My small bathroom

So my bathroom can be relaxing or stressful depending on the cleanliness of it.  We have two full bathrooms but only really use the small one.  Trying to convince my family that not everything has to go in the small bathroom was hard at first but has gotten easier as we’ve all learned that it functions better when only what we use on a regular basis is left in this room.

Here is what you see when you are walking towards my bathroom.  It used to have a really dark, thick shower curtain.  I thought it over powered the room so I switched it out for a thinner lighter curtain.  I really love the colors in this curtain.

We have two rugs – the dark brown rug is super soft and foamy.  it was by the shower but i found that it stayed wet forever and when the bottom got wet it became a slippery death trap so I just switched them and crisis was averted.  I love the stripes and the green and brown one.  there is a towel bar with two towels on the right.  There is a partial towel bar above it that needs to be taken down and gotten rid of.

The shelf is a new addition but not a new purchase.  Our towel shelf was in the big bathroom but we don’t use that bathroom.  this bathroom is right next to our bedrooms.  It was a real pain to get a clean wash cloth or towel and it didn’t make sense to carry the clean towels all the way to the big bathroom just to have to carry them to the small bathroom.  I’m quite happy with the shelf in the smaller room – my mom was surprised that it fit as the bathroom looked too small to fit anything let alone a shelf.  to me the bathroom looks cozier now the shelf is in there and i actually put the towels away now instead of leaving them on my dresser.

On the toilet is my new favorite lotion – Suave Advanced Therapy.  It feels great and doesn’t overpower with scent.  It’s been saving my hands this winter and I’ve been applying it after washing my hands.  This lotion is fantastic!

I have Suave conditioner and shampoo on top of the shelf – apple scented, and my shaving cream.  My daughter has two Avon bath paint roll ons.

Now I don’t typically use Suave but am really loving on it right now.  It smells good, works good and is way more affordable.

I also admit to owning too many wash cloths, hand towels and towels.  I don’t even have them all pictured because there are towels in the wash and in use.  Three shelves of bath towels, a shelf with hand towels and washcloths and one shelf for my daughter’s bath toys and some bubble bath.  So there are at least 5 towels per person in this house.  What I would really love is to donate most of these and get myself a matching set of luxurious towels instead of this mismatched bunch.  Aldi had a wonderful for about $20 but I would have needed 2 sets.  I couldn’t justify spending $40 on beautiful towels when I have plenty of good ones at home.  Eventually I will replace though.

Hidden is the toilet plunger and the toilet brush.  I converted a vase into a brush holder.  I keep the brush soaking in a vinegar solution with dawn dish soap and lavendar oil so it smells good and soap is always ready to clean.

Here is my sink.  My family loves to try to junk it up but it always gets removed.  hand towels, my bathroom cleaner (vinegar, water and essential oils), hand soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and my husband’s comb.  I like to store the toothbrushes and such in the pink bucket to make it easy to stash underneath when guests come over.  – yes I hide my toothbrush.  My daughter and my hairbrush are absent from the bathroom because we don’t brush our hair in there.  Also absent is any make up as I never wear the stuff.  My facial wash and moisterizer and contact solution is on a shelf just outside of the bathroom.  I find too much stuff on the sink makes it messier and harder to clean.

Just in case you thought I stashed everything under the sink – bubble bath, my husband’s face lotion, my daughter’s mouthwash, an extra bottle of shampoo, husband’s razer, two boxes of q-tips (i’m addicted), tampons, my daughter’s fish tank necessities, flea shampoo for both cat and dog (though we don’t use it in favor of blue dawn dish soap) and a scrub clean bathroom cleaner.

I could easily part with the cleaner (if favor of my homemade cleaner), the flea shampoos and the evolve shampoo but my husband said that it doesn’t make sense to get rid of it when we could use it.  So my plan is to use it and not replace it.  I’ve also decided that when my daughter’s fish eventually passes away we will not be replacing him or her.

In the shower itself a shower rack with Suave shampoo and conditioner (coconut), Suave body wash (apple), my husband’s bar soap and his shampoo.  I noticed that I have two razors – hmmm 1 to purge.

