Getting Back To It

I have to confess something.  I haven’t been “cleaning” for a week or so now.  I know.  My house is turning into a rather dusty mess.  Hubby complained last night that the dust is starting to choke him.  Truth be told, it’s choking me too.  

I’ve just been preoccupied with other stuff.  Like playing with the baby.  And video taping the baby doing cute stuff.  And planning the Back-to-School Bash at church (which was a huge success, by the way).  And feeding my internet addiction.  You know, important stuff.  

Anyway, this morning I decided that I’ve got to get back to it.  I’ve got to start using my lists again.  At least this way, I don’t have to stammer around and lie fib stretch the truth when Hubby asks if I used my list this evening.  I just hate when it gets to this point and I really have to bust my butt to get it back in shape.  I mean, really, it’s not that bad but still.  

So, in order to get my cleaning mindset going on, I’ve put on my “cleaning music”.  Granted, right now it’s my “blogging music” because I wanted to go ahead and type up this post while I’m slacking “on break”.  

What is cleaning music, you ask?  

Well, it’s music that you listen to really loudly while cleaning that also motivates you to keep right on boogying, I mean cleaning.  For me, it’s the CD that I had just bought when Hubby and I started dating.  I loved every song on it and I listened to it while cleaning up my house before he came over.  Ya know, since I was destined to be his bride, I couldn’t have him seeing what a slacker I was at house cleaning.  Anyway, back to the music, it’s not even my favorite CD anymore and the only time I listen to it is when I’m cleaning.  It brings back the feelings of pure bliss and anxious anticipation I had over 8 years ago when my sweetheart was coming over to make out on the couch visit.  *Dreamy eyed*  It makes me want to rush out and buy a pair of l.e.i. jeans and a bottle of Curve perfume (they were my staples back in the day).

But that brings me to this:  Shouldn’t I still feel that way that my sweetheart is coming home from work in a few hours?  I mean, shouldn’t I still be all happy and filled with feelings of pure bliss and anxious anticipation at the thought that I will see him in a few hours?  Listening to this CD while I’m cleaning really brings back those feelings and reminds me how much I really do love Hubby – even while I’m scrubbing the toilet.  Pure bliss, I tell ya.  Honestly, I’m a bit upset with myself because I don’t feel this way about Hubby coming home to me each day as I was 8 years ago and he was just coming over to visit for the evening.  I will make a better effort to remember not to take the fact that Hubby is coming home to me at the end of every day for granted anymore, k?

I digress….Where was I?  Oh yeah, cleaning music.  

So, the CD I’m listening to is Chelly Wright: Single White Female.  Do you have cleaning music?  What’s your favorite?  I’d love to know what you listen to while you clean.  

 

 

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Published in: on August 21, 2008 at 10:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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Shining My Sink Without All The Chemicals

As I’ve mentioned before, I am using FlyLady to get my house in order.  The first thing FlyLady tells you to do is to shine your sink.  Why?  Here’s what FlyLady says….

This is your first household chore. Many of you can’t understand why I want you to empty your sink of your dirty dishes and clean and shine it, when there is so much more to do. It is so simple. I want you to have a sense of accomplishment. You have struggled for years with a cluttered home and you are so beaten down. I just want to put a smile on your face. When you get up the next morning, your sink will greet you and a smile will come across your lovely face. I can’t be there to give you a big hug, but I know how good it feels to see yourself in your kitchen sink. So each morning this is my gift to you. Even though I can’t be there to pat you on the back, I want you to know that I am very proud of you.

Go shine your sink! – FlyLady

She’s right,  you know.  It does give you a great sense of accomplishment and it makes you feel so much better about your home.  For me, it was contagious!  Once the sink was shined, I just had to clean the counters.  And then I had to do the bathroom sinks.  And then the bathroom counters.  You get the picture.  

Anyway, FlyLady uses things like AJAX or Comet and Windex to shine her sink.  I started out that way but I’ve since stopped using cleaners like those.  Instead, I use things like vinegar and baking soda.  Since I enjoy my shiny sink so much, I’ve changed the way I shine it, without losing the shine!  Here’s how:

  •  Fill one side of your sink to the rim with hot water and add 1 cup of bleach.  Allow to sit for one hour and then drain it.  Repeat with the other side of the sink.  You don’t have to do this every time; I only do it once a month.  The bleach really helps keep the drains smelling fresh and takes care of any stains around the drain.  This is one thing I still do that FlyLady does.  
  • Spray the sink with a mixture of 1 cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of warm water.  I keep this on hand at all times to clean with, it’s my all-purpose cleaner.   
  • Dampen a paper towel with the vinegar/water cleaner and wrap it around a butter knife.  Use this to scrub really well around the edges of your sink (where it meets the countertop) and around the edge of the faucet.  You probably won’t have to do this every time you shine your sink – just as needed.  
  • Using a sponge, wipe the sink really well all over.  Make sure to wipe down in the sink and along the edges, as well as around the faucet.  
  • Rinse the sink well.
  • Sprinkle some baking soda in each side of the sink.  With a sponge, scrub the sink with the baking soda just as would with AJAX.  Make sure to get around the edges and all over the faucet, too! 
  • Rinse the sink really well to remove any residue left by the baking soda.  
  • Use a dry dish towel to wipe all the water off of the entire sink.  You may want to let it sit for a few mintues after this to make sure it’s good and dry.
  • Spray the sink with a glass cleaner.  Right now, I’m using up the last bit of my Method peppermint glass cleaner.  After that, I’ll be using a mixture of water, ammonia, and alcohol.  You can find some good glass cleaner recipes online.  I’ll be posting the ones I’ve found soon.  
  • Now, your sink should be nice and shiny!  If you have a stainless sink, you can also dab a little olive oil on a paper towel and rub it all over your sink for a little added shine.  

