Thursday, March 20, 2014

Maintenance Mode!

Friends, I have achieved (well, almost) the much-sought-after place we call Maintenance Mode.

What does that mean?

It means that I have some decluttering to do. I have some things to organize whose place in my house escapes me (board games. Books that don't fit on the shelf. Movies that don't fit on the shelf. MY GOOD CHINA!!!!) I have some (okay, quite an awful lot of) laundry to put away (remember the OCD and the clean floors?). But my house is basically clean. I could dust and clean windows and all that, sure, but I am ready for company, parents, and the often-knocking local missionaries from the churches to which I am not converting (but that's another story). I am not embarrassed to invite my kid's friend's parents for a cup of tea. Heck, I would even be okay with a social worker swinging by unannounced. That feels Pretty Darn Good.

So, now I am back to my system. Or I am re-starting my system. Or SOMETHING.

Anyway, it is TIME to test out the Keeping House With Kate theories - small tasks here and there and a room a day will keep me company-ready even through those LOVELY flares (which are really when I need to be company-ready, because that's when people are likely to show up to help me out!)

I am armed with my daily task list and the evolving room-a-day schedule. Since it's a Friday, I am going to pretend that's what day the week starts on. So there, calendars of the world.

So here's my daily task list:

  • laundry 
  • floors (AM and PM, because OCD and shed-beasts)
  • walk dogs (AM and PM, on good days. Once is okay too!)
  • make bed
  • bathroom (wipe stuff down, and put stuff away)
  • dinner plan
  • declutter for a bit (the places where clutter gathers, hot spots)
  • dishes 
  • brush dogs (ideally BEFORE the evening vacuuming!!)
  • Daily to-do list (room-a-day)
  • challenge work (like, for the organization challeges)
The exciting thing is that I am getting a new fridge and a dishwasher on Saturday. The dishwasher should be installed early next week. I am so stoked about that. I don't remember the last time I had a dishwasher in my home!!

So that's where I am. Your mileage may vary. My daily tasks, obviously, include my OCD floor ritual and the furry shed-beast dogs that live here. They do not, anymore, include picking up after babies or toddlers. My son is now old enough that, with some *cough* GUIDANCE, he can keep his own room clean. I just have to vacuum it (and stand over him telling him what to put away and where he didn't clean -- under the desk!)

What does your daily task list look like? Show and tell!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The L Word

Can we talk about laundry?

I have ISSUES with laundry. Picking up laundry baskets hurts. Carrying laundry baskets hurts (and my laundry room is not IN my house!!). Transferring from the washer to the dryer hurts. Getting things out of the dryer hurts. Also, I have OCD, and one of my issues is that, for some reason, I cannot put away laundry unless the floors are freshly cleaned (I know. I am weird. Huzzah for neurosis!).

 So here's what happens around here: I put off the laundry til it's beyond overwhelming. I recently grew some brain cells and started folding laundry and putting things on hangers in the laundry room, which helps me some, but I definitely don't have a handle on Mount Washmore -- and for heaven's sake, there's only two of us here!!

 What are your favorite laundry helps? Who wants to join me for a thirty-day laundry challenge?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Organized Home Challenge - Countertops and Sinks - Part 1

So, I am starting the 52 Weeks to an Organized Home challenge from Home Storage Solutions 101 as part of my series "Keeping House with Kate". Also, as part of my personal challenge in this series, I am currently getting the house back into "maintenance mode" so I can resume my "room a day" cleaning schedule and my basic daily to-do list.

This month for the flylady habit of the month: Shining your sink, and, ostensibly, keeping it that way.

And this week's Organized Home Challenge is "all about kitchen organization, both overall and with specific emphasis on keeping your countertops and sink clear and clean."

I've been pretty open about my OCD. But here's the tricky thing. When you hear "housekeeping" and "OCD" together, you may get this idea that my house is ALWAYS PERFECT, because I can't stand when it's not, right? That's the common misconception. Let me clear that up for you.


Well, I am not a slob in the strictest sense of the word. I do tend to spend a lot of time tidying up and deep cleaning things. But I really like REALLY DEEP CLEANING. I can't be bothered with the minutiae of daily chores. Those are for normal people. Also, I get sick kind of a lot, and I get distracted even more.

So what we end up with isn't pretty. At all.

Especially if you have OCD
And like a tidy home
and....... are......... human?!

This is just painful.

Really, truly painful. From the hallway, my kitchen looks like this:

So, let's follow some steps here.

First, the planning, according to the Organized Home Challenge.

1. Think about the function of your kitchen.

Okay. My kitchen is used for cooking, storing food, eating, socializing, homework time, family calendar planning, "launch pad" area if you follow Flylady or "family control center" if you follow Home Storage Solutions 101, and it's also the place where stuff gets dropped off when we come in the house through the patio door (which is our main door.) and where the dogs drink their water (but not eat their food). It's the first room you see if you're coming in through the back door, which most people do, since my driveway is on the back of my house. It's ALSO the place where we take vitamins and incidental medications, and since cold/flu remedies and antipyretics (big, fancy word for "stuff that reduces fevers), it's pretty reasonable to keep the thermometers in there.

You should make a list like this. We're probably going to refer to it often, since as we organize our kitchens, we need to either make space for each of these functions or figure out moving some of them to other areas of the house. If you're with me on this, don't sweat. I'm not. We've got time.

If OCD Girl isn't stressing the details, you shouldn't either.

2. Create Useable Counter Space And Clear Your Kitchen Table (Mostly)

Kitchen table? Oh you mean THAT kitchen table.....

Pardon me while I remember how to breathe.

Usable counter space I can manage. But the table?! I am guessing they don't meant to clear off the kitchen table by shoving everything into a box either, huh?


Are you feeling a little overwhelmed? I am feeling a good bit overwhelmed right now. So, back to basics with me.

To start, I did the dishes. Then, because I am a SUPERGENIUS who started this while dinner cooked, I did dishes AGAIN! Dishes, like laundry, are the NEVERENDING CHORE. I do the dishes then have a cup of tea. It feels good. AND THE CUP AND KETTLE ARE NOW DIRTY DISHES! CURSE YOU PERRY THE PLATYPUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And then it got cold. REALLY COLD. Like MINUS FIVE cold. And even with trickling water through the pipes, they froze. That's pretty awesome. And by awesome, I mean, HORRIBLE. See, there was a leak OUTSIDE........

Maintenance came to de-ice the pipes and put a heater in the laundry room to keep them from freezing again. Hot water and pressure restored, they headed out to the next property.

And the heater blew out my power.
So I sat in the dark for 24 hours.
And it got cold again.
And the pipes froze.

So, I was without running water for eleven days, and that is why this post is officially a BEFORE post. I will finish up the cleaning and organizing of my counters and sinks hopefully today, and then you will get an "after" post!


I need a cool picture for these posts. Anybody want to hook me up? I am USELESS at that sort of thing. A cool picture and a cute li'l badge would be so neat. I'd feel like a real, live BLOGGER! Ah, well. For now, you get to look at me in the kitchen. Isn't that a pretty kitchen? Yeah... It's not mine.

Happy New Year.