Sunday, January 29, 2017

From a Cleaner Kitchen to Emptying the Outbox: January Cure Assignments 10 to 20

Half the Cure.

My goodness, I hadn't realised I had had that much to catch up on!

The thing is, of course, I have been doing something...just not everything I wanted to do and certainly not everything I'd planned to do. This weekend was the end, though. I really need to focus on doing my daily four housekeeping chores.....and let January go. I am giving myself until Wednesday.

Here's what I've done.

Assignment #10: A Cleaner Kitchen.

I worked hard the weekend it was assigned.

I cleaned the spice rack:

It's always disheartening when the after doesn't look all that different from the before. But at least the canisters feel better. They get greasy right here beside the stove. 

Behind the stove:

And behind the fridge, though you'll have to take my word for it!

I cleaned all the open shelving, the garbage can, the side of the fridge, the side of the stove and the baseboards.

I washed the top of the fridge, the top of the microwave, all the cabinets, the stove top and the table.

And then I made a pie. To declutter some apples. Of course.

Finally, I washed the kitchen floor just this Saturday.

Assignment #11: Get a Get Together Together.

This introvert never does this Cure assignment.

Assignment #12 Cabinet Clear Out:

Removed one bottle of barely expired calamine lotion.

Assignment #13: Work on Your Project.

I haven't even finished the list of projects I want to complete this year!

Assignment #14: Lighten Up the Living Room.

I did this just yesterday, too. My son walked in and said, "nice job on the living room. The wall looks different without the mirror there."

The mirror has not been there for at least two years. That Value Village painting has been sitting in its place on top of the mantel since.

But I think he's a minimalist at heart. In fact, right after making this comment, he went right to his room and began cleaning and clearing his shelves.

Assignment #15: A Better Bedroom

I had such tremendous intentions. On the floors weekend, I'd spent the entire Friday night up in this room, going over every inch of the floor.

Last weekend, my husband and I flipped the mattress (flip with the Solstice, rotate with the Equinox) and I washed the mattress cover, pillow covers, bedding and couch cover.

Again, this weekend, I spent Friday evening picking up and tidying. But it wasn't until Sunday that I got around to dusting, (vacuuming up the dust!) and changing the sheets and duvet cover.

But, boy oh boy, is it worth it!

Assignment #16: Catch up Day.

Well, it's sort of catch up weekend, isn't it?!

Assignment #17: Bathroom Blast.

I did this Saturday, too. Spritzed all the porcelain, mopped the floor. The room really needs a full day, though, to wipe all the mold off the tile, the grout and the ceiling. Yes. The moisture problem in there is absolutely out of control. And frankly, we have done all we can at the moment, so I have been procrastinating the chore to clean it because it will just have to be done again, and again.....until we know what to do to fix it.

Assignment #18: Landing Strip

All I needed to do here was wash the floor and put down my new entry rug.

In time.

Assignment #19: Surface Sweep

I do this as a regular part of my daily four. I set the timer for 10 minutes and just go through the main floor and pick up and put away everything lying about on various surfaces.

Assignment #20: Empty the Outbox.

And here we are. This weekend's assignment. The last assignment.

There's more in the car!

I wondered why Janel had scheduled an entire weekend for it and also ended the Cure, leaving the last two days of the month completely unscheduled. But now I think I know why. Not only did I need to take the weekend to catch up,  I have five different places to go to to drop things off. I am going to want the time Monday and Tuesday to go to the second hand store, the animal shelter, the Eco-centre, Re-Store (Habitat for Humanity), and H&M (for textile recycling).

So, I figure I'm done...... Except for the floors in the hallway and the dining room, oh and emptying the outbox and I almost forgot, the list, the darn list I have no faith will be completed this year at all...well, except for those things, I'm done.

I am glad I did this. Adios until next year!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Looking Through the Linens

I started Assignment #9 after a conversation with my daughter about her sheets. A year and a half ago, she switched from a twin bed to a double. We discussed whether she would sleep with a bottom sheet, top sheet and duvet (like I do) or whether she would sleep "European" and forgo the top sheet. She prefers the European way.

