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Painting

Tonight I am looking for the perfect location to hang my new painting…

Monkey Painting

Monkey Painting

I bought it as a joke to replace the painting my mother currently has over her fireplace. We all thought it was hilarious… What a big change from the wooded scene she originally had up. But she decided that she didn’t want it there permenantly and gracously let me keep it all for my self. I love the painting but unfortunatly it dosn’t quite fit my decor either so I’m having a hard time figuring out where to put it.

Feng Shui

This weekend I have been working on de-cluttering and spiffing up my bedroom. According to Feng Shui some of the best colors to use in your bedroom are ‘skin’ tones so I went out and bought some new sheets and a wonderful comforter. For a better nights sleep the space under your bed is to be completely cleared out… The under of my bed is HORRIBLE.

I plan on winning the lotto by the end of next month so, this weekend has been spent trying to up the ‘chi’ in my bedroom by clearing out and tossing the clutter… I figure I’m going to need all the chi I can get. Joking. My sudden interest in Feng Shui was inspired by my recent attempts to get ‘organized’. I needed a quick motivation boost so I went searching on the internet and came across several recommendations for the book ‘Clear your clutter with Feng Shui’. As it turns out, my home isn’t ideal for any feng shui practitioner so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to make  a few changes.

Here is a copy of my small list of ‘bedroom changes’ to do this weekend:

1. Buy an air purifier – I found one really cheap at a pawn shop.

2. Clean out under the bed

3. Hang up the two big paintings I got for my birthday

4. Dust all books and bookshelves

5. Set out new candles

6. Switch out sheets

7. Toss old, worn, ill-fitting and unused clothing

8. Get rid of all the junk…

Well, thats it for now. So far, I’ve tossed out three full bags of old paperwork, worn clothing and trash items and I’ve gathered two boxes of items to donate to the Salvation Army. Woo hoo! Go me! After this I think I’m going to hunker down with a nice cup of hot tea and a book or a pen and sketch pad… It’ll be my reward for all this work… Until next time!

Sock Knitting

Today I have started to knit my very first pair of socks. I’m not sure how they will turn out but I hope for the best! My mother bought me some beautiful Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn in this beautiful salmon, brown and dusty rose color. I don’t think it’s self striping yarn but it is variegated. I also got some size 2 Crystal Palace Bamboo DPNs. This will also be my first endeavor with double points. We shall see how it goes… Wish me luck!

Motivation to clean

I spent the weekend cleaning house and I thought I would share some of the many motivation hacks that I use from time to time… Nothing would get done with out them!

1. Light a candle or maintain your favorite fragrance in the house. I can’t clean without a good scent going. Sometimes I even like to bake something to get that wonderful aroma wafting throughout the home. Some other ideas are incense, potpourri or you could boil spices on your stove.

2. Use appropriate clothes for cleaning, scrubbing ect… I can’t clean with out some lace up sneakers on and my favorite pair of old comfy jeans. The outfit immediatly tells my brain that it’s time to work. Plus, I feel like an adorable version of June Cleaver when I’m in my dainty feminine apron with a pretty colorful scarf tied in my hair. I even have pink gloves to use when doing the dishes. My boyfriend laughs  but he thinks it’s cute.

3. Listen to your very favorite music. I have playlists set up specifically for cleaning or for any type of mood I may be in. I also have tons of audio books and podcasts downloaded. For some books I tell myself that I can only listen to it when I am cleaning.

5. Exercise while cleaning! Kill two birds with one stone. Dance while dusting. Vigorously sweep and mop. Work out your arms while cleaning the windows. Make sure to use extra elbow grease.

6. Use a timer! I like to race myself by setting the timer for how long I think a certain task should take (making the bed: 2 min. Dishes: 15 min) then racing to beat the clock. This also falls under the exercise category because I always end up breaking into a sweat.

7. Pretend someone is coming over, your mother in law, your crush, your sibling or friend that you are in competition with ect… What don’t you want them to see? What would you want them to see? (I used to actually invite people over but this would always back-fire on me. Life would get in the way, the place wouldn’t get cleaned and I was left incredibly stressed out and embarrassed. Pretending is much better since I don’t have an anxiety attack from extreme mortification when it doesn’t work out.)

8. Meditate or contemplate a problem while cleaning. It’s a great time to get some serious thinking done. The repetitive motions are also very soothing if your trying to clear your mind and zone out.

