It is January 20th and I have just now finished putting away the Christmas decorations. I also ran the air conditioner for the first time this year so Christmas is officially OVER.
A couple of weeks ago I had hastily shoved ornaments and decorations in bins and/or in piles and then just shoved them aside until…today. Here they are stashed around:
Hidden behind the office desk chair. Totally invisible right?
On the built-in:
By the front door:
I began by just opening all the bins so I could take everything out and reorganize:
Here are the Afters: Ready to go to the basement!
That garbage bag on top of the black bins is recycling. I had a lot of packing material to get rid of. I even had time to vacuum up tree needles and some broken glass from a christmas lightbulb that had fallen on the floor while reorganizing everything.
It feels so good to have it done! I hope I can inspire anyone else who still has holiday decorations to put away.
Did a “quick” 20 that was more like 25. It almost wasn’t worth the struggle to try and clean with a toddler and I almost lost it a couple of times. He had two meltdowns. My blood pressure must have rocketed 30 points at least. He loves to “help” by dumping the dustpan back on the floor, or the bed, pulling all of the clothes out of the hamper that I just put in, repeat 3 times, locking me out of the room while I run to get a rag, spraying the bed down with cleaner (vinegar), and other basic good hearted nonsense that makes me crazy when I’m trying to do something quick. A person working alone would have gotten this done in maybe 5-10 minutes. I was shattered afterwards. I really was. I felt so defeated and exhausted and guilty because I was short with him. And I felt like it wasn’t worth it.
I struggled to learn something from this. What did I learn? I do not want to have my kid grow up to hate cleaning because he watched his mom get stressed out and mad. I will no longer do a 20 minute with a timer when the kid is helping. Only 3 minutes or so. I will try and make it a game so that he has fun and I stay relaxed. Lowering my expectations… Feeling a little depressed that I will never get on top of the clutter and grime in this house. My mom was/is a hoarder so I probably put a lot of weight on the cleanliness of my house because of how neglected I felt growing up. I should probably give myself a break but its hard.
You probably won’t see any difference but here are the before and afters if anyone is interested. I’m posting this because I need to see some progress: after the jump
(I also had a fun game of “Name That Ikea Furniture.”)
This mess took a day and a half to make. Yeah. I’m not sure why it goes to hell so quick, but it does. I mean I just did all the dishes yesterday morning! It’s not like it has been a week. My only answer is we cook every meal from scratch pretty much and with three people on different diets and often in a rush, we don’t have time to clean up. I know. Excuses are boring. I’m going to try and get into the habit of cleaning while doing but for now I have 20/10’s. So here is what it looked like when I got home last night and after quickly feeding a hongry toddler:
And after 22 minutes the after:
Much improved and as you can see I am heating water for a cup of tea! The dishes in the sink couldn’t fit in the washer. I didn’t have time to hand wash them so they will have to wait for the next load. I didn’t get to clean the stove more than just a wipe around the edge but I scrubbed those pans!
My afternoon has gone better, my mood seems to have stabilized to a little under what I think of as “winter normal,” which is a big improvement on this morning’s crying jags.
Done this afternoon:
- Ate lunch (bowl of white bean and root veg soup with lamb bones I made yesterday)
- Put supper to cook in the crockpot (cream of broccoli and bok choi sauce for pasta)
- Unfuck Your Weekend: Challenge 4 - Laundry. I “Cycled” the laundry: took the dry load off the drying rack, folded it and put it away. Took the wet load out of the machine, put it on the drying rack. Assembled the next load from the pile on the bedroom floor, put it in the machine and set it running.
- Unfuck Your Weekend: Challenge 5 - Bedroom tidy. My bedroom was already in pretty good shape, as I dealt with the floordrobe in the previous challenge, so instead I tackled this disgusting mould on the windowsill:
A couple of weeks ago, I came down with what can only be described as the bastard child of bronchitis and the plague. I was seriously ill, like, could barely move or think (and all this was during my last week of classes, so I got to take a final and write a paper, huzzah!). Needless to say, cleaning was not high on my priority list. And then once I was mostly better I spent a week staying at my neighbor’s apartment watching her dog and cat. So I wasn’t even home to take care of the madness. So I tackled it today. Like the rebel that I am I marathoned it, though it only took about an hour.
