Category Archives: Housework

CLOSED

I’ve been getting notifications that people are subscribing to Diary of a Domestic Goddess, but as I mentioned in my previous post, I’m no longer using this blog. Not using it at all. There won’t be any more posts here, so there’s no point in subscribing.

Instead, why not pop along to my NEW blog, where I AM posting. Pretty much daily. Honestly, it’s a great blog, you should go visit it. And maybe subscribe to THAT one instead. You can find it here:

Kincavel Korner

The Domestic Goddess Goes All-Out…

The olds (1)  are coming up to visit for the long weekend (2), so, as they’ll be arriving tomorrow around tea-time, today and tomorrow will be busy days. They’ll be even busier because I was working the last three days and we have plans tomorrow lunchtime with friends – phew! I’ve been kept on my toes with a hectic schedule…

So far today, I have:

  • Cleaned the bathroom
  • Cleaned the kitchen
  • Stripped the beds (Dale made them up again for me)
  • Gone into town to pay bills
  • Taken Xan on an outing to the airport (to watch the aeroplanes and helicopters) and to the woods (for a nice, tiring walk)
  • Made a batch of lemon burst cupcakes (3)
  • Made cheese scones in the oven to cook (4)

Today, I still have to:

  • Pop the spiced honey tea loaf in the oven (5)
  • Cook the potatoes and lightly fry the onions for the meat and potato pie (6)
  • Ice the cupcakes once they’re cool (with lemon buttercream frosting)
  • Do prep for our picnic tomorrow

Tomorrow, I will:

  • Vacuum the entire flat
  • Make the meat and potato pie
  • Go for a picnic and playdate with friends
  • Collapse in a heap just as The Olds arrive!

As I plan to make sushi for my picnic lunch tomorrow (7), I’ll probably  do that tonight too, to save me doing it in the morning. I’m pretty certain that I’m forgetting some things that desperately need to be done, but no doubt I’ll remember at the last second and almost give myself a stroke when I realise everyone will arrive in five minutes and the job will take half an hour at least.

I think I deserve to sit and watch a film while I do some stitching this evening, and put my feet up with a nice, hot cup of tea.

Sometimes it’s hard work being a Domestic Goddess!

(1) My Mam and Step-Dad.
(2) Because of the Royal Wedding, we have a four-day weekend and they thought it would be a good idea to take advantage of it.
(3) These are now cooling.
(4) These are currently baking.
(5) I made the tea this morning and soaked the dried mixed fruit all day so I just had to add the rest of the ingredients.
(6) The potatoes are now in the steamer and I’ll fry up the onions once they’re almost done.
(7) Every now and then I just really, really fancy having sushi! I don’t like it with raw fish, though, so I use tinned tuna and vegetables instead…

Schedule: Week Commencing 30 November 2009

As part of being a FlyBaby, I’ve allocated different tasks to different days of the week. In addition to the tasks that I do on specific days every week, each week also focuses on a different zone in the home – this week it’s the living room and Xander’s room – so there will be additional tasks for that room too. I’ll take great satisfaction in ticking all these off my list!

This week, my schedule looks like this (these are in addition to my daily “routines”) split into three categories of tasks – “general” (tasks I do on this day every week), “specific” (tasks that are specific to this particular day) and “zone” (tasks relating to the focus zone for this week).

DAY GENERAL SPECIFIC ZONE
MON 30/11 * Change bedding
* Clear out bag and wallet
* Defrost bacon
* Prep for broth
* Clean living room window and sill
TUE 1/12 * Water plants
* ERRAND DAY
* Set up slow cooker (broth)
* Make peanut brittle
* Write international Xmas cards
* Clean sofa
* Wipe TV and TV unit
WED 2/12 * Empty all bins * Defrost sausage casserole
* Bake ginger snaps
* Soak fruit for tea loaf
* Lay out Xander’s record book
* Polish fireplace
* Wipe mantelpiece and photos
* Scrub Xander’s chair
THU 3/12 * Clean bathroom mirror
* Clean shower screen
* Mop kitchen and bathroom floors
* Bake tea loaf
* Take Xander to get weighed (morning)
* Friends round for coffee (aftrernoon)
* Clean Xander’s window and sill
FRI 4/12 * Paper purge
* ERRAND DAY
* Defrost turkey breast strips
* Post international Xmas cards
* Write UK (to post) Xmas cards
* Clean and tidy Xander’s bookcase
SAT 5/12 * Clean fridge
* Plan menus
* Grocery list
* Defrost 2 portions mince
* Bake chocolate cookies
* Tidy under-bed drawer
SUN 6/12 * Check grocery list
* Grocery shopping
* Vacuum whole flat
* Write UK (local) Xmas cards

Schedule: Week Commencing 26 October 2009

schedule

As part of being a FlyBaby, I’ve allocated different tasks to different days of the week. In addition to the tasks that I do on specific days every week, each week also focuses on a different zone in the home – this week it’s the living room – so there will be additional tasks for that room too. I’ll take great satisfaction in ticking all these off my list!

