The holidays officially ended for us yesterday when my brother and his wife headed back home from their visit with us. Our extended Christmases have put a hold on officially starting 2017. It’s crazy that we’re almost halfway into January, it feels like it just started. I haven’t had the time to sit down and to think about this year and what I want it to look like. And I’m wondering if it’s even worth it at this point.
Either way, I am using today as my own fresh start for the new year. The holidays are over and I am ready to take down the remaining Christmas decor and to scrub the house and declutter. It’s ok if I’m a little late to the game, right? I can totally make new years resolutions at the end of January if I want to.
Last year one of my goals on top of writing this blog, was to simplify and declutter out home. I did a lot this past year, so today doing some more decluttering was actually fairly easy.
My Grove Collaborative order with my fresh start kit arrived today right on time to further my motivation and to aid in some deep cleaning. It’s like they knew I needed a little help today. It was complete with a collection of Mrs. Meyers, including their NEW lotion. And all tucked in the cutest white cleaning caddy. Does anyone else clean better when you have pretty packaged and good-smelling cleaning products? I mean, I MIGHT have actually enjoyed cleaning my kitchen today.
And you know, I think I’m going to use all of this bottled energy to my fullest and really tackle getting our home clean and tidy. I’m all about getting it done in one fell swoop. Do all of the hard work all in one go and then enjoy it and relax afterward. And maybe I’ll have the focus to work on those resolutions.
Here’s my plan of action today:
I’m arming myself with my fresh start kit and dragging it around in that little caddy, along with some of my other favorite cleaning supplies from Grove. Today I really want to focus on deep cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms.
Along with my caddy, I plan on toting around two garbage bags. One to throw away and one to donate all of the extra stuff in our home that’s not necessary.
See you later old kitchen towels that I needed to replace last year. Bye products that I haven’t used and will probably never use, you had your chance. And you too omelet pans that I thought I needed when we made our wedding registry six years ago? I’m going to try my hat at the facebook BST page and see if I can make a few bucks. Anyone in need of a couple omelet pans?
As for our bathroom, everything is going unless it serves a purpose. It’s too small of a space to be hoarding sample size soaps that we will never use and ancient lotions that I got for gifts and feel too guilty to throw out. I actually went through my bathroom last year around this time and still managed to completely fill a garbage bag of stuff that we didn’t truly need.
And here’s the encouraging thing about a fresh start, it’s on your terms. It doesn’t matter what last year looked like, or even last week, or yesterday. It’s never a bad time to make better decisions for you and your family.
And for me, even though I’m naturally messy and I dread cleaning, I know that I function better when our house is in order. I sometimes don’t realize how much a disorganized bathroom can affect me until it’s clean and tidy.
I’m learning that decluttering, cleaning, and simplifying my home also does wonders for my mood and helps me to declutter my own thoughts.
I’ve been working on cleaning while Ruby is around and making it fun for her. She already loves to help with chores and helps unload the dishwasher and loves to mop the floor. I think it’s going to be a goal of mine to teach her to clean up her toys this year.
She’s been able to handle her new chore of putting away the silverware quite well, so I think she will do just fine cleaning up after herself.
Although the end goal sounds so lovely, I know that it will be hard work to get there. But, I’ve found even with myself that forming new habits is challenging, but worthwhile.
I do hate cleaning and organizing, it’s very far from my strong suit of abstract thinking and art. But, I’ve found that a clean environment is something I need to thrive. I’m still working on getting better in this area and am still known to stuff things in drawers, but I do a few things to make cleaning a little easier and more fun:
1. I keep daily cleaning products out in the open. Before getting this adorable white caddy, I’ve tried storing them in all sorts of baskets and such on top of my window sill, but this caddy is perfect for keeping the essentials. I keep our hand soap and now our new Mrs. Meyers lotion out by the sink at all times.
The dish soap, fruit and veggie spray, countertop spray, and sponges all go into the caddy. Where they are not cluttering up the sink, but still out and available.
2. I make sure to use cleaning products that are safer for my family. I’ve always been intrigued by the greener, more sustainable route. After watching The Human Experiment on Netflix before I had Ruby, I knew I wanted to make it a priority. That was actually when I originally started shopping at Grove Collaborative when it was then called ePantry. Grove makes it so much easier to find safer alternatives and their customer service is unbeatable. Megan is like my best friend.
3. Pretty packaging. In order to leave out products so that I will use them, they need to fit in with my aesthetic. Thankfully there are a lot of safer brands that have beautiful packaging. Mrs. Meyers soaps make me happy.
4. I clean every morning and evening. Even if it’s just 10 minutes each. In the morning I unload the dishwasher, tidy up from breakfast and anything I didn’t get to the night before. I’ll start a load of laundry, make the beds and do anything else that needs to be done. Before bed in the evening, I’ll clean up Ruby’s toys, clean the kitchen, make sure to start the dishwasher and to make sure everything is generally tidy. I don’t worry about things as much during the day, I’ll sometimes even let lunch sit out. There are days where I feel more like a cleaning lady than a SAHM, so I try my best to limit cleaning to just a couple times a day.
5. Find motivation. Jordan makes fun of me for this, but I guess it’s a little of the extravert in me. But, I will invite people over to motivate me to clean the house. While that’s definitely not the entire reason, because I love getting together with people, but I thrive off of external motivation. Another thing I’ll do is clean the last 10 minutes before I put Ruby down for a nap. It’s extra motivation for me to get a lot done in a little time because then I can relax a little during her nap time.
6. Make picking up after yourself a normal thing. I’m always the one to procrastinate or to put things off until later, but I’m making it a priority to deal with the minuscule things right away. I make sure to have an empty dishwasher so that when I’m done with my coffee it has a place. Or putting my makeup away when I’m done, or putting my clothes in the hamper instead of the floor (still actually working on this one) It doesn’t feel like cleaning, but an extension to the activity I’m doing. It’s these little things that make the bigger cleaning jobs much easier later.