Hanging up holiday cards gives me something to look at if I’m ever feeling lonely or unloved.
I found a dollar!
(That ornament says MISANDRY on it. It was a gift. Also, I keep a stash of boxes tucked behind my desk because I’m trying to move soon.)
(Do you like my Batman pajamas?)
Due to panic-moving a couple of months ago, my stuff is not in an ideal organization situation. I’ve accepted that for now I have to be satisfied that my closet doors will close, and not worry about how neat the stuff on the floor is, because it’s just not feasible right now. But having a permanent shoe floordrobe is better than being in the awful living situation I was in before.
So I worked on my second hall closet. I did the first one yesterday and I was pretty elated. This one was harder and I still have a lot to do but it is so much better now. I can step inside! My mom took my baby for 90 minutes so I had to work fast but still took my breaks. I did two 20/10s and a 25 min just before baby walked in the door. This closet is the baby’s closet. It holds most everything that we have needed for pregnancy, a new born and up until his age now, 18 months. He has a bedroom but it is teeny tiny and has no closet. Only a dresser. So this closet has a heavy burden. It has also been the closet where I store bathroom things that dont fit in the actual bathroom. The other part of the magic of this is that my BF unfracked his wardrobe while I was working on this closet! I didn’t take pictures of it but believe me he did a great job! He has never read UFYH but he has caught the germs from me anyway. It’s a sickness. A good sickness.
These before pics are actually after I had emptied most every thing. I was too excited (Honestly I was full of dread and whining) to begin and forgot to take a real before but if you saw yesterday’s post, you would have a pretty good idea of what it looked like.
The cat is like ” whoa I didn’t know this room was here!”. And please excuse all of my feminine hygiene everywhere…
Not too bad right? But here is what had already come out of there (minus that garbage can):
Wait, there’s more. A bouncey and swing (their covers removed and in the wash), a magnifying lamp thingy, a baby gate, a mobile and a box of stuff :
Sit down! Almost done:
Yup, all of that came out of that little closet. And the amount of dirt and grime and dust I had to wipe up off the floor…even the cat was sneezing. It was filthy. One bonus is the cat and I found lots of cat toys that had been lost under the door. Cat is happy!
Here is the After:
So most of it went back in, but now it is much more organized and I can actually see everything. There was a lot thrown away, a bag to donate and a lot of boxes to recycle. A few of the bigger things (the swing, the bouncey) are headed to the basement. All of those plastic bins and black garbage bag you see to the right are full of clothes and things will be sorted, labeled and stored in the basement in case we have another kid, but that has to wait for another day. The left side is just a ton of clothes I need to go through.The upper shelf has a lot of bathroom product type stuff that needs to be sorted and put in the bathroom when I unfrack that room. Not done, but a major first step. Time for a cup of tea and maybe a bubble bath!
A couple of more afters for people that like that sort of thing:
Thank you for looking!
