Monday, May 20, 2019

34 weeks of Clean 2019! Week 20- Bedrooms 3+


Welcome back!

By now you have had a week to get a start on any bedrooms in your house, excluding the Master.  That was done in week 15, right?  Remember, everyone's bedroom situation looks different but the basics are the same.  At our house we tackled two rooms last week, so we are now moving to three more this week.  Luckily, one of those bedrooms belongs to my oldest and is her domain completely.
 Your assignment is to finish any bedrooms left in your house.

Here are the basics again, same as last week-
  • Strip the beds and wash ALL of the linens.  Replace any torn or stained sheets or such.
  • Wipe down light switches, door knobs, and door frames, inside and out.  Look up, again, and clean off ceiling fans and light fixtures.
  • Take everything off all flat surfaces and move it out!
  • Dust all surfaces, sides and all!
  • While stuff is still out, move furniture away from walls so you can wipe down baseboards and vacuum around all edges.
  • Replace furniture or rearrange while you have the chance!  Is it just me or is deep cleaning just an excuse to rearrange?  Again!
  • Put things back, but try to eliminate half.  Remember- the more STUFF your kids have, the harder it is for them to keep it organized!
  • Clean out all the drawers, getting rid of anything that doesn't fit or you do not wear!

  • Clean window frames and windows.  Once again, mini blinds and curtains are on the list. 
  • Vacuum the floor and you are done!
For younger kids this is a good time to weed through the toys.  We talked about toys last week, but here are a few more points to consider.  We have found that when we deep clean, we uncover things that need to be tossed.  Whether old, extra, or broken, our kids tend to hold on to whatever we let them.  We try to organize and evaluate on a regular basis.  This is NOT a one time job, especially in our kids' rooms!

Yes, those are Legos.  Yes, it is obnoxious!
- A word about stuffed animals.   Be careful and do not get sucked in!  Yes, there are some clever ways to display them, but in the end consider how many your child really needs!  When our kids were little, we too, got caught up on the animal thing.  Honestly, I had a worse attachment to them than the kids did.  It was ridiculous.  We eventually made them choose their favorite 5, and sent the rest off to loving homes.  Let's face it, they collect dust and are a health hazard for kids with allergies, and they take up a lot of space.  Just consider that maybe this is an area that you need to address.  It was for me! (like the legos!)  Last year I found this bean bag shell that we have filled with stuffed animals.  The kids get to keep the sentimental ones, I don't have to look at them, and it gets used in the loft.  Win-win!



Deep cleaning is also a time to fix things.  Including painting a wall in need.  The owners prior to us allowed a child to draw on the chalkboard wall.  No amount of cleaning it hid the images left- including a not nice word.  Seriously?!  So yes, we repainted it!





So, a few of our finished projects-








This week I want to leave you with a few thoughts and some encouragement.  If you have not joined us yet, it is NEVER too late to start.  I say that in all seriousness.  Just start.  You CAN do this, I know you can!  If you are behind, don't let discouragement keep you from the finish line.  We all have to do life and sometimes things get in the middle of our best laid plans.  That is OK.  What is more important is that we get back on the horse and keep riding!  I hope you can hear me cheering for you to keep riding.  

If you do NOTHING else this week, set a timer for 30 minutes each day and do SOMETHING! ANYTHING!  By the end of the week you will feel great about your accomplishments,  I know you will!  And remember, clearing out the clutter involves actually getting rid of stuff.  We cannot simply rearrange our mess and call it good!

Let me know how you did last week!  We can't wait to see your pictures on our Facebook page!

Have fun cleaning!

Blessings, 

Week 4- Fridge, Freezer and Floors
Week 5- Recipes 
Week 6- The Stove and Loose Ends 
Week 7- The Dining Room 
Week 8- The Living Room 
Week 9- Books 
Week 10- Bathrooms  
Week 11- The Foyer
Week 12- The Family Room and DVDs 
Week 13- Pictures and Scrapbooks
Week 14- Arts, Crafts and Hobbies 
Week 15- The Master Bedroom  
Week 16- The Master Closet 

Monday, May 13, 2019

34 Weeks of Clean 2019- Week 19- Bedrooms 1&2


We are back!  I hope you had a good half-time week!  I know some of you took a well deserved break while I know others of you used this week to catch up.  Either way, I hope it was a week to do something that made you smile!  I also know for a fact that we have some new friends joining us.  If this is you, or if you just need a reminder of why you jumped on this crazy train with us, I would encourage you to go back and read THIS POST

I will wait here while you catch up!

