good finds / home / HOMESCHOOLING / MOTHERHOOD

A place for everything…

I promise, I'm not going to talk about cleaning and organizing for the rest of the year, I'm just a girl on a mission at the moment. This weekend, I was once again confronted by the fact that I am very hindered by mess. This isn't to say I have a clean house, it's the daily struggle to get things in their place, put away, cleaned and dealt with that hinders all other aspects of my life, especially my ability to be ready for anything, ready to jump into a project or activity with my children. If my kitchen is messy, I don't want to bake cookies. If the living room is messy, I don't want to go in there and teach you how to knit. I have to clean first. It's pretty pathetic, I know. Especially when I feel like I'm never completely on top of the cleaning, so it is a daily struggle. 

no stopping me now

This weekend, I spent a good chunk of Saturday morning cleaning and putting away things in the kitchen. Things that had been sitting out on the counters, things on the shelves, dishes that needed to be moved to a giveaway box, etc. And having a clean kitchen got me excited to be in there–I baked, I made a good dinner, I even broke out the dehydrator–something I've been wanting to experiment with for awhile now. (Dehydrated apples? Big time, yum. Before you know it, I'll be dehydrating their lunches and storing them in airtight bags.)

As I cleaned on Saturday, an old saying came to mind: "A place for everything. Everything in its place." It's our new family theme, I've decided. Our mantra. What we're talking about this week in school. What I'm reminding myself and my husband.

experiment

In the meantime, Emma and I embarked on a little experiment this afternoon. We wanted to figure out which would freeze faster–salt water or fresh water. Our discussion about fresh water (lakes, ponds, streams) and salt water (oceans) made me realize that Emma has never been to the ocean, though we live just a few hours away now. She tells me she'll never swim in the ocean–the sharks, the jelly fish, how deep it is, and now that she realizes it's full of saltwater, it's even more reason for her to turn up her nose. Just wait and see, Emma…

new nifty timer

With the absence of two thermometers we had to modify our experiment and began checking our water samples in the freezer every ten minutes. It was a great excuse to use my new TimeTimer, which I love. The visual aspect of the countdown is so helpful for children. Especially my daughter, who needs to know how long until every next event in her near future. "How many more minutes until my riding lesson? How many more minutes until lunch? How many more minutes until Daddy gets home?" The concepts of minutes and hours and seconds have always been difficult for her to understand. But I'm thinking this nifty little timer will help with all that. Plus it's just plain fun to turn that big red dial and watch it disappear.

So the experiment was generally a success. The freshwater froze first. Elizabeth drank the saltwater and spit it out all over the kitchen floor. And tomorrow we're going to race to melt ice cubes with the salt shakers.

Sounds like a good time.

If I can just get the dinner dishes cleaned up. Kidding.

(kind of.)

I promise, I'm not going to talk about cleaning and organizing for the rest of the year, I'm just a girl on a mission at the moment. This weekend, I was once again confronted by the fact that I am very hindered by mess. This isn't to say I have a clean house, it's the daily struggle to get things in their place, put away, cleaned and dealt with that hinders all other aspects of my life, especially my ability to be ready for anything, ready to jump into a project or activity with my children. If my kitchen is messy, I don't want to bake cookies. If the living room is messy, I don't want to go in there and teach you how to knit. I have to clean first. It's pretty pathetic, I know. Especially when I feel like I'm never completely on top of the cleaning, so it is a daily struggle. 

no stopping me now

This weekend, I spent a good chunk of Saturday morning cleaning and putting away things in the kitchen. Things that had been sitting out on the counters, things on the shelves, dishes that needed to be moved to a giveaway box, etc. And having a clean kitchen got me excited to be in there–I baked, I made a good dinner, I even broke out the dehydrator–something I've been wanting to experiment with for awhile now. (Dehydrated apples? Big time, yum. Before you know it, I'll be dehydrating their lunches and storing them in airtight bags.)

