Tag Archives: cleaning

Spring Cleaning (or Needing To Declutter Again)

I usually keep a pretty clean house. I live in a tiny house (seriously, it’s under 500 square feet) so any mess seems to be significantly worse in my house than in a normal house. I don’t like to have a ton of stuff around, but I’ve seemed to acquire a lot lately and it’s been piling up. Literally piling up. It’s a bit ridiculous for me, but I know that for most people it’s probably still a pretty clean space. The worst space is next to my computer on my desk since I’m spending so much time working right now. When I’ve got something I’m working on and a customer calls, I put whatever I’m working on down and I don’t always remember to pick it back up or put it away.

I have written about decluttering before, and as always it seems like I don’t realize my house is getting a bit out of control until it’s so bad that I can’t help but see it! And this time, I feel like I’ve just been ignoring it because of how crazy my life has been. It always seems like I can’t have everything in my life balanced. I guess that’s how it is, something always has to be off. And before it was my social life and now it’s my house.

When I thought I needed surgery, I was neglecting organizing because I knew my life was going to get super hectic and I wasn’t worried too much about my house. I figured that while I was in the hospital and when I was recovering I would have a bunch of people coming over and helping and trying to keep things clean while that is happening wasn’t going to be a priority. So I didn’t worry too much about keeping it too nice before surgery. Also, I was buying a bunch of stuff I thought I was going to need for surgery so that was adding to my clutter by piling up around the house in different piles depending on if I’d need it in the hospital or while recovering. And once surgery was canceled, I put a lot of time and focus into getting my life back to normal and having a regular life again. And because of that, cleaning and decluttering was put on the back burner once more. I did managed to get rid of all the extra things I bought for surgery (some was returned to where I got it and some was giving to people who do need them), but just because I did that didn’t mean that I was able to really do any decluttering.

I keep setting decluttering as one of my weekly goals and each week goes by and I don’t do it. But it’s gotten to the point where I just need to take time out of my day and work on cleaning. It’s pretty much spring cleaning even though it’s almost summer. And I really want to do a big overhaul in the stuff that I’m keeping in my house. I’ve done a couple of small cleanups lately and have even put together bags of clothes to donate, but then of course those bags are just sitting in my house so they are just adding to the clutter issue.

Some of the decluttering is just stuff that I haven’t filed away if I need to keep it, but a lot of it is just random stuff that I probably need to throw away. I’m not great at throwing things away when I think I might still need them. I’m not a hoarder, but there are cards or paperwork that I debate if I need. I am trying to get better about this by digitally storing a lot of paperwork that I have but there are still some things that I like to keep hard copies of. It’s a process but I’m working on organizing everything.

I think the reason why my clutter is hitting me this time is because I finally have my life back in order (or almost in order) and now I’m noticing that my house isn’t. It’s a weird feeling when coming home isn’t the most settled feeling and I’m not used to that.

I know I’m overdue for a massive project. This isn’t just going to be a normal cleaning and organizing day. I need to actually go through my stuff and see what I actually need to keep. I need to go through my closet and see what I can get rid of. I’ve gotten a few new things recently (trying to get ready for the heat of the summer) and I’m trying to follow the rule of “one thing in one thing out”. If I bought 3 new things, I need to take 3 things I don’t wear anymore out of my closet to donate.

I haven’t figured out when I’m going to have the time to do this big cleaning and decluttering, but hopefully I’ll figure out a good block of time that I can set aside to just focusing on my house. I need to not just do this in between other things in my schedule because I will keep putting it off like I have been doing. And hopefully I’ll find this time in the next week or so to really get my house back to how I want it to be and to make my space a much happier place for me.

Working On Cleaning (or Time To Declutter)

I try not to clutter up my house since I live in such a small place, but somehow it seems like all of a sudden from time to time that I feel like my space is too cluttered. I seem to acquire new things in batches, so it quickly feels like I have too much stuff in my house. For some reason, even though I didn’t really buy too much for myself during the holidays, it started to feel like I needed to do a big cleaning after the holidays. But for some reason, this time I’m struggling with getting rid of stuff.

