Today’s task was all about bathrooms. We have two in our house, and while I keep them tidy I haven’t given them a ‘deep clean’ in quite a while. So I grabbed my trusty cleaning caddy and set to work.
I think I mentioned last week that I’ve been using a water and eucalyptus oil mix for a fair bit of my cleaning lately. This really does a great job in the shower. I spray it on, leave it for a few minutes, and with a bit of elbow grease it gets rid of all that gross soap and hard water build up very well. Plus it has the added bonus of clearing sinuses!
I’ve also discovered Aldi’s cleaning wipes. They sell at $2.49 for a pack of 40, and they have different wipes for general surface cleaning, glass and bathroom. The bathroom ones are flushable, and work brilliantly. I used these to clean my vanity and toilet, and to give the shower a quick wipe-over when I was done with my scrubbing. The glass ones also do a lovely job on mirrors.
Mayana got involved in cleaning the bathtub in our second bathroom. She stripped off, and I gave her the Eucalyptus oil spray, a scrubbing brush and a pair of gloves (she insisted) and off she went. She definitely had lots of fun, even if I did have to give the bath another once-over when she was done
Katrina also asked us to declutter our bathroom vanity and get rid of any products that were past their shelf life. We don’t really have much of a vanity but I did give our little bathroom cabinet a good once over and culled a plastic bag full of things I no longer wanted or needed.
Today was fridge day. I was actually looking forward to this day because boy did my fridge need doing! I pulled everything out of the fridge and and removeable piece came out too. I culled anything that was out of date or that was, you know, growing its own ecosystem. I washed every piece of the fridge with warm soapy water and scrubbed the inside of it so until it was sparkling clean and smelling pretty.
Then it all went back in, in a very organised fashion. I liked Katrina’s idea of not putting fruit and veg in the crisper. I’ve never found that our crisper lived up to its name to quite honest with you. I can’t afford schmancy tupperware containers, but I got myself some Decor fridge containers (half price at Big W people!) and am storing my veg in there instead. I actually had started cutting up things like celery and carrots when I’d bought them a few months ago, and found that they lasted waaaay longer cut up and stored in an air-tight container than they did in the so-called crisper.
I’ve always used baskets in my fridge so that things are easier to get to and I don’t have to reshuffle two thousand jars to find that pesky crushed garlic. I have one basket for condiments (sauces etc), one for things I use often in my cooking (garlic, tomato paste, hell sauce etc) and one for things I don’t need to use all that often (curry pastes, pickled ginger etc). That’s on the top shelf, along with the little deli caddy that comes with our fridge that is now being used for cheeses. Our middle shelf is for drinks that don’t fit in the door and left-overs, and down the bottom is now the home of my fruit and veg. As you can see I took this pic before purchasing my new containers. It looks so much prettier now. Oh and we have that deli drawer right up the top. That has medications and is the secret hiding place of a little box of treats (Mayana can’t reach that shelf!!).
In the door are our drinks, some sauces that are too tall for the shelves, Mayana’s lactose free milk and a shelf for Reuben’s bottles (did you know that current WHO recommendations are to make up your bottles on boiling water at the beginning of the day and refrigerate immediately, and reheat just before serving. You’re not even supposed to sterilise your bottles anymore.. apparently it’s pointless because the formula itself is not sterile.. hence the need to make up the bottles with boiling water in the first place!) Because we get three fresh eggs delivered to our door every day (literally, the chooks have taken to laying in a cardboard box outside the back door), there are always far more than would fit in the fridge. Plus I prefer to have them at room temperature anyway, and they live in a crystal bowl on the kitchen table. So I use the designated egg-spot for our butter and big block of cheese instead.
We were also asked to declutter our cookbooks today, but since ours live on a shelf on our pantry I had already done that as part of our pantry task last week. Oh, and we also had to do meal planning.. but I’m already in that habit as a part of my budgeting from the uni-bum days!
Today we were asked to clean a toy room, craft room, spare room or second living area. We have the first two of those in our home. The craft room is in a horrifying state, and I couldn’t face the thought of attacking that on my own with two kids in tow, so I chose the first one: the toy room.
