Weekly cleaning update 2 | Children’s books | The kitchen floor

Remember how I was working on a weekly cleaning schedule? I even posted an update of the first week. Well, I thought it would be good to post an update as it’s been almost a month since my last update.

This is what I managed to print out before our printer broke again:

The checks mean yes, I did it; the x’s mean nope, didn’t happen. So I’m about 50% on this week also. The next week, I tried to keep track on a little piece of paper, which I promptly lost (big surprise), and then I fell off the wagon on the whole “keeping track of the cleaning” thing.

But, I can say that the habit was starting to form, and I think maybe I’ve been able to hold onto my 50%-ish status on getting this cleaning stuff done.

I think I’d like to revise this file to be more of a chart with a grid-type checklist. A chart that would last for a month would be better. A new stinkin’ printer to print it would be nice, too! (Sweetie?)

I also wanted to show you a couple of other projects I was inspired to do recently!

I organized the kids’ books!

Before (this picture is actually from a few months ago, but this is a very good example of how the books usually look in the kids’ room):

It really bugs me when books are all over the floor getting stepped on!! Ug! Yes, there are more books under the toys.

I did some minor decluttering and got rid of 3 books, but mostly it was an organizing job.

After:

This actually only represents about half of our children’s books. I’ll show you the rest another time. 🙂

At some point, I would like to get a little bookshelf for this spot. I think it would make it easier for the kids to manage and keep up themselves.

Now for the infamous kitchen floor!

I recently showed you how I sweep my floor. Well, with my nicely swept floor all ready, I got inspired to get it really clean! That’s right. Me on my hands and knees scrubbing the floor. I always think of Cinderella (before the fancy ball) when I do this. Let’s just say I don’t think of Cinderella very often. 😉

This next picture was taken under the table. It’s really bad.

Before:

Floor after sweeping. Yes, after.

Some spots were really hard to get clean. I had to get a little creative. Turns out a couple of them were gum. Gum?! I don’t know how I could have missed gum on the floor until it got to this point. But here we are.

Sorry, no pictures of me scrubbing the floor. Maybe next time. Maybe not.

But seriously. I’ve got good news here….

After:

 
Hooray!!!
 
By the way, I’m planning to do some posts where I revisit some of the areas I have previously decluttered and cleaned up. Fun, fun!
 
How often do you mop/scrub your floors?
 
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Island Watch 2011

This is Elizabeth with Ready Set Simplify reporting. We have been following this story since March of this year. The disaster on Kitchen Island has been an ongoing struggle for its inhabitants.

Here’s a shot of the island we dug up from January 2011:

Here you can see the disaster continuing to unfold in March:

Here’s the situation by the end of May:

But it looks like things are changing on Kitchen Island.  Help arrived recently from Kristen from The Frugal Girl. She knew of the disastrous situation on the island, and offered to help. Here’s the story.

———————————————————————————————————————

OK, I’m losing the reporter bit, partly because I just really need some exclamation points! (See?)

So my friend Kristen offered to come over and help me declutter. Because she’s super nice, and guess what? She actually likes decluttering. We chose the island for obvious reasons! Kristen is not just frugal, she is a lean, mean decluttering machine!

As far as method goes, I think I would say we just picked up each item and made a decision about it. Seems simple, eh?  For some reason, I just couldn’t seem to do it myself. I think it’s the overwhelming factor. Having a friend there really helped!

This is the recycling just from that day!

And Kristen took these things to Goodwill for me (awesome):

Here we are together! Kristen’s daughter. Lisey gets the photo credit on this one:

If I look a little shocked/dazed in that picture, it’s because this was right in front of me:


Photo credit: The Frugal Girl

Woo hoo!!! Is that exciting, or what?!!

Here I am enjoying my island:


Photo credit: The Frugal Girl

Thank you Kristen! By the way, Kristen posted  a picture of our somewhat spontaneous walk to the beach  when we were finished with the decluttering.

Do you have a daunting decluttering project? Getting help from a friend is one way to get it done!


How I sweep my really messy, cluttered floor

Like most kitchens, my kitchen gets a lot of traffic and is one of the most popular places to be in our home. With 3 kids, including a toddler, it gets messy and cluttered in an instant. As you might guess, I’m not on top of it as I should be, and either are the kids. We’re working on it!

Yep.

 

Hmmm...hm.

When I think of the “classic” way to clean up and sweep a really messy floor, I think of these steps:

1.  Go around and pick up all of the clutter on the floor, putting everything away in its proper place. Throw away/recycle larger pieces of trash.

