Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cleaning House - Day 1

Way, way, way back {ok, so it was only in July}, I read a book called "The Hidden Art of Homemaking: Creative Ideas for Enriching Everyday Life" by Edith Schaeffer.  I wrote a post about "Hidden Arts".  I talked about how this book challenged me to tap into my well-hidden "talents" {such that they are} and use them to try to enrich my home environment, doing so as an outward expression of my Christianity.  I've talked a lot about "1% changes" on this blog - an idea I got from my friend Jessi over at Naptime Diaries.  It's all about making changes in even tiny little 1% increments which, over time, will amount to big life changes for you and even your family.  I absolutely fell in love with this concept.  I have had great intentions about making all kinds of wonderful 1% changes.  Life happens, you know...and I haven't been as diligent about following the changes as I'd have liked, but the concept is still in the front of my mind...daily.

So, right now I am preparing for a house guest.  Ron's mom is coming in on Thursday.  You know what that means??  Get the place clean!!  I'm not anticipating a white-glove inspection upon her arrival.  That said, I want to make our home a welcoming place - not one that is cluttered, chaotic, or anything but peaceful.  Time to get back on the 1% train!

I've talked about my life with a special needs child and a busy 7 year old.  I'm exhausted all the time.  I cannot seem to muster up the strength to do much of anything most of the time.  It's not that I'm lazy.  I am just physically spent most of the time.  Yesterday I summoned up some much-needed strength and energy to get through a very busy house cleaning day.  This is going to be a work in progress over the next few days.  I'm going to be real with my post and share some pictures I probably shouldn't, but I will because I want you to see my chaos.  Maybe by sharing, it will encourage me to keep up the momentum that I built up to continue on and get my life in order!  Well, my home anyway!!

I will preface this by saying that the four of us live in a 2 bedroom apartment that is 1,285 sf.  When we moved to Charleston three and a half years ago, we moved from a 3 bedroom 1,600ish sf house with a double garage which held a lot of storage items.  We are seriously lacking in storage space here...hence the chaos.

I'm a little heavy on the photos this post, but you have to see the chaos!  This was how I spent my day yesterday:

Laundry Day.  Is there a day that isn't laundry day around here???
In typical fashion, the laundry gets folded and placed along the back of the couches
{or any available spot for that matter}.

The "to be ironed" pile.
Typically it all {is supposed to go} in the closet after everything's sorted on the couches.
This stuff is to be ironed before it goes away.

One basket of the 6 or 7 that I sorted, folded, and actually hung up and put away this time!

And on and on and on the laundry goes.  Lots of pictures...lots of laundry.  All day.

Like I said, I do not typically iron anything when it comes out of the dryer.  Yes, I do iron...eventually.  If it's going to be worn, it gets ironed.  Just not right away.  

A few weeks ago I decided it would be a great idea if I could at least get the kids stuff for the week ironed and hung up, ready to go so each morning all I had to do was grab a hanger and go.  Yesterday I actually acted on this thought.  Here it is.  From left to right I have Moira's Tuesday through Friday outfits followed by Peyton's Tuesday through Friday outfits.  All ironed and ready to wear!  And in Moira's case, I have actually clipped her socks and panties to the pants hangers for each day.  Thursday is soccer day, so her soccer uniform falls nicely between Thursday's and Friday's outfits, complete with socks and shin guards attached to the hanger!  Everything's hanging in my laundry room so that nothing will get squished and wrinkled.  There will be no re-ironing!

Actually, I continued on a bit and have two pairs of pants and two shirts of my own ready to go to the left of Moira's clothes!

Above the clothes, is a shelf which is somehow able to hold the weight of all these bins.  Those are all Christmas decorations.  Moira and Peyton each have one bin with their own ornaments {I love collecting Christmas ornaments for the girls, especially from places we've visited}.  The two big boxes on the left are my nightmare.  The company that manufactured Peyton's SmartVest strongly suggested that I keep the boxes it came in...just in case it ever had to be returned.  Those two huge boxes sit empty {except for the special packaging the equipment gets wrapped in}.  They annoy me every time I see them.

God help me if all the bins in my laundry room ever decide they'd rather be on the floor!