 

And finally – wall art mostly gone.  We bought bath crayons and I learned that if you don’t remove it right away that it almost becomes permanent.  My daughter fully decorated the walls one day and I loved the drawings so asked her to keep them.  Nothing worked on getting it off time i used baking soda and my vinegar cleaner.  I had the rest removed and almost had this one gone but then stopped myself.

It’s a picture of me smiling with my arms outstretched to give her a hug and I am holding flowers for us.  I love it and it makes me happy!

Follow Up Laundry

So I realized that there are tons of things to write about but I’m missing something (motivation maybe) that causes me to write.  I’ve learned alot about myself recently – they are blog entries of their own.  One thing however that I learned is I don’t really know what I love to do – hobbies, work, things to fill up by spare time.  I also realized that DIY most possibly is the one thing that causes a strong interest to start to well up.  Especially DIY for cleaning products which is hilarious to me because I’m not one of those super clean OCD folks.  OCD sucks and it affects us all differently – I hate to touch anything dirty so once my house gets dirty I’m screwed.  I also really hate not knowing what’s in all the products that we use.  I realized that I LOVE my homemade products – not only because I know what’s in them but because they actually work.

The last time I wrote it was about my daughter and I making laundry products.  Here is my rundown or progress report:

The homemade stain remover made with Dawn, ammonia, baking soda and water – I would probably grade it a C.  My daughter and I grabbed the large pile of stained clothing that I had been accumulating and treated them all to the stain remover.  Again as some of the stains were well set I couldn’t judge it by that.  It helped some of the clothes but not all of them.  I wound up throwing away several of our shirts including two of my favorites as the stains just didn’t budge.

Determined not to judge it on that pile I continued to use it.  It gunked up the spray bottle and the baking soda has taken up permanent residence in the bottom of the bottle.  Now I shake it and pour it directly on the stain.  My daughter’s favorite shirt is a stain magnet.  I treated the offending mark and let the shirt sit.  I washed it but the stain didn’t come out so I treated again and used my trusty Rubba Scrubba.  It came out and the day was saved!

Next time she wore this shirt she got chocolate pudding all over the top.  I used the stain out and the Rubba Scrubba.  In this case the chocolate pudding won.  So we are on round two.

The homemade laundry soap scored an A+.  I absolutely love this stuff!  LOVE IT!  I don’t think I’ll ever switch back to a commercial laundry product again.  Borax, washing soda, dish soap and sun oxygen with some hot water made a truly fantastic laundry soap.  Our clothes are clean and smell great.  My husband even loves it.  I recommend it wholeheartedly and will probably not make the powdered mix again as this doesn’t leave any occasional residue on our clothes.

Now the homemade fabric softener – I think I have never been a fan of liquid fabric softener.  A few times when I’ve used this I’ve had a rewash an item or two because of white marks left on the clothing from the softener.  This has been a problem I’ve encountered frequently with the commercial liquid softener added to the wash.  The marks on the clothing quickly have me running back to the sheets.  I would give this product a B though.  I bought a pack of white washcloths from Wal-Mart and have one at the dryer.  I’ll spray this down and throw it in.  It seems to work better than my trusty fabric sheets however it’s more time consuming (about 10 seconds more) then just grabbing one of the lavender scented ones still hanging out on the dryer.  When I run out of them though I’m probably not buying new.

I’ve also made my own Wool dryer balls!  Now I love these – a definate A for them.  I’m not seeing the full effect as it’s recommended that you use at least 4 balls per load and my daughter claimed two for herself.  I found that if I spray the fabric softener on these that my clothes smell great and they are definately soft.

So my husband decided that this year for christmas we are making everyone wool dryer balls so we picked up the yarn from Michael’s and I’ve been rolling the yarn so I can felt it.  His thoughts were that we could put all the balls in a bowl and let everyone pick the four they want.  Now this is a great idea as these are so expensive to buy.  I decided to order a case of empty 4 oz plastic bottles and 8 oz plastic bottles and will be including 4 ozs of homemade fabric softener and 8 oz of homemade laundry soap along with the wool dryer balls.  I figured 4 loads worth of laundry soap and a decent portion of fabric softener with these beautiful reusable dryer balls seem like a really great Christmas gift that will actually be used and not turn into wasted clutter.

