Spick and Span

Space StealerSince Lola deemed this year to be year of the cats you may have noticed a rather feline-centric theme to this blog. However I have had a request that I write something not cat related, and as Lola is currently sleeping she can’t stop me from honouring the request!

The request further went on to suggest I write something about life, the universe, and everything. Most of us already know the answer to that. For any of you that don’t it is 42.

Seeing as leaving the blog at that would make it a very short one – and we’ve had a lot of those lately! – I’m going to continue by taking the liberty of talking a little bit about things that have been going on in my life lately.

Now that spring has sprung… Okay, that’s wishful thinking. With the snow and ice, and -12C temperature we’ve been having it’s hardly spring. But anyway… I have recently taken to doing a bit of spring cleaning.

I’m signed up to two challenges to this effect. One is Apartment Therapy‘s January Cure, and the other is a 52 week decluttering challenge from Home Storage Solutions 101. Between the two of them I’m hoping we can get this place spick and span; a home to be proud of.

Cleaning Time

If you really want to get it clean, you must become one with the cupboard.

I’ll let you in on a secret here. I’m not much of a housekeeper. Considering that, for years, I’ve wanted to be nothing more than a SAHM and housewife that’s not a good thing. But really there are a million and one things I’d prefer to be doing than scrubbing the oven, or shining the sink.

And yes, I’ll admit that there have been time that visitors to our home could probably notice that I am not the best at keeping my own home tidy. Whilst not in an unhygienic state there is a propensity for clutter and disorder to build up everywhere. I can barely move my computer keyboard at the moment because of the various papers and other odds and ends that are over my (ridiculously tiny) desk. Admittedly the cat laying there doesn’t help. (I should have known Lola would sneak into this post somehow!)

I was lucky as a child in that my mum was a SAHM. But I think in some ways it spoiled me. There was not a lot we were required to do around the house. We were expected to keep our rooms tidy (I was not good at that…) and tidy up after ourselves, but other than that we had little to do with the housework. Now I want to emphasise here that I am by no means blaming my own failings on my parents, but I do now feel that I could have benefited from the lessons that would have come with being required to do more around the home.

Break Time!

Even the best of tidiers need a break.

I think a lot of my problem is that I often don’t know where to start with things. When everything is untidy it feels like an insurmountable task to get it all sorted, which means it is never started. This is where the challenges come in.

Both challenges, in their own ways, break down the various tasks around the home. They concentrate on different areas and different types of clutter, enabling the overwhelming task to be broken into smaller chunks.

This month a lot of my focus has been on sorting the kitchen. Whilst I’m a tad behind schedule I’ve noticed that the progress is already apparent. We’ve started to be more efficient about keeping up with loading and unloading the dishwasher, which makes a surprisingly large difference to the state of the kitchen. We’ve also been getting better at keeping the kitchen table and counters clear of clutter.

Some of the tasks lead to less visible but still useful results. Last week I emptied the pantry, wiped off all the shelves and returned the items in a much tidier manner. Now it is much easier to see what food we have, and I have a better idea of what things need to be prioritised for using up.

Pots and pans and lids, oh my!Today I got to work on our pots-and-pans cupboard. Despite his reluctance to participate in these tasks I even managed to get S to help! Much to my surprise I discovered that the black marks all over the upper shelf of the cupboard were not scratches on the paint but were in fact able to be washed off. I couldn’t believe how filthy it was! Now the shelves are lovely and white again, and we will shortly be returning all the pots and pans to the cupboard in a more logical and usable manner than the precarious piles they were in before.

It is interesting to realise just how rewarding the work is. Everything is slowly becoming neater, more organised, and pride-worthy.


Lady Joyful

5 thoughts on “Spick and Span

  1. All this trouble started when Douglas Adams wrote a radio series/book/TV series/movie called The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, in which a giant super-computer, named Deep Thought, was built to figure out the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything. It was 42. This was rather confusing, mostly because people didn’t even know what the proper question was. Eventually, Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect found out that the question seemed to be ‘what do you get when you multiply six by nine’, which is actually 54.

    The answer to this is very simple. It was a joke. It had to be a number, an ordinary, smallish number, and I chose that one. Binary representations, base thirteen, Tibetan monks are all complete nonsense. I sat at my desk, stared into the garden and thought ’42 will do’. I typed it out. End of story

    Though there has been much debate, Douglas Adams insisted there was no symbolic reason he decided to use 42. Eventually, people realised that 6×9 actually does equal 42 in base 13. Douglas said he didn’t know about this at the time, saying ‘you don’t write jokes in base 13’. Coincidentally, Douglas was 42 years old – base 10 – when his daughter, Polly, was born. His h2g2 Researcher number is U42.


    • Thanks for the encouragement! Motivation can be difficult to come by at times. Maybe signing up to a similar challenge would give you the ambition you need… 😉

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