Late on Spring Cleaning? Don’t Sweat It!

washing windows

Getting into spring cleaning by washing windows. Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

It seems that spring for many of us has finally come and it’s nearly summer already. With such late winter and spring weather I am sure many are feeling a bit out of sorts with spring cleaning that didn’t get done because it was cold so late in the year. Now it seems a mad rush to the end of school and graduations, vacation plans and everything else that goes with the beginning of summer. So today we have some tips for getting yourself organized, prioritized and off to a late but great start to the summer season of fun!

If your spring cleaning got pushed back because of weather and long winter blues, these quick tips will help you get done enough to get by for now and not overwhelmed enough to ruin your summer.

Super-fast de-clutter

  • Go room by room through your home and get rid of the surface clutter.
  • No deep cleaning just the clutter you can see.
  • Don’t shuffle it around– put it away or throw it away.
  • You shouldn’t spend more than a couple hours per room.
  • If you have one catch-all room that you know will take longer, avoid that until you have a whole day to devote to that room alone.

Refresh

laundromat laundry machines

 Image courtesy of Pexels.com

  • Wash the curtains or change them to pretty summery styles that let in all that natural sunlight.
  • Feather dust cobwebs from the corners, again no deep cleaning just cobwebs.
  • Sweep and mop or shampoo carpets- if you have many carpeted rooms hire a professional, look for multiple room specials.
  • Put essential oil diffusers in each room of your home with fresh citrus or flower scents.
  • Wash bedding and rugs; hang them outside if possible to get that fresh air scent.

Spring Cleaning To-do later list

  • Deep cleaning that really needs to be done.
  • Home repairs or upgrades needed that you find as you de-clutter and refresh.
  • Change out leaky faucets with Maestro Bath products
  • Note things that you want to give to charity or put in a yard sale.
  • Note anything else that is a major task to do later.

Plan work days for rainy forecasts

Check the weather forecasts to plan a deep cleaning day, home repair day or reorganization day when there is going to be rain or clouds. This lets you get the basic spring cleaning and refreshing done in a weekend and not feel guilty about deep cleaning. By planning ahead, you can concentrate on larger tasks for one whole day when you aren’t going to be rushed or stressed about getting it all done. No need to do all the spring cleaning in just one day.  That never works.

Start a new routine

  • Keep clutter under control daily, everything in the home should have its place and should go there immediately.
  • If a new item comes into the house, an old one goes out.
  • Assign family managers of certain rooms or tasks and delegate the upkeep to them.

With these quick tips and planned deep cleaning or repair days you should be able to get your house de-cluttered and refreshed in a single weekend. That will leave you free to worry about what fun you are going to have this summer and not the spring cleaning that did not get done.

There is no rule that says you have to do all the spring cleaning at once, or that it even has to be done in the spring. Most of us are craving fresh air and light when we want to clean and freshen the house, so do that and don’t sweat the deep cleaning all at once!

The House: Repairing The Front Porch

Although we did get a great deal on our house, there were a few things wrong with it that we could live when we bought. Those things have been on a list of things to do ever since we got back from Arizona in November 2012.  Repairing, or redoing, the front porch is one of those things.

Our front porch needs work.

Our front porch needs work.

The issues with the porch include rails that wiggle and threaten to fall over when you set something on it, such as a glass of water; rough sawn boards nailed up to comply with code to get a VA loan to buy the house; and steps that were built in a rather unusual way, and made them dangerous.

The porch rails are wobbly.

The porch rails are wobbly.

Whoever built this porch didn’t do a good job of it to begin with. The wood planks that make up the rails were nailed to the uprights without cutting any angles on the ends of them. Every time my oldest grandson comes over, he tries to sit on this rail, and we have to tell him not to. It’s not that I don’t want him sitting on the porch, it’s just that these rails are rotten and it wouldn’t take much to break them. I just didn’t want him to get hurt.

A rough sawn board used as a porch rail to meet code requirements.

A rough sawn board used as a porch rail to meet code requirements.

The rough sawn boards used as rails to comply with code have really been getting under my skin. They are ugly, and just look like “poor white trash” to me. I have no other way to describe it. I love my house and where I live, but I am so glad to be getting rid of this particular aspect of my porch. It is, after all, the very first thing people see when they come to my house. You know, that whole first impression thing.

The steps really need to be replaced.

The steps really need to be replaced.

Last of all, the steps to the front porch are dangerous. Fabgrandpa has already fallen once while bringing in the groceries. He could have broken his neck, not to mention those expensive eggs. (can you believe $4.80 for a doz and a half of eggs???). The bottom step wiggles, so for someone who has balance issues, it is very dangerous. And the top step? We have not been able to figure out what the original builder was going for. That step is sort of curved, the result of trying to nail two skinny boards to a rounded top stair riser. And none of the three steps is wide enough for an adult foot to stand on.