 

 

 

Keeping House

I found a blog yesterday that I love!  One Good thing by Jillee has some really great stuff!  I decided to make some of the recipes shown on her blog

Homemade Stain Remover (Shout)

Ingredients:

Mix everything together and pour into a spray bottle.

 I had my daughter help me make all three of the recipes.  We made the stain remover first because we had an ever increasing pile of clothes that are stained up.  I hate the smell of ammonia and now so does my daughter but she did a really great job helping me.  we mixed this up in a bowl and then used a funnel to fill up a spray bottle with our new concotion.  We soaked the stains on the clothes and let them sit for a bit before I threw them in the washer.  I ran the load and loaded them into the dryer.  Now I think the stains are pretty well set in at this point so I can’t judge if it works or not.  There just may not be any help for these clothes. 

 

Homemade Laundry Soap

3 Tablespoons Borax
3 Tablespoons Washing Soda
2 Tablespoons Dawn Dish soap

Put these ingredients in a one gallon jug. Pour 4 cups boiling water into the jug. Swirl until ingredients are dissolved in the liquid. Let liquid cool. Then fill almost to the top with cold water. The bubbles will overflow out of the bottle.
I love this because you can pick an awesome scent with the Dawn dish soap. This dish soap works the best because it gets grease out. :o)

 – We made this one and filled up an empty vinegar bottle.  I didn’t dilute this like the recipe calls for.  I used the Borax, washing soda and dish soap but used an apple berry scented one.  I also added 4 scoops of sun oxygen.  I put 4 cups of boiling water into the jug but didn’t add the cold water.  1 gallon made the way above makes a thinner solution requiring a cup per load.  I multipled the recipe by 3 (12 cups of water, 9 tablespoons Borax and Washing soda, 6 tablespoons dish soap, 6 scooops sun oxygen) which means you would use 1/4 a cup or 2 ozs per load.

– now, it keeps sudsing up.  i wonder if it’s the washing soda interacting with residual vinegar or if this is normal.  I don’t know if this works great or not yet as i’ve only done one load with it.  smells good though

 

Homemade Fabric Softener

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups water
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups hair conditioner

Directions:
1. Mix water, vinegar, and hair conditioner in a 1 gallon container; stir. Do not shake it; it will cause foaming.
2. Use the same amount you normally use in a rinse cycle or spritz it on a wash cloth and throw in dryer.

– I asked my husband to pick up a bottle of cheap hair conditioner that he liked the smell of.  He brought home V05 passion fruit smoothie.  It smells great!  My daughter and I funneled this into a spray bottle and I bought some white washclothes that will now be our reusable fabric sheet.

I have really missed liquid laundry soap but I really have loved the powdered soap that we made months ago.  We are nearly done with the laundry powder that I made about 6 months ago.   about 200 loads of laundry for under $30 – LOVE IT!!!!!

 

 

It’s finally over! – Part 1

Saturday, July 7 was supposed to be it – the final yard sale of the summer.  I knew there were problems when it was 8:45am and still not a customer in sight.  We’ve always gotten the early birds and I never turn them away – I see it as a sign of good fortune.  I know people are coming.  But not on this day.  It was my first multi-family yard sale as I went in on it with my neighbor.  By noon we had less than 12 people stop by and I had $27.  Subtract the $20 I paid for the newspaper ad and that left me with $7.  The newspaper made more off of my sale than I did.

A shopper said, “Aren’t you worried about the storm?”  We had looked at the weather online and it was supposed to just miss us.  5 minutes after she said that big, fat raindrops fell furiously to the ground.  I quickly sent my daughter inside to get my husband while my neighbor and I quickly bagged and boxed everything we could.  Many miserable minutes later everything was safety under the canopy or quickly shoved into sheds and our homes.  The yard sale was a mess and mostly a failure.

