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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As the Season of Fall Nears

September 13, 2022

Charles and I start our day early, when all is well I get up around 4:30 and Charles about a half hour later. I spend my early time looking at my schedule, starting coffee, and a quick check of messages and quick chores, breakfast, feeding the girls, and so on.  The schedule is not rigid but I like to get several things done before 6:00 a.m. because that helps my day start off on better footing.  

I started setting out the cleaning items that will be used the next day to decrease laundry.  If I do not do this I use too many cloths and rags during the day. One day I realized that somehow I had become a cloth & towel waster causing extra laundry.  If I was not paying attention I would have three different dishtowels in one day. This photo above is all that should go into the wash pail this particular day of cleaning including mopping. 

 Above shown is a drying rag for dishes, a dish cloth an old cleaning cloth, a striped hand towel to dry my hands during the day, and 3 mop cloths to mop the floor.  A small bucket for making soapy water for small jobs. that require a simple cleaning cloth or brush. 

Since I keep a journal and planner  I set things out the night before so it is ready for the next day and makes me feel more organized.  It also says to me, this is here and this is what you need to do today.

When I got up this particular morning and opened the window I noticed that a worm of some kind had laid across the outside window seal and obviously been there for a while because it had damaged the wood. 

I removed the expired worm and it had rotted into the wood.  This is how a house starts to deteriorate and why we need to do spring and fall cleaning or more often if needed. 

Over time of keeping house, we figure out the helpful tools we need to do certain tasks.  I have accumulated different types of brushes that I use for cleaning that I keep in a little basket in a cabinet. I hang the larger brush by the back door.  The large one on the right is used to clean lampshades or something that is not very dirty but dusty.  I keep this brush clean so it does not soil the lamp shade while I am dusting. There is only a few things that I am very particular about and this brush and my sewing scissors are off limits and can only be used for their intended purpose.  The other brushes are for many uses.  I forgot to add a toothbrush that I use often because I had used it to clean the air filter. 

I normally clean the ledges thoroughly in spring and fall and was not planning on cleaning this window this particular morning but while I was cleaning the area where the worm dug into the wood I decided to clean this ledge.

I soaped up a brush to clean the corner track.  

This is good to do to prevent rotting of the wood.  Our house is 60 plus years and so the wood is old. 

I use my handy little pitcher for rinsing small jobs.  When you keep a home and try to maintain we accumulate the items we need to have on hand for ease of cleaning. 

This will hold and when we do the fall window cleaning this will be cleaned again when the windows are washed inside and out, then it will be clean and ready for touch-up painting.  

We have much to do this fall because we have a lot of cleaning to do on the eves of the house. 

I prefer to use real soap, homemade or store-bought as long as it is not synthetic soap.  

On my one-room proper cleaning, I remove as much furniture from that room so I can do a better job.  I use furniture sliders so I can slide the furniture without needing a lot of strength. 

It always amazes me how much dust and dirt can accumulate behind furniture.

To mop, I use a wet soapy cloth and lay it on the floor, and push it around a section at a time.  Then I rinse with rinse cloths.  I do this because I can manage rinsing and wringing easier. About ten years ago I would have been cleaning the floors with a bucket, scrubber, and cloth on my knees because I would be cleaning baseboards at the same time.  I truly miss being able to do this and I still try at times. I cannot find the type of mop I used many years ago.  Whoever designs mops today must not ever use one or they would be made like a mop should be.   

This was a morning we ate a big breakfast of salad, avocado, and nitrate/msg/gluten-free sausage because we were going to have a late lunch. 

Charles drove up and picked up Madge so we could take her for a doctor's appointment.  I stayed home and cooked lunch while they were on the road.  When her afternoon appointment was over we all had lunch here before we drove her back home.  It was a pleasant day and nice to have her here for a visit.

