I'd love to steam clean my carpets, but 1) I'm in a rental, 2) I'd have to rent a steam cleaner, which isn't in the budget, and 3) it's incredibly frustrating to get your carpets super-clean and then have a cat throw up on them. That's no reason to not EVER steam clean your carpets -- but since I won't be living here forever, I'm not bothering with that right now.
I was supposed to clean and organize shelves in my bedrooms, but that's mostly been done recently as we rearranged our house in preparation for the baby. And most of the shelves are my husband's -- but even so, they were largely taken care of in that same house rearrangement. I did, however, finally take care of my dresser. WOW, that was a bigger project than it should have been! My dresser is my messy area, and I hate that because it's such a beautiful piece of furniture. But it's where I let my stuff pile up. It had gotten to a point where I couldn't even see the surface... and it was disgustingly dusty. So I tackled that one day and feel amazing about it. I am kicking myself for not taking before/after pictures; it would have been so satisfying.
I did not take the challenge to clean/organize bedroom closets. The only one that hasn't been done recently is our master closet, and it is in need of a cleanse/purge/organize... but that will get done as I switch out my winter/summer/maternity/non-maternity clothing, which is imminent. I always enjoy that task as the seasons change. (Does that really come as a surprise by now?)
My favorite day was clean/organize bathroom cabinet/closet/drawers day. (I've noticed a pattern: I love days when I'm supposed to throw things out. It's so exhilarating!) Sarah Mae specifically told me to throw away old/expired/unused medicines and cosmetics... which I needed. I have a hard time throwing out things that I like and might actually use but don't really need. This is probably because I'm cheap. But as a result, I keep around things like hair products that I used to use when I wore a different style, lotions that aren't my favorite, medications that have expired (some since 2001 *cough*), and makeup that I don't consider "my color" anymore. But she said to toss it, so I did! Here are some pictures of the process (again wishing I had "before" pictures):
|This is what I threw away -- and there is a LOT more than it looks like here. I tossed an entire grocery bag's worth!|
|Under the sink in the utility room. I now have a basket for oral remedies, a basket for topical meds/relief, a basket for suncare, and a few other areas (rags, knee/ankle wraps, everyday-use cleaners, and Rx).|
|One of my two guest bathroom cabinets -- so much SPACE!|
|Under the guest bathroom sink -- WHAT am I going to do with all that empty space?!|
So that was a super-fun project. I thoroughly enjoyed getting all my cabinets organized and opening up all that shelf/drawer space. As it so happens, there is a place for everything. And most of the time, when we shove things into the deep nooks of our homes, we're just delaying the inevitable necessity of figuring out where they should really live (9 times out of 10, in my experience, that would be the trash!).
I must admit, I've gotten lax about the Mary challenges. I know they're important, but I just couldn't take the time to focus on that, a Martha challenge (some of which are quite time-intensive, as you can tell!), my day-to-day house upkeep, AND a baby. I do plan to do each of the Mary challenges in depth, but for now, I've just skimmed them so that the general idea is in my mind. I thought about just doing the Mary challenges first, but I feel SO much better about my house, even just on Day 21, that I'm glad I started with the hard work. It will also give me something to contemplate when I do fulfill the Mary challenges later this summer.