November 30, 2018

Organization Schedule

In my previous postings I shared my whole house organization from the Home Organization book by Toni Hammersley. I joined up for the 2018 challenge at the Bowl Full of Lemons site and my house has never looked and functioned better. Once I had made one pass through my entire place I created a cleaning schedule to keep everything ship shape. I have tweaked the plan a few times, but over the last year have found a method that works great for me, my life and my home. I hope it inspires you to find a great plan for yourself.

One thing I have learned is that, at least in my house, a good cleaning on a rotational basis keeps things up well. It seems that just about the time each room comes up for its turn it's ready for my attention. My schedule does not include windows or moving large pieces of furniture - that I do seasonally. Each room takes about an hour, more or less, now that it has been thoroughly cleaned and well organized. It is a six day a week schedule which leaves me one day to get ahead a bit or make up if I missed anything on the schedule. I also have a daily routine that includes mostly cleaning up as I go, picking up a bit before bed, scooping the cat box and that type of thing.

Here is my current schedule:


Monday:Bathroom, Master Bedroom, Exercise Room

Tuesday:Kitchen, Breakfast Room & Mud Room

Wednesday:Living Room, Dining Room & Foyer

Thursday:Basement. Collect all Trash.

Friday/Saturday: Studio


A breakdown of each room includes the following jobs and times:

Breakfast room/Kitchen/Mudroom (60 minutes)

Wash rugs
Dust ceiling Fans
Refill soaps
Tidy drawers and cabinets
Wash windows and glass doors
Wash cabinets
Clean coffee station
Sort snack drawer
Wash cat bowls and water fountain
Sort and clean refrigerator
Clean stove (set clean cycle if needed)
Wipe out microwave
Dust mud room
Clean cat box
Empty and wash trashcan
Wipe all counters and tables
Scrub sink
Wash floor
Replace rugs

Living room/Dining room (45 minutes)

Wash blankets
Rotate cushions/Sweep out crumbs
Dust furniture and baseboards
Glass surfaces
Empty trash
Refill napkins/tissues
Mop floors

Exercise Room/Hall/Foyer (45 minutes)

Water, feed and rotate plants
Dust light fixtures
Dust equipment and furniture
Wipe front door
Dust and wash mirrors, pictures and storm door
Mop foyer floor
Vacuum stars and carpets

Studio (20 minutes)

Dust furniture and shelves
Clean electronics and phone
Clean glass pictures
Fluff fainting couch
Shred paper
Empty trash
Mop floor
Vacuum rug

Bath (60 minutes)

Change towels
Wash rug
Wipe tile
Scrub tub
Refill shampoo/conditioner
Clean toilet
Dust wire shelves
Scrub sink
Clean mirrors and scale
Empty trash
Wash floor
Replace rug

Master Bedroom (45 minutes)

Change/Wash bedding
Tidy and Purge drawers and closets
Dust furniture and baseboards
Clean mirrors
Vacuum drapes
Empty trash
Mop floors
Vacuum rugs

Basement (30 minutes)

Wash appliances and lint trap
Sweep hard surfaces
Wash back door
Straighten work table
Straighten storage area


Please don't hesitate to comment or ask questions! I'd love to hear your input. Look for a giveaway in my next post!

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November 27, 2018

The Journey Continues

In my previous post, I wrote about the beginning of my journey to a full reorganization of my home. This week I'll talk about moving past the kitchen and breakfast rooms into the rest of the house. I have to say that although it was exhausting at times, it was immensely inspiring! It was the best accomplishment I have had in years. My whole house was totally clean at one time. And not the kind of clean you get from killing yourself to get everything done at once. You all know them, those pre-holiday cleanings. The ones you do before company. Let's face it, those cleanings help but they never really get the whole job done. I did that for years and it never worked. The holiday in question would arrive and the house looked pretty good, but there still those things that hadn't gotten done. And I was exhausted as well. Someone once asked me whatever made us think we could devote one day to clean the entire house and expect to actually get it done? It never works that way. I would start out inspired, get just so far, and when the day was done I was tired but not satisfied. Rome wasn't built in a day and I'm sure it wasn't cleaned in a day either. I'm so happy to have found a better way!