9. Use cleaning as a great way to practice the ‘Action Habit’ or the ‘Do It Now’ principal

11. Remind yourself of all the benefits your children will have. Studies show that children respond positively to routines and organized/un-cluttered spaces. They do better in school and usually behave better in general.

12. Use the reverse box method. Put everything into a box, wipe off the counter and then sort thru all the stuff in the box and put back what you keep.

13. Set up daily alarm reminders on your phone. Have a calendar service txt you daily. Example: every day at 9pm have the service send a message saying “Laundry reminder! Put in new load, fold and put away the previous one.” Google calendars offers these ‘SMS alerts’.

14. Consolidate chores. Clean the bathroom during babies bath time, wipe down kitchen counters while cooking and fold laundry while watching T.V.

15. Clean as you go! Duh.

16. Play the “penicillin method cleaning game’. Clear off a small shelf or counter then imagine it’s been penicillin’d. Then clean areas near that spot then those spots until before you know it the whole room has been cleared!

17. Give yourself a sticker chart and keep track of your successes or get a jar and some marbles and once it’s full get a pedicure or buy a new book. You should always reward yourself!

19. Look at organizational magazines or pictures of beautiful spaces/homes/rooms to inspire you. I have an entire binder dedicated to cut-out pictures of beautiful rooms/homes and articles that I found to be particularly motivating.

This is everything that I can come up with off the top of my head for now. What are some of your favorite motivational tips?

Cleaning

Today I am in the house cleaning away. My home is currently in shambles and it needs some rescuing. It’s funny, I am not the most organized of people but I have this dream of being a June Cleaver prototype (who dosn’t wish to be June?!). I want my home to be spotless, while I bake tons of amazingly beautiful sugary confections and cook healthy dinners from scratch and look beautiful while doing all of this.

I have been working really hard at achieving this goal but it’s not been an easy  one to achieve. Like I previously stated, I’m not the most organized or clean person. I just was not born with that ability. But, I do believe that anyone can learn to do anything as long as they want it and work for it. So, I spend hours surfing the net for blogs and sites to do with home management, cleaning and organizing. I type in searches such as “home economics”, “cleaning”, “home management” and “organizing” and have a wonderful time absorbing all the information that pops up. I’ve created my own ‘household binder’ or (Control Journal for all of you Flybabies!) and I love to utilize it daily. It houses printouts of all of my routines, cleaning lists, calendar, Master to-do list ect… Here is a picture of what my own home binder looks like:

Household Binder

Household Binder

It’s housed in one of Flylady’s ‘Office in a Bags’. It was a little somethin’ that I purchased to spoil myself. It’s pretty expensive though and it is possible to find almost the same product else where if you are interested in making your own.

Inside of the 'control journal'

Inside of the 'control journal'

It’s made of this wonderful material that withstands the worst of treatment. Inside is full of pockets and a place to slip your three ring binder in too. I also keep a file folder tucked into the ‘binder pocket’ that is full of notes, ideas, and lists so that if I bring it to the office with me I can work on organizing all the slips of paper on my lunch hour. I also keep stickers tucked away in the binder pocket. I use them to reward myself for doing a good job. Right now, I’m starting off small and I get a sticker on my calendar if I complete Kelley’s daily mission on Flylady’s site.

Pockets

Pockets

Here is a close up of the inside pockets of my Control Journal. It keeps all of my dry erase markers, highlighters and pens corralled as well as my calculator, and a notebook in which I jot down all of the random ideas and thoughts that float around in my head . It also has a zippered pocket that keeps all the loose tid-bits like stamps, paper clips, extra pens ect…

Index Page

Index Page

Here is a shot of my index page. I cut the edges of some sheet protectors then three hole punched it after I placed my pages inside it. That way, the pages and the numbered tabs actually fit inside the binder with out overlapping the edges. I used my label maker to print up neat and tidy looking labels for each section. It took me a long while to find out which sections I wanted and would actually use. I love it now.

This binder helps me out immensely! Sometimes, I take too much time organizing it and it cuts into my daily routines. However, it also serves as a motivation to keep me going. In the future posts I’m going to go thru each section of my home binder and explain how I created it, how it helps, and how you can create your own! It’s such a simple thing to make but the benefits are numerous.