Friday, August 24, 2007

The Curse of a Small House...

Tonight, my in-laws will be arriving here for a 3 week stay and I've been working on getting my house back to the condition it was before my parents were with us (which wasn't necessarily all that clean). I took pictures of what I cleared out, but I don't have the time to post those pictures now. Well, as I was clearing up the "remnants" of my parents stay with us, I thought as I've thought in the past, "living in a small house is probably harder to keep than a bigger house." First, if the keeper of a small house does not keep up with the home, then clutter will become evident much much sooner. Second, to keep a small home spacious, many things are stacked and that doesn't give the keeper of a home much motivation to move everything just to dust or clean it.

My parents were great and stocked us up with a lot of food. When they left, the refrigerator and pantry were FULL! Well, this week before doing a grocery shopping run, I needed to plan cooking some meals because our last delivered meal was Monday. I had no clue what we had or didn't have. When I peeked in the refrigerator and pantry, I couldn't tell what we had or didn't have because it was THAT full. As I dived in, unfortunately, the refrigerator was full of leftovers from when my parents first arrived. It actually went back to leftovers from before my parents were with us. So, part of the refrigerator space was taken up by containers filled with leftovers that weren't even good to eat anymore. The other part of the refrigerator and even pantry space was taken up with ingredients I barely use to cook or would not use in the near future. So, I took out and threw out everything I knew we would definitely not use. I ended up throwing out 8, yes 8, shopping bags full of stuff! Once everything was cleaned out, I actually breathed a sigh of relief because now I could see and tell what I had or didn't have and I could do my grocery run...

The next room I had to battle with was our laundry room. Though I love receiving gifts, our house is that small that we just don't have much room to store anything we aren't using now. DearDaughter2 AND even DearDaughter1 received many clothes within this past month. It was very nice, but I quickly lost the countertop space in my laundry room again. I had just recently finished my laundry room organizational challenge in April (or May?) and I didn't want that space to be taken over again. So, I sorted through all the clothes and just kept the ones that DearDaughter1 & DearDaughter2 would use now in the house and the other clothes I brought out into our GarageMahal. It was just amazing to me that in just 3 or 4 weeks without keeping up with the gifts, I had lost my laundry room.

Then, it had been several weeks since I cleaned the toilet in our bedroom and the inside was filled with mold. I knew that I probably wouldn't have the opportunity to clean much while my in-laws are with us and so I made it a point to clean that toilet and then our bathroom and at least vacuum the carpet in our bedroom. As I was finishing up the vacuuming, I noticed a bare spot on our wall. Our family picture had fallen behind our dresser and I needed to fetch it. I had to move a small trunk out of the way and as I moved it, there was a pile of bird feathers that had not been vacuumed. Our little parakeet died a year ago and it just shocked me that I had not vacuumed that area for at least a year, if not more!!!

The 8 bags of trash, the lost countertop space, the mold, the missing photograph, and the pile of feathers just reminded me how I have not kept up with my house. It has been THAT long since I have really had the opportunity to deep clean.

So, as I was faced with all these reminders of how I have really not kept up with this house, I started thinking about how I should attack house keeping without overwhelming myself, especially since I have such limited time by having to care for 2 little ones...Is there an answer?

While my in-laws are with us, I will make house keeping planning my personal project and I will record my plan of attack in a few weeks. I do have a routine, MyRoutine, and I have pretty much followed it with the exception of picking a room to clean weekly. I was just consumed with my 30 Day organizational projects that I didn't have time to also clean a room weekly. Perhaps in my plan of attack, I need to figure out how to integrate long term projects with weekly ones...

1 comment:

Trish D said...

I'm still struggling with this! I had read the book "Sidetracked Home Executives" (which was actually the book that got the FlyLady started...) Anyhoo, they suggest setting up index cards, breaking down daily - weekly - monthly - seasonal chores. Now I must confess I wrote my cards up about a year ago and still have yet to get through an entire week following them. But I am making progress! And I like the idea of breaking it down that way, too. It's so easy to look around and just think of everything that HASN'T been done in ages. But frankly, who's going to know that there were feathers behind that dresser? Vacuuming behind there once a year is just fine.

(more info on the book on my old blog -

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