This week, my schedule looks like this (these are in addition to my daily “routines”) split into three categories of tasks  – “general” (tasks I do on this day every week), “specific” (tasks that are specific to this particular day) and “zone” (tasks relating to the focus zone for this week).

DAY GENERAL SPECIFIC ZONE
MON 26/10 * Change bedding

* Clear out bag and wallet

* Clean window and sill

* Dust bookcase and straighten books

TUE 27/10 * Water plants * Tidy craft corner

* Clean sofa

WED 28/10 * Empty all bins

* ERRAND DAY

* Defrost mince

* Take donation items to charity shop

* Take Book Crossing books to Belmont

* Wipe mantelpiece and pictures

* Polish fireplace

THU 29/10 * Clean bathroom mirror

* Clean shower screen

* Mop kitchen and bathroom floors

* Tidy out TV unit

* Wipe down TV and TV unit

FRI 30/10 * Paper purge

* ERRAND DAY

* Post Kirsty’s birthday card

* Pick up cross stitch magazines

* Defrost turkey breast strips

* Vacuum living room

* Vacuum Xander’s playpen

* Scrub down Xander’s high chair

SAT 31/10 * Clean fridge

* Plan menus

* Write grocery list

* Kerry’s birthday night out * Tidy coffee table drawer

* Polish coffee table

SUN 01/11 * Check grocery list

* Grocery shopping

* Vacuum whole flat

* Sort through Xander’s small toy box

Wardrobe Purge

091019_135909Clothes all ready for bagging up

My housework focus room this week is the Master Bedroom, so I kicked off by sorting through the wardrobe. For too long, our wardrobe has been the place to shove things out of sight and forget about them, so it was full of all kinds of interesting things. I decided that there was room in there for only a few things, namely clothes, some shoes and my Festive Gift Stash.

The top shelf in the main body of our double wardrobe is my Gift Stash. Throughout the year, I’ve picked up gifts for people when I see them, so I’d estimate that about 2/3rds of my festive shopping is actually already completed (how’s that for organisation and spreading the cost?), along with this year’s cards an wrapping paper, so I tidied everything up and discovered I actually still had more room in there than I thought (hurrah!).

Next was the hanging clothes. I knew there were clothes in there that I do not wear and haven’t worn in ages. Part of this is because I spent most of last year pregnant and all the time after giving birth trying to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight (which I now am), but there was stuff in there that I hadn’t worn since my honeymoon six years ago (when I was much thinner) and although it’s lovely stuff, my styles have changed a great deal since then and I wouldn’t wear them again, so out they came. I did keep one dress (the one I wore to my hen night) as my “target dress” as I aim to fit back into it at some point in the near future (hopefully by this time next year!). I also hauled out all Dale’s clothes and we had a quick “keep or chuck” session with his stuff too.

Next was the shelves on the left side of the wardrobe (it’s a double with an extra section) and I hauled out all the jeans that no longer fit (too small and – hurrah! – too large!) for both of us, along with my maternity trousers (which, even if I get pregnant again, I wouldn’t be wearing as I hated them this time round and would prefer something different next time!) and a bunch of skirts my Mam gave me when I was pregnant but I never wore because they were “Mumsy” (she gave me them because they had elasticated waists and I was HUGE!).

All these items were neatly folded and packed into four plastic shopping bags, ready to take either to a charity shop or to the donation bins next to Sainsbury’s tomorrow.

I feel MUCH better for having done it, as now I have plenty of room for any new clothes I might decide to get – however, I’ll be making sure that anything I buy to wear will be something I love and so will wear a lot, so I don’t have another bunch of clothes sitting in the wardrobe feeling neglected!

091019_140405All bagged up and ready to go!

