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!

Real Life Wednesday: Mama’s Little Helper

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This was my sons version of putting the grocery bags away. At just over 3 years of age, I couldn’t be happier at how well he did.

In real life, when kids clean up it doesn’t end up looking like a Martha Stewart magazine. That doesn’t mean they aren’t doing their very best. I seriously wanted to leave the bags like that forever. I was so proud of him.

Let your kids help out with anything they show interest in. It’s rewarding for both parties!

Get Started: Kitchen

I am fortunate to have a husband with the same organizing ideas for our kitchen. When we moved into our home, we unpacked our dishes into the cabinets and they have pretty much stayed exactly the same way ever since.

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You’ll have to excuse this horrible picture, our dishwasher is going so the dishes are running low. We organized each shelf in a way to maximize the space while still keeping all like items together. It might not be perfect but it makes sense to us and has worked for us…going on 5 years now. Everything has a place. Nothing else gets stuffed in here and putting away dishes from the dishwasher is super easy.

If someone isn’t as fortunate and their kitchen seems disorganized and completely out of their control, then searching for a particular dish may feel like looking for the lost ark.

We all need to start somewhere. My suggestion..just get started. Pick an item; plates, bowls, glasses, flatware, whatever you want to organize in that moment and gather all those things in one place. I often use my dining room table since its a nice large area that is usually clutter free.

The first step is to decide where that item you’ve selected is going to reside from now on. It might be in a spot that is currently occupied. In that case, those items will need to be moved as well. The idea is just to get to a starting point. Worry about the other stuff later. It’s helpful if everybody is consulted. When you put your heads together, its amazing what wonderful ideas you can come up with! If everyone can agree on a spot that makes sense, that spot is a lot more likely to stay organized over time.

Clean off the shelf or area with a wet rag and disinfect if needed. The items you are putting away may need to be cleaned again. This is also a fabulous time to toss out items that are rarely used or broken or unusable. Place the collection in their new spot and stand back and marvel at your renewed space! You will be amazed at how much a simple organized spot can inspire you. Having things in one singular spot where they are easier to find also saves time. Lots and lots of time.

Honey I Organized!

My husband mentioned to me the other day that our kitchen supplies seemed to be in the wrong drawers. The stuff we used when cooking wasn’t located next to the oven and the prep stuff wasn’t under the main counter.

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After I put the kids to bed I came out and he had completed our mini organization project!

Now all our cooking tools are in the drawers next to the oven and the stuff we use to prep dishes are underneath our main counter surface.

I wanted to post this picture because it illustrates the importance of organizing our kitchen drawers in a useful way. In my kitchen we only have 4 usable top drawers. We have one funky drawer thats really hard to open so I’m not counting that one. There is limited space so I try to make sure each item in there is something I use on a frequent basis.

There are so many boxes of aluminum foil, wax paper, parchment paper that we all keep. I make sure to only keep the three I use most frequently at my fingertips. I keep an organizer rack in my pantry that holds whatever else I use. It looks similar to this.

Everything in this drawer are things we use on a frequent basis. Even the airborne tablets we use frequently. As a mom of two toddlers I don’t have a whole lot of time to be sick so each time I feel a hint of anything I take an airborne. Its saved me countless times.

In a small kitchen, these drawers are prime real estate and I make sure they are used wisely!