Tag Archives: cleaning

Closet Cleanout

We have lived in our present home since 2002.  Due to reason’s beyond our control we could not do anything to the house for several years.  The house is over 200 years old and needed lots of updating as most old farmhouses do.  Each year we had a bucket list of things that needed attention or changes.  We also had 500+ acres of farmland and beef cattle to care for.  Closets were the least of our worries!!

Finally this spring I got to clean out a very small closet under the stairs which were on the west side of our living room.  We rarely used it BUT it needed to be cleaned out and cleaned up!!

Door in living room that enters the closet under the stairs. Duck down or bump your head!!

It was full of boxes of dishes, old farm receipts, tax papers dating back as far as the 1960’s, some antiques, a telescope, cobbler’s shoe tree, antique dynamite detonation box, and lots of very old clothes.  I had several bags of trash to take to the landfill!

Three boxes of dishes

Empty paint cans which I have no idea why they were kept.

Dynamite detonator box

I have no idea what this was but it was under the stairs!

Cobbler’s shoe tree

Boxes and boxes of old receipts

Telescope given to them by hubby’s grandmother.

And lots of trash!!!

Now it’s cleaned out, scrubbed and refreshed with only the telescope taking up residence.  I will probably store our window fans in the nice space after summer heating is over.  I had hubby cut me some cedar blocks from a fallen tree to place in the space to keep it from smelling like an old house and the beautiful wooden planks on the wall show up nicely now.

 

 

 

 

One more bucket list item marked off!!

The Collection Must Go

While contemplating spring cleaning, I have decided that I need to get rid of a lot of the collections I have including books, audio books and dolls.  Down-sizing will free up some space and cut down on my dusting which is always a good thing!!!

I have been a collector of beautiful dolls for over 25 years.  All of my dolls were expensive dolls with porcelain bodies and dressed in beautiful costumes.   Before we moved to this farm we had a huge farm-house in the county with about 20 acres. I dedicated one entire room to my collection of Georgetown, and other collectible dolls of all sizes and shapes.  I kept them in covered cases and displayed them on all four walls of the “doll room”.  Most of the dolls are 16″ – 24″ tall and some are 32″ – 36″ tall.

I’ve always been an avid reader of fiction and non-fiction and kept all of my hardcover books even after they’ve been read.  The audiobooks were mostly read when I was working and drove 45 minutes each way five days a week.  Listening to the books made the ride home more interesting! One room held most of my books and audio books in our old home.  In our present home the dolls are wrapped up and placed in sealed totes to keep them nice.  The books and audiobooks are all over the house and I’m not exaggerating.

This bookcase is in my dressing room off the guest room and is filled with gardening, homesteading, crafting and sewing books.

Third shelf in my sewing room.

Second bookcase in my sewing room.

This bookcase is in the guest room.

This shelf is in our guest room.  The bottom shelf is where all of my audiobooks are shelved along with a bookcase in the dressing room.

This shelf in one of three in my sewing room.

These shelves are in our upstairs foyer.

Now I MUST downsize and find a new home for these dolls.  Here’s a preview:


Cleaning the wood cookstove

Kitchen Cook/woodstove

Kitchen Cook/woodstove

DSCN7437

With the heat and humidity changes the cast iron rusts during the summer.  The following picture is how the stove looked when we moved in about 10 or 12 years ago.

DSCN7428

With some elbow grease, sandpaper and a wire brush it doesn’t take long to make it look like new.  We rarely use the oven in the winter when we cook but we do use the top of the stove a lot and we use it for heat.

The kitchen cook/woodstove in the fall of 2014.

The kitchen cook/woodstove in the fall of 2015.

Late fall I do a thorough top cleaning of the stove to make it look nicer and I use this product for polishing both of our woodstoves.  It doesn’t smell or put off any fumes when the stoves are first heated each fall/winter season.

Williams Stove polish goes a long way.  It's odorless and smokeless when the stove is heated.  Great product!!

