Spring Cleaning

May 1, 2009 at 12:45 pm (Tid Bits) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Like I said, last weekend we did some deep cleaning for spring.  Yesterday on my Thursday off, I finally finished (as finished as housework ever gets!) the spring cleaning.  I wanted the house to be spotless for my family coming into town to visit this weekend.  So, here are some always great to remember spring cleaning ideas:

1. Clean the gutters.  Spring is time for rain, rain will flood your basement if the gutters are overflowing!  Or like us, you might have to walk through a waterfall to get out the door!  So, Tony climbed the ladder, hauled a garbage can along with him, and cleaned the gutters.

2.  Wash windows.  I love clean windows, they even brighten up a room.  But, at least this one time a year you should deep clean them, inside and out.  I not only windex-ed them, but also took a Q-tip to the corners and tiny spaces.  Fresh spring air is great flowing through clean windows!

3. Scrub the walls and untouched spots.  Walls, especially in the kitchen, get grimy.  Paint will look more its original color if gently washed clean once in a while, plus it keeps spider webs out of corners and in vents.  Also, take a dish-soapy towel to the tops of cabinets and inside the cupboards.  These rarely cleaned spots need it now and then!

4. Spray and scrub siding.  We are still working a bit on  this one.  But, taking the hose to your siding will instantly freshen the outside of your house.  On the porch I scrubbed stuck on dirt off with a wet cloth. 

5.  Move all furniture to clean/vacuum.  I vacuum all the time.  But, sometimes I am lazy and don’t move every piece of furniture.  I actually never move the bed or couches.  So, this time of year I try to move all things, even the big ones and clean or vacuum under them.  You never know how much crud has built up under there. 

6.  And, finally, go through drawers and cupboards.  We have a junk drawer that overflows every once in a while.  Spring in particular is the time to go through these drawers, even clothes drawers of closets.  Toss things you no longer want to keep, gather up the things you want to sell or take to Goodwill, and neatly arrange back the things you want to keep.

After taking these few steps your house should be spring ready (pretty much!). Take a deep breathe once you are done.  Doesn’t that feel good?  Fresh?  Spring is the time for fresh starts! 🙂

And, while there are no pictures of dirty windows and gross gutter goo to show you, I do have a set of cute martini glasses for sale!  They are plastic, and oh so cute! 

glasses-for-sale-001

glasses-for-sale-002

So, what other good spring cleaning ideas do you all have?

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Kitchen Inspiration

March 30, 2009 at 2:28 pm (Inspiration, Projects) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

We are currently preparing to do a bit of kitchen renovation in our house.  While I have a pretty clear picture in my head of what I would like to do I have also been scouring the blog world for some inspiration and creative ideas.  We are trying to do this on a very tiny budget, so I am also searching ideas in that area.  Today on Apartment Therapy I found one of my favorite kitchen pictures.

I just love the little swinging door.  It reminds me of old western saloon doors.  I am wanting one for our kitchen.  I’m just not sure that every kitchen could pull this off.  Maybe that will have to go on my “someday” dream list.  For now we are thinking more basic remodel in the kitchen.  I would like to sand and paint all of the dark wood cabinetry a glossy white.  The cabinets are outdated and mismatched.  This will also allow us to fill the holes from the old hardware and add new pulls.  These are the pulls I am thinking of, bin pulls:

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_wmc3cgAjw0k/SHeOWPk3S3I/AAAAAAAAAOc/sp4juB_wHwA/s400/IMG_6026_bin%2Bpull.jpg&imgrefurl=http://theletteredcottage.blogspot.com/2008_07_01_archive.html&h=266&w=400&sz=12&tbnid=1nyLQKGa76QSAM::&tbnh=82&tbnw=124&prev=/images%3Fq%3Ddresser%2Bwith%2Bbin%2Bpulls%2Bpicture&hl=en&usg=__noAFFwDt8FmB3VYpI7taTYFlhEQ=&ei=zCHRSb_kJMSInAfzwbhq&sa=X&oi=image_result&resnum=4&ct=image&cd=1

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_wmc3cgAjw0k/SHeOWPk3S3I/AAAAAAAAAOc/sp4juB_wHwA/s400/IMG_6026_bin%2Bpull.jpg&imgrefurl=http://theletteredcottage.blogspot.com/2008_07_01_archive.html&h=266&w=400&sz=12&tbnid=1nyLQKGa76QSAM::&tbnh=82&tbnw=124&prev=/images%3Fq%3Ddresser%2Bwith%2Bbin%2Bpulls%2Bpicture&hl=en&usg=__noAFFwDt8FmB3VYpI7taTYFlhEQ=&ei=zCHRSb_kJMSInAfzwbhq&sa=X&oi=image_result&resnum=4&ct=image&cd=1

