Thursday, May 14, 2009

Throw Away Thursday

One reason FlyLady doesn't work for someone like me, is because my days do not conform to cookie cutter perfection and predictability. Case in point: Yesterday we had to put our beloved 16 year old dog down, and after prying my precious, heartbroken nine year old daughter off of him, the day just got harder. My son's way of coping was to try and keep some normalcy, and to check on his sister often. He delved into his chores, not because I've embedded my OCD into his impressionable mind, but because he wanted to help. Aside from that, I didn't do much of anything, and I don't feel bad. I'm not staring at a blank checklist, and I'm not behind. I put cleaning in its place and took care of my kids.

But today is a new day, and since waking with a headache that feels like Mt. Vesuvius erupted inside it, I have done the following, as I strode from the bedroom to the computer:

*Made the bed the instant my feet hit the ground. Try it. It's such an eye-pleasing way to start the day, and it takes three minutes.

*As I mentioned, our dryer broke, and I had to cancel the repairman yesterday because of our dog, so this morning I had to find new, innovative, and frankly, Amish ways in which to manage laundry with no dryer, and an intense aversion to a) clothes and sheets hanging everywhere, and b) crunchy towels. Yeah, you can bet your ass they're all going into the dryer when the guy gets here later.

*Did all the dishes that accumulated while I tended to my kids yesterday, which, as Jacob and I have said before, means scouring the sink and wiping down all surfaces. (Is anyone starting to feel how putting in that extra three minutes keeps the chaos under control? If so, please share your example(s) in comments.)

*Cleared off the counter, which, as you saw in my post the other day, my family thinks is a junk drawer. Grrr...

*Took meds, ate, started tea. I realize this isn't cleaning, but it speaks to the importance of routine.

*Got a load of delicates in, since they, like all my laundry, must hang dry anyway.

You know, it is worth saying that I had no idea what to expect when I launched this blog. But I know this, you guys have so exceeded any notions I had about your capabilities. You're tackling these challenges with gusto, often doing even more than I've asked, you're sharing tips with each other, supporting each other, you're commenting so that our Moxieteam gathers the steam it needs in order to give you all a new, realistic, understanding that a few extra minutes here and there can prevent you from getting to that point wherein you call for a wrecking ball. I've said it before, but I'm proud of my Moxlings. :)


*I feel there is a laundry lull today, and since you lucky bitches have dryers, I want you to get all your laundry caught up. For reals. If you can't intuit or hear when your cycles change, set a timer, and keep it going. Later tonight, or even in the morning, baskets or a couch full of clean laundry will feel so much better than heading into your weekend 75 loads behind. No excuses ladies, you owe it to your poor dryerless commander. Anyone who gets this done and gets it all folded before bedtime, text me a picture (503) 910-9546, and I will enter you twice as well as post your achievement in my next post and you'll be famous!

*Dishes dishes dishes. Yep, I know you just did them last night, and maybe this morning. I will keep pushing it until it becomes second nature to keep the pile as low as you can, wiping down surfaces, making the most of those 3-5 minutes without even thinking about it. You all spend ten million more minutes stressing your house than it would ever take to tame that beast. That's why I'm here. I want pictures of sparkling sinks. Do them all now, soaking whatever pans you need to, and then once again later, when the pans are more amenable to being scrubbed.

*This one's exciting and easy. I want you all to take two garbage bags and carry them throughout the house, filling one with garbage, and I want to stress a liberal use of the word garbage. In the other bag, put things that may be of use to someone else, for a swap, your best friend, Goodwill (though I prefer Simonka House women and children's shelter), etc. This means, toys, clothes, books (SAM!), knickknack paddywhack bullshit you know you are not using. Sentimental yet useless things, things your mother-in-law gave you that you hate but worry she'll ask about it when she visits. Everything. Two bags. Full. I want to see them. Tell us the thing you are most proud to have tossed. Go into every room, and DO NOT ask your kids' permission for chrissake. Plug them into the tv, DSs, whatever. Two bags. I will pick up any bags you wish to donate, lest they clutter your home and defeat my entire purpose, which is to make you feel at ease there.