Williams Stove polish goes a long way. It’s odorless and smokeless when the stove is heated. Great product!!

This is a seasonal product that I find at our local hardware store and not expensive.  I will warn you to use an old pair of rubber gloves when applying and when it's covered good, buff it until it shines.

This is a seasonal product that I find at our local hardware store and not expensive. I will warn you to use an old pair of rubber gloves when applying and when it’s covered good, buff it until it shines.

There are pipes in the back of the stove that run through the wall to the bathroom and circulates the water through the hot water tank.

The blue tank beside the chimney is our water holding tank and the water circulates through the pipes of the woodstove in the kitchen.

The blue tank beside the chimney is our water holding tank and the water circulates through the pipes of the woodstove in the kitchen.

This tank also serves as our heat source for the bathroom in the winter.  It’s nice and toasty when you get out of the shower.

Back to the stove!  I don’t clean the oven as it’s just too far gone to do a good job and I don’t think I would ever bake in it.  We do keep the heat box cleaned out good. Normally when I’m cleaning the stove hubby is cleaning the chimney before our fire season begins.  VERY IMPORTANT to clean that chimney every year.  We also clean it during the heating season because there’s nothing more frightening than a flue fire.    The stove is now being used on a regular basis until summer 2016 arrives!

Wood cookstove all cleaned up and ready to warm the kitchen and bathroom and more importantly to cook on!!

Wood cookstove all cleaned up and ready to warm the kitchen and bathroom and more importantly to cook on!!

Some of my favorite cleaners

I’ve recently found two cleaners that I swear by!  I don’t normally promote products because everyone has a different opinion and some don’t buy unless its environmentally friendly.  I personally haven’t found any “environmentally friendly” product that really does the job of cleaning that I expect.

The first product I want to share with you is “OUT White Brite”.  If you’ve followed my blog for very long you will remember that I hate my new washing machine which does not have an agitator, it’s environmentally friendly and does not clean the way my old machine did.  I also tend to walk around inside and out with my white socks on all day when I’m home and I can’t get my socks snow-white anymore.  I was looking on the internet a few weeks ago for a product I used with my children’s cloth diapers when they were babies and it was called “Miracle White”.  I can’t find it anywhere and when I was at Wal-Mart about three weeks ago I looked again and couldn’t find it but I did find this product:

OUT White Brite-you will absolutely love it!!

OUT White Brite-you will absolutely love it!!

All it took was 1/4 cup of the powder.  You fill your washer up with hot water before you add any clothes.   Then you add the OUT and swish around in the water until it dissolves.  Add your clothes and push them around until they’re soaked good.  Let them set for 15-30 minutes, then set your washer to wash as normal.  My socks came out white as snow!  I was amazed!  I need to stock up on the product because not all Wal-Mart’s carry it and I’m afraid it’ll disappear like the Miracle White did.

The next product I want to brag on is this wonderful wood floor cleaner:

Holloway House Quick Shine floor finish.

Holloway House Quick Shine floor finish.

This is another product that I found at Wal-Mart and decided to just see how it would do.  My wood floors are beautiful in the living room but were losing their shine.  I had tried a couple new products but nothing seemed to bring out the luster until I tried this.  I mopped my floor, let them dry and then mopped on a light finish because I didn’t want it to look foggy.  I waited and waited for the floors to dry and thought after 30 minutes this is taking too long because they looked as wet as they did when I mopped it on.  I got down on my knees and the floor was dry as a bone and this is what they look like now after two weeks.

After using Quick Shine!

After using Quick Shine!

They look wet!!

They look wet!!

Aren’t they beautiful?!?!?!?  Remember cheaper is NOT ALWAYS cheap quality.

Here’s a few more products I keep in my laundry room for cleaning and try to never be without.

IMG_0010

Swiffer dusters with two different wands that make all corners and spaces accessible.

IMG_0008 IMG_0007Swiffer mop and wet wipes make my laminate floors and new tile look brand new.

This is just my opinion and I’m not promoting these products for profit.  I just darn well love them and always feel pride when my cleaning is finished and it looks so good!!

