Sunday, September 14, 2014

Putting Away Things in Present Time

This looks like a child's room, but it might be the catch all room.
The point is that most people who deal with clutter have had a
room that was a frustration and a mess.  Did you know
there was a study done on how having
too many toys in an area is frustrating for  children?
This makes them feel overwhelmed and depressed.  If
this bothers children, what do you think it does to grownups,
especially an adult that is dealing with chronic illness.  Yep!
It is overwhelming for her too.  
Image courtesy of Bill Longshaw -

Are you putting up things in your house as you go along?  For the past month, I have been making a concentrated effort to do this as I clean up my messes.

I tend to be a piler:  here a stack, there a stack.  Sometimes, it isn't even stacked.  Sometimes, my stuff is strewn.  For instance, I had a hamper full of things I needed to go through.  I have some of those hampers that can be squished flat for storage, and they work well for cleaning up clutter:  put up, throw away, and give away.  I have also used one for a quick clean up, when I ran out of time.
Image courtesy of sattva -

The truth is that I hate going through stuff I have thrown into a hamper or box for a quick clean up.  Sure, it seems efficient when you are in a bind, but getting to it later is hard.  You have to very disciplined in that area or learn to do the first time.

Do it the first time.  What do I mean by do it the first time?  If you get it out, put it up when you are done.  If you come home and you have brought in a couple of bags of things from the store, hang them up and put them in the cupboards.  If you bring in a newspaper, read it and recycle it.  If you have mail, go through it when you bring it in.

Even when your house is a cluttered challenge to be worked on, you can learn to put up things the first time.  This means you will not pile mess on top of mess.  This is one of the ways we become more unorganized and lose things.  Believe me I know.  When you pile stuff on a table or chair, you forget where you put things, because you cover them up.  I am not fussing at you, because I am guilty of this as anyone.

When I visit someone, I always do better in the areas I am talking about.  Do you notice this is the case for you?  Is it because we are more relaxed in our own homes;  or, maybe it is because we get caught up in other things as we come in the house or we are working on a project.  We are interrupted by other family members, our own immediate needs, the phone ringing, or time schedules.
Image courtesy of photostock -

Maybe, you think it is impossible to change.  I simply refuse to believe that. Habits can be changed with baby steps.  Take small steps in the right direction everyday.  If you have a glitch or backslide in an area, work it again.  Actually, working this way can be quite methodical and organized.

Are you living in a mess now?  Spend a little time every day working on one area.  While you work on your messy areas, put things up as you go along in your daily life.  This is so much easier than letting things pile up in little stacks all over the house.  Also, I cannot emphasize enough the need to get rid of the things that are not useful and beautiful in your lives.  If you make the effort to get rid of the clutter, it actually gets easier.  Try it, you might like it.

Hugs, Deborah

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Bathroom Cleaning Directions Brought Back

Here is an excerpt from my Jan. 14th post.  The directions for doing the bathroom still work, and it is helping me to Simplify.  I hate to admit that even before I was ill, I never felt like a Perfect
housekeeper.  However, we sometimes put too much emphasis on that perfection thing.  I used to compare myself to other people.  Well, how often do you just drop in on friends?  You are usually invited, so they clean before you come.  I had one friend that told me a very long time ago, "I thought you were perfect before I got to know You."  After my moment of shock wore off, I felt complemented and I laughed.  Because I always knew I was not perfect.  Ha,ha!

Adjust the Days on this to your energy and when you start.  You may be able to do two days in one.

I know the chronic illness is often the thing that gets in the way.  When we are in pain and unrelenting fatigue assails our bodies, our routines often fly out the window.  We wonder how to get started up again, as we compare what we used to do with what we get done now.  I understand.

The best example I can think of ... comes from my own personal life... I started getting rid of the clutter in my dining room, which is also my  workroom, and the most used entry into our house.  I had a goal, which included having the table and sideboard decorated for Easter.  However, as I worked, I realized I needed to organize my arts and crafts supplies or box everything;  also, I was working on a couple of blog posts... I had other things that had to be done too:  laundry, bathrooms that needed to be cleaned, blogs and Facebook pages to tend to.

