Cleaning · refreshment at home · summertime

Back Porch Refresh

Now that things are warming up, we are spending more time on our back porch once again. This is an outdoor room that we just love and use a LOT! But like every other room, it needed a spring cleaning! I was amazed at how much better everything looked after I scrubbed down every inch of this space. Not sure why I’d never considered the need for a deep spring cleaning out there! Oh, I always wiped down the tables and wash the linens, but it needed lots more!

The rug and the concrete nearly sparkle now, but they were caked with dried worms and debris!
  • First I pulled everything out of this space except for the swing.
  • Using the hose, I gave the concrete slab a cleaning, using the spray nozzle on high. I had to go over it several times to remove all the dried worms (!), and bird mess!
  • Using soapy water, I washed down all the chairs, the swing, the posts on the porch, and the siding on the house.
  • I sprayed both sides of the outdoor rug. It looks brand new (see picture below). These outdoor rugs are worth the price! They really take the weather and all the elements well! I got mine at Lowe’s.
  • The glass door was washed.
  • All the summer toys were inspected, and then either put back in place or were pitched to be replaced.
  • My swing cushion is on its way to the laundry mat this week.
  • I added annuals to my containers.

Everything looks and feels so clean and inviting! I only wish I had taken a before photo, but I hope that my “after” pictures will inspire you to scrub down your porches, too!

I am looking to replace the cushions on my furniture. We store them away during the winter, but they have a weird feeling that doesn’t wipe off. Do you have outdoor cushions that you love? I’d be so thankful for your suggestions!

Later this week my front porch will get the same treatment! Do you need to refresh your porches for summertime?

Cleaning · spring cleaning

Cleaning Upholstered Furniture

Spring cleaning is so rewarding! However, if you want to ruin the look of that freshly cleaned room, just neglect a dirty piece of furniture! A stain that’s obvious, a grimy arm on a chair or an ottoman can make us cringe. How do I know? I have an off-white ottoman in my bathroom that got a water spot on it. In an attempt to fix it, I did a little dabbing at it, which only increased the size of the already noticeable stain!

See the dark spot on the left? Yeah, me, too!

HELP!

I went searching for a way to clean it and I found a method that promised me a clean surface if I followed this process, step-by-step. Guess what? It worked!

Tide Simply Oxi, Sparkling water, and vinegar and warm water were my products.
  1. Using a spray bottle, I sprayed the entire surface with warm tap water.
  2. I put 4 parts water to one part stain remover into a spray bottle and sprayed a small surface at a time, rubbing in a gentle circular motion with a white cotton cloth. (If you’re cleaning a colored fabric, I would test a hidden area before cleaning)
  3. Into a spray bottle, I added 1 cup sparkling water and 1/2 cup white vinegar and sprayed the surface of the fabric. The vinegar breaks down the soapy particles and the carbonation in the sparkling water will bring it to the surface, as well as any deeper dirt. I Gently scrubbed the fabric again until the rags stopped pulling dirt from the surface. The sparkling water works wonders!
The finished ottoman, still wet from cleaning.
So clean!

I’m so glad I took the time to address the stain! I had been hiding it under a throw, but now, I can keep it cleared off and show off it’s beauty!

What piece of furniture comes to your mind as you read this post? I hope you’ll try this method!

Refresh your soiled upholstery with a good spring cleaning!

organization · refreshment at home · spring cleaning

Mini Mudroom in the Garage

When your garage is messy a disaster and needs some good organization and then you see that your neighbor is giving away a lovely piece of furniture that would make the perfect mini-mudroom, you slam on the brakes and go get that piece of furniture! That’s exactly what happened to us last weekend!

Garages easily become catch-all’s for everything that you don’t know what to do with or don’t need anymore (can I get a witness?!). Over the winter months, our garage got Out. Of. Hand. Now with this beautiful piece of furniture in tow, I decided to use it to make a mud room of sorts. It will be a place where shoes can be slipped on and off, and also used for some extra storage space for the thing my husband needs more room for – his books. I failed to take a picture before we moved the piece in, but here it is just piled up and not yet organized.

I’m married to a sentimental guy. He likes to hold onto things that were his from long ago, his parents’ possessions and maybe even his grandparents’. That means an old cell phone from his mom, a CD player/Boom Box, a ton of CD’s (you know what those are, right? Ha!), letters, and year books are treasures to him. I wanted to help organize his belongings, not really toss them, so that was part of my task in this garage clean-up job. I made a place for his mom’s CD player (and have it plugged in and accessible) and also found storage for the CD’s. I also made a place for his shoes when he comes in, as well as space for some car accessories, yard games and fire pit tools.

Since we always come in through the garage, I like to make it inviting. A wreath, a cute greeting on the door say, “Welcome Home!” If you’re going to hang art work in your garage, why not hang up a picture of a cool, old truck?! A young man at our church gave that to my husband a few years ago.

I also added a tin for bats, balls and other toys so that my grandsons could easily access them. The aqua cushion on the furniture was one I had already and wasn’t using anymore. Now it’s providing a soft place to sit down and lace up shoes!

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I love that this new space cost me $0, thanks to kind neighbors who needed to unload a piece of furniture. If you have a garage that could use some organization, why not look on Facebook Marketplace? People are often selling pieces like this one for little to nothing, or maybe you’ll be blessed with a free piece like I was!

What could you do to create an inviting space in your garage or car port? Sometimes just adding a wreath and a pretty rug can transform the garage from just a place for the car to a place that welcomes you home!

Refresh your garage with a little spring spruce up!

home · Home decor · Home Landscaping · Outside decor · seasonal decor

Refresh Your Porches for Spring

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It’s springtime!! Woo hoo!! It’s time to clean off the porches so they’re ready to greet your family and friends.  After a long winter, they need some good overhaul to be fresh and inviting!  Here’s what I do:

  1. Sweep off the whole area – porch, steps, and driveway.
  2. Dust the corners, and wipe down any furniture on the porch.
  3. Clean the glass door with glass cleaner. Do it when the sun isn’t shining on it – that will help prevent streaks.
  4. Look at your door mat.  If it looks weary, tired and dirty, replace it with a fresh, spring-y rug.
  5. Add a spring wreath.
  6. Add a little touch of something green.
  7. Add a garden flag or stepping stone

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One thing I love to do in spring and summer is walk through the garden area at Lowe’s!  I get so excited about adding flowers, herbs and all things green to my yard when it turns warm!  Though it is the time to get the front porch in shape, NOW is NOT the time to add annuals because we’re still dealing with dipping temperatures.

Remember that even if you don’t come in your front door, that’s what your guests will see first, so let it give them a grand welcome!

What will you do to make your porch inviting?

Denise Signature 150 px