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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 ....

One Room Proper part Three

May 25, 2021

I am doing a part three of One room proper to answer some questions.

A long while ago I was trying different cleaning methods for cleaning our home.  I did the cleaning card system where you write cleaning jobs and maintenance down on index cards and put them in a box. At first I liked cleaning this way and I did a post about it but I had too many cards after a few months of using this system.  I kept trying to add things as I came around to noticing something needed to be done and I could not keep up with the cards. 

So I came up with a new way and called it One Room Proper where I clean one room really well each day of the week except on the Sabbath. 

I divided up the rooms in our home and made it work for five days a week.  I like this method because there is not a lot to do in a room if it is done each week.

I had explained in the post one room proper, part one and part two, that cleaning is not the same as decluttering.  One room proper is about cleaning.  This is something that is fairly quick, only takes a little while to do if kept up.  There are no cards or anything to be kept up with.

This past week we had no rain, a lot of sun and wind so I took this opportunity to wash all the bedding and mattress covers and hang them out to dry.  I washed bedspreads and quilts and sheets that needed to be washed. I was back and forth to the clothes line for several days.

Cleaning one room proper does not affect other projects.

It was a wonderful week to do this and the birds have finished picking all the mulberries off the tree so it was safe to hang the wash again.

It was time to put away the freshly washed and line dried winter quilt that we use on our bed.  Warm weather is here now and this is when I wash and pack away our quilt.

Normally, I pull out the vintage chenille spread for summer but my daughter purchased a quilt/spread from a friend that was selling it at a yard sale and offered it to me.  I know she is a very good keeper of the home and so there were no questions about buying this spread.  Above is the chenille spread we normally use each summer.  I may use it in August and September this year and this will help it to last longer than using it all spring and summer.

The blue floral spread is the new spread/thin quilt. :) It is in excellent condition and it has brightened up our bedroom and only cost $8.00.  

So I folded the freshly washed and line dried winter quilt and folded it neatly inside out and put it in my quilt basket.

I put the chenille spread on top of the quilt and covered them with a towel.  This will keep them clean until they are needed again.

This guest bed quilt was washed and line dried and returned to the bed even though it has not been slept in since before the Covid virus started.  I like to wash the bedding occasionally even if it has not been slept in to keep it fresh and free from dust. Part of my Spring and Fall cleaning.  I have two pillow shams to put on these pillows that I just dried on the line. 

These are the extra type of cleaning tasks that are not included in my one room proper cleaning.

The way that I do one room proper is I take one room and move things off the surfaces. I pick up the rugs and clean sweep or vacuum the floor. I remove the lamps and objects and give the top of the night stand or dresser a good wash.  I take a bowl of warm lightly soapy water and wash everything down and then rinse and dry with a drying cloth.  I wash the headboard and baseboard, the top of the chest of drawers.  

This does not take long, I like to do this leisurely and do it right.  I wipe down the sides and around the bottom of the furniture I wipe down the lamps and remove the shades and step outside with them to brush them off. I lift the windows and wipe the window ledge. I clean mirrors and picture frames and glass over the pictures.  Then I mop the floor if there is no large rug.  Done, it did not take long because it is done every week. 

There is no reason it should take over an hour and I normally spend about thirty minutes and sometimes not even that long.  

Clutter is very different.  This does not require soap and water and a good brush up normally.  If your house is clean the clutter will slowly improve because I normally go back and straighten up the clutter and put stray items away. 

What I have done is given that "one room" a proper "Cleaning".  Most of us have clutter, this is from living in our home. The cleaning part is short and leaves time to spend on a little sorting in a room. I am trying to take a medium size box and a container for small objects and while cleaning the room put the items in those containers for returning them to where they belong.  This is where our sorting table comes in handy if there is no time to return the items right away.

Each week as it comes time for that one room, I will note if there is something to be repaired or touched up at another time.  It gets easier to notice these things.

My mother changed our home as the seasons changed. I am thankful that I grew up during the time that I did so I understand how it was long ago.

My mother changed our curtains in the kitchen area and our bedrooms as we changed into spring and fall. She would add touches of color in the table settings and around the house. We knew there was a season change by her special touches.

