Cleaning · home · refreshment at home

Three Rules That Keep My Home Presentable (not perfect)

summer mantle 3

I’m one of those women that has to have things in order at home to be able to think straight.  I feel so unorganized and discombobulated when my house is messy!  Are you like that?  But life is busy and it’s easy for things to get out of whack in a flash! Here’s what I try to do to keep things presentable at my house.

#1 Have a routine. simple-to-do-list-pic1

My best friend in relation to keeping things presentable is one word – Routine.  It’s not so much that I clean the floor on this day and dust on that one (though I try to do that), my greatest routine is with the daily things that happen.  Let me explain. Every day when I get up, I have a routine that goes like this:

  1. Feed the cat then sweep the laundry room floor (where Liza’s things are)
  2. Empty the litter box
  3. Throw in one load of laundry – On the days when there aren’t enough clothes for a load, I try to wash kitchen towels and pot holders or the throw rugs.  This is another way to keep things presentable! In the spring it will also include one room of curtains.
  4. Make the bed – Let me just stop here and say that this is HUGE to me.  The bed takes up so much of the room.  If it gets completely made with the comforter smoothed out and straightened up, pillows in place, and accent pillows arranged, the whole room takes on the look of being clean!
    bedroom-rearrangement
  5. Clean the bathroom.  I do this as I’m finishing up getting ready.  I actually have a little way that I challenge myself to get it done quickly each day.  Other days I’ll deep clean it, but it generally takes me about three or four minutes to wash out the two sinks, the tub, shower and toilet.  Everything is shiny and smelling clean when I walk out!
  6. Empty the waste baskets.  When I bring the dirty litter out of the laundry room, I immediately empty the trash in the rooms upstairs and set the bag at the top of the steps to go down to the trash can.
  7. Put away any clothes or items that are in the bedroom or bathroom.

With all these things done, when I go downstairs and start my day, the upstairs has been touched and cleaned so that it’s all presentable.  It might be dusty or need a vacuuming, but it’s straightened up and clean!  I love that.

I have another rule of thumb that I say to myself often:

#2 Don’t put it down, put it away. 

This little rule keeps my morning routine much easier.  That way there isn’t a lot of things that are lying here and there that need attention.  That means I immediately put away

  • my jewelry when I take it off
  • my shoes
  • any paper items
  • mail
  • devotional books/prayer journal
  • make up
  • coat

#3 Have a place for everything. bedroom table

I keep all like things together and have a place where they are stored when purchased or not in use.  For instance:

  • Cleaning products
  • Paper products
  • Books
  • Shoes
  • Coats
  • Medicines
  • Extra toiletries
  • Purse

Which of these three rules are the most difficult for you?  Make one little change at a time, if necessary, until you get your house to a place that makes you feel rested.  That’s when you know it’s also presentable, because no one else matters but you and your family!

Refresh your home with three little rules!

denise a

 

 

Cleaning · refreshment at home

The Blessing of Creating a Home Work Schedule

work schedule

Work – too many people associate it as evil.  But to be able to work is really a blessing!

To have

  • something you own that needs to be cleaned
  • the health to get up and work

are two simple reasons to tell God thank you!

Work was created in the Garden of Eden before sin entered the picture.  God works.  We should work.  Our purpose is that it is ordained of God and we should do it for His glory.

There are LOTS of quotes about housework, like Continue reading “The Blessing of Creating a Home Work Schedule”

Cleaning · refreshment at home

Simple Techniques to Keep Your Oven Clean

 
oven 3

Cleaning the oven is probably at the bottom of most of our most-loved chores!  But I have a greater disgust for a dirty oven than I do the chore itself, so I have tried to learn simple techniques to get my oven clean and keep it that way.  My food is going in there, so I want it to be clean and as sparkling as possible.

Here are the tools I use:

Oven 1

That’s right – I don’t use chemicals or sprays.  I simply use a Brillo pad, a razor and rubber gloves.  I might add paper towels to that list, just to be technical.

Here’s the process:

  • I remove the racks to make it easier to clean the inside of the oven.
  • I wet the Brillo pad a little to get it soapy.  I use it to scrub the inside of the door, the sides, the floor and top of the oven wall.s
  • I use a damp paper towel to wipe out the soap.  I can then to assess and see if there’s any dirty residue that needs more scrubbing.
    • If there’s anything baked on the floor of the oven or the door, I use the razor blade to scrap it, then I use the Brillo pad and paper towel to wipe and check.
  • Once the inside is clean, I put the racks back into the oven to clean them.  I don’t have a sink big enough for them to fit into, so this is much easier!
    • I pull one rack at a time out as far as it will go and still stay secure in the oven.  Then I use the Brillo pad to scrub each rung of the rack.  I wipe it with a paper towel.
    • Repeat with other rack(s).
  • Give the whole oven another wipe down with a damp paper towel.
  • Use window cleaner on the front glass, the top of the oven door and the drawer beneath.
  • Hang a clean towel over the door.
  • Stand back and admire!

The real key to a clean oven is taking care of a mess as quickly as possible.  Don’t let several days of splatters and spills accumulate, or you’ll never want to attack it. However, if you’ve neglected it, just do it.  Turn on a good podcast and listen while you scrub away.

Then vow to keep it shining!

oven 3

There are other methods you can try, too, if the oven is a huge mess.

