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Category: Homekeeping (Page 1 of 21)

Spring Cleaning ~ The Master Bedroom

I will be working on the main cleaning of the Master Bedroom today. If you’d like to make your own cleaning solutions, you can find my recipes here.

Here is how I clean my bedroom.

First I take everything out of the bedroom that doesn’t belong in there.  
Next, I ……

Clean off tables, organize drawers and storage containers that will stay in the room.

Fold up and hang up all clothing and put it away.

Take down pictures and put all the doo-dads in a box, take it out of the room for now.

Take up the rugs. Shake them out and wash them.

Put the curtains in to wash. If yours are not washable. you can take them down and shake them outside.

Sweep down the ceiling, walls, window frames and door frames. I use a soft tool made for this or pin a soft, old t-shirt or dishtowel over my broom and use that. Take care with textured ceilings.

After I’ve dusted, I’m ready to clean. I start with the walls and window frames and work from the bottom to the top so that the cleaning water doesn’t stain the walls as it drips. I wash down the walls, window and door frames then clean the baseboards.

Next, I give the floor a good sweep or vacuum.

Mop the floor.

Now I’m ready to clean mirrors, pictures, doo-dads and nic nacs.

I clean and polish all the wood furniture, next.

Return all the doo-dads, mirrors, pictures and nicnacs to their places.

Rehang the curtains.

Change the bed linens, make the bed.

Replace rugs.

That’s it! It takes me about an hour and a half to get it all done.

Spring Cleaning 2022 – The Living Room

living room

Here are the step by step instructions for some deep cleaning in the living room. If your living room doesn’t need a deep cleaning, just be very thankful and use the Living Room Cleaning System listed later on this page!

Be sure to check out Karen’s video: Extreme Living Room Cleaning! And be sure to subscribe to her channel.

Here are a few links to go along with Cleaning the Living Room

Getting Control Of Magazines, Books and Paper in the Living Room

Decluttering The Living Room

How To Clean Baseboards, Floors and Upholstered Furniture

Deep Cleaning The Living Room

The living room or den is the room where a family does most of daily hanging out. It’s a busy room, usually second only to the kitchen and takes a lot of wear and tear. So, it can usually stand a good cleaning any time you want to give it one.

Begin by picking up the room and using your 4 bags/boxes/baskets like we did in the master bedroom. Get everything out of this room that doesn’t belong. Sometimes I place personal belongings in a basket and tell the children to come get their things in the next ten minutes or the things are leaving home

Make a pan of hot soapy water or use the kitchen sink.

Once you get the room emptied of stuff that doesn’t belong, take up nicnacs and decorative items.

Clean and wash picture frames and nicnacs, set them out to dry.

Take down the curtains and take up the rugs, wash them if possible or hang them out to air.

Take up tablecloths, doilies, all fabric coverings and pillows; wash and dry if you can or air dry.

Wash down the door frames, window frames, baseboards, all woodwork, ceilings and ceiling fans.

Wash windows

Clean off shelves, rearrange books, wipe down the shelves while they are empty.

Clean up work areas. Organize work materials.

Organize movies, cds and dvds, organize the whole tv/entertainment area

Dust all furniture, polish if needed

Move out furniture if possible, if not just clean around and under as best you can.

Vacuum upholstered furniture

Vacuum floors, sweep and mop, polish wood floors

Replace rugs and curtains

Replace furniture covers if using and pillows

Arrange magazines, papers, books that don’t have a shelf. A basket might be nice, or simply stack them up neatly.

Replace nicnacs and pictures…. do you need them all in this room?

Light some candles and relax!

Tidy Idies for the Living Room:

If you allow toys in the living room, store them in an attractive basket.
Provide a basket for newspapers and magazines.
Consider getting rid of some of the usual living room nic-nacs… fewer nic-nacs means less dusting…
If you will go through the living room each day and straighten the rug, straighten the sofa and chairs, the whole room will look better.

