Getting Started Again

I feel like I have to rebuild myself all the time. One moment my house is fine and I blink and my house becomes a total disaster and I have absolutely no idea how I got there.

I’ve been researching and looking up “experts” on decluttering for probably a few years now. I started with FlyLady and I still really love her methodology but I just didn’t stick with it. I don’t ever stick with anything really. What I did love about FlyLady (found at FlyLady.net) was the idea of starting with your kitchen sink and keeping that clean. It’s something I’ve always been drawn to in regards of where to start the clean up process when my house is a disaster but it really made me happy to hear someone validate that starting point as the best possible place to get back your cleaning mojo.

This is our new kitchen sink, I think it was installed last spring, so maybe a little over a year ago now. Even before having this, having a clean, or shiny kitchen sink as FlyLady would put it, is very motivating. Having THIS particular kitchen sink clean is even more thrilling. I dreamt about this sink for a long time. A seamless sink. My soul breathes a sigh of relief every time I see it. No grout. No sink edges. Isn’t she beautiful?! It’s huge too. Makes cleaning large pots and pans so incredible easy.

About a month ago I found A Slob Comes Clean. I’ve seen that name floating around the blogosphere for awhile now but I discovered her Podcast finally and that is a medium that is perfect for her blog. Her words are so motivational to clean while you listen which is totally possible. I just turn it on, put my phone in my back pocket and get to cleaning. Sometimes I put in headphones if the kids aren’t around or are asleep. She doesn’t say she has ADHD but she must. She basically puts into words everything I have felt about house cleaning over the last 10 years. It is so amazing and motivational to hear about someone who has the same struggles I do and how they have found to manage it over time.

She does confess that this is not a struggle that will ever go away but it will get easier over time if you know where to start and what steps to take. It only took me 33 years to finally figure out how I need to manage my home in order to be a successful homemaker.

I’m seeing my struggle in a new light. I’m not really dreading the point where I fall on my face again because I know that is going to happen. I’m excited because the steps I’m taking in the mean time will allow me to rebuild myself a whole lot better and QUICKER than the time before. Marla from FlyLady and Dana from A Slob Comes Clean have really helped me to see that I’m not alone and I’m not a failure. I too, can do this.

Thank you Marla and Dana!

One Little Word: CLEAN OUT

I am going to try and keep this post very abstract as to not offend the subject of what I’m about to talk about.

I was just having a thought about my One Little Word for the year CLEAN. I’m not sure if I’ve already mentioned this elsewhere, I probably have but I think its time I do a big clean out. Clean out of all the crap in my life that I don’t want to be there. 

Do you ever wake up and dread doing something that you really shouldn’t dread doing. Something that you thought you would love doing every single time? I have found myself in such a situation. Perhaps I thought I was someone else. Or just wanted to be someone else. Whatever the reason is I’ve discovered its not me. It’s never been me. Of course I am paying the price currently but soon enough I intend to clean out this thing, this headache, from my life and replace it with something that truly excites me!

And honestly, just knowing that awaits me down the road excites me tremendously. Gives me great relief. (Raising my glass) So here’s to being who we truly are. To recognizing our flaws and celebrating them rather than being ashamed because life is too short for that.

Christmas 2.0

My in-laws aren’t able to make it to our home for Christmas due to health concerns so we agreed to have a 2nd celebration in January with the whole family.2015/01/img_4135.jpgMy kids have only been to their paternal grandparent’s house a few times so each time we visit it seems entirely new to them. My mother in law keeps a large stash of toys on hand for the grandkids and they had a blast exploring the toy bin.

It was also a lot of fun to dress up in Christmas outfits once again.2015/01/img_4143.jpg

2015/01/img_4136.jpgAs you can see, someone likes to choose their own shoes.

There is a large play structure in the backyard constructed specifically for the grandkids and I think this was probably my kids first time playing on it. 2015/01/img_4140.jpgChristmas at my in-laws has, in the past, been a bit of a scene. In the past few years we have all agreed to scale back on the gift giving and concentrate on being together. My kids were able to see all their cousins on that side of the family and they had an absolute blast with them.

I’m already seeing the impact of my One Little Word® CLEAN. I went into this family gathering with no expectation or grudges or anything and we had a fabulous time. At the end of the meal I helped out by CLEANing off the dining table. In years past my mother in law has requested we not do that but this year I felt a need to do it. Speaking with her on the phone today she thanked me and sounded genuinely grateful about it (rather than annoyed). After such a large family gathering I know the toll that takes on her emotionally and knew she wouldn’t be up for doing any heavy cleaning.

It was a truly wonderful celebration and I am grateful to have such a large family to celebrate holidays with.

One Little Word® 2015

I am really excited to start on Ali Edwards One Little Word® project this year. Ali Edwards is a major creative force in the scrapbooking and Project Life world. I’ve known of her for awhile now and followed her blog. I’ve seen this project and known other bloggers that do it each year but it always just felt like something extra on my plate, something that I didn’t want to add to the mix. This year though, it felt right.

For whatever the reason, it feels like my life is finally coming together. I went back and forth on what word I was going to choose and the word CLEAN was really speaking to me. Initially I thought about simple or simplify or cleanse but the word CLEAN is just what I needed I believe. CLEAN out my old life, CLEAN out the mistakes I’ve made and am still holding onto (thus punishing myself continuously). CLEAN out the old Erin to make way for the new. I could make New Year’s resolutions that I won’t keep, more promises to break. Or I could start a journey of figuring out who I am and where I want to be.

With the kids starting kindergarten in just under two years, things are really moving forward for us. The kids are getting more mature and taking care of more and more on their own. I can actually ask them to complete tasks on themselves (brush teeth, put on socks & shoes, hang up coat, etc). They no longer nap so they go to bed early which gives us a nice long evening to relax. But also it has made us realize they will be at Jackson Elementary soon enough and we would like to stay in this house longer. If that is going to happen things will need to change a bit. The house needs to be CLEAN. We need to make it work for our family of 4 which includes 2 rapidly growing children.

Of course that is not the only explanation for the word CLEAN. I’ve been working at staying on my medication which helps me have a CLEAN mind. I haven’t been running although I really hope to return to that. It has many meanings to me. CLEAN in the home, CLEAN of the mind, CLEAN of the soul, CLEAN of the body, CLEAN of the heart, a CLEAN slate in my relationships CLEAN bed to get into at night, CLEAN kitchen to cook CLEAN food in, CLEAN spaces for my children to play in, CLEAN office for my husband to work in
CLEAN attitude in disciplining my children, CLEANing out the bookshelves by removing those I’ve read and reading those I haven’t, CLEAN out the office and my crafts stash by using only supplies I have on hand for OLW and other scrapbooking projects.

I know there are many more ways to describe how I plan to see the word CLEAN be used in my life but I think this is a pretty great place to start. I can’t wait to see where this word takes me on my journey this year. This is the year to be CLEAN.

Please stay tuned for updates on this project on my YouTube channel which you can access HERE.