A lot of the stuff I want to get rid of are clothes. I have a lot of clothes that I don’t wear anymore. Most of it is due to it being too large on me now (a good problem to have) but some stuff I just don’t like or it has started to show wear and tear. But despite the clothes not being worn that often, for some reason I don’t want to let go of them. Even the clothes that are too big are tough to bring to donate. All of the clothes I needed to get rid of still fit in my closet, but I wanted them gone. So I ended up taking out everything that I’m not wearing and putting them into bags. I haven’t been able to get rid of the bags yet, so they are just living in my utility room for now. I don’t know what the struggle with letting them go is, but I guess baby steps are better than nothing.

I also seemed to get a ton of new stuff on my desk. Part of it was when I got my new computer and I had to work on the transfer between the computers. Since the cables for the new computer are different from the old computer, I do need to buy some converters to make everything work the way I want it to. But my desk has also become a catchall for things that I need to deal with. I’m starting to organize my 2016 taxes and that’s all over my desk. I also have cards and paperwork that needs to be finished on my printer. My desk drawers are full, but not unbearable so. My focus is just cleaning the desk since that’s what looks cluttered. I want to get this done, but I also know that this stuff is still in process so I can’t just get rid of them.

And finally, I feel like I just have too much stuff in general around the house. I don’t have a ton of things, but the space has felt smaller to me lately. I do only have about 400 square feet, but it never felt too small before. And I haven’t really added too much that takes up floor space (I did get a robot vacuum during a flash sale on Amazon that is on the floor). I’m wondering if I’m feeling this way because things have been organized the same way in my house for years and I haven’t moved around furniture or switched things up in a while. My last big change was when I got a new couch. And that was over 2 years ago. Maybe I just need to rearrange things and it will feel better.

I don’t keep a dirty or cluttered house, but for some reason it’s just been getting to me. I know I need to do something to fix this or it’s just going to keep bugging me. I’m trying to take steps where I can to make things better but I know I need to do more. I do have motivation to do more this weekend because I’m supposed to be having people over on Sunday (having people come over is always a good motivation to do a major cleaning). But just cleaning might not be good enough because I don’t just want to move things around or hide them in drawers. I do want to get things out of the house that aren’t useful to me so that I can make sure my space is as functional and productive for me as possible.

Organization Time (or Seeing A Bit Of A Mess)

I take a lot of pride in being a super organized person. I have my calendar color coded, I made lists of tasks or errands to do almost every day, and I track my tax stuff throughout the year so I don’t have to do it all at once. I’m pretty set in my organization skills and I’ve taught a couple of friends to do them as well (I think everyone has appreciated the tips!).

My house is pretty small, so I try to keep things uncluttered. When there is a little bit of a mess, it seems to take everything over. At one of my old apartments, I was a much messier (and less organized person), but I’m pretty neat in my current space. But between all the day jobs I’m working now, time is much more limited and I’ve been noticing that things are getting a bit messy and overwhelming.

I’ve been trying to set small goals each day with things that need to be cleaned/organized but I’ve got 2 main projects that I want to work on and they both probably need a day devoted to them.

First, I want to organize my kitchen. I’m lacking in counter space, so I have to be very careful where I store things. I finally just got rid of all my mismatched disposable food storage containers (I got some nice glass ones and only have 6 pieces instead of 20 or more). I’ve got dozens of cookbooks, but I think I only really use maybe 3 of them. So I need to take a day or a couple of days and go through the cookbooks and scan in the recipes I like. Then I can donate the cookbooks that I don’t need and that is a lot more storage space for me in my kitchen cabinet.

I may have gotten rid of a ton of junk storage containers, but I still have so much stuff to go through. I know I donated about 20 water bottles somewhat recently, but I just counted and I have 15 water bottles in my house. I really only use maybe 3 or 4 of them, so I need to weed through them. I also have a giant fruit bowl on my counter that I do use, but I think I could find something smaller that would do just as great of a job.