I wash our curtains and change out the curtains in the kitchen window. I am working towards sewing seasonal curtains for the bedroom.

I use these curtains that I made of lace and cotton in the blue bedroom in the spring and summer.  I am working on some heavier curtains for the winter for this room and hope to have them finished by fall.  This room is in the Northwest corner of the house so we need a thicker fabric.

It helps to motivate me to keeping a proper home when I make homemade items for our home.

Plum off our plum tree.

Last year at the end of summer I started a de-cluttering project that was not pretty. I wondered if I would ever get our home back in order. I started cleaning out kitchen cabinets and drawers and closets and other cabinets and pulled it all out as if we were moving to go through everything. This kept me from cleaning our home as I was doing with one room proper.

The problem was I pulled out too many things at once but I did this because I was trying to get items that belonged in a group together again. 

We do not have a garage, a basement, or an attic that can be used for storage. We have small closets and no coat closet or linen closet, no bathroom closet and so this makes what we do have tightly packed and that is the problem I have been trying to solve for quite some time. 

On top of that I gave away my Granny's steamer trunk that held a lot of overflow. I did this to make more room in the house but what was in that large trunk had to find a new home.

After completely going through the kitchen, the laundry area, the closets and drawers I tackled the sewing and craft items and this was just too overwhelming.  With the covid shortages I was afraid to get rid of anything after not being able to buy fabric, thread or elastic. 

A few people were giving me fabric scraps to make masks and it was starting to stack up.

I hit a roadblock because I just did not know what to do with everything.  I pulled it out from where it was, got rid of some furniture pieces that was good for storage but was bad for space. 

I did get rid of a lot of things but once again not enough to fit as loose as I would like. We need tools and notions to be able to make our own items so I have to make good decisions.  

I am not a minimalist, I do not want to be a minimalist because I want to cook all our meals, grow our own vegetables and do our own repairs. I can and dehydrate our food so that requires pressure canner and water bath canner and accessories.  Jars and lids and bands. I do not want to end up having to purchase items that we already had so this has been very time consuming thoughtful decluttering.   I will find that place of calm and looseness at some point but at least now the items that were all over the place are back in the cabinets and drawers and closets and quite a bit more tidy. :)  It wasn't easy......

All this while I have kept in my mind that Charles and I both want to live more like the past. We want to function as they did and I have come to realize they did not have a lot of what we have today but they did have a lot of items that we do not have today.

So each item I asked myself, did they have this in the past or a form of this item? So that helped me a lot.

I am not trying to make our home picture perfect, I am not trying to resemble some magazine or internet look alike.  I just want it loose, clean and comfortable to what I imagine it looking like.

But we have a small house and it is going to be more crowded than a big house, I have come to terms with this and I will keep sixteen extra toothbrushes for family when they visit in case they forget their toothbrush.

As long as I clean one room proper per week, and clutter is somewhat under control then I am living more like the past.

I am back to the point that I am doing one room proper again and this feels so nice to be able to do this.  The sorting table in the living room is helping a lot because it gives me a place for items to land that need to be sorted. I am figuring that one day there will not be a lot to sort and what will need to be sorted should not take long.  Just like cleaning one room proper.  If it is just a weeks worth of dirt is not that bad..

Saying this, it has brought up something else I want to mention about cleaning one room proper.  I clean that room extra good that day I am cleaning it.  This does not mean it is the only day it gets clean.  I still touch up in between weekly cleaning. It just works out good.

Spring is beautiful.  The flowers are fresh and vibrant.  They have emerged from resting under the soil and then grew back into have beautiful stems that produced beautiful flowers. 

This Blackeyed Susan makes me smile, it reminds me of a dancer twirling around and her skirt flowing in ripples around her. 

This Gladiola reminds me of a family. Have you made the time to enjoy the flowers?  To enjoy the changes in the season, whatever season you are in?  

Don't be so busy that you miss the dancing flowers because they are only here for a short time and we will not see them again until the next season.  Grandma Donna

Link to part one One room proper

Link to part two One room proper


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