My parents arrived tonight. We’ll be celebrating Christmas early this year, since both my brother and I will be with our in-laws on the actual holiday.
So today, when I wasn’t doing last-minute shopping – I was getting my house mom clean.
Surely I missed some things since I was pressed for time, but I did what I could. Floors swept throughout the house and Swiffer mopped. Living room tidied. My husband vacuumed.
This month’s cleanings has certainly helped get the house in order quickly!
I ran a very muddy Turkey Chase 10K this morning — which ended up measuring 6.39 miles instead of 6.2. And due to the mud I’m guessing, they parked us along the road and in smaller side lots rather than the field across from the start line. After the race I jogged back to the car to grab my jacket and logged the distance on my Garmin — I was about .3 miles from the start. So I jogged back for post-run breakfast to make it an even seven.
Once home, I started cooking. Pumpkin and apple pies first, followed by Tofurky, mashed potatoes, stuffing and vegetarian gravy. By the time dinner was ready, I had been cooking for about six hours! (When will I learn to make pies and maybe the potatoes — which I also bake — ahead of time?)
That said, there was no official clean-up project today. However, all dishes used in food prep are clean (hubby helped!), and I tidied up a bit and wiped down the counters.
The kitchen is cleaner than when I started this morning!
Now … if my day wasn’t crazy enough, I’m going to go shopping at midnight!
For some reason, we have a wet bar in our living room. It’s not like the house is so big you can’t make it to the kitchen for a glass of water. I don’t think we’ve ever used the sink.
But the counter space does come in handy. Since there’s an outlet, we usually charge our electronics here. I’ve got my laptop on it right now. It’s a little awkward — I’ve got a cat situation keeping it off my lap at the moment. But it works!
Anyway, where there are electronics there are cords …
I’ve been meaning to get a charging station for a while now. It won’t hold everything … but the phone cords and a rarely-used charger fit in the base, and my camera battery charger and camera fit in the bin in front.
And when we’re not charging anything, the cord can tuck behind the station. Perfect!
That’s a picture frame in front. I’ll eventually replace the Target label with a photo!
I spent the night buried in papers, as I sorted through and filed many piles and boxes of paperwork. It’s finally starting to pay off!
What once looked like this:
Now looks like this:
There’s still work to be done, but I’m definitely moving in the right direction!
I really didn’t feel like cleaning up anything tonight. I was even almost tempted to tackle the ironing pile.
But I persevered and took on a much larger project.
This is the cabinet in the master bathroom. Since we don’t have a medicine cabinet or any other storage except for a small shelf, everything winds up under here.
There were empty boxes, shampoo samples, and expired medication scattered throughout the cabinet. I tossed the trash and put all the samples into a few cosmetic bags that were already in there. I also threw out a few very, very old and/or unwanted bath products. When the plastic bottle is starting to discolor, it’s time to let the body wash go!
This time the clean clothes:
I’m happy to say everything has been put away! It was a tight squeeze, but all of my clothes are currently contained in my closet or dressers.
Well, except for the ironing pile. That’s a whole other issue!
In the beginning of the month, my pantry looked like this:
I started working on the problem last week, clearing out the bottom and sorting out the bag situation.
After a trip to the grocery store today, it was time to tackle the rest. I took out everything, shelf by shelf.
Apparently, our pantry is a black hole. We had far too many expired products in there. Crackers from 2006, salsa from 2008, etc. I think the worst may have been the marinade that expired in 2003 … though I did find a coupon in a box of hot chocolate packets (expired in 2008) that was only good through 2001. So those probably moved here with us, over eight years ago. Ick!
I claimed to have thrown away expired food the last time I did this. I must not have looked too closely!
It’s hard to organize those deep shelves, but I tried to group items together. This is what it looks like now:
The second shelf from the top looks a bit cramped, but it’s actually quite organized. Pasta and sauces on the right, assorted other ethnic (Thai, Mexican, Indian) on the left. The third shelf is the snack shelf. It would have been nearly empty if I did this yesterday … there was a good sale!
I usually don’t have that much salad dressing. My neighbor works for a company that sometimes sends her samples of products to share. I have a feeling she has a lot more where that came from.
We have to start working on that before we wind up with more expired dressing. Would you like some?
My guest room often doubles as a laundry room. Generally it works out well — we rarely have guests and it’s right by the washer and dryer.
Actually, it was much worse than this. I took this photo a few loads of laundry ago!
It’s mostly my running clothes and other clothes that I line-dry. I hang them on the rack, on a rack behind the door, doorknobs, treadmill, etc …
And then I don’t put my clothes away before the next load of laundry, and the dry clothes start piling up.
But it’s hard to promptly put away your clothes when your drawers look like this:
This is my second dresser, dedicated to running clothes, t-shirts and pajamas. It was definitely time to clean out my drawers and pack away my summer clothes!
First I got rid of about a third of the t-shirts, clearing a little more space for my running clothes. (Winter clothes take up a lot more room!)
Then I dumped everything out of my main running-clothes drawer, packed away the out-of-season stuff, and shoved the in-season clothes in there somewhat neatly. It seems I still have too much stuff!
After all that was put away, my guest room is almost ready for guests!
What? You didn’t think my clutter problem was limited to my house, did you?
Well I was inspired to straighten up the mess today. This picture doesn’t do it justice. It was worse than it looks here!
First I tossed a pile of Post-its that mostly just nonsense at this point. Then I sorted through the paperwork. I often print out project requirements when I’m working on them so I can take notes. But I have electronic copies — there’s no need to save them once the project is finished!
I do have a couple of piles that I need to sort through, but at least they’re neat now. Once the surface was clean, I gave it a good wipe-down. Wow, it needed that. All those papers were hiding lots of crumbs!
Now just my notebook and printouts for current projects are by my side. Much better!
I just found out an acquaintance will be coming over tomorrow night … so I figured I should focus on some general cleaning tonight!
I’ve already gone through the mail pile (again) (it wasn’t that bad this time), put away items that didn’t belong on the kitchen table, wiped down the bathroom counter, and brought some books upstairs that were cluttering the living room.
I’ve still got more work to do. It won’t be perfect, but I’ll do what I can until bedtime!