I made a tumblr just so I could post my before and afters. I have been doing a lot of 20/10s but not really maintaining them. I’ve been at my wit’s end, being a stay at home mom to a toddler while battling a stupid disease. It has been a tough couple of years with my health and other things and I have been in a bit of a serious depression the last week after receiving some bad news from the doctor. (Note to self: Don’t get tests/MRI’s done just before Christmas!!) Finally today I decided to tackle a closet that has been haunting me basically since we moved in. I knew if I just got started I would feel better. I found it really motivating to take pictures of the dirty dirty shame that was my hall closet (the first of two that I will unfrack). As I was cleaning, I kept wanting to slack off, but knowing that I would be taking After pictures, made me want to do a better job, just so I could see it. I’m so proud of myself and it really boosted my mood! I’m actually happy tonight :) I really don’t like showing my mess (who does) but I am because seeing other people’s photos is so motivating for me, I guess I want to give back and also, you know, accountability. UFYH has been so helpful for me, in that it helps me forgive myself for falling short from perfect. Having fatigue, pain and weakness and not enough sleep, EVER, oh and cat pee issues and a little lovely toddler, makes my house get overwhelming pretty fast. OK here are the Before and After photos of a place where things go to die:
MY DIRTY SHAME, my hall closet BEFORE:
I had to actually push things back in to keep them from falling out every time I opened the door. I’m sure that isn’t hard for you to believe…
After I pulled a few things out I decided I better set up zones for things. I made places to put piles of recycling, trash, keep, move to basement, BF’s stuff for him to go through, donate, giftwrap, home improvement type things/projects, etc…
Here is after my first 20 minutes:
Some of the highlights of things I found in there were bottles of old meds that had expired LONG before I had even moved into this place, boxes of leaking ancient beauty and hair products, 2 cases of expensive wine that I didn’t even know we had, a brand new jug of laundry detergent (yay!), numerous things my BF and I had been missing, a almost ruined CD with photos of my child’s birth, tons of old nasty stained sheets and towels that I was keeping for …what? I don’t know… And how did they get so gross? ugh…
After the first 20/10, I did a 45/15 and then another 20/10. So here is the AFTER:
The stuff in the hallway is either going into my bathroom or getting stored in the basement. The thing at the bottom right of the picture is a coat rack I have been looking for. I will be using that to UnFrack my entry way:
Here are more gory details:
The crud I swept up.
For some reason I can’t post the pic of all of the trash and recycling. There was one huge black garbage bag full of trash, a broken lamp, four shoe boxes, a cruddy plastic bin full of BF’s stuff (he looked it over after he got home), four shopping bags full of paper and plastic to be recycled.
Here is the donation pile. I’m ashamed it is so small and that I was saving so much worthless crap that I couldn’t even donate.
As you can tell the closet will need a few more passes but it was a major hurdle for me to just get started. Now I can at least see everything that is in there. Time for a celebratory cup of tea!
So, it was the day after Fall Finals, and after ten or eleven long weeks of ignoring the beast of my room, I finally allowed myself to sort of face the collective mess and just reality in general:
My room wasn’t just a sty, my room was completely and totally fucked.
There’s a lot of pictures coming, so I’ve put the rest of the story and the fucked-room evidence under a fancy little cut.
The pile of stuff on top of the wicker chest that sits under our entry-way coat hooks.
Look! I found space for a boot mat! And I swept the entryway, too! The bottle-shaped brown thing belongs to my other half. I don’t know where he wants to keep it, so I am leaving it there for him to deal with as and when he wants to.
There were two 20/10s on my To Do list for today.
First, the spare bedroom / my sewing room:
I’ve been working on making Christmas gifts, in particular a large quilted wall-hanging for my mother, and so my workspace has been just getting messier and messier because I “don’t have time to tidy it”. Since I know I work better, faster, and am less prone to screwing things up and making mistakes if the environment I’m working in is neat and tidy, I scheduled a 20/10 for this room *before* sitting down to work on my projects today.
YES! All this done in just ONE 20/10, and I put everything away properly where it belonged, I didn’t just shove the crap into a closet or under the bed! The fabric, etc. that’s on the desk and ironing board in the “After” pictures is what I’m using for the current project only, everything else has been put away.
And because I had cleared off the bed, I was able to lay out my project for the first time to see what it was going to look like:
My other 20/10 was part of my on-going effort to get the house clean in time for the holidays, when my family is coming for Christmas dinner. I’ve been working in the bathroom this week, and today’s task was to clean the mould out of the window sill & frame. Our house was built as an air-tight, but we don’t run it as one, because we can’t afford to run the air-conditioner all summer. Consequently we have mould problems. I hate de-moulding the windowsills (and every windowsill in the house needs doing regularly *sigh*) partly because “Mould - ICK” partly because the window frames have a bunch of little cracks and crannies that I can never get clean, and partly because I know it;s just going to get gross again.
So I promised myself a caramel brownie left over from craft group last night after I cleaned the bathroom windowsill, and that turned out to be enough incentive:
And since it actually took LESS than 20 minutes, I drain-volcanoed the bathroom sink while I was in there!
And the caramel brownie was delicious :)
remember that post a few hours ago with the really dirty apartment?
yeah look now ahhhhhhhh