Ya, in my dreams! Be honest, didn't you just hate me for a minute?
What'd I'd give for that room. I'd be looking for things to wash.
Today we'll talk about laundry and cleaning the kitchen.
Two of my favorite things.
I really enjoy the routine of laundry, and the feeling of having it all done and put away. Order has been restored, and Glenco won't have to wear a pair of my panties to work. I love the smells of laundry, and the clacking of zippers in the dryer. I also enjoy ironing. I do find domestic work most enjoyable. I really believe it's because I have a routine, and there is something so comforting in a routine. If I could go as far as saying, I believe it's our domestic routines that make a house a home.
You are about to see something that friends I've had for years have never seen.
The bowels of the 1869 farmhouse.
My laundry room.
I'm in the process of trying to 'fix it up' the best I can. I'll be painting the walls.
I found those frames at a yard sale for .50 each.
I think it could look cool.
I won't fork over money for a nice washer and dryer.
I could, I just won't.
Not for this small intestine of a laundry room.
The image you are about to see is hardcore frugality.
You've been warned.
It's redneck, it's Green Acres, it's, it's....
My homemade drying rack.
I mean, come on, there's a perfectly good heating vent there going to waste.
I sure can use the humidity.
I feel a bit like Alice Cramden from the Honeymooners, but I laugh all the way to the bank baby.
I've realized that I can't use the 'pin' type clothespins. I can only use the spring type.
It's akin to the cotton ball. The pin clothespins squeak.
I've been making my own laundry soap. I'll post the 'recipe' at the bottom of the page.
I do like it.
I like the smell.
I don't have super dirty clothes, so I'm afraid I can't report on how effective it is on grease, and ground in dirt.
I have enough Snuggle left for a few more loads of laundry and then I'm switching to vinegar.
This is a tough one folks.
I'm not sure I can make it.
I really admonish you to try the laundry soap recipe. It's SO much cheaper than buying your own. There are also recipes out there for liquid if you prefer it. I personally like the powder. I really love that I'm not buying those big plastic bottles anymore.
I also encourage you to do all of your laundry on one day, instead of 'a load here and there'. I suppose you should do what works for you, but assess if what you are doing is working for you. Do you have clothes baskets full of clean, hopefully folded laundry sitting around more often than not? Does your clothes sour in the washer cause you forgot to put them in the dryer? I find it easy to throw a load in while I'm home, and keep going until I'm done. Done means, it's put away. Right? You put it away, right? You don't use your dryer as a closet do you? I'll be talking more about clothes when we venture into the bedroom later this week.
I like that Monday is laundry day, and it all gets done and put away, and I don't give laundry another thought until the next Monday.
Disclaimer * I don't have a house full of messy kids* I'll give you that.
Let's move on to the kitchen.
I set the timer today whilst I did my chores.
I really wanted to see how long it took me to do my things, you know...make the bed, vacuum, feed the chickens, scoop kitty poop, spot clean the bathroom and do my weekly cleaning of the kitchen.
Did you know I'm building a dollhouse?
Of course you didn't.
I've never told you.
I love miniatures.
I can't begin talking about it now, because I won't stop.
I had this dollhouse spread all over the island last night, and paint was drying, so I let it set overnight, so I did have this extra mess to clean up, and put back on the floor. I really have NO idea where I'm going to put this beast when I'm done with it.
I'm using pictures of the kitchen that I took last fall, just cause I didn't see any need to re-take photos. The fall decorations aren't up anymore...so please look past turkeys, pumpkins, etc.
I've really pared my decorations down, so that cleaning is easy.
I always, always start in one corner of the room, and start from the top down. I have my all purpose spray cleaner out, and a small bucket of soapy water and a rag. I begin. Let me add one thing here, I work as fast as I can. Why? Why not? Do you want to spend all day cleaning? Why dilly dally?
I always start in this corner where the hutch is. I wipe down all the shelves, except the very top one. I take things off as I wipe, and put them right back. About a minute, or two tops is spent here. The very top shelf...heck, no one sees it, so I like dust it once a month, if that.
This area is next. That shelf only gets wiped every other week, and the items on it.
The bench, gets cleaned every week. The picture, which is now hung up, gets dusted, and the chalkboard. The windows on the door get washed, and the door itself is wiped down.
This area is next.
I wipe the shelves off every week, alternating, top and bottom. This week I wiped the bottom shelf, next week I'll wipe the top shelf. It's much faster than you can imagine. I don't remove everything and replace it. I pick up the bowls, wipe, replace, pick up the toaster, wipe, replace...etc.