You can make a Room Cleaning System for the Living Room. Tape it in an inconspicuous place or in a notebook and refer to it when its time to clean. If you follow your Room Cleaning System every day or even once a week, the Living Room will be easier to keep clean and tidy. 

A Sample Living Room Cleaning System

Pick up everything that does not belong in the Living Room and place in a basket. Call family members to come get their things.

Pick up everything from the floor that doesn’t belong, papers, books, etc. Put those items away.

Gather supplies: clean cloths, furniture polish, cleaner solution, broom, mop, vacuum

Dust all shelves, books, nic-nacs and furniture.

Vacuum upholstered furniture, fluff pillows

Sweep floors, mop or vacuum

Cleaning Baseboards, Floors and Upholstery In The Living Room

Upholstered furniture usually needs a good vacuuming. Start by removing all the cushions and vacuuming all down in the cracks and crevices, then vacuum all the cushions and surfaces of the furniture.

Replace all the cushions. Mix up some of this cleaner and test for color-fastness in a hidden area.Let the soap dry and if there is no fading or shrinking, go ahead and use this soap. Or just go buy something you have used and like.

Upholstery Cleaner

Add 1/4 c. laundry detergent or liquid dish detergent to 1 c. warm water. Blend with a hand mixer until the mixture is dry and forms peaks just like whipped cream.

With a scrub brush, apply some of the soap and rub it in. You will immediately see dirt forming in the bubbles. Next, take a spatula and scrape the soap off the upholstery. Blot the upholstery with a clean cloth. Don’t add extra water, you could soak your furniture and get it too wet to dry properly.

Allow the furniture to dry over night. You can position a fan to blow on the furniture to help it dry.

Baseboards and Floors

Here are some tips for cleaning baseboards:

Vacuum the baseboards using a soft brush attachment.

Protect your floors if you have carpet.

If your baseboards are not painted, like the one in this picture, then be very careful about applying water. Just use a very lightly damp cloth.

If your baseboards are painted however, you can use a toothbrush to scrub the hard to clean areas on top of the baseboard and at the bottom next to the floor, Give it a good wipe down once you’ve scrubbed and then dry the baseboard with a soft cloth.


If you have carpet you know whether or not they need cleaning. I won’t go into how to clean carpet. You are aware of how your own carpet needs to be cleaned.

If you have tile, laminate or wood, then let’s get mopping!

First sweep the floor, including under all the furniture. Next, Give your floor a good dusting. If you don’t have a dust mop, then attach a clean dish towel to your broom and go over the whole floor.

Now you’re ready for mopping. Mix up your cleaning solution. Use one of my Homemade Natural Cleaners if desired, and get to mopping!  You might not have a mop… so use a kitchen towel or cloth of some kind.

Any questions?

De-Cluttering The Living Room

The living room (or family room) should be a place where the family can gather and be comfortable and relaxed.
Often, with all the traffic that rushes through it, it becomes more of a “road hazard” than anything else.living_room

We tend to leave things lying around, such as mail, magazines, games, video cases, etc.
Often, the coffee table is even used as a dining table.

To get us started:

*Evaluate the situation. What’s working in this room? What’s driving you nuts? What changes would you like to make? What goals do you have for this room? How can you attain these goals? (And, are they attainable at all?)
Make sure the goals you set are realistic. Don’t set yourself up for failure.
It’s often good to make a series of goals; short, medium, and long-term.

Deal with clutter and misplaced items as you go. Keep a basket handy and place all items that need to go to another room (or be thrown out, donated) in it.
Take a little time each day (or several times a week) to deal with clutter as it happens. Don’t let it build up. The children can help with this too!
Even 10 minutes a day can make a huge difference.

*Do you need to remove clutter from your end tables or coffee table? What do you have on them/in them? Why is it there?

*Do you have storage issues? If so, try to think in terms of “decorative storage” and get creative! Usually items that need to be dealt with in this room are cd’s, dvd’s videos and books. You can use anything from store bought containers and baskets, to decorated boxes, or even furniture pieces (such as and old pie safe for dvd’s) to organize these items. An old cedar chest makes a great storage area for blankets, and can be used as a coffee table as well.
~If you have any creative solutions we’d love for you to share them with us in this thread!