I actually did a de-clutter of this back when we changed it from Mayana’s room to the playroom. It really just needed tidying and reorganising. Now that Reuben is showing a bit more interest in things, and I’m sure is only a few months off being on the move (eeek!) I wanted to make sure there was an accessible place for him and his things. A lot of the toys Mayana has will be for both of them, but I feel it is important for them each to have some special things that are just theirs.
Mayana helped me with this room, mainly by keeping her brother entertained, and it was greatly appreciated.
I also did a declutter and tidy up of the little end of our living space that serves as our ‘office desk’. It’s really my old dressing table from when I was a kid, but it suits the space and serves us well. You wouldn’t believe how much crap I got rid of from this tiny space!
This was the day that we got an awful letter in our mailbox, informing us that we will have to move out of our home in November as our owners are wanting to renovate and sell. It was a sad day, as we love this home and have lived in it for less than twelve months, after having this very same happen to us when I was pregnant with Reuben last year. We were pretty devastated and I considered giving up on this challenge as I felt that it was a waste of time and I had no motivation to continue prettifying a house that was no longer ‘mine’. After sleeping on it and coming around to the idea of moving though, I realised that I should definitely continue, because decluttering and cleaning our home in this two months is going to make moving and the bond clean a much easier and less stressful process.
Today I really had a bit of a day off. The cleaning task for today was ceiling fans, and the five minute task as to dust the lights. Our house has twelve foot ceilings, and I am five foot flat with no ladder, so this task was definitely not for me. Situations like that should definitely be left up to husbands!
The declutter task was to tidy a junk drawer. I don’t really have a junk drawer in this house – well aside from the drawers on my computer table that I had cleaned yesterday anyway I suppose.. so I decided to declutter the top of my ‘glory box’ cupboard that sits in our dining room. It had a lot of strange and random things on it and definitely needed a tidy.
The last order of business was the ‘organise’ task, which asked us to reoganise our diary or calendar for the rest of the year. Peter and I already have a system in place, using the Google calendar with our g-mail account, and have it sync with both of our phones, the iPad and our computers. It works so well for us – I would highly recommend it if you don’t have a system already!
I groaned when I opened up today’s task and saw a picture of an oven. Then giggled as I read Katrina’s words, “I’m sure I’m hearing moans all over at the moment”.
I hate cleaning the oven! I’ve only ever done it with a commercial oven cleaner which absolutely made me feel ill. So I was rather relieved when I read on and discovered that Katrina had an alternative way of doing it, using bicarb soda, vinegar and napisan! (yes really!) Oh my word. I am never EVER buying that putrid oven cleaning chemical EVER again. Seriously. This way worked so well.. way better than I thought it was. It required hardly any scrubbing, and has left my oven looking pretty much brand new. I am so impressed.
While we were waiting for the bicarb and vinegar to do its thing in the oven, we were meant to declutter two of our kitchen cupboards. I actually did this recently – one cupboard a couple of weeks ago because nothing in it had any specific place it belonged and it was driving me CRAZY. And my ‘Tupperware’ (in inverted commas because I pretty much own maybe two actual Tupperware products) cupboard I did on the same day as the fridge, out of necessity… because you know all those ecosystem-growing-leftovers that I talked about? Well they were in plastic containers that wouldn’t fit in my cupboard no matter how hard I tried to force the door shut. So I culled and organised that then. Luckily really, because I ended up having a stupid crazy day with a son getting an awful allergic reaction and heading to emergency and all the rest of it. (More on that another day).
this week’s verdict
My house is looking awesome. The only rooms that are seriously looking left out are the kid’s room and our making room. The routines and new habits that I’m putting in place are doing wonders to the running of our household and to my peace of mind. I feel so much more relaxed in my beautifully clean home, and I love knowing what I need to do each day to keep things going. For the first time since I started maternity leave the washing pile isn’t overwhelming me. I like having a plan, and knowing that I only have to wash one load each day and it’s never going to end up on top of me if I just keep plodding along at it. I’m finding it all much easier to maintain now that I’ve gone the hard yards and gotten it to such a great point.
I’m so so so disappointed that I’m only going to be here to enjoy it for another two months or so. But like I said, I’m going to reap the benefits of this in our moving and cleaning too. And hopefully moving into a new home I can set things up in the same way from the get-go and we’ll not end up in that place with half-unpacked rooms and clutter and the rest of it. I’m trying to see the bright side here, okay?
Looking forward to seeing what’s happening next week!