Thursday, November 19, 2015

An Example of Creative Cleaning or Do You Really Hate Cleaning the Kitchen?!

At the beginning of November, I told you that we were going to do November 2015 Kitchen Challenge on my Facebook Page. This is what I wrote over there today with none of the lists of emptying the dishwasher or shining the sink. The thing that I see as significant in this is some people really do not like cleaning the kitchen. Their focus is elsewhere, and they are always ready to be doing something other than that. For some reason, the kitchen looms as a huge overwhelming almost unconquerable mountain. However, it is just a room that we all need to use. Even if you buy takeout, you are probably going to have to wash something in the kitchen, make some tea, or occasionally fix a snack. Following is what I wrote on Facebook today with the part I especially want you to read italicized.
"Hopefully you are halfway or more done with wiping down your cabinets in the kitchen. If you are not and you need a break, take it! The cabinets are not going anywhere. I am thinking about people who might have had weeks that have not quite fallen into the grooves they planned. If you are feeling behind, that is just part of life: it is Not an indicator of your worth. Jump in there and work on the glaring things in your kitchen. If you have a couple of pots sitting on the stove or in the sink, wash one. Give yourself permission to take a break.
After the break, wash another pot. This is one of the things I mean about creative decluttering. Maybe, you really hate cleaning the kitchen, but you don't want a dirty kitchen either. Make a game out of this. Set the timer. Do what you need to do. You may actually find it is not the awful chore you thought it was. As you see the pile in your kitchen get smaller, you will feel encouraged. One day, it may even feel like almost nothing to go in the kitchen and clean it up: you will just go in there and do it. Done!!!!!"

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

My Shoe Palooza

Picture me as I walk in the house, and change to the shoes I like to wear as I work around here.  Or, if I am going to lounge around, I change to a pair of shoes that are easy to slip on and off.  I do not like sitting in a recliner with shoes on.  It makes lounging uncomfortable.  Sometimes, it makes my ankles hurt.  How do you like to lounge when you put your feet up?

Where do the shoes I take off usually go?

It looked lots worse than this
 on my bedroom floor.
 I had at least eight pairs of shoes
 strewn around my bedroom
If I am being exceptionally neat, they usually are in a neat row under a chair in my bedroom, because I may want to change those shoes for another activity.  Right?  Ha, ha!  They might be at the foot of my bed.  Why on earth would I want to put them in my closet?  I would just have to find them, because I have shoes in my shoe hanging bags, that I hardly ever wear.  Some of them have been there so long, they are dusty.

That has been one of the messy things about me, that I have glossed over in my mind.  If I just didn't get too many shoes out at a time, I could rationalize this behavior of rarely putting my shoes away.  Well, I have now forced myself to do something about the shoes in the bedroom.  When I vacuumed this week, I threw them all in the hallway, except for my slippers and flip-flops.  Our closet is at the end of the hallway, because it was added later and I don't think people even had closets when this house was built.  That night I told my husband I was too tired to put the shoes away in the closet, but I would get to it later, and I made sure they were where nobody would trip over them.

Today, I went into my closet with the mindset I was going to get rid of any shoes I had not worn in the last year, shoes that were a hazard to my health, and  shoes that were uncomfortable.  I emptied out most of my two hanging shoe organizers and dusted off shoes I wear.  I sorted my shoes into give aways, throw aways, and put aways.  I did keep a pair of heels I am saving to wear with a really cute dress when my weight gets down enough.  I can rationalize that, because I am actually losing weight and I love that dress.  Then, I sorted through the shoes in the hallway.  I actually did have pair of hazardous to my health sandals:  it is amazing I have not tripped as they turned sideways on me while I was walking through the house.  I saved an old pair of walking (tennis shoes) that I like to use outside if I have to walk through wet grass with the dog or some other little chore.  I would wear them for gardening, even though I cannot use them for walking shoes anymore.  

Today, I have probably been more honest with myself about my shoes;  and, it is not that I never told the truth to myself about it.  I have gotten rid of other pairs of shoes over the years, but I found myself not wanting to give up something that was supposed to be comfortable.  Not only that, I felt guilty about getting rid of shoes I might wear again.  However, the truth is that even though a shoe may feel comfortable in the store and seem like the right shoe, there are times a shoe ends up being something that my foot slips out of as I walk or it is not stable enough for my feet and gait.I am getting better about my choices, but sometimes I mess up.  

This time I did it.  At this moment, not even my slippers are on my bedroom floor.  I am going to work on putting my shoes away every time.  Baby steps!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Never Ending Story

And you thought that one day the whole house would be cleaned, never to be messed up again?  How I wish that was true for me.  It really does seem to be a never ending story, so I keep removing items from the household, avoid buying anything we do not really need, and I fortify my mind and body to do more.  Or, in simpler language, I psych myself up to clean an area I have let get out of hand -- Again.

