Thursday, August 25, 2011

An Organized Life

My life is chaos. At least my baby's cute.

But no, really. Organization. I'm not, but I really want to be. And now that a little person is desperately trying to get from one side of the rug to the other (praise the LORD she can't quite yet...), I really need to figure this "keeping house" thing out, because honestly I don't have a clue.

My family's style of keeping house was, "What, someone's coming over? Grab the boxes!" at which point we'd begin a frenzy of throwing things away and shoving whatever was left into boxes which were then stacked in the garage to be dealt with "later" (Yeah, still waiting on "later" to come). We'd frequently still be scrambling when the doorbell rang. I knew I didn't want this to continue in my house but it's incredibly hard to learn how to stay neat when you're not sure where to start. My dear hubby has put up with a mess for long enough but now, with Grace DESPERATELY trying to be on the move, I've run out of time for excuses.

Oh no! Company's coming!

At my moms' bible study this summer, a couple girls were raving about The Fly Lady's system of keeping house. It's like a fad. Who doesn't want to be left out of a fad?! LOL. Her big concept is baby steps and starting with your sink, then building from there. My kitchen's been clean for about 2 weeks, and I've made my bed every day this week! That may seem silly to some, but it's a MAJOR accomplishment in this household. And, since about 6 other girls at church are trying to impliment some or all of the ideas from her website, I've got people (people who can stop in and see my house...) I can think out loud with.

My studying isn't quite as interesting as hers...

It seems to be working. My mother-in-law called me last week to see if she could come visit... she was a mile away and on her way anyway. I was able to look around, heave a sigh, and put away the one plate still on the counter. No shame in that! I was ready when she got here (3 minutes later). No boxes involved!

I won't bore you about learning how to clean; this is mostly a "where've you been?" post, plus an excuse to show off cute pictures of Gracie. My house is still messy, but I'm finally at long last moving in the right direction. I'll leave you with one last thought borrowed from The Fly Lady. It's brilliant, and so very motivating to me:

"Housework done incorrectly still blesses your family."

That's right. My mom's cool. And in her free time, she knits me dresses.


Emily G. said...

What a little chunk she is! She's perfectly squishable.

We have a small problem with junk piles in our house, because my husband loves paper things and he stacks them everywhere. Brochures, mail that really doesn't need to be kept, photocopied articles, newspapers and magazines, library books in excess...they're what gets me when I have to show folks my house.

Sarah Jane said...

She is delightful! And how big she is getting. So fast. My goodness.

I LOVE the flylady! I don't go to her website anymore, but I learned about the clean kitchen sink and baby step philosophy from my mom, who started using the flylady method when I was still a teen at home. There IS something so motivating about having a shiny, clean kitchen sink! It makes you want to clean everything else to match it. . .

No house is perfect. My house is certainly far from it. : / With kids, I think it is really *impossible* to keep everything *totally* clean unless you devote all your time to doing it. It has been a huge stressful thing I've dealt with since having kids, but I figure as long as things look neat and picked up, I am not really going to worry about it. I'd much rather spend time snuggling on the couch reading books, or playing outside while the weather is nice than spend every spare minute of every day picking up and putting away and scrubbing and mopping and doing laundry.

Right now my goal is to always have the "public" areas of our house somewhat presentable. I don't allow toys to be kept permanently downstairs, so all I have to do is to make sure things are straigtened, the floors are swept and mopped, the rugs vacuumed and the dishes done and the counters clean. It's the work of maybe a half hour each morning. Then at least I know that if someone unexpectedly stops by, the places where they will be (the living room/dining room/kitchen) are at least presentable if not perfect. Then during the rest of the day I do bits and pieces of cleaning, etc. upstairs and put in laundry when I get a chance to.

One book I totally love for the extremely practical approach of housecleaning, decluttering and decorating your home is "Living Organized" by Sandra Felton. I LOVE this book and it's been my go-to housecleaning Bible for the past three years or so.

Amy said...

Oh Gracie is adorable! :) I've used the FlyLady technique too, and it really works. I'm not a lover of housekeeping, so I have days when I just don't feel like shining my stupid sink, but I usually pay for it by having one extra chore in the morning. Hahaha! For a "messy" like me, little ways to organize here and there, on-the-fly, has been extremely helpful to me.


P.S. My word verification for this post is "unboo". Unboo?? I don't know why that cracks me up, but it does. :)

Jenny P. said...

AHA! I fixed my ability to comment on my own posts! It's been an ongoing saga for months :)

Emily, paper is my downfall too, but I can't blame my husband. I have a "what if it might be needed someday?" mentality. I'm trying to get over it, but paper might just bury me.

Sarah, I'll have to look at "Living Organized"! I have no desire to be perfect, but it was nice to not be embarrased when my mother-in-law (whose house is nearly always perfect) stopped by. I'm glad to hear your mom used Flylady and liked it! I'm trying, lol. We'll see how long it lasts.

Amy, I definately was mumbling about "my stupid sink" on Friday night, but getting up Saturday morning made me sad when I had to wash the coffee pot before brewing. I'm the definition of messy! Even up to last summer, my "office/craft room" had pathways between piles. I threw away tons when we moved, but I know I've got to get on top of it before it takes over again.

And yeah... word verification is wacky. I've seem some totally bizzare ones. I guess "unboo" is where you have to make up from frightening someone? LOL.