Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Know Your Why

I just finished watching a woman on YouTube. She created a sewing nook in her basement in the video and you could tell how excited she was to set up a permanent space to do her craft. I have watched her videos for awhile as she cleans, declutters and does other projects. She holds down a full time job and has struggled with keep her house clean and tidy. She knew how to clean but she would spend full weekends doing it.

Over time she has decluttered a lot of stuff! A lot. And she learned the FlyLady method for cleaning and it is working for her and her family. The payoff now is that a corner of her basement that was filled with unneeded items has become a place to do the thing brings her joy: sewing. And because she has decluttered and figured out how to manage cleaning in far less time, she has the time to sew.

I call this her why. This is why she was figuring out the cleaning and decluttering. I don't think that she knew this was her why when she started the journey, but the reason why found her. She has room for the joy of doing something she loves to do in her spare time. The clutter and cleaning no longer take away her evenings and weekends.

Now, she has spent hours and hours decluttering and cleaning over at least two years. It wasn't a quick process to get to where she is, but she did it. She put in the effort to clean up the clutter she readily admits she brought into her home.

We may not know our why when we begin, but figuring out how to live with less stuff will save us the time to do what brings us joy. We spend far too much time shopping for stuff, thinking about our stuff, and moving our stuff around.

Have you thought about it? Why you want less stuff? What do you wish you spent more time doing?

Monday, July 24, 2017


ReDeclutter? That's a word right? It's what I'm doing either way. Decluttering a space that has been decluttered before.

One of our storage closets has become a mess again, and needs to be decluttered.

This closet does have items that I was hoping to sell. Lately, I've noticed that isn't happening. And I've accumulated far more boxes than I need so those are piling up. So I'm going to sort and only put back in what I want to keep long term. The unsold items are either going to the used book store, or a charity thrift shop. 

I also need to redeclutter my desk drawers, as it's looking a bit cluttered. Again!

I'll show you results in the coming days! Do you have any areas that may need to be redecluttered?

Monday, July 10, 2017

Busy Summer with Routines

I'm still here. Just a little distracted with a project!

I'm prepping a church pew for painting. That has meant sanding, gluing, adding wood putty, and then more sanding. I have been working out on my porch, so after I finish a work session, I need to vacuum up the sawdust! It's been some effort, but I'm very close to being ready to paint. Maybe in two weeks if the weather cooperates.

I'm keeping to my morning routine for the most part this summer. This is getting dressed to shoes for getting my workout in. Unloading the dishwasher and decluttering any areas in the kitchen that need attention. I will admit to waiting until late morning to get the dishwasher unloaded. I always regret when dishes start pilling up right after breakfast!

I have neglected the zone cleaning a little bit because of the project, but I'm still taking care of the normal daily needs of laundry, and bathroom cleaning. The good news is I have handed main bathroom our girls use over to them. Their cleaning day is Monday. They have decided between themselves which tasks are theirs. My main concern is that it is complete by the end of the day.

I think officially, I'm taking a break from zone cleaning during the month of July. I can start back up again in August when I see things being a little less busy, or I may be able to start back up at the end of July. I will let you know when I start up in case you want to follow along.

I'm also keeping to a basic routine for the kitchen in the evening as well. I clean out the cat's food bowl, start coffee, start the dishwasher, put away any dishes I hand washed, and shine the sink. It feels so nice to come into a clean kitchen in the morning.

I have also added a new habit this month. Drinking more water! I'm drinking two to three liters of water a day. I some large mason jars that I'm using to keep track of the amount I drink. I especially like the water with lemon. With the heat and humidity our area is experiencing I found it was really necessary to make sure I'm hydrated when outside.

Summer can be busy and more unscheduled than usual. I have found it is still possible to keep up with the basic routines despite the change. It may mean that some tasks get done at different times or different days, but they still get done.

I will remind you also, that summer is a great time when the kids are home to declutter their rooms. This gives you a chance to see if there are games, toys, and even clothing that have outgrown. And if they have outgrown the clothing, you can make a list of what items need to be purchased in the coming months.

What routines are you keeping up with this summer?

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday Inspirational Reading

I found some articles this week that I hope may be inspirational on your decluttering journey. Thanks for reading and being part of the Organized Friends family!

A Guide to Letting Go of Sentimental Things
This one makes me think of my year books. They are very heavy clutter. I keep thinking what if...but the truth is I think I can be okay if they go. I did after all donate my wedding dress and found much peace in that process.

The One Thing Standing Between You and Simplicity
What we really want are the side effects that simplicity and organization provide. We have to know why we want it.

How To Declutter Your Home in Ten Minutes A Day
I did the math. Ten minutes a day for 30 hours adds up to five hours of decluttering time! And if you go with 300 days in a year, decluttering just ten minutes a day is 50 hours of decluttering. That is more than a full time work week of effort. I'd rather do that kind of decluttering than committing a weeks worth of vacation time to decluttering!

