Deep Clean Your Home – Focus: Bedrooms

As much as we want to spend more time outdoors, we can’t give up on our 2015 resolution of making our home the cleanest ever. Next up is the bedrooms.

Bedrooms have their own sort of dirt and grime depending on the person or persons occupying them. I keep a habit of making my bed every morning. It helps to keep my mindset organized all day long. As well, I ritually launder my sheets, due to pets and my own bloodhound-like sense of smell – it keeps me sane. The message hasn’t sunk into my kids’ brains yet, but I’ll keep trying!

There are lots to discuss here as we clean down into every nook and cranny. Let’s start with finding a place for everything.. Once upon a time, I would use my bedroom as the catch-all for everything in the house that didn’t have place. How unfair for me (and my hubby)! Everything has a place (even if it’s the trash), so put it there now and again after each time you use it. Once everything is put away, we can really get a good feel for what needs to happen in here. I start with everything above the floor. (Floors are last for me.) Start at the top and work your way down… Lighting, window sills and baseboards are first. Doors (both side) and doorways are next.

My sister turned me on to baby wipes as a cleaning tool! They’re easier on my skin (I don’t like to wear gloves) and they shine up molding, interior doors and any painted surfaces inside pretty nicely. As well, they’re cheap, smell good and small enough to maneuver around intricate surfaces. Convinced yet? Try them!

Then I move on to the furniture – remove the stuff, dust and replace only necessary items! Be sure not to forget dusting or cleaning your headboard and footboard. Do the TV and any other miscellaneous items too. Now, on to the floors. I like to complete my cleaning with a good carpet vacuum and shampoo. I invested in a steam cleaner and have not looked back since! If you have hardwoods, consider a steam mop.. I have one now and wondered why it took me so long to get one. With that said, don’t forget about any area rugs – clean yourself or call in the professionals.

Fix anything broken or squeaky while you’re in there. …Did I leave anything out?

Okay, that’s your room.. Let’s repeat for each bedroom. Break it down throughout the month, maybe one bedroom per week until they’re done. Once you’re done, your reward is your very own clean, comfy bedroom to rest your head. Just remember to make it easier on yourself next time by picking up and putting away each time something is used.

Next month.. Carpet & floors. You’ve already done the bedrooms, so you’re that much further ahead!

“Deep Clean Your Home – One Month at a Time” is an on-going series of articles helping homeowners with the daunting task of cleaning and organizing for a happier, healthier home. Be sure to look back at the months you’ve missed and look forward to those yet to come!

Deep Clean Your Home – Month Two (feel the LOVE) ♥︎

February month gold 3D quality render on the wall background with soft shadow.When we think February, we think love! And how much do we love our homes? February isn’t (personally) my favorite month, but I do love to come home to a warm and inviting home, sip some hot cocoa by the fire and snuggle up in my warm cozy bed. And this month it’s about lovin’ on those window dressings of ours. Yes, BLINDS & CURTAINS are the focus of this month’s deep cleaning schedule.

Not many of us love to clean our blinds, but they have to be done! And, once done, they are simple to maintain for the rest of the year with a quick drive-by vacuuming. If you can stand it, replace any broken or discolored blinds in the house right away. Or, maybe it’s time to swap out a blind or two for some lovely sheer panels? (In either case, one less set to clean!.. for now.) I’ve read some advice on bathing them in the tub, but to me it just creates a bigger mess in another area of your home – No way. I’ll tell you what I do.. Put on a sock! Yep, I use an old tube sock over my hand and start cleaning each slat, one by one – all the way down, top and bottom. I use a mild solution of warm water and dish soap on my white wood blinds, but you can use whatever is recommended by the manufacturer, or an expert, according to the material your blinds are made of. It’s monotonous, but once done, it’s done (until next February) and you’ll love your fresh, clean blinds.

Curtains need some love too! Take them down, wash them and put them right back up. A lot of the ready-made curtains you buy at stores like Target and BB&B are washable – just read the labels! Others, such as custom made drapery or delicate fabrics, may have to be sent to the cleaners. You’ll want to check with the seamstress or the cleaners for the best course of action. In any case, you can certainly get away with a thorough vacuuming, on both side, with the hand tools to your machine. If you feel the need to spot clean, I would still check with an expert if you’re unsure. Once clean, you’ll love the way they smell!

You have all month, so let’s get busy! Next month, we’ll be looking up at those ceiling fans and light fixtures!

