Wednesday, February 28, 2007

At least I am shining my sink still

At least I am shining my sink every day still, because that is all I have been managing to do still! I haven't been able to get my clothes ready the night before or spend a couple minutes cleaning my Hot Spots. I am not going to give up though! I am actually gonna delete all the email from when I last checked and start from where I am, like they say to. One day soon, especially when my room mate leaves in the next couple of weeks, I am going to live all by myself and have total control over my house! Maybe then I will finally be able to keep it clean!


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Slacked off but I will get there!

Well I have slacked off on my cleaning over the weekend. There were some highs:
- got my laundry done (actually now that I think of it a load is still sitting in the dryer)
- got my animal cages cleaned
- got this done early!

But I slacked off on cleaning my Fly Lady Hot Spots. It only takes 2-5 minutes twice a day but I usually came home too tired and in the mornings I usually have plans that I am late for. Ugh! But I will keep trying until I get it done!


Friday, February 23, 2007

Hot Spots!

Well, I haven't been posting as many regular tips lately cause I have been attempting to do BabySteps with Last night I did two new things- I cleaned up a random Hot Spot for 2 minutes (actually 4 cause 2 seems so short!) and laid out my clothes for this morning. Both REALLY helped. My night stands on either side of my bed are completely cleaned off, and before I took a shower I just took out one hanger and put it on my bed and it had on it my undies, bra, socks, pants and shirt for after the shower! Woo hoo! Soooo cool. Oh and by the way, I have been shining my sink ev-er-y night! Go me! At this rate of 2 minutes a day, it should take me, what, oh maybe a year to get my house clean?! Bwahaha but it feels great!


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sorting my Mail, Day 5

Well my task for yesterday was to find all my bills and put them in one place for 2 minutes, which I was successful at! Two minutes goes by SO fast on a kitchen timer, I almost think it was inaccurate. I set it for 2 minutes more cause I didn't mind. I don't know if thats the point of Flylady, to do a little bit more than you started out, or if you are NOT supposed to do that.

I am glad I have been pretty much following along every day. Its sometimes hard to get dressed to the shoes, cause I run in the morning before taking a shower. Hey, I guess putting on sneakers counts, right?

Tonight I have to lay out my clothes for tommorrow morning, which is ironic cause I have a job interview to prepare for anyway!

Incidentally, I have thought about it and I am pretty positive I am going to purchase the FlyLady trapper-keeper thing when I start doing appraisals- what a powerful tool for staying organized on the go! (and no, I swear I do not work for Flylady!)

I am also thinking I am going to join the BODY clutter group as well, that is an off-shoot of Flylady that helps you lose weight.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

One tiny step at a time

Dr. Joy Brown was talking about perfectionism and procrastination today. How many times have you put off doing something because you didn't have the information, supplies or time to do it the right way? Well let me give you a piece of advice. For one day, wherever you go in your house just take one thing that does not belong where you are and put it at least closer to where it goes. For example, take one toilettrie that belongs in the upstairs bathroom and at least put it on the steps going upstairs. That one item off the kitchen counter and put it in the garbage, and so on. Whatever you do about the house today. And let that be enough and the start of doing a little bit at a time.


Monday, February 19, 2007 Update

Well like I had mentioned previously, I joined Fly Lady again and this time things are going really well. I am learning to just ignore and delete the mail I get from the system. That is really the only way to do it or you will find yourself getting really overwhelmed and panickey! So anyway I am on my 4th day and things are going slowly but I feel an odd, new sense of accomplishment and serenity over the state of affairs in my house. I have started to realize that things will get done slowly but surely and that is the best I can do. Also, previously I always thought cleaning will take a whole day or a weekend and then it will be done, but what I am learning from FlyLady is you need to learn small routines in order to keep things clean and not need to devote so much time like days or whole weekends to cleaning. No wonder I never get it done but the perfectionist in me doesn't know how to get it done any other way but top to bottom for as long as it takes! bad idea!

I have only shined my sink, practised getting fully done in the morning down to my shoes, and read emails so far. Today I have to go get some Post-It notes and leave reminders for myself about the tasks I have done so far. Yay for tiny tasks!


Friday, February 16, 2007

Cleaing Tips for Wood Floors

My wood floors are a mess! We ripped the carpet out and then didn't finish the floors underneath. Hopefully we can get to that this Spring. In the meantime, here is a good article on cleaning hard wood floors.