So guess what I found in the linen closet? (other than a mess)

Two bottom sheets and three top sheets. Why?

I didn't get rid of them though, as she is not sure what she's going to want to do in the summer. Plus, my son is still in his twin bed----and I wondered if perhaps he might prefer to have a larger top sheet. He is, after all, a very big boy in a very small bed. I wish they still made 3/4 beds and mattresses and bed linens. It would be the perfect size for his smallish room.

Plus, I didn't find any top sheets for a twin bed. There is one on his bed--maybe the other is in the wash?

I do believe in the old rule "one for the bed, one for the wash" for keeping bed linens, but I have a noted weakness for textiles. I've mentioned it before. I have four duvet covers--just for my own bed! I have four sets of sheets to play along. And then there are the uncounted number of pillowcases to further mix and match.

Meh. Small pleasures.

And I don't get out much.

I will get rid of a few washcloths and a bucket with markers in it--(oh that bucket! Back when the kids shared a room, we set up this bucket so they could lower it over the railing and anything they'd "forgotten" to take to bed, like a stuffie or their slippers would be put in the bucket and hauled up. The rope was still inside.) I used it to store the chandelier bulbs I needed for Emma's room. But she she doesn't have that chandy anymore.

I also found a sheer curtain, still in the package from Ikea. Not sure what is going to happen to that.

There are more linens elsewhere in the house, but that was enough for tonight. It took me about 45 minutes.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Closet and a Carpet.

It was supposed to be a 30 minute job. It took me 50.

I am a bit surprised it took me that long.
It is a pretty straight forward closet--awkward to photograph, though.

It is, first and foremost, our coat closet.

But it is also our games closet,

and the broom/cleaning tool closet.

it's like those pegs fell out just so I could put that space to better use! The orange Miele bag holds the vacuum cleaner attachments and various mop heads.

oh and it is also our access hatch to the bathroom tub and shower taps and water supply lines.

It took me nearly an hour to clear out some games,

that black bag holds our picnic/backyard snuggle under while there's a firepit going blanket

relocate a few coats, clean the lint off my husband's coat, and vacuum and clean the floor,

and, oh yeah, hang the Ikea bag holder. As you can see, it was hit or miss (and mostly miss) getting the bags into that thing at the back of the closet where I was anxious it would tip through the hole into the basement.

I've been wanting to put a piece of wood up at the back of the closet ever since we enlarged the hole to get access to the pipes when we did the bathroom in the winter of, ahem, 2011-12. I am adding it to the project list.

Just for fun, I looked back through to see what closets I tackled in past cures. In 2015, it was the linen closet.  In 2016, it was the closet adjacent to this, the cleaning closet. Other than the closet in each of our bedrooms, these are the only closets we have. Nice that each have had a turn!

In other news, I continued with the floor assignment.

I borrowed my Mom's Steam vac to clean my living room carpet.

It arrived with an abundance of cleaners.

I watched a you tube video...which wasn't all that terribly helpful so I tried to watch another one. But man, it is boring watching people push a machine back and forth and back and forth and back and....what was I saying? Oh yeah. So I just called my mother.

I vacuumed. Twice.

There were all sorts of stains.

I think this is from hot chocolate? Or maybe coffee?

General dinginess.

see how the white bits of the carpet are actually white over there on the right? They get greyer and dingier  as you go left. Same thing happens at the other end, only in reverse.

I used one of the bottles to pretreat the various spots.

I went over the rug about four times with the steam vac. The first time, I didn't pull the trigger. The second time, I pulled the trigger but didn't use the "spot clean/clean surge" button. The third time, I pulled the trigger and used the spot clean/surge clean button, both, at the same time. The fourth I just went over it without the trigger, again.

This was the waste water.

One of the videos advised me to empty all the water out of the machine, turn off the brushes and go over the carpet one more time. He said that would draw water out of the carpet and help dry it. When I talked to my Mom, she said she didn't bother.

I am so glad I did. This is what the water looked like after being sucked out of the carpet.

Imagine if I'd left that!

