Ridley’s getting big! We hadn't been to church in a few weeks, so when we went today, several people noticed and seemed surprised that I’m not due until December! I’m definitely bigger than I was with Norah at this stage. Here’s a comparison picture:
I’m still failing at getting a blog post done every week, and at getting pictures and videos uploaded...I also misplaced my Bloggie. :-( I last saw it when we were in Delaware last week, so I hope it didn't get left there!
But I would like to use this post to talk about something I’m actually not failing at anymore. :-)
I am finally becoming a decent housekeeper. Maybe even a really good one. And I can’t believe it.
When I was pregnant with Norah, I remember doing several blog posts talking about trying to get organized and get rid of some clutter. It didn't happen. I could organize one area, but it wouldn't stay that way. We had piles of stuff everywhere, especially in our bedroom. No, in the bedroom it was mountains.
Finally a few months ago I decided I couldn't live with it anymore. I can’t function in clutter. I was constantly spinning my wheels and getting overwhelmed. I could not let myself do anything fun, because I could see all the work I should be doing. I could not enjoy spending time with Norah. And because I spent all morning treading water and then the afternoon and evening teaching piano lessons, dinner was always last minute. After dinner, when I should have been enjoying my time with my little family, I would usually sit and mess around on the computer, putting off taking care of the mess from dinner. Then around the time I should have been going to bed, I’d finally get around to doing the dishes (or decide to leave them for the next day). Then I’d want to have some time to myself, so I’d mess around on the computer some more or watch TV before going to bed way too late. Not a fun way to spend every day.
Back in February or March, I started to make changes. I mentioned to one of my sisters that I was trying to declutter, and she told me to look up flylady.net. I definitely found it to be a helpful resource, but I couldn’t stay motivated. It felt impossible to make any real progress with Travis working full time, and me working whenever he wasn’t. So I put it off and waited for summer. Decluttering became my focus, and my reason for looking forward to summer vacation. Getting rid of the clutter in my house meant that I would then be free to spend my time doing things I enjoy.
So, as soon as lessons were done and school was out, we got serious. I started reading my Fly Lady emails again, and though they tend to take over my inbox, I like them because they keep me focused and encouraged. If you are like me and don’t know where to start, flylady.net will be your best friend. I can’t say enough good things about it. It isn’t a strict program you have to follow to the T. On the contrary, it is flexible and focuses on the idea that things don’t need to be done perfectly!
I couldn’t keep my house clean without first getting the clutter out.
“You can’t organize clutter. You can only get rid of it!” - Fly Lady
After reading the decluttering tips, I decided that everything we don’t use or love needs to go. Everything else is clutter!
My other sister told me about a consignment store near her house that takes all kinds of stuff. They tag it for you, and then you get paid 30% (wish it was higher, but oh well) after it sells. That was my perfect solution. We had some stuff in really good shape that I didn’t want to just give away, but I didn’t want to mess with having a yard sale either.
So far, I have taken four full loads (20 kids clothing items and 15 adult clothing items, plus a few household things). So, at least 100 items gone from my house (they didn’t accept all that I brought).
I have also taken several loads to Goodwill -- things that weren’t worth enough to consign. That’s at least 100 more items gone.
We have listed and sold a few more expensive items on Ebay...maybe 15 things so far.
I have a number of things I plan to list on Craigslist as well.
I have also reorganized every single closet in our house to make maximum use of space. Our upstairs linen closet is almost entirely full of things we are getting rid of. As I find things around the house that need to go, I put them there until consignment day or a trip to Goodwill, etc. When that’s empty, we’ll have all that space free!
Along the way, I have also been able to implement some good habits that were also inspired by Fly Lady.
“Swish and Swipe”: I spend about one minute every day cleaning our bathroom. That’s all it takes!
Making the bed: Seems ridiculous, but I was never in the habit of making my bed until I realized how much better I feel when I do.
Laundry: Put a load in every night, dry it in the morning, fold it, and put it away. Doesn’t take long if you keep up with it! I even get to skip some days because it’s all done!
Shining the kitchen sink: An easy way to keep the kitchen clean. If the sink has to be shined, the dishes have to be clean first! And then if you’re going to shine the sink, you might as well wipe of the counters while you’re at it...
“Do it now!”: If I see a mess or something that needs to be put away, I don’t put it off. This habit might be the best one, because it doesn’t allow for things to get out of hand. I never get overwhelmed.
I am working on planning my meals/shopping trips. Otherwise we eat dinner very late or spend too much money going out to eat. I also like having leftovers in the fridge all the time. Makes for easy lunches!
We are not done yet, but already I am SO much calmer and happier.
On a very exciting note, we have decided that our house looks decent enough now that we can put it back on the market! We are so eager to move. This family needs more space. Wish us luck!
Travis painted and put this together for Norah!
This is what happened when Norah was left to her own devices for a few minutes one morning...
Note that she is standing on her rocking chair to reach her beauty accessories...
And lastly, some photos from Delaware! (I have more on my Bloggie...these were all taken on our final day...the only chilly one we had!)
She loves her "Uncle Rachel"!!
"I hit my green ball in the hole all by myself! I sit on the bench and wait my turn."
All of us out for yummy seafood dinner!