I don’t want to spend a ton of money organizing my kitchen, but I know that a couple of things will need to be bought and I need to figure out exactly what I’m in need of or what I could use to make the tiny kitchen space more manageable. My main goal is to make my kitchen a place that makes me happy and motivated to keep cooking in there.

The second place that I’m in serious need of organizing is my desk. Most of my desk is technically organized, but there’s so much stuff piled up everywhere that you can’t see the organized areas! Part of the problem is that while I’m working on a project, things get piled on my printer or on my filing cabinet. I try to toss them out when the project is done, but that doesn’t always happen. Fortunately, this project will be more throwing out things than reorganizing, so it should be easier than the kitchen project I want to do.

I’m really working on making my space the best it can be for me. I need things to be functional and motivating at the same time. I need to have a ton of things within reach, but not cluttered on top of each other. I know that this is probably just normal maintenance or “spring cleaning” type work. But until I took a step back and realized how my disorganized spaces were causing issues for me, I didn’t realize how badly I needed to revamp my system.

A Major Cleanup (or Saying Goodbye To The Old Me)

A long time ago, I wrote about how I was having issues getting rid of my old clothes. Every single thing in those under bed storage bags had sentimental value to me. There were dresses that I loved, the perfect jeans that I found and bought in every color (it’s not easy finding jeans), and fun clothes that I got as gifts over the years.

I’ve always figured that if I got down to those sizes again, I’ll pull the clothes out of the bag and wear them again. But that post about not getting rid of my clothes was over 3 years ago. I’ve been holding on to those clothes for over 6 years. I don’t have a ton of storage space, but since they were kept under my bed I didn’t think too much about it.

But the other day I just got fed up. I don’t need to keep reminders of who I was when I was at my skinniest. So I took an afternoon, opened up the bags, and started sorting things out.

There were some things that I knew I wouldn’t get rid of. Those included my high school prom dress, my absolute favorite pair of jeans from my skinniest (but only one pair), 2 designer dresses that I got at a discount store and had tailored to fit, and a workout jacket that I love. But almost everything else in those bags I felt could go. I don’t care about a lot of the shirts and sweaters I had been storing. I don’t need to have jeans in every size. So many things aren’t really in fashion right now. And it’s not just that. When I lose weight, I might lose it in a different way so even if I got down to that size again I wouldn’t necessarily fit into those pieces.

After going through my under bed storage and closet (I had a couple of things in there that I didn’t need to keep), I moved on to my entry closet where I keep coats, shoes, and purses. I wasn’t going to get rid of any shoes (I had done that lately and while I have more shoes than some, I don’t have a ton). I got rid of some hoodies that I got at old day jobs and a jacket that I got on clearance but never really loved.

And I seriously had too many purses. I pulled out some of the fancier ones and I have friends who are going to trade me or buy them from me. But I had a lot of purses that I got at a cheap store to wear with a particular outfit and never used the purse again. Or they were so small that they weren’t really ever used because I couldn’t put my phone in there. Like the clothes, there were some purses that were kept for pure sentimental value. I have one designer purse that my grandma gave to me after she heard me say how much I’d love to own one one day (she had the purse and never used it). But I probably pulled 10 purses out of my closet to donate.

In the end, I had 4 very full bags of clothes and purses to donate to people who could really use and need them.

Clothes Donations

It felt so good to get all that stuff out of my house. I don’t miss them at all and things feel less cluttered than they did before. And I’ve rediscovered some clothes and purses that I had forgotten about because they were buried under all the other stuff.

After getting rid of all those clothes and purses, I also felt inspired to work on clearing out my fridge, freezer, and pantry. I’ve bought food that I felt that I should eat. I had some frozen fish, different veggie patties, and other quick meal things. I never ate any of them because they don’t taste good to me. There’s no need for me to keep healthy food in my house that I don’t eat. So a friend of mine took the perishable food from me and I donated the non-perishable stuff. I didn’t replace it with unhealthy things, but I wanted my healthy choices to make me happy and not make me feel guilty that I should eat them. My healthy options don’t have to match everyone else’s.