*Stereo/TV/Entertainment center.
Do you need to tidy this area up? Do you have movies and video games everywhere?
Would making a movie inventory be something useful for your family?

Is your computer in this room? Take a few moments to organize your computer desk. Clean your keyboard. (Compressed air is great for dusting off/out your computer).
Wipe down your monitor screen. (I use a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water).

Do you need to dust off any books? Book cases? Shelves? Is it time to re-organize these shelves? Donate some unused books?

A few last tidbits to keep in mind…
~Deal with clutter as you go.
~Clean underneath everything! Furniture, tables, etc.
~Take the opportunity to listen to some music as you work!
~You can also light some scented candles or place some potpourri around to make your living area more relaxing and inviting.
~If you have a magazine holder in this room, take this opportunity to go through it. Organize. Discard/donate any magazines you no longer want. Make the ones you do want to keep more accessible, so you’ll actually look at them!
~Keep your lifestyle in mind! Every home is different. For instance, a home with pets or children will be organized, decorated and kept differently than a home without them.
~Magazines a problem? Tear out the pages you want to keep and make binders/idea books out of them. Recycle the rest.

Get Control Of Magazines, Papers and Books in The Living Room – with checklist

Any room can turn into the depository for books, papers, projects, games and personal items. Here is a little help for you about how to get serious about organizing and purging books, magazines, papers and video games. Did I just say purge …. books?  Nah, couldn’t be.

You can apply these ideas to any area of your home that is overrun by papers, books and magazines…..

There are many of us out there who just can’t say “NO” to a book. I really like books. We have fewer right now than we’ve ever had though because about 3 years ago I purged the books and gave away and sold several hundred.  Yes, that many.

As a family whose children are educated at home, we have always bought lots of books. Even before the children were born my husband and I loved books. So I am as big a culprit as you could ever be when it comes to hanging on to books. But the truth is, not all books need to be held on to, some need be passed along to be used again and some just simply need to die a quiet death.

The main books I was able to get rid of where outdated school or technical books, easy books for small children, torn and partially destroyed books that had no other value, redundant books where I already had another good book that covered the same topic and books that were just badly written and I ended up with them.  So I got rid of lots of books and now have just what will fill my bookshelves in the Living Room. How big are my bookshelves?  They cover part of one wall ceiling to floor. About 100 square feet of shelf space. I know, that’s still a lot of books.

While you’re in there purging books don’t forget to dust the books you keep and dust any bookshelves you may have. Also be sure to clean underneath bookshelves and dust that very top shelf.

The other things that we are working on today are magazines, papers and video games. Those might be your real areas of struggle. And we’re going to whip them all into shape today! Here are a few tips about magazines and papers

Don’t try to keep every magazine you own. If you have lots of magazines that you just want to get rid of, consider donating them to a local library or hospital. If an article or recipe is worth keeping, its worth organizing. Cut out what you want to keep from the magazine and then use an accordion file or notebook with pockets to keep the cut out items. You can even use a photo album to mount articles, pictures and recipes that you save from magazines. If you truly must save a whole magazine how about buying or making magazine holders so that they can all be stored together on a bookshelf? Here is a picture of magazine holders. The first are purchased holders, the second are fashioned from cereal boxes.

Organizing papers can be extremely frustrating. However, if you take the time to organize your papers and create a usable, easy system for keeping,sorting and storing papers, it will be easy to keep up the routine and the papers won’t overwhelm you.

Start by sorting through all the papers. Make piles of papers that are alike, for example; bills, correspondence, important papers to keep like insurance company letters, receipts, deposit slips, bank statements. Now look for some containers to keep those papers in. I like accordion folders. They don’t take up much space but will grow with your collection of papers, plus they usually come with labels.