As I cleaned on Saturday, an old saying came to mind: "A place for everything. Everything in its place." It's our new family theme, I've decided. Our mantra. What we're talking about this week in school. What I'm reminding myself and my husband.

experiment

In the meantime, Emma and I embarked on a little experiment this afternoon. We wanted to figure out which would freeze faster–salt water or fresh water. Our discussion about fresh water (lakes, ponds, streams) and salt water (oceans) made me realize that Emma has never been to the ocean, though we live just a few hours away now. She tells me she'll never swim in the ocean–the sharks, the jelly fish, how deep it is, and now that she realizes it's full of saltwater, it's even more reason for her to turn up her nose. Just wait and see, Emma…

new nifty timer

With the absence of two thermometers we had to modify our experiment and began checking our water samples in the freezer every ten minutes. It was a great excuse to use my new TimeTimer, which I love. The visual aspect of the countdown is so helpful for children. Especially my daughter, who needs to know how long until every next event in her near future. "How many more minutes until my riding lesson? How many more minutes until lunch? How many more minutes until Daddy gets home?" The concepts of minutes and hours and seconds have always been difficult for her to understand. But I'm thinking this nifty little timer will help with all that. Plus it's just plain fun to turn that big red dial and watch it disappear.

So the experiment was generally a success. The freshwater froze first. Elizabeth drank the saltwater and spit it out all over the kitchen floor. And tomorrow we're going to race to melt ice cubes with the salt shakers.

Sounds like a good time.

If I can just get the dinner dishes cleaned up. Kidding.

(kind of.)

27 comments on “A place for everything…”

  1. well put… i totally know what you mean. good job, though. at least you are aware of the problem it causes, so that’s a huge step. good luck on continuing the keeping-on-top-of-things streak…

    cool timer, too. i think that could be a very nifty thing to have!

  2. my daughter isn’t too crazy about the whole shark/octopus/squid/monster’s gonna getcha idea. she loves the ocean, but she thinks all these things will come out of tub and pool drains. she wont take a bath with bubbles because she has to keep an eye on the drain.

    my kids like to freeze large containers of ice then smash them outside with hammers and mallets. kids love ice!

  3. sometimes i think i’ll never be done organizing; i’ve finished a few times only to start a new project, like homeschooling, that throws it all out of whack..getting there:)

  4. i can totally relate to being overwhelmed by messes, not wanting to embark on a new project when a room, or all rooms, are untidy. cleaning and organizing is an ongoing project. i hope emma loves the ocean once you get there. we’re a good two hours away – i wish we went more often. the kids absolutely love it, even if they are scared to death of great white sharks.

  5. I can’t believe they’ve never been to the ocean. Emma’s all talk now but I’m sure once she gets there she’ll forget all about the sharks, the jellyfish, the salt and be splashing in the waves. Then you’ll get to worry about all that instead.

  6. Oh, yeah. I’ve been throwing things away/giving them away left and right. Just took half of the “kid dishes” and all of my seconds to the salvation army drop. Attacking summer clothes as we begin to put them away and winter clothes as we drag them back out.

  7. OMG! Are you my twin in a parallel universe?? Your first paragraph describes me to a “t!” I have to clean the kitchen before I can start to make a new mess in the kitchen. I can not sit in our living room and relax if it is a mess.

    My kids, however, do not seem to have inherited this trait of mine. In fact, their ability to NOT see the clutter and mess seems equivalent to my inability to overlook the clutter and mess! (((sigh)))

  8. Ha! My men swore last year that they were not going to put one big toe in the ocean, for all the same reasons. It took ’em less than 5 minutes to be up to their chins in it 🙂

  9. You can never talk about cleaning to much! It just motivates me to do some of my own. I had a freakout this weekend when i couldn’t find something. I just stopped and looked around and was mortified with all the stuff we have… Its a constant battle in most homes. But I can relate in have to clean a space before using it… especially the kitchen.

