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A Real Mom's Declutter/House Cleaning Challenge!!! - Page 2

post #21 of 48
Thread Starter 
I have a self cleaning oven I do remeber using some oven cleaner that would burn your hands, and smelled awful years ago??? What I use on my heavier stuff is Shaklee At-Ease paste, and it seems to work well (with alot of elbow grease!) on the little pans under the stove burners.

Yesterday I washed out the double windows, and today I did the table, so... That leaves me with the following:

Screen door
one last window that I can't hardly reach, and may hurt myself washing, so waiting for DHs help
vaccuum out crevices, and vents
wash floor by hand

I did sweep,a nd most of the floor has been handwashed in the last week just b/c I have been spilling things, or I'm right there w/ a rag, so I mop up a small spill or spot I must say it is looking MUCH better. I did forget to do the drawers, so next week I will work on those, and DHs pile of papers on the cabinet (they are in filing drawers, so not too bad looking). Oh, and yes I only washed the walls in the kitchen this week. I usually try to get them all at least once a year, just to keep them from getting really dingy. I do baseboards once or twice a year, too.

Is anyone else trying to change habits since starting this? I am trying really hard to keep all my dishes done up, and the cabinets cleaned off for the most part, but it's REALLY hard. I have has MS relapses, and I can completley see how my house got in such shambles. The next morning I have yucky dishes, and a mess all over the cabinet. My kitchen is fairly small, so there is no cabinet space, and I am stacking dishes, and rearranging just to make room to fix our breakfast I have GOT to keep this room clean. I think it gets me down the whole day when I wake up to this.
post #22 of 48
I'm trying to change habits, too...
Freethinker...is there room in your kitcken for some sort of shelfish type thingie? Or a wire rack of some sort to stack dishes on?
That might help if there's room...
Here's my dish habit that's been working for a while now.
Every morning while the coffee's brewing I do the dishes...by the time I'm done, the coffee's ready...like a reward...lol..
During the day, as dishes start accululating, I run a sink full of water to drop them in.
When it starts to get full, I give myself *one* procrastination "dish snooze button" allowance by running some more hot water in there, and re-sudsing the water.
Before dinner, as part of making dinner, I first wash the day's dishes, which isn't hard because they've been soaking.
Then, after dinner, I pre-rinse icky dishes as I put them in the sink, and fill it up with hot water. Come morning, I wash them once again while the coffee's on.
Anyway...today or tonight I will:
1)clean in microwave
2)clean out fridge...even wash the shelves...
Not much, but , hey...it's something!
What happened to everybody else? Did you give up? Come back! We can do it!!!
post #23 of 48
I'm still here but I haven't done anything on my list. : Well, I did put the 5 loads of clean laundry away, but I'm not caught up with all of it like I thought I would be. I just can't seem to make myself do anything right now. I want my nesting urge to kick in!
post #24 of 48
Is this a phenomenon caused by pregnancy? Nesting maybe? Since I got pregnant (16 weeks now) I've been obsessed with projects that I'm way to tired to do because I'm never going to be able to do them when the baby comes. About a month ago I convinced myself that all of the walls needed to be washed from top to bottom. I'm sure it's a worthy goal, but I also see other things that need to be done more. I actually have a two page list of project to finish BB (before baby) I can't figure myself out.
post #25 of 48
Deb...have you thought about my "set an appointment with the thrift store to come pick up donations" idea?
You could call them today and ask them to make a stop Monday morning...
Then sometime this weekend you'll have to clean out that closet...
post #26 of 48
Thread Starter 
Today is my main paperwork day (I WAH) so I don't do much housework on Thrusdays. Last night I started in cleaning the kitchen floor by hand, and also vaccuumed out the vents and crevices. Tomorrow looks pretty busy, but I hope to get the floor done, and hopefully the screen door. DD should be able to play on the back porch while I do that, so she won't be underfoot :LOL

There really isn't room for anything else in my kitchen right now. We bought an oak cabinet last year for Christmas to house some of the stuff, and I have some good cabinets in the basement that I store the "I only use this once a year, but need it" stuff (pressure cooker, extra dishes, christmas stuff) and I also got rid of anything that didn't have a "place" to be put away. The only things I left on the cabinet are the tea maker, and the blender which get used every day. I also got one of the drainers that goes in your sink, not on the cabinet to save space. Last week I did get some of those wire racks, and put them to use in several cabinets! They work great, and I wish I had bought them a long time ago!

