Friday, November 13, 2015

New House

We moved on October 22nd to our new house!

Parting is such sweet sorrow...we loved living on an acre of rural property. So many things we'll miss and many we won't!

We are adjusting very well to our new place. We spent the month before moving in, diligently painting the interior and it turned out great!

My goal this weekend is to empty ALL the boxes INSIDE the house. Then we can start tackling the boxes stacked in the garage.

I've come to realize that my brain was stuck in a repeating loop of negativity before we moved, that went something like this: "I've tried to clean up so many times and it never works, why bother"(!) I didn't realize I was sabotaging my good intentions with fatalistic self-talk!

Yesterday and today, I'm embracing possibility! Going through our stuff is actually FUN knowing that this is our place and I can put things anywhere I like! I've sent out a few bags of giveaway and trying to only keep what we need and that which "sparks joy".

Shortly after we got here, we emptied the cleaning supplies onto the bar. We took what we needed to each bathroom and there was a lot remaining! After dealing with it all, I can actually SEE into the living room! My view of the sofa is no longer blocked!

BEFORE: bar area

AFTER: bar area

Every item was properly evaluated (keep, throw away, give away) and then delivered to its new home. Can't believe how OPEN the sink feels now!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

New Kitchen Here I Come

The listing photo for my new kitchen

Way back in March, we put an offer in on a new house! It's eerily similar to the one we are renting right now-and we all love it!

Sadly, eight days before closing (in MAY!), escrow let us know they couldn't meet the closing date and didn't know when they could. Long story short, we've been in limbo land for months since the seller didn't have the title recorded and it is a long sordid tale of misspelling mishaps.

Finally on September 1st, the title was finally recorded properly (after FOUR attempts!) and we are moving ahead to close this week (yay!!!)

I've been living in boxes for m.o.n.t.h.s. and in the dark about when we could actually move. I've been thinking more of the new house than the old and haven't had much inspiration towards tidying up here.

As we approach closing on the new house (FINALLY!), I've realized that I don't have a system for keeping my kitchen clean...and I want to! The kitchen today looks pathetically disheveled, messy and dirty and I want to keep a clean kitchen in the new house (and here, too)!

I've decided to challenge myself to a clean kitchen routine before we move (like I don't already have enough to do). I want my new kitchen to stay clean, so I better figure this out once and for all! On a different note, I've completely mastered my morning routine, which I've been working on for the past...well, really for my whole life! So I have a lot of hope I can master the kitchen too.

Starting with WDIS (What Do I See?),

(aside...WDIS has become this magical motivational catch phrase for me. Once I start with WDIS, I'm totally on my way!)

I start to identify problems. Once I see the problems I can start brainstorming solutions.

Here we go:

Left of Sink: WDIS? milk jugs full of water, kleenex box, stand with scissors and handwash, towel, groceries not put away where they belong, clean salad bowl, empty container, mailing envelopes

***I see a lot of stuff that hasn't been put away. Go put it away and then re-evaluate. Start putting stuff away. :) I'm my best cheerleader, ha!

Sink: WDIS? some dirty dishes, a sink that could use a little cleaning and polishing

***the current system isn't working, I'd like to NEVER have dirty dishes in the sink, need to think on that

Right of Sink: WDIS? dirty dishes, grocs not put away, blender, apples, house paperwork, crumbs!, garbage

***can we find a larger spot for the hot dog buns and bread!??! they need a bigger home so when we buy new stuff it can all fit and not overflow onto the counter until we eat half of it. This isn't rocket science people (I'm talking to myself here)!

Oven: WDIS? Why is there ANYTHING on the oven!? Oh, that's right, because the counters are covered with junk! I see dirty pans, garbage and a dirty cooktop! Eeegads!

***I like the idea of having a glass dish to use as a garbage can during the day. I toss in egg shells, cheese wrappers, etc and then at the end of the day it can be emptied and run through the dishwasher. I'm going to give it a try, since I cannot seem to use the trash can like a normal person!

Right of Oven: WDIS? Good grief. There's a pair of scissors on a used plate(!), condiments that can go into the cupboard at the new house and off the counter, spatulas, used utensils, oatmeal not put away, goldfish crackers not put away, plastic lid, cheese papers, garbage

***I am no longer willing to live like this. A while ago I think I "gave up" on the kitchen, on myself. No more. I am doing WDIS with the intent to identify and solve problem areas and come up with some reminders for myself in hopes of developing a repeatable daily routine. I know I can do this!!!

Bar: this is my main workspace and it seems to collect items that are parts of projects or things that don't have a home or I'm too lazy to put away. My goal will be to keep this CLEAN every single day. I guess that means dealing with it every night before bed, perhaps.