So, our neighborhood handy-man came today to start work on making the improvements to the porch. I’ll show you the finished porch when he is done with the job tomorrow. I had wanted to extend the porch past the window to the right of the front door, and add a handicap accessible ramp, but the added cost made that part of the job unrealistic for us at this time. We can always add that later if we need to.

Does your house need any functional or cosmetic work done? What would you do first on your list of to do’s?

The Bathroom Remodel Is Almost Finished

This post is brought to you by unhinge hardware

Just to remind you of what it looked like

Just to remind you of what it looked like “before”.

After three going on 4 years of living in our house, I finally decided I could not take another minute of the ugly that was my bathroom. It had an outdated gold framed shower door, holes in the walls, that hideous wallpaper strip, and grout coming out of the tile floor. So, we hired our handy man to do his magic, and here is what it looks like now:

The

The “After” Bathroom photo: : LOVE it.

We started out with a paint that didn’t actually work for us. It left streaks, roller marks, and places not covered after three coats of paint in two day. (and yes, my handman has painted for us before, so we know he does a good job. It was the paint.) So, back to the store for a different brand, and a bucket of Kilz to cover the previous paint that didn’t work out. This set us back three days in getting the project done, and add $$ to the total price of the finished project. But, as usual, good things come to those who wait, and the finished (or almost finished) room is so pretty.

The second paint we used turned out great!

The second paint we used turned out great!

We wound up using Glidden Matte Latex paint in Orion Gray and Spirited Yellow. At first I felt like the yellow stripe was too wide, but as time goes on, it looks just about right to me. I decided to use the stripe to add some spark to what would have been otherwise dark room.

The new towel holders from unhinge.

The new towel holders from unhinge.

I had received all the fixtures to use in the bathroom redo from unhinge  back in June. They give the bathroom a more modern look, and absolutely look so much better than the old cheapies we bought to get by with. They sent me two of the towel rings, a towel bar, a toilet paper holder, and a robe hook, all from the Austin Collection. I also received two grab bars to help make our bathroom a little safer for us.

The stencil for the yellow stripe.

The stencil for the yellow stripe.

The next thing I need to do is stencil the yellow stripe. I got this stencil at Joann Fabrics. It’s a bit wider than my stripe, but I think it will work, and be very pretty. I have some white paint, and a stencil brush, so I’m ready to go when I get the time.

Here is the stencil next to the yellow stripe.

Here is the stencil next to the yellow stripe.

So, what do you think of my updated bathroom? Do you like that stencil, or would you have picked something else, like a butterfly or a vine?

We’re Redecorating The Bathroom!

The

The “before” bathroom pictures.

When we moved into our house in November of 2012, there was a lot of remodeling, redecorating, and fixing up to do. We did the stuff like installing new windows, and fixing up the kitchen first, because they were the most needed of the things we needed to do. So, the bathroom waited. And waited some more. Last week, I decided I did not want another holiday to come and go without fixing up the bathroom. I couldn’t stand looking at all the things wrong with it for another minute.

First of all, there was this ugly (to me) gold shower door. I have never liked shower doors in a bathroom. I know some people do like them, but I much prefer a pretty shower curtain instead. So, that monstrosity had to go. Next. there were holes in the walls in the bathroom, where the previous owners had pulled all the fixtures out, I guess to take with them when they moved out.

Holes in the walls.

Holes in the walls.

On top of that, when we moved in, there were no fixtures, so we bought the most inexpensive ones we could find just to have a place to hang a towel and some toilet paper until we could get around to fixing up the bathroom. They were ugly. Fake wood, didn’t match anything that was already in there, and just yuck! Also, I am sure you can see that awful floral wallpaper strip that goes all around the bathroom. Why?

More holes in the wall.

More holes in the wall.

Yes, everywhere there was a fixture in the past owners life, there were holes in mine. The walls were scratched up, and dirty too. So, for three long years, every time I went to the bathroom to shower, or use the toilet, there was all this ugliness around me. It had to go. I had these paint colors hanging on the wall in there for about a year.

Choosing a paint color is hard.

Choosing a paint color is hard.

Oh, and you can probably see those fake gold colored water faucets in there too. Maybe they looked good to someone at some time, but I do not like them.

Come back tomorrow and see what we did in there. It is soooo pretty now. I still have a little bit to do, but fixing up the bathroom 98% finished. I can’t wait to show you.  We did not get the faucets changed yet, and that is going to have to wait until after Christmas, but the room is looking very good now, and I can deal with that small detail for another short while.