I moved the buffet back to the living room last week, it just wanted to be there instead of the dining room. Elizabeth likes to sit in that chair so I keep a cover on it for her.  She dozes and also keeps a watch out the window.  

I mentioned in a recent post that we can have a clean but unorganized home if we move things to clean under and then put the items back like they were. So cleaning does not necessarily mean being organized. 

I have added to my one-room proper cleaning schedule to spend a little extra time while I am in there cleaning to see if there is anything that needs to be donated, discarded, or put in a better location.  

My one-room proper has nothing to do with regular cleaning.  It is spending a designated day to give one room in the house a deeper cleaning five days a week. It takes less time than you might think. 

Right now the schedule that is still working for me is,

Monday - Our bedroom, main bathroom. 

Tuesday - Dining Room, Laundry Room, Desk area

Wednesday - Living room, main bathroom

Thursday - Green Bedroom, half bath

Friday - Blue Bedroom and sewing corner main bathroom

The kitchen is every day and one room proper has nothing to do with laundry, cooking, and regular things.  It is a way to get the house clean and stay clean as long as we repeat that the next week.

Now I am ready to add decluttering to my One Room Proper schedule.  I want to spend a little time, no longer than a half hour doing some decluttering. For example, a small chair in the corner of our bedroom. This is a little chair that I sit on to dry my hair if I am using a hair dryer or I sit and roll my hair here if I decide to roll it.  I tire easily with my arms up so I sit down to do my hair and I have a small mirror across from the chair. 

One day I placed a basket of items that I needed to go through on this chair only I kept adding to that basket and the chair became a place to put off putting those things away.  Each time I dried my hair, I had to remove the basket and set it on the bed and then put it back. This is when I realized I needed to add a few minutes of organizing on the day I do the one-room proper to this bedroom.  

Trying to organize too many things at once seems to overwhelm me now that I am older and not as strong.  If I pull out too much then I am in real trouble. Doing a little organizing in the room that I am already deep cleaning makes more sense to me and so now I seem to be making better progress chipping away at it.  I do not want to spend too much extra time in that one room so the day is more balanced with cooking, laundry, taking care of the pets, mending, and so on. 

I move what I can to clean under and behind, top and bottom and when I finish I then decide does some of this need to be donated or find a place for it. 

I know what I want for the end result but I am not focusing on that, I have resolved my thoughts of wanting it done right away to accepting that I actually make better progress if I do a little on a designated day in a particular room that I am already cleaning.  This stops me from getting behind on other things because I was so disorganized due to organizing.   Does that make sense?  

This is simply my method of cleaning that I made for myself, I named it One Room Proper to define what I was doing that day. I know when I am cleaning that room I will be back the next week deep cleaning again because that is what I need to keep my home clean and we have pets.  We all have different ways of doing things and we need to find our own way that works because we have different homes and items and needs.  But my suggestion is to have some kind of system that works for you that you can manage.  

On my one-room proper cleaning scheduled,  I also have bath days for "the girls".  Monday, Bernadette, Wednesday, Elizabeth, and Friday, Katherine. The schedule has cleaning the main bathroom Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I don't clean the bathroom until after I bathe whoever gets a bath that day.  It all just starts to flow better for me and holds me somewhat accountable that day and helps to motivate me to get it done. 

I was bathing all three girls the same day and that was just too much for me.  This adjustment works much better.

I do get off schedule if I feel bad or something comes up but the good part of this is there is always next week to pick back up. Actually, my ear/balance issues have been what has led me to come up with a cleaning routine and this one just leads into the next week looping each week. 

I have some new information for you.

I have been making a lot of changes behind the scenes so to speak. I want to catch you up.  First I just wanted to talk about the different kinds of devices we use to read the blog.  Computer, phone, tablet, etc.  

My blog is best viewed on a computer because then the sidebars show and there is a search area on my home page where you can type in a topic you may be looking for.  However, you can view posts on any type of device you use you just might not be able to see the sidebar. 