Thursday, February 15, 2007


Well, I have decided to become a FlyLady again. I have not been able to clean the way I had hoped to because of a lack of motivation and direction. I am afraid I will lose my neat-freak inclinations and give in to my slobbishness if I don't do something quick to get going in the right direction. is a website that offers to help you take baby-steps to a more in-control lifestyle. I joined once before, a few years ago. The first task is to clean your sink so it is shiny and free of dishes. Supposedly this gives you a sense of accomplishment whenever you walk into your kitchen. I can testify that it does feel good if you make an honest effort to clean it, with the steps they suggest (polishing it and everything!). The only problem I had last time was I got a lot of emails and this is difficult if you are not a stay-at-home person! I am gonna try it again, though, in good faith.

If you are in need of a good program that has been utilized by many and has hundreds of fans, try it out and see if it works for you. It can't hurt and at the least you will have a clean kitchen sink!


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day Presents?

Well if you are a man I have some advice for you- do not get your wife, girlfriend, whoever any kind of cleaning supply for Valentine's Day! A new vacuum, dishwasher, is not a gift for her it is a gift for the both of you! It is not even really a gift but an investment in a clean house.

Do you want to know what would actually be much appreciated and very romantic to some women? If you cleaned the whole house today as a gift for her! Better yet, make a coupon book up of things you can do for her and let her cash them in anytime she is particularly tired after a long day. Clean the whole house coupons, clean her car coupons, clean the bathroom coupons, make a meal, etc. Now if you are lucky like I am your partner already does those things all year round! If you are a respectable man and already do your part around the house, it still wouldn't hurt to come home to a sparkling clean house. If you are a woman reading this, you can sneak over to your boyfriends house and do all his laundry and clean his house! Perhaps make a nice dinner for him. The same goes for same-sex couples. Everyone appreciates someone else doing all their stinking chores for them!

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Green Cleaning Tips

I would like to introduce you to the concept of Green Cleaning. The "green" movement means that you incorporate products and actions into your life that help save and protect the environment. There are so many ways to live green, whether you buy your loved one free-trade Chocolates for Valentine's Day or you use cleaners in your house that will protect your health and the environment.

Here are some "green" cleaning tips from this above mentioned article:

- use home recipes for making cleaning solvents (good article on this here)
- look for hydrogen peroxide bleaches and leave on for 10 minutes
- don't use any products that say "corrosive" on the bottle!
- don't be afraid to call the 1-800 number on the bottle and ask specific questions like, "Is this product safe for people with asthma?" and such and demand a satisfactory answer!

Some other tips:
- open a window as the first step for cleaning! Fresh air can make all the difference!
- in general, buy cleaning products from a health-food store if all else fails.
- Use The Safe Shopper's Guide for purchasing products.

Green cleaning items include:

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Murphy's liquid soap (or liquid castile soap)
  • Scouring pad
  • Cotton washcloth or a sponge
  • Cotton rag without much lint
  • 16 oz. spray bottle
Try to incorporate Green living into your home, especially the way you clean it. Even thinking of this lifestyle conjures up images of wide open windows and laundry air-drying on the line outside. Try it yourself, sit and think for a second of what living a green lifestyle would look like to you (leave a comment!). What a nice lifestyle to try to emulate!

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Clean the whole house every day!

You may not have realized it, but this blog is for readers who have a hard time keeping their life clean and organized, not people who are already really good at being clean. You won't find any neat-freaks here, unless you are actually a neat freak under all those piles of clutter and grime!

With that being said, you may not really understand how to keep your house clean all the time while still having time for anything else. I don't. The people I know who have beautiful, clean houses never seem to be cleaning. They always seem to be out eating lunch with friends, or shopping, or at a class, or watching a movie with their family. When in the hell do they clean, anyway? For me, cleaning has always seemed like a full-time job! Maybe that's because I let all my cleaning chores get piled up so that it would take a huge all-day project to get everything looking good?

I did a little research for you and found an article that may shed some light on those people who seem to have everything in their house under control. The program is called the Real Simple "Keep-It-Clean Plan". Supposedly you can clean your house every day and keep it clean using only 20 minutes a day! This seems like a really good technique, and the way it works is if you actually do everything it says every day after a few days everything with start looking really great and pulled together! For instance, spending one minute cleaning up dust bunnies and crumbs with a hand-held vacuum. I bet if I did this every day for a week my living room would be a lot cleaner! And you could bet I would be timing it down to the second!