And so where do we go from here?  Back to the bedroom.  So here's the deal.  For the next two assignments you are getting an advance notice. We will spend TWO weeks, this one included, on bedrooms. (The Master Bedroom was done in week 15 if you need to catch up!)  Children's, guest, whatever.  Therefore, if you have more than 2 bedrooms left you will need to pair some up.  In our case, you will see the two rooms together and then a week for three more.  The basics will be the same!

Your assignment then, is BEDROOMS.
The Basics-

  •  Strip the beds and wash ALL of the linens.  Replace any torn or stained sheets or such. Rotate your mattress if you think it needs it.



  • Take everything off all flat surfaces and move it out!  Some children are not naturally neat people!  So thankful that only one of my kiddos is still in this stage and let's just say, it is NOT one of the girls! ;)


  • Dust all surfaces, sides and all!

  •  While stuff is still off, move furniture away from walls so you can wipe down baseboards and vacuum around all edges.

  •  Replace furniture or rearrange while you have the chance! ;)  See a trend here?  I am the queen of changing furniture around, just ask my friends.  Luckily for the family we haven’t been in this house quite a year yet, so I haven’t tried rearranging bedrooms yet.

  • Wipe down light switches, door knobs, and door frames, inside and out.  Look up, again, and clean off ceiling fans and light fixtures. 


  • Clean window frames and windows.  Once again, mini blinds and curtains are on the list.  Sorry!

   
  • Put things back, but try to eliminate half.  Remember, we are on a quest to declutter as well as clean.  Does your child need it?  Do they use it?  Could someone else get better use of it? Make a pile and move it out! See notes at the bottom!
  •  Time to tackle the drawers.  Again, take it ALL out, decide what you need to keep and then put only those things back, neatly.  Now is a good time to get rid of clothes that are too small, not in good shape, or your child hates. We were able to pass on a huge bag of clothes from my youngest who has shot up in height recently.  Now, teach your children how to keep it clean.  Even a young child can be taught to put things away neatly.
  • Vacuum the floor and you are done.  Mostly!


Let's just take a moment to talk about toys, since I KNOW this is an ongoing challenge for many of you. (I still have a "little" and I get it!)

   -Stop buying them!  We have a pretty strict rule about no buying toys unless it is birthday or Christmas.  Best thing we ever did.  Of course, when a child has saved up their own money we make exceptions, but we want our children to learn early that just because we WANT something does not mean we NEED it.  Ok, yes, we do break the rules for an occasional special treat, but I mean special and oh, did I say small!?  Happiness is not built on toys alone and it is time kids today were taught that.

   -Stick to a few themes.  Our children do not need one of everything.  Really, they don't.  Pick a few things they like and stick with them.  The themes around here tend to be Legos, nerf guns, and audio books.  Find what your child likes and plays with, and don't get carried away. In my experience, it is parents that get caught up in collections, not kids.  Let's not teach them our bad habits!



   -Containerize and rotate toys.  (I made that first word up) Trust me, it helps and it works.  I did another decluttering post a while back that you can check out that shows one way to containerize easily.  We tend to use baskets and when the kids were really little we rotated those baskets in and out every few weeks, a few at a time.  You would be surprised at how excited they get about toys they haven't seen in a few weeks.



- Special items!  Yes, even my kids like to hang on to things, despite my natural tendency to dump stuff in the trash.  You know, important things like rocks, paperclips, old art projects.  There are two ways we have helped with that problem.  One - a small plastic tackle box. The rule is if you can fit it in there, it can stay.  If not, something else has to go.  And two - a simple folder with pockets. If there are papers you just cannot let go of, put them in your folder.  Again, if there is no more room, it is time to weed out what you do not want anymore.


