Monday, March 14, 2016
I thought I might report back about the epic spring cleaning, continuing along with the KonMari method. It's going well, but I was so tired yesterday, I had to take a break.
I started out this week going through all my clothes. The way the KonMari method of tidying works is that you go through everything in one category all at once, so you can see just how much you have. So instead of doing my closet and my dresser separately, I went through both at the same time.
I actually have the smallest wardrobe in my family, as I almost never get to buy clothes - even used ones. Some of the clothes I had were from high school, and I hadn't worn them in many years! One thing I am guilty of when I have gone through my clothes in the past was to set aside clothes I didn't really wear any more for "lounge wear," or work clothes. She specifically cautions against this. She points out that even when you are working or relaxing, you should still wear clothes you like and want to wear. So most of it went, either to the trash or the thrift store, depending on how worn out it was. It feels very nice to be down to only things I really love and enjoy wearing.
Next I went on to the kitchen and dining room. You are not supposed to go through room by room, but category by category. The kitchen/dining room has all similar stuff, so it ended up being both those rooms. I organized my spices, which were in three different places, giving the seasoning blends Ethan had brought with him when he moved in 10 years ago to the compost. Everything fits in one layer on my one shelf, including teas and herbs. Yay!
The dishes were intense. I had SO MANY dishes, mostly ones I didn't use ever, and that I had been given. I hadn't realized there were quite so many. Reading the book was very helpful for this. I wasn't able to let go of them before - not because I loved and treasured them, but from nostalgia. And a funny thing happened - I have been wishing for more large mixing bowls, and I found that I actually owned far more large mixing bowls than will fit in the spot I had decided to keep them! They kept being unearthed from various spots.
When I began this whole process, I told myself I wasn't going to worry so much about cleaning, just clearing out unwanted belongings for now. I would have liked to really clean things, too, but I didn't think I would be able to. To be honest, I haven't gotten to spring-clean my house for three years....not since Clothilde was born.
There are the three sacred things I do every day for my family, of course: laundry, dishes, and sweeping, no holidays, weekends, or breaks (or I will never keep up). And here and there I would dust. The sweeping makes it necessary to pick up, so that alone keeps things decently neat. But moving furniture and cleaning the walls were beyond what I was able to do while keeping Clothilde from poking forks in electrical outlets, or letting herself out to run in the road.
This is all co-insiding with a wonderful development she's had, that she can (so far) be trusted to play nicely outside with older siblings, and not run away.
Once the kitchen was at a certain point of being cleared out, I realized I was going to have to really scrub it, or it would drive me crazy. So I got out a bucket and scrubbed the counters, the walls, the stove, the fridge, the cupboards, and the floor.
The floor was the most disturbing part. I mop it regularly, but this was the first time I took several hours to scrub it by hand, in all the edges and dusty corners. I'm sorry to say that it turned an entirely different color during the process. It used to be a mottled yellow-brown, and now it's the ugliest shade of yellow I've ever seen. In fact, Ethan's response was, "Oh wow, it's really clean. And gosh it's a hideous color."
Rose said, "I liked it better before it was clean."
Yesterday Ethan cleaned out the freezers. We got the call on Friday evening that our beef is ready to be picked up from the butcher. This was a huge job, as we have four freezers, and all of them were dripping with ice and packed with all kinds of things in plastic baggies that had to be sorted through. A lot of expensive organic freezer veg that we picked up when the Earth Origins freezers broke had to be given to the pigs. There were a few unloved Amy's organic burritos that went, too.
We felt bad throwing it all out, but all the organic vegetables tasted like the bottom of Earth Origin's freezer. The burritos, as Ethan said, had homeopathic amounts of cheese, and were mostly dry bread. Now that we've tried them, we can't believe how expensive they are. Or that people actually buy them.
The dog tried one at the farm, she pulled it out of the pig bucket, took one small bite, and just left it and went back to her kibbles. Earlier in the week Ethan had cleared out some more of the freezer veg, but hadn't had time to give it to the pigs yet. It was still in the bags. The massive raccoon that has been plaguing us lately got into it. He had opened up a bag of defrosted broccoli raab, smelled it, and just left it there. There was an opened, yet untouched, bag of cauliflower next to it. You could see that he also sorted through some bags of peas and carrots and mixed veg, and then decided it wasn't edible.