Bali took seven days off last week to work on our little quarter-acre (that feels more like 10 acres these days). We worked hard outside all day. I slept like a log every night. Bali had to wake me at 9:00 am the last two mornings, which is completely not like me. I used to get up around 5:00 and 6:00 on the average and sometimes insane hours such as 3:00 or 4:00. So, all this heavy sleeping is a new gig for me.
During our laborious week of wood stacking and putting in a huge 1200 square foot garden, the house went to pot. I cooked daily and baked, swept, washed dishes after meals, made beds, made strong espressos. But the real cleaning didn’t happen.
By the end of our work holiday I was done physically and spiritually. Bali and I are hard workers and together we are driven like crazy people preparing for some unseen and forecasted emergency. I am not quite sure why we are working this hard, except that we want to get the really hard work done and over with.
And that is the best way to do things really. Put on a large pot of good coffee and dive in…blindly…no plan. I mean, there is that initial looking over things and organizing in your mind, but then sleep on the planning process, wake and jump into it. Too many company meetings hold up production.
We are down to one small pile of wood left from all that was left from the two trees and there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Bali finally went back to work, which must feel like the true vacation after all we did. I slumped in the recliner and dozed in and out while watching Ivy Kitchen on YouTube. I love watching the Asian channels and how intensely they clean their homes to new depths of spotlessness and the creative dishes they make. They also seem to love coffee as much as I do so I have a respect there. Coffee = cleaning and other productive acts.
A woman made fun of me on my channel. She said I was silly to say I don’t do drugs while sipping my coffee. Lady, this is the best “drug” out there. You don’t blackout, you don’t say stupid things, you get stuff done! I ordered a t-shirt that says Pot Head and has a coffee pot on it. I used to be the other pothead in my past and I can assure you I got almost nothing done. Now I’m a coffee pothead and I get it done.
So, I watch Ivy Kitchen and I see her clean, white house. I look about my filthy home and see too much furniture that doesn’t seem to fit in here, the clutter, the mess, the piles of laundry I stuffed in the crib. I was too tired to do much but look about and feel depressed.
I went to bed early that night after walking from room to room assessing the damage. I prepped that pot o’ Joe. I knew that the next day I would be inspired.
And I was. But here is the trick. Don’t hold back. Try weird stuff, put furniture in new places, get rid of stuff. We can’t right now with thrift stores closed and dumps only taking on a little at a time. I could advertise free things but the things I want to get rid of no one will take unless super desperate.
So, I have to use what I have and make it work. I detest my couch and kept thinking of hauling part of it outside to make a sort of outside room. But we all know that can be a very thin line between “creative” and “trashy”. I was risking a lot to do this but I decided to jump in and try anything and everything to make my home charming and open it up a bit.
I put on my Pandora Cat Stevens station and me and the old birds cleaned up a storm.
With my, almost, 8-year-old son we got one section of the couch out on the porch and after fixing up and sweeping the area, rearranging the plants, it looks pretty funky and groovy. The boys spent the rest of the day out there reading and playing in their new “outdoor living room”.
Now my living room has space and looks so much better. Here is a before and after, not the best photos but I didn’t think I was going to blog about this day.
Still needs some work but so much less clutter. I even set up a sewing table in the room (can’t see at this angle) and pulled out the sewing machine. I’m determined to start using it…after I get my husband to help me thread the thing. I even ordered some easy to thread needles. I have so much sewing to do and I enjoy sewing, I’m horrible at it, but it’s meditative. I just can’t thread the darn needles I have.
I cleaned every room and moved things around until the house was super clean, fresh, and tidy. I will be posting a video in a few weeks that shows all the ugly and the final transformation.
Some furniture wound up outside for repurposing, as you see in the top photo. Another thing I’ve been putting off is whitening my kitchen towels. They are all so grey and stained. Ivy Kitchen would never have a stained towel in her kitchen. I have a magic formula I learned on a vlog. You fill a sink or small tub with boiling hot water, bleach, dishwasher powder, vinegar, and Oxyclean (didn’t have it). You stir in a half cup to full cup of each and stir it up, add items and soak overnight. I have a big dish tub full of them from lastnight.
I feel good this morning. I can’t wait to rise and do more deep cleaning and organizing. That is how it works. When you get a huge amount of work done and you see such enormous results, you are inspired to keep going. And keep going you should or you lose that magical momentum.
My future goals are learning to thread and work with the sewing machine. To learn how to fold clothes properly, to learn some delicious vegan recipes, and to take better care of my home and have more pride in my homemaking.
It doesn’t matter if your home is funky, has peeling paint, old furniture, or oddities. What matters is the love and attention you put on it. Get stains out of clothes and linens, iron curtains, mend holes, bleach whites, and kitchen towels. Keep your home clean and tidy, uncluttered, be organized. In the end, it will save so much time and it is good for mental health and well being.
I’m refreshed and content again. After this cup of coffee I will rise, hand water my garden, and begin another productive day.