Monday, November 29, 2010

Hoarding Without Substance, Part II

This is what I am in my head. I am wrong.
In my head, I am a Domestic Diva.  I keep a super clean house, so clean that you can eat off of the floor.  I'm always ready to entertain.  I work part-time from home, volunteer with the PTA and my girls' school, cook 5-6 nights a week, give my husband all of the adult time that he wants and needs, and I keep my hair natural and nails done to boot.  I grow my own garden, scrapbook, knit, work-out 4-5 times a week, am debt-free, bake fresh bread, I'm in a book club and so on and so forth.  This is perfection. This is also an alternate universe. :)

In reality... My house is a workable mess...When I entertain, we're doing what amounts to a complete overhaul right up until the minute that company arrives. Then, as the hubby greets guests, I fly upstairs to shower/change and THEN I am ready to entertain. I do work part-time from home, but it's not going as smoothly as it can, because my office is a mess lol! It still has junk in it from the last time we "entertained." It seems to be the catch-all room.  Mornings are a mess, heading out is a mess... because we can't ever find things we need.  I do volunteer with the PTA and their school, but again, it's not always smooth because of our time management.  I'm a caterer who LOVES to cook, but I don't cook every day like I should.  Why? The kitchen has too much clutter and I hate doing dishes. *sigh*  Hubby is patient, but I know he needs more of my attention. I'm so caught up in my day-to-day messes that by the time I'm ready for him, he's knocked out sleep. (Po' thang)  Appearance-wise, I'm ok, I just feel the need to lose some serious weight. I've been working on getting my garden right for the last few years, I have scrapbooking materials everywhere in my house, I can't knit (yet), I still carry debt, I bake bread only out of necessity (too lazy to go to the store lol), my book club memberships are sitting unused and so on and so forth. This is my REAL life.  It sounds even worse when I write it all out lol.
This is more like me in real life. 

All of these things combined make me feel like I am "The Great Pretender."  It's not that I lie to anyone, or try to make everything seem like it's perfect. I don't. But I think I lie to myself.  Pretty lies... but they cover ugly truths.  I traced most of my discord to... clutter. Yes! Clutter. Simple, right? WRONG!  It went much deeper than I thought.

To Be Continued.....

Hoarding Without Substance, Part I

Ah, the elusive packrat... Not to be confused with the all-too common hoodrat!

This is a pack rat

This is a hood rat. With glitter!
The ever helpful website defines a pack rat as "a person who collects or hoards especially unneeded items."  If there was an illustration on there, it would have my face next to it! I never realized how much of a pack rat that I was, until I decided to clean up. Literally, just clean up my house.  I had what the lovely Flylady calls CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome) realllllly bad.  It's not that my house is jacked up.  I live in a pretty nice suburb, on a street with well manicured lawns.  My house is an average sized colonial.  From the outside looking in, you'd never guess that inside that home was a big damn mess.  Yes, I said it... A big. damn. mess.  

Earlier this year, in keeping with my desire to live a more simple life, I decided to get rid of what I deemed as a "little clutter."  I had no idea what I was getting myself into. None.  I've read so many cleaning and organizing books that I could probably write one myself.  There are certain things I tend to keep neat, such as my office supplies, catering supplies and "toy party" supplies.  Others, like laundry/toys/dishes/paper clutter/books and so on... are all over the house.  I used to joke that I was just not all that domesticated, despite the fact that I'm a WAHM.  But as I started taking an honest look at my life.... I realized that I was right.  That's pretty sad.

To Be Continued.....

Friday, November 12, 2010

Soap Nuts!!!

Awhile back, I was reading one of my all time favorite blogs, Simple Mom, and she introduced her readers to something that I'd never even heard of. Soap Nuts.  They are a natural detergent.  You place a few of them in a bag and throw them in the wash.  They can even be re-used and then composted!  I make my own detergent, but that was totally beyond my scope of experience.  However, I decided to give it a try since they seemed awesome. I went to the Laundry Tree website and placed an order for a sample pack.  It was only $1.99, so I figured if I didn't like them, it was no real waste of money. Well, not much of one anyway lol.  When I received the packet, I opened it up and this is what I saw:
Yes, this is what they really look like!
I just stared at them, like how the heck are these little turd nuggets going to get my laundry clean? But I decided to go ahead and give them a chance.  You place 3-4 of these nuts in a small linen bag (which is included) and throw them in the wash.  This is for warm/hot water washing.  There's another set of directions for cold water washing.  I chose to do school uniforms - a true test lol!  I added a scoop of my homemade oxyclean to make sure that my whites stayed bright. (Recommended)  I followed all of the directions and crossed my fingers.  When I pulled the clothes out... SURPRISE! They were just as clean as the detergent that I make.  Most of the clothes were hung up immediately.  No scent, and they work great for those of us with sensitive skin.  All four of us have super sensitive skin, so when my youngest wore her shirt the next day and there were no ill effects, I was sold. I washed two more loads of clothes and then threw them in the compost bin.  I am giving away sample packs with all of my Christmas gifts. <3