One other thing that I want to mention I did! I got rid of the Fry Daddy that I rarely used, and never need to use! I made a place for my crockpot up here instead of in the basement. I am a really busy mom, and need to try to use it 1-2 times per week, but I won't go to the basement to get it. I think this will eventually make a big difference (when I learn how to better use it). Tonight is a busy night, and I have a roast in there, and will add the potatoes in a bit. If I can get to putting together supper in the mornings, or early afternoons, when DD is asleep it should help out tremendously, especially when I have a newborn, too! Soups and chili should be a snap in there!

Shannon, it's not nesting yet :LOL When you are washing walls at 2:00am, that's nesting Seriously, though, there are alot of things that need to be done before a baby gets here, and I think that we do start thinking of them when our energy starts to come back. It's hard (but important) to remember what all you can and can't do, and that your energy level now has a lower limit. Let us know what things youa re getting done!

Deb, I think you can make great strides this weekend! Getting 5 loads of laundry folded is quite an accomplishment It's hard when you see so much more that needs done, and the little that you have managed to accomplish (BTW, we are both DIFebruary!!!). I know most days I don't get done all that I wanted to My energy level still hasn't returned like it did w/ my DD at this point. I am wondering if that's b/c I have a toddler, too?

Good Luck, Girls!!!
post #27 of 48
I was kind of thinking that when we list our weekly goals we should think of one personal/habit changing goal and do it for one month. That has been my main problem.........consistency. I think sharing with eachother our goals will help to assure we achieve them. What do you all think?
post #28 of 48
I just wanted to let you all know that I washed the walls in the bathroom. It's the smallest room in the house, but the one that seems to need the most wall-washing attention (after the kitchen). I washed the floor and the rest of the bathroom too. I think I'm done for the day
post #29 of 48
Good job,SM3247 !
And good idea, AngelBee!
I'll have to think about what mine will be, though...
BTW, I got the microwave cleaned out.
Next, I'm going to go through the paperwork drawer....
post #30 of 48
Thread Starter 
Well, I've been busy the last few days, so I need to come up w/ my new list for the week.

Complete washing all laundry, and sheets
front and back doors
keep kitchen cleaned up
window in kitchen
all windows in the living room
curio cabinet
vaccuum the couch, and the chair
clean and condition leather chair

This week I am going to try to work w/ DD on potty learning. She is doing really well, but I think I need to focus on it for a week or so w/ her. I am also expecting company one day, so yesterday I did general housecleaning, and will do that again the morning they decide to come over. I also got pretty caught up on laundry, and just have a few loads left. My plan is get it all completely done at some point this week.

Good work ladies! It feels good to get some things accomplished. Bathroom wall washing will probably be on my to do list next week, when I plan to tackle the bathroom. What is your plan for this week?
post #31 of 48
I actually accomplished something yesterday! I cleaned out the front hall closet. Dh took 4 garbage bags full of stuff to Goodwill today!
post #32 of 48
Thread Starter 
WTG, TwinMom That is FANTASTIC!!!
post #33 of 48
Mamas....how are all of you doing? I have been deep cleaning my kids room and my own. Floor, walls, gutted the entire room and reorganized. I also have almost all of our laundry totally caught up including all of the baby stuff....................he's not here yet though!

Keep strong mamas. Think of personal goals as well as decluttering/household goals. I also think we should try to pop on daily to update. Not a long post just an update and chance to encourage eachother.

Dh was kind of a dink last night while I was cleaning. Saying why bother now.....you let it go this long! Normally when that happens I shut down and stop. But not last night! I thought about you guys and flylady. "I will not let him clip my wings!" I achieved more last night then I have achieved in weeks!

Hold tight mamas...................we can do it!
post #34 of 48
AngelBee--wow, that sounds like a LOT of work. Good for you!

