Category Archives: Organization

Everything in its place and a place for everything.

Spring Cleaning: Ceilings, Ceiling Fans and Lights

Starting your spring cleaning?  Lookup!  Ceilings, ceiling fans and lights first!

If you’re following along my Kitchen Deep Spring Cleaning Master List, you know it’s time to start Spring Cleaning: Ceilings, Ceiling Fans and Lights.  If you haven’t started spring cleaning that’s a great place to start.  Today is all about looking up.  How often do you actually look up at your ceiling?  Probably not often, but it get really dirty up there.  So, let’s get started.

Why start with the ceiling?  Because according to Sir Isaac Newton, what goes up must come down.  You’d hate to have everything looking pristine and picture perfect in your kitchen and then realize you have tons of cobwebs in the corners of your ceiling and light fixtures and then have all of that dust fall on everything you just cleaned.  Let’s start with the ceiling.

Tools Needed For Ceiling:

A broom, or duster long enough to reach the ceiling and those corners

Dust rags, microfiber cloths or paper towels

Glass Cleaner

Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-purpose Cleaner

To begin, I went ahead and took down my curtains to keep them from getting any dustier.  Starting in one corner of the room, start removing cobwebs and dust and work your way around the room.  Check the ceiling around light fixtures, smoke alarms and ceiling fans and the tops of cabinets for dust.

Take down light fixtures and clean with glass cleaner inside and outside of the globes and set to the side to dry.  Don’t forget to wipe the dust off your light bulbs!  But do this with the lights off.  Replace any burned out bulbs now, or replace with more energy-efficient ones.  Replace globes when dry.Spring Cleaning:  Ceilings, Ceiling Fans and Lights

Ceiling fans get really dirty, at least in my house.  In most rooms of the house, I can use the pillowcase trick to capture the dust off the blades, but in the kitchen where cooking oil travels in the air, the dust tends to stick a little.  Gross!  See the pic?  I’m almost embarrassed by it.  Please ignore the mess in the background!   This is a real house and that just happens to be the next room on my spring cleaning list.  Look the broom is in the corner, so you know I’ve been cleaning!  Also, on my to-do list, get the trim moulding done!Spring Cleaning:  Ceilings, Ceiling Fans and Lights

Told you it was icky!  So how do you get a really icky ceiling fan sparkling clean?  First I used my vacuum cleaner with the long hose attachment and vacuumed off as much dust as I could.  Then I took all of the blades off and took off the globes.

Cleaners used for ceiling fan:

White Vinegar

Baking Soda

Dawn Dish Soap

Wash Rag

First I used  hot water and Dawn and gave them a good wash.  This removed a good bit of stuff.  Then I scrubbed them with a paste of baking soda and vinegar.  It was amazing!   A couple of the blades I had to go over a couple of times, but they came clean.  I did the same things with the globes.  Place them on paper towels to dry.  I guess I should also include that it takes a Route 44 drink from Sonic and some pretzels to get this done. Look!  My cow is hiding!  He’s shy.Spring Cleaning:  Ceilings, Ceiling Fans and Lights

See how pretty the blades are now?  Just ignore where I got paint on them from when I painted the ceiling.  Note to self…take the ceiling fan down before painting the ceiling!  Next, I cleaned the fan itself and I used Mrs. Myers Multi-Purpose Cleaner.  Once everything is really dry, put it back together and you’ll have a super, sparkly ceiling fan!

That’s it!  Next you can move on to windows and walls.  But at least now with clean lights you can see everything that needs to be cleaned.  I was surprised, how much brighter my kitchen was after cleaning my light fixtures and they weren’t dirty.  On to the next part of spring cleaning!  Don’t forget to download your Kitchen Deep Spring Cleaning Master List!

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Spring Cleaning Time! Kitchen Deep Spring Cleaning Master List

Welcome to my new series Spring Cleaning Time!  

It’s time to get our houses in order and have less stress and more time, which is exactly what every woman needs.  This is not your typical spring cleaning where you give most things a good cleaning, this is a true deep cleaning of everything you own as I discussed here.  But, it’s not meant to be overwhelming, which can and does happen when we start large projects like this.  Honestly, I have found it to be liberating and with each item I clean or purge, my stress level goes down a tiny bit and I enjoy the room a little more.

