The Knitting Journeyman

Gathering Up One Thread At A Time As I Weave This Web Of Mine.....

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

When Will My House Clean Itself Please?

     A house that cleans itself.  Does that not sound like the most amazing idea you have ever heard?  Bozena Chorazewicz offers up some delectable advise on making your house work for you.  The book she recommends, ‘Make Your House Do The Housework’ by Don Aslett, was published first in what looks to be 1986 (according to amazon) and was revised in 1995.  I am not knocking that.  I am actually amazed.  Do you know many other books written then that would be viable to you right this moment?
     Bozena gives you many suggestions from the book in her post.  Her post made me look around, as I am in the middle of all my ‘radical’ reducing and ponder a few things.
     Radiant heat is awesome.  I’ve been wanting to do it since I first saw it on one DIY network or the other in the mid-90s.
     I do like the whole premise though.  Cut down on clutter.  Instead of floor lamps, do ceiling lighting.  I may actually have to by Aslett’s book to see what else we can come up w to change the way we do things around here.  R and I are both not only into spending less time cleaning; we are also into finding the most green and most efficient way to do things. 
     There are, of course, several pitfalls in our application of making the house clean itself.  One…we have dogs.  Dogs shed.  Dogs track mud into the house.  Dogs roll in things.  Dogs…stink…on a variety of levels…no matter how often you bathe them or brush their teeth. 
     We now have bunnies.  Who also shed.  Who toss hay all over the place.  Who poop…constantly…their poop is round…it rolls…and they run around and kick and frolic and knock the poop all over the place.  Their hay can be dusty too.  Food pellets get treated much as the poop, knocked all over the place.  Both rabbits dig through their pellets to find the tasty bits.  I mean, they DIG through it, with food flying all over the place at times when the bun is in search of that very last black sunflower seed that has to be in the very farthest back corner of the feeder. 
     We have children.  Kids shed.  My kids can make dust in an empty space.  I don’t know how.  Both kids are dirt magnets.  Then there is also the general disorder that follows both kids around.  E’s job is to sweep up the bunny area…if I had swept the way she does when I was a kid, my mother would have killed me.  E gets about half of everything.  I’ve watched her.  I don’t think the broom touches things when it is in her hand.  She can sweep over a pile of hay, sweep stuff into the dust pan, and there still be more than half the pile sitting in the same place as she moves to the next place.  I do not for the life of me get that. 
Despite the fact that I am paring everything down, I am still a pack rat in some areas.  I make dolls.  I collect dolls.  I am not giving my dolls up because they get dusty.  Also, I have cups all over the place, some with crochet hooks, some with pens, some with nail files, whatever.  I need those because I hate to have stuff shoved into a drawer—I forget what I have and then will go out and buy more stuff.
I’m good w minimal furniture.  Although I love open floor space, I really appreciate having places for friends and family to sit and relax when they come to visit.  And w some family, it’s a better thing if they can sit on one end of the room while I sit at the other.
     No one ever mentions what to do to make your house clean itself when you have animals and kids running around.  Heck, even the fish tank causes issues.  The water will smell funny if it isn’t cleaned.  Thankfully, I amended the filter system w media of my own…as in instead of using the recommended filters made for that system, I took the components of a completely different system and used them instead.  So instead of the plastic frame covered w cotton that holds the charcoal in the middle…I have foam inserts, charcoal separate, and a third bacteria media that all fit into the filter (all of these are made for aquariums—just for different filter systems)—and it works five times better this way than w the intended filters.  Plus, I only have to clean up this system once a month, rather than every week.  It hasn’t done much to kill off the snails, but now that we have our light issue fixed (the tank is on a timer—the timer had been shut off so the fish got light 24/7—NOT a good thing—now they have plenty of dark) the botia are doing an amazing job of eating up all the shelled slimy slimies. 
     So, when you have kids and when you have critters, how do you make your house clean itself?  With a chair and a bull whip? 
     I personally prefer the FlyLady way.  Fifteen minutes to clean in any given zone.  Every day you have a plan.  No dishes left in the sink overnight.  Well, usually anyway.  I will never be able to get up in the morning and put on shoes to wear around my house all day long.  That’s my only issue.
     I can say that minimizing the amount of stuff in my life has really helped me focus more.  I thought the last time I went through my closets, when we were donating to the abused women’s charity, that there was no way I could part w anything else.  Then, w no one in mind to donate to, I went through the same closets again and tossed out so much more stuff.
     I have pared down my yarn stash…and set more restrictions upon that.  I bought the clear plastic containers to go through again and reorganize everything, so I can see what I have when I want to make something.  My friend Kerry, the horrible enabler that she is, passed on a 10% off coupon for knitpicks at the same time I read an email that had a picture of the most amazing sweater ever in it, Klaralund.  I had to have that pattern…and then Kerry does this…and instead of $30-35 for one book…I spent $60 for four books instead…boy, do I love Kerry!
I have minimized my clothes—while at the same time ensuring I have clothes that will turn my boyfriend’s head every time he sees me in them.  I have pared down my craft supplies and stashes.  I have tossed unused knitting needles, crochet hooks, and every manner of beast in between.  I decided not to put many things up on the walls in this house…mainly because to do so requires drilling a hole, not just tapping a nail in w a hammer.  That made me more aware of just how many things mean enough to me for me to display.  I didn’t think of it as cutting down on clutter…but yes, I can see that too.
I cut the size of my kitchen goods in half.  I have donated foods.  I have donated personal care items.  I have donated towels and rags to no less than three animal charities at this point.  I have downsized on all material fronts.
I am working fewer hours.  I am writing more.  I am spending more time with my family.  I am happier and I am healthier.  What else could I ask for at this point?