So much stuff is stored in our little laundry room.  I have this shelving unit opposite the washer and dryer.  To the left of the dryer is another, but there's only enough room for it to go in skinny-ways.  A tad bit awkward but we have to have the shelving for storage.  I did actually clean out the boxes in this area recently and got rid of tons of junk.

FYI, the white garbage bag isn't my trash - that's my recycle bag.

 Oh, my kitchen sink.  This is what it looks like...far too often.  That big Le Creuset pot {which I adore} is constantly in use and needs to be hand washed, so it's always there unless it's on the stove.  There's also a lot of miscellaneous junk around the counter space.

My small appliance collection.  The Kitchen Aid and toaster oven should be the only things that remain on the counter.

In the midst of the chaos and the sweat I worked up during my cleaning frenzy, I had a nice little reminder from God on my window ledge.

Another little blessing was in the dining area a little later in the day with her nurse.
I love, love, love, love, LOVE that precious smile.
And that one big giant tooth.
{She had her top four teeth pulled in the hospital just about a year ago...only one adult tooth has come in and it's only recently.  It's huge.  There's absolutely no space for three more teeth.  
But it's so cute and I love her so much!!}
I call her "Big Tooth" all the time.  I feel a little better yet somewhat guilty because I say that yet she is deaf and can't hear me say it.  I'm sure her smiles when I say it come from the silly faces I make when I'm saying it!

Meanwhile....in the master bedroom...

Bed hasn't been made.  Ron's laundry to go in his dresser is at the foot of the bed waiting to be put away.
General stuff is piled on the big comfy chair and ottoman 
{extreme left...you can hardly see them for all the stuff!}.
Moira's play area is also in here because of lack of space anywhere else.
SO much clutter and chaos in this room.
It is not peaceful or tranquil or anything that a master bedroom should be.

Also...this is supposed to be a sleigh bed with footboard and side boards...but the bed broke a couple years ago.  Don't even go there.  That's not how it happened!!  But it annoys me because it was beautiful and can't be fixed.

Looking at the two bedroom pics, you can see that there is not a whole lot of space around the bed.  It's a small room.  With a lot of stuff in it.  HELP!!!

Perhaps the biggest accomplishment of the day was the fact that I tackled the master bathroom and won!!  Look how that faucet sparkles!!

FYI - I hate cleaning shower stalls!

The master closet, located off the bathroom.
AKA the black hole.

Did I mention we had a lack of storage space in our apartment??
Floor to ceiling bins, clothes, stuff.
I've gone through everything multiple times.  
Goodwill and a local area charity have benefited from our cleanouts.
But there's still so much stuff!!!

Left side of closet.

Bottom right side of closet.

Ahhh...the master bath.  The garden tub.
It's a tub with no shower because there's a separate walk-in shower stall to the right.
We take showers.
We lack storage.

Open the shower curtain to reveal an extra impromptu storage space!!!
That's my wedding dress hanging behind the curtain on the left.
There's a few other large items behind what you see as well.
Peyton's big blue therapy ball is stored here.
Where else would I store it???

And lastly, on of the other "big" accomplishments of the day.
I got my laptop moved off of the kitchen table and into this computer armoire.
Due to the configuration of our apartment, it's not an ideal spot, but it will work.
Note my laptop is propped up on books.  It's a Dell.  It overheats all the time.  If there's no space under it, it shuts down.  All the time.
I am currently working in this space writing this post!

There you have it.  Day 1 of my house cleaning effort.  I didn't get everything accomplished.  As you can see, there's a lot of chaos needing to be tamed.  Ron did help out last night by cleaning up in the master bedroom.  Moira will have to help out with her play area.  As for me, I will continue working around everywhere that needs working around in.

I do feel a sense of accomplishment because I did get some big things done.  I did actually get the dishes put into the dishwasher, the pots put away, and the island counter area cleaned off.  There's still a lot to do.  But I feel happy with what I did get done.  I want to get it all done, but I know I'll need to lean on Ron every now and then.  Just not right now...he's heading out on a business trip.  But when he comes back....

Proverbs 31:27 (NASB)
27 She looks well to the ways of her household, 
And does not eat the bread of idleness.

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