We all agreed that we didn’t want to take the stuff back inside but were unsure what to do with all of the stuff.  It didn’t feel right to me to donate everything as we were soo far away from any sort of goals we had set, my daughter made about $5 which definately was not enough for her e-reader goals.  It would have taken multiple trips to the Salvation Army using a truck to get it all over there.  My neighbor joked that we could have a big bon-fire.  I chuckled but fears of burning down my home accidently made it not very funny.  I decided that with my upcoming mini vacation that I would hold another sale on Friday and Saturday.  I was reminded that both my neighbor and my husband worked so I would be alone for the Saturday sale but I stated that I would be fine and that I didn’t want to have to transport everything.

We took the more valuable items inside, dropped the canopy down and crossed our fingers that nothing got stolen while we waiting until Friday for better luck.

On a positive note it gave me more time to unclutter and we managed to have a game night which was lots of fun.  All in all it was a pretty positive experiance for me.

Oh – by the way – I am now writing this as I sit on my comfy couch in the family room!  This room is bigger and better and all I needed to do was get rid of tons of stuff:)

Uphill swing I hope

my mental health has its ups and downs.  on the upswing of a particularly bad spell which left my home an absolute disaster.  so I set the timer and shined my sink, adjacent counters and started dinner.  *sigh*  shiny, shiny sink:)

I have my timer ticking away.  15 minutes on with cleaning and dinner prep, 15 minutes relaxing.  I’m feeling really sick but I wonder how much is mental and how much is physical.  (both are flaring up right now)

As I sit in my living room I am distracted by the floors.  I would show you a picture of the floors but it’s much too embarassing.  very dirty.  but on a positive note, it’s full of paper scraps as my daughter has been designing paper costumes and outfits.  She has some budding talent.  She made a ninja outfit for herself, and tons of costumes for her stuffed animals.  The dog has also been busy making a mess of the floor with his chew toys, bones and fur.  Her active play today has all sitting areas full save for the seat my butt is in now.  I imagine with her help we could pull this room together in 15 minutes.

I’m touchy and irratable but not growling so life is good.  My therapist thought it would be beneficial to up the dose on the medicine for my anxiety but it leaves me feeling rather nauseous and unpleasantly empty.  I have my husband keeping an eye on me (for safety reasons) but I’m waiting it out to see if it’s just a short term, unpleasant side effect.  It’s been just over a week and I’ve done almost nothing around the house.  I’ve barely left my spot on the couch save for the short spells outside.  Monday was the absolute worse.  Tuesday was rather nice and then back to emptiness Wednesday, Thursday and today.

We went grocery shopping today and the groceries are still out – on the counters, over the bench and on the table.  At least the refrigerator and freezer items are put away.   My husband was supposed to have friends over on Tuesday so he did the dishes while I was at work.  They haven’t been done since and they are piling up.  I finally got up and grabbed a small tote, loaded up all the dishes and set them aside so I could scrub.  I figured it was better to start with a clean slate.

As I went to get started I reach down to grab a clean sponge and we are OUT!  I couldn’t believe it.  I never, ever run out of sponges.  In my whole married life I’ve never run out of sponges.  I throw them away religiously to get rid of the germs and the smell.  One per week.  I always have at least 6 underneath the sink, usually more.  There are none.  I panicked.  I started to sweat.  Feelings of doom and of giving up overwhelmed me, then I realized it was just a sponge.  I grabbed a clean microfiber scrubby cloth and started scrubbing my sink and counters.

The chrome faucet is shining, one load of dishes are washed, my coffee pot is clean and vinegar has been run through it to clean it out.  Chicken is on the stove cooking and I’m about to get up and make some rice.

This OCD/ Anxiety is not going to beat me.  I will succeed – I promise this much.  I will also remember that happiness is all around – it’s just a different way of looking at what you already have right before you.

My cleaning supplies

I have made the switch to more natural cleaning products.  This is a huge step as my favorite section in the store is the cleaning supplies.  I could spent an hour in that section alone carefully reading each label to find what product would vanquish dirt and grime from my home and magically make it clean dream.  What I’ve learned is that there is no product that will magically make your home clean (unfortunately) and most cleaning supplies really bother either my respiratory system or my super sensitive skin.