Like I said in the series introduction, this is a true deep cleaning taken room by room and sometimes, project by project.  Today, I’m posting the master list for the kitchen.  I think this is the hardest room in the house and why not get the hardest over first?  I was always taught to do the hardest, or messiest thing first and work your way down.  Then the last thing you do is a piece of cake!

So here is the list:

 

To print or download a pdf please click here…Printable Letter Size Kitchen Deep Cleaning Master List

I’ve tried to include everything that I could think of, or that I personally did in my own kitchen, but I’m sure there are things that I’ve missed. Fill them in on your printout and then let me know so I can update my list.

Next up will be a post about products and how-to’s that I’ve used in the kitchen.  There are some great products and simple techniques that will make your deep  spring cleaning simplified.

Happy spring y’all!Blog Signature

Spring Cleaning Series Coming Soon

The birds are chirping and the sun is out and my van is now turning yellow, that means it’s time for spring cleaning…

I love spring cleaning!  I know, I must be crazy, but there is just something about the act of spring cleaning that makes me feel good.  I feel organized, lighter, and I even like cooking and cleaning more when my house looks good.  Even with my kitchen floors a mess from remodeling, (no, we haven’t even came close to finishing the kitchen floors) and I need to repaint the kitchen cabinets and I still need to get all the trim work finished, and I’ve noticed the ceiling needs to be repainted, I still feel better.

There are tons of things I’ve noticed I’ve got to do by spring cleaning.  I think a lot of things we overlook because we get so used to them and simply ignore them over time.  This year is the first time in years that I’ve done a true deep cleaning of just about everything in my kitchen.  Don’t get me wrong, I spring clean just about every year, but have I really deep cleaned?

This spring, I’ve decided to challenge myself.  I gave myself the challenge of doing a very thorough deep cleaning of each room of my house and as I go through each room, make a list of things that need to fixed, finished, or changed.  I’m going to purge and get of anything that is broken and can’t be fixed, anything that I don’t use, and anything that I don’t like.  I’m no longer going to display items that I’m not really crazy about just because someone gave it to me.

I’m going to clean, really clean each and every nook and cranny.  I’ll be posting my lists of what I’m tackling in each room and those may even be broken down by what I’m cleaning.  For example:  I’m currently in the kitchen and yesterday I did the windows.  So I’ll make a post about how and what I used to clean my windows.  I know all of this may sound boring to you.  But, I have found out that I’m learning about myself as I continue through this project.  So far, I’ve found out that I don’t like a lot of stuff sitting around.  I honestly thought that I liked having lots of decorations, but I don’t.

As I clean and purge, I have found out that I’m really more of a minimalist than I ever thought.  I’m more of a clean freak than I ever thought. I’ve also discovered an effect on my mood that I didn’t plan on.  I’m less stressed when I walk in my kitchen.  Even though I’m not finished with the kitchen yet, and the sink is overflowing from last night’s supper, I’m actually less stressed about it than I would have been a week ago.  I think because now when I walk in, I don’t see all the clutter, all the dirt and all the dishes and I’m not as overwhelmed.  Not to mention, my body is so sore.  I mean, I’m on a heating pad each night to sleep and taking Tylenol.  Who knew spring cleaning could be this much of a workout?  Boost!

I know, there are tons of spring cleaning checklists on Pinterest.  But, I bet none of them are going to be as detailed as mine.  As I work each room, I’ll post the list and as I work on each item on the list, I’ll post more details, including products that I’m using, tips and links.  I’ll also post about any decorating that I do also, I already have several DIY crafts for the kitchen!

Spring cleaning can get mundane and boring at times.  To make it a little more fun, try these ideas:

  • Crank up some music
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Listen to a book
  • Call a friend while you clean
  • Enjoy the quiet?

Keep checking back for more spring cleaning tips!

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The Spring Cleaning Bug has bit me hard!  Today I’m starting in my kitchen.  I’m pulling everything out of my cabinets and drawers and giving it a complete cleaning and organization makeover.  My family is probably not gonna like me today, but when it’s all done…Magic!

Closet Makeover = Life Makeover

A while back I started to organize my closet.  I didn’t get anywhere.  Then I just left it.  What a mess!  Then it got worse.  I started bringing home clothes from my mom’s closet.  My dad couldn’t take looking at them anymore.  It was just too hard for him and made him miss her that much more.  So I started bringing them home.

