Sunday, March 23, 2014

It's SPRING & I have a printable for you!

Time for the daffodils to pop up, baseball to kick into gear, the birds to come back North, and an old, dreaded chore.

Spring cleaning.  

I typically bust out top to bottom kind of cleaning in one 12 hour spurt, but when it comes to Spring cleaning, I take my time, go corner to corner, top to bottom in each room and declutter as I go, so I thought I'd share some things that may help you!

We just got back from Florida where we spent some time with my in laws on the East Coast and then went to the West Coast to the Phillies Spring Training.  Well, the huz did.  The St. Patrick's Day game we had tickets for was rained out, and we only had tickets for one other game the day before we were leaving, so  I stayed on the beach. Then this happened.

If you don't know who this is, it's only my favorite-ist baseball player EVER - Chase Utley.  Of course I decided to stay on the beach that day.  He NEVER greets the fans.  I missed out big time.

So, we spent this time in a house that was so clean and always smelled so good and then in a hotel room that was cleaned for us each day.  When we came home to our house that's been closed up for the last 180 days or so, it was 60°, so I decided it was time for our house to get buffed up.  That, and I really, really want  to move back to Florida, so why not get the house Realtor ready?

I mean, this is just the Sunshine State calling me back right here!

I had just done a pretty big clean not long ago, so luckily I didn't have to go too crazy to get started.  I started in the kitchen.  In that last big clean, I had already purged the junk drawer (and even got one of those fancy junk drawer organizers!), cleaned the inside of the fridge (still need to clean the freezer and the coils, though), and washed any soft window coverings.

Since this was really just deep cleaning all of the surfaces, I mixed up some all purpose cleaner in a spray bottle.  I had to first BUY a spray bottle, and as I searched Target, I was not happy because all I had found was a $7.00 spray bottle in the cleaning section.  Seriously, who pays $7 for a spray bottle?  It took me a while to find them on the cheap - in the garden section. There they were a whopping $1.99 and has measurements on the side to make mixing this Tea Tree Solution (we'll call this TTS) really easy.  Just make sure you get a dark bottle, preferably not plastic so that the oil doesn't become oxidized and that you store it in a cool, dark place.

Tea Tree Solution:
16 ounces hot water
2 T Dr. Bronner's liquid castile (I buy unscented, but you can use whatever you like)
20 drops tea tree oil
*Tea Tree oil is a fantastic anti-everything bad 

The cupboards, counters, everything that sits on the counters, appliances, sink, faucet, you name it. Everything got sprayed and wiped down. Then, I sprayed a little on the grout in the tile floor so that it could sit while I got everything put together to mop. I probably should have done the whole 2 parts baking soda to one part water paste to scrub the grout, but I decided to wait until I can seal the grout too.

For mopping, I mixed up:
Half a bucket (however much that is!) of hot water
1 C white vinegar
2 T liquid castile
20 drops tea tree oil
20 drops lemongrass oil

One bucket is enough to do multiple rooms, usually, but for Spring Cleaning purposes, I actually used one bucket in the kitchen and mixed up another to do the laundry room and bathroom which are both happily shining and smelling good now too.  I will say, our kitchen tile is dark, so it left some haze.  You could rinse it, but I just used my steam mop over it and that shined it right up.  I didn't notice anything other than a clean squeak in the laundry room or bathroom which both have linoleum (for now - another project, coming soon!)

I just have to say... My house smells AHHHHMAZING - and I have only cleaned three rooms so far!

I've moved from things like PineSol and bleach sprays to Meyers to making my own cleaner - and my mop has NEVER been so dirty and my floors have never been so clean.  It's an investment up front, but you use so little of the Castile and essential oils that they will last forever - and vinegar is cheap.  Try it out!

And just for stopping by, here's a little (six page long) Spring Cleaning Guide for you - just click on the picture below to open and save or print.  I love having a good list to mark things off as I go, and since there's so much to do with a BIG clean, I thought I'd share what I had put together for myself.  Enjoy!

Oh -and if anyone wants to come visit, you should do it like RIGHT NOW!

Linked up at Suburbs Mama and DIY Showoff

Monday, March 10, 2014

My new obsession.

Winter has had me down in the dumps.  I have no creativity flowing, no new ideas popping up.  The only thing I can think about is that I want to move back to where this can be my view any time I want.

Instead of this.

Yep.  I lived in Florida once before, loved it, then we got smacked with two hurricanes two weeks apart 10 years ago and it sent me running for the hills.  I'm over that PTSD and ready to live with 80° and 110% humidity again.  

I get that Spring is coming, but even the 60° days we've had lately haven't really touched that white stuff.  I love the beauty of the seasons, but this Winter stuff is for the birds!  

Wait, no, even they fly South for the Winter!

I also get that there's a very, very good chance that Florida will someday experience hurricanes again. But I don't even care. That hasn't kept me from looking at real estate online, at all.

The good news is that I'll be there in just a few, short days!!

So what has gotten you through the bitter cold and snowstorm after snowstorm we've had pretty much everywhere BUT Florida this year?
Pin It button on image hover