 

Weekend gratification

What an awesome long weekend I just had (Memorial Day Weekend).  I worked my tail off but the end results were so gratifying.  On Thursday afternoon and evening of last week, I moved everything off my front porch and swept down the walls, porch floor and steps.  Then I took a very stiff brush with a long handle and knocked down all the debris from spiders and other bugs and peeling paint from the ceiling and walls.  I worked until dark but even got it all mopped with a solution of two gallons of water, 1/2 cup of bleach and a cup of laundry detergent.  It still looked pretty rough but it smelled good and there were no more spiders and their nasty webs.  The wind was blowing about 20-25 miles an hour so I knew the porch would dry by the next day when I would start painting.  Here’s my “before” pictures:

Before the cleaning 05232014 (21)

Before the cleaning 05232014 (19)

Before the cleaning 05232014 (20)

Before the cleaning 05232014 (18)

Before the cleaning 05232014 (14)

Before the cleaning 05232014 (13)

Before the cleaning 05232014 (12)

Before the cleaning 05232014 (11)

Before the cleaning 05232014 (10)

Before the cleaning 05232014 (8)

Before the cleaning 05232014 (6)

Before the cleaning 05232014 (4)

Before the cleaning 05232014 (3)

Before the cleaning 05232014 (2)

 

On Friday morning I took a trip with my beautiful daughter to Roanoke/Salem area and we visited four spots looking for flowers for my gardens, stands, gazebo and porch.  We had such a great and much overdue trip together.  Those beauties will be shown in another post after they’re where they need to be and taking root.

On Friday afternoon, the paint brushes came out and I spent about five hours painting the columns and wooden trim and part of the ceiling.  Most of the ceiling is a very pale blue siding but it’s has a wide section that flows from the porch columns up to the siding and it’s wood.  I painted it as well in the brilliant white that I put on the columns.  They looked so good but while on my step ladder I realized how dirty the ceiling was and the white siding didn’t look so white so I went at them with a vengence and what a difference.  Everything dried overnite while I worked in the yard on other projects and hubby built me another shelf on the entrance to the porch just like the one on the opposite post.  We use these to sit our binoculars for watching wildlife on the mountain.

On Saturday morning I started putting the stain and water repellent on the porch and it took about four hours because I used a brush and got down on my knees to make sure everything was covered really good.  It was dried by 8:00 p.m. but no furniture was to be placed on it for 24-48 hours.  On Sunday afternoon, I cleaned up all the furniture and put felt pads on everything.  Here’s the results:

DSCN5335

DSCN5327

DSCN5328

DSCN5327

DSCN5326

DSCN5325

 

The end results and very nice, clean porch that has been washed down, painted, weather proofed and furniture minimized and cleaned as well.  Out damned spiders!!  Not sure how long it will look this nice with two cats and a dog always on it and muddy feet when it rains but it is so gratifying at the moment and a little swish with a broom and a mop to wipe off tracks and we’ll be set.  We’re already enjoying the evenings listening to the quiet!!

 

Spring cleaning and Granddaughter’s Help

I spent my entire Saturday, March 22nd, “starting” the spring cleaning in my kitchen.  By starting, I mean those beautiful shelves my hubby put up on both sides of the length of my kitchen up near the ceiling is where I’ve started this year.  I didn’t get to them at all last year and decided they would be first this year.

Shelving runs lengthwise in my 30 ft kitchen on both sides.

Shelving runs lengthwise in my 30 ft kitchen on both sides.

The shelves hold a lot of my antique kitchen items and farm animals (ceramic of course).

The shelves hold a lot of my antique kitchen items and farm animals (ceramic of course).

Several crocks and lots of roosters and hens.  The shelving boards came from lumber we sawed from the farm and I finished.

Several crocks and lots of roosters and hens. The shelving boards came from lumber we sawed from the farm and I finished.