Go ahead and take the time to label your container, whatever you decide to use, and put your papers in it. Make it a habit of going through mail as soon as it arrives, or as soon as you see it, and discarding junk mail. Don’t keep junk mail for one minute unless you’re using it to stoke your fireplace in the winter. Keep your file where it can be accessed easily and help your spous learn to use it while you learn to use it too.

Clean off your paper jungle areas in your living room today and get yourself a simple, straight-forward filing system going.

On to the video games …….

UGH. I would like to stop right here. I know how messy video game consoles and games can be in the living room. I finally had to have a cabinet made just for the games and movies. One the bottom shelf I have shoe box size plastic boxes that hold extra controllers, odd shaped games and other components. There is a place on that shelf for the game consoles as well. Do they stay there?  No. But there is a place for them.

So organize your games and movies today and tell us how you are taming the video game space eater at your house! Let me know how you’re doing.

Caring For Wooden Utensils

I know I know … wooden spoons and the like are cheapo. I could buy a new set every month. But I like my wooden spoons that I’ve had since we were married. 42 years y’all. 

I’ve broken one over the years and warped one pretty good from stirring. One has a burn mark, which I’m pretty sure was achieved the first year I had them in our first apartment.

They were made in the U.S. which isn’t totally necessary but I like that.

My girls probably won’t want them, they’re a whole lot more practical than I am, not nearly as sentimental as me. I don’t know what happened to me to make me like that. 🤣  It’s just me.  So I plan on using them up and to do that they need to be cared for.

An important thing you should remember about wooden utensils is NOT to run them through the dishwasher. It won’t ruin them but it will weaken them over the years. It water-logs them and they might not ever get really dry if you keep running them through the dishwasher. That could lead to them being weakened and breaking or to bacteria and mold growth.

I wash them off and even scrub them after use. I sometimes dip them in water with some peroxide in it and then air dry then to sanitize them if needed, after washing.

Let them dry thoroughly before storing them.  overnight is best, maybe even all day the next day too.

If you happen to have a utensil that is black with age and water damage, sometimes the best thing is to take a small sharp knife and scrape it along the grain, gently, to remove all the black. Don’t actually cut the wood, though.  Then sand it.

About once a year I sand them all and oil them. Be sure they are completely dry when you sand them. If you sand them while they’re damp the wood is soft and can be damaged and misshapen.

I use a rough grit sand paper, usually 120 and then a finer grit, usually 220. After they’re sanded really well I wipe them down with a clean cloth and get all the sawdust off. You could use a tack cloth for this.

Then I apply a good oil like avocado or coconut oil. I rub in the oil really well, let it sit and soak in over night and then polish the utensils to a shine with a clean cloth. This takes some time, so just get your tools together, sit at a well-lighted table and enjoy the work.

The oil coating keeps moisture out of the wood and keeps them looking good. They can be as smooth or rough looking as you want them to be. The idea isn’t to make them look new, but to keep them in good shape for using. I think there is a beauty in that. 

I know it’s more trouble than most people want to go to but I like old things and the durability of a tried and true tool. I also like the idea of using things til they can’t be used any more. 

Cleaning The Bathroom


The master bath or family bath, children’s bath or guest bath….matters not to me. Which ever one needs your attention the most. We just have one so I guess that’s where I’ll be cleaning today!

So don your bleach wear and let’s get busy in the bathroom. At least wear some socks so you won’t track up the floor when you’re washing it.

This is one room where you will really use those natural cleaners you’ve been making!

First Things:
Pick up the room. Take out all dirty laundry and towels.

Take down the shower curtain. Put the plastic one in to wash.

Wash the cloth one if you have one. (Remember what I said earlier in the week about taking care to read your labels and only wash things that are supposed to be washed.)

Take down curtains. Prepare them to wash or just air them outside.

Take out the trash, fill the trash can with cleaner and water to soak of needed, if not give it a quick rinse and set it outside to air while you clean.

Second Things:
Get yourself a box or basket. Pick up all the nicnacs, soaps, lotions, etc that are sitting on the counter-top and tub, put them in the basket.

Sweep the floor, shake out rugs and take them to the laundry or air outside.

