A Kept Promise, A Plan, and A Request For Help

First of all, thank you so much for allowing me to let my hair down yesterday and just be real with you. Your comments were so encouraging…both from those of you who share my struggle, as well as from those of you who seem to have figured all of this out for yourself. Hopefully I’m headed in that direction myself!!

So do you want to see how I did on keeping my word? Here’s what my kitchen looked like last night before I went to bed.

Oh yeah!  Looky at how clean!  And the other side…

Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!!  I allowed the two picture frames to stay because I’m hoping that they’ll spark some creative idea for over-the-sink artwork.  Now what’s that shiny thing I see?

A clean sink!!! 

Oh sure, I was working until 12:40 this morning on the kitchen, but I think it’s worth it!  It was so nice to get up this morning and see this clean kitchen, rather than this madness…

Those of you who seem to have mastered the art of a “clean enough” house had some really great advice for me.  I read every comment, mulled over your suggestions, and I think I have a plan that will work for me.  See what you think about this:

I have six rooms in my condo (if I count the kitchen and break fast room as one).  So I will assign one room to each day of the week for “deep cleaning”.  Initially (since things are so out of control), this will be one hour of cleaning per day, but hopefully I can reduce that to 45 minutes or even 30 minutes on once the C.H.A.O.S. has been cured.  So it’ll look something like this:

Monday:  Kitchen/Breakfast Room
Tuesday:  Family Room
Wednesday:  Main Bathroom
Thursday:  Bedroom
Friday:  Office
Saturday:  Office Bathroom
Sunday:  OFF

In addition to that, I will maintain my “clean enough” kitchen by taking 15 minutes or so each night before I go to bed to do the dishes and wipe down the countertops and the sink.

One last thing…the laundry!!!  It’s taking over!!!  So until I’m caught up, I’m committing to doing two loads of laundry per day:  I’ll put a load in when I get up, then right before I leave for the day, I’ll put that load in the dryer and put in the second load to wash.  When I get home, the second load goes in the dryer.  Then at some point before I go to bed, those have to be put away.

It sounds like a lot to me right now, but like I said yesterday, I really don’t think I suffer from a lack-of-time problem.  My problem is poor time management.  So rather than getting overwhelmed and trying to numb my mind with time-wasting things, I just need to get busy.  I need to look this monster in the eyes and not back down.

So that’s my plan.  I’ll let you know how it’s going periodically.

In the meantime, can any of you tell me how to get these black spots off of my glass cooktop?  Every time I use my stove, these things seem to appear, and I don’t know how to get them off.  I’ve tried the scratchy side of a sponge, and it doesn’t really seem to phase it much.  And these spots are very smooth, so it’s not like there’s anything to scrape off with a knife or a flat-edge razor blade.  Help me!!  These really irritate me.

Well thanks for letting me take this little non-decorating detour these last couple of days.  In reality, I guess this really does have to do with decorating, doesn’t it?  After all, what’s the point in making our homes look nice with pretty furniture, gorgeous draperies, perfect little accessories, fun paint color, and wonderful light fixtures, if we’re just going to allow it to turn into C.H.A.O.S.?

No, we work WAY too hard on our decorating our homes to let clutter create C.H.A.O.S. 

Don’t forget! Your comment enters you into this month’s drawing for a $100 gift card to the home products store of the winner’s choosing. More info here.

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  1. I've been busy at work for the past couple of days, so have gotten behind on my blog reading, so haven't commented recently.

    I love your kitchen – it's absolutely stunning!

    For laundry – when I have multiple loads to do, I put a load in as soon as I get up in the morning, and then continue on with getting ready for work. By time I'm ready for work, the load is done, so I can throw it in the dryer, and start another load.

    When I get home from work, I've got one load of dried laundry, and one ready to go into the dryer.

    I grab the clothes out of the dryer, and throw in the other load, and while that's drying, I'll fold the clothes that I just took out of the dryer.

    I tend to clean up as I go, because I hate spending my "free" time on the weekend doing housework.

  2. Thanks for your post! We are all in the same boat–trying to keep up with our housework during busy days! I'd so rather go on design blogs than clean! I also have a glass topped stove and have the same spot problem. For regular cleaning I use Cooktop Magic and a "No Scratch" Scotchbrite pad. For really stubborn spots just keeping spraying with some liquid cleaner and then I use a Pampered Chef pot scrapper and keep repeating until its gone. Hope this helps. I do have a question for you regarding your wood countertops. I am considering installing them in my kitchen and would love to know your thoughts…pros and cons. Thanks!

  3. I am trying to get my routine down and have a long way to go. It seems like no matter how much I clean in one day, by the afternoon it is messed up again. …..off to was a load of laundry.

  4. I get tons of those black spots too. When they are raised, I use a razor blade to scrape them off. When they are flat, I use a cleaner specifically designed for cooktops (like the Cooktop Magic mentioned before). Just squirt a little on the spot and use a paper towel to rub rub rub. It is like magic!

  5. woo hoo it looks GREAT… I am impressed. On the cooktop, I use a ceramic cooktop cleaner that I got at the grocery store but it is also sold at Lowe's or Home Depot I think near the cooktops they sell. It works WONDERS and even gets the gross spills up.

  6. Hey Kristi, Don't be too hard on yourself – you do an incredible amount of work outside the home and on your blog, keeping a perfect house would be unrealistic! I often wonder how you do it all as it is.

    Most creative/visual types (including me) find it hard to keep spic and span, it's something I struggle continuously with, all the tips and tricks in the comments have been really useful, I've taken note too.

    But I just wanted to say, be gentle with yourself, and make sure you give yourself a huge pat on the back for all the talent you have and amazing things you achieve, which are really incredible and far more worthwhile than keeping an immaculate show house.


