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It has been awhile since I have posted on my progress with cleaning out the cabin.  I’m working at it more sporadically now because…. it’s almost done!  I’ve decided to take it even further and clean more out of each room.  It’s freeing up space for us to move (I’m thinking of this winter when we are stuck up the creek again.), and it is so much easier to keep clean.  We still have a lot of junk, but it’s tidy now.

junk3This is a corner in our living room that is better, but still needs quite a bit of work.  Our media collection is too much.  I never dreamed I would say that.  I used to have a good friend who had his walls in almost every room lined with shelves of DVDs, VHS, CDs, cassettes, records, and books.  I envied him.  Now, Ivy walks over and empties the shelves and I sigh, wishing I could bring myself to toss them all.  We are getting albums to put them in and shedding the cases.  Those suckers are expensive.  $26 for one 300 count album.

junk2The beautiful baker’s rack you see in this picture was handcrafted by my wonderful Papaw.  He is a master woodworker, and can make or create just about anything furniture or related with wood.  Just looking on him makes me smile. 🙂  This piece should be the showpiece of our living room, but again we have the problem of media… and then there are the instruments.  There you see two guitars, two banjos, and two fiddles.  That isn’t counting the instruments stored in the bedroom.   I might never know how best to store those.  John tries his best, but the thin strip you see for walking makes for lots of stubbed toes and bruised shins.  Swear (or alternate versions thereof) words uttered in the pitch of night while trying to find the bathroom.  That sort of thing.  Progress is ongoing here too.

cleanlr2Here is as far as I have gotten with the main area of our most used living space.  You can see in this picture the clear top of the media shelf and a clearer corner.  I’m thinking I might keep the two pretty things sitting on the couch.  They take up lots of room, but they are such joyful little things. 🙂

cleanlrI’ve figured if I can’t tackle the instruments I could at least make straight the rack.  Here is my progress there.  Much better in my eyes.  It’s easier to admire our little eclectic art collection.  We have work from C.M. Laster and his wife Grace Kelly, Karen Welch, and Kate Massey.  The record cover was done by John Haywood for the cow punk/southern rock, Kentucky band Nine Pound Hammer.

So, there has been a moving forward, a flushing out, and it is healthy.  So healthy.

Project Flush is on the second leg.  I’ve finished clearing and cleaning both the kitchen and bathroom in the last few days.  Only two more rooms to go!  Then, maintenance.

Here was my kitchen before.

kitchenjunkWhat you see here is every flat surface being used to collect junk and things that will eventually make their way to the recycling center in the next county.  Dishes are most always clean, and the floor is most always swept.  Otherwise, chaos.

Here it is now.

cleankitI feel like having a dinner party ya’ll.  I might actually get to put my Hull dinnerware collection to use. 🙂  Come eat with the Haywoods.  You’ll be served traditional Appalachian cuisine on fancy plates.

Basically, there was a special trip made to the recycling center.  Old bibs that were still in good shape were donated to Goodwill.  Food that ended up in our house, but that we would never eat has been thrown out.  Christmas decorations being stored in the kitchen were parred down and stored elsewhere.  Play kitchen toys were put away.

I can see my kitchen table!

I am most proud of these two areas.

The Hutch

The Hutch

It’s organized and ready for service.  See those purty dishes, and my current food project fermenting?

The Microwave

The Microwave

The microwave top is no longer the home of a zillion plastic bags and snacks that I couldn’t bring myself to give the girls.  Now, it’s home to apple cider vinegar and a few organic treats for the girls.  Oh, and coupons.

Today, I tackled the bathroom all in one sweep.  It has always been the easiest room to clean.  Except for the shower, but I so appreciate it.  John and I lived for seven years in the big city without a shower.  Tub baths aren’t all the rage they are made out to be… really.  Not very relaxing at all.


The strategy here was same as everywhere else.  Get rid of what is not used.  Fortunately, here I had some space that wasn’t being fully utilized, so much of the stuff sprawled in the floor found new homes.

cleanbathNow, I’m thinking of laying the tile linoleum we have had for over a year down myself.  Is it doable with two small children?

With these two rooms clean and spacious, I’m ready for any visitor we might have.  It makes all the difference in the world.  I can feel a release, and it isn’t taking half as long to do it as I thought.  Procrastination is really an enemy.

