About gDonna
The photo is my son and myself. Now days you can get a photo made to look old like this one. This photo was taken when this was the new look.

Harry S Truman was president when I was born and world war II had ended. I grew up in a time when lunch was put in a brown paper bag and a sandwich was wrapped with wax paper. There was no such thing as pantyhose, we wore stockings that attached to the rubbery clippy things that attached to the girdle. Convenience stores were not common and when we took a trip we packed a picnic basket because many places did not have fast food. Highways had places to pull over and stop, some with picnic tables. Read more ....

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Old Fashioned Housekeeping

July 20, 2017

We all go through times when we get off track and this has been that bump in the road for me.  Charles and I have had many changes recently, nothing serious but accumulated changes that throws us off.

The older I get the harder it is to change.  First our dentist retired and we had to find another dentist.  Then our Doctor passed away suddenly from a blood clot which was very upsetting to us and we had to find a new doctor which was not easy and I still am having trouble remembering my new doctors name.

Charles uses a barber and his barber became ill and closed his shop so we had to find a new barber and  then my beautician went to another location and I had to find a new beautician which all requires adjusting a new driving route.

Charles work place changed computer systems and methods and type of tablets they use so this has been an ongoing change as they keep changing the system. 

A few weeks ago Charles had a car accident in pouring rain. Thankfully he was not injured and was just one of those "very" bad days.  It took me days to get over the fright from his phone call "I have been in an accident will you call 911."  

The car was totaled so we had to purchase a new car and let me tell you that was exhausting looking for a new car.  Now when I look under our carport it feels like someone is visiting because our familiar car is gone and this white car is sitting in our carport.  

Then as you may have read our little love bird Bootsy suddenly passed away from a heart attack.

And, just this week we get a letter telling us that our bank is closing.  Now where are we going to go?  Ok, I have it all out of my system.  This is a first for me to go on a pity party on my blog and I "think" I have it all out of my system.  But it is a little unsettling.  I just hope my doctor does not give me a dementia test any time soon because I am certain to fail.

Question, What kind of a car do you drive?  Answer, White

Who is your Doctor?  Ummm.... Let me look for his card....  

Who is your Dentist?  Umm, let me just get my map....

See how this could go?

I am craving normalcy.  But this is not a normal view, they just cut the first of the large trees in our yard.  This space has never been here before.  We had an 80 foot pecan tree completely removed, the first of three.  Granted we caused this change but still we have to get adjusted to it not being there.  We could not see the sky at all before from here.

All of these things have been going on while we continue to live more like the past, removing our refrigerator and using a vintage ice box, turning off our hot water heater, alternate lighting, being diligent with our utility usage and cooking different.

So my housework has been quite off lately and then comes my dear friend Catherine to my rescue. :)

Catherine introduced me to an old housekeeping/organizing system she uses.  But she literally got sidetracked and fell out of the box so to speak and has recently got back in her box.  Let me explain.

There are newer versions of this book and other books by Pam Young and Peggy Jones.  Catherine told me she likes this older version so I found one and this is the version I am using.  I am not sure what is in print and what is not so it will take some research like I did.

At first I was all over the place trying to figure out this housekeeping system but then it all started making sense.  You get some index cards, they suggest pink, blue, yellow and white.  I had all white index cards so I took highlighters and went across the top edge of the cards and made my own. Then you need a box to file those tabs and cards.

We need tab cards numbered 1 through 31, tabs A through Z and tabs months of the year.  You write down separately, daily chores, weekly, monthly and yearly. Also things that are twice a week or every other week and so on.  You file those on the days that work for you.  

In the book they have lists of things to do to keep your house clean and organized.

I do recommend any of their books, I only have two, this one and another one that is about organizing paperwork and I have another one coming about food planning and such.  Catherine is completely sure of this system and that it works as long as you stay in the box.  (using the file system)

So I really jumped in and started cleaning so I would not be so far behind and so I could get my cleaning schedule going.  Before Catherine even told me about the book I was already preparing for an old fashioned housekeeping post and I had taken this picture to show how we need to pull our stove out if it is not a drop in and clean every six months or so behind and under it.

Behind the stove dust will start clinging to the vents, wall, floor and plug.  I do pull my stove out to clean it at least yearly but now I am going to do this every six months and then re access and clean it before it starts the collection of dust.

It has been very humid and raining and I had gotten behind folding the laundry. I am not a perfect housekeeper and feel that as long as I stay "in the box" I should be better at keeping our home clean.

With the cards there are mini jobs and moderate jobs considering the time it takes.  This above is a mini job, it does not take long to do but mentally it seems that it takes longer.  When I started doing the tasks off the card I realized that it really does not take as long to do as I think it does.

