I thought I had the answer…..

Years ago when the children were little I’d sometimes look at the house in dismay – I wasn’t the worlds greatest housekeep preferring to ‘play house’ with littlies rather than ‘keep house’.  It wasn’t dirty (I drew the line at dirt) more like untidy.

Trying to teach 5 youngsters how to be responsible for dressing themselves and putting things away usually resulted in more messy cupboards than tidy ones and corners that seem to breed stuff that was put there ‘just for moment’ rather than put away where it belonged.

So as I say I’d stand there some days and think ‘something has to be done here’.  I struck on what I thought was a novel idea of imagining we had company coming in x number of days and the house had to sorted by then.  Not perfect but sorted to a reasonable standard – meaning I could open cupboards without things falling out and have nothing lurking in corners.

It worked – I’d get them all to help as far as possible, not actually throwing things out even if I did hide a few now and again and by doing this it also gave me a chance to look at what was there and assess the contents.  I used to wonder if toys were like wire coat hangers – I was sure they used the darkness of night to breed lol

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when interstate friends mentioned they were coming over the Melbourne in October – jokingly (but meaning it) Viv said they were coming to a conference and needed a place to stay.  Oh dear, I said we won’t be here on those dates – could we stay in your house even if you aren’t there, she said.  We can use the train to go into town each day.  Of course says I!  Our little girl will have the key and she’s just round the corner.

Then a little lightbulb lit up in my head.  This will give me a chance to sort out all those places I keep saying I’m going to sort – recently I have been having a good hard look around the house muttering yes or no to lots of things and the ‘no’s’ have been off down the op shop quick smart before I could change my mind but this would give me the chance to really get things in order.

I could do it slowly – we leave in September and thats a fair way off.  Take a week or more to really strip each room, empty cupboards and drawers, air the beds, wash spare blankets and sheets as well as linens.  Closer to the time give the kitchen and bathroom a really deep clean etc etc.  Talk about motivation, I had a lean clean tidy uncluttered house visible in my mind already.   Not only would I be able to help Viv and D but I’d have the benefit of all this hard work when I got home 🙂

Then this weekend just gone she rang and said – ‘Hope you don’t mind, we’ve decided to book an apartment in the city, it will be much closer to the venue’.  Well once I was off the phone I felt quite let down, which was stupid because I wasn’t even going to see them when they were here – and felt as though I’d had the rug pulled out from under me.  All that enthusiasm has gone not sure where but it certainly has left my house.

I really thought I had the answer………..
Maybe to get my plan to work I might have to go back a few years
and invent an imaginary visitor lol

35 Replies to “I thought I had the answer…..”

  1. Excellent “save”!!!!!!

    Isn’t that what “they” call it (a save), when a plan has to be switched at the last minute, but the new one, still works?!? 🙂

    It was an amazing plan, when kids where about. And can still be such, for just you.

    And Wise too! To know that you/we really need a goal, in order to put a plan in place and running.

    Hooray! Win! Win!


  2. Every couple of years I have what I call: “I’m emigrating to Australia” time. Yes, I look around each room in turn and see what I would keep if I was actually emigrating. I no longer have big crowds of visitors so most of my large casseroles and cooking dishes are passed on to Elly. Each time she comes I have a bundle for her to sort through and anything she does not want, goes to friends starting out in apartment living, or the local charity shops. Better they are used, than gathering dust in my house.


  3. You need to start a List 52 and then tick off the jobs as you do them. You’ll have to keep us posted. We’re expecting results!! (Is this the motivation you require? 🙂 )
    Love from Mum


  4. Friends came over for dinner last night: my husbandkindly offered to clear the dining room table:

    Stacks of papers for filing
    Old envelopes kept to use as scrap paper
    Stamps to be kept for the postman
    A pair of garden scissors
    A compass
    Ten tomatoes
    Three watermelons
    A purse
    Medical records
    Three pens
    One pencil
    A cardboard box containing packs of tea bags
    Another cardboard box which had once contained books
    Five books
    A calendar
    Two dog collars
    A calculator

    Which might lead you to believe that it had been a long time since people came to dinner…but in fact Higher Authority had managed to clutter the table with this lot in the space of ten days.


    1. I too have covered surfaces – beds tables chairs floor beside bed or chair is a favourite. Not all the time tho – just some of the time. Clearing them ends up with moveable stuff. Now where did I put that whatever I moved from wherever – I hadn’t finished with it and need it again.
      I’m sure I’ll get there in the end – just need to train myself to put things away in the proper place! Or let go of some of the things I don’t really need!


  5. Isn’t it funny how motivation works! As I was reading through I was thinking “yes, how beaut to get all that work done beforehand” “yes, and so on ….” – guess you’ll just have to make up imaginary visitors once again Cathy – you were on to a good thing just then :D)


  6. G’day Cathy. My mother was a meticulous housekeeper. Nothing out of place, no last minute running around to clean here and there if visitors were coming. I did not inherit her love of housekeeping. My home is always clean, but not always tidy. If someone came to the door this very minute I would welcome them in and not worry. I am however, a great hoarder. Like Helen, my kitchen/dining room table is a magnet for bits and bobs to accumulate en masse. All of my cupboards and wardrobes need a really good clean out. My pots and pans cupboard is a shocker at the moment. Utensils drawer would scare anyone who was brave enough to look in there. One day I will start. You too will get it all done when you are good and ready. Take care. Liz…


    1. I’ve already sown the seeds Liz by talking about it today. Once I get going it will be fine, won’t be going at it gung-ho style tho.
      I seem to have solved the landing zone on the kitchen table tho – I got a smaller one and always have a cloth on it. Don’t know why but it works lol


  7. Proceed as planned with the same finish date. Once one room is done, you will be so pleased and motivated to go on. We recently rid ourselves of towels to free up space. Two sets, one for each bathroom, and one set for visitors. They went to the Lost Dogs Home in North Melbourne. There is very little I have ever regretted throwing out. If I don’t wear something for a year, it gets stuffed under the bed and if not retrieved in three months, out it goes. Books are narrowed down to expensive ones, historical books and books I would like to reread.


    1. I’ll certainly be going ahead with my planned house overhaul Andrew – this post started as a private journal entry to encourage myself then developed into a public one. Have to agree it feels good to move some things on – knowing they will be used helps so a lot of our linen and household items go to a women’s refuge I support. I’m using the library more and more in an effort to cut down on the amount of books coming into the house – library books have to go back, there is no way they can lounge around on our bookshelves for ever and a day!


  8. I can work like lightening if company is expected. Otherwise my dog Slim and I are content to enjoy our blessed mess. Then eventually my daughter will visit and do a major clean out. It would take such joy from her if I were to do that myself:)


  9. We throw a big party for Mardi Gras for that very reason! All our friends think we have the party as an excuse to see them. Actually, it is to clean the house really good!


  10. Thanks for visiting my blog, Cathy! This is our second time to be posted here so I am ready to see somewhere new which we will hopefully be doing soon. We’ve longed to get to the West Coast and Washington especially. My parents lived outside of Seattle before they finally retired to England. I can remember Mum sending me videos of the British TV programming that they could get from stations in Canada so I am looking forward to that!

    Most of the tourists that come to our area come to Virginia Beach which is the town east of us, on the Atlantic. There are lots of hotels and a long boardwalk all the way along the front. It’s definitely for beach lovers – lots of sand and it does get very hot here in the summer.

    I had a quick read of a few of your posts – loved the shot of the Rolls Royce engine! Looking forward to reading more.


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