Over the holidays I’ve been wonderfully lazy with regards to household chores. I don’t think I’ve done anything much besides hoovering, really. I usually spread my cleaning over the week, a bit every day, but I was absolutely lacking the will to do any of it.
So I waited. It’s only just January, almost still Christmas..
But it is that time of year, and this week the clear-out mojo returned.
When we moved here, last spring, we downsized a lot. We sold a lot of things, gave away, recycled. Simplified. It was good. But as it is with the process of simplifying, it is a process. And it seems like it is time to invest a little love and work again.
I made a long, long list of all the things I could think of that needed to be sorted, cleaned or organised, one room at a time. Some of them are little jobs, some of them will take longer. And as it is when you have little people ‘helping’ you, this is a process that will take some time.
We started with the bathroom (smallest room = instant gratification). Kaya turned up for the job in his painting trousers (a little short by now, as they are from two moves ago, but indispensable on days like these) and a builder’s hat. He tucked the window cleaner bottle into his belt and was off to do “dusting”.
One deep clean later, and everyone feels something has been achieved already. I only wish the rest of the house would sort itself as quickly as this.
The next day I made a start on the kitchen. I like re-organising our pantry. Taking everything out and cleaning the shelves – which prompted Batu to empty the bread bin and chuck all of our bread into the happy mix.
Checking use-by dates, grouping foods together… I am well aware that with two little people who love to use said foods to play shop, the days of my ordered pantry are numbered. But I’ll do my best to maintain a bit of structure.
I made a list and taped to the inside of the door. Last time I didn’t really keep it up to date afterwards, and I’ll see how it goes this time. I put a star on the foods that need to be used up soon. So if any of you have a favourite recipe using semolina, barley flour, and evaporated milk (no idea what I bought this for… pumpkin pie??), please do share. It doesn’t have to be all in one recipe!
And speaking of recipes, please do tell if you have a favourite recipe folder or book. How do you organise your recipes? My folder exploded a long, long time ago, and I’ve been putting the re-organisation off, fishing out single pages when I’m lucky enough to find what I am looking for.
This time I will do the whole kitchen before moving on to the next room. That way I can’t get out of doing the oven until… well… when did I last clean an oven? Hmmm..
In any case, I am feeling positive about this clear-out thing. I am confident we will even find the baby’s missing slipper, which I know is hiding in this house somewhere, and at the end of this I will know everything that is anywhere in this house at all.
I signed up for a charity 2nd hand sale, which gives me a few weeks to go through the children’s clothes and toys. Once you’re on a simplifying roll, there is no escape.
Do you get clear-out urges? Do you have a big spring clean once a year, or is it ongoing in your home?
I’ll be sharing a bit more about organisation and clearing out as I go along, that way I also feel like I am holding myself accountable to make some progress.
And if you are looking for something to get you into the clear-out spirit, I shall recommend this book again.