A tale of unfolded baby clothes

When I was pregnant with E, I worked hard on the organization in her nursery.  I carefully planned out where every little thing would live and I arranged and rearranged until everything felt perfect.  I even went so far as to Google how to properly fold her baby clothes because I meant business.

One night I went into the nursery with my laptop, put on some music, and spent nearly an hour folding E’s little sleepers and onesies and teeny-tiny little pants.  My belly was huge by then and I’d spent so long hunched over on the floor that I had a hard time getting back up.  But I was PROUD of my handiwork.  When I told my husband and my mom about it, they both gave me this odd smirk and claimed I would never keep it up.  And I laughed at them.  Why wouldn’t I keep it up?  What was I going to do, just toss everything into the drawers and call it good?

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Yep.  Yes, that’s exactly what I did.

The fancy, folded baby clothes lasted until the third time I washed a load of E’s laundry.  For the first two rounds, I would ask my husband to entertain E while I sneaked away to fold her clothes and put them away nicely in her drawers.  Both times I knew I was wasting my time because these days I can’t even get my damn bathroom clean, but I had been so hell-bent on proving my mom and husband wrong that I was going to stick with it.  HA!

By the third load of baby laundry, I wondered what it would feel like if I just tossed everything in the drawers and walked away.

It was LIBERATING.

I have not folded a single item of baby clothing since.  E’s drawers look like a hot mess and I don’t care.  It’s worth the extra 15 minutes a day.

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Now that I know how it feels, I just have to be careful not to do it with my own clothing…

Be honest, new moms:  do you fold your baby’s clothes?

Company Clean

Preparing for visitors in your home is like putting on a pair of glasses for the first time.  Even though I feel like I keep my house pretty clean on a day-to-day basis, getting ready for my in-laws to visit has magnified every speck of dust, every stain on the carpet, and every slightly disorganized closet.  Does it matter that my family is very unlikely to inspect all of my closets for their cleanliness?  No.  No, it doesn’t.  It will bother me if it’s not fixed before they arrive.

I believe I inherited this mentality from my mother.  Before anyone visits her house, it must be what she calls “company clean.”  It’s like a clean house on steroids.  Luckily, since yesterday was the first day of spring, I might be able to get away with calling it “spring cleaning” and look a little less fanatical.

So I’m off to embark on a mass cleaning spree.  Happy Saturday, everyone.

Do you tend to get carried away cleaning before company arrives?

Freezer Spill Prevention 101

Last week, I sifted through the fruit and veggie compartment in my freezer and grabbed a bag of stir fry veggies—and promptly spilled half the bag all over the inside of the freezer. How did this happen? Because there aren’t enough chip clips in the world for all the frozen fruit and veggies we keep on hand. The stir fry veggies were one of the many bags in our freezer that had been opened, but not clipped to prevent spillage. As I stared down into my freezer and cursed the bits of broccoli, snow peas, and carrots strewn about, I knew something had to change.

Last night, I pulled everything out of my freezer for a mass reorganization. I saved the fruit and veggie compartment for last, because I had more than an organization issue to deal with—I also had a storage issue. I piled all of the bags on the counter, and then I grabbed a Sharpie and two different sizes of freezer storage bags.

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I emptied every single bag of fruits and veggies into freezer storage bags and labeled each one. This was meant to solve the spillage problem, which was half the battle. The other problem was that I’m always having to dig through the drawer in the freezer to find what I need. When I buy new frozen items, I tend to toss them into the freezer and they all end up in a disorganized jumble. After transferring everything into freezer storage bags, I placed them neatly into the compartment in the freezer, arranging them according to how often I usually access them. The fruits I use in my morning smoothies are all at the front, easily accessible. The veggies I use less frequently, such as the corn-carrot-asparagus mix, are stacked up nicely in the back of the compartment, underneath the veggies I use more often, like peas and peppers.

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I’m feeling very optimistic about this new arrangement in my freezer. Already this morning, I felt so much more relaxed as I prepped my smoothie ingredients in my blender. It goes to show that even the seemingly small changes in a kitchen can make a big impact on cooking and food preparation.

Do you have any tips and tricks for freezer organization at home?

Cleaning Revelations

One of my struggles around the house is remembering all the little things that need to be cleaned. When I think cleaning, I think “big picture.” You know: mopping, vacuuming, laundry, scrubbing countertops and toilets, dusting furniture. That kind of thing.

What seems to slip my mind is the little things. For instance, my hair dryer. I never, ever, ever think about cleaning my hair dryer.

Until one day, I’m putting it away after using it, and I notice a big, thick spot of built-up grime right where my thumb sits while I hold it. Only then do I realize the whole thing is coated in rough, gray patches of sticky, aged dirt.

I’ve owned this particular hair dryer for about two years and I haven’t cleaned it even once. I use it at least six days a week. That’s a lot of use that attracts a lot of filth.

Do you ever notice things around your house you can’t remember ever cleaning? For me, the hair dryer forced me to think about all of the things I don’t clean. I consider myself to be pretty cleanly. Before the hair dryer revelation, I considered myself to be pretty cleanly.   But now all I can focus on are the light switches, picture frames, bathroom trash cans, video game controllers, towel rods, doorknobs, mini blinds, and home décor items that are ignored during my regular cleaning routine.

ICK!

I’ve seen these “house cleaning plans” online before and I think it’s time to adopt one of them. I really like this one from Gone Like Rainbows that breaks down cleaning daily, weekly, monthly, semiannually, and annually. I’m going to give it a shot!

For the record, I did clean my hair dryer. Ladies, do NOT go two years between hair dryer cleanings! Blech.

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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Do you follow a regular cleaning plan for your home or apartment? How do you typically ensure you’re cleaning all the easy-to-forget parts of your house?

One Last Lesson for 2014: Folding Fitted Sheets

One of my least favorite things to do is fold a fitted sheet.  I use the term “fold” loosely, because what I do with fitted sheets is better described as “roll into a ball and call it ‘close enough.'”

For years, I’ve told myself I’ll eventually educate myself on how to truly “fold” a fitted sheet.  With half a day to spare, I decided I would master it by the end of 2014!

I use the term “master” loosely, because what I managed is better described as “barely squeaked by and still needs practice.”

First, I should show you how I folded fitted sheets prior to December 31, 2014:

sheet.pngI found three videos online showing slightly different methods for folding fitted sheets, and I tried them all.  With the first one, I got off to a terrible start:

It took several minutes to accomplish this.

It took several minutes to accomplish this.

With the second one–from Martha Stewart, no less–I was such a failure I didn’t even bother taking a picture.  Sometimes you just have to save yourself a little dignity.

The third and final video I found was the one that finally did the trick.  Mind you, a two minute video equaled almost ten minutes to fold the damn sheet, but I got it done!  The first time I did it, my sheet looked like this:

Inner perfectionist:  please shut the f*$# up.

Inner perfectionist: please shut the f*$# up.

It was better than my usual results, but still looked a little lopsided.  So I unfolded the sheet about halfway and tried again, and I was finally pleased with the results.  Here is how I finally got it done:

sheet2.pngThere.  I will enter 2015 knowing the “proper” way to fold a fitted sheet.  Now I need to teach the husband how to do it, unless I feel like being the designated sheet folder of the house.  (Spoiler alert:  I don’t!)

Now I need to start a list of things to learn next year.  So far it includes cooking on the grill, making cat toys, and possibly (HUGE emphasis on “possibly”) knitting.  What kinds of things would you like to learn how to do in 2015?