  7. Nice Work!I am going to take a before and after picture of my kitchen and time myself to see how long it takes!Doing a little bit everyday seems to be what works (Not that I do !) I'm not sure about your stove…I have a ceramic stove but I think the best cleaning tool ever is Mr Cleans magic eraser-you will have to do a little test spot though…I know you cant use it on stainless steel but that little sponge works miracles all over it even takes crayon off the wall in a second!

  8. Check out a website called flylady.com. There is a ton of stuff on the website. There are two things they say that really help me. 1) Before you go to bed, shine your sink. For me this means bathroom and kitchen. You don't want to shine your sink with dishes in it so it makes me finish up the kitchen. Same concept in the bathroom. 2) Dress to your shoes when you wake up in the morning. Pajamas = lazy at my house. Even when I have to get up and go to work. If I dress first I tend to get more things done. Coffee only after I'm ready to go. I can get things done while I'm drinking it as opposed to sitting with it.

  9. I am an OCD cleaner and organizer who has a place for everything and everything in its place. I use the same idea you have. I clean certain rooms each day of the week. Of course, each day also means make the bed B4 I leave the house and laundry everyday. BUT, I very often get that creative urge and then everything goes away except that urge to complete my project. Then there are often supplies strewn through the house. Last week I decided to change all the curtains in the house and I am still working on cleaning up that mess. I think that's okay. We have to give ourselves a break and when that creative urge hits, we have to give ourselves permission to enjoy ourselves. The cleaning will always be there tomorrow. Your kitchen looks wonderful – love that shiny sink. Even my husband noticed how clean the kitchen was & all I had done was shine the sink.
    Thanks for your blog. I love it!!!

  10. Just happened upon your blog this week and am so excited! I'm a stay-at-home mom and have started using what I call my "grandma list" You know back in the days when Monday was wash day, Tuesday-baking, etc…? Well, I made up my own. It's not always a deep clean but if I follow this schedule, my house is "clean-enough." =) Monday = laundry. Tues=floors, all of them. Vacuum, sweep, swiffer, whatever it needs. Wed= quick dust and pick up all bedrooms and balance our checkbook. Thurs= Clean all 3 bathrooms. Make out weekly menu & go to store. Friday= Dust living, dining and kitchen and sweep/vacuum those rooms' floors. By doing this my weekends aren't spent cleaning and deep cleans are easier when you do a little everyday. I don't keep up all the time, but it sure is easier when I do!

  11. Here is something to try on your cook top, red wine vinegar. It does wonders for removing crud on ceramic cook tops and does not damage them in any way.

  12. Check out http://househoncho.com/ They send me daily e-mails with one room in mind. The idea is to tackle 3 of the 9 items on the list that day. There are 3 easy to-do's, 3 involved to-do's, and 3 aggressive to-do's to choose from. Those aren't the terms they use but hopefully you get the idea. They send you the e-mail for the next day the afternoon before.

  13. Beautiful kitchen! I think your system sounds great! I'm even mulling over the best way to adapt it to my life!

    Thanks for the shot in the arm!

  14. WOO HOO!!! Looks great!!!! As for the spots on the oven, you can either heat up the stove top a little and make a paste of baking soda with water and scrub it, or the stove top cleaners for glass tops are great!!! I used to have a glass top oven and I wish I had it back, the actual oven cleaner (they have it at Target and Walmart) worked WONDERFULLY every time!

  15. I think your plan is great and very doable but I do want to caution you that leaving the dryer running when you leave (if I read that right) is a terrible fire hazard. I have always heard to NEVER leave the house with the dryer on. I'd hate for all your beautiful work on your condo to go up in flames! Love all your great creativity!

  16. It always feels to good to have a clean kitchen. My motto is just keep the sink clean and I just rinse and put things in the dishwasher as I use dishes. It is just me and my husband so that does help.

    Also, entered your name on the Waco Best survey. Hope it helps and although I have been reading your blog for quite awhile, I am your newest follower.
    Good luck on happy housekeeping and the Waco's Best.

  17. I've got those pesky black spots too. I've very curious as to how you will go about getting them tackled. Let us know what works!!

  18. Looks great! We have a glass stove top too and I hate those stubborn spots. My husband usually uses his muscles to scrub and scrub with the store bought cleaners made for glass top stoves and gets them off for me!

  19. Good job, Kristi! That is some inspiring work! Feels great, doesn't it? I hope just the right art work for the frames makes itself known to you before too long. ~~Rhonda

  20. Yes, flylady.net. My big one is one load of laundry a day. Wash, dry, fold and PUT AWAY. I am also re-committing to cleaning up the kitchen before bed. I still haven't mastered that one yet.

  21. I use Weiman glass cook top heavy duty cleaner and polish. I apply it with the blue non abrasive scotch pads. On really tough spots i squirt some on and let it sit for several minutes. They usually come off easy then. The longer you ignore them the harder they are to remove. You can find the cleaner at Wal-mart.
    I can't wait to see your chair transformation. I think the ones you have have a neat shape.

  22. I've used baking soda and water to make a paste. It worked wonders to get the few little spots that the Weiman Glass Cook Top Cleaner wouldn't take off. I use the Weiman cleaner with cook top scrubbing pads (non abrasive, as to not scratch the surface) and I clean my stove top after each use. A little obsessive, maybe, but it works wonders!

  23. THEY DO MAKE A FLAT RAZOR BLADE FOR THESE STOVES! I owned one in my last home! I would scrape the stove then spray it down, nightly! LOVE LOVE LOVE it!
    Go as someone at Home Depot or an appliance store!