Thursday, September 10, 2015


Apple tree in backyard that litters the grass with pithy fruit

Over the past few months, I've been (re)exploring A.D.D. This is sorta funny, but many years ago I knew I had ADD, but I forgot! Recently, it's reintroduced itself and I'm so grateful! I'm finding some relief from many frustrations as I am more self aware (and older) now!

I've been making some observations about myself...but what I really want to post here on Tidy-House is that one thing that REALLY HELPS ME is to identify the ONE THING I can do to get started. This post is a reminder to myself of that concept, because it is possible likely I will forget about it!

For example, let's say I write "cancel appointment" on my daily to-do list. Instead of thinking "cancel appointment", I need to think "find Joe's phone number".

If I want to "clean the kitchen", I need to think "pick up trash off counters".

It seems once I engage in that ONE SMALL THING, I'm off and running. And remembering that gives me a lot of HOPE!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

New House

Back inside to remind us what it looks like!

We saw inside our new house for the first time on January 17th. We then saw inside it when we did an inspection on April 10th. We haven't been inside since then...until today!

We had no intention of buying a new house, in fact, we didn't think we would ever own our own home again. The doors have been open to buy this house and closed to find a rental in the area we want. We are so grateful!!!

Look how tidy it is inside! It's EMPTY! :) I want to keep it tidy when we move in, so I've been thinking about what's untidy here at the old house.

One thing I really love is that this house isn't too big and the lot seems maintainable. It's really like a whole new fresh start for us. What a blessing.

I've been thinking about what furniture needs to go where and really am visualizing what it will be like to get rid of lots of things so I can have a life focused on meeting the needs of others, instead of hiding out in my junk.

This (long) house buying process has been a huge life metaphor for me that I need to get on paper. I'm really looking forward to what lies ahead for our family here.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Breakthrough to Surrender

Everything is blooming really early this year!

A few weeks ago, my friends talked to me about my tendency for excess. It was very hard to hear the truth, but I'm so grateful for them helping me to see and this has precipitated a breakthrough. That is a short and concise way of telling a really long story-be glad!

In a nutshell, I've always thought I was afraid of the future, even afraid of the unknown and even the freedom I so desire. But my friend told me it wasn't about those things, it was really about surrendering my whole life to the Lord. Immediately, I knew she was right!

The Lord gave me a metaphor about a wild horse, which I'll have to post sometime, but for now, I want to update my blog.

I'm becoming so disgusted with my situation and I can feel my attitudes shifting. I don't want this anymore!

Ironically, this breakthrough has proceeded us moving again.

We should be moving around May 30th, which means packing. But in order to pack, we have to clean the living room, so we have a place for the boxes. If we had a garage, we of course would use that, but since we don't, we need to clear out a room.

I realized the other day that the living room is full of things that are not mine. That means I need to help those to whom these items belong! I think in the back of my mind, I've been making the excuse "it's not mine and I don't know where to put it". No longer.

I'm eager to document finally gaining freedom. The Lord has been empowering me in new ways as I relinquish control of this area and continually repent as I go through stuff. I have a lot of hope for living normally in our new place, I'm getting so excited as it becomes more real!

Note: Looking back through these photos, I realize what a process this has been to overcome. Recently, I've had some insight into my attitudes, and I have more hope of overcoming completely, to live above the "need" for more. Right now I feel pretty clear about my weight loss journey (which started six months after this blog was born). I would like to have a similar clarity about tidy house. I'll be asking the Lord more about this in the days to come.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Renewed Vision

We are wanting to move again, so for the month of February, I want to get tidy so packing will go more smoothly! Still some areas haven't been mastered, but I have come such a long way! I actually was able to help a friend brainstorm about some of her tough items and feel inspired with a March 1st deadline.

I want to focus on a new vision which includes:
-being able to have friends and family over at a moment's notice
-all rooms being functional, not used as storage
-having the kitchen be as manageable as when we go to our favorite cabin (I always keep the kitchen tidy when we're away!)

Going back to June 2013, defining freedom:
Freedom is:
-knowing what I have and where it is (I feel really good about this one!)
-when this is true, daily maintenance will be simple with a pick-up and quick tidy (this has been very true except for the living room, which has been storage since we moved in)
-embracing "what's next" for my own self-education (I would like to overcome and BE tidy)
-being completely free to assist my kids with moving their education forward (this needs to happen at a new depth)
-completing long term dangling projects (I completed all of these)

I know what to do. I'm going to schedule 2pm everyday to meet with my professional organizer (ME!) and make headway in February, that's my new goal!
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