I have scheduled to hang out the guest room quilts, blankets and spreads, not necessarily the same day to keep them freshened. I have a note to do this on a no laundry day so I don't tie up the needed clothesline space on laundry day.

I have it scheduled on my cards to clean our room fans every other week.  I take them apart and wash them. When I am done I move that card to the day of the month that is two weeks later.  I prefer a certain day so I have written the day (Tuesday) on the card and I will file it two weeks later on a Tuesday.

We are suppose to keep a calendar in or on the box for placement of the cards.

Again, I do recommend reading the book because I am just touching on this system.  I was excited to share it with those of you that are looking for a new way to clean and straighten your home.

I have cards to straighten drawers.  I will do the drawers in the dining room one day and say the bedroom drawers on another day or another week or month.  They are worked monthly. If we do it monthly it should not need much straightening. The cycle will continue.

The spots on the walls are from my camera lens.  

The book mentions cleaning the telephone.  One day a good while ago I went to pick up the phone and I noticed fuzzy dust all over the phone.  I thought, when did that happen?  It was just something I had neglected but with the card system it keeps items cleaned before it gets to that point.

I have a card made to clean our lamp shades, outside, with the brush I use for cleaning lamp shades.   Now I will not have to remember when was the last time I did this or wait until it is very dusty and then notice that I should clean that.

I have cards for cleaning glass.  Specifically the two glass cabinets in the dining room.  Another card for the french doors, another card for windows, inside cleaning and for outside cleaning.  The outside windows are scheduled for seasonal cleaning which would means every time we go into a new season we clean our windows.

When these were cleaned I moved the card to the next month.

I have scheduled sheets to be changed and washed every Tuesday.  When done, move the card to the next Tuesday.

It has really motivated me to clean and organize.  It has been very overwhelming at first.  I spent two days working on the cards which put me further behind but I would not give up.  Getting started is a good bit of work but it can be done.

Here I have a card to remind me to take the vacuum cleaner apart and clean it so it does not get an odor.  I wash it with castile soap and pat it dry and then air dry it.  It all depends on what kind of vacuum cleaner you have to how you should clean it. I washed the filters and let them dry all day before putting it back together. I do this monthly.  After I had done this and the next time I used it I was so happy that it smelled good.

Even simple things get a card such as polishing the bathroom sink.  This is a daily chore that takes very little time.  It is truly the thought that makes us think that our tasks take more time than they really do.

The house is becoming noticeably cleaner.

As I have been cleaning like this it has taken me back in time to when I was growing up and a young adult.  We did clean our homes different in the past than we do now, at least this is my experience.

My mother was always a stickler on the home being clean.  She did hire someone to help her with the cleaning because my mother worked outside the home ever since world war two.  We had our chores and they were written down for us to keep up with our chores.  

Cleaning picture frames is on a monthly card. It truly does not take long to do if you have a card that says to clean picture frames monthly. I clean the picture frames in the dining room on a heavy cleaning day once a month the next week I will do the bedroom picture frames on my heavy cleaning day and so on.

After I married I developed routines and I was good at sticking to them but I think what happened is as time went by and we accumulated more "stuff" and  the routines became slack.  

In the past when items broke we took them to be repaired, today most people just buy a new one.  Today when it gets dirty, often people will just replace it instead of figuring out how to clean it.

I am truly enjoying this card system because it is going down memory lane and it has me cleaning more like I did long ago.  As I make my rounds I am giving more consideration to items and if I truly want them in my house anymore so more clutter is leaving the house.

I have a grocery shopping day scheduled for every Thursday.  So I have a Wednesday card that says to make a grocery shopping list.  I include a note to add foods for canning and dehydrating since Thursday afternoons I have allocated time to do some canning or dehydrating on Thursday. 

* I make one card for each chore such as this grocery list card and when it has been done I move it to the next Wednesday in the Numbers tab section.

I hope this all makes sense.

Charles asked me to make him some cards and so I did and he has cards such as Saturday is the day he polishes his shoes.  A card for cutting the grass.  There are seasonal cards for washing the outside windows and both our names on that card since we do this together.

There is a card titled seasonal for us to move the furniture and clean behind it.

We have cards for pet care such as nail trimming, grooming, baths and such. 

I want to say Thank you Catherine for introducing me to this book.

I just looked on youtube before posting this to see if there are any videos and there are some and if you type in the search Sidetracked Cards or Sidetracked home executives and there are videos to choose from.

I realize the first part of this post was almost frantic and you might be wondering why would we want to do this cleaning system with all the changes but once I develop the habits of cleaning like this it will help me with my cleaning more like the past if that makes any sense.

I need this to get back to the habit of "regular" cleaning, the discipline, and I have the memory from when I was young of what living in a clean home that was routinely cleaned looked and felt like.

I hope this was helpful.  Grandma Donna

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