Speaking of hand-held vacuums, maybe if my boyfriend is reading this he will get me one of these new hand-held vacuums that look likes a lava lamp! I really want one cause I hate lugging out the huge vacuum for a small job.

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Friday, February 9, 2007

Cleaning after Pets

Might I suggest some tips for cleaning up after pets? There is a wealth of information out there on cleaning after them.

If you have any caged animals (really no animals should technically be caged because they should be let out all the time, but that is another story), find ways to clean up after them every single day! Perhaps every morning you can change the newspaper in the cage. As a matter of fact, it is better to not use newspaper at all. Use paper that has no ink on it or brown garbage bags. The ink from newspapers is probably not good for pets. May I suggest you invest in a quality cage, that takes into account the best accomodations for the particular animal. No animal should have to walk around on wire all day long. Invest in cage liners, for example for ferrets they have cage mats for every level, even ramps of the cage!

Make sure you also give fresh water each and every single day. Would you like water that your poured for yourself yesterday? How about the coffee from yesterday morning? When you are giving fresh food, wash and dry the bowl completely and give the pet new food. Would you like more cereal on top of the cereal you didn't eat yesterday? Neither would your bird or hamster.

Also, you can invest in cage aprons for birds so you don't have to be constantly vacuuming after their dust and seed. Make sure you change the newspaper for pets like this once a week. You can set the timer on your cell phone to go off so you remember, if you are like me and have trouble remembering or getting it done instead of putting it off!

If you have any other tips for cleaning up after pets, please leave a comment so my readers can benefit. Thanks!


Thursday, February 8, 2007

Cleaning your Closet

I am going to be cleaning out a huge closet we have under the stairs. I have slated this weekend to get the closet into shape. We have some shelves in it, but its also a very deep closet. There is lots of stuff piled into this closet, so much that if you want to get into one of the Rubbermaid containers in the back, you literally have to climb over the vacuum and some boxes to get to it. We have a lot of Rubber-Maid and Legal Boxes in the coset, as well as the vacuum, brooms, mops and some boxes left over from when we bought printers and gadgets and stuff.

This is my plan of action:

1. Take everything out of closet
2. Have piles of stuff, depending on whether it should go back in the closet, to another place in the house, or to the garbage. If you are not sure have a seperate pile to go over again at the end.
3. Clean out closet by vacuuming, dusting, etc.
4. Decide if you need some kind of organization tools such as more RubberMaid containers, a closet organizer system, or shelving.
5. Install anything from Step 4.
6. Put everything in its decided place- back in the closet, to another closet (this is a funny one), or to the garbage.

Also it may help to be really straight forward with yourself about whether you really need something. Do you really need 5 pairs of scissors? If so, would you be better suited putting them where you might need them? One in the bathroom, one near the laundry, one in the box of gift-wrap, etc. But don't do what I do and stop cleaning the closet in order to put together a gift wrapping kit- you will never finish anything that way!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Keeping on Top of Laundry

Laundry has such a way of getting out of control and practically reproducing itself, doesn't it? A few days go by and suddenly you have a mountain of clothes that need washing. I even know someone who only wears a pair of pants once before washing them! How do they do it? I don't even own enough pairs to be able to do that! I wear my jeans a LOT before washing them, its probably gross.

Anyway so I started doing my laundry on Sundays and it went well for a while. But sometimes something comes up and I would rather be out doing that than sitting at home doing laundry all day. Do you have a solution that would work? If I can't even handle my own laundry what will I do when I have a house of kids? Who finds the time for this? My friend who never wears the same pants twice does at least one load of laundry every day. I don't even know when she does this, I think in the morning?

Here is an article I found on managing laundry, if anyone has any tips please post them here!

Monday, February 5, 2007

Cleaning Glass without Streaks

I just have a short tip today. When you are cleaning glass windows or mirrors, use newspaper instead of paper towels. This will help you to avoid streaks and it is better for the environment because those newspapers are useless after a day, might as well use them for something useful. I used to work in a florist and it was very crucial for the cooler windows to be streak-free so that the customers could see the beautiful flowers, and my boss made me clean the doors to the cooler each and every day with newspaper. Cost-effective, also!

Better yet, even, use a squeegee. This is a bit more work though.

