During my hiatus from work and school, I have decided to commit myself to being a good homemaker. I hope to get a job within the next few months, but in the meantime, there is much work to be done around here. I went grocery shopping last Sunday and all but the refrigerated and frozen stuff sat by the door for 2 days because the kitchen counters and cabinets were so full from bringing things home from Christmas. We got boxes of good plastic storage containers that were sitting on the counters, and a ton of snacks and food from the trip had to be put away before I could get started on the groceries that I’d bought.
The same goes for all the toys the kids got. Most of them are sitting in a corner of the library room because there is no room in their toy room yet. First I have to organize the spare bedroom so that the spare bed can get moved there from the toy room. Then I have to clear out some of the toys that the kids don’t play with. Only then can we fit the new toys in there.
I have laundry from the trip that still needs to be folded and put away. (Hey, at least it’s clean!) as well as new blankets that need to be washed.
OOOHHHH! Handy tip that my Mom showed me! Buy your top and bottom sheets separately when you can and get the top sheet and all of your blankets a size larger than the size of your bed. If you have a queen-sized bed, get king-sized blankets and top sheets. That way no one can steal the blankets from the other person in the night! There will be enough left hanging over the sides that you can safely turn over and take the blankets with you without freezing your partner! I fell so silly for never having thought of it. So, for Christmas, my Mom got me king-sized blankets. That’s what need to get washed. Hubby and I are forever stealing sheets and blankets from one another.
I’m going to work room by room. I did the part of the spare room that I could reach yesterday (Hubby jumped the gun and put the bed in the spare room – leaning up against some of the stuff in there and thereby blocking half the room from being organized and cleaned out), and today I’m going to get the boys to help me go through their toy room. Maybe. I haven’t decided whether I want them there or not. They will, of course, protest everything that I put in the donation bag, but I don’t want to donate things that they actually do use and play with. In the meantime, I can get to folding clothes today and clean out the kitchen a little more.
Housewifery is an art, and it’s one that I have yet to master. But, at my parents’ house I saw what a well tended home can be like and it was peaceful and wonderful. They had multiple trash cans set up around the house in strategic spots so that one never had far to look for a place to throw anything away. The sink was kept clear; all the dishes went immediately into the dishwasher and, the minute it was full, it was run. As soon as it was finished, whoever got to it first put the clean dishes away and the routine began again. (In our house, we let the dishes pile up in the sink until we have a load, then do them. Not the best way to do things. Granted, we do them every day or every other day at the longest because we use so many dishes, but still, it’s messy looking.) Messes were cleaned up as they were made, not let to sit until my husband or I could get to them. The kids even respected the house rules and cleaned up immediately and put their dishes in the washer. It was amazing.
Now, I am not a total slob, contrary to what it may sound like, but our house tends to fall into disarray during the week and we spend the weekend cleaning up. Now that I’m home though, I can start to get the house under control. If I can get it tamed and clean, it will be easier to keep it clean than it was to let it get messy and clean hard every weekend. I’ve known this, but it was a little stunning to see it in actual action at my parents’ house. Granted, they weren’t always that way. When my sister and I still lived at home, there was more clutter and less organization. Now it’s just the two of them and they are both retired. But, it’s been proven that, even with 6 people in the house, it can be done. Now it’s just a matter of taming our cluttered mess. It’s not gross – we don’t leave food laying about or anything like that – but there are papers covering every flat surface and clutter everywhere. Picture frames sitting on desks and bookcases that would do better hung up on the walls. Wires not bundled together. Electronics scattered all over the house, with their cords. There’s just clutter. It can get stressful sometimes.
Really, we just need to get rid of about half of what we have, and put the rest away in boxes and drawers. We have a ton of stuff. We have stuff for every occasion. We have stuff that has stuff. Ah well. It’s not going to get better if I don’t tackle it. At least I finally took down the Christmas stuff!