*Finally, floors. We're neglecting them. They're crying out. You've been averting your gaze. It's the moment of reckoning. I want all non-carpeted floors swept and either mopped or spot-checked. This is mandatory. I also want you to vacuum carpeted areas. If you have stairs, sweep the shit down, and clean the bottom afterward.

That's it for everyone but Jacob, whose sink is whistling Dixie, whose surfaces project your reflection back at you, whose entire house would frankly, never give my house the time of day, except that Jacob wouldn't allow his house to have bad manners. Okay J, here are five ideas, pick three:

*Pull your sofas and chairs out and sweep/mop behind them, which is sure to lead to a thrilling, sweaty sweep-a-thon.

*Clean the streaks off the inside of your front door.

*Organize one cupboard that has been bothering you, whether it's home to appliances, crystal, whatever.

*Um, take now-irrelevant pictures off the refrigerator? (Is that okay to say? I meant no harm I promise.)

*If you can do this one, I will enter your name five times. Fill a garbage bag by any means other than dumping your actual garbage into it.

Can I just share something that has been ruining my life for like eight months? So, my kids don't eat, everyone knows. They subsist on one late afternoon meal, like snakes. So late last year when they suddenly began asking for waffles, naturally Todd bought 40 Costco boxes, and this silo of syrup. Two problems: One, they stopped eating waffles within two days. Two, in those two days, they lost the lid, so this is our meth-house solution, which I have to see every time I open the refrigerator. The one or two times I have rebelled against allergies and had waffles, I've had to wriggle this disgusting baggie that should not be sticky but is, off. I really want to throw the syrup away but Todd will know, and he does not take kindly to waste. Can someone tell me why the baggie gets sticky if no one's touching it? Also, would anyone mind if I just went to Costco and stole the cap off a new silo? Sigh.

Okay guys, it's go time. I want pictures, I want comments, I want success, I want you smiling. And for those who have asked, no, you don't get weekends off. God may have taken a day of rest, but I don't think heaven gets very dirty.


  1. Dishes are done, Laundry is caught up ('cause I don't have children), Floors were cleaned yesterday and still are ('cause I don't have children) I will, however, Vacuum the carpets today (which I usually do alternately on days when I do not sweep and/or mop/spot clean, so it never feels like a full day of cleaning.)

    As for my other tasks:
    *Pull your sofas and chairs out and sweep/mop behind them, which is sure to lead to a thrilling, sweaty sweep-a-thon. (did this yesterday, check!)

    *Clean the streaks off the inside of your front door. (did this yesterday, check! god bless you magic eraser!)

    *Organize one cupboard that has been bothering you...(I hate you, you bitch, you have found my weak spot...sigh (bows head in shame)...I will tackle one or more while my ginger blueberry granola bakes in the oven) =)

    *Um, take now-irrelevant pictures off the refrigerator? (jen did that this weekend already, and thank god, they were irrelevant AND unflattering. Check!)

    *Fill a garbage bag by any means other than dumping your actual garbage into it.(For someone like me who hoards beautiful, beautiful junk, a garbage bag full is, one, much easier to come up with than you would think, and two horrifying to think about...stay away from my glorious junk, or I'll cut 'chu... =)... but I will do my best.)

    I can testify that including a quick clean of the sink (which also involves a wipe down/polish of the sink fixtures with a hand towel) and a one minute wipe down of the kitchen counters/surfaces as a part of doinginsp the dishes makes the kitchen so much more enjoyable and user friendly throughout the day, relieves the psychic burden, and really prevents you from/minimizes ever having to do the dreaded hour or more long kitchen clean-a-thon. It's just an extra minute or two here and there.

