Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Clean Like A Ninja!

Hello Friends :)

It has been a while since I've updated. Things didn't quite go as planned.

I have some medical issues that need to be taken care of- nothing serious, but enough to cause discomfort and inconvenience.

And sometimes, extreme pain because I throw caution to the wind and do something my doctor says I shouldn't.

Which is pretty much everything. I'm not even allowed to WALK. The only position that doesn't cause stress to the area is laying flat on my back. Not on my side. Not on my front. It HAS to be the back. Not sitting. Not standing.  I'm spending most of my time in a semi-slouched position (yep, great for my back!) in an outdoor chair, just so I'm not stuck all summer long in my bed and away from people. Ain't nobody got time for that!

So while I've been listening (kind of) to my doctor's sage advice, many of my normal day to day routines are no longer allowed. This includes, much to my horror, house cleaning.

I am NOT the cleaning fairy. I HATE cleaning. I was told back when I first had  children that a messy house was a sign of happy children. And it's somewhat true. But I simply can NOT handle it. Untidy, sure. Dirty? NO WAY!

I spent AGES trying to figure out a way to keep my house clean. I hated that my house was only ever properly clean for house inspections. That was the one week every quarter I could invite people over for coffee without being embarrassed and horrified to let anyone through the door.

I thought I had finally figured it out. I have tried everything out on the internet. In the end, I had to mishmash things that worked into a useable system.

And then I started teaching. It took it's toll not only on my housework, but my entire life in a way that I was NOT prepared for! Over the past 5 years I've worked and re-worked the system, and tweaked it here and there and FINALLY, I think I have done it! More on how a little later.

Sure enough, this year hubby started uni (studying to be a PE teacher- learnt somewhat from watching my experiences. Steering away from little kids and their parents!) and THE HOUSE WAS STILL CLEAN!!! I really hope he doesn't decide to read this lol.

Insert happy dance. There was one. It lasted for over a week. I happy danced everywhere declaring to anyone who would listen that MY HOUSE STAYED CLEAN! 

The only thing that did impact this, though, was my recently aggravated medical problems. No cleaning. No sweeping. No mopping. No reaching or bending.

Boy did we all notice. I tried to get the hubby to use the system. He couldn't. He tried. He wanted to help. It's just not in his nature to be organised or to be dictated to by an organisational scheme. It's how he was raised. Christmas Eve had a party at his parents house. No one knew what time to arrive, and some of us organised what to bring the day before... and some people just brought stuff and hoped for the best. It's just part of who he is. No planning. And he wants to be a teacher.... hahaha!

Anyway. The house was horrid. And it's rained for the past week or so, so there is Mount Washmore in my laundry, I don't have a dryer and the rain comes under my undercover area, so there was no laundry getting done. The kids tried to keep up with their chores... but they slacked because they knew I wasn't going to check as thoroughly as normal. I did clear all the rubbish off the kitchen benches every day (why they couldn't walk the three steps to the bin, I will never understand), but they dishes weren't being cleaned properly, they weren't being put away... and the floor was covered in water constantly. Something leaked in the fridge.... and was left that way. So gross. My bedroom was covered in junk. The only place that seemed to stay clean was Mr 9's bedroom. Go figure.

Then suddenly, a MIRACLE happened.
It started oh so innocently.
I made the bed when I got up yesterday morning.
That's it.

Not a miracle! I hear you accusing. Oh but it was just the catalyst!
What happened next I could never have predicted!
My husband disappeared after breakfast. I assumed he was grooming his face. He has become obsessed lately with straight razors and products for his beard/moustache.... and spends more time in the bathroom than I do! Maybe I'll talk about that a bit more another time though. I even spend more time on my hair now. I cut it recently, with the instruction to the hairdresser that I only had a max of 5 minutes to work with my hair in the morning. It had to be no fuss. She gave me a really cute bob. But the ends flick out brady-bunch style now instead of in to my face like it was meant to. Blow dry, straighten, curling iron. EVERY day. So completely not a 5 minute hair style. And someone told me I look like Dora the Explorer. Someone else said I look like a little kid. I already look 10 years younger than I am.  Oops. Off topic.

Anyway, he WAS grooming. But when he finished, he folded the clean laundry that had been sitting in a kicked over basket at the end of my bed. He even hung things. I was shocked. I had to climb out his side of the bed that morning because I didn't want to risk climbing the pile of laundry blocking the path out of the room.

AND HE PUT IT AWAY. I didn't even say anything!
Oh yes, that is a miracle.

So I thought I'd be sneaky.  I gave the required appreciation. I didn't mention the bed.
This morning, I was up first. So I casually mentioned that he should make it when he gets up.

