Honestly, is it any wonder I'm the most disorganised person on the planet? No matter how hard I try to get organised, just about every day something happens to throw me off track. Take last week for example. First Nushka threw up in half a dozen places on the lounge room carpet. The new so-called 'natural' dog biscuits I had bought obviously didn't agree with her and obviously weren't particularly natural either because the carpet was stained with bright red and orange dye. The result? A trip to the vet and antibiotics for Nushka (yet to receive the bill) and an SOS call to the carpet cleaner to try and get the stains out before I made them any worse ($65). There went any spare time I had on Monday afternoon and Friday morning. The biscuits obviously didn't agree with Hubble either because on Tuesday he threw up on Liam's bed, right through to the mattress, so of course a lengthy time was spent washing and changing the bed and trying to wash the blasted duvet by hand. Thanks Hubble. Wednesday morning I got up to first the most vile and enormous cat poo in the bath. Not the best way to start the day I tell you and once again any spare time I had to get organised for the day went out the window. At least my wonderful home mixed cleaner made it easier and the blessed eucalyptus oil enabled me to carry out the task without the aid of a gas mask.
Thursday was particularly joyful - NOT. I packed the kids off to school and got straight into the housework. First was the rumpus room. I was fed up to the back teeth of everyone treating it like a dumping ground and was finally going to SORT IT OUT. First to find a new home were the kids' cricket gear bags. Now that cricket had mercifully finished for the season there was no need for us all to be tripping over them any more. I gleefully picked up Ali's bag and was about to carry it out when I was hit by the most dreadful smell. The zip was open so I investigated a little further and was almost knocked out by the pong. He had only had that bag since Christmas! 'Wow, does sweaty cricket gear really smell THAT bad?' I wondered. I found it a little hard to believe. This was Ali after all - Mr Personal Hygiene Freak who at 10 years old should already have shares in Lynx deodorant. Still, it stank alright, so I decided to take all the gear out and air it. Which was when I discovered to my horror that the bag was crawling with maggots. They were in his helmet. They were in his gloves. The mesh pockets on the inside were festooned with them. Considering the bag had been partly open I'm amazed that they hadn't wriggled their way out across the floor and taken over the house.
You can imagine how long it took me to clean that little lot up. I still have no idea how they got in there. I was expecting to find a rotten apple or half eaten sandwich in there but nope, nothing. Once again I was thanking my lucky stars for that home mixed cleaner! By this time I was convinced something was out to get me but I managed to stay unscathed on Friday, so on Saturday I decided to tackle a job I had been wanting to do for ages - clean out my plastics cupboard! I was determined to be as organised as possible for rugby season and wanted to make sure all my little pots and containers were matched up with lids and the Thermos food thingys were easily accessible. It took me ages but I did a fantastic job (if I say so myself) and it was a great feeling to actually have got round to doing it after so many months. I felt organised! I felt in CONTROL! So I was pretty flipping peeved to joyfully open my cupboard on Sunday morning and find the top of every single neatly stored container covered in mouse poo. They say mice are incontinent - well I can bloody well believe it. All my hard work down the drain! To add insult to injury, the cupboard stank of mouse wee. I was gutted. Everything would have to be taken out and washed - that would take ages! There was no point doing that until the mouse was caught though. Well, mice actually as it turned out. There were two of the little blighters! Needless to say they have been despatched with - I just wish they hadn't chosen the exact day I cleaned the cupboard out to go on the rampage!
So thus ended my week of trying to get organised. I've been driving the whole family crazy with my lack of organisation lately but I do for once have a good excuse. I suppose I should really fess up about why there have been so few blogs lately. I've been working all hours on a big project. Fiona and I have been writing a book! It's been on the cards for a long time but with households struggling more than ever to make ends meet, we realised we had to stop procrastinating and get this book written to help them hang on to as much of their money as they can. It's taken up pretty much every waking moment over the past couple of months but it is nearly finished. It's so exciting! I just figured you deserved to know why I haven't been around, rather than thinking I've gone and turned into a Sad Sally again or just being plain slack! So now the cat's out of the bag, we promise to keep you posted!
