Deep cleaning.

Message_1588789275679Bali 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.


37 thoughts on “Deep cleaning.

    1. Thank you for the channel recommendation, I Just finished watching her simple blessings video and I’m also inspired. I ❤️ how the porch turned out! It looks so cozy. I enjoy watching your videos while I’m cleaning my home 😊.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Doesn’t it feel SO good to de-clutter and open up a room??? I love the way your living room looks. Very open, airy and still very homey and comfortable. I agree about the “pothead” mentality. I used to drink alcohol. Not to the point of being an alcoholic but to the point where nothing was getting done in my home or just the bare minimum to “get by”. One day I literally said to myself, “Aren’t you tired of just getting by and living like this?” So I traded Tito’s for Cafe Bustelo on January 1st of this year. What a difference a clear mind makes! Really enjoy reading your blog. Enjoy your new home and all that property! I’m slightly (very) jealous!! 😁

    Liked by 2 people

  2. PS- I love the couch on your porch. It looks so comfy! I could just picture sitting out there early in the morning drinking coffee. Heaven!


  3. I am sure one of those little boys could thread your machine!
    Your porch looks great and the boys loved it, win win.


  4. Thank you- thank you – thank you! I have been watching you for awhile and you are my daily inspiration and blessing. I always take your advice regarding other channels to watch and you are always right! I have become a person with more gratitude for the things I have and more frugal (conscious of my spending). Please- please continue your you tube channel as it is my North Star!!

    Angie Dokolas

    Sent from my iPhone



  5. I so needed this today. a Great read as always but especially today.. Im trying without much luck to keep busy..

    My mom is 93 she was in nursing home for rehab to get stronger to go home..she got covid 19 at nursing she was rushed to the hospital.Doctor called’s bad..I had to sign a Do not resuscitate order over the phone with the doctor and a nurse witness and legal person..I have cried all day…
    . I am just ..I don’t even know..My only sibling ..sister died years ago and my Dad died..Mom is all that’s left and when she passes I have to deal with everything ..I’m so sad, hurt, scared.and helpless..I can’t even go see her and now I can’t even talk to her on the phone as she is being kept comfortable now..I will never see or talk to my mom again…
    Wear your mask!!!


    1. I am so very sorry for this situation. I cannot even imagine the pain you are experiencing but I wanted you to know there are people out there that care about you and what you are going through. I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

      Hugs to you

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh, Ellen! I am so sorry. What a very sad time for you. I will be thinking about and praying for you and your mother. Hang in there. Reach out to people around you and let them know what you are going through. There are people who care and will be there for you.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. So sad that we can’t be with our loved ones before they pass. You have had a lot of loss and not immediate family to be with you, comfort you, walk with you through this. I feel your pain.


    4. Oh, Ellen! I’m so very, very sorry to hear about your dear mom. I hope you have close friends or cousins or SOMEONE to help you deal with this – even if it’s just by talking on the phone. This is just tragic.

      Liked by 1 person

    5. One day… one hour… one minute at a time. Sometimes that’s the best we can do. I’m sad for you and your situation. I hope you have friends you can turn to. When all else fails distract yourself focus on anything that gives you joy. There is still joy, we need to search for it. I believe Kate is a lovely and peaceful distraction. Good luck.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Kate, what a great post! I just smiled and nodded my head as I read it. I totally get it. I love being a housewife, but it can be very hard and tiring. You are doing an amazing job with your new home and huge garden! I get worn out hand watering my little container garden out back. Lol! I love how you have decorated your home. It is so comfortable and cozy. Isn’t that what we all want? I do! I have been going back and binge watching all your YouTube videos from the beginning. So much fun! And I am reading through all your books. You are a wise and kind soul with such a funny sense of humor. I love my coffee like you do and I think we could have some really good coffee chats! You and Bali are raising such cute and smart little boys in a loving fun-filled home. Keep up the good work! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m feeling a bit burnt out the last few days. I have a high spirited day and then I day I take a nap on the couch…like today. I tried out that porch couch and it was lovely. Homemaking can be tedious.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m the opposite of you, if I drink coffee, I become like a gerbil on meth–it ain’t pretty. I am very hyper, and I am constantly moving, but I accomplish very little. I just can’t focus. It took me YEARS to figure that out, but once I did, I became far more productive. The house is looking great.


  8. Your porch looks GREAT!! Love that you put a piece of your couch on it. It looks super cozy and relaxing!! We are setting up a little patio area in the front half of our yard, the back is reserved for the garden we are putting in.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The before and after photos were great, a huge improvement, and I agree, less is definitely more soothing!

    I smiled about your burst of deep cleaning. Last month, I made a list of every room on excel and have been working my way down the list. I got the bedrooms and living room done (super deep cleaning and getting rid of extra stuff) but have stalled out now. Your write up got me looking at the list and deciding to clean the front and back patios this week ;). I agree that getting things done all at once is the best hope, having only done half my list demoralized me a bit. But I am inspired again.

    Love your blog, thanks again for the effort you spend keeping us updated!


  10. Found you not that long ago and am really enjoying all your great content. I am going to attempt to put in a few vegetable plants this summer, you have inspired me to give it a try!!! If I get a couple nice tomatoes this summer it was a success. Love following your channel!!


  11. Your porch looks amazing, Kate, and the living room spacious with enough room for the kids to sprawl out on the floor. I don’t think I ever sat on living room furniture as a kid (or young adult)…it was always the floor. I’m deep cleaning the dining room today which means moving stuff about to get into the corners. At my age, I have to do it in stages but I got nothin’ BUT time on my hands these days. I plan to shampoo the carpet tomorrow. The major work is done since I’ll only shampoo the traffic areas.

    Liked by 1 person

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