I’ve started making my own all-purpose cleaner.  I use it to clean, disinfect and deodorize my home.  I’ve found it to work particularly well in the bathroom.  For whatever reason I’m still hesitant to use it in my kitchen.  It works incredibly well on soap scum, especially those bath crayons.  They are incredibly hard to remove from the walls if you don’t wipe off immediately.  The vinegar solution removed the drawings where the harsher chemicals did not.

  • 1 spray bottle
  • Vinegar
  • Water

It’s important to stick to a 1:1 ratio so in other words 1 cup of water to every 1 cup of vinegar.  Now I really hate the smell of vinegar so I bought Orange Essential Oil through amazon.com and I add a few drops to the spray bottle with the vinegar water solution and this really helps get rid of most of the unpleasant smell.

I’ve also stopped using the harsh chemical scrubs.  In its place I have a container full of baking soda.  This is particularly useful in the kitchen.  Our counter tops stain extremely easy so what I do is dump a small pile of baking soda on the stain and then add water slowly until I have a paste.  I then use my scrubber until the stain is removed.  You can even let the paste sit for a while on the stain and it’ll come up easier.

When our dryer was broken we added a cup of vinegar to every wash load to help soften up the clothes.

One of my favorite cleaning combinations has to be vinegar with baking soda (baking soda volcano anyone?)  This is particularly useful for the toilet.  You dump about 1/4 cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl and then add 1 cup of vinegar.  you let it sit for at least 15 minutes then scrub and flush.  very easy.  This combination also works incredibly well as a drain cleaner.

I use the vinegar, water, essential oil combination to clean glass and mirrors.  The first time I cleaned the bathroom using nothing but the vinegar, baking soda, water and essential oil my husband commented that the bathroom never looked cleaner to him.

For the kitchen I have started cleaning with baking soda and have switched to Dawn dish soap as a gentle all-purpose cleaner.

I figure that if it is gentle enough to use on wildlife to remove oil then it’s gentle enough to use around my daughter.  I use this to clean counters, the stove, the hood, inside and outside of the refrigerator, the table and cabinets.  I also use this to make homemade bubbles for my daughter (and me) to play with

Homemade bubble solution – gently mix the ingredients to prevent foaming.  distilled water works best but any water will do.

  • 1 cup Dawn dish soap
  • 10 cups water
  • 10 drops glycerin (bought in the pharmacy department)

I also keep a bottle of hydrogen peroxide handy but don’t use it often because it can stain.

While writing this I googled green cleaning and found this wonderful website – Apartment Therapy – 25 DIY Green Cleaning Recipes for the Whole House!  The only note of concern is their use of Borax.  I used Borax in my homemade laundry soap but this product isn’t necessarily safe to use frequently.  (classified as a poison – known to cause respiratory and acute eye problems.  also may be concern about reproductive problems) so use with caution and use gloves when using.  Here is 20 Mule Team’s MSDS.

For carpet cleaning I’ve also skipped using the carpet shampoos and just add vinegar to extremely hot water to the machine instead.  It works great.  Before I use the carpet cleaner I sprinkle baking soda over the entire carpet and let it sit for about 30 minutes.  I then vacuum the carpet in several directions.  This makes the carpet cleaner work better as it’s not getting clogged on dirt that could have been avoided.

Cleaning Tools –

I love Fly Lady products.  I bought the purple rags and these work great.  They clean easy enough too as I just throw them into the laundry.  I’ve accidently dried these with fabric softener like a million times (on the flylady website it says detergent only).  I use them until they are dirty and then rewash them.  It hasn’t made a noticeable difference to me.  They are nice though because they are large, have two textures and are purple.  I use them for about everything.  I have cheaper rags as well that I bought at walmart.  The other set has a mesh scrubby side.

I also have the Rubba Scrubba. – I’ve used this on my blinds, the furniture, for dishes and more.  On my wish list are the Rubba Swisha for the bathroom and the dish brushes.  gotta admit I’m glad that I own this as it helps but it feels awkward in my hand.  I’ve also really gunked this up and then struggled to clean it (think long hair or grease – yuck).  It always comes clean though and I haven’t been able to break off any of the nubbies yet so it’s a quality product.

