Don’t Tinkle in That Toilet

On Thursday I am having guests over for dinner. As you can imagine, this week has been, and will be, a flurry of cleaning and cooking.

Growing up, my Mom was not much of an entertainer, but on those rare occasions when my Dad convinced her to have people over, my Mother insisted on cleaning our home from top to bottom in preparation. At 74, she’s still the same way.

As I prepare for my own guests, I am mapping out the priorities of my To-Do list in my head. It only makes sense that cleaning the bathrooms comes last on the list, obviously, and I wouldn’t dream of touching them until an hour or two after my last child walks out the door for school on Thursday.

bathroom 1

In my childhood home there were three bathrooms. Two were in public areas and one was hidden. Through my parents’ bedroom and on the other side of their walk-in closet was one, single bathroom that was available for use. On party days, the hidden bathroom was the only bathroom we were allowed to use. In fact, we never even considered tinkling in the downstairs Powder Room or Upstairs Bathroom before a party. Stinking one up or leaving poop streaks on the newly scrubbed toilet bowl was an offense punishable by means we could only imagine. The truth is, we had no idea what the punishment would be for defiling an already pre-party cleaned bathroom.

No One Had Ever Done It.

At 41, I have four children of my own. It all makes complete sense now. Hanging a “Do Not Use” sign on the downstairs bathroom door on entertaining days seems the most natural thing in the world.

Tell me I’m not the only one…

Don’t miss a thing, follow me on bloglovin’!

Advertisements

Battle of the Stuff

Inspired by Five Minute Friday today: Belong.

It would be a sweet post if I talked about belonging or not belonging or finding a place to belong, …but honestly, my thoughts can’t help but flow in this direction:

What do I do with this trashbag full of stuff that I cleaned out of the car the other week?

Finding a place for everything to belong is a constant battle. Stuff. Everywhere. Stuff!

stuff pic

Downsizing and less stuff, blah blah blah, I’ve heard it/read it a million times – but I lived in India for 12 years and we didn’t have much but we STILL had stuff everywhere. My house was swept out at least twice a day and there was ALWAYS stuff in the way, on the floor, waiting to be put away. Stuff.

It comes in with the mailman, in school bags, on feet, from art classes, the pool… It enters in bags from Walmart, Justice, RiteAid, Target, ShopRite and the Thrift store…

Whenever I do a purge (which is often, believe me) I feel like my house is lighter somehow – but just like weightloss and those pesky calories, the Stuff creeps back.

I wonder if I were single would there be less stuff?

 

This post was written for Five Minute Friday. Link up here.5minutefriday

Making It Happen: Closets

mih closetsFact: Not being married negatively affects the state of my house.

This is a  follow-up/weekly post  where YOU my blog audience “come home” with me to see if having you here helps me get home improvement projects done. For previous post go here.

Premise (same as last week – if read previously – skip down to Projects.)

I find being unattached affects the status of my home improvement projects in two ways.

1. The fact that there is someone coming home kind of gives me a kick in the pants to get stuff done. Clean up, pick up, make improvements.

2. I am so much more motivated to do home improvements when someone else is doing it with me.

Projects:

1. Clean fridge.  DONE! (No pictures, come on, nobody wants to see that. You’re welcome. )

2. Clean out dining room closet.

Before                                                After

closetclo

 

stuff

Pile of crapola.

squ

Squirrel trap. Seriously.

 

clean

Everything that’s supposed to be in there, back in.

It has become apparent that I have a bag issues. I save them. All of them. Big, small, decorative and utilitarian. I might need a special counselor – cleaning out forced me to throw most of them away. I kept a few…

Projects for Next Week:

Easter, Good Friday, Spring Break and a child’s birthday loom ahead of me. Plus, we are getting closer to moving into the other half of the apartments since Bill’s daughter finished cleaning it out today. All this to say – I have 1 project on the list for this coming week:

Put some kind of sealant or another coat of paint on my bedroom vanity. It needs it.

Seriously – 99% of what I have posted over the last several weeks WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN COMPLETED (OR STARTED) without this blog series. 

So, whoohoo!

Making It Happen – HOME

HOME

Fact: Not being married negatively affects the state of my house.

This is a  follow-up/weekly post  where YOU my blog audience “come home” with me to see if having you here helps me get home improvement projects done. For previous post go here.

Premise (same as last week – if read previously – skip down to Projects.)

I find being unattached affects the status of my home improvement projects in two ways.

 

1. The fact that there is someone coming home kind of gives me a kick in the pants to get stuff done. Clean up, pick up, make improvements.

There is no one coming home.

2. I am so much more motivated to do home improvements when someone else is doing it with me.

I’ve lived in this apartment for the last three years and it’s really only been over the past six months that I’ve started to feel like this is my home. (I briefly wrote about this in my post, Dwelling.)

