Sunday, March 10, 2013

Happy March - Spring Cleaning Begins!

Mrs. Meyers "Radish" Scented Cleaning Products

I normally begin my Spring Cleaning on March 1st or as close to that as I can get. But this year, I had a houseguest visiting to attend Emerald City Comic Con with me. I did have to (choose to) do a lot of cleaning before she arrived. I get nervous about how much dog and cat hair is all over my house, whenever someone visits who isn't a pet owner.

Now, today, I'm ready to start my Spring Cleaning. I'd rather do all my heavy cleaning and organizing for the year, right now while the weather is bad. (It's been lovely and sunny lately though, but it's Seattle, so I anticipate some rainfall in our immediate future.) Cleaning now will will free me up for sunny spring walks with my dogs in April (in between our rain showers) and lolling with a book on a sunny patch of carpet instead of washing windows and working hard on the house a few weeks from today.

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • Look over your budget for the rest of the month. This month you might be spending extra for cleaning supplies, organizing supplies or replacements of old towels, pillowcases, etc. How much can you budget for these things, if they're important to you?
  • Look over your list of upcoming birthdays this month. Write cards tonight and mail them in the morning for anybody with a birthday this week. For further-out birthdays, order flowers, and prepare to send gifts for those people you plan to do that for.
  • Do you need to make any doctor, dentist, vet, haircut or salon appointments for yourself or family members? Any appointments coming up this week you don't want to forget about?
  • Is it time to lube and oil your car or take it in for other maintenance tasks?
  • Are you attending any plays, musicals, concerts or symphonies this spring? Buy tickets now if you haven't yet.
  • Do you know where you're going for Spring Break (if you have kids and are planning to travel). Travel booked and paid for? Arrangements made?
  • Take some time to look over your budget for the next month. Need to budget for any birthday parties, a St. Patrick's Day party, an Easter Brunch or other festivities? Don't just do your financial budget (which is very important too) but make your time budget. Do you have time for gardening, homemaking, work, projects - but also time for family, friends, pets, and very importantly, yourself?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Beds

"Jocelyn" Floral Duvet Cover, from Pottery Barn

My first Spring Cleaning project involves all the beds in my house. I'm going to strip all the sheets, duvets and comforters to launder. I'll even take off the dust ruffles and mattress pads to launder, too. I plan to vacuum the mattresses, flip them, and Febreze them a bit as needed.

Then I will move the beds, vacuuming under them and removing any items that shouldn't be under there. (I keep a flashlight and a telephone under my bed, and that's about it nowadays).

"Colette" Bed, from Crate and Barrel

This year I'm paying extra attention to the condition and quality of items in my home. (Last year was more about decluttering). Is it time to upgrade or replace any of my bed and bedding related items? I don't have a headboard or bed set - is it time to get one, or am I happy without one? New nice, clean, comfortable pillows cost just $12 or so at Costco or Target. When's the last time you bought new pillows for your beds? I try to replace mine every year, shuddering and thinking of a year's worth of dust mite buildup in them. I keep some of the older ones for guest pillows, but usually we don't end up using them. Is it time for a new dust ruffle, a new mattress pad, or a new mattress entirely? How old IS your mattress and box springs?

Damask Stripe Sheets, from JC Penney

Are your sheets torn, faded, tired looking or pilling? Time to get new sheets? Do you have just one set of sheets, or do you have seasonal sets like I do? (Flannel for fall and winter, cotton for spring and summer?) Sheets can be a really big investment, so I only replace them every five or so years. I recently bought a set of damask stripe burgundy sheets from Bed, Bath and Beyond for my winter bedding set, but they tore right away in my washer, and they look wrinkly, so I'm kind of frustrated.

Tonight my household members will go to sleep in freshly cleaned beds. My washing machine is sure going to get a workout!

LOVELY BLOGS: The Harried Homemaker Preps

I'm enjoying this blog on homesteading, survival and being prepared. I don't tend to gravitate towards "prepper" blogs, but I find this lady's info on gardening, food storage, and canning to be really helpful in my own quest to economize more and create more things myself.

Recent posts include Perennial Vegetables for Your Survival Garden; Indoor Seed Starting; and how to know how much to plant.

http://theharriedhomemakerpreps.blogspot.com/

LOVELY CRAFTS: Fabric Dollhouses

These are adorable! I'm wondering if I'm actually brave enough to attempt one for my niece. She'd most likely love it and carry it around with her everywhere, if I could actually make myself sit down and try it!

Fabric Dollhouse Tutorial from UK Lass in the US

LOVELY FOOD: Moonstruck Chocolates for Easter

I always look forward to seeing what Moonstruck Chocolates is offering for their seasonal Easter collection. This year there's the usual adorable colorful Easter Egg truffles, a dark chocolate rooster, some cute calico bunny chocolates, and a gorgeous hand-painted artisan egg.

Easter Chocolates, at Moonstruck

LOVELY HOME FRAGRANCE: Sheet Spray

Not everyone here is going to want to spray chemical fragrances on their sheets. I personally really enjoy doing so. My favorite from this line is "Beach Days," with "Line Dried" a close runner up. When you're mid-week and it's not time to wash your sheets again already, it can be really comforting to freshen them up with a lovely spritz or two.

Sheet Sprays from The Good Home Co.

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Cobb Salad with French Dressing (Fructose Free Me)

A Crunchy Granola Recipe to Welcome Maple Syrup Season (Chatelaine)

Double Chocolate Stout Mousse Cake (Sprinkle Bakes)

Etiquette Redefined in the Digital Age (NY Times)

Homemade Yeast Doughnuts (Calm Optimism)

Lemon, Rosemary and Zucchini Bread (Tastebud Temptation)

My Lazy Gardening Secret (Slate)

Potato and Rosemary Pizza (Williams-Sonoma)

Raspberry Neapolitan Party Cake (Sweetapolita)

Soda Bread: Sugar Added, Fairies Optional (NY Times)

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