Spring Clean

Posted by Rebecca

Monday is April 1st.  Many of us like to feel a fresh new start for the upcoming warmer months.  So that often translates into a good spring cleaning.  Clear out the clutter and cob webs, and make your home fresh and new.

Last autumn we did the 8 week home cure, found in the book: Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure.  This 8 week home make-over is the perfect guideline for a good deep clean.

Use these posts as general suggestions, or as a step-by-step recipe for the perfect spring clean:

Week/Part 1

Week/Part 2

Week/Part 3

Week/Part 4

Week/Part 5

Week/Part 6

Week/Part 7

Week/Part 8

Happy cleaning/organizing/purging.  🙂

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Home Sweet Home – These great contemporary handmade cards are available at modernoptic’s Etsy store. Click on the photo to see more!

Rebecca Knabe

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The Eight-Week Home Cure – The End of Week 8

Posted by Rebecca

A couple of weeks have gone by.  They’ve been busy ones!  I caught a cold, had a visit from my childhood friend, Dannica, and suffered (not really) through a big wind and rain storm, among many other things.  One thing that did not keep me busy, however, was my Week 8 tasks.  I’m a slacker.  I admit it.

Week Eight:

Vacuum your entire home and clean all windows, inside and out if possible.  Vacuum, yes.  Windows, no.  But I really do need to do this.  However, the grime, dust, street pollution stuck to my windows adds a little privacy in my tight living quarters.  The neighbors are hard pressed to successfully see what I’m doing with all that gunk on the glass.  Hmmmmm, maybe I’ll keep it that way….

Do a final purge and empty the Outbox.  I did a small purge and off-loaded a few items.  But my outbox seems to be a revolving door.  I’m always sticking something in there.  Like last night.  I bought a pretty new alarm clock this weekend, and put the old, ugly digital one in the outbox.  I’m going to keep it in the outbox for a while and not get rid of it quite yet, because, lo and behold, I found out this morning my pretty clock doesn’t have a snooze button.  Oh the humanity!!  I’m not sure I can live with this.

Remove your shoes when at home.  I’m Canadian, and that’s just what we do.  Always.

Buy fresh flowers.  Duh.  😉

Cook and eat at home, plan the week ahead, and wake early for a bath.  I’m good at cooking and eating at home.  Sometimes my “cooking” is no more than microwaving nachos, and sometimes it involves chopping, peeling, sauteing, braising, and seasoning.  I have a general idea of my plan for the week.  But it does not involve an early bath.

Thanks for bearing with me through 8 (ok, 9) weeks of the Home Cure.  I got a lot of great feedback from those who loved the weekly guidelines for organizing your life.  I also got feedback (from my brother) that it was time for the Cure to be over, and regular blogging to resume.  I’ve seen my brother’s dorm room before.  I know he would benefit from the Cure more than anyone I know.  But like they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it downsize, organize, clean, and tidy its tiny place.  Or something like that.

Liam

My messy brother and I.

Rebecca Knabe

The Eight-Week Home Cure – Week 8

Posted by Rebecca

The final week of the Cure!  It’s probably a busy week for everyone, whether or not you observe the holiday.  So let’s give Week 8 two weeks to complete.

Week Eight:

Vacuum your entire home and clean all windows, inside and out if possible.  You have, by now, cleaned every room in your home thoroughly and removed dust and dirt down to a level that your home may not have seen since you moved in.  How does it feel?  Does the air in your home feel more alive and vital?  Do you have more energy by living in a cleaner environment?  Do things look a little different?  Another vacuum and dusting will complete the process.  And sparkling windows will be the icing on the cake!

Do a final purge and empty the Outbox.  It is liberating to experience freedom from your stuff.  Distribute the final items in your Outbox to their best destinations.

Remove your shoes when at home.  Try taking your shoes off and placing them at the door this week.  It’s a good habit to get into.  It acknowledges the separation between the outside world and the inside of your home, it’s easier on your floors, and it keeps your home cleaner.

Buy fresh flowers.  Duh.  😉

Cook and eat at home, plan the week ahead, and wake early for a bath.  These activities connect you with your home, organize your daily life, and balance your day.

The final week is a little lighter than the other weeks, but try to keep up the momentum of living your life in your home, and keeping it clean and free from clutter, allergens, and unnecessary stuff.

Rebecca Knabe

P.S. All the directions for The Eight-Step Home Cure are taken from the Apartment Therapy book by the same name. And you can get your very own copy here…. Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure

The Eight-Week Home Cure – The End of Week 7

Posted by Rebecca

Did you get some sleep this week?  Sleep was not my friend this week, but that’s another story.

