Housekeeping Like Alice

I hate to clean, but I love a clean house.  Ah, the irony of it all…..I spend a lot of time on Pinterest looking at cleaning tips and hacks.  I’ll do anything for motivation!  It’s quite intimidating in my family because my Mom and mother-in-law are immaculate, my sister Megan too.  I mean, it looks like no one lives there.  How do they do it?  It’s not just that I don’t enjoy cleaning, but I’m not good at routines and keeping them.  If I lived alone, I think I would keep a tidy home (for the most part).  My darling husband and four cherubs are total slobs.  I am constantly overwhelmed and drowning in laundry.

Growing up, I loved the TV show “The Brady Bunch.”  It was the 80’s, so they were re-runs, but it didn’t matter.  My favorite character was Alice.  She made everything look so easy:  cooking, cleaning, helping out with the kids.  Carol’s life looked pretty fun, going grocery shopping in that awesome station wagon.  Wearing all those far out 70’s clothes.  But even then I wondered why the Bradys had Alice as a live-in housekeeper.  The kids were in school and Carol didn’t work outside the home!  Being a mother of course is never easy (oh how I know that now!), but how much easier to have a housekeeper.  I am a stay-at-home mom, but I would love to have a “Alice!”  Just like Ann B. Davis, older and not overly attractive…….

Back to reality.  I’ve read several cleaning books and subscribed to Flylady.  Apparently those things only work if you implement what you learn.  Imagine that.  But, I came across Dana K. White, the creator of “A Slob Comes Clean.”  I saw her book How to Manage Your Home without Losing Your Mind on Amazon.com and ordered it.  I listened to several of her podcasts (while cleaning my kitchen) and she was so inspirational and funny!  The time I spent cleaning went by so quickly because I was entertained.  Though I’ve only started her book, I already love it.  Thanks to Dana K. White, I have new hope!  She talks about her “deslobification” process, making me laugh along the way.  I love her concepts like “dirty dishes math” and “5 minute pickup.”  If you feel like a hamster on a wheel, always cleaning and never getting ahead, this book is for you.  Check out her podcasts and YouTube channel too.  The best part is that you’ll clean while you listen.  Happy Cleaning!

Organizing Art Supplies


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What is it about January that makes a girl want to organize? Once I have my Christmas decorations down, it seems like I get slightly obsessed with organizing and wanting my house to be neat and tidy. For starters, I have to find places to put all of those new toys and presents my kids get for Christmas. Which means I usually have to clean out their closets to make room for the new stuff. That’s always such a challenge for me…trying to figure out the most logical place to store things. I want to keep toys accessible, yet I don’t want to have to see them!

Same with the art supplies. I want my little darlings to be able to create all kinds of masterpieces, but I also want them to be able to put their supplies away in an orderly way so that they know how to find what they are looking for the next time. I used to keep their crayons and coloring books in a low cupboard in my kitchen when they were little and didn’t use a whole lot of different art products. But the cupboard got so messy and was hard to find anything they were looking for without pulling everything out.

Then I saw all of those awesome closets converted to little offices on Pinterest and it sparked an idea. I didn’t want to give up the whole closet, but I definitely could clear some room to store the art supplies. This closet is by our front door, which no one ever really uses, so it only held coats we didn’t wear much and some other junk. I still keep the coats in it, but made room below for an awesome art cart and some stackable bins. Now my kids can pull the cart down the hall to the kitchen table and have easy access to whatever they need, since everything is somewhat organized by drawer. Our cart holds, crayons, pencils, markers, play dough, stamps, paint, stickers, blank paper, foamies, googly eyes, pom poms, pipe cleaners, and other wonderful treasures. Stuff is easy to find, easy to keep neat, and best of all…easy to put away and out of sight! If you were really organized, you could label the drawers, but that’s pushing it for me. The other bins contain Beados, perler beads, and miscellaneous craft kits. This has really worked well for us, and if you can find a little extra room in one of your closets, it is so worth it!

 

I bought my cart at Joann.com, but I have seen other carts that are similar that may work better for younger kids. The drawers are rather delicate for small hands, but my 7 year old does fine with them. Ikea makes the Raskog Utility cart that looks sturdy and is pretty too. Just make sure you check the dimensions first to make sure it will work with your closet. Hope this inspires you to tackle that art clutter!

 

How do you organize your art supplies?  Let me know!