You don’t have to go through the whole process every single day.  I don’t.  Like I said, I do the bleach thing once a month or so.  I do shine my sink daily though.  I do the vinegar/water cleaner every time I cook and then clean up my mess.  I do the baking soda and window cleaner twice a day – morning and night.  

If you’d like to see the way FlyLady does it, you can find her instructions here.  Happy Shining!

If you have a good recipe for household cleaners, I’d love to hear it!

Published in: on August 14, 2008 at 3:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Transformation

There’s nothing quite like having my hubby invite a couple of our friends over for dinner to motivate me to transform our formal living room (aka “The Junk Room”) from this…

 

Into this…..

 

I’ve been putting it off forever because I thought it would take all day to do it.  Amazingly, it only took one hour and two trash bags!  I even cleaned out the coat closet!  It makes my whole house feel better.  Ahhh….

Published in: on August 5, 2008 at 10:26 pm  Comments (1)  
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Let’s Talk Laundry

What does your laundry area look like these days?  If you’re like me, your dirty laundry tends to outweigh the clean laundry.  The hamper is overflowing.  Or maybe, like me, you have dirty laundry that gets piled up here and there – the corner in the bedroom, behind the bathroom door, all over the kids’ bedroom floor.  

When you finally get around to doing the laundry, does it take you all day?  Do you even get it caught up then?  Or do you wash and dry all day and end up with a heap of clean clothes that you didn’t fold?  I’ve found myself in that situation more than once.  The dirty laundry piles up for a week and then I spend all day washing and drying and then we live out of the basket for a few days before I get around to folding it all.  Everybody’s clothes are wrinkled and have to be ironed before they can be worn.  Want to know my dirty little secret?  I have actually put clothes back through the wash before simply because they are so wrinkled from sitting in the bottom of the laundry basket for a week!  I know, I know.  That’s pretty bad!  I have also had towels that smell awful because I didn’t take the time to put them in the dryer after they had been washed and they soured.  Oh, yuck!  Who wants to dry off with a smelly old towel?

Well, I say NO MORE!  I will not let my laundry get out of hand again.  How am I going to do this?  For the past week, I have done at least one load of laundry each day.  Now when I “do” a load of laundry, I not only wash and dry it but I fold it and usually put it away.  Okay, another confession?  The boys’ laundry sat (folded) in a basket for three or four days this past week before I put it away yesterday.  I am making it my new goal to only wash and dry the clothes I will also have (or take) the time to fold and put away.  

Do you have a laundry tip to share?

Published in: on July 25, 2008 at 4:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Note About My Routines

Yesterday I posted about my daily, weekly, and (soon-to-be) monthly routines.  I just thought I should come back and add that when I do my weekly routines, it is in addition to my daily routine.  I always do my daily routine first each day and then I work on that day’s list from the weekly routine.  I just didn’t want there to be any confusion.  

Do you have a routine tip to share?

Published in: on July 24, 2008 at 8:28 am  Leave a Comment  
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Cleaning with Routines

A few months ago I started FlyLady.  I was all gung-ho and doing really well….for about three days!  I found that my in box was flooded with email tips and tricks and cleaning routines and I didn’t really care to follow any of the stuff so I deleted it all and eventually removed myself from their mailing list.  

Two weeks ago, I was at the library and ran across Sink Reflections, a book by Marla Cilley (aka FlyLady).  I checked it out and started reading it.  It really is a great book to help you get your life and home back on track.  She gives great tips for getting out of the CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome) that has overtaken your home.  I haven’t finished the book yet, but I’ve been able to implement some of her tips into my daily life.   The most important one for me (so far) is to develop a routine.  

FlyLady gives her routines in the book and on her website.  Check them out, maybe they will help you.  I haven’t used FlyLady’s routines as my own, though, because they do not fit my life.  Instead of following her routines, I made a list of everything that needs to be done in my house daily to keep it in order.  Then I made a list of more detailed cleaning that needs to be done weekly and monthly and so on.  

My daily routines consist of things like loading/unloading the dishwasher, sweeping the floors, making the beds, emptying the trash, running a feather duster over the furniture, and vacuuming the main areas of the rooms with carpet.  Your daily routines may be different from mine.  The point is that your routine has to fit you and your home.  That’s what makes it yours, right?

I took a look at the list of things that need to be done on a weekly basis and separated it by room.  I then scheduled a room (or two) each day.  For instance, on Mondays I clean the kitchen really well by cleaning out the fridge, mopping the floor, straightening the cabinets, taking off the recycling, and dusting the china hutch.   Monday is also the day that everyone’s bed gets clean sheets.  Since these things don’t take a lot of time, I also polish the furniture in the den on Monday as well.  On Tuesdays, I scrub both of the bathrooms really well.  That’s enough scrubbing to do me for one day so that’s all that I put on Tuesday’s list.  You get the picture?  

Each of my lists is in a clear page protector in a three-ring binder.  This was another tip from FlyLady.  This way, you can use a dry erase marker to mark items off your list as they are completed and then wipe it clean for the next day!  I don’t know about you but I love being able to see things marked off of my list.  My husband likes seeing what I’ve marked off too!

FlyLady also does what she calls “Zone Cleaning”.  Each week, you concentrate on a different zone of your house.  I haven’t gotten this far yet.  Right now, I’m just happy trying to get stuff in order.  FlyLady also recommends that you don’t worry about all that zone cleaning until you’ve been able to conquer the clutter in your home first.  We’ll discuss decluttering in another post.

Published in: on July 23, 2008 at 4:49 pm  Comments (4)  
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