Monday, April 27, 2015

Progress Report from Week 1

Well, we have come to the end of the first of four weeks to a clean and organized home.  Working on the kitchen this week was a challenge but so rewarding.  I find my self just standing in the middle of the kitchen admiring my work =)  It has brought me such happiness to have clutter free counter tops and cabinets.  The real challenge will be to keep it up.

Here are a few pictures to showoff my work.....

Clean and organized fridge =)  My plan was to group items, especially in the door.  Dressings, condiments and sauces all have their special place.  I added handled baskets, found at Big Lots for $2 each, to group smaller items and keep them contained and easily accessible.
My bottom drawer was always a mess!  I was constantly buying cheese because I never knew what I had in my fridge.  I found these great smaller baskets at the Dollar store.  The long rectangular came 2 to a package and the square were 3 to a package.  So for $2 I now have control over the "junk" drawer of the fridge =)


My cabinets are actually still a work in progress.   I did remove all the items and wipe down surfaces, I'm now just trying to find the best place for everything.  Although I did remove a lot of items that I no longer needed, I still feel like I need to remove more, or come up with a better storage solution.  So this week I will be out to find some organization racks/containers, especially for my serving platters and pots/pans.

My Cup cabinet came out great, and it really has made life a lot easier.  It use to be any time my daughter would want a drink I'd open the cabinet and an avalanche of cups, lids and straws would come tumbling out.  LOL.  Again, using the 3 for $1 baskets I found at the dollar store, I was able to get control of the lids and another rectangle basket for straws.  

<-----BEFORE                                       AFTER------->




When we first moved into our home, about 2 years ago, it was difficult to figure what items should go in what cabinet.  Over the years I always felt my items weren't in the most efficient places, but didn't have to time to move items around. While doing my 4 week challenge I took the time to think how my kitchen could run more efficient.  So, I took the time to relocate a lot of items.  I had two cabinets on each side of my oven/stove that contained cooking and baking supplies, but also a lot of items that were not related, like flower vases and kids lunch boxes.
I now have ONE cabinet dedicated to cooking supplies.  I moved some shelves to fit everything perfect.  My favorite part is my cook books are neat and easily accessible.  I had forgotten all about my cookbooks because they were shoved high up on a shelf that I couldn't even reach.  I look forward to using them again!!

<-----BEFORE                                       AFTER------->






Yesterday we started week 2: behind closed doors.  Sunday's task was to tackle the pantry and boy, what a job that was!!  Here's a little sneak peek.  I underestimated all of the organization items I would need, so I'll be out at the store to pick a few more items.
                         YIKES------>


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Week 1 - Day 2 & 3 - Declutter and Clean



Cleaning and Decluttering

I can see the progress already and I couldn't be happier.  My kitchen is so clean and uncluttered, and I'm only half way through the week!  I'm even seeing a change in my attitude.  Just look at the before and after shots!!!

I had so many non essential items on my counter tops.  Mail, baskets of Easter candy, decorative items with no purpose, and a plant that wasn't doing too well.   Most of the mail was junk and could be immediately tossed,  I found a good place in the pantry for the Easter candy to go, I removed the decorations and placed aside for now, and tossed the half dead plant.  Add a little elbow grease and now I have a clean surface with only every day items in view.  

The space feels clean, but a bit bare (especially by the coffee pot) for my taste.  My husband asked if we were moving, LOL!  I'm going to keep to the cleaning schedule for now, but plan in the near future to decorate with accessories that go well in the space, not overpower an area and if possible, serve a function as well.

My cleaning adventures continue this week and I couldn't be more excited.  Last night I cleaned appliances and found myself with more time, so I started on Thursday/Friday duties. 

I did a little shopping on my lunch break earlier this week and found some great organizing materials for a great value.  Can't wait to share, and would love for you to share your adventures with me as well =)   Email me at cleanlifehappylife@gmail.com.

_________________________________________________________________________________ 

I just want to remind all those who are reading my post and thinking, "Must be nice, I wish I had the time."  If I can do this, you can too!!!   By organizing the daily duties, I am spending just an hour or two each night on those delegated tasks.  I am a busy mom that holds a full-time job.  When I get home at 5:15, I still have homework time with my daughter, try to get a 30-minute walk/jog around the neighborhood, dinner on the table, followed by clean-up, baths and then bedtime story.  Some sacrifices are being made and I'm being creative as to the timing I complete tasks.   For example, I plan dinner around cleaning.  Monday was meatloaf that I pre-made Sunday night. I knew it will take at least an hour to bake, so as soon as it goes in the oven I started the tasks for the day. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Week 1, Day 1 - Upper Cabinets


Sunday's to-do was 'hard to reach places'.
For my kitchen, this meant I had to get all the decor above cabinets down, dust/clean and put back up.  As well as clean recessed lights, pendants above breakfast bar and a few a/c vents. 