The bathroom before.

The bathroom before.

If you were fixing up the bathroom, what would you change? Do you think those gold faucets are pretty?

Home Remodeling: The Kitchen

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After we got the Broan Range Hood and the stove installed in the kitchen, and finished painting, it was time to put things on the walls. I have been shopping on Amazon.com to find a spice rack and a pot rack. Installing both of these on the wall took up most of an afternoon for us. We are old and we are slow.

I love my magnetic spice rack

I love my magnetic spice rack

The stainless steel sheet that holds the magnetic spice canisters was easy to put on the wall. It has six holes for the screws. It also came with the little plastic things that you use when you have to put screws in sheetrock so that the screws won’t come out of the wall. The hardest part of putting this thing up was getting it straight. I bought the Lipper International SOHO 20-Piece Magnetic Spice Rack with Tins.

Installing the pot rack

Installing the pot rack

To hang the pot rack, we first had to find the wall studs. At least two of the huge bolts that hold the pot rack on the wall have to be installed in wood. If you don’t have the wood studs, the screws will pull out of the wall and your pots and pans will fall down. Fabgrandpa found the studs, marked the spots where the screws would go, and then used a hammer to start the hole for the bolts.

Next, I held the pot rack in place while Fabgrandpa screwed in the bolts. It was a little hard to get the bolts all the way in, but we know they will hold firm.

Add the brace to the pot rack

Add the brace to the pot rack

The brace attaches on one end to the inside of the pot rack. The other end is attached to the wall with a long screw and a wing nut. As you tighten the screw, the wing nut expands to help keep the screw from pulling out of the wall. The brace stabilizes the rack so it won’t sag in the middle from the weight of the pots and pans.

It looks good in my kitchen.

It looks good in my kitchen.

The rack came with six hooks for hanging pots and pans, and I bought another set of six, just in case I needed more. The CuisinartChef’s Classic Half-Circle Pot Rack is strong enough to hold all of my pots. Now I can get them out of the dishwasher. It is easy for me to reach them to use them and to put them away. Love it!

Stainless steel spice rack for extra stuff

Stainless steel spice rack for extra stuff

I kept the two stainless steel spice racks that I had used in the RV. They will be installed somewhere on the wall under the magnetic spice rack so I will have space for extracts and other things that I didn’t have tins for.

Looking good!

Looking good!

The kitchen is coming together nicely. I still want to get some decorative art for the walls, and a couple of canister type things for storing oatmeal and brown sugar. One other major thing I would like to do is put a glass tile backsplash behind the stove, but that will be a while before I can do that. What do you think so far?       [egg id=”7″]   Look over there!

Home Remodeling: The New Front Door

I almost forgot to tell you about the new front door and storm door. Just to remind you what the old one looked like, I put the pictures of it up there. It was just SO UGLY! Who does stuff like that to their house? In addition to a butt ugly front door, the old storm door was bent up and it was missing the piece that made it lock and stay shut. I could not open up the front door to let light or air in because of that storm door.

So, Home Depot sent the guy out to measure the door. Once he measured, we had to go back to the store to order our doors and pick out the hardware like door knobs and locks.

Picking out our door at Home Depot

Picking out our door at Home Depot

We did that a while back, and waited and waited. It was supposed to be only about two weeks or so for them to get our doors in. After about a month went by, Fabgrandpa called Home Depot to find out what the hold up was. It turns out that there was a glitch in their system that never sent an email out to the contractor when the doors arrived. Once that was brought to their attention, it was only a couple of days before they came to install the door.

The old doors were removed.

The old doors were removed.

Once the old doors were removed, the new one was brought in and put in place. It did not take long for the guy to get this done.

The new door out in the yard.

The new door out in the yard.

The new door came with a new frame and threshold. It just fit right into the hole where the other door was taken out. The installer had to put some short pieces of wood, or shims, to make it straight. After he got everything in place, he caulked it all around.

I LOVE this new door!

I LOVE this new door!

It is so nice to greet visitors to my home at this new door. It is pretty. It is also a good, strong door that fits well. The installer did a great job.

I love having this new storm door, too. It is so nice to be able to open the front door, and have the light come in. If it is a nice day, we can open the top part of it and let air in too. I can lock it, and now if Parker comes over, we won’t have to worry about him falling out the door.

The overall experience with our Home Depot door installation was positive. The only problem we had was when the glitch prevented the email from going out to notify the contractor that the door was ready for him to pick up. Hopefully, they have fixed that, and the next person will not have this happen.

The new storm door has a hidden screen. You don't see it unless the top is open.

The new storm door has a hidden screen. You don’t see it unless the top is open.