The Rubba Sweepa is my favorite Fly Lady product.  I LOVE THIS!  The handle feels flimsy but again – I have not broken it yet.  I manage to break everything.  This helped me tons when my daughter was going through her phase where she was hitting herself in the head because she couldn’t get the sound of the vacuum out.  I quickly bought this and it has helped.  She no longer has the vacuum problem but with my husband sleeping nights it helps me when my carpets need a quick clean up.   It also helps me clean up my bunny’s hay mess.  It was a life saver (and vacuum saver) when we had two dogs.  I would use this before I vacuumed and my vacuum stopped clogging up.

We bought the Fly Lady mop.

and extra mop refills.  I like the mop but love the clothes.  I will sometimes use the clothes without the mop because they are super soft, big and work.  I like the dry mop part as it really collects the dirt and dust.  I’ve even recommended this to others.  my husband helped me pick this item out from the fly lady store but he continues to use the swifter with disposable wet clothes.  He says certain things are too dirty for reusable clothes.  My OCD agrees but my logical self shakes my head with this statement.

Sounds Great so Now What?

Now the problem is – I can’t bring myself to get rid of the harsher cleaners that are under my kitchen sink and in the laundry room.  I also can’t seem to part with all my air fresheners.  I cling onto them because 1. I spent good money on them, 2. I might need them someday, and 3.  it feels wasteful to get rid of them.  I put a few out in our yard sale but there is quite a bit more that are stashed in my cabinets.

Some before glimpses

I know it’s not much in the way of before pictures but I’ve been looking for before pictures for some of the rooms.  I don’t have any before Fly Lady pictures inside the house because we lost our external hard drive and I of course didn’t have things backed up and I was also very careful not to take pictures of the clutter.  I used to be very good at stashing clutter if I knew people were coming over.  I think this is how my family room got so bad.  I think this is also how “hidden” clutter got so bad too.

Here is the corner of the living room on a “good” day.  It is decorated for Halloween (spider webs and witch cat).  We’ve already decluttered quite a bit by the time this picture was taken as this book shelf used to house much more video games.  There also used to be another shelf – yes – two shelves hanging out on top of a coffee table blocking our second entrance to our home.

This was considered really good to me.  Since this picture was taken we’ve gotten rid of the wooden box under the table, the table, the book shelf and a good number of items included in this picture.

Leave it to my daughter to have some of the best “bad” pictures.  The picture below is a good example – the left side of the picture shows the box spring “hidden” behind my dresser and the tall piece of furniture on top of my dresser is the 9 bin rack that used to be full of clutter.  There used to be two of these 4 foot tall mirrors chilling behind furniture in my living room.

Below is a self portrait my daughter took.  It’s completely normal to have two coffee tables right next to each other right?  This room also had two couches and a recliner for a family of 3.  if you look you’ll see that the tables block the usage of one of the recliners on the couch.  this picture was taken on a very good day.  notice the paper lanterns?  not party decorations – every day decorations.

Wow – this is after I found and started following Fly Lady.  This was good.  Notice the television ontop of the television?  yeah – (heavy sarcasam) i tricked ya with the busy quilt right?  there is usable floor space so this definately was a good day.

My couch – on a bad day.  In the past this is what you might find if you stopped by unannounced.  I would say I was in the “middle” of reorganizing.

if these pictures have shocked you into a state of shock here is the after pics blog link.

Funny thing is – these aren’t even pictures of the room at its worst.  I guess I really have come a long way!

 

Pleasantly Exhausted

Today was a successful yard sale day!  the beginning was questionable as it was super wet and very chilly.  we were determined however because my husband had taken the time off of work and we had no other choice but to go ahead or else wait until next month.  the ad was paid for, the signs were up and the items priced.

