August 19, 2009

Back In the Swing of Things

Well - after spending much of the last 2 weeks preparing for a garage sale, holding said sale and cleaning up from said sale, I am now actually getting to clean my house! I'm not talking about the general picking up of things and putting away of things used daily...I'm talking that I'm going to town scrubbing, polishing, washing, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, dusting...and it feels darn good!

How, do you ask, can I do such a thing in the first trimester? Well let me tell you this: I HATE DIRT and DISORDER!

There...I've admitted it to the bloggy world. I am a freaking perfectionist and to have things out of place, out of order, out of sync, out of makes. Me. Crazy. As in raging, screaming, mean, evil, nasty, short-tempered, curl up in a ball on the couch to hide from it all crazy...

I read FarmWife's post about her chores in preparation for her company this week, and the shower for her soon-to-be sister-in-law (wow, that is a lot of hyphens in one place!) and how she's just not motivated...I am in quite the opposite boat.

I know that we are leaving for 10 days in just 10 days time. And aside from the fact that I have as many days to prepare for vacation as I'll actually be on vacation...I have such a long list of things that I want to have done before we head to the airport...

Rooms to clean thoroughly, carpets to shampoo, windows to shine, dust bunnies to produce to harvest and preseve...papers to shred and file and I just looked at my list and thought to myself "Ok. And when it's done, then what? I'm going to be finished with this before the end of the week!"

Seriously...since we packed up the stuff from the sale on Saturday night, in 3 days, I have:
  • swept the entire garage and re-organized the cabinets
  • shredded and frozen 48 cups of zucchini
  • washed, dried, folded and put away 17 loads of laundry
  • packed 7 tubs with clothing that is too small for the kids
  • taken an inventory of maternity and infant clothes
  • sorted, packed and labeled boxes with crib sheets, bibs, blankets, bottles and the like
  • cleared out 3 40-gallon trash cans of paperwork that should never have been kept in the first place
  • filed 4 "banker's boxes" worth of papers that need to be kept but were never filed
  • sorted, labeled and inventoried my Mary Kay product and customer files
  • scheduled 5 open house/craft fairs for my business
  • scheduled 17 appointments over the span of 4 weeks (want another 17 at least!)
  • groomed the dog, brushed the cats
  • dusted all the upstairs rooms, washed their windows, washed window coverings, cleaned light fixtures, scrubbed moldings, changed sheets
  • swept and washed all hard surface flooring in my house daily (somehow we get sticky everywhere)
  • made 4 batches of spaghetti sauce and meatballs for my freezer
  • made 9 casseroles for my freezer
  • made 18 loaves of bread for my freezer
The reason I stopped is that I'm out of room in my freezer.

I still have much I want to do, and I'd really, really, really like it to be done before we head out of town. I know it can be done without my ignoring the children or pets, and insuring that I'm getting good meals into our tummies...

I know you all think I'm crazy, but I simply am at the point where I know that when we return, I'll be having to do all the holiday things like scheduling pictures, ordering photos for cards, addressing cards, shopping, baking, and shipping presents. I am not one that likes to I've got all my birthday cards purchased for the rest of 2009 and all of 2010. Don't laugh and don't run screaming from the room...I know myself well enough to know that I don't do things this way, they don't get all.

I'm an all-or-nothing kind of girl...and I'll go gang busters on what I'm doing (hence the reason my closet is color-coded and my spices are alphabetized), or I'll do nothing at all.

I could very easily sit here and use this new baby and my fatigue as a reason to sit around and the bare minimum.

I, however, am choosing to "play through the pain" as a good friend said...she's got 4 under the age of 8, and is one of those super-organized ladies - she always looks good, the kids are all always clean in matching clothes (no stripes with plaid in that family!), groomed, fed, smiling, and she routinely bakes cupcakes for her kids classes. I asked her how she does it, and she told me flat out that if she doesn't do it in a routine, it doesn't get done.

So we chatted about that and she shared her routine with me. She does the same things each day such as the sweeping and vacuuming, picking up and the kids all have their routines of making beds, getting dressed and the like. They also have bedtime routines of getting all their things ready for the next day - clothes, school things, library books, lunches are packed. She also has a weekly routine of laundry on one day, cleaning broken out over 2 days, yardwork one day, and the like, so that she knows if it is Tuesday, she's running errands and baking. The kids always know what is going on.

That's not to say she has a schedule that demands action at specific times. She knows how long it takes to vacuum the house, how long it takes to wash the clothes in her washing machine and the like, so she knows she needs at least that much time each day for those things on her list.

I admire that she has found this balance, because the kids are always happy, having fun, they have wonderful time with she and her husband, they have a date night twice a month, where their kids go to the neighbors for dinner and sleepover, and on the off weeks, the neighbor kids come over so the other couple can have their date night! These kids are not running around to 87 different things, or if they are, you sure can't tell!!!

I'm working towards finding my own routine, and making it stick this time more floundering around...I need to get these things in place, and ingrained in my head before the new baby arrives in March.

I don't want to be one of those frazzled families that runs around like mad stuffing things in closets and closing doors when company is coming...its not fair to me, its not fair to my family...and I want the kids to know that you can have the balance of being organized, tidy, neat and still have fun and be crazy and goofy!

I know this is long, and is mostly rambling, but I needed to share what was on my heart.


Anonymous said...

I'm envious of all you have accomplished and your drive to do so. I would LOVE to be that organized, but lack the drive lately.

Anonymous said...

WOW! And that's about all I can say about this post! And I'll say it AGAIN!!!!! WOW!!!! - I'm so jealous!