*This one is a shock for some who know me and someone nudging me along to actually do this.  I have managed to get my brain to open an Instagram account and I have just started it and am "Still learning" how to use it. I may or may not have driven my daughter a little looney asking for help.   My Instagram name is;   decidedlysimple

I am learning a lot of new things right now and for an older woman, I am slow but trying.  Some of you know the program I was using to do YouTube videos stopped working and I had to save the money as we do for most things new,  to purchase a new program so there was a gap in posting videos.  I am slowly getting new videos up but it has not been easy for me to learn this program nor the older one and remember how I did it from one video to the next.  There are a total at this time of 28 videos and 2 using the new program. I keep trying to learn and remember it and once I get it I got it. 

I hope that you enjoy the videos and find calm in this crazy world.  

Here is a link to my newest YouTube video  "A day in our Life"   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjtF1QXG-98 

As many of you have found, there is a new comment section at the bottom of each post.  I never had a comment section on my blog and I am thrilled at all the wonderful comments. 

My hope is that we build a community of friends as we move along with comments. We are from all over the world and so this is a small space where we can get to know each other.  I know my readers from years of emails and you are kind, caring and respectful.  

Many years ago when I first started my blog and I actually had readers, I had to buy a world map so I could understand where you lived.  I was always terrible at geography.  I had to learn what a Courgette and Chook were and so many other things there is no room to type all of this.  

With all that is going on today, I hope we can keep the comment section a  great place to comment and for you to read comments from others.  

Here is a link to my first One Room Proper post so if you have not read that post and do not know what I am talking about when I say My One Room Proper.  https://gdonna.com/living-like-the-past/one-room-proper/

Hugs to all, Grandma Donna


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Comments (32)


November 15, 2022 8:18 PM
I love the new comment section because I feel close to the people in the comments and it's comforting to know how many of us do the same sorts of things and live the same ways. I realized after reading this post I'm going to make some changes in my one room proper schedule because all it seems to take is one week of a schedule getting out of whack and I have a hard time catching up or at least it seems like it. I really enjoy all the tips and tricks you always post about. I learn something new in each post.


September 30, 2022 1:06 PM
Your blog is the best place to be online, for me. It's peaceful and motivating at the same time, and always makes me feel like doing something around my home or garden. I admire your simple ethos of working hard to keep home sweet and wholesome, finding adventure in loving and caring for family and others, and developing self-control to achieve these goals. Blessings always! Love, Liji.

Grandma Donna

September 28, 2022 8:45 AM
From Grandma Donna
Hi Diamond, :) I am happy about the comment section too. Tell your grandma that I said Happy Birthday! Or have her read this, Happy Birthday to Diamond's Grandma :)

I am happy that people seem very comfortable when they are here, I want it to be like coming home.


September 28, 2022 8:09 AM
Oh my goodness, a comment section! About halfway through this article I thought, “I wonder if she’ll add comments one day to her posts? I’d hate to bother her over email about what soap she uses lol ????” the elation I felt when I read your announcement at the end!!!

My grandma is 73 today and just like you, keeps learning new things and really amazes me at how open-minded she is at her age compared to her peers. I bought her some cloth napkins the other week and she said it made her feel like a girl in the South again :) Someone below said your posts are like enjoying something “delicious” and I couldn’t agree more. I really feel comforted and find a sense of belonging when I’m here. Thank you for being you ???? Diamond

Grandma Donna

September 27, 2022 9:24 AM
From Donna

Deborah, you are wise to continue to slowly weed out the unnecessary things. We can make many changes in a slow way as keeper of this home :)
I will see what I can put together about the the budgets of yesteryears :)
I am happy that you are reading along and watching the youtube videos.

