I didn’t see one of these for the month, so I thought I’d start one. Zsofia, I hope you don’t mind.
It’s been 9 days since my last foray into the room that’s supposed to be called an office to clean. But today I spent a whole hour there. Yay!
I’ve moved some of the big stuff and the major noticeable stuff was cleaned and moved the last time I cleaned. So now, it’s sorting through papers and the like. So now I’m trying to go for time spent instead of expecting to see the finished product right away.
For the rest of my housework, I use a modified SHE (side-tracked home executive – from the book) system. I use actual index cards. The index cards are color-coded for daily, weekly, monthly and every other week and those that can be done whenever. I then have tabs with the days of the month on them and when I finish a task, I rotate them forward. I also have stuff under the tabs of the month that need to get done that’s specific to that month, like an appointment or something. Whenever I’ve used this system in the past, my life has gotten better, so here’s hoping. I’ve been using the system again now for about 5 months–the last time before that was 2 years previously. For the rest of the stuff, I’m not too far behind, but perhaps I could add more stuff. I’m holding off adding more tasks until the office gets closer to cleaner. (I don’t know if it’ll ever be totally clean)
What’s going on with everyone else? Any success stories to share? I love success stories. Anybody’s house so clean that they don’t have to do much anymore? That would be cool to hear about also.
I backslid SOOOO far in March that I started all over again. Back to: Day one, shine sink. And that turned into Day one, shine sink, clear counter, clean stove. Day two, shine sink, finish kitchen, clean bathroom, clear dining room floor. Day three, shine sink, clear living room floor and vac/sweep. Day four, shine sink, clear most of baby’s floor. So it’s getting back in shape.
Mount Laundry is back, so I’m working on that this weekend.
But it’s nice to see my shiny sink again. Godsdammit if that doesn’t make a huge difference in the whole house! Stoopid FlyLady being stoopid right!
I don’t, really. I subscribe to her email newsletter, but I haven’t read a one in months. I think what I needed was that initial reassurance that if all I could do in a day was shine my stupid sink, that was progress. That doing just one more thing today than I did yesterday was applause worthy progress. That if I poop out, I can start over, and it’s not all “ruined”.
Also, the 20 minute binge cleaning thing is really great for me. I can get a whole lot more done in 20 minutes than I thought, and 20 minutes isn’t too intimidating to start, y’know? And most often, when my timer goes off, I think, “Eh, what the heck, I’ll just do this one more thing…” Which is how my Day one, shine sink goal grew. Once I see the shiny sink, the cluttered counter next to it just won’t do. And once that’s clear, the filthy stove will just take a minute…
I just allow myself, once I’m past the 20 minute mark, to SIT DOWN when I think, “Whew, this is getting hard!” If it’s getting hard and I’ve done 20 minutes, I’m allowing myself to stop, even if “just the front of the refigerator” is calling me. This saves me from feeling all wiped out and reticent to do my 20 minutes later.
I had it going pretty well for a while there with shine sink, clean bathroom and 4 20 minute cleans a day, without needing any further system than that. Honestly, that works best for me, as my mess constantly changes. With little kids around, I may use a whole one of those 20 minutes cleaning up a potted plant they’ve dumped over! If I had alloted those 20 minutes elsewhere, I’d have an extra chore and start getting overworked again. Since I’m not interested in a museum clean place, I can afford spotwork and letting some things go an extra day.
Imagine a bachelor pad. Now imagine a bachelor that has zero chance of ever bringing a girl home. Now imagine a married man living a thousand miles away from his wife while he finishes writing his dissertation. Now imagine that this married man is caring for two cats.
I’ll do my laundry when I’ve worn all my underwear twice. The dishes get done when the insects reach a certain maturity. That’s all I have to say.
The exterior of our house is painted! See pictures. The trim isn’t done yet, nor are there any porch lamps. After the painting was done, my husband suggested I head down to Sacramento to relax for a day or so. So I did that, and we just got back. The house is a wreck, but I’ll get back into a routine next week, now that the Giant Project is about done. I’ll spend the next several weeks doing a bit at a time on the trim and eaves.
Also, my oldest girl has been on a trip with my parents for the past week, and she’s coming home tonight! Yay! I’m glad she had the chance to go, and she had a wonderful time, but I was worried sick the whole time, so I’m glad she’ll be back. (It’s the allergies, and worrying that my mom won’t be properly careful about what she feeds her. I tried not to show it to DangerGirl!)
I would like to spend much of tomorrow putting the house back into some semblance of order, but instead I’ll be baking a birthday cake (for DangerBaby, who turned 4 this week), dyeing Easter eggs, taking the kids on a picnic, and generally running around too much.
Nope; that was the easy part. We got a paint sprayer, and it just shot the paint right into all that stucco. The siding was actually more of a pain, because I had to go over the top of each board with a brush to make sure it all got covered. And under the eaves was the hardest.
I got so grumpy from the mess everywhere this morning that I have tried pretty hard to clean a lot of it up this afternoon. Things are not great, but they are better. My poor husband has spent the afternoon wrestling with putting lamps on the house exterior–who knew that plain old house lamps were so purely evil?