At first, I mostly brought home the ones I mostly liked. It didn’t really matter if they were my size or not.  I just kinda liked them and they were my moms.  She was always pretty and had pretty clothes.  I wore some of them the past year and others I just left in the closet.  One day I’ll fit in them.  I can switch them up and bring them up to the current style.  Right?

Then winter came and I brought home more.  Several of her pretty suits with jackets and a couple of dresses.  Now my closet was busting at the seams.  But I wasn’t wearing anything that I brought home.  My closet was a mess and I really hadn’t gained anything.  They just hung there.  But my closet was full and at first I felt like I had a major shopping spree.  But that faded and they just hung there.

I’ve been on a small mission this year to lose weight.  It’s very slow going with lots of set backs.  But I’m kicking it into high gear and I’m making some other changes as well.  I decided to tackle my dresser as my first change.  It had the same problem as my closet with the added benefit of all the clothes I’ve hung on to all these years.  You know, the clothes you hope to fit back into, the stained ones, the ones with tiny holes you think no one else can see.  The faded out ones, the ones that are way too big.  You get the picture.

I was brutal.  If it was stained, gone.  Too small, gone.  I felt like an assassin.  The dresser was easy.  Then came the closet.  I started trying on mom’s suits and started piling them on the bed one by one.  And then something unexpected happened.  I had a total break down.  Too afraid to get rid of her clothes, but I didn’t know if I wanted to keep them either.  If I were to go shopping, would I pick them out?  Do I really like them?  Do they even look good on me?  I am about three inches shorter after all. So I cried and cried.  Partly because of my weight gain and partly because they were hers and she’s not here.  My poor hubby found me and just held me.

Then thankfully Emily just made a simple statement that changed it all.  “Why not get a box and put them in it and when you lose the weight, you can make a decision then whether to keep them or not.”  So simple, yet it worked.  It kept me from making a decision today about some of my mom’s clothes and I can still get rid of everything else!

Today I bought 3 large containers and went through my closet like an assassin.  I boxed up everything I can’t wear but thought that I might want to when I lose the weight.  Then bagged up everything else to be given away.  I took four giant trash bags of clothes and shoes out of my room.  My resolve has worn down and I almost had another break down today as I was purging my closet.

I’m not sure why today.  It’s not about boxing up my mom’s clothes anymore.  It’s not about the “if I don’t love it, I ain’t keeping it” thought that has been running through my thoughts.  I think it’s that my life has changed, is changing and change is hard.  I let go of clothes that I’ve had since I had Becca.  I let go of clothes my mom bought me.  Clothes my husband bought me, etc.  Why are we women so attached to everything?  But I need to find my path, even if it’s clothing.

I did this for no one else but myself.  That is huge!  No one asked me to purge my dresser and closet.  I did it.  And as I stare at an almost empty closet and dresser I have no choice now except to move forward.  No excuses.  Time to let go of the past (and that by no way means forgetting my mom) and find my future.  Find myself again.  So let the journey begin!

Having Trouble Picking Out your Clothes?

clothes hangerTry this!  My first thought was, “Why on earth would I want to display what I’m wearing?”  But I love it!  I can easily see the whole outfit all at once.  I can tell what is working and what I need to adjust. 

This is the outfit I needed to fix my bracelet for!  I have my jeans, t-shirt, cardi and my jewelry all picked out for tomorrow.  Good thing too, cuz I have to get up at 6am and I won’t be awake until 9am. This way I’m not picking out my clothes while I’m sleep walking!

All I used was a large Command hook.  I just got one of the cheaper ones, but they have really pretty ones, too.  They just cost a little more.  Make sure you wait the full hour before you use it!

It really makes putting together outfits so much simpler.  You should try it! I might even put a hook lower down, so my pants and skirts hang a little lower.  Who knows where this will lead!  But I will say this, my outfits are more pulled together and it’s so much quicker to walk out the door!

How to Fold Things ~ Just in Case You Need a Review

Today in honor of the video below, I thought I’d share some of Martha Stewart’s laundry folding techniques or maybe it’s because I’m staring at a mound of laundry that needs to be folded.  Even my font is Fluffy Slacks!  I guess I have laundry on my mind.  Haha!  These would also be great viewing for a home economics class.  Happy folding!

