I promised to write about ways I've been growing as a homemaker, and what I've been doing to take care of Joshua and me physically, by how I take care of our home and by how I feed us. Quite honestly, for most of this semester I haven't been doing very well with keeping our home in order! Between school, homework, and work, most days I was gone from 9 or 10 in the morning to sometimes 10 at night. Not all days were that long, but a lot of them were. I tried to do laundry at my grandparents' once a week or once every ten days. I tried to keep up with the dishes, but I sometimes had to do two or three days' worth at once. If the bathroom got cleaned once a week I felt like I was doing well. I won't even tell you what my kitchen floor looked like sometimes. And the clutter...oh, the clutter. Laundry, books, papers, mail, shoes--all over the house.
I'm probably making things out to be worse than they were...I guess it could have been worse. A LOT worse. But it was bad enough, at least for me!
Having a messy house really gets to me. I have a hard time relaxing in a cluttered space. I hate knowing that my bathroom is pretty nasty. It's nice to use a clean sink, toilet, and shower. It's nice to have clean dishes when I need them. It's good to have clean clothes, folded and readily available, when I get dressed in the mornings.
Now that school is out, that's pretty much the state of things. I gave the bathroom a massive cleaning last weekend and it has pretty much stayed clean since then, with daily touch-ups. The kitchen isn't spotless (the floor still needs mopping) but most of the dishes are done. I've worked hardest on the bedroom and living room so far. I picked up all the clothes in the bedroom, put almost all of them away, threw away junk, put clutter where it belonged, dusted and vacuumed everything, made the bed, and folded a pile of blankets. In the living room yesterday I got rid of clutter on the two bookshelves, dusted them, and tidied all the books. The living room is mostly picked up.
So that's what I've done so far. I have a long list of things yet to do in the house. My goal is to have it completed by the end of the month. Room by room, here's most of what I want to do:
Clean out trash can
Clean cupboards, inside and out
Clean/reorganize stored things on top of cupboards
Clean out fridge/freezer; clean inside and out
Clean oven (not looking forward to that one)
Use ammonia and plastic zip-lock bags to clean drip pans on top of stove (I read about this somewhere, I wish I remembered which blog. You put those nasty little pans from under the electric coils in a plastic bag, quickly pour in some ammonia and seal the bag, and let it sit overnight. The ammonia dissolves everything on the aluminum pans, leaving them spotless. I'm going to try it and I'll let you know if it works.)
Clean out/organize cupboard under sink
Figure out shoe storage by front door
Vacuum under all furniture
Replace burnt-out lightbulbs
Find a desk for me to go next to Joshua's
(except I want to find matching nightstands for us)
Thorough cleaning of tub
Weekly cleanings, daily touch-ups
Clean out/organize cupboards and medicine cabinet
Closet (the worst):
Get everything out and throw away junk
Dust/vacuum floors, dresser, shelves
Organize stuff into plastic tubs (camping gear, blankets, etc)
Clear off my dresser so I can use it
Get everything into containers/smaller closets
(My goal is for this to be a small room instead of a dumping place for any and everything)
Organize/clean off pantry shelves
Clean out my dresser and closet; get rid of clothes I haven't worn in a year or more
That is my goal for cleaning the entire apartment. I've got about two and a half weeks till our anniversary on the 29th. I hope to be done by then. :) I'll post updates on how things are going, as well as tips and ideas that I find work for me in cleaning and organizing.
I'm going about this entirely with my own ideas. I use baking soda and vinegar to clean now, after reading about it on the internet, but I don't follow anyone's suggestions for organizing my house in fifteen minutes a day, or a rotating cleaning schedule, or whatever. When something needs doing, I do it--eventually--and try not to beat myself up mentally about it in the meantime. Right now, everything needs doing, so I'm going to do it, by God's grace!