More Basement Progress

Update: This blog has moved! You can check out this post here.

Slowly but surely we are cleaning and organizing the basement clutter. By we, this time, I mean me. Douglas has been really helpful on most of the household projects, but organization is not his forte. I have taken charge and am determined to finish this in the next couple of months. Last week I focused on the “storage” section of the basement.

Messy basement

Everything is now contained in bins and boxes.

Update: This blog has moved! You can read the rest of this post here.

 

 

 

Homemade Cleaning and Personal Hygiene Supplies

Update: This blog has moved! You can check out this post here.

For years now, I have made 70% (percentage approximated very unscientifically) of my cleaning supplies with rubbing alcoholwhite vinegarand baking soda. It has saved me money, and my house is clean as ever. Then, in November, I read this blog post about homemade deodorant, lip balm,shower scrub and eye make-up remover. Deodorant was on my shopping list at the time, and I thought that I would like to try a homemade deodorant. It took me a while to get around to doing it. Do not worry! I have been using antiperspirant in the meantime. I just pulled a stick out of my travel bag. Then, on Tuesday, I read this post on Apartment Therapy about cleaning the washing machine. I am not sure how, but that made me wonder if I could make my own laundry detergent and other products as well. I did some research, and my loving husband went out in search of the ingredients. He had to visit three grocery stores to find everything I needed. The good news is that I have large quantities of everything left over, so it will be a long time before we have to buy them again. Everything is available online, and next time I might just order everything from Amazon and skip the running around to different stores. The kitchen then became ground zero for production.

Making cleaning supplies

Update: This blog has moved!  Here you can finish reading this post to see how I made toothpaste, deodorant, laundry soap and dishwashing detergent.

Project Organization- Fifteen Minutes

Update: This blog has moved! You can check out this post here.

Sometimes it only takes a couple of minutes to accomplish something to make the house seem cleaner and more organized. I love these little projects that give me a sense of having done something worthwhile when I get home from work.  This project involved cleaning and organizing a closet. I need to do a lot more of this, but at least this was a start. Crème approved of the project.

Cat in the organized closet

This mess had been bothering me for a while. Douglas’ shoes are just in a pile in the hall closet. This makes it very difficult to clean in here.

Shoe jumble in closet

Update: This blog has moved! You can finish reading this post here.

Lint Rolling Away

Update: This blog has moved! You can check out this post here.

What is the best way to clean a lampshade? I used to run my Swiffer duster over it, but it never came very clean that way. I tried vacuuming it but was not satisfied with the results. Last month my shade was getting too dirty to endure.

Dirty lamp shade

If you know me, you understand that something like this drives me crazy. If you do not know me, you will have to imagine me trying to ignore this disgrace while giving it side-long glances and trembling in horror.

Dirty lamp shade

Update: This blog has moved! You can finish reading this post here.

Uncluttered Cabinet

Update: This blog has moved! You can check out this post here.

This was a quick weekend project. My media cabinet is a source of contention for me. I bought it from Ikea in 2003, and it has served me well, but I would like a really nice piece of furniture in this corner. I am hoping to someday find an antique corner cupboard; maybe that is because my parents had a thing for antique corner cupboards. We had more than I can count in our house. Until the right one (and by that I mean an affordable one!) comes my way, I will keep the Ikea piece. This is something along the lines of what I am looking for. I got this picture from Etsy.

antique corner cupboard

However, it was getting really cluttered inside, and since the cat likes to perch on top of it, I needed to clean that off as well. Here you can see it inside and out. It was not good.

Cluttered Ikea media cabinetCluttered Ikea media cabinet

Update: This blog has moved! You can finish reading this post here.

My Big Dirty Secret

Update: This blog has moved! You can check out this post here.

If you watched the show Friends you know that Monica was a neat freak. She was OCD, and everything had to be perfect. You might remember an episode where Chandler opens her closet and finds a jumbled mess. I must confess that while I also have OCD tendencies, my dirty secret is much, much bigger than Monica’s closet. I have been writing this blog for six months now, and you may have noticed that despite mentioning the existence of a basement, I have never shown any pictures of said basement. This is why. This is my shame. I am going to open up and show this to you, but you have to promise that you are not going to turn me in to the show Hoarders. I swear this basement is not going to look like this forever. And down the stairs we go.

Hoarders' basement

Turning right at the bottom of the stairs is the “work area.” As hard as it might be to believe while looking at the pictures, work does actually occur in this space.

Hoarders' basement

Update: This blog has moved! You can finish reading this post here.

New Year’s Mrs. Clean

Update: This blog has moved! You can check out this post here.

I arrived home from Venezuela on the 31st, right before midnight. (You can read about the trip here.) I was supposed to get in earlier, but several of my planes were delayed. I spent thirty five hours between the city of Mérida and home. Needless to say, I was not up for much when I got home. January first was a lazy day for my man and me. January second, I was faced with a mess. My suitcases were still unpacked on the dining room table and there were things everywhere. Douglas had done a lot of laundry after he got back from his parents, but most of the clothes were still sitting on the bed in the spare room. Before I could start any other projects, the house needed to be clean. It took two days, but finally our house is clean, and I feel much better. Now maybe I will be able to work on something more exciting! Here are the before and after pictures.

Kitchen

Messy kitchenClean kitchen

Dining Room

Messy dining roomClean dining room

Update: This blog has moved! You can finish reading this post here.

Kitchen Clean Up

Update: This blog has moved! You can check out this post here.

We are in the process of painting the kitchen. Doing this nearly caused our divorce. Things were pretty tense this weekend while the painting was going on. I have often heard that traveling together and renovations are two of the biggest tests of a relationship. Douglas and I travel well together, so I guess this is our test. The problem is that we have a lot of renovation left on the house, and I do not want it to end our relationship. Once we calm down, we can usually talk things out, but it is hard to get us to both calm down. He needs time to cool off, but it only makes me angrier when he walks away in the middle of an argument. It seems to me that he does not care about me when he leaves. I need to figure out how to let it not bother me so much. Anyway, we are still together, and the kitchen is nearly done. We have to finish touching up a few mistakes on the trim and rehang everything that was on the walls. Wednesday’s post will be about painting the kitchen, but in the meantime, here is a preview of the new color.

Cleaning kitchen

Update: This blog has moved! You can finish reading this post here.

Window Washers We Are NOT

Update: This blog has moved! You can check out this post here.

So, you are no longer able to tell if it is night or day, while sitting in your house.  Your windows are filthy, and you need to clean them. You think that you would like to be able to see through your windows. Would you like my advice? In my honest opinion, having a view is overrated. Sit in your cave and enjoy the penumbra. You will be better off. Unless, of course, you have new modern windows that fold in and allow you to wash the outside of the window without going outside or climbing a ladder. If you have these newfangled inventions, you will be able to read this post and laugh at the ridiculousness of our situation. If you have older windows like the ones installed in our house in 1952, you can read this post and shutter thinking that this may have happened to you.

Dirty Screens

Update: This blog has moved! You can finish reading about this disaster in this post here.

Second Bedroom Redesign

Update: This blog has moved! You can check out this post here.

My house was so messy by Saturday last week, that I could not believe so little time had passed since the last cleaning. I was particularly dismayed by the state of the second bedroom. Two weeks ago, on Labor Day weekend, my friend Nga came to visit, and the room looked like this.

BedroomUpdate: This blog has moved! You can finish reading this post here.