I probably spent a good chunk of my afternoon and evening cleaning out things from my house, but it feels so amazing now that it’s done. My clothes are only things that I wear now and make me happy. And my fridge and freezer doesn’t make me feel horrible when I’m looking for something to eat and nothing seems good to me. I’m making my house make me happy, and it’s working and I feel the results from that already.

Fall Cleaning (or Making My Workplace Spotless)

I’ve always tried to keep a clean house. I do my laundry weekly, vacuum at least weekly (now that I have a vacuum again), and seem to dust and wipe down various surfaces in my house a hundred times a day.

The one place that hasn’t been super clean has been my desk. It’s not dirty, but until recently it never looked that dirty.

But now that I’m working at my desk and computer a good portion of the day 5 days a week, I’ve noticed that things have gotten a little grimy.

The one positive about being chained to my desk so many hours a day is that now I’ve cut down my computer time to only be when I’m working and then again in the evening (which is when I typically write my posts).

The bad thing is that I’m noticing the grime more and more since I have to stare at it for so long.

One day after work I searched online for how to clean the body of my laptop (I have a MacBook Pro). There were a ton of posts that came up and most had one thing in common.

They said to use a Magic Eraser.

I don’t own Magic Erasers so I went to the store to get one and see if this trick worked (and hoped it wouldn’t ruin my laptop).

It was pretty simple. Wet the Magic Eraser and then wring out most of the water. You want it to be damp and not dripping.

Then you can start cleaning. I first shut down my laptop and disconnected the power source (most websites didn’t suggest this but it seemed like common sense to me). Then I gently wiped the body of my laptop with the Magic Eraser.

It totally lived up to its name!

No joke, it was only a minute before my laptop looked clean again.

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And it worked so well, I cleaned the grime off my desk quickly too!

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I know I sound like a commercial for Magic Eraser. I swear I’m not. I’m just impressed at a product that really cleaned well and easily and figured that some of you might want to know how to de-grime a laptop too.

Now I have another weekly cleaning task to add to my list.

Spring Cleaning (or Feeling Pampered)

I recently got a promo code for 2 hours of free house cleaning from Handybook. I’ve never had my house professionally cleaned, so I figured I should totally take advantage of this!

I scheduled my cleaning to be yesterday after I would be done making calls for my recruiting job. And the timing of it worked out really well.

Just as I was wrapping up my work, the cleaner was at my door! And to make this review a bit simpler to read, I’m going to section it out into the pros and cons of the cleaning.

Pros:

My house is super clean now! While I always have kept a clean house, I’ll admit that I could do better. All my floors were scrubbed and I’ll admit that my kitchen and bathroom have never looked better. Also, the woman who came to clean my house was really cool and I didn’t feel like I was in her way too often (more to come about that in the cons section). If I had to work while my house was cleaned, it totally would have been possible (except while she vacuumed). I thought that I would have to almost leave my house to get it cleaned, and I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to be on my computer or reading the entire time.

Cons:

While my house is super clean, there are a few things that were missed that I think should have been done. My desk, bookcase, and dresser were not dusted at all. Not that she missed sections, she missed the entire pieces of furniture. Maybe she ran out of time (although she was here for 3 hours when it was supposed to only be 2), or maybe she didn’t notice the dust on those pieces. I just felt that was kind of weird. Also, and this con is about me more than the service, I felt weird just sitting in my house while someone cleaned. I almost felt like I should be helping. But I tried to relax and get other work done while she was cleaning and that helped a bit.

Overall, I’m so glad that I had my house cleaned. I’m really considering doing this once or twice a year just to get my house to a baseline of being clean so my maintenance cleaning is easier. It’s not the cheapest thing to do, but if I don’t do this all the time, I’m sure I can fit it into my budget. This has also inspired me to do better on my own housekeeping. Everything looks so great and I want it to stay this way!

If you’d like to check out Handybook (they also have a handyman service you can use), I’ve got a promo code for all my blog readers to get $25 off either the housekeeping or handyman service! Just use promo code “jen9709” on the checkout page to get your $25 off!

