Why I Ditched My Junk Drawer

I wonder when the junk drawer came into existence, and how we all manage to have one without even questioning it.  I know I did, I know my parents did.  It was filled with the most miscellaneous stuff, rubber bands, twist ties, bottle openers, magnets, paper clips.  I even went as far as getting little tray dividers and every so often would try to organize everything by department but eventually (and eventually being about 2 days later in this case) the whole thing would end up like one big mish mash of clutter.  The place where you shove everything that you don’t want to deal with.

My kitchen isn’t very large and drawer space is at a premium so I decided one day, about a year ago, to ditch my junk drawer.  I thought about it and tried to remember what was in there that I actually used more than once every couple of months.  I came up with scissors, rubber bands and pens.  Everything else I found a separate home for or tossed.  The stuff I use I just stuck in a jar and put it on a shelf.  And you know what, not once have I missed that drawer.

Now maybe my next project should be making my junk jar a little prettier.  🙂

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The Outfit Fairy

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You know what I hate?  I mean, besides when Subway accidentally gets a rogue onion chunk mixed in with the lettuce of my sandwich and I bite into it and retch a bit.  Well, I hate mornings. I don’t even hate them just because I have to get up early to the sound of my local disk jockeys making jokes, I hate them because they’re so darn rushed.

First my alarm goes off, that is, if my four year old hasn’t come in and pounced on my bed already and dug her cold feet into my knee backs.  (what’s the right term for knee backs?  underknees?  kneepits?  meh, someone knows, but not me).  Then my husband and I argue over who has to get up and shower first and I win (which means I get to stay in bed while he showers) but I don’t REALLY win because my daughter wants breakfast and I have to go turn the espresso maker on so it can warm up.

Then suddenly… BOOM!  I’m making lunches because I didn’t bother making them the night before, I’m waking up my seven year old who’s suddenly turned into sleeping beauty (and conveniently, reading too late beauty at night), I’m trying to remember to get dressed myself and brush my teeth, I forget to make my own breakfast, I’m hassling the kids to hurry up and eat and get dressed and brush their teeth.  I’m making sure their school bags are packed with library books and permission slips and spare underwear.

So I discovered a while back one little thing that has shaved some time off of my morning.  Preparing clothes in advance.  I used to have to comb through laundry piles and drawers looking for clean socks for them to wear and it was so stressful!  Now on Sundays as I fold the laundry, I simply organize their clothes into piles.  Each pile has a top, a bottom, socks and underwear.  I then clamp them all together in one of those pants hangers, sort them by kid, and hang them all in the closet.  Then each morning the kids get to go into the closet and pick an outfit that the outfit fairy magically left there for them.

Now, I don’t pretend to be perfect so you can see that their clothes aren’t perfectly straight etc etc but they match(ish) and they’re clean(ish) so it’ll do for me.

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The Neverending Story

Okay so I never actually watched The NeverEnding story, like, the movie.  You know, the one with the big puffy cloud dog thing.  Scold me if you must for either not having watched it or not knowing what that dog cloud thing actually is.  To me the REAL neverending story is actually the one, the only… Housework.

I think all but the very luckiest (or unluckiest?) of us can agree that there are about a million things we’d rather do than chores.  However, in an effort to keep child services from knocking at my door and to also keep my husband from running away from my home waving his arms above his head screaming “I can’t take it anymooooorrrreeee!!!” I’ve had to come up with some ways to make housework… feasible.

As I’ve said before, I work during the week and have two young children.  My husband also works and unluckily for him he spends a lot of time at night hunkered down marking papers and planning lessons so unfortunately a lot of the daily drudgery falls on my shoulders.  Did I mention that he’s a total clean freak and I’m a scatter brained borderline ADD lazy craftaholic?  Well, guilty as charged.

So I recently made up what I call a Basic Chore Schedule.  This is basically the bare minimum that I need to get done in order to keep my house from smelling like pee and rotten vegetables.  Okay, maybe it still smells a little like pee but I’m going to blame that on the kids.

I’ve followed Flylady and studied a few different cleaning schedules and had a hard time finding something that really fit my schedule.  I’ve sort of stolen some ideas from everything and compiled them into what works for me.  I’m sure it will need a lot of fine tuning, especially as our lives are ever evolving but so far it works.

You’ll probably notice that my week nights are pretty bare.  Most posts I’ve read seem to want you to spread out your chores daily and honestly in theory that’s fab and maybe that works for a lot of people but I’m going to be honest here.  I’m a case study in good intentions.  I can stick all sorts of checklists to my fridge but when it comes down to it, I pick up the kids after work, maybe shuttle them to an activity, cook dinner and all I want to do is have a bath and tune everyone out.  So I’ve got it down to the “please do this at LEAST so that tomorrow the kitchen isn’t totally disgusting when you’re just trying to make your dang coffee in the morning as your four year old tries to convince you AGAIN that she should have pudding for breakfast”.  So week nights after dinner, I’m happy if I manage to tidy up a bit, put our shoes and coats away, clear the dishes and tidy the kitchen.

This leaves the weekend.  I tend to spend Saturday doing food type stuff and Sunday getting stuff ready for the week ahead, which means mostly laundry.  You’ll also see that one of my items is “hang outfits” which is better described in this post.  Not a hard concept but something I’ve found very handy!

So here’s my schedule, I think it’s pretty straight forward but feel free to adjust to suit you!  And yes, there are lots of other less common chores to be done like cleaning the garage etc etc but I’m really hoping if I ignore those things someone will take pity on me and do them for me.

Basic Chore Schedule

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