QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:
- Maintenance clean one shelf, one drawer or two door pockets in your refrigerator.
- Also maintenance clean one shelf in the freezer. And don't forget I have an inexpensive refrigerator and freezer outside in my garage too, so I'm actually doing TWO fridge shelves and TWO freezer shelves today.
- Launder your bedding (and your kids' bedding, if applicable) so you all have fresh sheets to sleep on tonight.
- Need to do any Christmas shopping this weekend before the malls get really crazy in the next couple weeks?
- Make a plan for a special breakfast this weekend. Buy a newspaper if you normally don't, or pull out a couple magazines you've been wanting to browse. Take time to make pancakes, omelettes, fresh (not frozen or boxed) hash browns, crepes, waffles, or other breakfast treats. Treat yourself to a latte or cappuccino if you normally don't.
- Have you baked an apple pie yet this autumn?
TODAY'S PROJECT: Major Cleaning of One Room
Pick a large, major room in your home that needs cleaning really badly. Your living room, master bedroom, kitchen, basement? Attic? Garage? Bathrooms?
Do a total overhaul cleaning on your chosen room today. Decluttering, sorting, dusting, scrubbing, washing, laundering, vacuuming, mopping, light bulb checking, deodorizing, and more.
Walk into the room and pretend you're seeing it through someone else's eyes (a relative, your boss, your best friend, a home decor magazine stylist, a realtor, Oprah, or whatever helps motivate you!) Put on music and make yourself a nice beverage. Light incense if you like. Let's make this a pleasant task.
Start by removing clutter, throwing away or putting into the charity bin anything you can possibly part with. Next, empty wastebaskets, recycling, and find some items to put in storage if you can't part with them. Remove any drinking glasses, dishes or any other items that don't belong. Do you have too much furniture in this room? Too many things on the walls? Too many knickknacks?
Thoroughly clean ceiling fan and light fixtures, then lamps.
Wash and dust windows, windowsills, trim, closet doors and the room's door (on both sides). Don't forget to clean the wood at the top of the doorframe, too. Do your curtains need dry cleaning, or your blinds need wiping down? Wash walls. Check to see if you need lightbulbs. Clean baseboards and air vents before you vacuum.
Move furniture to vacuum, sweep or mop under it. If you really are inspired or have strong helpers, remove most furniture from the room before you vacuum and/or mop. Open drawers on tables and nightstands and sort them before replacing furniture in the room.
If you're deep cleaning a bedroom, don't forget to vacuum the mattress (and flip/rotate if needed).
Wash and replace any floor rugs. If it's a bedroom, wash the bed linens (Don't forget to wash the dust ruffle and mattress pad, too!).
Dust furniture and knick-knacks. Replace any decorative candles that are looking discolored or crooked; remove half-burned votives and replace with fresh candles. See if any upholstery needs to be spot cleaned or professionally cleaned. Clean any items that need to be put back on tables, dressers, shelves, etc, and replace them in an orderly manner.
Water houseplants and dispose of any dead or dying ones. If the houseplants are looking dusty, spray them down in the kitchen sink. (This is a great time to get rid of any tacky fake plants). Polish doorknobs on both sides of the door, and on closets if needed.
Finish by spraying the room with room freshener or a home spray. Or by burning a scented candle (while you're still in the room to attend to it). My current favorite home fragrance oil is The Body Shop's Cranberry Joy. I'll burn some in my fragrance diffuser in this room (I'm cleaning a living room). Put fresh flowers on a small table, if this is a room used frequently.
The weather's getting colder; does this room have a nice soft throw waiting on a nearby chair? Is there a box of Kleenex accessible? A nearby trash can for convenience?
Pour yourself a glass of wine, sit down and relax for a while in your fresh, clean, clutter-free room.