Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Simplify the Simplifying!

I love reading books and articles on becoming more organized, or clearing clutter, or simplifying your life. I love books with cleaning tips, and cleaning schedules and challenges.

I own Organized Simplicy and 31 Days to Clean.

I have read through most of Organized Simplicity, and skimmed 31 Days to Clean. I completely agree with each book. I would love to practice every tip in each book!

Here's my problem: I can't figure out how to do these things with two young kids tugging at my leg! Or on most days, one kid at me leg, the other on my hip :0)

I have finally given up on doing the whole house declutter in a week thing, and realized that organized and cleaning challenges are not for me at this time.

Instead, I have implemented a simpler, slower de-clutter routine. One that can be done slowly, with the kids in the house.

Here's my first step: Linen Closet. As I was folding my huge pile of laundry, I realized that I could not fit the stack of clean towels into the linen closet because...it was already too-full with towels! I brought the kids upstairs with me, took all of the towels out of the closet, and only put back the 4 best towels. I then pulled out 4 extra towels for the spare bathroom. Hopefully they will stay "spares"!

I boxed up the rest of the towels, and they will be donated. I have to admit, I considered saving the towels for a future project! I didn't, and they are boxed up and waiting to be loaded into the car.

It is my hope that by eliminating all the towels that I did, I will be saved from a huge laundry pile up. Or atleast have a smaller pile! Even if I have a pile of towels to wash, I will put that off, knowing that my linen closet is full of clean towels I can use. Now that we have 4 towels for us, I will hopefully be more inclined to wash and fold the laundry sooner, knowing that we will need those towels.

I will be sharing more simple ways to slowly eliminate clutter and time wasters soon.

What is your most dreaded task in the home?


  1. Just found your Blog through Money Saving Mom! I am also an unlikely stay at home mom, but I love it. My dreaded task at home is the vacuuming and mopping of my hardwoods floors...its such a chore!

  2. I am not a mom yet, but I have two cats and a fiancee with me in my apartment, a job, and I'm constantly in rehearsals for plays and shows. It can be very tough to find time to clean. Two things I try to do to slowly eliminate clutter when I literally don't have an extra second are:

    1. If the sink is full, wash two times the dishes you are using during downtime while preparing food. For example, if you're using two saucepans, two plates, and two forks for a pasta dinner, wash four of each while waiting for water to boil. This will chip away at the mess without taking up your whole evening.

    2. Sometimes I am in such a rush that I leave clothes lying around everywhere when I change and run out the door. Similarly, I try to put away clothes as I take them off and pick up another outfit as well and either put it away or put it in the hamper.

    These few seconds of cleaning add up, and I usually feel more motivated to quickly clean a little more before rushing to my next commitment. At least keeping in mind that more cleaning than messing up should take place is helpful.

    My most dreaded chore is also floors, but I have mostly carpets and a vacuum that barely works. I almost never even get to the floor. When I was a housekeeper, I was trained to do the floor last, but I never get that far, so it never gets cleaned! Any suggestions?

    Also, I can't imagine trying to keep up with the mess young kids make! How do you do it? I can't even keep up with all the stuff my cats knock over and toss around the apartment!

  3. @Happy Scrapper There's a learning curve involved, but I love being home with my kids too! I am not a huge fan of floors either, as my son loves to "help" while I am vacuuming, and my daughter likes to hang on to the broom :0)

  4. @iwtkwilotiol You sound very busy! Thank you for your tips, I really appreciate it. I try really hard on the laundry, and the dishes (probably my two least favorite tasks), but it's hard to stay on top of the two. As far as how I manage a household and kids, it is definitely a work in progress! I am currently trying to simplify and eliminate as much clutter as I can, and learning what my priorities are. For example, I have totally given up on scrapbooking,for now. I love it, but if I take time out of my day to scrap book,some other area will suffer. I'm busy enough :0)Oh, and here's my quick tip on the floors: a floor sweeper! I have one, and it is absolutely the best cleaning purchase ever! I have dogs, cats and kids, and the sweeper picks up fur, hair and crumbs. It doesn't take batteries, or need to be plugged in. I use mine when I know I won't be able to vacuum. I also use the swiffer mop on my kitchen floors, but I wrap a micro fiber cloth around it. It picks everything up, then I spray the floors with cleaner or water, and use the same cloth to dry/clean that as well.

  5. Laundry - particularly putting away clean laundry - is definitely my least favorite job. Funny enough, my favorite (or at least one of the top 3) is vacuuming and mopping. It's uncomplicated and it provides instant gratification. :-) It's probabaly a good thing, too. With 3 boys under 6 I get to practice cleaning floors at least three times a day. Sometimes I think we should just give up and move into a barn since they already behave as if they're being raised in one. ;-p