Here is some more great tips on cleaning glass.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Cleaning Trim

With my most recent cleaning tip in mind (don't put off cleaning!), I decided next weekend I am going to paint the trim in my living room. When we had painters come in and paint the downstairs last summer, they painted all the trim around the floor and windows and doorways the same color as the walls. Blech! What a visual nightmare! It all looks so off-white and drab! So anyway I am gonna paint them white.

Now, I know I will have to dust and vacuum all the trim but I was wondering if I could also sponge-clean the trim. The dog's poopie pads are in one corner and sometimes it has splattered. My room mate doesn't clean up after this even though it is her own dogs! So I definetly want to sanitize the trim with something. I wasn't sure what was safe to use on wall paint so I googled it. There really wasn't much information out there as to how to clean wall trim specifically, so I just looked up how to clean walls. I found a pretty good article. I was a little confused cause it said to clean woodwork (with a picture of trim) with some oil based cleaners. But since my trim is painted now, I think it would be okay.

So my plan is to dust, vaccuum, and lightly clean the trim with a sponge and the mixture described in the article above all next Saturday (a week from today). On Sunday I will go get the paint and paint the trim. Then it will look a lot neater and nicer in my living room!

You may ask why I am 'waiting' until next weekend to do it but this weekend there is too much stuff in the living room as my sister packs and also, Super Bowl is tommorrow and we have been invited to a party.

Don't wait

Well I have been planning on boycotting the whole house-cleaning thing until my messy room mate finally moves out, but I can see that may actually take longer than I planned. My room mate's house closing is coming up but now she is planning on cleaning and refurbishing it a bit before she moves in.

I wanted to wait until she moved out completely before I started addressing the mess that this house is in. This is probably due to my perfectionist tendencies- it is all or nothing with anything I do. I either plan to do it perfectly or I don't do it at all. And I mean, if I don't have time to clean the over down to getting tooth picks into all the possible crevices, I don't bother cleaning it at all. This does not lead to good housekeeping and so that is the reason I am making this my newest tip: do not put off cleaning until you can do it 'right'. You will be much better off with cleaning and organizing, and life in general, if you do things now instead of planning on doing things at a later day. Don't wait until Monday morning to start that new diet. Do it now. Don't say you will take a walk later in the day, do it now. Otherwise it is all just excuses.

Friday, February 2, 2007

My Experiences Cleaning Radiators

I have radiators all over my house that looks exactly like the picture above. It is so hard to clean. Before I moved in, it probably hadn't been cleaned thoroughly (beyond dusting and cursory vacuuming) in many years. I wound up having to spray paint some of them because there was no way to clean them without ruining the beautiful hardwood floors underneath.

In my bathroom, however, I went to town! I used an old electric toothbrush to do most of the work for me. I used rags to get in between the rungs. Finally I turned my handheld shower on it and flooded the bathroom! It was worth the trouble though, cause it looked so much more clean and sanitary in the end.

When my room mate leaves, I will be attempting to clean it again.
I am really tempted to try and strip the layers of paint off of it
somehow. I would love it to be a metallic color instead of dingy
white. I love metallics, but that is for another time. I'd like to go for
this look to the right but I am not sure if it is safe to use paint thinner on a radiator that heats up! Maybe this Spring when I don't plan on using the heat for a while I can finally do it. I will have to do more research into the process.

A Little Cleaning Game

One game I like to play when a lot of things are out of place is to take the nearest item, then put it where it belongs. Where it belongs, find something nearby that is out of place and put that in its proper place, and so on. Not only do you feel like you are on a treasure hunt, this is great exercise also. Get out your pedometers and I-Pod and off you go! You will be up and down the stairs and all over your house while cleaning using this method. Your house will be clean and you may trim your physique at the same time!

Now if thats not an idea for a 'fun' game I don't know what is!?

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Cleaning Old and Dirty Grout

A few months ago I was so sick of the dingy grout around the shower and all the tiles in the bathroom (my bathroom is from the 50s and is 2/3rds avocado-colored tile). So what I did was got some rolls of paper towels, soaked them in a solution of a lot of bleach and a lot of water (probably way too much bleach) and slapped the wet towels on the walls. They stuck cause they were wet. Then periodically all day I would take a spray bottle and dampen the towels some more so they would continue to stick on the walls.

You know, this may seem dangerous to some but when I took the paper towels off the grout was soooo much whiter it was amazing.

Good luck to you if you try this at home! May I suggest a gas-mask?