There’s something about this time of year that makes me want to walk through the house with a huge black trash bag and throw out absolutely everything that is not nailed down. Instead, I have decided it’s time to get rid of the things that are wasting space and that are no longer useful and going forward only invest in things that are useful and high quality.
One of my Christmas presents was an antique secretary desk with built in shelves. It has replaced a table type desk and I already love how it takes up less space than the previous piece and is more functional. When you live in a 1950’s house storage space is rare and you have to find furniture pieces that can serve a purpose other than taking up space.
I am declaring that 2017 is going to be the year of reclaiming functional (among other things). I am getting rid of the things that are no longer serving a purpose in my life and looking to fill my life with things of meaning and value (which will probably not end up being “things” at all.)
I have started early with the cleaning up and I’ve already met two quite interesting people through an online market. I suppose my husband and I are lucky in that way. We always meet civil and interesting folk when we buy and sell. Perhaps these meetings will lead to something further, a new relationship. Every meeting happens for a reason, even if we know not the purpose at the time.
Thank you to Kristy @thesetwohands for my new old secretary desk.
I’ve been slowly transitioning from commercial cleaning products to natural cleaning products. I can’t bring myself to throw away the ones we already have, and will continue to use them until they are gone (and let me tell you it takes years to go through a bottle of windex. . .) but I have stopped buying any new cleaners. I have started cleaning with more natural products and using things I already have around the house to make my own!
For Bathroom Cleaning I mix up the following:
Dawn Dish Soap
3 drops of Lemon Essential Oils (Or if I’ve run out of the essential oils I use the juice of 1 whole lemon)
I fill a 16 oz bottle 3/4 of the way with vinegar, I then add about 1 TBSP of dawn dish soap and 3 drops of Lemon Essential Oil or the juice of a whole lemon in a bottle, shake it up and then squirt all over the bathroom counter and bathtub. You would be amazed that using this cleaner, a washcloth and some elbow grease really does get the bathtub clean (even after multiple uses by one grubby toddler and a husband in construction.)
I used to be a little OCD when it came to cleaning. When I had the kiddo it took me a little while to find balance and peace with learning to be okay with mess. I still struggle sometimes and if I take a day off I will spend most of the “free” time cleaning but for the most part I’ve learned how to be okay with some mess. This is what I’ve learned that helps.
1. There is a difference between dirt and clutter. The war against dirt is never ending, there will always be more dirt. (Be warned if you have pets and a kiddo never fail when you finally do mop the floor in less than 24 hours all that effort was a waste because the dog just artfully placed muddy footprints all over the floor.) The war against clutter can be won in small battles in learning how to organize and downsizing of stuff.
2. There is no such thing as too much storage and creativity is helpful. (Especially when you live in a 1950’s house that has all of three closets one of which houses the water heater).
3. More people than you think use some type of cleaning service, so if your house isn’t as clean as so-in-so’s especially if they have small children they are either insane and never sleep, they waste time cleaning when they could be enjoying time with their littles or they hire out. So don’t compare your situation to theirs, really, it’s a waste of frustration.
4. Dishes in the sink overnight won’t hurt anything. I learned this one from my husband, because sometimes after dinner it’s straight to chasing the kiddo…Leaving Dishes sit does make them harder to clean sometimes, but I seriously doubt anyone has ever died from leaving dishes to sit overnight. If you can’t stand looking at them avoid the kitchen. (That’s what I do).
5. I’ve tried chore lists and “it only takes 20 minutes a day to keep your house clean” tips, and have come to the conclusion that the only two tips I’ve used that seem to work for me are: Do one load of laundry a day andIf you take it out, put it away. If I actually utilize these tips it seems to make life easier. Because really I’ve timed it and it takes more than 20 minutes to mop the 3 very small tiled area’s of my house, clean all the sinks and toilets, dust, etc … I just clean what I can, when I can.
Lastly, if you have an impending event that you will be hosting at your home you can always plan the week ahead of time to makes sure everything you want to have clean is cleaned, you could do like me and pull and all nighter the night before or hire out to have the house cleaned, just this once.