I hope that your area is spared by hurricane Ian. You can send me a personal email at any time if you need quick ideas during a power or water outage. Look in my contact section for more information or send email to contact@gdonna.com

Love and prayers for you safety, Donna

Deborah in Florida

September 27, 2022 8:08 AM
Grandma Donna, I have been reading and following your blog for a few years now and have learned so much from you. I am inspired by you and want to do more simple, older ways of living. My family is not so much on board with it, so I continue to slowly weed out unnecessary things. I would be interested in reading a post about budgets of yesteryears. Thank you for all the encouraging posts you write. I look forward to reading more and watching more videos on you tube. Hugs Deborah

Grandma Donna

September 21, 2022 4:36 PM
From Grandma Donna

Thank you all for the comments, I have read all of them. I am behind answering because we were working on the tiny house. I will be back to replying soon when I get caught up with housework. :)


September 21, 2022 1:43 PM
Grandma Donna, I'm so glad you have a comment space now. I have been following you for several years, and I turn to your blog often for inspiration and motivation. I grew up in a wonderful family, but I didn't really learn how to work hard, and consequently have spent years trying to teach myself a good work ethic. I'm amazed and inspired by your hard work and how much you accomplish. I especially appreciate that its all presented without the common "hustle" vibe. Instead of pinterest-worthy homemaking pressure, you show us a picture of calm, steadying, old-fashioned hard work with lots of beauty and peace mixed in. Thank you so much!

Terri C

September 17, 2022 3:44 PM
I'm constantly saying these days that I work best in 'little bites' to get big jobs tackled. I like your One Room method and shall be adopting it. And I went to join your instagram. Hoping this goes through. Last time I commented the computer refused to accept that 2 +2 equaled 4

Lady Locust (JL ????)

September 16, 2022 6:52 PM
You will laugh at me which is fine, but I think of you when I am vacuuming dust bunnies from corners or cleaning dust from my window tracks ???? We had been gone a lot for the past 4-6 weeks and I got behind. Last weekend I began "digging in." I made good headway and am hoping to come full circle by the time this weekend is over. My kitchen is a hot mess right now so I think it will be priority.

Felicity Anne

September 16, 2022 2:14 PM
Hello G Donna
I am glad you have added a section so we readers can comment. Thank you. It means a lot to me to read these as well as your posts and see how that others around the world are thinking similarly to me and living simply.
We live in the south of New Zealand near the bottom of the world and have recently moved to a larger property with a lot of work to do in the garden to make it tidy again and productive. The house is good enough (an expression I have come to like a lot lately) and we have cleared out a lot of unnecessary things cluttering our lives. From here our focus is on growing food although we love flowers and pretty trees and shrubs too and we have a lot here we are gradually finding again.
Our days are simple- we eat simple food cooked at home and wash our clothes ( always hanging them to dry outside) and keep the house clean and tidy. We have a large wood burner to heat our home and my husband chops firewood every day and keeps it going. We are coming into Spring here on our side of the world, soon the fire will be cleared out and cleaned ready for Autumn when we will be pleased to light it again.
We live near a large native forest with views to the mountains which are still quite covered with snow. We have a lot of birds around - many are NZ birds: bellbirds and tuis for instance. They each have very distinctive songs and just now many are calling for their Spring mate. They remind me each day of the round of life we are all part of. It is simple. Birds focus on the important things: food, warmth, shelter, companionship. I am grateful to have those things and they are good enough.

Kathy T

September 16, 2022 11:47 AM
I love that we can leave comments now! I've been reading your blog for about 6 years now, and I appreciate your sharing with us. I love the "Living Like The Past" series. I also have been making your homemade noodles recipe, and everyone loves when I make them. Now off to go watch your videos. :)

Paula Alexandra Santos

September 16, 2022 4:28 AM
Hi, Grandma Donna!
As always, your posts have inspired me to do better. When I worked outside the house, I used to clean one room each day. I did it when I arrived from work at the end of the day and on the weekends, I would do the laundry, the vacuuming and the mopping.
Because I'm now at home and have more time to do everything, I sometimes leave somethings that should be done today, to do tomorrow, but the next day something happens that sets me of course and things start to pile up.
Then, I try to do everything at once and I get behind on other things, because I was so disorganized due to organizing, like you wrote.
Thank you SO much for being an inpiration and have a wonderful weekend!

