Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Everything in Its Place

"When you live in a small house, you can't just put things down, you have to put them away."  

I don't know who said that, but I am trying so hard to live it since moving into my tidy, little cottage. Yes, I'm a little obsessive about putting things away. I remind Bridger often that if we'll keep after it, our house will always look nice. 

In reading the Fly Lady's blog, her key word is ROUTINES. If you struggle with keeping your house organized and cleaned, you might want to check the Fly Lady out.

There are a few routines that I do that I think have kept my house "company-ready." As soon as I wake up, I start putting pillows back in place, and pull my covers up before slipping out of bed. The bed is practically made before I even hit the floor. When I leave my room, nothing is on the floor or on any horizontal surfaces, unless they serve a decorative purpose.

After a quick trip to the bathroom, I transfer a load of clothes from the washer to the dryer, if I started laundry the night before. While I'm waiting for the Keurig to heat water, I put away the pots from the dish drain if I didn't do that the night before so the day starts with an empty sink. A quick wipe down sees to it that my kitchen is ready for the new day. 

I realize a retired person's schedule is so different from a working person's, but with a few simple routines in place, life is easier for all of us. On particularly busy days of going to the gym, running errands, and meeting family obligations, I'm always so grateful to walk into my little house and see that everything is clean and tidy.

Anything that needs to go to the car is by the door: reusable grocery bags, dry cleaning, etc. The first time I head to the car, all of that goes with me. When I get home from the store, I gather any trash, my water bottle, and empty the car of any paraphernalia when I go back in the house.

Anything we do every day needs to have its own routine. For me, that's hiking or gym time. As soon as I get home, I empty my hydration pack, hang it to dry, and put away the pack. (I learned how to take care of my hiking equipment from my oldest. He is a great example of taking care of things, and being organized.) My hiking/workout shoes have a special place under the bed by my bedroom door. (Storage is at a premium in this 900 square foot home.) If you have littles, you can train them to put away their belongings after their practices/games/performances. It will save so many headaches later when the next event occurs.

My bathroom is so small, it requires that we put everything away. I keep my 31 Tote in my walk-in closet across the hall. It has my lingerie, hair appliances, and extra lotions, etc. Bridger and I each have our own medicine cabinet, but there is NO under sink storage. After we shower, we use the squeegee I keep in the tub to wipe down the shower walls. We hang the bath mat back up on the tub, and I do a quick mopping of the tiny floor by hand to gather hair and dust.

Dinner prep is so simple when it's just me here. A simple salad made with leftover chicken or beef is a staple. I also live off of my Buff Pumpkin Stuff which I use as a meal replacement. I make up a big batch of that a couple of times a week. When I have my boy at home, I try to put a little more effort into meals.

Washing dishes as I prepare dinner sees to it that I don't have a big pile of dishes to do after dinner. Bridger knows I expect all dishes to go in the dishwasher after we eat. 

After dinner, we usually hang out in the family room where Bridge plays guitar. His guitar and speaker are a constant fixture in that room when he is home. I don't mind people knowing we live here, too, and do not consider that clutter. 

My bedtime ritual includes tidying up the bathroom as soon as I wash my face and brush my teeth. I wipe down the sink and the toilet tank. If there is a full load of clothes to wash (there are only the two of us), I pop a load into the washer. I am now ready for bed.

What simple routines could you adapt for your home? Even if you pick ONE thing to do every single day, you will then be able to add another routine to that after the first one becomes a habit. Routines have made all of the difference for me. Our home feels so cozy. The Eagles song comes to mind..."I get a peaceful, easy feeling" here. What a great feeling it is to have a little home of my own. 
A big shout-out to the folks from the Facebook group, 40 Bags in 40 Days. They got me off to a great start. Here are the blog entries about my journey of de-cluttering and de-crapifying before I moved here:





FRAGILE: HANDLE W/ CARE...What about the sentimental stuff?



  1. You wrote this so beautifully it makes me want to spend time cleaning my house. Well said. Love your cozy home.

    1. Wow. I wish I wanted to clean mine after reading it! I'll get it done, but it's the WANTING that's missing.

  2. I need you over here! I WISH my home was this tidy. I am picky about dishes and sinks. A shiny clean sink makes everything look cleaner.

    1. When shall I come? Just say the word. Wait. You're moving to a beach. Call me when you're ready to move in !

  3. Loved this so much! Your kitchen is so cheery and bright! I can feel the cozy! I have you to thank, Denise. I read your blog on What Are You Giving Up For Lent back first of March and I jumped on board. I joined the group and every day I see and hear success stories. All I can say is I got started and they tell me that's half way there. I know I dive in again soon and you are truly an inspiration. I put all my extra time into 500 Words a Day for May, but we will see what the June focus will be! Blessings to you! Sharon from http://idaretobehappy

    1. Sharon, thank you for your sweet words. Just start. Yep, that's the hard part. Then things start to begin routine, and it just gets easier. I promise.

  4. You make it sound so easy :) And it should be! I get so overwhelmed with BIG changes but like you said add one thing at a time. Your home is adorable. Thanks!
    xoxo melzie

    1. Oh, thanks, Melzie. Eat that elephant one bite at time. You can do this!


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