Week Seven:

Clean the bedroom and related storage.  I was a slacker this week….  😦  Actually I was out-of-town for most of the week, and then had an unexpected guest over the weekend.  So this chore is on my to-do list.

Buy an air filter for your bedroom.  I found several smallish air filters on Amazon this week, many priced below $100.  My new infrared heater comes equipped with an air filter, and my vacuum cleaner has an anti-allergen air filter, but I think I would still like to get a small one that I can place close to the head of my bed.

Buy new sheets, pad, or mattress as needed.  I do not need any of these items.  I currently have as many sheets as I have room to store, and my mattress is about 5 years old and still going strong.

Declutter your bedroom.  My bedroom is so small, I don’t have the room to store anything in sight, and I have no electronics in my room.  I’m an anti-TV-in-the-bedroom girl as it is.

Arrange the bed against the best wall.  Unfortunately I only have one option for the bed location in my bedroom.  Fortunately it is a good location and my feet face both the outside door and the hall.

Make sure your bedroom inspires you.  All of my bedroom lights are already on a dimmer, and I have added “pretty alarm clock” to my shopping list.  And when I get my mini room makeover that I have planned, I feel my bedroom will be very inspiring, relaxing, and lovely.

Look into ways to improve your sleep.  My bedroom is dark at night, and I sleep with a fan to drown outside noise.  I have also purchased a homeopathic sleep aid, but have not tried it yet.  I plan to start tonight.  I have on-going sleep issues, but don’t like taking anything prescription.  Melatonin on its own does not work for me, so I’m looking elsewhere.  We’ll see….

Rebecca Knabe

The Eight-Week Home Cure – Week 7

Posted by Rebecca

Last week was all about pampering, this week is all about sleep.  Yay for sleep!!

Week Seven:

Clean the bedroom and related storage.  The bedroom is the most important room in your home.  It is where you will spend the most time, and it is where your health will be most directly affected if you don’t sleep well.  This cleaning is meant to get rid of deep-down dust and allergens that can make you stuffy and restless at night.  Wash your bedding, clean under the furniture, inside drawers, and in the far corners of the closets.  Wipe all surfaces of the room.  Flip your mattress.

Buy an air filter for your bedroom.  With the tremendous amount of time that we spend sleeping, the bedroom is the most important place to have an air purifier.  If you don’t already have one, buy a small one this week.  If the noise bothers you, only run it during the day.

Buy new sheets, pad, or mattress as needed.  Good bedding in an affordable luxury that is well worth the cost.  Inspect your current mattress, pillows, sheets, and comforters.  If any of them is hopelessly worn out or have seen better days, get rid of them.

Declutter your bedroom.  Many people who live in small spaces use their bedroom as a make-shift storage facility because it is away from the eyes of guests.  Some also use their bedroom as an office area, or extra TV room.  However, a bedroom should be private, beautiful, peaceful, and clean.  Take the time this week to remove anything that is stimulating (like the TV, computer, or phone) and will prevent you from getting a good night’s rest.

Arrange the bed against the best wall.  When deciding where to place your bed, you want your head against a wall and away from the door or windows.  If possible, it is most desirable to have your feet oriented towards the door.  Whenever possible, you want your bedroom to feel open as you enter and to have a feeling of spaciousness and movement, no matter how small your space.

Make sure your bedroom inspires you.  Comfort and ease are what you want in the bedroom, so re-create in your room anything you would imagine you would love to experience at a spa or fancy hotel.  Some ideas?  Put your bedside lights on a dimmer.  Place a bottle of water, a glass, and a small vase of flowers by your bed.  Place a small votive by your bed.  Purchase a small, attractive alarm clock.  Consider installing a headboard at the top of your bed.  Purchase a luxurious robe.

Look into ways to improve your sleep.  Light is very disturbing to one’s sleep, so your bedroom should be dark at night and no lights should be visible.  Mask outside noise through the use of a sound machine or fan.  If you have sleep problems, look into homeopathic sleep remedies, such as melatonin to aid in drowsiness.

I hope some of these tasks will make your room more serene, and give you a better night’s rest.  Sweet dreams!

Rebecca Knabe

P.S. All the directions for The Eight-Step Home Cure are taken from the Apartment Therapy book by the same name. And you can get your very own copy here…. Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure

The Eight-Step Home Cure – The End of Week 6

Posted by Rebecca

Do you feel a little more relaxed?  A little pampered?

Week Six:

Clean bathroom and related closets.  Deep clean done!