Sunday proved to be a pretty busy day, so I didn't start my tasks until later in the afternoon.  I started with easier task of dusting vents and lights.  Using a swifter duster with long handle I got the job done quickly.  (don't forget to turn of the lights with dusting bulbs)

With the help of my husband, I climb up on the counter top and started handing down all the decorative items from above the cabinets.  I then vacuumed all loose dust and dead bugs (gross!!!) and wiped clean with 50/50 vinegar and water.   While I was up high, I decided it was best to go ahead and get Tuesday's exterior cabinet cleaning done on upper cabinets.   I also wiped down the top of the fridge, reaching far back under space between top of fridge and bottom of cabinet.  I have to say, this may have been the dusty place in my kitchen!

Cleaning the decor, mainly silk plants, became a little more of a challenge.  My original plan was to take most of the items outside and hose down, however, research proved this would be a huge mistake.  Silk plants can be fragile and need to be cleaned with care.  Plus I had two silk plants that were in pots, so I didn't want to saturate with water.  So, I moved all the silk plants to my spare bathroom and filled the tub with just a small amount of warm water and about 1 cup on vinegar.  Very carefully, I got the leaves and flowers wet with water/vinegar, then wiped down with a damp sponge.  The dust actually clumped and was easy to remove. I gently shook access water off and set the plants on the side to dry.  I let everything dry overnight and will put back on the shelves tonight.


Tonight I will also tackle day 2 - clear countertops!!  I'm super excited about this one and can't wait to share the before and after photos!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

4 weeks to a clean and organized life!! Week 1

As a busy mom and wife, I know how difficult it can be to keep a clean house.  On a daily basis I don't get home until 5 pm, and then its the daily mommy duties, homework, dinner and bath time.  Once the little one goes down, then daily chores.  By 10pm, I am ready for bed!   I wanted to create a system that would allow me to properly delegate certain duties on certain days, as well as items I can multitask.  On Monday, I plan to declutter/clean the countertops while dinner is in the oven.  Wednesday is a great night for us to go out to dinner, so its a great night to clean the oven since I won't be using it.

My plan with the 4 week guide is to break down each week to a certain area/room of the house.  Each day of the week is given a task, leaving the more time consuming tasks during the weekend, and easier tasks towards the beginning of the week.  I feel the system is easily interchangeable with different life styles, exchange Friday's tasks with Tuesday's for example. 



Starting this Sunday I am going to start week 1 of the Guide to a Clean and Organized life.  I'll be checking in all next week with updates and pictures.  

I am so happy to start this adventure, and truly look forward to hearing from others following me.  I would love your feedback on whether my system worked for you.  Please feel free to leave comments, like us on facebook and follow us twitter and/or pinterest.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Method to MY madness

As I start my adventure into my new clean and happy life I'm finding a lot of great articles, tips and check lists.  Pinterest has been a great source of information.  I have found a great spring cleaning checklist, ideas for all-natural cleaning products (most made from items commonly found in your home) and great before and after pictures for inspiration.   As I review the 3-page ultimate spring cleaning list....here comes that feeling.....OVERWHELMED!  Seriously, I'm one day in and I already want to hide under my blankets?!?!?

Then I found a great article on Apartmenttherapy.com.  What NOT to do when decluttering.  Rome wasn't built in a day, as the article quotes.  Don't think you'll get your ENTIRE house done in ONE day.  Don't strive for perfection, like you may see in the staged photos in magazines.   Immediately after reading this article I could feel my shoulders drop, let out a huge sigh of relief and got my head back into the game.

So, I've come up with a method to MY madness.   My goal this weekend is to make my own checklist, while referencing the ultimate checklist found on pinterest.  My checklist will be categorized by each room, then have sub categories of items to be done in that room.  After I make the list I will then decide which items to prioritize and maybe a goal as to when/how long to complete. 

Wish me luck! ;-)
Link to Article: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/pro-organizer-tips-what-not-to-do-when-decluttering-your-home-168836

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The start of a clean & happy life!!



Spring has sprung, and for the past two weeks all I can think about are the areas in my house I would love to get cleaned and organized.  The rooms and countertops that need to be decluttered.  The spare bedroom that has turned more to junk room. The shirts that I haven’t worn in years, or the feeling I have nothing to wear while I stand in the middle of a closet full of clothes.  Oh, lets not forget to mention Mount St. Toys that has taken over my child’s room!   I constantly day dream how nice it would be to live a simpler life, a clean life?  Oh, what a happy life it would be!  

I CAN’T GET MOTIVATED!!  How am I going to find the time to devote to the hours and hours of work it will take?  I’m a busy women!  I work a full-time job, have a hard-working husband, and a busy 5 year old princess. Where would I even start?  What kind of organization would be best for each space?  Any motivation I may have had was quickly squashed by feeling overwhelmed.

Talking to my friends and family I soon realized, I’M NOT ALONE.  For some reason April brings these feeling out in many people.  The daunting task of catching up on everything we neglected all year long.  The task feels so overwhelming that some never even start, or start projects but never finish.

So, I thought to myself, why not start a blog that will not only help myself……but so many others as well.   Welcome to Clean Life, Happy Life!

Follow my blog to keep up with me and the transformation of my cluttered and unorganized life, to a clean, organized and simpler life.   I will post often with progress updates, tips, suggestions, and inspirational stories from readers.  I look forward from hearing from you as a reader, any comments or stories how this page helped you would be greatly appreciated.