I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Welcome to the Clean Home Carnival!!!

Hi everyone! Welcome to JulieMom's first ever Clean Home Carnival! I'm glad you've decided to stop in, whether you're posting something or not. It's good for us to see what others are doing and gain some motivation to do it ourselves! And when we cheer each other on, it only makes the victory over mess and clutter that much sweeter.

I know at times we can all get overwhelmed with things in life, and we let certain areas (or the whole house!) slide in the process. But we shouldn't stay that way. It's easier said than done for some people. However...

I am an organized person by nature. I am the one my friends call (well, before we moved across the ocean) to come and help them clean out their garages, or attics, or play rooms. Right WendyMom? It's just natural for me to organize. I even (should I admit this?) re-stack and organize the dishes before I wash them. To me, if the sink is full, it should at least look neat! And, my internet bookmarks are all in folders, alphabetized, and the list of items within each folder alphabetized. I know. I can't help it!

Well, there wasn't a huge area in my house that was dying to be cleaned, because I had determined several weeks ago that I was going to do the things God intended me to do, and I was going to do them well. This included, but was not limited to, keeping my home clean, making it a place the Prince wanted to be. After all, he is a busy man and it's only right he not sigh every time he comes in the door because he has to step over something again.

So- I looked around the house and thought "What can I do better? What areas would benefit from a little face lift?" And I found my answers: the fridge, the chest freezer, and cabinets.

Let's get right into it ok? My fridge was dirty. Unorganized.
I don't mean a little crumbs here and there, I mean stains in the drawers- from what I could not tell you, and stains under the drawers. Ew.
Major crumbs (even in the egg holder area!) and just plain messy. So I fixed it.
This is my little vacuum. Love that thing.
Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and I worked for OVER AN HOUR cleaning out this fridge. We pulled out the shelves, scrubbed them, wiped out every nook and cranny with fridge wipies, and now- now, it is a masterpiece. Voila!
[tears up] Isn't it a thing of beauty? And I vow it will stay this way. So much easier to maintain than haul everything out once in a blue moon and give it a good scrub.

Next on my list was my arch nemesis, the chest freezer. Do you own one of these? It was necessary here because when we moved, the exchange rate was so bad that it was all we could afford. (Refrigerators are usually a fridge on top and freezer on the bottom. Problem is, THAT'S TOO SMALL for a family of five. So we bought a fridge all the way down and I am saving up for its freezer twin.)

Anyway, those things can grow massive, and I mean MASSIVE amounts of ice on the sides. Did you know that? It's gross. We also bought a quarter of a cow before, because it's cheaper, and I didn't know I should transfer the meat to other bags. I also didn't know to tell them I don't want the bones and fat. EW!

So my chest freezer was growing ice like nobody's business, and there was dried, frozen blood in the bottom of it because I didn't know any better. And apparently we don't eat frozen vegetables much. Because once I started cleaning that baby out, I found no less than five bags half used and sorta open inside. EW! No more!

Here is what it looks like all cleaned out. The new bins inside are to organize the meat we are picking up on Thursday. That way, should something leak, it only gets in the bin- which is MUCH easier to clean. And the chicken will be in one place, the beef in another, etc. Even different cuts of beef will be in different bins. (I have yet to purchase all the bins I need.) Doesn't it look like a fake, showroom freezer? Oh yeah!
Not one trace of ice growth or blood inside. Go me!

The last areas to organize were the hall closet, a corner of the kitchen counter, and under the kitchen sink. These are areas that I use every day, and the way things were made me crazy.

The hall closet had a shelf FULL of odds and ends we use, but not daily. So I decided to put them in a basket. Things used to fall over when we pulled something from the back, or when the kids got a band-aid. Now things stay in place. And it looks nice. The basket on the top shelf holds all our wash cloths. MUCH better.

This pesky corner of the kitchen is home to all the chargers for cell phones, and the adapters we need to plug in various things. They used to just be in a pile there, and we had to sort through them before finding what we needed. It looked terrible, and made me nuts. With the addition of a little basket, they are no longer an eye sore!
And yes, that's one of the biscotti recipes I'll be sharing soon.

The last area to tackle was under the kitchen sink. I have a lot of rags I use to clean with, and they were just piled up under there, and would get knocked over, or other things placed on top of them, because there was no real order. I also had a bunch of cleaning supplies on the bottom shelf that acted like the stuff in the hall closet. Every time I got something out, something else would fall over. Not fun! Now, they are all contained and look great!

My whole house is now organized. There isn't one area that I feel is out of control, including the kids' closets. It's just become routine for me to make inspection every now and then, and if theirs is out of control, there are consequences. (Nothing too harsh though, don't worry.)

Baskets are my favorite thing to use to organize. I'm sure you noticed. Over all, I think I've spent about eighty dollars on them. But some are huge, and others are in the pantry and kitchen cupboards that aren't show in this post. Those are here. It's worth the investment. I like the look of wicker, but if you don't mind plastic, then go for it! The dollar store is FULL of little plastic bins that will help keep your clutter at bay.

The best advice I can give you to help you get and stay organized is : Don't be afraid to throw something away. If it's something you didn't even know you had until you cleaned and found it under the bed, or shoved in the back of a closet, you don't need it. Donate it or pitch it. Holding onto useless (meaning you don't use it- not that it couldn't be used) stuff not only makes your home a mess, it encourages attachment to things. That can be dangerous. Learn to let go, and trust me: it gets easier the more you do it.

Now it's your turn. Post to your blog about what you've been cleaning, (or what you WANT to clean) then right click the title of your post to copy the link location, then head back here and add your name in the box below. I can't wait to see your house!


  • impromptu-mom

    Mine is up!

  • Brenda

    Wow! The baskets do make a big differnce!! As soon as I get school started I'll get my post up!

    And...you make me just a little sick. There is not one single area of your home that is not organized????????? I wonder about people like you all the time. When you come back to the states, please consider the mission of my home as your next place to serve. Thank you.

  • JulieMom

    Impromptu- Great job posting!

    Brenda- If I ever go to Texas again, I promise your house is first on my stop-over list. :0) Have some baskets ready, 'k?

  • Hollinger Family

    ""my internet bookmarks are all in folders, alphabetized, and the list of items within each folder alphabetized. I know. I can't help it!"".....
    *gasp* I did this just this morning, and I thought it was just me who did these ridiculous things, lol ; glad I am not alone in my ways ;^)
    Great post!

  • Great-Granny Grandma

    Here I am! Hope it's still April 1st in your neck of the woods. (I'm not so good at the time conversion thing.) LOL

  • Megan

    My link to the story behind a clean nursery is now up. One thing at a time!

  • Megan

    Huh, I added my link yesterday but it wasn't there today. It's up again. At least, it should be!

  • Megan

    Yeesh...will this ever work right for me? The first link is to a totally random post. The SECOND link is to my Clean Home Carnival Post. Okay, back to work.

  • Great-Granny Grandma

    Just got a chance to actually read your post. I'm just so amazed at how you can keep your home so neat and organized and still juggle all the other things you do. You sound like the Proverbs woman. LOL

  • JulieMom

    Which Proverbs woman, Granny? The strange woman or the 31 woman? LOL.

    I assure I am totally NOT. Though I strive for that, I fail WAY too often to even THINK about labeling myself that. I chalk it up to genes from my mother. It's definitely NOT from my Dad. LOL.

    But thank you. :0)

  • JulieMom

    Oh and Megan- no worries. It happens to everyone at times. :0)

  • Eaglemyst

    I just wanna say, thanks for doing this Julie! We've been reorganizing for a few days now, and it's so edifying to see others doing the same.

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