here are the positives –

  • 1/2 the shed is still full of items to be gotten rid of but nothing was brought back into the house except empty totes to be filled with more unwanted clutter and items that belonged in the house.
  • I got the opportunity to spend the day with a fantastic person and got to meet lots more wonderfully interesting people.
  • I got to see my mom! and my daughter got to spend some lovely time with her as my mom helped us out by taking her to a birthday party at the skating rink.
  • we made enough money to purchase our fire pit plus extra – we are thinking A/C unit as I detest the heat (the gazebo was already purchased with pre-sales and a lovely anniversary giftcard from my wonderful sister).
  • my daughter made a whooping $50 plus by selling her items.  This means she is able to purchase all three items on her wish list – a stuffed Club Penguin puffle toy, Kinectimals for the Kinect and a water table.  a super duper positive is that these items take up sooooooooooooo much less room than the items that were sold.  LOVE IT!
  • my daughter was able to receive her new bike from us today – we offered her a deal she couldn’t refuse – we pre-purchased a new bike for her – larger than her current bike, fancier too with sparkly streamers coming out of the handle bars – no training wheels and in her favorite colors no less.  We put this in the shed.  We purchased her a 6-month Club Penguin membership.  then we offered her $1 per item that she put into the yard sale to be put towards these two Shiney, enticing prizes that she couldn’t refuse.  She earned both with flying colors.

Tonight I’m sitting in my home – it’s messy and things need to be straightened and put away but it feels SO much bigger.  Clutter makes spaces smaller and crowded.  Declutter is the best way to make a small home bigger.  I can twirl and dance around in my family room should I so chose.

There is so much space and I’m in a little bit of shock, a lot of bit of awe and all over relief.  this is going to be so much easier to clean.  this will give me more time to have fun with my family!  how happy is that!

today i was also able to joke about things with the people that i met and the people i spent time with today!  it felt good – joked about my OCD (as it’s not crippling me – thank u Dr. L and the medicine that’s working), joked about me, joked about life.  it felt good to laugh and just be happy.

today i spent the entire time outside.  this is HUGE!  6:30 – 8pm setting up then 8-4 yard sale then 4-9 dinner and games in the gazebo.  all day and i’m still alive and well – (with the exception of a sun burn).  all day outside and i’m still happy.  life is good.

pocket full of money to buy what we really want, 100’s less items in my house so clutter banished, and an enjoyable day.

tomorrow i think i’ll spend 15 minutes cleaning up the kitchen, 15 minutes in zone 1 (the entrance, front porch and dining room) and then relax and enjoy time with my daughter.

Fly Lady’s habit for the month is drinking water so i’m going to give this a shot – maybe more water will help with my on-going health problems (multiple UTIs since February) and give me a glowing complexion.  Did you know that drinking water can help you lose weight, helps you get rid of headaches, makes you look younger, relieves fatigue better than coffee and can put you in a better mood?  there are many incredible benefits from this “simple” act.

I learned this years ago and it still sounds true – do you know how much water to drink per day?  many people know the 8 glasses of 8oz of water.  I learned that you should take your weight then divide it by half (200lbs divided by 2 is 100).  there you have the daily fluid ounces.  so the 8×8 makes sense if you do the math.  An average person of 128 pounds would need to drink 64 ounces per day.

Here is a great water calculator that I found!  It equaled my above method for determining water requirements.

adding some happiness to the day

This poster makes me very happy.  I love the layout, the heart shaped smile and the 10 points.  You can buy the print at Yes Magazine for $3 or download the PDF for free.  I heart that:)

– found at Yes Magazine

The second thing that brings happiness to my day is doing laundry with the homemade laundry soap that I actually made a few weeks ago.  It smells fantastic, my clothes are bright and clean and it costed very little.  If you’re interested I have the figures for how much it costed me.

This blog entry on How Does She? got me interested – Organized Cleaning Supplies…before and after

and this blog entry has the how to – Cheaper AND Better! DIY Laundry Detergent

I used Fels Naptha instead of the Zote because Walmart didn’t carry it.  I also used Sun Oxygen Cleaner (walmart brand) instead of Oxi Clean because of the huge difference in price.  We went with the Fresh Spring Waters scent for the Purex Crystals Fabric Softner (daughter’s choice).  It’s lasting forever and it works.  Happiness abounds.

I’m also super excited about trying vinegar and baking soda to do most of the cleaning around the house.  It works great (especially in the bathroom and kitchen) and is less harmful then all of the other chemicals I used to use.