While we have been doing the first week of the November 2015 Kitchen Challenge, I have been sorting out my dining/office/craft room.  I was working on the old kitchen, also known as the breakfast room, but it ended up being a repository for things I had to get out of the way in the dining room.  Actually, it started the other way around.  I have been in this process of throw away, give away, rearrange, and I am happy with what I have in the dining room right now.

I did not take a picture of the dining room before this time, but it was unpleasant.  I had sewing things out that were not being used, because I did not even want to be in that room.  My sideboard was piled high, because I kept setting things there.  I have a great word for it: Yucky!  It looked awful.   And, I couldn't dust, because there was not any point in dusting the mess that I kept walking by.  I felt overwhelmed by it.

Here are some pictures.  I haven't done anything special to the dining table other than dust it, because I need to cut out some curtains.
November, 2015

October, 2014

If you could see the plates, you would see that they have blue, orange, red, green, and yellow in the design.  I see a rolled up wall hanging in the left corner; but quite frankly, this is an undecided item for me, which I cannot quite bring myself to let go.  I keep thinking I may have someplace to put it someday.  I could bring myself to give it away to someone who really loved it.  So yes, I do have things I am undecided on giving away.  I guess I will have to put it in the cedar chest or a closet.

On the Left:

I am so proud of my craft corner.  It has been vacuumed, dusted, and reorganized.  My paints and other small items have gone into drawers.  I used to have other things in those drawers, but I threw away the things that have been there for too long, put some Christmas towels in a giveaway bag, and I put the Christmas hand towels I wanted to keep in a closet with other towels.

 On the Right:

That is my poor breakfast room table that got things piled on it again;  however, I have been setting my timer and it is almost cleared.

Here I am viewing the breakfast room into the kitchen.  Can you see I was dusting?

The picture below shows a work in progress.  I moved my coffee maker, and I don't like the way this looks.  However, the important thing is it is clean.  While I have been working on other areas, I continue to work on the kitchen.  I am keeping up with it.  How are you doing with yours?  Do it as you go along every day, and it will be easier than letting it pile up.

Finally, I want to say a word about older kitchens versus newer kitchens.  If you are anything like me, you admire the gorgeous kitchens in magazines, as well as those featured on the internet.  The house I lived in prior to this one had beautiful granite counter tops and everything in it was new.  It belonged in a magazine.  Due to circumstances beyond my control, I had  to move.  I missed that kitchen, but I was very sick when we lived at that house and it was hard for me to clean. As lovely as that whole house was, I did not enjoy it when it was messy and cluttered.

Simplicity is the key.  
If you have all kinds of gadgets and no room for them, it merely ends up being frustrating.  If your house is full of things you have not used for years, you are doing yourself a disservice by surrounding yourself with clutter.  

Finally, this week the November 2015 Kitchen Challenge continues.  We are building habits.  Each day, I will post a new challenge on my Facebook page.  Join me at Fatigue, Creative Decluttering, and a Better Life.   

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Preparing For the Holidays Starts Now

Altered Picture--Origin of Picture Unknown

Think about whether you are going to do Christmas decorations this year.  Do you have to get out several boxes to get to them?  Do you have a room or a corner of a room that is not in use?  This is where you want to put those boxes, so you don't always have them in sight.  This week, go through that room, starting at the door and work around the room from left to right.  Work 15 minutes at a time picking up, throwing away, and giving away.  3 boxes or hampers to sort this will help.  Make sure you PUPA--PICK UP, PUT AWAY.  I suggest 15 minutes a day on this room.  If you want to work more, remember we are concentrating on the kitchen and you have tidying to do in other rooms. 

It depends where you are in your own personal health and life, whether or not you should put up many holiday decorations.  Could you be satisfied with just a few holiday touches in the house?  After all, you do not want being overworked, which can steal the joy of celebrating from you.  Also, what is put up has to be taken down.

Things to consider:

  • Do you have help with putting up the decorations and taking them down?
  • What holiday traditions are the most important to you?  Maybe, that should be what you concentrate on.  
  • How can you make the holiday easier this year?  ~smaller tree; only decorating your mantel; buying precooked food for some of the special holiday meals;  pot-luck or assigned dishes for a holiday meal and do it buffet style;  gift cards for presents; asking adult family members to give to favorite charities or to some special needs families this year, because you plan to do the same.  

Monday, November 2, 2015

November 2015 Kitchen Challenge

Breaking your housework into small steps works in all rooms of your house.  For the month of November, I am sponsoring a Kitchen Challenge on my Facebook Page:  Fatigue, Creative Decluttering, and a New Life .  I will be posting suggestions several times each week for your encouragement. If you want to be an active participant in the comments, you could share what you have done in your kitchen and how you think making cleaning your kitchen a priority has freed you to do other things in your home or elsewhere.