It took all day to clean and put them back and my granddaughter climbed up and handed down everything to me and I washed and dried it all and she put it back.  It was work but we had a good time catching up.  While I was washing everything she was crafting for me.

First she twined a bottle for me.  This will be placed in my family room.

First she twined a bottle for me. This will be placed in my family room.

She used polymer clay to make this flowers and bows to attach to some of our projects.

She used polymer clay to make this flowers and bows to attach to some of our projects.

This clay was white but when it baked it turned to a very light beige which made it look old.

This clay was white but when it baked it turned to a very light beige which made it look old.

Some she embellished with a light blue and some with white.  They're very delicate looking.

Some she embellished with a light blue and some with white. They’re very delicate looking.

Victoria enjoyed doing them so much she took a picnic basket full of bottles, twine and clay home with her to make me some more and I’ll post them when she is finished.

I'm so glad she loves crafting almost as much as I do.

I’m so glad she loves crafting almost as much as I do.

Those fingers working the clay just perfect.

Those fingers working the clay just perfect.

She has a delicate touch!

She has a delicate touch!

The spring cleaning in the kitchen is an on-going process and now it’s time to do the other shelf and all that it holds.

What a messy room-time to get organized and clean out!

This is my dressing room/craft storage room/how-to library and it’s a disaster.  I wanted to show pictures before I start the makeover this weekend.  It’s calling for rain again all weekend so I’ve decided to accomplish something awesome.  Hope to have makeover pictures on Monday!!!

Dressing room_Craft room 052013  (17)

Time to organize dressingroom_craft room 05092013 (21)

Time to organize dressingroom_craft room 05092013 (18)

Time to organize dressingroom_craft room 05092013 (16)

Time to organize dressingroom_craft room 05092013 (13)

Time to organize dressingroom_craft room 05092013 (11)

Time to organize dressingroom_craft room 05092013 (10)

Time to organize dressingroom_craft room 05092013 (9)

Time to organize dressingroom_craft room 05092013 (8)

Time to organize dressingroom_craft room 05092013 (7)

Time to organize dressingroom_craft room 05092013 (6)

Time to organize dressingroom_craft room 05092013 (1)

Time to organize dressingroom_craft room 05092013 (4)

Time to organize dressingroom_craft room 05092013 (3)

Dressing room_Craft room 052013  (14)

Dressing room_Craft room 052013  (13)

Dressing room_Craft room 052013  (12)

Dressing room_Craft room 052013  (4)

My prayer is that I don’t get so frustrated that I open the windows and start tossing or worse, move it to another room and then have another mess!  We’ll see what happens!

Vacation is over and what a week I had!!