Let's face it, every child's room is going to be a little different.  I would love for my boys' rooms to look like the ones in the Pottery Barn catalog.  I would REALLY like that.  But for now that is not reality for us, OK, that is probably NEVER going to be reality for us.  So we do our best. When we have lived in houses that have playspace areas we tried to make bedrooms just a place to sleep.  I love that!  But that does not always happen.  So sleep and play must co-exist.  And sanity must reign, so I try to make it as easy as I can for them to maintain a reasonably clean room and ignore accept the rest.

Clean up, declutter, and embrace the space you have!

So, about that Half Time week, how'd you do?  What area did you catch up on?  I want to see.  I spent ALL week working on scrapbooking and am happy to report I am slowly making progress.  See?  Yes, that is FOUR books done.  I may actually be caught up in a few weeks.  I will keep you posted.

Until next week, happy cleaning!

Blessings,

Monday, May 6, 2019

34 Weeks of Clean 2019! Week 18- Half Time

Sorry, no half-time show, but we are taking a half-way break!  You can thank me with chocolate and words of affirmation. ;)

Can you even believe we are we already half-way done???  It is always surprising to me when we get to this pint, but when I look back at our weeks together so far, I SEE how much we have done!

Or at least how much we have been assigned. ;)

I know life happens. I know we are all busy. I know we all get distracted. And I know some of us are a little behind.

That's ok!

This is YOUR week. Haven't finished a project? Now is your chance! Join us just recently?  Welcome and here 'ya go.  Been putting off a harder week off? Now is the time to pull yourself up by your boot straps and Get. It. Done!

I know cleaning is not always fun. I get that. Put on some music, grab a friend if you need to, and get it done. And our biggest stumbling block with de-cluttering? Attachment. To things, Ya'll!!

I want to be attached to my people, not my things!  Clear the things out and I promise you will have more time and energy for your people!

Do not waste your time just re-arranging clutter.  Move it out.  You will not only free your space but free your mind.  It is worth the time and effort.

No excuses.  Make this week count and then come back and BRAG on what you did!!!

So what will my week look like?  Well, as always I am working ahead so I can blog it for you.  In addition, I am still knee deep in scrapbooks but I am determined to get caught up!  In the past few weeks I have finished one child's books and have moved on to a second child.  Slow but steady, right?!



To make life easier and as a reminder, here is our list so far...

Intro Week
Week 1- Holiday Decorations
Week 2-The Pantry
Week 3-Kitchen Cabinets and Drawers   
Week 4- Fridge, Freezer and Floors Week 5- Recipes  Week 6- The Stove and Loose Ends  Week 7- The Dining Room  Week 8- The Living Room  Week 9- Books  Week 10- Bathrooms   Week 11- The Foyer Week 12- The Family Room and DVDs  Week 13- Pictures and Scrapbooks Week 14- Arts, Crafts and Hobbies  Week 15- The Master Bedroom   Week 16- The Master Closet


See 'ya next week as we start our second half and continue to take our homes back- one week at a time.

Blessings,

Monday, April 29, 2019

34 Weeks of Clean 2019! Week 17- The Master Bathroom

Pretty soon your Master Retreat (it sounds better when you call it a retreat) will be the most amazing place in your house.  Pretty soon!  But first, we must tackle those Master Bathrooms.  I know, I know, stick with me here.  I promise I will try to make it as painless as possible.

No sense in delaying, let's just roll up our sleeves and get started!




 This week- The Master Bath





  • Pull everything out!  You knew I was going to say that, right?  The good news is every year you do this project it gets easier.  I even have a few drawers that are empty.  I know, right?!!



  •  Once everything is out, wipe out all of the drawers and shelves.

  •  Now we are going to sort AS we return things to their space.  First of all, notice I said "sort!"  If it is old and tired, throw it out.  If it is not being used, get rid of it.  If you do not love it, out it goes.  See a pattern here?  We do not NEED or USE most of what we have, so why do we insist on keeping it all? 

Case in point- this is my makeup drawer.  Really it is.  And before you think, "well, she just doesn't do makeup," trust me, I do!  Wouldn't be seen without it.  But I can only use one thing at a time.  So I have one. thing. at. a. time.  Occasionally I do get free samples and such that I plan on using, so they are housed in a tiny makeup bag in the cabinet.  Other than that though, the rule is to use something up before buying more.


