Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Life in a Nutshell: 7 Days of Cleaning Makes One Week

In preparation for our biggest party of the year, I am on a mission to accomplish some basic housecleaning. I do this every year… plan the projects that I’ll complete before our big event. Some people clean on a schedule so their house always looks spic and span, and if you drop by unannounced they apologize for the teacup they left on the end table… really, they didn’t know you were coming. Not me. I clean for company and rarely otherwise*. It’s a good thing we have people over fairly regularly, otherwise nothing would ever get done.

Today is Day 6 of the week of cleaning. I made myself a little day-by-day list of what I hoped to accomplish, trying to be both reasonable and thorough. It seems to be working so far. I am still managing to fit in some crafty Etsy stuff too, so it’s not all work and no play.

Day 1 (“The Day of the Bi-Fold Door”) – Install 2 sets of bi-fold closet doors using new tracks. Fix another set of bi-fold doors that haven’t closed properly since before my 3.5-yr old was born.

Day 2 (“The Day I Justify Estate Saling as Shopping”) – Stop by our Kiwanis Sale and an estate sale looking for some eclectic yet practical items for organization… find awesome wall-mounted jewelry display shadow box that solves one major annoyance. Also de-clutter master bedroom and tidy up little boy’s room. Purchase largest frozen turkey available at local grocery store and begin process of thawing.

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Day 2b (“Resting Day”) – This was Sunday, so apart from going to Mass (which can seem like work with 3 little kids when one’s husband is playing piano for Mass), I didn’t do anything notable except make a shopping list whilst lying on the couch…

Day 3 (“Ultrasound Day”) – Clean the living room, put away some bigger items of clutter. Shop for other party dinner needs then try to safely fit them in the fridge around the thawing turkey. Pick up the 1st grader to go to my 20 week ultrasound with the rest of the family. See Little Tiny Baby and get some cute pictures to share with all of you.

whole body  profile feet

Day 4 (“Grandma Day”) – Clean family room, re-shelve the kids books and scoop Duplos out from under the couch. Begin kitchen cleaning and de-cluttering. Then fabulous mother-in-law came over to watch kids so I could run errands. Shop for some basic household things that I’ve been continually forgetting (shower curtain, hand towels for main floor bathroom, nice smelling candles, clothes that fit my growing belly, etc).

Day 5 (“The Day I Hit Halfway”) – My official halfway point in the pregnancy (yay!).  After a morning of pre-school with the two little ones, celebrate by moving furniture in the sunroom, vacuum high and low and wash slipcovers. The big TV for the football game watching goes in there, so proper arrangement of furniture is critical for adequate flow and optimal viewing (or so I’m told). I’m not sure yet whether the Master and Commander will rearrange my work, but at least I know that even the carpet under the couches is clean. Spot clean hall and stair carpets.

Day 6 (“Today”) – Feel sore from furniture-moving and so decide to blog, pretending it’s necessary and that people will read it. Find big box and roam the house collecting errant items and other clutter. Label box “Donations” and set in garage for Purple Heart. Make nursery habitable for visiting babies. Tackle basement workspace, preparing for kids to play down there at party. Block off entrance to workspace so curious little hands don’t get into the scissors. Do laundry. Cut boys’ hair.

Day 7 (“Tomorrow”) – Cut bread and chop vegetables for dressing. Choose serving bowls. Clear kitchen counters of anything unnecessary. Pull out turkey roaster and warming tray. Make children clean their rooms. Clean bathrooms. Vacuum every carpet. Wash windows (I use these amazing cloths from FlyLady… no chemicals and very little elbow grease involved!).

Big Party Day! – Begin cooking turkey! Wait for people to arrive :) Watch football. Catch up with friends. Laugh lots. Eat well.

The day after Big Party Day is always a great one too… the house is clean, there are leftovers for a week, and everyone is happy. Then we get to celebrate Thanksgiving with our families and someone else does the cleaning and most of the cooking :) Fabulous!

*One time I also cleaned for sanity (don’t ever watch any TV show about hoarding, especially late at night when your house isn’t immaculate), and on several occasions I’ve cleaned for charity (it’s so much easier to clean someone else’s mess, isn’t it?).


Anonymous said...

Okay, the whole list just demonstrates that you are amazing. Yet, I think #2 just shows you are a genius. Are those actual pics of your new organization? -Micaela

Karen said...

Well, I won't clean till 2011 after this, if it makes you feel better. Unless you come visit, that is :) And I am in love with that shadow box thing! It makes my jewelry look like a collection instead of a mess. Beautiful!!

Karen said...

And yes, those are actual pics! It was $20 at the estate sale, but it was originally $49.00 at Pottery Barn, so says the unopened box that it came in. In case you wondered :)