Springtime Spruce-Up

I don’t know about you all, but I’m willing to bet you find our current self quarantine situation challenging too. We are struggling to adjust to working from home, homeschooling, and not being able to leave the house. In some ways, I am embracing it. I am an introverted homebody so I actually don’t mind the extra time at home. I’m also loving being able to have more time with my girls.

I’m also finding time to dive into some of my DIY projects. We’ve been working on our backyard lately. We had some flower beds that had been badly neglected.

Welcome to the jungle, we got weeds and rocks…

Well, now that’s just embarrassing. Random pole getting swallowed by a tree, more weeds than flowers and a broken birdbath? I don’t think it could be much worse.

We started by removing the random pole. It’s rained so much lately that I just rocked the pole back and forth and then pulled it up out of the ground.

Then, we removed the broken birdbath and took that thing to the dump. We trimmed the trees and pulled all the weeds. That took awhile. Lastly, we put down some fresh pine straw.

Whew! That’s better!

It’s amazing what only a few changes can make.

This is so much better.

What quarantine projects are you doing?
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Clean routines and parenting: keeping a weekly cleaning schedule

Trying to keep a tidy house is hard when you have small children. It’s even harder when you’re at home all the time with those small children, due to the coronavirus pandemic. We have always had a weekly cleaning schedule that worked pretty well for us, but now I’m making it a point to incorporate a little extra deep cleaning, in honor of the current pandemic.

Our weekly cleaning schedule is laminated, framed, and hanging in our laundry room.

This definitely doesn’t mean that we are perfect. Not even close. Even though this schedule is hanging on our wall in a frame, there are days when our stuff doesn’t get done and when we let messes linger for too long. And while the Friday chores are typically deep cleaning tasks, I’d gotten a little creative in how we deep clean these days.

Typically we spend two weekends a month deep cleaning. While we are at home self quarantining, we are choosing to vigilantly follow a deep cleaning schedule. We are following our daily task schedule, but we are mopping and cleaning bathrooms twice a week. We are also making it a point to remove shoes at the door and do a deep cleaning task every weekend instead of every other weekend. The kids and I are trying to work together to make the chore of the day happen.

We are also currently homeschooling and I’m teaching from home too. We are struggling to find the balance but we are OK. We are getting there and we are making it work.

And while we are on the subject of house cleaning to combat the germs, have you considered incorporating a little self care into your day? Staying home is not easy for some of us, and as a result, your mental state can suffer. Remember to do something that lifts you up each day- it could be something as simple as taking a walk or Facetime calling people you miss, to gardening, to reading a book, or taking a hot bath. Either way- don’t neglect YOU!

We will see you soon with our spring home tour! Until then, stay safe and stay healthy. Thanks for reading!

Our cleaning routines

Our cleaning routines

How to have a cleaner house

 

As the busy, working mother of an active rising second grader and a toddler, I often don’t have the time to clean that I need. Sometimes I look around at my house and worry about when I’m going to get everything done. In the past, I have cleaned my home on Saturdays, but then I realized my entire Saturday was being lost to cleaning! Then, we had no time to spend together as a family.

The solution? Create a cleaning routine that enabled me to do a little cleaning each night. I found a neat cleaning schedule on Little Green Notebook.

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While this routine would work pretty well for us, there is no way that we could only do laundry on Saturdays. I had to tweak this a little to make it fit our needs. I came up with this:

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Our only solution was to wash and dry clothes every day, using the timer. I wake up, throw a loud of “ironables” in the washer, and they wash while we are getting ready. We then hang these clothes up to dry before we leave the house. I then throw our “dryables” into the washer and set the timer so that the washer will start shortly before I get home. I then don’t have to worry about the dryer running with no one at home.

Washing and drying clothes every night also makes for smaller laundry loads, therefore, less to fold and iron.

This cleaning schedule also means that we can do a little cleaning each day and have a house that both feels and looks a lot cleaner. The best advice I can give you is to find an idea you like and tweak it to make it work for you.

Cleaning our house a little each night was the only way that would work for us. Plus, we have a lot more time to spend together on the weekends.

 

21-day challenge: a whole-house purge

21-day challenge: a whole-house purge

Last week, I had spring break. While I wanted to get a lot of things accomplished, I also wanted to have some down time. I managed to get our garden plowed and some flowers planted.

I also completed a whole house purge, where I went through our home room by room and got rid of many things we no longer need or use.

I got rid of three stacks of old magazines.

Many old DVDs and CDs we no longer use.

A large pile of outgrown toys and duplicate toys.

And about five bags of trash.

To purge the house, I chose to donate anything we no longer needed or used, donate any outgrown toys or clothing, and throw away any broken or expired items.

Living with less makes me feel less stressed and more relaxed. My house feels more cozy, too.

Don’t forget to share your 21-day challenge pictures with the hashtag #21dayorganizingchallenge! Have a great day!

Simplify Saturday: Spring cleaning

Simplify Saturday: Spring cleaning

Some of us have been elbow deep in our spring cleaning routine. Because I am a teacher, spring cleaning takes me a lot longer than most. I don’t enjoy losing my whole spring break to cleaning, so I have to stretch my spring cleaning out across several Saturdays and evenings. This means my projects are on a smaller scale than most, and the bigger things get saved until summer vacation.

I came up with a 21-day challenge for those of us who work a lot, raise kids, and don’t have a ton of time to devote to spring cleaning.

This 21-day challenge breaks your spring cleaning into smaller pieces, and enables you to go through your home room by room instead of tackling your whole house all at once.

Even though it doesn’t say it on the graphic, I dust blinds, baseboards and clean behind and under furniture in each room as I cross it off the list.

Another option is to organize only a small part of each room on the list, and then repeat the challenge for 21 more days and finish the rooms. You have a lot of flexibility.

I would love for you to participate along with us and share your before and after pictures on social media. Please use the hashtag #21dayorganizingchallenge.

Happy organizing! Have a wonderful weekend.