Monday, June 24, 2019

34 Weeks of Clean 2019! Week 24-Porches and Decks

Before it gets too hot to live around here (yes, I know, it is a "dry" heat), we are headed outside for a few weeks to spruce up the front and back porches and a few other outside projects. (Don't worry, we will head back inside to finish up some places there soon!) During our monsoon seasons and for some of you, long winters, a lot of dirt and grime collects, plastic things get brittle and break, and the place just screams for a little TLC.

So Porches and Decks are up!  Ready, set, go!

  • Clear it all off.

  •  Wash it all off.  This includes-

          - furniture
           -windows and doors
           -cracks and crevices

Excuse the towel but I was headed in from he pool and decided what better time to clean!
  • Throw anything broken or ratty out!

  • Return things to where they REALLY belong.

  • Add a touch of beauty!  You don't have to invest a lot, just a little something that makes you smile every time you walk by.  This could include a plant, some pretty flowers, or just a mat at the door that says welcome!

Someday I want amazing outdoor furniture and such but for now, I am learning to be content with what we have.  I did add a colorful rug a few years and it has held up well.  Next year I hope to change all of the cushions out to navy blue so I can have a solid, neutral background to add seasonal pillows and decorations to.  Our neighborhood is BIG into decorating front porches, and hey, who am I to be the odd man out!?  

Our back porch gets great sun most of the day, which means it tends to roast you alive at times.  My awesome hubby added these old shutters for a little architectural bling and some much needed sun block.  On the front porch we added these old glass pieces to break up the big open spaces.

Someday we will figure out how to hide the water softener that the previous owners plopped on the back porch!

A quick note of encouragement... not one of us is in the same situation, has the same tastes, or is even in the same place in our lives.  Some of us live in apartments, rentals, or even with family. Some of us have palatial homes while others are bursting at the seams.  Regardless of our circumstances, we have a choice to either be content or not.  From one who until recently moved every two years or so, may I encourage you to be content with where God has you?  He has great plans for you and your family.  Look for the blessings and be thankful - something I tell myself daily!

Just 10 weeks to go, my friends!  Make them count!


Monday, June 17, 2019

34 Weeks of Clean 2019! Week 23- The Linen Closet

Let's just say that with all the work we have been doing around this house, I am glad that some assignments are easier than others.  We have a few pretty intense ones coming up, so enjoy this week, friends! ;)
For us the Linen Closet is pretty benign.  Since we only have a few sets of sheets per bed and only a few sets of towels per person that are kept in their respective bathrooms, we do not have a stuffed linen closet- just a cluttered one.   As a matter of fact, this one holds excess school overflow from the school closet as well as a few things of my older son.  

This week's assignment- the linen closet

 Here we go-

  • Pull it all out. 

  • Sort and purge!  Did I mention that you do not need 20 sets of sheets and towels unless you have a really large family?  Usually two towels per person with a few for guests are sufficient.  And sheets, well, you can only use one set at a time.  Just saying.  Throw out old, stained, and worn sheets and towels!  Maybe even treat yourself to a new set.

  •  Wipe off shelves and doors to linen closet.

  • Put everything left back neatly.  When you do this, access your space.  Does the layout make sense?  Are there things that need to be moved elsewhere?  I realized that to avoid the extra blankets falling on my head every single time I reached for the they just needed to be moved to a lower shelf.  Quick and easy pick.  Sometimes it helps to just stand back and think about how you use a space.


Done!  See, I told you that was easy!

Some things to note-

    -You do not always have to use a space for its intended purposes.  Sometimes it pays to get  creative.  I have seen people keep their towels and sheets in their bathroom cabinets and use their linen closets for craft storage, office storage and yes, we even used ours in the last house for a Lego closet!  Think outside the box and make your space work for you!
  -Like many people, we used to keep our medicine storage in the linen closet, but since it is on a different floor as the master bedroom, we moved it to our bathroom.  If you have small children in your house, please make sure you keep such things out of reach of little hands. 

What about you, do you have a linen closet holding more than linens?  And how did you do on last week's assignment, the laundry/mudroom?  Can't wait to hear about your progress!

Get ready, friends, BIG things are coming up!  Consider yourself forewarned. ;)

Monday, June 10, 2019

34 weeks of Clean 2019! Week 22- The Laundry/Mud Room

Welcome back to 34 Weeks of Clean!  If this is your first time joining us, we are so glad you are here! Even though we are on the downhill part of this series, I want to encourage you to pick up where we are and just move forward.  No step is little when it comes to cleaning and organizing.  It all counts and it is all good!  We are in the process of taking our homes back, one week at a time!  You can do it. 

This week we are headed to our laundry rooms/mudrooms!

My new laundry room is still a work in progress.  This is one area of our house that I settled for a much smaller area than I would have liked when we bought this house.  Sometimes you just can't get everything on your wish list.  As our kids are growing up, all but our youngest are responsible for their own clothes so my time in the laundry room is pretty minimal compared to what it has been in the past.  None the less, I would love to have someone take out that small cabinet in the corner and move the washer and dryer to the back wall under the window to make more space. (yes, it will fit, I have already measured!) I would then hang a bar under the cabinets that I could use to hang things for drying.  One can dream, right?! 

Anyway, here we go...

  • Take everything out.  You knew it, right? ;)  Yes, you can leave the washer and dryer, but all else comes out.  If your hubby is available, the appliances should come away from the walls too!

  • Wipe down all surfaces, including floors.  It is hard to squeeze behind those appliances, but trust me, you need to.  It is dusty back there.  Ask me how I know these things!

  • If you have windows in this area, clean them, and don't forget to look up and clean out light fixtures and ceiling fans if you have them.  Yes, I had more blinds to clean.

  • Take the time to clean out your washing machine.  Even the top loading ones can get grimy, but the newer front loading ones especially do.  We use a vinegar solution and occasionally resort to bleach.  In hindsight, I would not purchase front loading washing machine again!  I hate leaving it open, but if I do not it  begins to smell.  Plus, I have decided I am too old to squat down to get things in and out of it!

    Before you put things back, ask yourself

            - do I need it?
            -does it belong somewhere else? 

I ended up getting rid of quite a lot and consolidating a lot of bottles of stuff.  The previous owner left tons of special wood floor and tile cleaners and some we ended up just tossing.

*One last thing about my Dawn container.  Yes, I use Dawn to wash dishes.  We make a lot of our own cleaning products, including laundry soap, but I still use Dawn for dishes.  Any time I finish a bottle I fill it with water and put it in the laundry room as my "stain stick."  Seriously, Dawn will take out most stains, and I save a little money by "recycling."

  • If you have a separate mud room, start at the top and do the same basic cleaning!  After a long winter in many places, those areas need a bit of TLC!

So that is it for this week.  Pretty simple, huh?  Can't wait to hear how you did last week!  Don't forget to show us your progress by leaving a picture on our Facebook page!  
Have a blessed week, my friends!