Schedule: Week Commencing 19 October 2009

schedule

As part of being a FlyBaby, I’ve allocated different tasks to different days of the week. In addition to the tasks that I do on specific days every week, each week also focuses on a different zone in the home – this week it’s the master bedroom – so there will be additional tasks for that room too. I’ll take great satisfaction in ticking all these off my list!

This week, my schedule looks like this (these are in addition to my daily “routines”) split into three categories of tasks  – “general” (tasks I do on this day every week), “specific” (tasks that are specific to this particular day) and “zone” (tasks relating to the focus zone for this week).

DAY GENERAL SPECIFIC ZONE
MON 19/10 * Change bedding * Defrost bacon * Tidy wardrobe and sort donations / recycling / bin
* Flip mattress
* Sort bag and wallet * Prepare broth veg
TUE 20/10 * Water plants
* ERRAND DAY
* Set slow cooker for broth * Clean bedroom window
* Clean sill
* Defrost 2 portions mince
* Donations to charity shop
WED 21/10 * Empty all bins * Defrost 2 portions turkey * Tidy drawers under bed
* Prepare curry veg * Tidy bedside tables
THU 22/10 * Clean bathroom mirror
* Clean shower screen
* Set slow cooker for curry * Tidy chest of drawers and sort donations / recycling / bin
FRI 23/10 * Paper purge
* ERRAND DAY
* Defrost sausages
* Defrost bacon
* Donations to charity shop
* Tidy desk – top, drawers and cupboard
SAT 24/10 * Clean fridge
* Plan menus
* Write grocery list
SUN 25/10 * Check grocery list
* Grocery shopping
* Vacuum whole flat

Schedule: Week Commencing 12 October 2009

schedule

As part of being a FlyBaby, I’ve allocated different tasks to different days of the week. In addition to the tasks that I do on specific days every week, each week also focuses on a different zone in the home – this week it’s the bathroom – so there will be additional tasks for that room too. I’ll take great satisfaction in ticking all these off my list!

This week, my schedule looks like this (these are in addition to my daily “routines”):

Monday 12 October:
General Tasks

  1. Change all the bedding (master bedroom and Xander’s room)
  2. Clean out my wallet
  3. sort out recycling (fortnightly)

Specific to today:

  1. Set up the slow cooker to make broth
  2. Pick up Xander’s photograph from PixiFoto
  3. Prepare veg for making chilli in slow cooker tomorrow

Zone tasks:

  1. Sort out makeup bag
  2. Wash all makeup brushes

Tuesday 13 October:
General Tasks:

  1. Water plants

Specific to Today:

  1. Brown mince and set up slow cooker to make chilli

Zone Tasks:

  1. Clean and tidy medicine cabinet
  2. Clean toothbrushes and toothbrush mug

Wednesday 14 October:
General Tasks:

  1. Empty all bins (refuse collection tomorrow morning!)

Specific to Today:

– none today –

Zone Tasks:

  1. Clean bathroom window and windowsill

Thursday 15 October:

General Tasks:

  1. Sweep and mop kitchen and bathroom floors

Specific to Today:

– none today –

Zone Tasks:

  1. Clean bathroom mirror and shower screen

Friday 16 October:

General Tasks:

  1. Paper purge

Specific to Today:

  1. Meet sister for a coffee
  2. Take best friend’s wedding sampler to framers

Zone Tasks:

  1. Thorough cleaning of bath, shower, sink, toilet and scales

Saturday 17 October:

General Tasks:

  1. Clean fridge
  2. Work on next week’s menus
  3. Make grocery list

Specific to Today:

– none today –

Zone Tasks:

– none today –

Sunday 18 October:

General Tasks:

  1. Double-check grocery list
  2. Grocery shopping
  3. Vacuum throughout flat

Specific to Today:

– none today –

Zone Tasks:

– none today –

From Stig of the Dump to Bree Van de Kamp in Baby Steps

Dom Goddess

If there are two words I (and my hubby) thought would never be heard together, it’s “Kell” and “Housework”. I have never been good at housework. In fact, I’ll put my hand up and admit to being quite possibly the messiest person in the world. It’s not that I’m lazy, it’s just that I don’t tend to notice the clutter – my flat is clean, but kind of, well, shall we say not just “lived in”, but “very lived in”. Dale has always been better at the housekeeping side of things and I’m ashamed to say that up until now he has had to remind me (and remind me, and remind me again!) to do things.