Next, I’ll work on our bedroom which is the dumping ground for anything that needs to be stored that doesn’t fit elsewhere.  That room will be my biggest challenge.

*I have noticed while visiting many of your blogs and reading comments, that I’m not the only one working on a decluttering project.  If you’ve been inspired, or would like to inspire others to do the same, feel free to comment on this post and leave a link to a similar post on your blog.  I think our need to purge is not a coincidence. 🙂

I’m functioning today on four eight ounce cups of coffee instead of my usual two.  The last two days of writing, reading, and meeting my writing Superhero, Gurney Norman, has been rewarding.  It has left me exhausted.  That and the girls both being poor sleepers.  Ivy sitting up in bed at 4am saying “goggie” over and over while kicking Deladis.  Deladis is having an allergic reaction to her vigorous play with our Dalmatian, Lars and was itching all night long.  Yes, it was a lovely night.

So, far Saturday is a quiet day and I am using it to compile my thoughts on a rhythm for our days.  I’ve asked mamas from two online forums I belong too, and I have used the comments I’ve gotten here to make a list of things to keep in mind.  I have gotten two days of rhythm down on paper so far.  It is already making me feel more at ease.  Hopeful.  I have also used this uneventful morning to make a store list and plan a loose menu for the week.  I’ll be making the 45 minute trip to Hazard with the girls on my own today as John will be playing a Kentucky Derby party at an establishment in Lexington, Kentucky.  We’ll see how that goes.  It’s an interesting experience to have to drive all over God’s green earth to find the groceries you need.

The following list are things I’m thinking about while developing a rhythm for our household.

  • Times should be kept loose.  Use the clock only as a guide for what happens next.  Some things may take longer than planned, or not as long as planned.  Bedtimes are the only thing in the rhythm that might benefit us to follow to the letter.
  • The needs of my children come first.  With their needs met they will generally be happy and I will find that the time I do get to spend with my husband or alone will be more productive and enjoyable.
  • Try to predict repeating behaviors in the girls.  For example, Ivy likes to nap about 3 hours after waking in the morning.  She likes to eat directly after nap.  Deladis likes 3 small meals and 3 large snacks in a day.  Make sure she has easy access to appropriate foods.  Late afternoons are a trying time.  Reserve that for time with the girls.
  • Prioritize my exercise routine.  It might benefit me to have a scheduled time to wake up on days I want to get extra writing time in, or on days I want to do Ultimate Taebo.  I can work on cutting a yoga routine down to smaller chunks of time and focus more on individual poses and their relationships to each other than an hour long routine.
  • Do not stress if I don’t get in all the writing time I planned for.  Some days I will get more than planned, some less.  It will balance out.  The important thing is to work at it daily.
  • Cut down on blog posts and think more about the quality of writing there.  I’m thinking I will post 4 times a week.  This will give me more time for fiction writing and working on my novels.
  • Computer time needs to be cut back.  Utilize the time wisely and do not get sidetracked from the goal.
  • Wash dishes after every two meals.  This can be done with Ivy on my back if she is out of sorts at the time.  Deladis often likes to help with dishes.  This will also put me washing dishes once a day instead of twice.
  • Choose a major chore to do every weekday in order to keep an orderly house.  Ex.  Monday – cleaning living room/laundry
  • I’ve decided a formal preschool time with Deladis is not necessary.  (She won’t like this, but I’m replacing it with more time with her, so I think she will be okay with it after we fall into the rhythm.)  Instead, I plan to include her in my activities of housework, gardenwork, cooking, etc…  I also plan to include a evening “bedtime” story, and crafts/outside time during set aside family time.  More library time.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff… Yes, trite phrase I know, but it’s true.  Don’t just plow through the day, but look at each day individually and keep everyone’s needs in mind.

You’re probably thinking at this point, what did their days look like before?  Partially organized chaos is your answer.  No more, no more.  From this list, I’m creating a loose schedule of our days.  I plan to follow the same schedule every week until I see another need arise, or the needs of my girls change allowing for more or less time doing certain activities.  I will post our schedule as soon as I finish it.  Tomorrow’s post will be about meal planning on our new budget.


About Me

An Appalachian woman born and raised, mothering two little girls in a place that is non-existent to AT&T or UPS. Happily working toward a sustainable lifestyle and writing on the demand of a loud muse.

June 2023

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