Here are some of the other rooms in my home that got a thorough cleaning.
My dining room was not too challenging, but I did empty the hutch, scrubbed every surface, cleaned the windows and moved the light fixture that never hung right over the table.

Next came the foyer. I've heard this area referred to this as the "launchpad" because it's where you grab your hat and coat and "take off" out the door. There's no room in my foyer for a bench or a closet by my front door so I really don't have too many things you drop as you come in the door and grab on your way out. I try to keep those things we use daily to a minimum.

The box on the radiator is for dropping off keys and miscellaneous items as you go in and out. The mailbox holds gloves.

Inside the dining room door is a small cabinet for shoes.

A mirror with a couple of hooks holds caps, a knit bag for outgoing items and an umbrella.

Since I redid the living room a couple of years ago I didn't need to change much, but it got a very thorough cleaning. I also sorted out DVDs and reconnected the electronics beneath the television eliminating any that were no longer in use such as the VCR

The Master bedroom was next and it was a bit more work. The floor had been painted white before we bought the house. We planned to eventually change that, but I actually grew to like it. I gave it a fresh coat of paint and added new rugs. Every drawer was sorted as were the tiny closets. To my delight, my clothes now fit in them comfortably. 

After cleaning the guest room it dawned on me that no one had used it in several years. I would strip the beds regularly, just in case. I vacuumed it weekly but, other than my cleaning, it never got used. Getting organized gave me the idea to put the room to better use and I hauled out the beds and converted it into an exercise room. I added a small, reasonably priced treadmill, moved the old stereo up from the basement and hauled out all of the old vinyl records we have kept for years. Now I have great music, and open space to get some exercise and a special room for a bit of meditation. I have to say that I found having a better environment in my home not only gave me more time but bunches of energy.

The mirrors are the type you put on the back of your closet door. They are affordable, work great and reflect light into the room. Here's a link to the treadmill.

I hope you have enjoyed this posting and it helps to inspire you. In my next post, I'll give you a view into my schedule and show you the major improvement I made to my studio.

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November 25, 2018

The Organization

In my last post I promised I would share some before and after pictures and experiences from the last year. I hope you are inspired!

I began my organizing journey in the kitchen and breakfast room. Once these rooms were thoroughly cleaned and more organized I found the whole process worked much better as I went through the house. Here are a few before pictures.

Next are pictures of the kitchen area after the reorganization. I took everything out of the room entirely with the exception of the refrigerator which I emptied and then moved to clean underneath. The electric stove has been replaced with a new gas stove and I have added a bright, white, brick backing behind the stove. I painted the cabinets and added new handles. As I reorganized I worked on one room, got to a point where I felt accomplished, and then moved on to the next one. Once I had done the whole house I made up a cleaning routine list and a list of extras. Those extras were things I wanted to change or repair. As each room came up for cleaning I would try to add that task. The cabinet handles were upgraded that way. They were easily replaced and one of those things I swore I would do eventually, but never got to. I'll elaborate on my cleaning schedule in a future posting. 

After the kitchen I moved onto the breakfast room. Because the kitchen itself is very small I now keep all of my baking supplies and many of the tools in the breakfast room. Here are a few "before" pictures from over the years.

I reorganized the coffee station on the bureau, sorted out the glassware in the cabinet, replaced the fabric inside and set up my baking supplies in the hutch. The containers are food safe and air tight. Even my brown sugar has remained soft. Links are posted below. My labeling kit came with great labels for spices which I added to the jars that are mounted beneath the kitchen cabinets.

Here are links to some of the things I used to organize. I'll move on to a few more rooms in my next posting.

