housekeeping

You Are the Queen of Your Home

You Are the Queen of Your Home

Recently I had the experience of parting ways with a housekeeper.

We were on our second cleaning with her, and it appeared that she missed something that I thought was to be included in our service. Hoping to clarify our understanding and negotiate what would be covered by our service, I asked her if she had time for a phone call.

At the end of our phone conversation, it seemed that we had agreed on what specific tasks would be included with the service. When I returned to my email on Monday morning, I was surprised to have received a message from her, expressing that she found my phone call to be "off-putting" and that she felt that I had accused her of not doing her job. Because of this, she stated that she would not be coming back.

This wasn't the first time I had to voice my concerns with this her. During our consultation, I expressed my need for green cleaning products and she assured me that was what she used in her work. The first time she cleaned, I smelled bleach.

At that moment, I realized I had to make an important choice. Let it go and accept the bleach even though I feel strongly about it not being used, or speak up and ask her not to use it again.

How to Declutter and Get Organized During Pregnancy

How to Declutter and Get Organized During Pregnancy

This is a long requested post that I finally feel qualified to write! It's true - I'm expecting my first child in September.

My husband and I feel incredibly blessed. For a long time, we didn't know if it would be possible for us. Now, though, I can see how perfect the timing is.

Confession time. For the first few years of my career, I worried a lot about how I could serve the women I felt called to serve without the experience of motherhood. I remember that being a heavy criticism about Marie Kondo when her book first came out.

I believe that it was easier for me to do this work on my own without young children to look after. I don't think the work I've done is going to make my life more difficult once I'm a mother if my pregnancy has been any indication of what's ahead.

I'm not used to my body not being my own, to needing naps, to needing to eat every couple hours. For better or for worse, I'm used to pushing through to get things done, and I'm realizing that's not a good option anymore.

How to Empower Yourself through Decluttering

How to Empower Yourself through Decluttering

Several years ago, before I started on this journey of decluttering and simplifying my life, I had a very interesting conversation with an acquaintance. She revealed to me casually that the home she shared with her parents and younger brother had recently burned to the ground.

"Oh, how awful, I’m so sorry!", was all I could say to that.

"Yeah, but it was kind of a good thing, too." She said. "We needed to start over."

She proceeded to tell me about a giant bag of arrowroot powder they had in their pantry for ages that they felt like they couldn't throw away, but that they were now, finally, free of. This was just one example of the many things in their space that they felt like they couldn't get rid of.

This story speaks to a real dimension to the clutter that can build up in our space that we may not even be consciously aware of.

How to Reduce Your Household Waste (without Going Crazy)

How to Reduce Your Household Waste (without Going Crazy)

Earlier this week, I had the great pleasure of attending the town hall at Northampton High School where Senator Markey and Congressman McGovern discussed the Green New Deal. There was a lot of great conversation, and the event filled me with hope that our country might have a chance at becoming better stewards of this planet.

As is the case with so many people, the idea of a looming climate crisis has been on my mind for years, and at times I've felt quite helpless about it. It just seemed like too big of a problem. Sure, I had reusable grocery bags (that I almost always forgot to bring with me to the store), and I would try to recycle things if they were obviously recyclable. But I barely had the energy to follow through with the few things I knew I could do, much less think of solutions for other ways I was contributing negatively to the environment.

The Organized Pantry

The Organized Pantry

Every week was the same.

I would buy a plastic container of fresh spinach on Sunday, eat a tiny bit on Monday, and then ignore it until it went bad. The following Sunday, I’d throw it out, and start my cycle over again. It felt awful. I wanted to eat my greens and was holding on to the idea of it - but couldn’t seem to bring it full circle and finish the damn container.

Too much fresh food went out that way in my hands. I’d have the best intentions of cooking and eating healthy at the beginning of the week - but I just wouldn’t be able to actually get it together over the course of the week. Not only was my diet deficient in fresh produce, I was all but throwing money away!

I wondered where I was going wrong. When I actually asked the question, I realized that the answer was two-fold. For one thing, my kitchen was a nightmare to work in. And for another, I didn’t have a real plan for how to buy and manage food.

If you want to organize your food storage, you need a plan for buying and managing food in your kitchen.