I haven't done much lately at all. I did spend about 20 minutes doing some decluttering in the master bedroom today. I get so distracted, though! Does anyone else find that they tend to neglect the rest of the house while they're focusing on one area? So by the time you're finished, that one area looks wonderful but the rest of the house looks like a bomb hit it? I've got to get this under control before adding this fourth child to the mix!
post #35 of 48

I'm in

When you think about it - the whole process of accumulation and "disposal" is very cyclical and can be spiritual if you embrace it as a living process. Think about it on a larger scale - a dam can only hold back water for a certain amount of time. Once it's full it has to do one of two things - break, or allow the excess to flow through. If allowed to break it destroys itself and all that surrounds it; but if it allows the excess to flow through it nurtures all that surrounds it and preserves it's own well being by reducing the stress on itself. Think about it.
I've been working on decluttering forever! I just seem to end up back in the kitchen over and over (that'w where our entry is). I've almost completely decluttered it but everytime I go out there I find a few more things.
My best friend came over this summer and helped me clean out my pantry. I donated a CARLOAD of food to the local soup kitchen (I have a REALLY big pantry and tend to OVERstock on good sales). It was so freeing to watch the stuff go and know that it was getting put to good use.
I've also done the entire masterbedroom/nursery as well. I'm trying to keep Rachel from having to deal with huge amounts of material stuff - but it's overwheming at times. She's the youngest grandchild, and we have ALOT of clothes given to us. It's a constant challenge - but there agin. Once I"ve finished the room it feels SOOO good to know that the stuff has a new home where it will be loved and used, and it frees up emotional energy.
All that being said - the livingroom is next and our oversized video collectiont ath we NEVER watch since we've pretty much abandonded the "sita round and watch TV on the weekend lifestyle that we were raised in". I've turned decluttering into a part time income by reselling on various sites, an donating alot through freecycle. My goal is to have the whole house decluttered by the time Michael comes home next Spring. This month... the livingroom. Then.... THE BOYS ROOM (the final frontier - the bastion of consumption - the black hole.......)
post #36 of 48
Thread Starter 
Well, I didn't get alot done last week, but I did:

clean the curio cabinet (major clutter spot)
vaccuum off the chair and couch
clean some of the pics
cleaned off the TV cabinet, ect. (major clutter spot)
cleaned the front door.
cleaned some of the hardwood floors

I also bought a floor lamp, and got rid of the table lamp. I put the rocking horse in the basement, and moved one chair over. It is SO much bigger in here. I used to keep another end table, and a coffee table in here, too

This week my decluttering/cleaning goals are for the living room and hallway again (for some reason it takes me 2 weeks just to get a small area cleaned up )

1. Wash all windows/door
2. polish all the floors in LR and hall
3. clean all pictures/shelves (some are done already)
4. vaccuum under everything, and vents
5. finish the window over the sink (this has been on my list for about 3 weeks now )
6. Clean out hall closet (major clutter, I don't even know what all is in there!)
7. Clean leather chair

Deb, I completely know what you mean about the rest of the house getting to be a disaster when you focus on one thing. I try to do a general cleanup on MOnday and Friday (this week it's Tuesday and Friday b/c I was gone yesterday). When I say general cleanup, I mean I do a pick up, and then the floors. I need to pick up some baskets, and I am going to start putting 2 baskets (on a small table) one for DDs room, and one for the bathroom/office/my room so that I can just throw things in there, and put them away later. I do a LR cleanup 2 times a day, naptime and bedtime. My Dd helps (at 18 months) put her toys away, and books away. I am working extra hard to keep my kitchen cleaned up better all the time, but it's hard b/c my DH comes in about 5 times a day to eat, and DD munches alot, too. The snackbar is also the pile up place, where all the mail, ect. goes. Any helpful advice on that would be great! We already put some small file boxes on the cabinet to help w/ that, but it's still a mess most of the time

Welcome, Ren.mom31!!! I'd love to hear how you decide what to keep, and what to give/throw away and sell! Also, is it worth it to sell it? I think by the time I actually take pics, list my stuff, ect. it's not worth the $$ to sell it, I'd be better off taking it to the local thrift store. The consignment shops don't give hardly anything for stuff here.
post #37 of 48
I haven't done squat this week....I'm schedueling a Halloween cookout for motivation, though...lol....when I know people are coming over soon, my motivation magically returns...
Congratulations, Angelbee! You're doing great...
Don't give up, Twinmom....20 minutes is better than nothing...
Welcome, Renaissancemom...I like your philosophical view of decluttering...that's very inspirational...
Good luck, Freethinker...you sound like you're getting close to being reasonably decluttered and deep cleansed....
post #38 of 48
Thread Starter 
How's everyone doing??? Any updates?

