Not only have I never been a clean freak (anyone who has ever been to my house knows that, while I dont qualify for Hoarders status, I definitely dont get any satisfaction out of mopping or dusting), but I also am not an organized person.
Before you judge me as a total slob, its honestly just not on my priority list. We move so much that half of our things stay in boxes, and we are a VERY busy family. There are sports played, playdates scheduled, we take trips and watch movies. Its not that I don't clean, but I dont put a huge emphasis on the cleaning - so oftentimes if you show up unannounced, I will make an excuse not to let you in. We dont live in CPS worthy filth, but the odds are there are toys everywhere and the laundry isnt done.
We laugh a lot, if thats any consolation.
There are times when I think that my laid back attitude makes motherhood easier on me. If a kid spills a drink, or colors on a wall, or leaves his room a mess for a few days in a row, meh, I dont care. In fact, my oldest knows that he can get out of cleaning by asking to go do something - play basketball, see a friend, work on a project. I truly value experiences and they trump bleaching the floor every time.
HOWEVER, sometimes that attitude makes it harder on me - usually about the time, once a week, when I realize that I have a shit load of work ahead of me so that we can all relax in a clean home. I admit that this move we sort of threw our things in, made it just livable enough, and then said forget it. That tends to happen when you move once a year :/
Anyhow, as I am realizing that Gabrielle will be here in 12ish weeks (I say ish because Lord knows that no child of mine is ever going to be on time), maybe I should make life a little easier on myself. After all, I will have one kid who will be in his first month of high school, an hour away ( thank God for the bus), I will have one almost two year old who will not understand if his routine of playdates and fun things is interrupted, and I will have one newborn, who will work on her own schedule. To round that out, I will have a husband who will jump off paternity leave and directly into rotation, which means he will either be gone 16+ hours a day or be gone for 2+ weeks completely.
So yeah. Maybe I shouldnt leave our life in total chaos while were adjusting to all of that.
However, if you give me a big huge list and tell me to get it done, I will adamantly refuse to do any of it. I get tired just looking at long lists, then I struggle to do 5 things at once, and then I give up totally and cry on Facebook.
Therefore, I created my "countdown to baby" checklist. One room a week, to be totally organized, donated, cleaned, and baby proofed. Everything should have a place, and be functional and I shouldnt have to worry about John killing himself in it (i.e., outlet covers, shelf placement, ect). Two weeks for the garage, because Im a realist, and a week to prepare freezer meals and shop for extras. The heavy stuff concludes the first week of August, in which I will focus on last minute baby prep.
I am beyond hopeful that this will hold me accountable, while not totally overwhelming me into inaction.
This week, I had the pantry / laundry room on my list. I was going to take before and after pictures, until I realized that I was actually embarrassed to do so. Our walk in pantry became a catch all for boxes, and we tended to throw food in there and close the door. The laundry room wasnt much better. Although the excess shelving and storage is my favorite part of this house, the downside is that sometimes you decide "out of sight, out of mind" and never deal with it again.
So I jumped on Pinterest (of course) and got a few ideas of how to make things more "user friendly". Were limited because we live in post housing, but there were some really helpful tips. The only money I spent was $5 at a yard sale on storage bins, $2 on labels, and $2 for new dry erase markers.
Here we are, all sorted into places that make sense. I have a place for breakfast items, lunch items, and dessert items. I have juice boxes and crackers all in one bin, and snacks sorted by category. This helps because when my oldest asks what he can have, I can direct him to where he can grab. Also there are a few things we like to keep on hand all the time, so out of their boxes I can see what needs restocking.
Well, this side certainly doesnt look like much, but its all the things I use to make dinners in the dry area. I have the days labeled out and when I make my meal plan, I sort through what I already have. It prevents me from buying things in duplicate, which happens often when I had them all shoved in together.
Menu board - that will also have a running shopping list pinned to it. Because I cant remember a damn thing.
Laundry sorter, that I vow to actually use now. A table for my wetbag - and before you laugh, I have 7 wetbags and not a darn one of them hold up to this Trader Joes bag! We have our deep freezer all set up (freezer meals here we come!), and all the cabinets above the washer and dryer are sorted with all the cleaners - away from little hands.
The closest is perfect for the vacuum, spot bot, and steam mop. It also has all the extra blankets and sheets in bags for when we need extras, and all the board games we have (that we never use).
Im impressed with the progress. Everything has a place and we are able to FIND everything, which is huge. I thought about filtering these pictures and making them look whimsical and like we live in a cloud of perfect, but then I realized - this is real life. Take it or leave it, this is how shit looks, all the time.
Next up is the kitchen and dining room. This will include cabinet locks, because although we only put plastic down low, I am so tired of finding my tupperware in the toybox.