Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bit by bit

I recently came home from being away for a week. In case you (my invisible readers) think I'm someone with the means to just take a weeks vacation right after Christmas, so you don't get the wrong idea, let me explain. I was on a trip with my husband (a high school teacher) and 34 of his students. My mom and a couple of my friends took care of my kids during that time. So, we got in late late late Monday night. I knew I was going to have my work cut out for me being gone for a week and having my mom keep the kids here some of the time. I mentioned in an earlier post one of the things I want to work on this year is cleaning and organizing. I spent some time in late 2010 coming up with a schedule for daily, weekly, monthly, twice yearly & yearly cleaning or other chores. I was so looking forward to getting a fresh start in January. Then we had Christmas and I thought it was a good idea to leave two days after Christmas for a week (in case you can't tell I'm being scarastic). Try as I might I was not able to do as much as I hoped before I left. All the Christmas decorations are still up, many Christmas gifts still need to be put away. In addition to that I wasn't here to do my regular cleaning last week AND my mom was here with my kids for a week making it a little messier. I felt so defeated before I began this morning. I also didn't realize that I was going to have an extra four year old boy, five year old boy, two year old boy and six month old boy in addtion to my four year old boy and six year old girl. Part of that problem is my lack of control over my calendar. I decided that I would just take it one step at a time, work little by little and be happy with small progress. So, after breakfast I started with some tasks that would make me feel better. I did the dishes and vacuumed. Vacuuming is one of my daily tasks that is rarely missed. I feel so much better if I vacuum. Then I decided to start in the kitchen and use a method I read about in one of the cleaning/organizing books I borrowed from the library last year. I believe they call it the Mount Vernon method. The crew that cleans Mount Vernon starts in the corner of a room and cleans their way around the room then moves on to the next room. I started in one corner of my kitchen and worked around. It didn't start off as bad as it could have but looking at it I saw there was a bunch of stuff that just needed to be put away.

Here are my before pictures. What you can't see is that every surface needs to be wiped, including the sink. As I said, it's not as bad as it could have been or as bad as it has been.

I did it. By the end of the day my counters were cleared & wiped. The table was cleared & wiped. Everything was put where it belonged.

To someone who is naturally tidy this probably is not impressive. To me it feels great. I feel a little pathetic that I'm so proud of myself for what seems like such little work but I know I'm going to have to take baby steps and if I keep working slow and steady, bit by bit, I will get it all done.


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