Saturday, March 17, 2012

Spring Cleaning: Family Room

Egg-Shaped Easter Candles, from Williams-Sonoma

Today we're moving furniture to do a thorough cleaning on the family room. Since this is the room that features our biggest TV and our surround sound system, a gas fireplace and our comfiest couches, you can imagine how often this room gets used. Therefore it's more worn out, dirty, and tired looking than our other rooms. It's also the room our dogs spend the most time in, so there's more mud on the floors and more pet hairs, despite my daily sweeping.

So this room will take more time than some of our other projects. It's a perfect project for a Saturday.


  • Energize yourself with a brisk walk today before getting started cleaning.

  • Make a special breakfast for you and your helpers - but one that doesn't make too much of a mess, as you have other things to be cleaning up today!

  • Plan a special reward for yourself and any helpers who work hard today. A movie later tonight, root beer floats, a family game played around the dining table?

  • Start a load of laundry (pet bedding? blanket throws? towels?) that can get going while you're working doing other things.


Basketweave Cotton Throw Blanket, from Williams-Sonoma

We have several pieces of furniture to move today in order to vacuum under them: Two couches, a chaise, two bookshelves, and the coffee table our TV stands on top of.

This room also holds our two massive dog crates, which need to be moved outside to be hosed out.

My family room furniture is slipcovered with wonderful washable suede slipcovers. Our dogs aren't allowed on furniture but somehow manage to get their fur everywhere, so I'll be laundering all the slipcovers today. We'll vacuum the bare furniture and fluff the couch pillows. I wish it were a dry sunny day so we could air the pillows in the sun outside, but alas.

After we've mopped the laminate floors and replaced the furniture and cushions, we'll be washing windows, taking down curtains to send to the dry cleaners, dusting baseboards, wiping light switches and utility switches, dusting lamp fixtures and the overhead lighting, then dusting the TV and electronic components.

Our bookshelves (full of DVDs and Blu-Rays) need to be dusted, sorted and organized. I'm sure we can find 2-3 unwanted or duplicate DVDs to give away, freeing up a bit of space on the shelves. I'll dust the red acrylic tray we use as a coffee table to hold our remotes and drinks, and I'll wipe down all the remotes with antibacterial wipes.

Aloe and Soft Linen, from The Body Shop

My last step will be to light my home fragrance oil diffuser to make the room smell lovely. I'm currently enjoying Aloe and Soft Linen.

Tonight we'll be watching a movie in a fresh, sparkling, clean and cozy little den!

LOVELY BLOGS: Cassie Craves

This blog has featured so many recipes I've been itching to try. (I clearly need to prioritize more time in my kitchen!) Currently she's posting about mocha snack cake with peanut butter, Mexican spinach dip, Greek Beef tacos, and banana coffee cake with toffee crumb topping. Everything here looks so yummy!

LOVELY BOOKS: The Annotated Emma

Last year I struggled through my reading of Jane Austen's Emma. I've never enjoyed this book, and really tried hard to like it and understand it when my book club read it last summer. I wish I'd had The Annotated Emma to guide my reading. Having more info on the context of the novel, and literary analysis would have helped me a lot. Maybe this will never be one of my favorite Austen works, but I might have gotten more out of my reading of it and discussed it more intelligently with my poor long-suffering book club members.

The Annotated Emma, on Amazon

LOVELY HOME: Miniature Tangerine Tree

I'm very tempted to try growing this miniature tangerine tree in my sunny kitchen, come spring. I'm terrible with houseplants though, and I would feel guilty if this tree died. I'm sure it would take much longer than I think to produce actual fruit, but I love the concept so much! The shop also sells blood orange patio trees and Mexican key lime trees. These would make great thinking-of-you or birthday gifts for friends with patios or sunny windows, too.

Miniature Tangerine Tree, from Sur la Table


How to Build a Paper Caravan (Jacqueline Wagner)

Lemon Cake Recipes (Martha Stewart)

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