What is your most dreaded household chore?

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Cleaning · home · Home making

Turn Your Household Jobs into Joy!

swiffer cover a.jpg

We often view household chores like a fire breathing dragon waiting to be slain. They’re breathing down our necks and we would like to run, but we know that killing that beast is necessary and needed. I’d like to give you a different perspective of those tasks, because God created our work at home (and outside our home) to be done for His glory. You see, with just one little change, we turn the word

JOB

into

JOY!

So, too, we could make just one little change in our household work and turn it into a joy, rather than a drudgery.

What picture would give us a right view of dusting, laundry, washing dishes and mopping the floor?  How about an artist standing before his canvas!  Let me tell you why.

  • An artist has to have an end in mind.  He has to know what he’s going to have when he’s finished!  Is it a painting of a sea, the mountains or a vast valley?  Is it to be a portrait?
    • As workers, we need to know what our goals are.  What do we want to have accomplished in the end?
  • An artist has to have the right tools.  The right paint brush can put leaves on a tree with a simple stroke, or cover the canvas with the background color needed for a sunset.
    • As workers, we need the right tools to accomplish each job.  It will make it easier and more effective!
  • An artist has to have a time table to complete the work.  He may have a time limit because of the person for whom the work is to be done.  He may have time limits because of the mediums with which he is working.  Clay hardens!  Acrylic paints dry quickly!
    • As workers, we should use our minutes wisely, not wasting time by making the work more difficult, or by distractions.

So, artist, let’s think about our housework and how we can apply these principles!

  1. Tasks 
    1. Each day have a plan as to what needs to be done.  Don’t try to do it all in one day.
    2. Divide the weekly chores into the days of the week.
    3. Write down what you need to do.
      For daily chores, like beds being made and dishes washed and put away, you may want to write that into your goals as well, but not necessarily each day unless it’s not a habit yet.  If you need to get into that habit, write it each day!
      Know what your desire is – should the beds be made right after rising?  Should the dinner dishes be put away before you head to bed?  Seeing chores written down will help you to accomplish them, and then have the satisfaction of checking them off!
  2. Tools
    1. Dusting – Don’t use the nastiest rag you have in the house. Use a cloth you’ll want to see, like a swiffer duster, or a microfiber cloth to dust your home.  Get an extension duster to use on the ceiling fans and behind the headboard of the beds.
      Invest in a dusting spray.  I love the Pledge multi-surface anti-bacterial cleaner. multi surface everyday cleaner antibacterial
      It helps pick up the dust and it leaves everything smelling fresh and clean!
    2. Mopping –  Swiffer mops are my favorite.  I made my own covers for dry mopping and I can wash them and reuse them!  But I do buy the Swiffer brand for wet mopping.  They, too, make the house smell nice and clean!
    3. Cleaning Windows and mirrors and bathrooms – Put your mirror/window cleaner as well as your bathroom cleaners in pretty little spray bottles from the Dollar Tree.  I have several – one in each bathroom, and one in the kitchen ready for use!
      I use my own recipe for windows and mirrors – 50% water 50% white vinegar and a few drops of Dawn Dish Soap.  Shake it up and spray it on!  It works great and doesn’t leave streaks!
    4. A cleaning caddy can carry all your supplies without you having to run from room to room gathering the needed cleaning sprays and cloths. You can buy something similar at the Dollar Tree.
      Clear Tote Caddy - 18
  3. Time
    You don’t have to spend hours cleaning!  As a matter of a fact, you could spend less than 30 minutes a day and get more accomplished than you can imagine, but you have to be diligent.  Here’s how:

    1. Set a timer.  Play a game with yourself (sounds silly, but this works wonders!).  Set a goal to try to accomplish a,b,and c before the timer goes off in, let’s say, 15 or 30 minutes.  It’s amazing what you can accomplish in a short amount of time!
    2. Set aside distractions.  Put your phone in another room, or on vibrate and vow not to touch it until you’re finished!  Turn the television off.  Focus on the work at hand.
    3. Do the least liked job first!  You hate cleaning the oven, but it got splattered from the roasting chicken?  Do it first.  Then you can move on to the easier jobs!

With these three simple ideas, you can complete that work like an artist and you’ll end up with the beauty of a home that no painting could capture!  The audience will be your family and friends.  There’s no embarrassment of people seeing an unfinished project on the easel!  Oh, and the

A JOB can be turned into a JOY
with just one little change.

What change do you need to make in your housework to change it into a joy?

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Cleaning · How-to Video

My Daily Kitchen Cleaning Routine

Not many care to have to scrub and scour by the hour!  The remedy to that is to keep on top of chores so it doesn’t take long.  If you let the counters in the kitchen pile high before you get to un-cluttering for Thanksgiving, you’re going to be working much longer than if you clear it off at the end of each day.

Here are a few tasks that I do every day after I finish cooking:

  • Wipe down all the counters with warm, soapy water
  • Wipe out the microwave
  • Use window cleaner on the microwave, stove top, oven door, refrigerator, trash can and dishwasher
  • Wipe out the sinks
  • Empty the dishwasher and dish drainer
  • Sweep the rugs

These tasks are complete in about 15 minutes, and the kitchen is clean when we get up in the morning and start the process of cooking and cleaning all over again!

What about your kitchen is most bothersome and hard to keep clean?

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