♥︎ XOXO ♥︎

“Deep Clean Your Home – One Month at a Time” is an on-going series of articles helping homeowners with the daunting task of cleaning and organizing for a happier, healthier home. Be sure to look back at the months you’ve missed and look forward to those yet to come!

Deep Clean Your Home – One Month at a Time

It's January card with colorful background

Let’s start this year off on the right foot. As you leave all of those well-intended resolutions to the birds, I hope that you stay committed to making 2015 the cleanest-year-ever! To help you along, I am committed to sharing with you my monthly deep cleaning schedule ~ yep, one month at a time. Let’s start with January.

CLOSETS Your closets are the first to get an overhaul in this new year. It seems like a daunting task, but I am willing to bet that you have one to two closets that are really keeping you from doing them all. The good news is (if you have kids) that you have help!

Get the youngin’s to concentrate on their own closets. Yes, you’ll probably have to supervise, but break it down for them to knock it out themselves. I started with emptying the shelves in their closets and then having them decide what goes back. It left me with a large yard bag full of donations for Goodwill – toys they’ve outgrown, toys they’ve never opened (with no desire to), books and miscellaneous stuff! However, the bigger bag was filled with broken toys, half used construction paper, and trash of every sort. (It’s amazing what collects in those tiny little closets!)

With less on the floor and shelves, it’s easier to see the hanging items in their closets. Go through and see what doesn’t fit or will never be worn. I purchased a small tote to put outgrown clothes from my older child that didn’t quite fit my younger child yet. That tote is on the top shelf for whenever I’m looking for something that might fit. The rest goes to Goodwill or a friend in need… But make sure they are coming to get it soon!

Next is your closet. If you’re anything like me, it was long overdue! Great news (if you have a spouse or SO).. you have help! get rid of the clothes that don’t fit and are just plain out of style. Consolidate your shoes and purses/bags in to some totes. (Totes are your best friend when it comes to organizing!) My totes are sitting on top of each other on my closet floor for easy access. My husband even has his own tote (but don’t ask me what’s in there). The main thing is that everything that makes it back into your closet has a purpose within the next 11 months.

One suggestion I heard for making this easy next January is, as you organize your hanging items, place the hanger backwards on the rod. When you wear something, hang it back up with the hanger the right way. Next January, get rid of all of the hanging items that did not get turned around during the year. Brilliant!

Lastly, don’t forget the linen closets and any other hall closets. Go through your coat closet the same way as your other clothes. Get rid of all those that don’t fit or you’re likely to wear again. Same with linens.. We recently “upgraded” the kid’s beds from twins to a full and a queen. You won’t see a twin sheet set going back in my closet this year!

Next month we’ll tackle all things windows!

Holiday Home Selling …And staging… All at the same time!

Selling your home during the holiday season may seem like a bad idea.. There’s already so much going on! However, due to circumstances or anything else, you may not have a choice. That’s okay!.. There are still plenty of home buyers during the holidays and colder months. In fact, the holidays may play up the features of your home enough to make a difference.

The goal of staging, whether in April, August or December, will always remain the same. We want to create an environment that has won over the hearts of the home buyers, to sell our home for the most money possible, and sell as quickly as possible. The key to staging a home during the holiday season is to keep it simple with your goal in mind.

I mentioned that your home may have features that lend itself to an inviting, warm environment conducive of the colder season. How about a warm fire burning in your beautiful stone fireplace, or live pine garland wrapped around your wooden country fence; Or what about a small sparkling Christmas tree sitting in the corner, or a festive dining table set for a party?

For me the imagery is as exciting as Christmas morning itself! But, be careful not to overdo the decorations. Allow for the flow of the rooms even though you have a 7 foot tree sitting in the corner. Keep the smells at bay… You know how tempting it is to have a cinnamon candle burning to get you in the spirit. However, keep in mind, some visitors may not share in your love of cinnamon, pine or gingerbread. Try not to theme-up every room of the house with Holiday decor.. You might want to save it for the downstairs and allow the bedrooms to be everyday bedrooms.

Replace a few of your sofa pillows with holiday ones.
Bring in seasonal flower arrangements.
Match bathroom accessories (still) even with a holiday theme.
Light a fire in your fireplace, but keep it safe.
Open blinds and shades and turn on light while buyers walk through.
Clear out clutter before your bring in the holiday stuff.
Refrain from displaying expensive and meaningful holiday items (just in case).
Keep all of the staging rules in mind!

A professional stager can help you create a manageable, stress-free experience especially through the busy times of the year.