Mrs. Kiwi

September 15, 2022 8:59 PM
Dear Grandma Donna, what a lovely surprise to read about your new comment section. I always look forward to your posts. They leave me feeling encouraged and peaceful.

I enjoyed seeing your collection of cleaning brushes. Although we live on opposite sides of the world, they remind me of my own little brush collection!

With love from,
Kelly (Mrs. Kiwi)


September 15, 2022 6:51 PM
Like many others in this comment section, I have been following your blog for several years (maybe 2014?) I want you to know how much your blog and your stories have meant to me. They have been a calm amidst the storm. I look forward to reading each entry. I use an RSS, and for some reason it stopped delivering your posts, and I was so worried that you had stopped!

I, too, do my own variation of One Room Proper and it is a lifesaver! I don’t feel overwhelmed with an entire house to deep clean. Each day I have only one room that gets major attention. Having a schedule and keeping organized is some thing that helps me stay on track and ensures that the things I want to get done, get done.

Danielle from Massachusetts

PS: be careful on Instagram! It’s easy to get sucked in. It took me years to disentangle myself from that app.


September 15, 2022 1:54 PM
We are just like you in that we have an older house and it needs constant monitoring and care. We are going to be doing the walk around the outside looking for what needs attention before winter very soon. We have to do our chores in small bites as well. It feels so good when we can get a drawer or a shelf cleaned out and sorted and it does not tire us. I really enjoy your YouTube videos. They are so peaceful and beautiful.


September 15, 2022 8:37 AM
I have been reading your blog for years and always find it so calming and inspiring. I love the idea that we can now comment on your blog posts. I practice a similar One Room Proper method and at my age it makes it easier to keep the house clean and tidy.

Blessings to you and Charles,
Gail from Ohio

Debby in Kansas USA

September 15, 2022 8:00 AM
Hi Donna, I have a similar cleaning system. When first married, I used to clean the entire house in one day. When I found flylady, that was an eye opener. My house is now in zones. A different zone every day for routine and every week for the extras. This particular week is Zone 3, the 3 upstairs bedrooms, which are an office, a craft room, and our bedroom. It really does help keep everything in order. I had COVID last month so now I'm just picking up right where I am and nothing is too bad. Routine allows unplanned breaks because it'll come around again in a month.
I always have one 'declutter' day to tame my youth accumulation!!

Thanks for the great blog!! I hope your weather is cooling. Ours certainly isn't! We're heading for the hundreds yet again next week! Ugh!!

Little Penpen

September 15, 2022 7:58 AM
You really should write a book. Each blog post is a like a new delicious chapter of homey goodness! You help me to enjoy being at home!


September 14, 2022 11:26 PM
Hello Grandma Donna,

I love the idea that we can now comment on your blog. You offer so much encouragement to us and it is so good that we can thank you for all you do in return.

I have been practicing your method of One Room Proper for a while now and find it works very well. It is good to be able to keep up with the household chores without feeling overwhelmed. Keeping up with things regularly is the way to go.

It has been so lovely to see you on Instagram although I am not on there a lot of the time. Your posts pop up when I do sign in so I don't miss too many.

Many blessings to you,

Grandma Donna

September 14, 2022 10:21 PM

ANN LEE, thank you for sharing that with us, we all need to be thinking of what we will do if some of our staples become difficult to afford.

Ann lee s

September 14, 2022 10:01 PM
Donna..just a little note saying our food ads today pricing Robin Hood plain white flour now $17.95 for 5 kg. (About 10 pounds)
Many folks will be learning more frugal simple ways as we progress through this recession. Thankfully I had two bags put away in freezer which helps for a while. Ann lee in Canada.