I also cleaned the bathroom, decluttered and vacuumed the living room, went on an expedition to discover the fabled Lost Kitchen Table, and mopped the kitchen floor. I even scrubbed out the fireplace, because I discovered that my cats had been using it as an alternate litter box. Then I rearranged the fireplace screen so that they can no longer get through it and admonished them severely by saying, “Bad kitties!”.
Next week I’m taking a few days off work; I plan on washing windows, vacumming corners, wiping down walls, washing curtains, and cleaning venetian blinds, air vents, and ceiling fans. Or I might just sit around and watch Humphrey Bogart movies. We’ll see what happens.
OK, everybody, it’s Monday morning and we have a chance to start off well this week. Or at least, I have a chance to get back on track with everything.
So I have done the dishes and wiped the counters, started a load of laundry, and started school on time.
I will finish the laundry load, go through the junk mail and sort out the two bills to be paid, and change the sheets and towels.
In other news, my newly-minted 4-yo can read. :eek: I got out the phonics book for her this morning and she zipped through the entire section of short-vowel syllables (looks like pages of “su, pa, di, mu,” etc.). I knew she was itching to read, but I’m a little gobsmacked at the moment. She’s on to 3-letter words, no problemo. Again, :eek: !
I don’t have my own place, but the state of my room definitely reflected my state of mind this past month. Clothes all over the place, papers on every counter surface, and no real idea where anything was. You could tell I have been distracted and a little stressed out.
Yesterday I went on a thorough cleaning spree: got all the papers together, sorted through what needed to be kept and filed and what needed to be thrown away, made new files and labels, filed away the stuff, and resorted the old files. After that, I vacuumed the floor, dusted every surface I could reach, and polished the wood furniture with Old English lemon oil polish.
My mom wondered what had gotten into me, as I tend to have cleaning spurts that only last through a “clean the kitchen” cycle and not a full day of cleaning one room. I did, however, sleep better than I have in a while. However, there’s still more to do, as I’m going to be packing all of my stuff and moving in a couple of months.
Well, it’s been a week since my last foray into that room I used to call The Office. But today I sat there for another hour sorting through things.
Fortunately or unfortunately, though, I started finding interesting stuff that I just couldn’t toss without thinking. . .a magazine article, a website address, a current calendar, some current schedules for local classes. . . . so here’s where the real work starts, I guess. I can no longer just toss stuff without thinking. I’m getting to the part where I actually have to file, read or throw out.
So after an hour and a garbage bag of stuff to throw out, not much change to the overall appearance.
But I’m still determined. So I’ll keep plugging away, I hope.
I had a pretty good week, all told. Mopped the floors, kept the sink shiny and the kitchen clean. Did four loads of laundry and folded 'em all and even put two away right away. (The other two are glaring at me from the laundry basket in the living room. I managed to keep the monstrous pile on the dining room table down quite a bit as well. I feel like I’m back on the wagon!
She’s totally right about the lace-up shoe thing. I leave my shoes on and I get TONS done. Of course, then I have to wash the floor more often …
My main problem is with finishing tasks. I either get distracted before it’s done (“Ooh! I haven’t seen this in a while! I’d better give it a quick read so I can decide where to put it …” or “Here’s that hammer I’ve been looking for, now I can go put up that shelf …”) or else I just keep on going, and going, and going beyond all reason.
So I work best if there’s some urgency (which is normally why I invite people over). For some reason it also works with totally self-generated false urgency, specifically: “I’ll just finish this [small task] before I take the dog out,” which soon turns into “I’ll just finish cleaning behind the stove before I take the dog out” and before you know it the kitchen is clean.
I was actually too much of a lazy slob to start a thread. Sigh.
I’ve made HUGE strides outside, though! Check it out! Here’s some before and after, and then a bonus kitty pic. I confess, however - the heaviest lifting I paid somebody to do. Jerome came by and cut the grass and edged everything and took out five HUGE shrubs and even went ever so carefully around my plants so as not to kill anything that’s there on purpose, and he only charged me $250. So now I’m promising myself that I really will keep it up, since the reel mower is so much better for the grass and everything. And I planted stuff I actually like, and it just makes me so happy to look at it! I also cleaned the porch up mostly, which is also nice and doesn’t encourage people to steal my lawnmower anymore. (Although now they can see the porch better so they’ll probably make off with whole new things.)
Inside on the other hand… Jesus Christ. There’s a new smell I can’t locate. Now, two or three weeks ago I kicked the kitchen’s ass. I’m talking seriously here. I got down on my hands and knees and I scrubbed the crap out of that floor and found that, uh, some of that dirt was not, in fact, part of the floor. I did it with ammonia and detergent. Then I rinsed. THEN I Mopped and Gloed. It shone.
Are you ready for this? It still shines.
That’s because I haven’t cooked anything in it since then. And I like to cook. I love to cook. I just get so much pleasure out of looking at that clean kitchen… last night I made mac and cheese and realized that was the first pot I’d used since then.
This is not the goal! Argh! The goal is to keep stuff clean, not to clean it once and then be terrified to use it! Anyway, I guess it’s sort of a step in the right direction.