A Time To Clean (30 Day Challenge)
If you read the article I love her reference to Ecclesiastes 3: 6,7. There is a time for everything, even decluttering and cleaning!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Zone Cleaning: Master Bathroom

It's still week four of FlyLady zone cleaning. I'm in the master bedroom, bath and closet. Today, I spent my 15 minutes of detail cleaning in the master bathroom.

I set my timer as always and this is what I got done:

  • Wiped cabinet and drawer fronts 
  • Vacuumed inside cabinets
  • Wiped inside cabinets
  • Vacuumed inside drawer (it's easier to get all the hair!)
  • Wiped down plastic bins
  • Put all items I took out back in 
Ick...these do get dirty!

In the last twenty seconds on the clock, I refilled the cat's food container with the last of food that was in the bag under my sink. 

I can see why this detailed cleaning works. This is stuff that if you try to group it with your regular cleaning will only seem to make the job that much longer and harder. And you will keep avoiding it, or I might. If you set up a few minutes for a couple days of month to get to the extra deeper/detailed cleaning it is a very easy job. 

I might have 15 more minutes of work in this zone tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Zone Cleaning: Master Bedroom Closet

Today I spent my 15 minutes of zone cleaning, also known as detailed cleaning, in the Master bedroom closet. After wiping down the baseboards the other day, I realized how much dust was in there. The whole closet needed a dusting.

I started a 17 minute YouTube video to listen to while I worked, and I did work just a few minutes beyond that. Listening to something else makes the time go very fast for me.

I used a chair to stand on to get the top shelves. I moved around the room top to bottom and counterclockwise using my microfiber cloth to removed all dust. I moved the things in each space and dusted, then neatly put them back. I did not unload the entire closet first to dust. There would not have been enough time and it would have been more effort than was needed.

I did dust items that resided on the shelves as needed, such as the bins, flag frame and picture albums. It may sound like overkill to dust a closet, but this is detailed cleaning, and in this case the closet really needed it. We've lived here two years and it has never been deep cleaned.

I expect to be in the Master bathroom next for my 15 minutes of zone cleaning.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

FlyLady's Weekly Home Blessing...Does It Work?

As I've stated in previous blog posts about my FlyLady cleaning, I'm not doing it right. I'm not going in the correct order at all. Oops! I suppose that could make a difference with the outcome, right?

Monday after doing some detailed cleaning, I decided to try FlyLady's Weekly Home Blessing. It's an hours worth of time, or actually seventy minutes to complete the following:

  • Vacuum
  • Dust
  • Quick Mop
  • Polish Mirrors & Doors
  • Change Sheets
  • Purge Magazines & Catalogs
  • Empty Trash
The idea is to spend no more than 10 minutes on each one. You can do one ten minute session per day for seven days, or do them all at once on one day. 

Let's talk about what I didn't do. 

I didn't purge magazines and catalogs because I don't have any to purge! It sure helps to get off the mailing lists and end subscriptions to keep these things from accumulating in the home. I also didn't polish mirrors and doors. 

I sort of did 'Change Sheets'. I pulled the dirty sheets off my girls beds and put them in the washer and eventually hung them to dry. But I didn't put a different set on the bed, because we don't have extras. The beds were made a bit later when the sheets were dry. 

Monday was a normal take out the trash day, so I started there, gathering the trash. I did get a bit sidetracked for a couple minutes when I dumped out the old litter and decided to clean the litter pan. That is not part of the Home Blessing Hour!

For the most part it was just vacuum, dust and mop. I started upstairs with vacuuming the carpet and hard surface floors. Then I dusted just the flat surfaces quickly with a microfiber cloth. I did skip the girls bedrooms because that really should be their job! I also ended up skipping the quick mop upstairs. It felt like I was running out of time, although only 25 minutes went by.

Downstairs I ran a vacuum over the stairs, hardwood floors and area rugs. I did skip the guest room as I did a pass through there late last week. Next I pulled out my shark steamer mop and hit the high traffic areas, with the kitchen getting the most attention. And finally, I dusted three surfaces: the fireplace mantel, a cabinet, and my desk. 

I did all of that work in 47 minutes. I did take at least two, maybe three small breaks, which are not included in my final tally of time. I was working quick and worked up a sweat! Now it wasn't perfect at all. But it's a nice improvement to the cleanliness of our home. A blessing! 

I haven't decided if I like this method yet. I like the idea of racing the timer, but the amount of work in our fairly large home are hard to complete in 70 minutes. Remember, I skipped several things. The amount of time may work in a smaller home. I also think the ten minutes on each of those areas are a way to at least get started keeping things tidy. 

Overall I think it works...it just might need a tweak for the amount of time I have to commit for my home. I may try the ten minute each day next week and see how that goes. If I do I will let you know.