This video popped up on my Facebook today and I just had to share it!  I guess part of me always assumed everyone knew how to fold a t-shirt.  How many ways can you fold a t-shirt anyway?  More than I thought!  This has got to be one of the most unique ways I’ve ever seen.  Just watch and let me know what you think Smile

I will say I never knew the proper/easiest way to fold a fitted sheet.  I hated it!  I could never get one to fold right until I watched this a few years ago on her show.  It always wound up being a large lump.  Now it all makes sense!

How to fold a button-up shirt so you’re closet looks amazing!  It makes me think of a really cool men’s department at the store.  Voila!  Now you too can fold like a pro!  I guess that means I need to tackle my laundry.  Bummer….

No Kitchen Should be Without Julia Child

I absolutely love cooking!  I don’t do it enough and certainly don’t do it the way I would love to every day.  Tonight I was flipping through my daughter’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child and her friends and I’m mesmerized. 

Everyone is so terrified of French cooking, much less regular cooking; but you shouldn’t be.  I think everyone that cooks should sit down and read this book.  Yes, read.  Not just cook.  It’s a treasure trove of everyday kitchen knowledge.  She does so much more than give you a recipe.  She does what I love to do. 

Give you a basic recipe, tell you what it’s for and what it goes with and then she gives you variations.  What will surprise you is how simple most of it is.  You’ll also be surprised by how many of these you may already be doing without even knowing it.  Do you ever eat macaroni and cheese?  Ok, I mean super-good, mouth drooling macaroni and cheese.  Then you’ve probably had Sauce Mornay (or a variation of it)  which would be the dreamiest macaroni and cheese ever!  I can’t wait to make it.

I mean her pie crust recipe sounds like the one I’ve been using for years and it’s so simple that the term would be rustic.  Give it a read, you will be amazed at what you will learn.  I will say though, some of the recipes I will not, no matter what, be eating them.  The ones with brains as an ingredient for example; but that’s ok.  There’s a ton more to choose from. We’ve already made Risotto-Pilaf-Pilau and it’s one of our favorite rice dishes and it’s super easy and yummy.   We’ve also made Supremes De Volaille A Brun  et Beurre Noisette.  Translation…..Chicken breasts sauteed in a brown butter sauce. It was fabulicious!!!  See, they’re not so hard to make!  Give it a try!

Your kitchen should not be without this book!  Be bold, be daring and brush up on some of your basic skills while learning some you may not have known.   There’s no time like the present.  And what if it is a total flop?  That’s ok!  It’s only food and remember what Julia said, “The measure of achievement is not winning awards. It’s doing something that you appreciate, something you believe is worthwhile. I think of my strawberry souffle. I did that at least twenty-eight times before I finally conquered it.”

 

 

Out With the Old and In With the New

It’s that time of year that my kids just love me for!  Not!  It’s our annual clean out bedrooms time and you know what that means, especially if you have teenagers.  I don’t know why exactly I do this every year or when I started doing it, but it’s like I can’t start the new year until everything is in its place and organized, at least somewhat.

Do I ever get it as organized or purged as I want?  No, unfortunately. But, I try.  And it’s ok, that I don’t get it all.  If I’m time constricted, I just pick one or two areas that in desperate need or places that I haven’t done in a while and do them first.  Then at least I feel a sense of accomplishment before starting the new year.

As for the kiddos, it’s their bedrooms of course!  Even if they’re in good shape I still have them go through everything.  I try to make it easier on the kids by making them a list of what I expect them to do.  Sometimes they like the list and other times they can’t stand it.  Their teens!  But it gives them my expectations and something to shoot for.  Sometimes I make a list for myself, too.

We’ll be getting rid of old, or grown out of clothing.  Making donation stacks, keep and throw away stacks.  Going through toys for my youngest.  Organizing closets and dressers.  Dusting, sweeping, vacuuming, etc.   Organizing bedroom desks and even going under beds.  Crazy, huh?

But the feeling of having a place for everything and neatness is something I hope to pass on to my kids.  That feeling of starting a new year fresh so we can hit the ground running.  Hopefully, we can keep it like this throughout the year; probably, not but, here’s hoping.  Hopefully it will prepare them for their own households one day.  A fresh and clean start to a new year and a feeling of accomplishment.  So, out with the old and in with the new!