Monday, September 5, 2011

Mondays with Martha

Some of you are probably thinking I mean Martha from the Bible, but in this case I'm talking about Martha Stewart. I've decided to add a little cleanliness and organization to my life, and if you read this yours as well, by adding a weekly feature called "Mondays with Martha." In it I will share a ridiculous useful tip from Martha...and then tell you how I do things in my "clean-enough" house.

So here's today's tip from Martha: "when I travel, I like to bring my own fresh lemons, just in case they don't have them on the plane."

I'd like to know, does security raise an eyebrow if you're carrying fresh lemons in your carry-on? Do you have to explain that they are "just in case they don't have them on the plane"? Obviously Martha has never been on an airplane with an infant on her lap, which is how I usually travel on the rare occasions I travel by plane. I'm just hoping for something less than a disaster, and the question of whether they will have fresh lemons for my water is about the farthest thing from my mind. Actually, I usually politely refuse any beverage because I know it will end up on my lap, thanks to the infant.

So for the rest of us, who just want a house that's clean enough to enjoy and have people over occasionally but aren't going for perfection, here's my weekly cleaning tip toward a clean-enough house: Do an extra 15-minute chore every day in addition to your basics (cleaning the table, sweeping the kitchen, a load of laundry, whatever you have to do to keep up). The flylady can give you specific chores if you can't think of any, but I find her system too rigid. What I do is look around, find an area that has been bugging me because it's dirty or cluttered, and clean it for 15 minutes. If it's not done and I am tired of cleaning, I come back to it tomorrow. If I'm almost done and want to just finish it today, I do that. You can get a surprising amount done in 15 minutes, and even the most unpleasant chore can be endured for that long. This week I tackled the front door (lots of cobwebs had accumulated), my desk, some dusting, the American Girl palace, and the laundry room (which is improved, but by no means clean) during my 15-minute spurts.

When you're done, reward yourself with a nice cup of tea. And if you've brought one with you, add a lemon.


  1. Great idea (the 15 minute tasks)! I loved just reading through your blog. You are very creative and a good writer! I'm glad you are blogging!

  2. I love fresh lemons. But for the sake of simplicity I've had to forego a lot of things I prefer. Like making my garlic bread from scratch. Or other such nit-picky-ness. Sometimes you just have to choose not to be such a food snob. It's so hard when you are one - I know. I appreciate these ideas - and am glad you mentioned about the lemons, because I need these reminders now and then. That it's okay to be a good-enough Mom - especially when the 'good-enough' part means putting my effort where it counts. And fresh lemons doesn't necessarily count :)

  3. speaking of traveling w/ w/ an orange to a hotel...somewhere my Mother read this so my Dad brought an orange when we went up to WI to get Bekah in July...we peeled that orange, left the peels around the room (my dad ate the orange) and when came back to room after dinner it smelled real nice in there...