2.  Sweep.

This is what I used to try to do. Sort of. Every now and then-ish. Not often enough. The going around picking up things and putting them away part is really overwhelming when there is so.  much.  stuff.  all over the floor. Seriously.

But it does need to happen. Because the little crumbs, food and dirt need to go. Those things actually bother me more than the bigger clutter.

So one day, when I was somewhat frustrated with the situation and I really wanted to sweep the floor, I switched the steps. I just started sweeping. I swept up everything into a big pile. A really big pile. In some weird way, I felt empowered.

I remember that one of the things on the kitchen floor that day was a ride-on toy. I swept it into the pile, too. And I liked it.

The floor was cleaned up really quick, except for the one big pile, which I then sorted and dealt with. It’s been about a year that I’ve been doing it this way, and you know what? It works for me. For now, anyway. Of course the goal is not to have everything all over the floor to begin with. We are getting there, and I think my sweep piles are getting smaller!

Here are the steps I use for cleaning my messy, cluttered floors:

1. Sweep up everything on the floor that is not in its proper place. IF there are wet/sticky things, like banana, pick those up separately. Sticky-wet-messy things do not work well in this method. Trust me on this one.

This is my sweep pile. A nice big one. See? I got the ride-on toy in this one, too!

2. Sort. Put the toys together (or have your children come and “rescue” them from the pile), the books together, the kitchen stuff together, etc.  Toss or recycle the bigger trash.

Trash, toys, laundry

Little bits to sweep, books, kitchen items

3. Sweep up the little bits.

4. Put everything else in its proper place (I’m thinking maybe if I use the phrase “”proper place” enough, it will sink in and become second nature to me.)

So if you ever find yourself overwhelmed with a messy cluttered floor that needs cleaning up/sweeping, shake things up a bit and try this method.

I’m linking up for Works for Me Wednesday over at We are THAT Family.


Simplifying Bedtime for Kids

I’ve been realizing that bedtime for the kids has been taking for-ev-er lately.  Bedtime around here is 8:00. That is supposed to mean they are in bed at 8:00, but too often it means we are starting the process at around 8:00, which means they aren’t in bed until 9:00!  I don’t think this process should take an hour! And that is not counting baths, which we don’t do every day.

I want my bedtime to be 10:00 (Rarely actually happens), so if the kids aren’t in bed until 9:00, that gives me less than an hour to: get things done/relax/read/spend time with Mr. RSS.

Here’s the kids’ typical bedtime routine:

  • Big kids (ages 7 and 5) get themselves ready for bed and brush teeth. I get Anna ready for bed.
  • Each big kid picks a book for me to read to them, then I read a Bible story or 2 (short – from a children’s Bible)
  • Prayer time: we each usually pray each night
  • hugs/kisses/tuck in

The things that are making it take loooonger:

  • Big kids taking too long to get ready for bed – distracted with playing, etc instead of staying focused on the task
  • As the kids get older, they are requesting longer books
  • Another thing about getting older – their prayers are getting longer 🙂
  • Chit-chat about the day, or the next day, or totally random things like how many days until their next birthday
  • Requests for water, wanting a certain stuffed animal, etc

I used to think of bedtime with the kids as a sweet time together, but I have started to dread it most nights, and that doesn’t make for a sweet time at all.

Time to simplify! Here are some things I am starting:

Starting the bedtime routine earlier

7:30 on a typical night, or 7:00 if it is a bath night. This means that I need to get dinner on the table on time! I am doing better with this.

Using a Timer

The big kids have 10-15 minutes(I’m working on figuring out the right number) to get ready for bed including PJs, brushing teeth, bathroom, getting water for themselves if they need it, and getting any animals they want with them.

If they are not ready in time, then no time for reading that night. This is working really well so far!

Simplifying Reading

One child picks a book each night, or I read a chapter book. Another thing I tried for the first time last night, is “Read on your own night.” This idea came from my friend Vicki. Love it! I actually stayed in the room and put laundry away while Ella read a book to Gabe. I’m keeping the Bible story time the same.

Simplifying Prayer Time

You guessed it, one person prays each night instead of all of us. Or maybe we’ll have one kid and one adult pray. We’ll see what works. Of course they can always pray more on their own! I have to say that I love hearing the kids pray, for lots of reasons. One time Ella’s prayer was, “Dear God, please help everyone who has boogies that won’t come out.” So sweet.

By the way, Mr. RSS often helps with the kids’ bedtime, too. The kids especially love when he reads to them, except that I’m the better pirate singer. 🙂

I think simplifying the kids’ bedtime routine is going to make it more enjoyable for all of us! I’ll be sure to give you an update sometime.