Cleaning House

I don’t know how it happens but it does.  One minute the house seems to be in relatively good shape and the next, I become aware that every room, closet, cabinet and corner has stuff in disarray.  Then it starts eating at me.  I think part of the problem is that we have too much stuff.  But once we get it, I have a hard time letting go of it because it’s either in perfectly good working condition or WE MIGHT NEED IT!  I know it’s silly but it’s true.

So little by little, area by area, I’ve been working on straightening up.  I don’t think anyone has noticed, but that’s ok.  The order is good for my well being.  So far, I’ve tackled Miss K’s bathroom, the linen closet, the downstairs coat closet, three baskets of stuff in our room and my car.  Still a long list of things to get to though…our closets, Miss K’s closet, our bathroom cabinet, the refrigerator, the spice cabinet, the pantry, and the garage.  Yowza.  That’s a lot of stuff.  I think for most of those spaces, there’s not a ton I need to toss (with the exception of the garage), just need to straighten up.  The cabinet under our sink gets crazy sometimes but it shouldn’t take too long to tackle.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how much room you can make by just straightening up.  I didn’t throw out a whole lot from our linen closet but just arranging things better actually freed up almost an entire shelf that I didn’t think was available.  Side note on the linen closet.  While folding towels, I realized that we have over 20 towels, including Miss K’s.  REALLY?????  For what reason do we need over 20 towels when there are only three of us living here?  Well, things spiral.  We got two sets from our wedding registry.  Then we wanted plain old white bath sheets so we bought two more.  Then we got another set from my MIL.  Then we got another set from a friend.  Then MIL thought we needed another white one.  Then I had bought one set for our downstairs bathroom.  Then hubby got one from work.  Then…we’re towel hoarders.  Same thing with bed sheets.  My husband saw this great deal on sheets that were great quality.  I really like them.  But we only need two sets of bed sheets at a time because we only have two beds and a crib in our house.  Yet we have at least seven sets of sheets.  So that stuff gets messy when you have limited space.

My goal for today is to tackle the refrigerator.  We just cleared it out for garbage day so it’s a good time to clean it.  I had frozen some broth in some ice cube trays that spilled and this made a mess in the freezer so I need to get on that.  By the way, I’m really proud of myself – usually I use a few tablespoons or a cup of broth out of a 2 cup can and end up throwing the rest away.  Well last week I froze the remaining broth into cubes and I used it in our meals this week.  Yay for less waste and saving money.

All this straightening up has led me to the conclusion that I need to make a schedule so that nothing gets out of control.  If I just pick one thing to do everyday, and do follow the schedule consistently, I’ll bet I could keep our stuff in order and then I wouldn’t waste so much time looking for stuff or waste so much money buying more of stuff we already have that I didn’t realize due to my disorganization.  So I’m going to work on making a chart of stuff that needs to happen and I’m going to try to stick with it.  Stay tuned.  I’ll share it.  Oh and I think I need to have something for beauty rituals too.  I’m out of control.  I could use a regularly scheduled eyebrow trim, mask, etc.

When we first got married, my husband found a resource – flylady.net that had a great idea.  It’s meant to be help for those women suffering from CHAOS – Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome.  For those of us who find ourselves in unwanted clutter, it creates a plan to slowly but surely work through and maintain the mess.  It’s nice because day one, the goal is merely to shine your sink – clear out all the plates, clean up all the other stuff around the sink so that tomorrow you can welcome the day with a fresh start.  So you do that everyday but you add a little each day.  It’s a great way to make progress without getting overwhelmed.

I want to inventory the kitchen too – I know I have stuff I just need to use up so it doesn’t go bad.  I’m going to see if I can make next week a clean up week for the kitchen.  What’s eating at you?  Do you have an area that could use some attention?

Update:    I took 20 minutes and cleaned up our bathroom cabinets.  Found some things to throw out but it’s still kinda cluttered in there.  At least now I can find stuff quickly.

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