Then, a recent post where I discussed my cleaning habits got me thinking that maybe what I need is motivation. Since no one is coming home to motivate me, dear readers, YOU have become my motivation. I plan to post two small home improvement projects that I would like to work on during the next week and then follow up with you next Wednesday to see if this kind of accountability works for me.

Projects:

Gardening. Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions last week! I did get out and clean up and made some decisions for the planting. STARTED!

seeds

 

I’ll also plant tomatoes. Planting for the Northeast is May-June – so I have a few weeks until these go in the ground.

My 5 year old, P, chose the sunflowers. They’re my favorites, so she didn’t have to convince me. 🙂

Garden 2

I’ve decided to take this plot out and put in a glider or picnic table. Bye bye.

lilac

 

My beloved lilac tree is blooming. ❤ P and I mulched the front of the house this week – squirrels are already digging it up. Furry Monsters.

Earlier this week I wrote about my neighbor dying (here) and how that affects my Making it HAPPEN posts. Home improvement projects are on a short hiatus until we can move into the other half of the apartment later next month. (we hope) Then it’s gonna get CRAZY.

 

Projects for this week:

Clean fridge. (No pictures. You’re welcome. )

Clean out dining room closet.

closet

Welcome to my life. This is why I need this weekly post, without you, Beloved Readers, cleaning this out DOESN’T happen.

Making It Happen at Home – Episode 4

MIH new

Fact: Not being married negatively affects the state of my house.

This is a  follow-up/weekly post  where YOU my blog audience “come home” with me to see if having you here helps me get home improvement projects done. For previous post go here.

Premise (same as last week – if read previously – skip down to Projects.)

I find being unattached affects the status of my home improvement projects in two ways.

1. The fact that there is someone coming home kind of gives me a kick in the pants to get stuff done. Clean up, pick up, make improvements.

There is no one coming home.

2. I am so much more motivated to do home improvements when someone else is doing it with me.

I’ve lived in this apartment for the last three years and it’s really only been over the past six months that I’ve started to feel like this is my home. (I briefly wrote about this in my post, Dwelling.)

Then, a recent post where I discussed my cleaning habits got me thinking that maybe what I need is motivation. Since no one is coming home to motivate me, dear readers, YOU have become my motivation. I plan to post two small home improvement projects that I would like to work on during the next week and then follow up with you next Wednesday to see if this kind of accountability works for me.

Projects:

1. Clean inside of car. DONE! I can even open the door without trash falling out. (I’ll spare you the pictures.)

2. Finish cutting quilting squares and start piecing together. DONE! I am ready to sew. This took til this morning, but we are ready to move forward.

I’ve been thinking this week about whether having or not having children affects my willingness to do projects. I came to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter. Yes, there is more everyday cleanup stuff to do with kids around and, in general, I’m more tired. But I lived in this same apartment pre-husband and pre-children and I was no more likely then to initiate home improvement projects than now.

I obviously need adult accountability.

Project for this week:

1. Paint and shabby chic vintage vanity in my bedroom.

vanity

This is just a third of the whole thing, but you get the picture, it’s nasty. I got it for free, pretty much anything I do to it will be an improvement.

I am choosing only one project this week, because A. this is a big one and B. this is the initial step in re-doing my bedroom. Which is HUGE!

Also, overall I’ve discovered that the success of this blog accountability thing is flowing over to other areas and I’m getting more and more projects done. Ones that are not even on the list (i.e. blog post)! That’s pretty exciting.

Productivity is producing productivity!

Has anyone else tried this? Thinking of trying it? I’ll be your virtual person coming home if you’d like me to.

I Need a Wife Just Like Me

wife

I definitely Did Not learn my cleaning habits from my mother.

Confession #1: It’s not unusual for me to vacuum the bathroom.

Is this weird?

You see, my bathroom is on the third floor between two carpeted bedrooms. It just makes sense for me to vacuum the bathroom tile while passing through between the bedrooms.

Confession #2: I also vacuum the ceiling fan. It doesn’t work very well. The mouth of the vacuum kind of flops over and when I try to suck off the dust it just keeps pushing the fan around, so it doesn’t really do much, but I figure something is better than nothing.

Confession #3: (If you haven’t already drawn this conclusion, I’m gonna spell it out for you.)

I’m not much of a cleaner.

I’d much rather be working in ways that earn me some cash. I often see blog posts come across my Facebook feed that discuss things like Daily Cleaning routines, “15 Minutes to a Cleaner House”, Make your bed every day,… Honestly, I’m not even sure why I “like” these pages.

Most of the time, just keeping my children alive is the best I can do.