Keeping the House in Order With Multiple Cats

Owning more than one cat doesn’t mean your house has to smell like a litter box or look condemnable. With cats, come food bowls, litter boxes and potential fleas. If you have multiple indoor cats, you may still want to keep a flea treatment on hand since they can come in on shoes, clothing or through cracks in doors. We lived in an apartment with one cat and ended up having to flea bomb the house. Bombing worked and we were able to get rid of the infestation fairly quickly but had to make plans to have the cat out of the house.

person cleaning a cat litter box
Photo by chatchawarn loetsupan on Pexels.com

Keeping more than one litter box and making sure to scoop in the morning and evening can help eliminate odors, especially if you throw the bag away in an outside trashcan immediately. Air fresheners and litter deodorizer also helps.

Keep food and water dishes confined to a small area, like the kitchen so messes are easier to keep up.

Clean all vomit or anything else up immediately.

Make sure your flooring isn’t carpet. Carpet is stained easier, harder to clean and retains smells worse than hard wood, tile or linoleum. Run a dust mop or sweep 1-2 times a day and mop as much as you need.

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Vacuum all fabric surfaces, like sofas or kid toy sofas, pet bedding or towels on a regular basis. Brush your cats daily and sweep up all stray hair balls.

Keep all cats treated for any and all parasites and make sure they visit the vet regularly- otherwise you could look at diarrhea, flea infestations, worms or other messy problems.

Get cats fixed to help keep from spraying

If your cat has problems with hairballs, there are foods that help control hairballs and brushing can help.

 

If you have any other tips for multiple cat households, what do you do?

Spring Cleaning: While Home Social Distancing

Since it’s well past the first of Spring and we have all been stuck at home, there’s a good chance some of what you have been doing has been cleaning, disinfecting and going through closets and garages. If your weather has been anything like ours has (a lot of cool and rain) you probably have spent a lot of time inside as well. What are some spring cleaning ideas for the time while under stay at home orders?

1. Now is a good time to go through clothing. Watch Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and lay all your clothing out on your bed- then hold each item to see which ones excite you. If they no longer fit, aren’t worn and you feel nothing when you hold them, they will likely be worn in someone else’s closet.

Another idea for clothing is to hang everything in one direction in your closet, flip the hangers as you wear each item and in 6 months, all the originally hung clothes get donated- or 1 year if they’re seasonal.

Go through kids’ clothing as well. Make sure everything fits, is in good condition and is seasonally appropriate.

Go through shoes and accessories next- if you have a purse or shoes that are wearing out or that you haven’t used or worn in years, toss them.

2. Kid’s toys. How many games are laying out with missing pieces that are never played? How many toys are broken or outgrown? Sit toys to the side and put away to have a yard sale when things clear off.

Another recommendation is to put some toys away and switch them out. Kids typically have too many toys so not all get played with- when you rotate the toys, it’s like the toys are new again.

3. Take this time to go through your kitchen. Find all the gadgets you don’t use (or forgot about) and either find ways to use them or put them aside for a yard sale. Make sure your dishes are in good shape and get rid of and replace anything that’s chipped or broken.

Make sure you have a full set of measuring spoons and cups and make sure all your normally used supplies are in good shape. Anything you don’t need or have too many of, set aside for a yard sale.

Go through all your food- pull it out of the lazy Susan, pantry and all shelves. Anything that has expired, toss and take close inventory of everything. Make sure everything is still good and put it back with earliest dates first.

Remember, not all food goes bad by the date and best by is not expiration.

Before you put the stuff back, clean and wash all shelves or wipe them down with clorox wipes.

Clean out your fridge, it there is food growing mold, toss it out and soak the container. Wipe down the insides and shelves then organize as you put everything back.

4. Go through your bathroom. Find all of the medications that are expired  and  drop anything off that has expired, destroy and toss the prescription take labels to destroy. Find all your cosmetics, lay them out and go through dates and condition of each item. Also go through personal care, hair and skin products and get rid of all almost used or empty bottles. Before you put the stuff back, clean and wash all shelves or wipe them down with clorox wipes.

Before you leave the bathroom, clean the toilet, tub and sink. Make sure you get the edges of the toilet- not just the bowl, get the back and under the seat.

5. Get rid of all your towels that are in bad condition. Animal shelters are always willing to take old, used towels for bedding. Move all ragged wash cloths to cleaning cloths and replace anything that is needed.