Declutter bathroom cabinets and closets.  I tossed and consolidated and reorganized.

Arrange your bathroom efficiently.  I don’t have any complaints in this area.  My bathroom is efficient and organized.  Now if only I was a little more efficient….

Upgrade your razor and shaving supplies.  I replaced my razor, and I regularly use a nice softening shaving cream.  My razor of choice is Gillette Venus Original Razor.

Purchase bath salts and a nice soap.  I have several bath salts that remain unused because my hot water tank does not provide me with enough hot water for a bath in the cooler months.  Sigh….  My favorite soap is a splurge.  It is the Karma Soap from Lush Cosmetics.  I don’t have a Lush store close by, but when I find one I stock up.  This soap is expensive, but smells like heaven, and lasts a long time.

Place a candle in your bathroom.  I have candles in my bathroom, and light them on occasion, but constantly worry about starting a fire.  My bathroom is small, and my shower curtains are this light gauzy material.  And my trailer is like a completely non-sealed wind tunnel.  I worry a breeze is going to blow my curtains into the candle, and poof, Cassi and I are instantly standing in a pile of ashes that used to be our home.  Have I mentioned how flammable trailers are??….

Consider scents for your home.  I use a lot of scented things on a daily basis – soaps, lotions, perfume.  My front door kerplunks you into my bedroom, and whenever I walk in I can smell my latest body lotion of choice.  So I have decided not to consider any other scents for my home.  I have enough already, thank you very much.

Wake early and take a bath before work.  Hah!  I already get up at 5:45 every day during the week, so all I can say about this suggestion is Hah!  Oh, and that whole hot water issue I mentioned too….

I think I may have been a little uncooperative this week.  But I figure if I’m already content with some of my ways, why mess with them.  That’s the fun part about doing a challenge like this on your own – you can adjust it or omit things as needed, and no one is there to give you a hard time.  Hooray!

Rebecca Knabe

P.S.  Cassi says, “Hello, and thank you for all the kind words.”  😉

The Eight-Step Home Cure – Week 6

Posted by Rebecca

Are you sick of cleaning yet?  I was, but gained a second wind.  Whew!  This week, as a reward for all your hard work, a little pampering is in the works.  Yes, there is still cleaning and organizing and thinking to do, but a little relaxing too.  🙂

Week Six:

Clean bathroom and related closets.  Aim to deep clean your tub, sink, toilet, tile surfaces, and floor.  Don’t forget the nooks and crannies.  Wipe out medicine cabinets, cupboards, and drawers.  If you come across yucky shower curtains, pathetic toothbrushes, or wobbly shelves, look into replacing those as well.

Declutter bathroom cabinets and closets.  Throw out anything that hasn’t been used in a year, is expired, is nearly empty and you are not actively using it, or items you no longer need.

Arrange your bathroom efficiently.  Think about what improvements could be made to make your bathroom easier to use.  Is the shower curtain easy to open?  If not look into curtain hooks with rollers.  Are you happy with your shower head?  If not install a new one (these are easy to install – even I can do it! – and come in a variety of price points).  Is it easy to reach your daily shower supplies?  If not, get them off of the rim of the tub and into a hanging caddy.  Place items throughout your bathroom in the location they are most needed.

Upgrade your razor and shaving supplies.  Small luxuries should not be overlooked.  A nice razor and shaving supplies makes life a little easier and your skin a little softer.  Who doesn’t want that??

Purchase bath salts and a nice soap.  If you are not in the habit of soaking with bath salts or buying fine soap, do so this week.  Remember, the soap you buy will be used each day to wash your body, so find one that makes you feel good.

Place a candle in your bathroom.  Either scented or unscented, a candle in your bathroom adds a sense of calm to this busy space and will allow you to turn off the lights when you soak in the tub.  It’s also nice to have a candle burning in the bathroom when you have guests over so they can find the light switch.

Consider scents for your home.  Here are some tips:  Read the label to make sure it’s natural.  Avoid heavy or strong scents.  Don’t buy cheap candles, as they won’t burn cleanly.

Wake early and take a bath before work.  This recommendation may sound a little weird, but having a relaxing bath in the morning sets the mood for your day.  This gives you a few minutes to think about the day ahead, plan for it, and feel good about it.  It is calming and clears your mind.  Just be sure to shower after to rinse off any bath salt residue.

See, I told you there was some pampering involved.  Enjoy the week, and aim to make your bathroom a more efficient and spa-like environment.

Rebecca Knabe

P.S. All the directions for The Eight-Step Home Cure are taken from the Apartment Therapy book by the same name. And you can get your very own copy here…. Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure