Tackling the laundry monster

tackling the laundry monster

I stink at laundry! And by stink… I mean my laundry stinks! For some reason, I always end up having to rewash everything because I either forget all of the laundry in the washer machine or I don’t dry it throughly. It’s an embarrassing confession but it’s true and I’ve had to make some changes throughout the years at my approach when it comes to tackling the laundry monster.

In order to make it easier on myself and keep from doing the same thing twice, I follow a short guideline on tackling the laundry monster!

  1. Schedule: I scheduled my laundry days on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Those days work for me, because it allows our family to have fresh clothes throughout the week and by spreading out the workload,  creates minimum stress
  2. Phone reminders: I set a reminder on my phone for 45 minutes after the clothes go in the washer machine and another, 45 minutes after the clothes go in the dryer. When the alarm goes off, I stop whatever I’m doing and move on to the next step. It’s important to answer the alarm right away and not to snooze it or you may forget about it (as I often do)
  3. Check and recheck: When the drying time is up, go ahead and check that the clothes are completely dry. This is also an important step, because this is when the close tends to get the stinkiest. There have been plenty of times when I have pulled the clothes out of the dryer, brought them into the room in a basket, and five hours later (when I  find the time to fold), they’re all wet and have to go back in the washer.
  4. The right products: My kiddos are a little sensitive to detergents with high amounts of perfumes. For this reason, I opt for a more natural and organic brand like this one or whichever natural brand is on sale at the moment. However, the natural brands are not always the best smelling brands. What I do to help in the scent department is throw in a couple of dryer sheets in the dryer and voilà!

If you struggle with your laundry (like I do) don’t be dismayed.  What’s most important is your love for your family and your desire to improve!

Laundry might be your forte, and if it is PLEASE show me the ways, but for me this has been a hurdle in my marriage and something that not only am I embarrassed to confess but determined to change. Who’s with me? Any laundry pros interested in sharing their tips with me? I will most definitely take them! Also my sister-in-law makes her own laundry detergent that smells like heaven… I’ll ask her to share it with me soon and post it on here for those of you who want a more natural option for laundry detergent.

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  Last week, I shared my current struggle with feeling overwhelmed by the amount of “stuff” we have in our home. Somehow over the years we seemed to have piled on more things without letting go of the old ones.  Not that having material things is a bad thing, but it has gotten to the point where my time is now being split between cleaning and organizing our stuff or spending time with my kids. It doesnt seem like it’s a difficult choice to make, but when your house is upside down you don’t have peace of mind.  Last week, I started our ten week journey towards a minimalism. It was a difficult week and I was faced with tough decisions while going through our things. We started with a neutral space (our kitchen) which made the purging a bit easier.  We sifted through each of our cabinets and drawers and kept a few principles in mind:

  1. Take your time- we decided to break the house up in ten sections starting with the kitchen (because there’s less emotional attachment to our kitchenware)  This allowed us to plan and purge a little bit at a time and not feel completely overwhelmed.
  2. If I haven’t used it in the past year get rid of it- we don’t cook much anymore so there are a lot of appliances that we no longer use (like our small fryer and rice cooker) We’re also trying to improve our diet so we only kept appliances and gadgets that align with our goals.
  3. Get rid of duplicates- this only pertains to bigger utensils and kitchen gadgets. We made sure we had four spoons, four knives four forks etc. we also made sure we kept at least two sippy cups for grace
  4. Don’t keep items out of guilt -goodbye grandma spoon
  5. Give everything a home- no more junk drawers!
  6. Keep the goal in mind- repeat it to yourself while you’re sifting through things
  7. After you purged, step away from it and purge again

I might be adding to this list as the weeks go on, but so far this list kept me on track.

here’s a picture of two of our cabinets.

We organized the cups, plates and coffee materials close to the bottom because we use those every day, while tupperware, wine and champagne glasses further away.

The bag on the bottom is full of stuff we’re tossing/selling/ giving away (we have two other bags by the door)

 Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to purging?  I’ll gladly welcome any help I can get.

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minimalismI go through stages in life when I feel suffocated with the amount of stuff we have in our home.  I’m not sure if it’s the hormones or the stress of life itself, but sometimes I take a garbage bag, go through the house, and dump whatever junk gets in my way.

Dramatic? Maybe a little, but oh so true.

Over the years we have accumulated so many nick-nacks, and although some of it has use, most of it is stuffed in a drawer or closet.  I don’t know exactly when it happens, but our junk multiplies every day, and every day I spend more and more time dusting and organizing all of it.

I would not mind it as much if it weren’t for the fact that any time I spend arranging and rearranging all of the unnecessary things we’ve accumulated, is time that I spend away from doing the things I actually want to do. Like cuddling my kiddos, taking pictures, writing, reading or resting!

So… I’ve had it. I’ve hit a breaking point and I’m resolving to end this endless cycle.

For the next few weeks, I’ll be tackling one room at a time and I’ll be sharing the progress we’re making. My goal is to purge until the satisfaction of me re-gaining my time back supersedes the anxiety of parting with our material things.

In the meantime, I’ll be pulling inspiration for my Pinterest account and I’ll be taking tips from the experts. My hope is that by the end of the 10 weeks, our home would feel like a livable space and our lives would be free of clutter allowing more time to do those things that truly make us happy.

Here we go… wish us luck!

/picture from here

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i’m a huge fan of to-do lists. they keep me focused on my goals for the day and line up with my somewhat ocd personality. i’m sure everyone has a list of things they have to get done… but who can really keep up with them?? i do!

ah.. the joy of hearing my ball point pen hit the crisp paper with a numbered list of to do scribbles. there’s a feeling of accomplishment unlike any other. proof of a hard day’s work. write post on to-do list DONE. ah!

i do have a weakness though. house projects. they’re usually the most time consuming and somehow the ones that get moved around from list to list to list. someone out there knows what i’m talking about… hang the patio lights, fix the pantry door, spot clean the carpet, clean out the junk drawer…again!!! ugh!!!

enter out closets.

our closets never get the memo that we’ve moved for the SEVENTH time. since they’re only seen by ale and i (and occasionally grace) they never keep up with the rest of the house and somehow organizing them ends up at the bottom of our list again and again. they’re usually the place we throw everything in after we’ve picked up the living room, kitchen and bathroom…you’d be surprised what you can find in there…toothbrushes, paint, bath soap, dog food… eww!

well not any more my friends.

i was a bit reluctant to step into the abyss not knowing if and when i would come out but after much purging and hours of work: clean out closets DONE… hurray!!!

christian family blog ^^this is a very embarrassing before picture^^

florida family blog^^little helper doesn’t miss a beat! side note- is it normal for a toddler to be so incredibly strong?  this little lady is a beast when it comes to lifting things… maybe i just don’t know much about toddlers but she can lift this broom one handed while drinking milk!^^

2013-06-026^^after. it still could use a bit of tweaking but we’re not going for perfect here!^^

2013-06-030^^the “floating” bookshelf was genius! i used “s” shaped hangers to hold our “bookshelf” and found a lovely home for those extra books we’ve shoved in there… we also have close to 100 books in storage that we have yet to find a home for.   i found this #3 a while back (when we became a family of 3) and wanted to find a neat way to display it. now every time i open the closet i’m reminded of our little family and how we’ve always made it work in the smallest of spaces.^^

2013-06-027^^hey why not tackle the bedroom closets while we’re at it? ^^

2013-06-028^^three hours later… tada! notice the helicopter on the picture on the right.  that is one toy i can’t pry out of our home… something about wanting to be a pilot one day… maybe flying lessons are in our future?!^

2013-06-032^^this makes me so incredibly excited and i know i’m making my mom quite proud right about now^

are there any to-do’s you can’t seem to get around to?

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