Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Spring Cleaning Begins!

The wonderful-smelling countertop spray I'm using this month: Tangelo Palm Frond, via Amazon

I'm beginning my Spring Cleaning today. Will you join me in your own homes? Let's give each other moral support. We don't have to look at this as a life-altering, unpleasant chore. Everyone here is visiting Lovely Living because we have an interest in or passion for making our homes beautiful. Let's join in and celebrate our hard work, efforts and the lovely results we'll achieve!


  • Grab your calendar, organizer, or phone, and look over the month ahead. What upcoming birthdays, weddings, parties, or social obligations are scheduled? Need to send any cards, gifts, or order flowers?
  • Do you have any upcoming appointments, or need to schedule any for yourself or family members? Pediatrician or dentist visits, vet appointments for pets perhaps? Checkups for the adults?
  • Anybody in your house need to schedule a haircut? How about your own self care? Do you need an eye brow wax, pedicure or manicure (or both!), hair color or other beauty treatment?
  • Plan out your upcoming month. Don't forget to leave time for family time, friends, yourself, and some good old just-plain-downtime.
  • What are you doing for fun this month? Likely the weather will be good at some point for all of us in our various areas of the continent. Will you make time to go for a walk, picnic, hike or outdoor activity?
  • We're three months into our year already. Is it time to lube and oil your car or take it in for other maintenance tasks?
  • Are you hoping to attend any plays, musicals, concerts or symphonies this spring? Buy tickets now if you haven't yet.
  • Taking your kids somewhere for Spring Break? If so, do you have your travel planned, tickets purchased, petsitter, hotel and car arrangements made?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Gathering Supplies for Spring Cleaning

Amazon Basics Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

Today I'm preparing for my month of Spring Cleaning ahead. I'll take out all my cleaning supplies, sprays, rags and mops etc. and take inventory. I think I'm well stocked up, but might want to grab another bottle of Windex because I can see my windows are so grimy.

I'll walk through my house with a notepad, taking note of things I know need to be taken care of above and beyond just vacuuming, dusting and scrubbing. There are closet doors that are banged up and might need to be painted or replaced; a few paint touchups needed; old towels to be put in the rag bin and replaced with new; vent covers that need to be painted and replaced; and a sagging bookcase that should be thrown out and a sturdier one bought and put together.

Because I work carefully and hard to keep my home maintained in pretty good order, I don't anticipate this Spring Cleaning to be very difficult or tiresome. The hard part is just moving the furniture around to vacuum under it, wash the walls behind it, and put back in place.

I briefly thought about changing up the way I do my Spring Cleaning (usually this: One room at a time, thoroughly, saving the big rooms for weekends). I thought I might wash all the windows in the house one day; dust all the bookcases the next; vacuum the entire house on the third. I think it would be upsetting to me to be washing windows in a room with overflowing trash cans, or walk out of a room with fresh windows but know the room still has dust and lightbulbs that need to be replaced, etc. I think I'd enjoy this process more if every day I'm finished with a room, leaving it behind lovelier than when I started.

Are you planning to start your Spring Cleaning this week? Can you do a little chore or project every night so your weekend isn't so overwhelming?

LOVELY BLOGS: The Latina Homemaker

Jesenia blogs from near the Amish countryside in Pennsylvania. She blogs about her home and family. Besides cleaning tips and recipes, she offers a section on "31 Days to a Clutter-Free Life Challenge." She also offers tips on frugal living and working at home.

Today I've been exploring her recent posts about her once-a-month grocery shopping; her tips on how to kick a stubborn cough to the curb, and why she doesn't give her kids an allowance. I enjoy that she posts honestly, admitting when she hasn't been sticking to her plan. I also like how thoughtful she is and how much planning and care she's put into her parenting philosophy.

I hope you'll enjoy getting a peek at Jesenia's life and homemaking tips as much as I have!


LOVELY BOOKS: Little Lessons for Little Housekeepers

This quaint compilation of housekeeping lessons was published in 1879. Chapters include Rules for Housekeeping, Rules for Nursery Maids, Rules of Health, Rules of Politeness, Rules of Sewing, and some songs. I even see a little piece called "Things that are Lovely."

This old book provides an interesting glimpse into the past. "When is a dining room in perfect order?" it asks, providing the answer "When it is well swept and dusted, the furniture in its place, and the blinds closed." I hope you enjoy browsing through this briefly today!

Little Lessons for Little Housekeepers, at The Internet Archive

LOVELY BOOKS: Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up

I thought this would be the perfect book to recommend as we begin our Spring Cleaning projects. It's an illustrated companion to Marie Kondo's enormously popular decluttering book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Several of her folding and organizing concepts from her first book are a bit hard to visualize, so I appreciate the illustrations in this follow-up book. This book will teach us how to "pack drawers like a Japanese bento box," how to make the most of "useless" things that still spark joy in us, illustrates the KonMari folding method, and gives advice to readers like me who don't think they can part with books.

I plan to read over this as I Spring Clean my house in the days and weeks to come.

Spark Joy, on Amazon

Spark Joy, at Barnes & Noble

LOVELY KITCHEN: The French Garden Collection

If you're a passionate gardening enthusiast, or crazy about herbs, you might like to look at Sur la Table's new kitchen collection: French Garden. The collection includes canisters, serving bowls, a pitcher, napkins and a table runner, appetizer plates and more. I love the herb theme, but it only works if you set the table and let guests see the designs and text on the dishes before you serve food on them. These wouldn't be good for a party where you dish up plates in the kitchen and serve to the table, since the fun pattern would be obscured by your food!

The French Garden Collection, at Sur la Table


Harbingers of Spring (Winging With Eagles)

In the Gardens (Gretchen Hope)

One-Month Spring Cleaning Guide (Embracing Homemaking)

Products for Glowing Skin (Bourbon, Lipstick and Stilettos)

Raised Bed Vegetable Garden Tour (An Oregon Cottage)

Saturday Evening Post Spring Cleaning Covers (Saturday Evening Post)

Spring Bursts Forth (Weeding on the Wild Side)

Spring Cleaning Your Home part 1 (Making Our Life Matter)

Ten Spring Cleaning Projects You've Been Putting Off Until Now (Minnesota's New Country)

Why I Don't Spring Clean (Homemakers Daily)

Why Summer Cleaning is 10 Times More Effective (Happy Little Homemaker)

--Copyright 2016 Lovely Living


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