6. Put your washer and dish washer on cleaning modes and have them clean themselves, self clean your oven if it has that option. Otherwise, scrub down the inside of your oven. Remember to make sure if you’re able to use oven cleaner, it’s not always safe to use.

7. Pick everything off the floor and sweep or vacuum. Move the furniture and appliances and sweep/vacuum/mop and shampoo under everything. While you’re at it, vacuum and shampoo (or steam) the couch, all upholstered chairs and other fabric furniture.

8. Go through your books. They may have an attachment but they do no good just sitting around collecting dust- if you have already read them and aren’t going to read them again, give them to a friend who would like them. Donate to the library or sell- they do good when they’re being read not sitting around and doing nothing.

9. Wash all the windows, TV and computer screens, mirrors and all glass.

10. Dust all knick knacks, ceiling fans and light covers before sweeping

11. Take a Clorox wipe and wipe down the sides of all appliances and cupboards in your kitchen and laundry room.

The states are slowly working on starting to open back up but stay at home orders are slowly changing to “safer at home” and a lot of people are still wanting to stay home as long as they can.

If you still haven’t returned to work, now is a good time to work on trying to get your home caught up, decluttered and deep cleaned. Cleaning can help take your mind off things and deep cleaning can help protect against insect invasions that happen during the spring, viruses and can make you feel fresher.

What areas in your house are you or have you cleaned out? Have you been spring cleaning your house?


	

I Watched Marie Kondo’s Show

All January, people have been talking about professional cleaner/organizer Marie Kondo’s new Netflix reality show. Like most of the people in her target market, I decided to check out the show myself, so my kids and I have spent the last week watching it. I have gone through my kitchen, book closet, bed room and both of my kids’ bedrooms and have cleared out over ten bags of items to donate or sell. On top of that, we threw away at least 10 bags of broken or unusable items we hadn’t got around to getting rid of. Watching the show gave me a lot to think about, some of the things she said didn’t really apply but some of it resonated with us quite a bit.

Here are the top five ways watching the show helped me in declutter my home

1.Piling all my clothes on the bed together. Making my pile helped me sort and see exactly how much for each season I still had. I didn’t have as big a pile as some of the people on her show, but I go through my clothing on a regular basis. I only had one bag by the end and it wasn’t even completely filled because my last purge was less than a year ago (my first purge gave me three full bags of donations). I like her way because it helps you see how many and gives you a chance to really go through

2.Only keep items that really “spark joy.” Although, my toaster doesn’t spark joy, it is needed. It’s a good piece of advice to follow with items that serve no actual need and are only there for sentimental reasons. Most of the time, if you have something shoved in the back of a closet “just in case you need it,” you won’t need it so if it serves no purpose and doesn’t make you feel good, you don’t need it.

3.Take the time to “thank” items you’re going to get rid of. It seems a bit cheesy, if you’re not familiar with her religion, but when you stop and thank an item you no longer need, it can help you respect the item itself, even the process. It gives you a few moments to really think about the service that item gave you. You don’t even have to be a practitioner of her religion to get the benefit of taking the time to express gratitude toward the item.

4.Her folding method may not be new to everyone, but it really helps with saving space and storage for clothing. Putting underwear and bras in containers makes the underwear drawer look a lot better.

5.The biggest thing that influenced me was simple “peer pressure.” Not peer pressure from people I know in person, but a kind of feeling of peer pressure from watching the show. Watching other people go through everything was motivating me to go through our stuff, even if their homes still seemed cluttered, the show is most definitely not a minimalist show, but it can help start down the path to minimalism.

The show has received a fair amount of criticism, but it has also mixed with New Year’s resolutions and caused many viewers to go through their homes, donating larger than usual amounts of stuff to thrift shops everywhere. Getting rid of everything that doesn’t “spark joy” may not be possible to a lot of us (really, certain foods may not spark joy, but we need to eat, same with certain appliances) but the show seems to have done more good than bad and there are some valuable takeaways.

We still are far from done, but it has made a world of difference in my kids’ rooms, our bedroom and kitchen. We can now see our living room floor and the kids can play in their rooms. I also have a new appreciation for my clothing. Now that I have the ground work, I’m positive I will be able to help us get our home organized within the year.