Use your natural cleaner and spray the tub and sink and commode to let it sit a while.

If you use commode cleaner of some kind, go ahead and put some in the commode to let it soak. A good natural cleaner for the commode is borax.

Pull everything out of the linen closet and under the sink area. Go through it carefully and throw away what is out of date or old or unused. Find yourself some storage containers like baskets or small plastic trays to keep your bathroom items in. Try using a medium sized basket to put blow-dryers, curling irons, etc, in.

Take everything out of the medicine cabinet too and go through it ruthlessly! Throw stuff away that is expired and truly useless.

Put your linens out on the dining room table while you work.

Make yourself a sink of hot soapy water or hot water with your cleaner of choice in it. Get your rags ready.

Now the Nitty Gritty Cleaning!

Wash the inside of the cabinets and shelves in the linen closet. This is a good time to line them! Don’t forget the floor of the closet. Refold the linens and replace them in the closet. Consider spraying them with some nice lavender water or other light scent.

Wash out the medicine cabinet.

Wash down walls and window frames, door frames and tile if you have it.

Take down blinds if they are dirty and soak them in the tub in warm water and dish soap while you clean.

Wash the ceiling if it needs it.

Wash the walls. Use caution if your walls are papered or painted, be gentle.

Wash the baseboards or the area where the floor and wall meet.

Scrub the tub if you’re not using it to soak the blinds. If you are, just wait on this. A scotch brite is great for cleaning the tub if your tub is not resurfaced porcelain.

Scrub the counter tops, commode tank and outside of the commode.

Scrub the floor.

Scrub the shower. Don’t forget the walls of the shower or tub area.

Change your wash water if needed.

Scrub your blinds with a brush, rinse them and take them outside to dry while you clean the tub, inside and out.

Wash the windows and mirrors using glass cleaner.

Wipe down shelves and inside cabinets, cabinet tops.

Wash the sink.

If you are going to disinfect, this is the time to do it. If you’ve been using a disinfectant cleaner, you can skip this part. If you have been using a cleaner that does not disinfect, you can use rubbing alcohol or one of the antibacterial sprays.

I periodically use bleach all over my floor because I have tile with grout that gets yellowed. I open the window and pour bleach over the grout, spread it with my sponge mop, close the door and let it sit for about 20 minutes.
Then I go in and mop it up with water and dry it with a towel.

Here is a tip about getting rid of mold from this web site:
The Good Human – Kill Mold Naturally

“You can use Borax and white vinegar to make a spray that you can aim directly at the mold in the tub or shower. Once you spray it, leave it to sit for 30-60 minutes and then go back in and wipe it off. Presto, the mold will start coming off and you did not have to inhale toxic chemicals to do so. Just mix about 2 ounces of Borax and a cup of white vinegar and you are ready to go.

As a back up and a maintenance tip, you can also periodically spray the moldy “areas” with straight vinegar and just let it sit there and soak in. The vinegar will kill the mold that might be growing and it will halt the growth of new mold.”

Please be careful if you use bleach.. Don’t let me hear that you have mixed bleach with other household chemicals and cleaners!

Get your rugs washed and dried and back in the room.

Replace your nicnacs and notions, lotions, potions. Wash the bottles with a cleaning rag before putting them up.

Rehang the shower curtains, rehang window curtains.

Light a candle and just look at that clean bathroom!

How I Decorate My Home and A Link

I have always enjoyed decorating my home for the seasons and I’ve used whatever I had on hand.  I sometimes pick up stuff at Goodwill or the Dollar Tree for decorating too but I change it around a lot to suit me.

Recently I found a lady and her business right after my own heart!  Her name is Barbara and her site is The Shabby Tree.  I follow her on Facebook and Instagram.  The Shabby Tree is a boutique store but I follow Barbara because she has a new video every day with tips, ideas and how-tos. She has great ideas for decorating and they’re budget-wise. And she seems to be just the sweetest, friendliest lady!

Check her out!  She was the inspiration for me to use my silver platter for this arrangement today:

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