So far I've got nothing on my list done Today I decided to clean out the cabinet in teh bathroom b/c it was just getting to be too much! I searched for an extra contact case for about 10 minutes a few nights ago. I got the medicine cabinet cleaned out, and the top 3 cabinets in the oak cabinet (the bottom 2 are for towels). I need to get more storage things at Wal-Mart, and some more of those racks, too. The one thing I didn't touch yet is the make-up section :LOL I need to go thru and pitch! I did get rid of alot of those little samples of clinique, mary kay, ect. that you get. I rarely wear makeup, and when I do, it's not eye liner or lip liner, i'ts just regular foundation, blush and lipstick Why do keep all the rest of that stuff?

Anyway, I hope to at least get something crossed off my list tomorrow. I also have to clean out the freezer b/c we are getting our new beef tomorrow or Monday I have been using up what was left for quite a while, so it's not too bad. Just hard for a PG lady to clean a deep freeze!

I picked up a decluttering book at the library, but I honestly think that posting here, and encouraging eachother is more helpful than a book. I hope that you are all finding encouragement, too! Just a few minutes a day is all it takes to make a difference!
post #39 of 48


Well - My brother and his wife came over yesterday and hoed out the boys room. Tossed a bunch of trash and generally cleared a path so I can get through to the basement.
Bathroom - still looking good - just a matter of upkeep now. Masterbedroom/nursery. - I went through my drawers and the toybox; turned the crib around a cleared underneath it. MOved Michaels summer clotes back downstairs (from when he was home back in August)
Hall Closet - didn't mention this the other day, my gerat victory for October. We don't have a junk drawer, we have a linen closet It's coming out - I hate closets) that was FULL of tools, sheets, cleaning stuff, screws, etc. I spent an entire day hoeing it out! It's so nice to open the door and not have stuff fall out on me!
Kitchen - nothing new
Livingroom - I got about a dozen listings done in the past couple of days.

As far as how I decide what to list and what to give away... I start by looking at it and guessing how much someone would pay for it at a yard sale. If it's less than a buck and I don't have anought to make a grouping it goes to freecycle or goodwill. I also don't list anything that won't fit into a 12x12 inch box (too big = too much hassle. Been there, done that). I make fair money reselling - but it IS time consuming, especially if I have to research how/when to list an item. Right now that doesn't bother me because I have ALOT of time at night after the kids go to bed wher eI'm to tired to clean but not tired enough to go to bed, so I surf.
I primarily sell on ebay - and there are alot of nuances to it. Sometimes I wonder if it's worth the effort. Then there are weeks like last week, and listings like the pair of crib shoes I have up this week that someone has bid over $10 for (I got them for free in one of my many boxes of stuff) Sometimes I wonder what people are thinking...
post #40 of 48

I just cleaned out my other hall closet, the one under the stairs. Now the only the things in it are luggage (we have quite a bit of that), Christmas tree (at 9.5 ft., it's too heavy to put into one of the attics), tv trays, card table & chairs, yoga mats, and the vacuum. I think there's room to store Alec's tricycle in there, too, which will help me in the middle of the night when I get up for a drink and trip over the thing. I am wiped out by that! Pregnancy is kicking my butt.

The grossest thing I found in there was a bag of miscellaneous disposable cups, plates, napkins, etc. Well, that part wasn't gross, but there was also a rubbermaid bowl of...something...that was completely black and brown. That bag has been in the closet for at least a year and a half. I had one of the kids take the whole thing out to the trash and just dump it in. I'm so glad the seal was working so that I didn't have to smell it! I also found 3 bags of Alec's old clothes that I thought I had passed on to my SIL for her little boy. Oops! I'm going to go through them and put them up in case I have another boy this time. I've never had hand-me-downs from my own kids before, this will be a first!

I need to tackle the laundry room but it's so daunting! I should take before and after pictures of it so you can see how much stuff is in there. We store the kids' messy type crafts in there--paints, beads, molding kits--basically, anything that needs to be done in the kitchen where it can be mopped or swept up. Plus there's the general laundry type stuff that accumulates--mismatched socks (there are about 80; I think I'm going to just throw them out), a chair (??), and miscellaneous stuff that I threw in there, thinking that I would take care of it later. We know how that goes! Luckily I have a whole wall of cabinets for storage as well as a bookshelf for crafts and an over-the-door storage for smaller items. I don't think I'll get to it today, though.

What has everyone else been doing today?
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