A bit off topic and uncreative for a post, but it’s been on my mama-mind.
So, I’m not very domestic. SURPRISE!
Like many of us, I do feel a slight tug to domesticity. More of an “I wish/I wanna”. I pine for my home to look as tidy and organized as an IKEA catalog. I measure myself against other mamas and usually come away feeling a bit of a failure.
But let’s face it – I have two kids that mostly inherited my clothes-flinging, mess-leaving habits. And I like my time on the internet. Alot. 🙂
I’m a “clean before company” kind of girl. A closet-stasher. A “leave the empty TP roll in the basket on top of the toilet where they collect” woman. A “clean the dinner mess hours/days AFTER the meal” mama. A “leave the stickers on the floor and mop over ’em” kind of person.
I am a whole new woman when I’m nesting. Especially as a woman who chooses to birth at home. I am obsessed with getting the space organized, cleaned, decorated, painted, and ready. How can you not be? It is, after all, the place you will labor and birth in, whose counters you’ll lean against, whose toilet you’ll puke in, and whose paint and photos you’ll be staring at for hours while trying to focus on breathing down a new life.
I’ve painted and redecorated a bathroom (oddly enough, not the master), all with thrift store finds and household items I’d had.
I’ve helped Jason clean and organize the garage. I’ve watched Jason install cabinets and a counter top in our laundry room (hear the angels singing? glorious). I’ve decided to fold all my towels that tri-fold/space saving way and they are neatly tucked in my master linen closet – ready to greet a moments old new baby. We’ve hung photos and decorations (more to come). Closets have been cleaned and made orderly. I keep a decent stock of toilet paper.
The baby’s dresser is tidy and ready, stuffed with clothes and slings and wraps and cloth diapers. I’ve donated two truckloads of unneeded stuff to Goodwill. I’ve reorganized our office. I’ve told my husband “Starting in about 2 weeks, I’m gonna need your help keeping the house tidy every day until baby comes”. Because, who KNOWS when that might be? And he has been awesome at doing the dishes each night and bending over to pick up the hundredth Lego.
But, what I REALLY wanted to share with ya’ll is this. And honestly, I’m a little scared – er embarrassed – to say it. Like “Who Do I Think I Am??!” kind of embarrassed.
I’ve actually got a handle on laundry.
(Cue angels singing again)
For the first time in my life.
And it’s been almost 6 weeks since I’ve felt I’ve had it under control, so maybe I can consider that a habit?
And I’m doubly embarrassed to admit how simple my technique is. Because I’m sure all ya’ll domestic divas have been doing this for years.
Background: All of us are clothes flingers. Off our bodies and onto the floor they usually go. In the bedrooms, the bathrooms, the living rooms. Wherever. Awful. So not only was our laundry everywhere (what’s clean? what’s not?) but it also contributed to the general MESS. Also, I was horrid at putting laundry away once it was clean because there was so much of it at a time.
1) I bought a hamper (not a laundry basket, which I think is an important difference) for every room. Bathrooms included. In fact, we have a hamper on each SIDE of our bed – one for me, one for Jason. I have one in our closet (off the bathroom). The girls have one in their room and one in their bathroom – which happens to fit nicely concealed under our sink cabinet. Can I tell you that from day one THIS simple change has made a WORLD of difference? My girls actually put their clothes in the hampers! And no more clothes on the floor! And I can – omg – just pick up the hamper and toss the clothes directly into the washer. Wow. So silly. So easy. (On a side note, we installed a double hook at kid-level in their bathroom and hung their hooded towels on them so they can actually REACH to take down and hang up their towels! Why didn’t we do this years ago?)
2) Well, I’ve always done this and I admit – it’s gonna SEND some of you over the edge. I always wash whites/darks/colors together. (Gasp!) It works for me and I’ve never had a problem. Yeah, some of the t-shirts and socks get dingy and that’s why I have bleach. But, it cuts down on sorting and makes a hamper-dump SO easy. Now that I feel organized with laundry, I guess I could go the extra step to sort them. But let’s not get in over our heads, shall we?
3) Since I do all colors together, I also just leave the lid to the washer open so that I can toss in rouge towels and clothing when I pass the laundry room. Bonus!
4) Because all the laundry is contained, I now do one load every night or two. This has done two amazing things for me: I actually am inclined to put the laundry AWAY now that it’s of a manageable size. And I’m realizing how little clothing we really need, as I tend to be washing mostly the same things. That alone has inspired me to get rid of more clothing. I also have one of these garment racks on wheels so that I can hang laundry up all at once (and be in the living room with my family while I do it) and then just wheel it into my closet and transfer clothing when I’m done. Voila!
5) I told Jason I wanted to “pimp the laundry room” to help me enjoy the routine of laundry more. So, step one was cabinets and a countertop and the next step will be paint, a hanging rod above the countertops, and some fun hooks (we do have knobs for the doors but haven’t installed them yet). With the new laundry room cabinets and countertop, I feel like freakin’ royalty. And these were totally budget friendly.
My creative husband used a trick he’s done before on other home projects – purchased IKEA “over the fridge” cabinets. So, they are extra deep (but not tall). The countertop and cabinet doors are actually the cheapest you can purchase at IKEA. You can see from the photo that he hung them floating and installed the counter on top of them. I actually haven’t had the opportunity to put anything in them yet (i.e. organize) but the great thing is that they fit laundry baskets inside. So, I stash empty baskets in there to use in the event we need to toss any misc. dirty laundry into them and those baskets stay hidden. And the countertop can then always be clean and free to use for folding.
That’s it. See, not much to it but it feels oh so good. And frankly, the whole laundry routine takes me WAY less time now then it did before.
Laundry is kind of, almost…(gulp)…a joy now!?
Wait, do I have illusions that I’ll continue to be so organized with laundry? Nah. Reality check is that I’ll have a newborn and all that comes with it. But I feel I’ve got a handle on it at least, that my husband knows the routine, and that my girls have finally been coaxed out of their clothes-flinging habits.
♥ ♥ ♥ So, please share with me your BEST household (EASY) tips. I’d love to get a handle on other things in my house. ♥ ♥ ♥