My family and some friends think I’m crazy for housecleaning during my vacation! I’m not, I promise! I just love my home and like for it to be clean or at least look that way! Two weeks before my vacation I made a spring cleaning chore list for each room in the house and included the porches and the yard. The week before my vacation I made a shopping list of everything I would need to complete these chore lists. Yes, I’m a little organized when it comes to most things. I called my brother to see if he could help my quest by keeping my younger brother for the duration of my vacation and he and his beautiful wife agreed. Then the work began!
On Friday evening (beginning of vacation) I left work and picked up the groceries needed for the upcoming week and the week following because I didn’t want to spend any of my vacation buying groceries. I went home and did my normal chores and then packed little brother’s suitcase. He was anxiously waiting for “his vacation” from me to start!! I delivered him and hurried back home and spent a quiet evening with hubby on the front porch talking and planning our week ahead. He had made arrangements to be around to help with anything I needed and planned to do some more clean up of the sheds on the farm while I did my clean up in the house.
On Saturday I spent the day cleaning the pantry and finishing the cleaning job on the side porch which I started the weekend before. I worked my way from the ceiling to the floors in both rooms and they looked wonderful and I was very pleased with my accomplishment.
That evening we went out to dinner with my daughter and her family to Liberty Station in Bedford for a belated Mother’s Day dinner. We all had a good time and the food was wonderful.
Sunday found me working in the bathroom painting the shower and doing some sewing for little brother’s bedroom. Our bathroom is dated early 60’s with a metal shower, camode, sink, and water heater in a 5×7 space. Thank goodness there’s a window!! I made new curtains for the windows but mainly just a ceiling to floor cleaning and the paint job on the shower was the icing on the cake. We had to let the paint job seal for 24 hours which meant we took a ride to hubby’s hunting camp about fifteen miles away to use their shower. That was another story all in itself but we struggled through it grinning the whole time. While I worked on the bathroom, hubby made an amazing clean-out of two buildings and loaded up a truck load of scrap for the scrapyard. I’ve included a picture of the empty truck and one of us on our way. We were both on a roll!!
We hauled over 5200 pounds to the scrap yard and left the scrapyard with over $500. We were happy campers because we killed two birds with one stone by cleaning up the junk on the farm and making enough money to play with during vacation. We left the scrapyard for Lowe’s and Tractor Supply for dogfood and miscellaneous items and headed home.
On the return home I started back on the bathroom and finished it that afternoon. It’s so nice and clean I didn’t want anyone to use it but since it’s the only bathroom in the house I had to give in. The new curtains look pretty good. The cabinets have been cleaned out of all out of date meds, the clutter is gone and I can definitely live with it.
Tuesday found us riding through Giles County with Sassy heading for a fishing hole. We went through Peterstown and Lindside and found a private trout fishing business where we caught 8 1/2 pounds of nice trout. We then went back to Stoney Creek to visit a friend of Eddie’s that fileted them for us and had a short visit with him and his son until a storm started brewing. Now, I’m not a fisherman! Hubby did all the “work” and I enjoy the nice quiet day watching and entertaining Sassy. She and I don’t take well to the sunrays or the heat so we had our own adventure checking out the trout farm. Hubby enjoyed the day as much as we did and we put eight packs of filet trout in the freezer on our return home. The rain lasted a short while then we did the outside chores, fixed supper and spent the evening on the front porch again enjoying the peace and quiet.
Wednesday we had planned to visit one of Eddie’s aunts in Richmond but decided the rainy day was not indicative of a safe trip to Richmond on an interstate. So I went back to my spring cleaning and stayed at it all day. Little brothers room was the next chore on the list. I gave his closets a cleanout and hubby made him a new shelving unit for all of his DVD’s and cleared out some space in the room making it look bigger and easier for me to do the weekly cleaning. I cleaned again from ceiling to floor and it looked awesome as you can tell from the photo. When he came home on Saturday he told me he thought he had a new apartment. He’s so funny!! (Little brother was born with PKU and lived with our Mom until she passed away five years ago. He came to live with us at that point but that a whole new post for a later date!!)

Thursday found me going to back to the enclosed side porch to do some repairs. The new metal roof has found a place to let water through and we had a few leaks and stains from the leaks to fix. Hubby was furious because the old roof never leaked and was probably 30+ years old. We worked in the yard and gardens and I started a barn quilt which will be placed on the front of the big red barn as you enter our driveway (yet again another post). Did I say that I never turned on the computer the entire time I was on vacation??!!??
Friday I’m fretting because I only have three days left before I go back to work and there’s still so much to do. The wreck I’ve made of the house cleaning four small rooms will be taken care of on Saturday so this day was spent working on our bedroom. Since it’s my last day at home Eddie and I decide to take a road trip and go through the mountains. We went up Rt 42. Stopped at Hilltop Grocery and got hotdogs. Went through Mountain Lake, up Stoney Creek, through Waiteville, across Crowder Road into Zenith and Gap Mills, across Potts Mountain and back home. We didn’t take Sassy because of the heat called for that day and we saw so much wildlife. We packed a bag of snacks for the day and it was wonderful. I’m stopping here because it didn’t get finished and the front porch and yard were calling my name. I’ve accomplished a lot and enjoyed being at home with my hubby and Sassy and it made me realize also how out of shape I was. I actually lost four pounds during that week off. It’s not a “dream” vacation but it was mine and I loved it!!!