Thursday, October 13, 2011

Purging and Procrastinating

I do not like housework. I like to cook, bake, even iron clothes, when my house is clean & tidy, and above all QUIET. Which pretty much never happens. I still make an effort to cook and bake when I can muster the fortitude, because the payoff is so worth it! I do love food. But then, I do not like housework. And cooking and baking have the unfortunate side effect of creating more of it.

Another blogger mentioned amongst her radical purging that she kept only enough dishes and utensils for one meal, and enough clothes for 7 days. Although I have considered such measures for clothes, it never occurred for me to do the same with dishes! I usually thank God I have so many dishes, so I can get through a whole day of meals (and then some, depending on the meals and who is home) without having to do dishes. But after sitting crusted with food from breakfast until late evening, cereal bowls get harder to clean. Forcing myself to use fewer dishes in a day - what a fantastic idea! I feel all pumped to do some purging, but first I need to wash the dishes that are currently dirty.

I also badly need to purge the kids' clothes (they have more than they will ever wear!), but first I need to wash all the clothes that are currently dirty. And I desperately need to purge my mismatching tupperware pieces! But first I need to find, wash and sort the tupperware that is currently dirty.

So, to help me get ready to purge our unnecessary belongings, I think I'll spend the afternoon looking for quotes from Molly Maid and competitors. ;) I need help.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How Much For Groceries?

I must confess I have been doing much more blog reading than blog writing! One of the many blogs I have been sporadically following made the following comment on budgeting for groceries:

"If you are on a particularly tight budget, it is realistic to spend $100-$150 per family member for the month."

The author also noted that this includes toiletries, diapers, etc. as needed. So, for our family of 6, not counting the 3-4 times a week we are feeding an extra 2 people, we should be spending... $600-$900?? I realize that this is highly subjective depending on what area you live, cost of food, etc., but this blog post was from July 2008! Here we are in 2011, and when I spend $600 a month for groceries, we are definitely over budget! Is my budget unreasonable? I do cook at least a few meals a week from scratch, and I don't buy pre-made meals. My "fast-food" dinners are things like hotdogs or spaghetti. I also have 3 kids in diapers (one almost done toilet training) and one still on formula.

Let me ask you, how much do you spend on groceries per month? How many people are in your family? Are there special reasons why you would spend significantly more or less? Why do you spend the amount you do?

Monday, July 4, 2011


I came across a great blog last week, on a side trip from I'm An Organizing Junkie, of a mom who describes herself as a slob on a journey of de-slobification. She talks about her difficulty maintaining (isn't that always the kicker) a clean home, and how her ability to see/solve/be-motivated-to-tackle small to medium size messes differs from what she calls "normal people". This strikes a chord with me, even though I have been doing fairly well with keeping my kitchen and dining room in order and nearly keeping up with the laundry recently.

The fact is, my poor husband grew up with a normal mom whose house was always neat and clean, except perhaps for brief interludes in a particular room when her kids were playing indoors. Andrew naturally enjoys order, and notices when things are NOT in order. This is not to say that he always picks up after himself (after all, he was the only boy in a good Dutch family with four girls - he had many things done for him) but I must admit that his own tendency to tidyness has slipped slightly since sharing a matrimonial home with me.

It's inevitable, really, when you live with a slob, that one starts to lose a proper perspective on a "clean" house. In fact, the state of our home has been the primary source of any ongoing arguments in our marriage. There have been pleas, raised voices, recriminations and tears over towels on the bathroom floor, no clean clothes, yesterday's dishes on the table, last week's pot on the stove... and while I have worked hard to make improvements in my housekeeping skills, there is always inevitably a time when the house is yet again an embarrassing mess.

So Nony's de-slobification blog is inspiring me to add some small steps to my routine - or maybe, simply to have a routine! - that will slowly build "normal" cleanliness as a habit and eventually turn even this messy mommy into a competent housekeeper.