Thursday, August 27, 2009

Current State of Things

Alright, so here's a rundown of the current state of things:

1. Husband has hijacked the camera. I saw it sitting on our little table at some point this weekend, but when I looked for it on Tuesday I couldn't find it anywhere. Husband is in Boston this week wrapping up his year-long service job which means I can't upload the pictures I promised from my last entry, nor can I take pictures of what I plan to do tonight. (big sigh)

2. I am a terrible person - well, not terrible...more like hypocritical - because I make these lists and promote them because lists ' hold you accountable,' and then I just don't do anything on my list. This needs to change.

3. We cleaned, cleaned, cleaned about two weeks ago and got our home in lovely shape! It wasn't perfect by any means, and it wasn't 'done,' but it was the best it's looked since we moved in. Let's just say we've reverted back to the pre-clean, clean, clean state. 

4. I have not necessarily done much, but I DID manage to fix the drain in our tub so that when we shower we are no longer standing in four or five inches of water. :)

So, first and foremost I apologize for the lack of pictures again. It's truly unacceptable. Don't try and tell me otherwise. I have been told by a very smart and savvy lady who is something of a blog connoisseur, that pictures are a must. I must confess, I hope Mr. S does actually have our camera somewhere and know where it is because if he doesn't I'm kinda SOL!

To combat my apparent aversion to following the lists I make...well, I'm not entirely sure what I'll do about it. Mostly, I think it's a mind over matter issue. As a start (and because our apartment looks horrendous at the moment, and we have company coming Sunday and Monday), I have a list I plan on accomplishing tonight. Tonight, I need to:
  1. clean the bathroom
  2. bleach the tub
  3. sweep and mop bathroom and kitchen
  4. do dishes
  5. bleach kitchen sink
  6. put away the cooking/baking supplies that are currently on our table
  7. tidy up the bedroom - put clothes away
The other thing that will help me with my lists is a schedule. I have actually been giving a lot of thought to the schedule, and am glad there has been one deep cleaning with very little maintenance done afterward so I have a better sense of how often some things need to be done. Here's what I've determined so far...

Sweeping should be done a weekly basis - really more frequently, but at a minimum, once a week. We have hardwood or tile throughout our home, so dust and dirt accumulate easily. In the kitchen, whenever either of us works with onions or garlic, we always seem to end up with paper peel bits all over the floor (even though we're pretty clean cooks). And it's surprising how much and how quickly hair accumulates in the bathroom!! Sorry if that totally grosses you out, but let's face it - hair in the bathroom is a fact and whether you like it or not, are grossed out by it or not, at some point you have to deal with it. And dealing with it more frequently means you'll have to confront less of it all at once. Which is, I think, less gross than mass quantities. Ok, I'm done with hair! Stop freaking out.

Scrubbing the kitchen and bathroom sinks and tub with baking soda should be done on a weekly basis - it's amazing to me how quickly grime builds up. Baking soda really does a great job of fighting the grime and keeping things sparkling. As an added bonus, our sinks and tub are white which tend to show scuffs and marks really well. The baking soda works miracles in erasing those marks without being too abrasive - or leaving a different colored mark, which has happened to me when I've used a blue 'non-abrasive' sponge. Don't create more work for yourself, folks. Just use the baking soda right away.

Oooo! As a complete aside, I was at Rainbow earlier this week (a grocery store, for those who aren't familiar with the name) and found GIANT boxes of baking soda!!! I can't wait to run out of my current stash so I can buy the ginormous container. It's seriously the biggest thing of baking soda I've ever seen. I had no idea they sold it in such quantities, but it's such a wonderful idea since I use a lot of it when I clean, but still need it for baking, too! Moving on...

Dishes should be done daily - ideally, multiple times a day (once after breakfast, once after dinner), but if we're being realistic - and I am - maximizing morning sleep is more important than waking up with enough time to do the dishes before dashing out the door to work. Admitting dishes should be done daily is actually a huge step for me. Husband will be so thrilled when he reads this. I've never been one to let dishes go too long, but certainly a day or two. The thing is, dishes are the first thing to clutter counter space in a kitchen, and any of us who enjoy spending time in the kitchen know that counter space is precious. Especially when you don't have much of it! Dishes are also one of the easiest things you can do to eliminate clutter. It never takes nearly as long as you think it might to get them done; the work is painless; you can listen to music while you do it; and it's something you can do as a team (though I prefer doing them myself). Also, think of the other benefits - doing dishes the same day the are dirtied means A) they don't smell as bad, B) they're not as gross because nothing has dried on the dish, C) they're a heck of a lot easier to clean (see point B)! Why wouldn't you do dishes daily? 

As a side note, I'm totally jealous of those of you who have dishwashers. Also, I feel this is a good time to remind you that this is a judgement-free zone!!

Sinks and tubs should be bleached bi-weekly - the bleaching process described in Real Simple's Solutions really adds the extra polish to your weekly baking soda scrub. It helps in combating the grime, is simple to do, and makes your water-holders look fabulous! And I found a chlorine-free bleach by Ecover the other day at Kowalski's (another grocery store), which means I don't feel nearly as bad making this part of my regular cleaning routine.

Kitchens and bathrooms should be cleaned weekly - we're talking your normal maintenance routine - sponging down counters, the stove top, and the table, cleaning toilets, mirrors, etc. It's not a 'deep clean,' per say. You do the deep clean every other week, but use this to maintain your work so that your 'deep clean' is simply adding the bleaching and mopping (which we haven't gotten to yet). Just keeps things simpler and easier.

Hard floors should be mopped bi-weekly - unless it's been a particularly rainy week, our floors don't need to be mopped on a weekly basis IF they are being swept on a weekly basis. On rainy weeks, I'd probably choose to sweep and mop even if my schedule didn't call for the mopping. I do find, though, that if I don't sweep regularly, mopping is always necessary because there is much more on the floor that ends up sticking, staining, and making a mess.

So those are the things I'm noticing thus far. Has anyone noted a trend in my observations and posts? Remember my intent is to clean and organize our home. 'And organize' being the key words there. Everything I've really 'accomplished' so far has revolved around cleaning. I don't really love cleaning or organizing, but I sure as heck like cleaning more. The tasks are very straight-forward, there is a huge sense of accomplishment at the end, and the results are immediately visible. 

Organizing is just something I find to be insanely daunting which is a little weird because I'm super organized at work. I cannot function if my desk is a mess and I can't find things. I am an expert filer - both online and actual folders, everything has a place on or in my desk, there are systems developed for papers and projects, etc, etc. Somehow, this doesn't really transfer to home. Maybe because it's such a large space comparatively, requiring many more systems in order to form some semblance of order. This is where my husband shines. Mr. S loves systems - creating them, developing them (as in, changing them when they don't work quite right), using them, maintaining them. I think it gives him a sense of peace. If only I were like that.

Well, that's probably enough babbling for one post. Especially one that does not include pictures! Now it's on to conquering my list. Have a good evening, dear readers (if there are any of you out there)...

~Ms. S


  1. You've been BUSY!!! Thanks so much for stopping to leave a comment on my blog!! Whew!! I'm "meeting" a TON of new people these last couple days!!

  2. Do you want to come clean for me and I'll come organize for you? I'll do the cleaning because it bugs me not to have it done but organizing is WAAAYYY more fun:) See you guys this weekend.