I have also been reading that it is possible to safely paint laminate countertops.  Since paint is a much cheaper alternative to replacing the countertops at this point I would like to paint these black.  Here is inspiration for a black and white kitchen with warm hardwood floors:

We would also like to change out the ugly, burnt up old strip lights to a couple of these vintage school house pendant lights:

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Our Backyard

March 23, 2009 at 8:07 am (Home Changes and Additions, Projects) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Our yard is a mess.  The landlord kept it full of leaves, twigs, branches, logs, compost piles and even garbage.  We are tearing all of this up.  Slowly but surely we are cleaning up the mess we inherited, and making a pretty, and useful yard.  So, over the weekend we plugged away at the daunting yard.  We have, of course, started by picking up and disposing of his garbage and old broken items.  The other items such as old pots, tools , and yard items were collected and stored neatly away in the already packed shed.  Here was where the real fun began.  We had already started to rake and remove the massive amounts of leaves from the back yard, but so much more remained. 

This weekend is when we started working on a fire pit.  This way, once this chore is finished, we can move onto the chore of burning the branches and debris that remain.  Tony dug a very nice, large, circular hole, and we started with placing the first ring of bricks.  We then layered the bottom with rock (the landlord also had much random rock to be picked up from the middle of the yard!).  The pit is unfinished, but looking gorgeous already!  Here are some pictures:

Here is some of the mess left in our yard.

Here is some of the mess left in our yard.

 

Here is a bit more of the mess.  We are removing all of the compost, which is those lumps, and the twiggy looking trees are going to be moved from the clump he planted them in.

Here is a bit more of the mess. We are removing all of the compost, which is those lumps, and the twiggy looking trees are going to be moved from the clump he planted them in.

 

Here's the start of the fire pit.  This project is going to be a fun one for the summer!

Here's the start of the fire pit. This project is going to be a fun one for the summer!

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Whats In Store For Next Week

March 20, 2009 at 1:38 pm (Projects) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Over the weekend I have a long list of fun little projects to tackle.  If I get myself into gear and get them done you can plan to see updates next week.  I hope to be working on the kitchen curtains, painting some pots, planting flowers, cleaning up the yard, building a fire pit, and working on redoing a headboard for the master bedroom.  It sounds like a lot, I know, but I think I have most of it covered! And, my favorite little project…

Check out what I do with this ugly little pink basket!

basket-bench-001

Check back all next week for updates, photos, and how-tos of my many projects!  Have a great weekend!

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Tidying Up

March 3, 2009 at 9:59 am (Projects) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I’m a neat freak. I know it. I’m actually proud of it. I like that my home is always clean, neat, and organized. I feel that everything should have a place. Junk left out of it’s place clutters up your house and really ruins the appearance. I love ugly necessities (like cleaning supplies or utensils) to have a place to be stashed that is concealed when not in use. Not only does this just look so much better, but it also means you will not lose things or forget where you left them. Our cleaning supplies are under the kitchen sink in tubs. We always keep a flashlight right under the sink as well. A few basic tools and utensils that are needed frequently are in a drawer in the kitchen island, and the rest of the tools are in the tool box in the basement. I could tell you where ever item I own is right now. This drives Tony nuts that he has to put everything back in it’s assigned spot, but he will be thanking me in an emergency when I find what we need in seconds!

Anyway, this brings me to the topic at hand. Our mops and brooms. They are too big to fit under the sink, but too ugly to be left leaning against a wall in the kitchen. I had them stashed away in the basement. But, no one wanted to go down there to get them every time there was a mess. I even caught myself on hands and knees wiping up the floor with a paper towel instead of heading to the basement. I knew there had to be a better solution.

We took a trip this weekend to our local hardware store and found a basic hook set. My plan was to hang this strip of hooks inside the basement door for easy access to brooms and mops. The strip was a bit too long to fit from one beam to another along the unfinished basement walls. We compromised and leaned the strip of hooks on it’s side. It actually worked out perfectly, and the long handled tools hang perfectly just inside the door. I’m pleased. 🙂 And, now we can save paper towels and make our lazy selves go grab the mop!

The brooms and mops hanging so nicely just inside our basement door.

The brooms and mops hanging so nicely just inside our basement door.

The row of hooks that proved to be a simple and inexpensive solution to a daily annoyance.

The row of hooks that proved to be a simple and inexpensive solution to a daily annoyance.

We were so inspired we even added a couple single hooks to the opposite wall for hanging dog toys and leashes.

These things will no longer have to be draped sloppily over the bannister!

These things will no longer have to be draped sloppily over the banister!

Simple fixes make all the difference in a home!

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