Grandma Donna

September 14, 2022 9:33 PM
FROM Grandma Donna
Darlene, It is funny when I realized how disorganized I had gotten from organizing. We just keep trying. :)

Grandma Donna

September 14, 2022 9:29 PM
FROM: Grandma Donna
LAURA, Best wishes to your daughter & your soon-to-be Son-in-law.
JUDI, Yes, we should forgive ourselves if we cannot get something done. We can get it done next time around or the next time around again. :)
PAM, It sounds like you have a lot to do but oh it will be so nice, and the dust will settle, but come back again. :)
KELLY, and I thank you for being a long-time reader of this blog. I am happy that we have a comment section too. :)
GLENDA, I hope your new routine will work well for you, you have a lot of square footage to take care of. I hope you figure out how to make the garden a bit easier, if you figure it out let us know. :)
MANDY, Thank you for being a long-time reader of this blog and thank you for sharing my posts on Instagram.
KATHERINE, it does get more difficult to clean our home as we age, doesn't it? I too tire from vacuuming and another reason to change my routine. I hope your change to working in small areas at a time will be better for you. Donna

Darlene Roudebush

September 14, 2022 9:24 PM
Hello ~

I like to read other routines and see if any of it may help me do better. Since we all have different lives, it is not a "one size fits all". But bits and pieces of what works for you, may help me out, too. I do agree with you that doing things in smaller blocks of time is helpful. And I understand what you mean about being "disorganized from organizing". I would get so focused on trying to organize one area of the house, that everything else suffered from neglect. I find I get more done by doing "baby steps" for pretty much everything. Little blocks of time and work gets more done more often that trying to do it all at once.

Best wishes to you and Charles.
Darlene from Ohio

Katherine Minaker

September 14, 2022 8:08 PM
Oh I am learning so much from you! I used to do all the vacuuming at once through-out the house and that exhausted me. Now I am putting the house into small areas to clean better. It is a small house thankfully. I am 69 and always learning a better way. Mostly from you. Thank you so much!

Mandy White

September 14, 2022 3:00 PM
I have been reading your blog for years and it is always calming and encouraging to me. Something steady in this unstable world. Thank you for sharing with us and I’m happy you have an Instagram now so I can share your posts. I just followed you there.


September 14, 2022 11:32 AM
Thank you for this wonderful post. I have been overwhelmed and struggling to figure out a good routine to keep this house clean and organized. I will be using your routine to see if it will work for me; again, thank you.
Our 3600 square foot home with a very large garden filled yard is really too much upkeep for two older people in their 70's with health issues. We are, at present, working on a plan for some reduction of garden work and food preserving next year.
I like the decluttering aspect added to the cleaning of each room. This helps keep the rooms continually decluttered. You are a blessing, Donna.


September 14, 2022 10:27 AM
My house is a muddle of moving cases to squeeze between at the moment. Two floors have to be re-laid, and repairs done on the kitchen also a new wood burner has to be put in. I look so forward 'till the dust settles and I can make things clean and cosy again. We are 5 people, two dogs and two cats. Feeling rather overwhelmed :-)
Blessings, Pam in Norway

Kelly Jensen

September 14, 2022 1:37 AM
First to comment! So glad you have a comment section in your blog now! I’ve been reading your blog for years and I just love it. You have such helpful suggestions and wisdom. Thank you for sharing yourself with all of us.


September 14, 2022 12:40 AM
Hi Donna I am going to add following you on instagram, how exciting. It is good to have a routine for our housework and it helps to understand that we should forgive ourselves if something comes up and we can't do that days work- knowing it will get done next week.

Mrs. Laura Lane of Harvest Lane Cottage

September 13, 2022 9:36 PM
I read several posts today to catch up. I have one more day of substitute teaching, then I'm going to take a few weeks off. My daughter is getting married. ~smile~
I hope to do a few rooms proper while I'm off!
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