To date, the only time I ever seriously got the cleaning bug was if I was furious about something. If Dale ever came home and found me scrubbing kitchen cupboards and emptying closets, he knew it was best to steer clear of me for an hour or so till I calmed down, then give me a hug and I would be back to normal. I’m mostly a very even-tempered person, so these blow-outs were few and far between, and no amount of Dale trying to pick a fight in order to give me a cleaning bug worked because we are really bad at fighting with each other (we always end up either laughing at how ridiculous we sound or apologising to one another within five minutes and doing the old “kiss and make up” thing).

When I got pregnant, Dale slowly began taking on more and more of the housework until he was doing it all (apart from cooking and cleaning the bathroom, both of which remained my domain) and then, after Xander was born, he continued doing it. Then I went back to work and things all went to pot because Dale, Super Dad and Super Hubby though he is, couldn’t do everything AND look after Xander in the afternoons.

So, when I quit work I decided I would have to do something to pick up the pace a little and chip in more around the flat, seeing as how I’m the one who’s home all day now. But there was one little snag – I didn’t want to have to sacrifice Quality Time with Xander and I didn’t want to have to whiz round cleaning like a mad woman every time he went down for a nap – if I did that, I’d soon be exhausted and the sacrifice of quality time would happen anyway by default!

Then, almost a week ago, I read a comment on one of the forums I’m on which alluded to a system – The FlyLady system. I’d never heard of it, but the women who mentioned it said that using this system meant she always had time to spend with her family, work on her hobbies and even have some “Me Time” to herself. I was curious and did a little searching. What I found inspired me and may well have changed me forever!

The FlyLady system consists of a series of “baby steps” which “FlyBabies” follow, one by one – a new one every day to add to the backlist. The first one is astoundingly simple – Go Shine Your Sink. Every night, before you go to bed,  make sure your sink is sparkling.

So that first night, I shined my sink. I wasn’t 100% sure if it was the kitchen or bathroom one that was meant (apparently it’s the kitchen one!) so I shined both of them. The next morning, I was greeted by the sight of my sparkling sink and do you know what? I suddenly felt amazingly positive about the day and the thought of following the next Baby Step.

Baby Step 2 was just as simple – Get Dressed to Lace Up Shoes. Basically I had to shower, do my hair and face, get dressed and put on lace up shoes. Actually, this one felt a bit strange to me, because I go barefoot at home and, to be honest, would go barefoot outside too if we didn’t live in the city where there are all manner of nasties lying on the pavement! Still, I did it.

And at night, I shined my sink.

Baby Step 3 seemed too easy to be true – Do What We Have Already Done! Get dressed to my shoes, shine my sink and read my reminders…

By this time, I was already checking out the rest of the site and had begun compiling my Control Journal. Each day I was adding an extra little thing to my list of things to do daily. I was focusing on Zones and doing mini-blasts that didn’t have to be perfect so long as I did them – in fact, perfectionism is positively discouraged because it holds us back from getting on with the job at hand.

I’ve been following the FlyLady system for almost a week now and you know what? I’m actually enjoying it! Can you believe that? I’m no longer dreading the housework because I know that I just have to focus on one area for a certain short length of time and then I’m done. Along with my Daily Do list, I’m slowly getting on top of things and already the place is looking a whole lot better.

And Dale has noticed the change – both in the flat and in me. He can’t believe how well I’m doing and I’m not sacrificing any Quality Time with Xander at all, which is brilliant. An added bonus is that all the added activity of the housework combined with the fact that I no longer spend my afternoons cooped up in an office, chained to a desk, I’ve stopped dieting, but am still managing to shed a few pounds. The weight is coming off slowly, but it’s coming off steadily and I’m not even trying – hurrah!

So, three things I’ve learned over the past week, courtesy of FlyLady:

  1. A load of laundry a day keeps the CHAOS* at bay!
  2. I can do ANYTHING for 15 minutes.
  3. A shiny sink can change your life!

If you’re living in CHAOS and would like to really FLY, I can heartily recommend nipping over to visit FlyLady’s site. You’ll come away with a brighter, more positive outlook and know that you really can make a difference one Baby Step at a time. FlyLady – you’re amazing. A big thank you from me and another one from my Hubby who can’t believe that after almost ten years together, I’m suddenly turning into a Domestic Goddess!

* CHAOS stands for Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome

flylady_toonClick on the picture and fly away to visit FlyLady!