I think the rug looks really good--but not as good as new. The specific spots are gone, it's true, but that fade to dinge is still there--though its much less noticeable, to be sure. (At this end of the carpet it goes left, white, to right, grey.) Now that I know how it's done--I want to do it again before the week is over.

I cannot tell you how happy I am to have found a solution to keeping this carpet clean. I love me a good looking rug...and a good sized is next to impossible to find here for what I can afford. This was purchased at Target in 2014 when they were here. The rug conundrum is one of the reasons I was so upset they left.

Tomorrow is the media fast, so catch you on the 12th, I hope.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Flowers and Floors

I did not finish.

Friday night, I decided to tackle our bedroom. I started strong.

I started with the closet.

I moved everything out. Dusted the shoe shelf and got rid of two pairs of shoes. Vacuumed the floor. Mopped the floor.


I moved everything to one side of the room.

Vacuumed the dust rhinos.


I did this three different times to reach the whole floor--oh! Except, I didn't move the dressers.

As I was vacuuming and mopping I thought about how much I love getting this beastly chore done. I try to do this in the bedroom at least twice a year--but I think the last time I did this it was actually during the cure one whole year ago!

But disaster struck. While I was cleaning baseboards in the first section, I twisted my ankle. I limped through to the finish line but I could barely walk by the end of it.

Saturday morning, I begged off going to my mothers so I could finish my floors.

I got the hallway upstairs done. Just in the nick of time, my husband finally finished painting the bathroom--so I could put all the stuff away.

I really like it without the bookshelf. I thought it would look weird without it but it's OK.

Then, I tackled the stairs. That was a much bigger job than I'd anticipated for some reason. I mean, I swept. But then I hand washed each step and riser with a bucket or water and a micro fibre cloth.

When I was done, I was done in. It didn't help matters that my ankle was throbbing badly.

I didn't do any more, even though I had my husband pick up my Mom's carpet cleaner so I can try and resuscitate our living room rug.

But it will have to wait.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

January Cure: The Outbox

I have had an outbox for years and years.

Whoo hoo, my daughter cleaned her room over the Christmas holidays. This is all from her.

Only it isn't really an outbox: when I put something here, under the folding table in my basement laundry room, I never take it back out and keep it. Never. So, it is actually my donation station.

Today's assignment was to set one up and put one thing in it. I chose this thing. I've never really liked it that much. It used to sit, empty, on the shelf above the toilet in the upstairs powder room.


I don't want it back.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

January Cure: The Pantry

Day 4!

My pantry is in great shape. Last fall I signed up for a free 5 week course on decluttering and organizing the kitchen. Conquer Your Kitchen was great fun: and it meant I'd been through only recently looking for expired food and what not. So, today, I was content to clean.

This hodge podge of shelf and storage units in my basement (and opposite the laundry machines)  is simply wonderful. Everything is stored here. If it is in use, it's in my cupboard challenged kitchen, but if you finish that box of tea and need another? It is here. So are all the canned goods, extra cleaners and paper products.

Some shelves have lazy susans, most do not. It's functional. I feel no compulsion to prettify it or zush it in anyway.

oops, there's an errant can of chickpeas trying to escape!

Assignment #3 complete!

I am still working on Assignment #3: The Home Project List.

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Return of The January Cure

Apartment Therapy is running their one month version of The Cure! So exciting. I've decided to follow along, and I've resurrected this space to do it since there is a strange fascination in cleaning and decluttering and loving on one's home at the same time all over the world with hundreds of others.

This blog was born in 2008 to record my participation in the Eight week version of the Cure AT used to run. (Seems unthinkable, now doesn't it.) So, we're both returning to our roots, as it were.

Today's assignment was to clean out one drawer, any drawer. I picked the junk drawer in my kitchen.

Look at that....fuses for a stove we no longer own. An oven thermometer to check the temperature of the oven that belonged to that stove we no longer own. And hardware. Hundreds of bits of miscellaneous hardware.


So, getting rid of those things and much else, I was able to find a new home for the parchment paper. I had been keeping it with the baking pans under the stove, but it was beginning to get mangled as it had to be angled just so. And that never happened. So.

Hooray! On to the next!
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