I really have to fight the urge to re-arrange things while I'm cleaning, as I've never really been happy with this counter area. It's completely different now than in these pics a few months ago!
I do remove everything off the counters, and give them a good scrubbing. I run a dishpan of hot soapy water and put the stove burners in to soak. Once every few weeks I'll wash the fronts of the cabinets. I wipe the bathroom door. Those old doors collect a lot of dust.
Now I move to the fridge and stove area.
While the burners are soaking in the soapy water, I wash the front, side and top of the stove. Everything on the shelf above the stove gets washed, the shelf gets washed. The side cabinet gets wiped down and everything on it. I clean the front and sides of the fridge. I'm really picky about my fridge. I don't like things sitting on top of it, (like cereal boxes) nor do I like things like magnets, pictures, etc. It looks cluttered to me, and it makes it harder to clean. I only clean the very top of the fridge about once a month. It's just cause I'm lazy.
About every other week, I do empty the fridge and wash it down with a bleachy solution.
Fridges are breeding grounds for bacteria.
Just do it.
Now I move on to my favorite piece of furniture ever, the black cabinet that my cousin made for me. I wipe the top of it off, and dust what's on there. I make sure that my cookbooks are in order, and that the bowls, etc, are neat.
Next, I do the island. A good wipe down, top and bottom.
Then I wash the light fixture over it.
After washing and replacing the stove burners, I put on a big pot of water to boil, and scrub the sinks out. I pour boiling water slowly down the drains.
Badda bing, badda boom.
Sounds like a lot, doesn't it?
Trust me, I'm not even that great of a cleaner.
I did all my morning chores, including chickens, bunny, whole house vacuum (except the upstairs), made the bed, spot cleaned the bathroom, and did all the above in the kitchen in...
Fifty seven minutes.
Mondays are my longest days too. The rest of the rooms are a piece of cake.
That takes care of the cleaning.
What about the clutter?
I have a bit to say on that, and I truly hope that I don't step on any toes here.
I was a pack rat.
I was a gadget girl.
I was a 'I might need this one day' kinda gal.
Girls, just throw it away.
If it's chipped? Bye bye.
If it's a plastic cup with a super hero on it? Adios!
If you didn't even remember you had it? Seriously? Freecycle baby.
Exactly how many travel mugs do you need?
I challenge you to go to the kitchen right now, and throw away ten things.
Be careful about 'one use' gadgets.
Alton Brown, my favorite Food Network guy, whom I've had the pleasure of meeting (and is seriously the nicest guy ever) says 'Death to Unitaskers'.
Do you really need an egg separator?
Do you really need all those gadgets that are only good for one job in the kitchen? They are such space robbers. A cluttered kitchen is difficult to clean, difficult to work in, and just not nice to look at.
I got rid of my bread maker years ago. It took up so much room! That's why God gave me hands! I never liked the texture of the bread anyhow. That bread machine took up so much room.
I know there are some of you reading this, that don't need it one bit. You have your kitchen just the way you like it, and it works, and you're happy.
I know there are some of you that sorta need this, and you can do a little better.
I also know there are some of you that desperately need this, and feel hopeless and overwhelmed, and can't ever imagine a moment where there are no dishes in the sink or Cheerios on the floor.
Take one corner at a time.
Clean your fridge out. Work hard to keep it clean thereafter.
Take one cabinet at a time.
Try not to let sentimentality, or 'I might need this one day' thinking take over.
That's what got you in this mess in the first place.
About twice a year, I do go through all of my cabinets, and if I haven't used something, it gets tossed. I can't allow clutter to accumulate again. It's at that time that I wash all the drawers out, and move the stove and fridge to clean.
Try instituting a routine into your life that works for you. Maybe you can glean something from my routine that will help you. If anything, maybe you'll be inspired to just try a little bit harder, or work a little bit faster.
Frugalicious domesticity isn't just about saving money. It's about saving time too. Time to me, is much more precious than money. I can always get more money.
My time, once gone, is gone forever.
I do not want to live my life with an attitude of frustration over the house, which will then spill over to my family, as I act like I'm doing them a favor to cook them supper, or do their laundry. My time, not spent wisely, robs them of time with me. Time laughing, time walking, time dreaming, or time just spent being.
It's just too big of a price for me to pay, to live cluttered up, feeling overwhelmed, hopeless and helpless.
Apron up girls!
You'll be so glad you did.
Oops...almost forgot the soap recipe....now that I'm off my soapbox, here it is...I'm just posting the link for you, cause you can print it off this website much easier than you can here.
It's from the Duggar's, it's the third recipe down.