 
Second of all, notice I said, return to their space.  Think this out and have a plan!  Everything should be assigned a dedicated space.   It it like a puzzle sometimes, I understand, but make it work for you. I had no system at first and things tended to just get thrown in.  Hence the mess!

Have a place for anything you stock up on!  For me it is just a small plastic bin.  Extra shampoo, razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and such go there.  If that bin is full, we do not need more.  No matter how great a sale is.  Let's be smart shoppers, not hoarders!  There is a difference, folks!

  • If you keep medicine in your bathroom, now is the time to go through it.  For safety's sake, dispose of (properly) anything old and expired.  Keep only what you really think you need and use.
This is a BEFORE picture, trust me.  Someone had gotten lazy about putting things away.  OK, that was me!

  • Now you are ready to deep clean your bathroom and move on!

           Don't forget-
           Toilets, tubs, and shower
           Throw rugs
           Trashcans!
           Wash your shower curtain and replace the liner if needed
           Light switches and light fixtures
           Walls! (hairspray, anyone?)
           Pictures and do-dads! (Can I just say, the bathroom is probably not the cleanest place for do-dads!  If they are really things that you love and bring a smile to your face, put them in a place where you can better enjoy them.)
           Baseboards and doors
           Even the tops of any cabinets!
    


You did it!  Yay for you!





A few years ago I found a book called Clutter Free by Kathi Lipp. 

This book is full of the why's and how to's of getting rid of clutter, teamed with A LOT of humor.  Guys, we might as well laugh. Or else we may cry, right?!  I think this Kathi gal and I could be best buddies and I have already put all of her other books on my wish list- after I find a few more to get rid of in my current stack, don't worry.

Remember how we talked about this 34 Weeks of Clean Series was not just about cleaning, but taking back our homes?  Hopefully Kathi won't mind me quoting her as I sign off today-

"While the rest of the world is telling you all of their organizing tricks, here is the best one of all: own less stuff....And when your home is more open, you are more willing to open your homes to others!" Page 33

Yes and Amen!

Last week you had a perfect opportunity to clear out some extras in your Master Closets!  How did you do? Please share with us over on our Family, Faith and Fridays blog page!  We love seeing your progress!
 
Blessings,

Intro Week
Week 1- Holiday Decorations
Week 2-The Pantry
Week 3-Kitchen Cabinets and Drawers   

Week 4- Fridge, Freezer and Floors
Week 5- Recipes 
Week 6- The Stove and Loose Ends 
Week 7- The Dining Room 
Week 8- The Living Room 
Week 9- Books 
Week 10- Bathrooms  
Week 11- The Foyer
Week 12- The Family Room and DVDs 
Week 13- Pictures and Scrapbooks
Week 14- Arts, Crafts and Hobbies 
Week 15- The Master Bedroom  
Week 16- The Master Closet

Monday, April 22, 2019

34 Weeks of Clean 2019! Week 16- The Master Closet

You knew it was coming, right?  We cannot simply do our bedrooms and skip our closets, though trust me, the idea did cross my mind.   Let's face it, most of our closets are pretty dungeon like.  At least mine is.  I have had ONE closet in my lifetime that I loved.  In our Virginia rental house, the closet was the size of a small bedroom.  Seriously!  It had a wonderful window in it that lit the place up and I even had my treadmill in it with plenty of space to walk around in.  I loved it.  That is no longer my reality sadly.  This is-





Yep.  Not very big and often piled high with junk.  As usual,  I have allowed it to get completely out of hand.   It is an easy place to just toss things in and not look back.  It is one of the few places guests don't see so I let it slide.  Often.  And dresser drawers, don't even get me started.  I actually do not even use a dresser anymore, Clarke took mine over, so I have three cubbies and a few baskets in the closet that house my things that don't hang up.


So this week- Master Closets and Dresser Drawers are on our attack list! 

Here we go!

  • You know the drill - take everything OUT!  Trust me when I say this, it WILL make things easier in the end! Closet and drawers.  It truly is the only way to really see how much you have.  Time to face reality, ladies.
Just getting started!


  • Once everything is out, wipe down the shelves and rods and vacuum the floor in the closet and wipe out dresser drawers.  Now is your chance before things go back in!

  • And now, for the hard part!  Put it back.  Notice that I did NOT say put it ALL back in.  Because that is not what we are going to do.  Shake your head up and down to indicate you understand, please!

