The Never-Ending Cycle

photo(1)I sighed as I placed yet another load into the washing machine.

I’ve long given up on trying to figure out how three people, one being a child, are able to produce so much laundry.

It’s like the song that never ends. One load in; one out, almost daily.

Separating. Folding. Putting away. Over and over again.

As I stood at the white machine this morning, removing clothes one by one from the hamper to place them in for their weekly washing, I remembered to be grateful for the tasks that do not end.

For one day, they will.

One day, little people will grow up.  And taking their laundry with them, there will be less clothing in the wash than there was before.  I’ll long for the days of grass-stained denim and sweaty Little League shirts and chocolate ice cream with chocolate syrup dripped across faded shirts that are worn over and over again despite a drawer full of new ones because of how loved that one shirt is.

I think about those that are single and how, perhaps, they dream as they do their laundry to one day have another to do such a meaningful task for.  For in the dreariness of redundancy, there is beauty in serving others.

In just a few short months, I’ll add to my load–both literally and figuratively–with spit-up onesies and other let’s not mention it right now types of stains and I know there are women out there longing to see these things in their machines.  For their never-ending cycles are far worse than mine–each month to want the one thing they are not getting.

There are many other “never-endings” in my life, but I want to be the woman who relishes in the goodness and security that they provide than to grow bitter that they do not cease.

And so I put one more load in.  The hamper stays empty for all of twelve seconds before the socks I told him to make sure weren’t left on the floor finally get picked up and put in their proper destination. Right after the load is done.

Yes, the security of those white socks always await me.

And I am happy.

I am blessed.

Daily Cleaning Tips

cinderellaWhile going through some paper work the other day, I came across a notebook where I used to jot down daily “to dos.”  Taped to the front was a list of daily chores that one could do that takes less than 30 minutes per day.

I’m at a place as a homemaker where I do not need to refer to a list like that anymore.  It is very much ingrained in me how to keep my home tidy with little to no effort.  I am not talking about a deep clean!  I’m sure you will find enough dust bunnies under my couch to fill your Easter basket, but simple cleaning techniques that make you feel good to be in your house!

I did not know where I cut out the list from, but leave it to the good old internet to find it for me. Actually, I could not find the original article on Real Simple (one of my favorite resources, btw!), but ended up finding it here:

How To Clean Your Home in 19 Minutes

From there, you’ll be able to click on links that will take you do an expanded article on the actual Real Simple site for each room.  They will also provide you with tasks you should do monthly and then seasonally.

I cannot stress enough how much of a good habit this is to form if you are not already doing it.  I rarely have to “deep clean” because by wiping everything down often, messes don’t build up.  It’s also to your benefit if an emergency comes up or someone happens to drop by–your own is always at the ready.  I love leaving my home knowing it’s not in disarray and coming home and not having to do any housework if I’m not up to it!  Everything is wiped and put away.

Have any housekeeping questions you’d like to ask me?  Feel free!  It’s not a glamorous topic, but it’s something I know I want to write about on the blog; how to keep a home without going crazy.  I’ve only been at this a little over a decade now, so I’m no expert (That’s my mom!) but I have definitely found things that worked–and did not work–along the way.

If you’re like me and to need to keep these types of task lists in front of you, I’ve created a Word document that you can print out and hang up somewhere .  Again though, there will come a point where it’s second nature and you’ll laugh that you ever even needed to refer to a list.

How To Clean Your Home in 19 Minutes
{printable}

Happy Cleaning!

{Funny e-card above via}

Some helpful tips.

This post will consist of things that, yes, I have Googled.  Or Bing’ed.  Or Swagbuxed.  (Google totally got the monopoly on that verb.)  If I needed to look them up, I’m sure someone reading this might say, “Oh, that’s good to know!”

How to Dispose Cooking Oil
Place used oil in a sealable (non-recyclable) container and discard with regular garbage.  (In other words, DON’T put it down your drain or flush it down your toilet like your mother does!)

Be sure to wipe excess oil off of pots, pans, etc. with a paper towel before washing.

How to Dispose Medication
I know NYC has special collection days if you want to get rid of old medicine.  But if you must throw it in the trash, put it in a bag and throw it in the trash.  There are other methods (that I did not write down), just do not put medications down the drains!

How to Clean a Washing Machine
1) Fill your washer full with hot water to the largest load setting.  When it begins to agitate, add four cups of distilled white vinegar and 1/2 cup of baking soda.  Let washer agitate until mixed well.  Turn machine off and let sit for 30-45 minutes.

2) Let the washer run through a whole wash cycle.  (If possible, turn the knob to spin cycle as the water drains.)

3) When the washer is empty, take a rag, a 1:1 part solution of hot water and vinegar and wipe down the inside.  Remove fabric softner dispenser if possible.

4) Allow machine to air dry before use.

***

I did not write down references in my notebook as I looked these questions up, but I can say I’ll look at a bunch of sites and pick which is the most thorough and gives (what seems to be) accurate information.

So let me know if you handle any of these questions differently!