Quick Update: After the cleaning yesterday I got a text from Handybook asking how I liked my service. I was honest and said that I felt some parts of my house were missed. I heard back today from Handybook that they are crediting my account 1 hour of free housecleaning because I wasn’t satisfied with the service. That makes Handybook an even better service in my mind now that I know how much they care about keeping their customers happy.

Getting Rid Of Extras (or Cleaning House)

I live in a pretty small house (it’s about 400 square feet). When I moved into the house over 3 years ago, I was coming from a 2 bedroom apartment that I had shared with roommates that was about 3-4 times the size. So I did a lot of downsizing before I even moved in.

But as I think everyone does, as I’ve lived here, I’ve collected a lot of stuff. Some of it is amazing (like artwork and furniture that makes living in a small space feel more homey). But a lot of the stuff I’ve collected is just stuff. So this weekend, I spent some time getting rid of things that I didn’t need anymore.

I started with my shoes, since I have so many. With the exception of specialty shoes such as my hiking shoes, any shoes that I haven’t worn in 1 year are gone now. Most of the shoes that I got rid of were sandals that used to be comfortable and aren’t now or shoes that no longer fit. I managed to get rid of 4 pairs.

Next, I went to purses. I followed the same rule as my shoes. I took out 5 purses and still have a bunch that I’m debating about. I tend to use one purse all the time until it starts to fall apart. I have a couple of special occasion purses and one that my grandma gave to me that I will keep no matter what, but there are a couple of purses that I’ve used within a year but I question if I’ll use them again.

While I was on my cleaning streak, I also decided to clean my email. We all get emails all the time that we just trash immediately. So I went through the trash mailbox on my email, and I unsubscribed to a ton of things. I lost count after 20, but at least now I won’t have as many emails to deal with on a daily basis.

I didn’t get to my kitchen yet, but that is next on my list. I know I have at least 7 or 8 reusable water bottles. I should be able to survive with just 2 or 3. I also have other kitchen gadgets that I don’t use that often and I want to find a place to store them so I don’t have to take up room in my kitchen.

There are several more projects that I want to do with cleaning up my house. My closet is something I’d like to tackle but I know it will be hard. I have a lot of clothes, mainly because when I find something that fits and is cute, I don’t want to get rid of it. It’s not easy shopping for me. But I’d really like to try to get rid of some things (and use GwynnieBee to supplement my wardrobe).

This project will take several more weekends (mainly because of the sentimental value of the other things I’m trying to clean out). But hopefully in the end, my house will seem less cluttered (and easier to clean as well).

Is It Too Early To Be Spring Cleaning? (or Out With The Unused)

I’m been on a bit of a cleaning spree lately. I don’t keep a messy house, but when you live in a place that is about 400 square feet, it always seems like I have a lot of stuff.

I’m always jealous when I go visit my friends with big apartments and the amount of open space that they have. Everything looks so much cleaner that way. No matter how much I clean, my house always seems a bit crowded just due to the lack of space.

So I’ve been working on going through my things and trying to make some more space in my house (and no Mom, I’m not just cleaning because you are coming to visit soon).

I still can’t seem to get rid of my old clothes, but since those live under my bed I’ve decided that they can stay for now. And most of the clothes in my closet are things that I wear. If I haven’t worn them in a year, they go, but I don’t have anything like that right now.

I’m slowly going through my purses and shoes. I know that there are plenty of things I can get rid of. I donated 3 bags of things, which included some shoes and purses, but I know there is more that can go.

The one thing that I’ve been struggling with getting rid of are my books. I have an e-reader that I use 99% of the time and I hardly ever read an actual book. There are some books that are signed or are very special to me that I will keep no matter what, but I can’t seem to get rid of the others yet. I think that I just have to take the plunge and empty my bookcase out (and then I can use it for other things).

I think part of the reason I’m cleaning like crazy is the less cluttered my mind feels the less cluttered I want my house to be. I’m finally having some clarity in my life and I want that to reflect in my house too.

And yes, maybe I do want my mom to be extra impressed when she sees my house in 2 weeks.