If you will remember back with me, one of our goals is to declutter.  This means we are NOT keeping extra stuff we do not need or wear. 

    - Throw away things that are stained or torn or 100 years old.  Some of you know I am looking at YOU!
     -Donate things that do not fit you or that you do not love!  NO keeping stuff just because.  Touch every piece and ask yourself, does it fit and do I love it?



Helpful hints-

When you wear something, wash it and then put it on a hanger facing backwards.  When a month is over, the things that are are still on front facing hangers are the things you have avoided for a month.  hmmmm- do you need them? 

Or try this- I hang all my shirts together in a row and then each day choose the one on the far left to wear.  From there I pair it with whatever else I need and off I go.  If I find myself skipping the same shirt over and over again I take that as a clue that it is not something I like or need and should pass on to someone else.

This also helps me avoid wearing the same few things over and over again that I love.  Because, yes, I would do that.

Really evaluate what you have and what you NEED.  There are plenty of good sites out there that can help you decide what looks good on you (and what does not) and how to mix and match with fewer things.  I have found that when I keep my clothes to a few colors, some times I do better than others, it all goes together AND it keeps me from buying more.  My oldest does something similar and has a capsule wardrobe which she has blogged about several years ago for me!  One thing I have learned from all the traveling we do is that you can create many different outfits with few pieces if you plan well.  Let's commit to stop buying random stuff just because it is cute or on sale!  If you don't need it, don't buy it!

If you have a high shelf in your closet, invest in a few dividers that will help you stack things without the risk of an avalanche every time you open the closet door.  Or just get rid of stuff and clear the space! ;)


Hang your dress clothes separately.  It makes Sunday mornings and special occasions easier to get ready for when those clothes are separate.
 



Make piles like TRASH, GOODWILL, or SWEET DESERVING FRIEND who will fit better into it! ;)




You can do this!  I know it is hard to let go of things, but let's not make things an idol.  Clothes especially.  They simply cover our bodies and do not make us who we are.

    This is also the time to go through scarves, shoes and jewelry if this is where those things are housed. 

                 -I love having my jewelry in my closet so it is easy to match to an outfit on the way out the door.  I recently pared down my jewelry to only the pieces I love.  Hard, but necessary.  I use a spool holder for ease.  Trust me, this is pared down!


 
               -Shoes!  Let's talk shoes for a minute.  How many pairs do you own?  Actually, how many pairs can you wear at once?  That is a better question.  I love shoes as much as the next person, maybe not as much as my mom, but I realized that shoes were one of the areas that was going to get the best of me if I was not very careful.  So I donated a lot of pairs a few years ago!  I realized I only wore the same two pair of booties all "winter" anyway, and because of a hip and leg problem (steps are a very dangerous thing!) I wear almost the same two pairs of summer shoes all summer long.  All the others, except for two pairs of church shoes and one very dressy pair, were extra.  As in not needed!
              -Bags and pocketbooks.  Now we are getting personal.  If you know me well, you know I have a thing for both.  Don't know why, but I cannot seem to pass up either.  I love changing purses with the seasons and I can find any excuse to have a new bag.  In my defense, I use them.  But, again, not all are necessary (did I really say that?), and I did get rid of a few.  Ok, 2 more this season, it is a work in progress, I promise!

YOU DID IT!  Stand back and look at what your hard work accomplished!  And don't panic- you have a week to finish this project!


So how did you do last week in your Master Bedroom?  If you haven't shared your pictures on our Facebook page, please do!  We love seeing your hard work in action!

Thanks for working hard and having fun with us!  Keep cleaning and organizing- you CAN do it!

Blessings,

Intro Week
Week 1- Holiday Decorations
Week 2-The Pantry
Week 3-Kitchen Cabinets and Drawers   

Week 4- Fridge, Freezer and Floors
Week 5- Recipes 
Week 6- The Stove and Loose Ends 
Week 7- The Dining Room 
Week 8- The Living Room 
Week 9- Books 
Week 10- Bathrooms  
Week 11- The Foyer
Week 12- The Family Room and DVDs 
Week 13- Pictures and Scrapbooks
Week 14- Arts, Crafts and Hobbies 
Week 15- he Master Bedroom