Well, my fiendish plan was ruined by another miracle.
Before he could get up and do so, and before I could see where else it lead... the laundry? the kitchen? The garage? I will never know...
Before he even got out of bed, he got a call from the repairman our real estate agent was sending out to fix a million tiny broken things in our house... Some of which we reported the week we moved in... 18 months ago... and some things we didn't even know about. Apparently they wanted a quote to replace the front door.  So he rang... and was coming in an HOUR. He actually was wanting to come right away, but hubby having a good sense for these things knew to stall so that he could tidy up a bit.

The guy was coming to fix something in almost every room in the house. The whole house needed to be cleaned in an hour. AN HOUR.

Enter the next miracle.
It was, more or less. No, it wasn't perfect. And boy, could I tell there were some things that weren't up to my particular standard of perfection. But it was passable.

The repair guy happened to be someone who did repairs for us at our last house as well, and used to attend our church, so some happy chats were had. A good thing too, as he spent around 5 hours fixing stuff. Kind of felt like he almost moved in by the time he left.

So, because I have been blessed by two cleaning miracles in two days, I figured I would do something fun.
I have been working on perfecting my cleaning/school/life organisation stuff for the new year and getting set up (while I can't do much else! Besides, I decided I wasn't working on school stuff until January.) and realised something.

I bet a gazillion (yes, it's a real number! :P) other busy teachers out there struggle with this too. In fact, I was told as much. Years ago. So I've decided to combine it all together into the ultimate of organisers and make it pretty. I want to help everyone get control of their lives again. Look after yourself. Your family. Bless your home. You live there, you deserve to have a clean and tidy home! No one should have to feel overwhelmed and scared of their kitchen like I have this week. It contains stuff to organise your cleaning, your classroom, your planning, your schedule, prac students, relief/sub teachers, absolutely EVERYTHING!
I have not included stuff to cover finance and budgeting etc... this tends to be personal and different for everyone, so you could definitely use the editable templates to work out your own stuff.
Yes, there are editable templates for covers, titles and several usable tools. There are a few printables. There's even some examples of stuff I use that you could keep, modify or ignore.

I'm currently changing out all the different design colours so I can offer some options to match people's preferences and whatever else they design stuff around. Dots, stripes, chevrons...it's all there!

This isn't the fun though.

I'm going to put them on sale. Not just ANY It's going to be a great sale! A MIRACLE sale!

On the 1st, I am going to upload my first sets of the ultimate-take control of your life-organiser-journal-binder thing (definitely not what I'm officially calling it!). They will be priced at 60% off until Monday 4th.

Also, the rest of my entire store will be 20% off during this time!

Take advantage of  my disasters and happy miracle moments to score some great resources and discounted prices, and prepare to take control and get your life back!

Just for the record, no, I will NOT be telling you HOW to do it. I can't. What works for my family won't work for you. You are a different person. I will be giving you the tools and ideas to get started on your journey. It might be quick and easy. It may take awhile of trial and error. It may come naturally, it may not. You have to figure out what is going to work for you, what is going to help you, and what is not. I am happy to talk more in depth about exactly what I do and some good systems I have used in the past as well if you shoot me an email. Most of all, I want you to succeed. If you are struggling, email me. If you need encouragement with this, email me. I'm not perfect, but I'm doing a lot better and have had a lot of practice getting it so it works right :)

On a side note, Smiles For Africa's Fundrazr campaign is ALMOST over. There is still time to donate, remembering I am personally matching all contributions dollar for dollar.  Thank you to whoever that amazing anonymous person was that donated over $200. You are an absolute champion. A life-changing, hope-giving champion.

If you miss the deadline and still want to contribute, you may donate securely through paypal on Smiles For Africa's main website.
I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas with family and took the time out to reflect on what Christmas really means.
I hope you all have fantastic News Year's, and find the motivation, inspiration and encouragement to go on for another year making a difference, loving what you do and finding fulfilment in your life.
You are incredible. Even if you don't know it.
Please do remind me of that next time report cards/parent interviews comes around. I will forget it.


  1. Sorry to hear about your medical issues, I hope you have a speedy recovery. Not being able to clear is the WORST! We, too, have had recent house inspections and I agree that it's the only time that our home ever seems to be completely clean. I hate nothing more than sitting around in a dirty house.

    Blanca Douglas @ Safeclean Ealing

  2. Having a system in place for cleaning is a mist when hoping things all stay tidy. The system has to be kept on schedule like clockwork! One of my biggest errors is coming up with a cleaning system and not sticking to it. Even a little bit of tidying up kept on schedule is going to work wonders. Not sticking to the schedule, well, that can be disastrous.

    Jacob @ Arkansas Bag


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