Monday, March 11, 2013

Preparing for My 2013 Spring Cleaning

Mondays are a busy workday and errand day for me. By the time we get home from my teenager's tutoring session, we're starving and eat dinner right away. We're not left with a whole bunch of time in the evening for projects, so I'm keeping tonight's Spring Cleaning project very simple. Mostly I'll just be gathering supplies and taking inventory of my cleaning products.

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

Honeysuckle Counter Spray, by Mrs. Meyers

  • Make menu plan for the week ahead; create grocery list
  • Need to do any hand washing of laundry? Stockings, Spanx, fragile lingerie or other linens? I like to set things in the sink for a nice soak, then go finish them and hang them to dry during a commercial.
  • Will you be sleeping in a freshly laundered nightgown or pajamas tonight?
  • Try to toss out one tired old T-shirt tonight. This will make room in your dresser for something lovely. I bet we all have five or six ratty old T-shirts we could get rid of if we were determined enough!
  • Slice fresh fruit and leave it out on the counter for yourself and your family to enjoy tonight.
  • It only takes about 3 minutes to stir a box mix of muffins or banana bread, 10 seconds to pop it into the oven, 10 seconds to take them out when done, and a couple minutes to clean up and recycle the box. Have you baked fresh muffins for your family lately?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Planning Spring Cleaning and Collecting Supplies

Basil Blue Sage All-Purpose Cleaner, from Caldrea

Tonight I'm mostly going over my multiple cupboards where we store cleaning supplies, taking inventory and trying to consolidate them. We do have childproof locks on my cabinets, but I'd prefer to have all my cleaning supplies in one place, ideally. I might still stash a countertop cleaner under the kitchen sink next to the backup dish soap and the dishwasher detergent, but there's no reason to have Windex and toilet cleaner stored there!

I'll see if there's anything I have too much of (did I buy too many cans of Orange Pledge, or have I just been neglecting my dusting lately?) Then I'll make a shopping list for any cleaning products or supplies I might need. I know I definitely need another scrubber sponge or two.

After I'm done taking inventory, I'll see if there are any items I can get rid of to declutter (I recently got rid of my rarely used Swiffer stick). Then I'll make a plan for the rest of my Spring Cleaning. I want to do quick and easy projects on weeknights, and major projects on weekends.

And this year I'm focusing on not just cleaning and maintaining my home, but replacing and renewing. If I have grotty looking old towel hangers in the bathroom, it's time to replace them with new ones. If the wood molding in a bathroom is looking dingy and scuffed, it's time to think about tearing it out and installing new molding. I'm not up for any big home renovation projects, but so many things are easy to replace right away - inexpensive lamp shades, heater vent covers, filthy stained light switch plates, etc.

What cleaning supplies are you low on?

LOVELY BEVERAGES: Tea Forte's Garden Harvest White Tea

I'm so excited to try Tea Forte's new white teas for Spring 2013. The new flavors include Peach Rhubarb Preserve, Tupelo Honey Fig, White Cinnamon Sage, Wild Apple Ginger and Tangerine Rosemary. They sound so tasty!

Garden Harvest at Tea Forte

LOVELY BLOGS: My Custard Pie

"Honest food, fresh ingredients, and a slice of life in Dubai." I find this blog SO fascinating! Sally originally was from Gloucestershire, England, and relocated to Dubai a few years ago. I am really enjoying her posts - lately an Italian restaurant review, a review of Nigella Lawson's "How to Eat" book, and her experiences at a Women and Wine event.

http://mycustardpie.com/

My Custard Pie on Facebook

LOVELY CRAFTS: Paper Source's Easter Crafts

Right now Paper Source is featuring so many adorable Easter and Spring craft kits you can make with your kids. There's a bunny garland, an egg garland, a paper bunny kit, an Easter place card chicks kit (does anybody use place cards anymore though?) and die-cut eggs and bunnies. Also check out this intriguing paper carrot box.

Easter Crafts, at Paper Source

LOVELY HOME FRAGRANCE: Maison Luxe from Archipelago Botanicals

I'm always a sucker for beautifully packaged candles, so I was excited to see this new line from Archipelago Botanicals. I finally got to smell these in person at the Seattle Gift Show recently. I didn't personally care for "Manor" (Sandalwood, Raw Vanilla and Amber) but I loved "Palazzo" (Permission, White Nectarine and Olive Wood) and "Chalet" (Bergamot, Lemon Leaf and pressed flowers).

Maison Luxe at Archipelago Botanicals

LOVELY MOVIES: Somewhere in Time

I admit it, this sappy 1980s movie is one of my favorites. This website is a lovely resource for the film. I just learned here that "Somewhere in Time: The Musical" is debuting in Portland Oregon this Spring. I'd love to go see it if I could slip away! Check out the galleries for behind-the-scenes photos and nice photos of Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve.

http://somewhereintime.tv/

LOVELY SHOPS: Bellflower Bay

I wanted to share this vintage and antique jewelry Etsy shop with you. I don't know the owner and they didn't ask to be featured, I just have enjoyed browsing here so much. This is exactly the style of jewelry I prefer to wear: vintage Victorian pieces. I love the geometric shapes of the gemstones and the delicate touches. I haven't bought anything from here yet - I doubt dainty Victorian rings will fit on my age-fattened fingers, sadly!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/BellflowerBay

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Chickpea, Fennel and Citrus Salad (Bon Appetit)

Hazelnut Coffee Cupcakes (The Cupcake Project)

Kahlua Chocolate Decadence Brownie (Worth the Whisk)

Keeping Books Alive (Martha Stewart)

Mango Pineapple Salsa (Brown Eyed Baker)

Pumpkin Pineapple Spice Muffins (Foodess)

Sweet and Sour Citrus Chicken Stir Fry (Our Best Bites)

Time-Saving Tips to Get That Hour Back (Organized Island)

20 Irish Recipes for St. Patrick's Day (Bon Appetit)

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