    My cleaning song of the day: "Boom Boom Pow" from the Black Eyed Peas

  2. I heard this tip that rubbing faucets and stainless steel sinks with mineral oil will repel water spots. Anyone know if this is true?

    I really do need to get with the program and add music to my routine.

  3. As the syrup is getting lower and Todd is not one for waste how about just transferring to another container????

  4. also wanted to say, that for those that don't want to make the drive out to Simonka house to donate usable items you can also donate to Union Gospel Mission because the local crisis center gives vouchers to clients to use at UGM

  5. Dryerless temporarily?! Ooooh I am so jealous that you actually have a dryer to repair! It took me 2 years living in England to finally own a dryer....then last year it one wouldn't fit into my new place and hence went the dryer. I've moved with room but we have not yet a dryer to our name. So I am the master of hang drying everything on air dryers (I have 2) and radiator hooks for optimum drying capacity. Not to mention the clothes rail outside in my back garden (standard English household item) oooh I should post pics for you :) It is not common for people in the UK to even own a dryer... I only have one friend who does.
    I didn't let tiredness get the better of me today, I cleaned, scrubbed, vaccumed and took an old toothbrush to the shower....oh yeah baby I've earned a coffee. x

  6. omg. I just typed out a whole post and the damn thing disappeared. Blogger is starting to irritate me. No handy spell check in the comment window, can't copy/paste, can't use the arrows to navigate... ARGH!

    I'll repost my progress later.

  7. Haven't climbed on the bandwagon yet (although I'm getting close!), but am I the only one in the universe left who *prefers* crunchy, sun-dried towels?!

  8. 'cause I don't have children made me literally laugh out loud

  9. Fwew!

    I took your challenge to reorganize one of my cabinets, and it felt so good, I just went ahead and redid all of my upper cabinets. I took everything out, scrubbed the cabinets down, disinfected, weeded out a lot of unused stuff, consolidated packages, and found some more logical homes for some of the stuff, and the organized and put everything back in. It feels great! I don't have a full bag of stuff yet, but I do have a medium box full, and with some collaboration from Jen, I am hoping to weed some more out by the end of the evening.

    Hooray for me! (pats self on back) =)

  10. 1. Completely reorganized our toiletries/linens closet that also contains our "junk" section and overflow movies from our movie cabinet. I was able to completely clear off 2 shelves making it possible to move the sewing supplies from my bedroom closet and games from the entry closet. I literally halved our movie collection and have 2 boxes full of movies waiting to go. I also managed to fill half a garbage bag throwing away toiletries that I haven't touched in the last 6 months.

    2. Put a dresser in dd's closet, moved her clothes from the larger dresser and then moved all of dh's closet out of the larger dresser and it will be going to the garage shortly.

    3. Dusted the living room and most of the office.

    4. Went through my entire closet and now have almost 2 garbage bags full of clothes to get rid of.

    5. We also managed to clear a space in the office to put in an elliptical trainer.

    6. Completely cleared the entry closet of stuff and either threw it away or found new homes for it. It will now become my work closet and will house my midwifery/childbirth education/breastfeeding supplies mwahahaha.

  11. I was away from home most of the day but after Shawn got home I did run some loads of laundry, unpacked 4 boxes, and folded laundry. I was way too tired to do more.

  12. Not sure how good my recall from yesterday will be, let's see... Got off work, picked up kids, stopped home briefly to pee and change son into basketball uniform and started dishwasher before walking out the door. Went to TacoHell for dinner, practice, home, showered smelly kid, fed little girl a snack and before homework started I spot cleaned my kitchen floor, including a really nasty spill in my garbage closet that has been there for months and months and that every time I open the door I worry will be swarming with ants. Unloaded dishwasher (including hand drying my dishes which I usually just leave in there until they air dry. Reload the measly dishes in my sink that come from not grocery shopping nor cooking in about a month. Put away straggling dishes in my dish strainer, wiped down sink. I kicked myself for not putting away the laundry I folded yesterday morning when I found it thrown on the floor by my princess.