One thing's for certain, as soon as this book is put to bed, I am going to take some time out to REALLY organise my life. There's so much I want to do! At first I thought about taking a week off work to get things back in order but the more I look at my 'to do' list, the more I wonder if I really need a fortnight! How sad is that? Other people take two weeks off to go on an overseas holiday; I need that long just to get round to sorting out my linen cupboard. What an exciting life you lead Penny! The thing is, nobody else cares if the linen cupboard needs tidying or the pantry needs a sort out but I do. It saves me time and it saves me money. When I know exactly what is in my cupboards, I don't buy things I don't need. Even right down to the little drawers that everyone has which are just full of stuff that you can't find a home for, like picture hooks and tap washers. If I know what I have, I know what I DON'T need to buy.
My Get Organised 'To Do' List is as long as your arm. My chest freezer desperately needs an overhaul and as soon as I read this thread I was filled with an overwhelming urge to go and grab all the enviro bags out of the boot of my car and start using them to sort my freezer into nice orderly food types. What an ingenious idea! I also loved Ann K's idea of keeping a pair of gloves by the freezer - I wish I had thought of that many times before! I want to get round to making a folder of all my favourite SS tips rather than just emailing them to myself when I find one I like. You should see the state of my Inbox, they're everywhere! I want to actually get around to filling in my empty price book instead of stuffing it with more dockets for future reference every time I come home from the shops. I want to use all the fantastic time saving tips for working mums. I'm a person who can't survive without a list and want to use this brilliant white board tip to remind me what the heck it is I'm supposed to be doing next. I want to be so incredibly organised that I know exactly which days of the month to change the sheets on and not have everything fall out at me when I open the cupboards. Preferably not covered in mouse poo either.
I guess I'm a walking disaster really - I'm just one of those people. Take last night for example. I took the boys to rugby training. Because Ali goes straight to scouts afterwards, I had got Noel to pick me up some bread rolls on special at the supermarket last week, which he duly did. Feeling all in control and organised I put them in the small upright freezer for easy access, with the intention of giving Ali one to munch on in the car on his way to scouts. No Maccas for us this week, no sirree! Unfortunately yesterday morning I went to take the aforementioned rolls out and found they had already thawed into a soggy, pulpy mush. Turns out in my haste to pop them in the freezer, I hadn't noticed that, due to it badly needing defrosting, the door was partly iced up and didn't shut properly. Nice one Penny! Ali had to take some fruit and baking instead but it wasn't all bad. Because Liam can't have bread rolls I was racking my brains for something we could take to fill his tummy and warm him up after his freezing cold rugby training. I came up with a brainwave - rice noodles! I got one of the Thermos food thingy's out and simply poured boiling water over the noodles before leaving the house. When the time came to eat them an hour and a half later they were perfect! Although it was pretty funny watching poor Liam try and eat his noodles in the dark on the way home in the car! Still, it was a success and saved us time and money.
Just like the delicious Chicken Cacciatore I had thrown in the crockpot that morning from the Slow Cooker Recipe Book. It was steaming hot and ready and waiting for us when we got home. Honestly, what on earth would I do without Simple Savings? Without Simple Savings I would never have heard of Foogo drink bottles from Thermos. I had heard such rave reviews from members that I went and got one for the boys and they absolutely love them! They work so well; they pop some ice cubes in them before going to school in the morning and the ice cubes are still clanking around in there eight hours later! I got mine in NZ but just Google for your nearest stockist. We never forget to take our drink bottles anywhere any more!
And what would I do without SS member Janetta who wrote to me with a great tip to keep the kitchen tidy now I don't have a dishwasher? She told me she uses a plastic sink-size bowl and keeps it under the sink. She just rinses the dishes and pops them in the bowl out of sight until it's full and she has time to do the dishes. It works a treat and the kitchen almost always looks tidy now. I'm so grateful for that one! And to Elly who wrote to tell me about the 'hidden snack box' she keeps in the boot of her car. I do this now and fill it with non-perishable items, either new and sealed (like mini packets of chips) or put into sealable containers like crackers or dried fruit. Because I'm the only one who knows it's there, it doesn't get attacked like 'house food' and then whenever the kids come out with 'I'm starving' next time we're out and about, I'm ready and prepared! It saves me a bundle, I can't remember the last time I went to Mr Patel's. With the help of Simple Savings, one way or another I WILL get organised!