleaned. I know that yesterday was a bit off because it was a holiday and the weekend caused the kids schedules to be all messed up so everyone was cranky. Plus we had no food in the fridge, so I had to go grocery shopping with everyone else in the city it seems because it was so busy out there!

I guess I could have switched shopping day and bathroom day... didn't think of that yesterday though. A lesson for next time.

Today's task if vacuum and dust the first floor. Perfect because I actually found my duster today! It must have been destiny, lol. It was just sitting there waiting for me. Hasn't been used in I don't know how long so it was probably pretty lonely and neglected feeling. Peter thinks it is odd that I give objects feelings, but how can you not with all those Swiffer commercials out there?

In other news...

What a glorious Easter weekend we had! The weather was great and we actually got to go up north and look at how our bunkie was coming a long. We have a small piece of land just east of Port Perry with a little cabin on it that we are fixing up. It is a long process but we are getting there! Poor Peter didn't get much done with us there so he had to go back up on Monday so he could do something other than rake leaves. Thus is life with a family I guess.

Gotta go vacuum!


Sunday, April 4, 2010

I totally forgot to add my schedules to the post! I have been busy trying to figure out when I was going to do what on which days. So, here it is!

Am: open all windows, pull back bed sheets/blankets, make beds, put away clothes
Pm: tidy toys, wipe down kitchen, general tidy of house.

Monday: clean bathroom, clean cool mist humidifiers

Tuesday: vacuum and dust first floor, mending, create grocery list

Wednesday: Grocery shop, tidy fridge, clean kitchen

Thursday: collect laundry, changed bed linens, vacuum second floor

Friday: dust/vacuum first floor, wash floors and tables

Saturday and Sunday we are away often or doing family things so I have left those off.

My monthly tasks are:
Week one: clean windows
Week two: wash duvet covers, air out pillows, change mattress covers
Week three: clean ceiling fan and blinds
Week four: organize bedrooms (although I'm not totally happy with this one, it may change)

April 4, 2010

Started the work for the first month in Organizing your Life. The first month is focuses on the kitchen, and to finding out why I'm unorganized. The first week of each month is dedicated to what Leeds calls journaling. She gives you the questions, you provide the answer. I am going to use this blog as the journal aspect. I'm not crazy enough to think that I can add more to my plate and succeed.

So, as I said before, apparently, my issues are most likely due to something in my past. That is what this first exercise was about and after much soul searching, I can pretty much guarantee that this is not related to my parents or my childhood. I'm guessing a lot of people who are unorganized are late often because Leeds really stresses that in this exercise. I am not often late, so this exercise feels a bit useless.

I'm not typically a late person, but I do scramble to get things together, and typically have to search for my keys or purse, or as it happened today, both. I'm not sure when that happened. I think it started when we moved in to this house. I think that we haven't yet settled in, even though we have been here for six years. I am constantly moving things around and trying to find an order that works well for me, but I can't seem to get it right. Hopefully this book will help with that.

I am also going to be setting goals that set up positive life changes. So, I have created three main goals:
I no longer have papers that do not have a specific place.
I get rid of things that I am no longer using or need.
I spend time each day "keeping house" to make sure things don't pile up.

That said, her final assignment was to identify where all my time goes, and let me tell you, I am totally managing my time incorrectly, although this isn't really a surprise to me. I spend way too much time on the computer, checking my email, and really just dawdling time away. The other time I waste is running errands because I haven't made a proper shopping lists. I do a lot of errand running when I don't need to be. It also wastes money.

So, I now know what I need to work on, what goals I am going to work with. Onward!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Small changes

I am surprised, after just reading the introductions of the books, I have noticed changes in how I think. One of the things that has stuck the most is finishing what you start. Leeds in Organized Life says that when you don't finish even the simplest of tasks, it causes a snowball effect with other little tasks that stay incomplete and it over flows in to other aspects in your life.

This is something that I can relate to. One of the things that frustrates me the most about my life is the fact that I have started so many projects, and end up having them all on the go at the same time, but never finishing any of them because I'm always trying to work on all of them at the same time.

I think in a way that is why I have made such a big project out of this. Because I really need to make this something that is huge in my life so that I stick with it. So that it isn't a small change in my life. I need something to shake things up.

So this one topic has been in the back of my mind all weekend, and I have noticed that I have been "finishing" small tasks. Instead of just taking laundry upstairs, I now put it away right away. when I open the mail, I throw the recycling away right away and pin the bills up to a board. Before I go to bed, I pick up and tidy so that I don't have to do it in the morning, which often times is too busy to do a tidy anyway.

It has really made a difference, albeit a small one, but still, at least I'm not waking up to laundry baskets and toys to step over.

It is a small step, but one I'm really excited about.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The solution to my problem

If I had known that finding the solution to my general disliking of constant home grooming and organizing was going to be so simple to find, I'd have never bought all these books.

"If you can learn to lift your ribs right out of your waist, and to let them expand outwards and inwards when breathing, you will soon develop that 'upward buoyant poise' which is the secret of grace and which would bring less drudgery and more joy to the daily dusting, bed-making, picture straightening, and all the dozens of things which go towards making your home beautiful."
- 101 things for the Housewife To Do, Lillie B. and Arthur c. Horth, p 186-187

So there you have it. Breathe properly and it will make cleaning much more enjoyable. I can't wait until I have to put this one in to practice...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Day One, 364 days to go

Ok, so I've read the introduction to Organizing and to Martha, and let me tell you, I'm already behind!

Apparently, according to Martha, I need to make schedules. Lots and lots of schedules, so that I know what to clean, when and with what. Holy cow this lady obviously has a lot of time on her hands. So this weekend I'll be creating weekly, monthly, seasonal and yearly cleaning schedules. I'm excited about the weekly one, because I know I need it to get organized, but I had NO clue what so ever that I was supposed to be washing my windows once a month. I haven't washed them since they were installed. Which was when we moved in. Which was 6 years ago, LOL.

Now, Organizing. It was actually a very interesting read. Apparently there was something in my life that sparked my propensity to be unorganized. There is a reason behind it, other than the fact that I don't have an organizational bone in my body. Well, that isn't true either. I CAN organize, but I just can't seem to keep up with the organizing in this period of my life. Anyway, each chapter is going to work on my self awareness as well as cleaning up my house. I guess there is no harm in that. For this weekend my assignment is to make a dream board. A collage of all the things that I want my life to be. I'm to cut out pictures from magazines and place them on a bristol board. I feel like I'm in highschool again.

Three more books to go! Check out my poll on window washing if you have a chance :)