Storage Containers

Container Label Set

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I'm baaccckkkk...

Far too much time has passed since my last posting and I've been quite busy, as I'm sure all of you have been as well. Since then I've taken steps to make my life less complicated, to make my home run more efficiently and best of all to make more time for creativity. I'll do my best here to catch you all up a bit and then move on to all kinds of goodies about my newest crafting love: cross stitching! I'll break it down over the next several posts and will be doing a couple of giveaways too, so come back often and hit the "Follow" button or sign up for notifications in your email.

I'm a sucker for cleaning books. I've read them all. I wanted to get organized, to live with less and enjoy life to the fullest. So I took their advice and sorted out my belongings, packing some of them away until I could "get over them". However I found I missed them too much and brought them back out again, with all the new things I had added in their place. So that only made me feel more overwhelmed than ever. Then there is the method that requires you to find all the like items in your house, touch them all and then emotionally let them go until you've whittled everything down to only a few items. Got two ink pens? Three? Four? You only need one you know. This method is one I honestly never tried. Perhaps they work for others, but they were not for me. I realized I might die before I could find every ink pen.

In late 2017 I bought a lovely book entitled, The Complete Book of Organization, by Toni Hammersley. Honestly I thought it was a bit like a coffee table book, stunning, with colorful pages and glossy photographs. I thumbed through it and did enjoy the pictures, all of a gorgeous, newer home with serene colors and perfectly organized cabinets. The home in the book bore little resemblance to the old gal I occupy, who will celebrate, with my help, her 100th birthday in 2019. My old home has pock marks from where the plaster has been bumped for decades, floors worn by lifetimes and a lot of old-time personality. The only granite here might be buried in the back yard. This is not to say I don't love the old gal, and I wouldn't in my wildest dreams think of adorning her in yards of stainless steel any more than you'll catch me in a mini skirt and Go Go boots, well not anymore. Yet something in the book spoke to me. It's neatly broken down into rational numbered sections, like challenges. After leafing through I went back to the beginning and read more closely. Ms. Hammserley suggested that I look at my kitchen in zones. One for food prep, one for cooking etc. I set the book down and went out to the kitchen and moved a couple of things around. And then the journey began. Over the last year I have changed my life. Seriously. I sorted and repaired and tossed, one room at a time, and then started again. I crawled into bed those first few weeks aching from head to toe. I found a Facebook page for a yearly challenge group, based on the book, and was filled with inspiration from the members there. I have to say I have emerged transformed.

Much to my surprise and delight I did get rid of tons of stuff. I kept plenty too. I love pretty things around me. And I love lots of them. They comfort me, inspire me and give my heart a place to land for sweet memories and sometimes sad recollections. But they are all things I truly want or need and the rest is gone. Because I am better off being more organized I found the most precious thing of all which is time. Not just time to do more of what I enjoy but possibly more precious is time to enjoy them without guilt. I don't fret through my creative projects while thinking I ought to be doing something more important. I don't think that my stove hasn't been moved in ten years and worry what might lurk beneath while knitting feverishly. Being disorganized made me feel as if doing what I really loved was being irresponsible. I know that's rubbish, but it was a reality to me. Yeah, I'm tense. My husband spends plenty of his time saying things like, "Everything has to be perfect with you". He's right, but he does smile when he says it.

My next postings will include many before and after photographs of that organization journey. I'll post a link here to the challenge page and there is always one on the left side of this blog. I'll be signing up again in 2019 and look forward to continuing the journey, with much less work this year. Find the book below.

And then, the art that I'm enjoying much more, since although I do love to clean, what I really want is peace to enjoy being creative. I often get asked to share my workplace setup and that's my goal as part of the journey I started last year. Stick around and don't hesitate to ask questions along the way. I love questions, because I learn that way as well. And watch for the giveaways.

It's good to be back! Thank you for visiting. Please come again!