 "What's the point?",  you may ask.  The point is not finishing the dining room did not kept me from working on it a little bit at a time.  I have done the necessary everyday things, which I can rarely finish in one day... I jump in where I am.  I try to do a little bit everyday.  On the days I feel better, I may do a little more.

An example would be the bathrooms I cleaned on Saturday.  I cleaned the sinks and counters in both bathrooms, and in one I wiped down the toilet.  I had done the inside and outside of the half bath toilet two nights before, so I concentrated on the things that needed cleaning the most.  I didn't do the shower in the big bathroom, because  it was too big a job for me to tend to that day.  Nor did I do the inside of the toilet bowl in the master bath, because I was plumb out of energy...  

The point is I have not let perfectionism keep me from cleaning my bathrooms.  It is not an all or nothing thing.  My house is cleaner than it was a month ago.  In fact, I was able to rest comfortably when I needed to, because I had cleaned the toilet bowl  less than a week ago.   I feel good about what I'm doing, because I am making progress.  Truthfully, I doubt my house will ever be as clean as I used to keep it when I was healthy.   But, that does not mean I have to give up.  Nor do I have to compare myself with people that are physically able to do more.  I am doing what I can do, baby step by baby step.

Image Courtesy of [Grant Cochrane]/

Are you with me?  Are you ready to work on those bathrooms this week?
If you have enough energy, you can do this in more than one bathroom;  but, I recommend choosing the bathroom that you think needs the most attention.

Tuesday:  Pick up the things that do not belong on the bathroom floor:  dirty towels, discarded clothes, shoes, and toys.  Put those towels in the washing machine if you have a load.  

Wednesday:  Clean off that counter and the back of the toilet.  Put away the things that do not belong there.  Throw away any trash you see in the bathroom.

Thursday:  Assemble your tools for wiping off your bathroom counters and the bathroom sink.  Wipe it down.  Dry it off.  Doesn't it look nice?  Hint:  Keep your cleaning tools in a carrying container like a bucket or under your sink.  If you have small children, be sure to childproof your cabinets.

Image Courtesy of [twobee]/

Friday:  Soak and Scrub the toilet with your toilet brush.  With a rag or paper towel, wipe off the back, the tank, the cover and seat, and underneath the seat.  If you have little boys, you may need to wipe all the way down to the floor, otherwise use your discretion.  I am still looking for a long handled tool to do this, because it is quite painful for me to bend and get in the spaces I use to clean.  Sometimes, I clean the bottom of the toilet with my mop, while doing my mopping. 

Saturday or Monday:  My shower could use a wipe down.  How about yours?

Tuesday:  Are you sick of working on the bathroom?  Here is an optional task:  Mop, depending on how long it has been since you mopped the bathroom floor or whether it needs it. 

Hint: If you take a handi-wipe and wipe off that sink, counter-top, and toilet now and everyday -- your job will be easier every time. 

This is a way of spreading out your work in an area and making it easier.  I like to set a timer for 15 minutes;  however, if I am too fatigued, I set the timer for 5 or 10 minutes.  

We can do this together!



Needed a Burst of Color Today!

I came over here to find something in the archive, and I decided to play around.  I had that distraction thing going on, which is dangerous.

This is what happens when I am resting and I decide to play.  Maybe, the background is a little much.  I'm not sure.  And, I am not even sure I like the template I chose, but it was fun and Simple.  
I think it took less than five minutes.  If this background is not soothing enough, let me know.  I value your opinions.  Meanwhile, isn't it fun to have a change?  In fact, I am thinking about change for my living room before winter hits -- just small things to liven up the browns.  Weather forecasters are predicting a long, cold winter, so a little color will probably be very welcome.

Next thing I am posting will be about Cleaning Our Bathrooms.  I bet you can hardly wait.  Still looking for that archive.  I Will Be  Ba-ack (in my worst Arnold Swartzenager voice).


P.S.  One day, I plan to write about color therapy.