  10. Molly, I am reading your recent posts and find myself thinking the exact same things. I know what is important, and that family is my top priority, but it is very hard to move through your day in a mess. Eventually, it starts to wear you out.I am starting a book/journal of my own and approaching it like it is a job. Everything may not get done at once, but if I have the plan, I should get more accomplished and enjoy my home with my family, more often.Thank you for sharing, you’ve inspired me to get on top of everything…..cleaning, organizing, meal planning, etc.

  11. i know all too well that feeling of priority sorting – i always have to clean before projects, cooking, baking. and if i don’t have the energy to clean, i can easily become overwhelmed and depressed. plus i live with an amazingly creative crafter (the electronic toy type) and we’ve got stuff all over the house, wires, batteries, screws, plastic, in addition to laundry, daily mail – ahh! at first i thought well, everything in it’s place, a place for everthing and so i would buy baskets, crates, drawers or whatever else might hold a certain odd or end. this week however i realized, the more containers you have, the more stuff you’ll keep. part of this realization came two weeks ago when my mom brought three large plastic bins of things from my childhood, she was simplifying her house and therefor i was forced to realize, not everthing needs to be kept. in the tubs there were all sort of containers, wooden boxes, leather bags, plastic mailboxes, etc. and they were all full of littler stuff, marbels, plastic mcdonald’s toys, notes, dolls. ok i was grateful she kept the stuff but only a handful of it was really worth keeping, in ten years or so when i have kids – i can show them some handmade toys, special memories, so out with the old and with it was my engraved sense of storing. so i’ve started, it will take time, but i’ve started with one room, going through every draw, cupboard, basket and getting rid of stuff. and if the basket was then empty, heck what do i need that basket for. and heck with the yardsale i’ll never have the time to organize, it’s all going to the goodwill. and the place i hope to find myself in is one where there’s a lot less stuff to be put in it’s place, i’m keeping all my best finds, so it’s not so overwhelming and i can easily decide to bake or sew and feel like the decision of having kids won’t put my little space into complete chaos, and to value the time spent being and less “need to be doing”. i also really liked your discovery of knitting in the living room and how it slowed the pace of life for kids, that’s something my mom definitely do when i was growing up

    sorry for the long comment 🙂

  12. I just love the vignette of that bright yellow teapot against the modern-looking time timer. I have grown more fond of yellow in recent years, and I love that particular shade. Does it have a lid? If not, it’s still too nice to get rid of.

  13. i just love your blog! i have had everything that i need to make resin jewelry for at least six months now! but you know why i wont start? because i do not have everything in it’s proper place yet! not that i am mrs.domestic goddess or anything! i totally relate to it just eating away at you! clutter is always on my mind! with my three darlings and a messy husband, i don’t know if i’ll ever get to start on that jewlery!

  14. Love the science project.

    I have to agree about messes. My friends always say “Your house is always so clean!” But I tell them, no, it’s neat. And neatness is my sanity. It’s true.

  15. Great experiment. My daughter would love that timer she is constantly asking how long dinner will be and when you give her an answer, she says well how long is that then?

    I have the ‘More with Less’ cookbook(I saw on the shelf below the timer) I love it I have tried quite a few recipes and when I am stuck at the end of the month it always comes out.

  16. I think you come by that “I can’t do work until everything is put in its place” thing honestly. It’s totally a McGuirk think. Maybe at touch of OCD. I certainly have it! Looooooove you! Wish I could be sitting with you and Catherine and belly laughing right now.

  17. I walked into my classroom and was met with a serious disaster. There is a place for everything, I swear…but it’s a small room and my days have been busy. Thirty minutes later everything was in it’s place and I’ve had my most productive day so far. This weekend I’m dehydrating apples!

  18. great experiment! i too have a how longer’! how many minutes untill my next dance class ? how many minutes untill we are done with school work! :0) and the ocean thing too! and then she saw and smelled it and now says she never wants to leave and wants to be a mermaid !

  19. oh! how do you like the dehydrator? I’ve been wanting to buy one, I have read so many different reviews I can’t decide on which to buy, or how well they work? lovely photographs!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.