Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tidy Up Thursday

No, wait; before you decide not to even bother reading this… give it a shot! Try to have an open mind...

Let me be the first to admit – I am not a fan of cleaning. Oh, I always feel wonderful when my home is shiny, tidy and everything is organized and in place. Let’s see… that was back in 1980-something???? Truth be told, when the mood hits me, I feel great about organizing my household. But cleaning, well, let’s just say a maid service is definitely on my “Please Santa May I Have” list! I remember reading somewhere that Old Hollywood movie star Ingrid Bergman loved to clean. I also know some women who, when stressed, go on a cleaning rampage around the house. Anyone who wants to get out their stress, let me just say I would gladly be willing to give you the opportunity to work that out at my place! I know – it’s a remarkably large gesture of love on my part, but hey, I’m there for you, sister wild woman!

Especially with the holidays coming up, our stress levels skyrocket when we think of people coming over to our homes. We imagine them sneaking their little white gloves on and testing our shelves to see if we’ve properly dusted. Are you kidding me? Hey, if I can’t see the top of it, then it doesn’t need to be dusted! You pray they won’t snoop into your bathroom closets to see an unorganized mess. Well, girls, here’s a little trick I learned about curing “Nosy Aunt Mable” on that one – fill a cup with marbles and tilt it forward then slam the medicine cabinet mirror shut. Anyone who decides to snoop will be found out with a LOUD CLATTERING!!! I know, a sneaky move… but VERY effective! Just make sure Aunt Mable isn’t wearing a pacemaker, as we don’t need the “CALL 911” drama!!!

Like any other project, you need to think of it in little bits of manageable time and effort. For example, I’ve mentioned before about setting your kitchen timer for 15 minutes and going gangbusters on one little project. Then, it’s done, and you’ve begun the task. It feels good, and it’s not overwhelming. So let’s think of cleaning in the same way.

My favorite site for cleaning is That’s where the 15-minute timer idea came from, as well as one of my all-time favorite cleaning tips. At night before you go to bed, clean your sink until it shines. It sounds really strange at first (oh, there she goes again, going all “Donna Reed” on us), but it is amazing how great you feel in the morning, coming down to an empty, gleaming sink instead of a icky, sticky, “aren’t those dishes from last week” monster that just screams GROSS at you before you’ve even had a chance to take your first sip of coffee? She has lots of tips and ideas for cleaning, organizing and just making life less cluttered.

Another two sites have helped me – one is, and the sister holiday site They help you plan, organize and get better control over your home and holidays. Now sometimes any of these sites may get a little too enthusiastic for your taste, but just be open-minded and use what works for you. You don’t have to follow everything to the letter. Just pick out a couple of ideas that are manageable/workable for you. Begin with baby steps. Incorporate one idea a day into your routine. If only one or two ideas work, great – all the better to work down that stress level little by little. Do what you can with what you have. As my friend Karla’s tat says, “It is what it is!” One of my favorite sayings!

So exercise those cleaning and organizing muscles, grab your Swiffer, and get started one dust bunny at a time (and you can always adopt the others and name them). Remember to keep your sense of humor and have fun with it!


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