Keeping Clean

Or:
Some sweet cleaning pins I discovered
and can’t imagine Life without them now

People are always saying to me, “Kat, how do you manage it all? Keeping such a spotless house and a cool head.”

That is a complete lie. No one has ever said that to me. In fact, one friend said, “this is the cleanest I’ve ever seen your house!” Once when he came to visit. And he was actually paying me a compliment.

I do not want a Martha Stewart house by any means. I love homes that are lived in by real people. However, there is a certain level of organization that I believe my home lacks.

I have discovered a few Pinterest links that have served me well. I wish to share these with my readers so you can have the same amount of control over one miniscule aspect of your life. These aren’t life hacks. Life isn’t easy and espcially when it comes to keeping a home.

1. Fan Blade Dusting

I can’t imagine returning to Plato’s Cave again. This one is amazing. It is stupid how easy this makes dusting fan blades. Take a pillowcase and pull it over a single fan blade. Add a bit of pressure to the top and bottom of the blade as you pull the pillowcase off.
You won’t get a face full of dust and you won’t sneeze a hundred times. If you missed a spot on the fan blade just recover it with the pillowcase and do it again. Once all the fan blades have been dusted, throw the pillowcase directly into the washer.
Thank you, Apartment Therapy! Source

2. (Sorta) Homemade Fabric Softener

Instead of tossing/recycling the old fabric softener bottle keep it around and refill it. Combine 6 cups water, 3 cups white vinegar and 2 cups hair conditioner. The original poster said to stir not shake to avoid suds. I shook and had no issues.
Thank you, Jillee @ One Good Thing! Source.

3. Liquid Concentrated Laundry Detergent

I tried making a powder laundry detergent but (I assume) because my washer is HE it doesn’t use as much water and the powder ended up clumping. So I took the powder that I had painstakingly put together, added it to water with a bit of dawn soap and boom. Perfection.
Part one includes grating a Fels Naptha bar (optional), Borax, OxyClean washing powder and baking soda. Part two, mix 1 1/2 cups of mixed powder, half cup of dawn dish liquid and warm/hot water shaking as you fill up the jug to ensure all the soap has dissolved.
Thank you, Jillee @ OGT! Source & Source.

4. Clean Front Load Washing Machine

This absolutely needs to be done. We clean our washer about once every two months or so. We should really do it more because after cleaning we can smell a significant difference in the quality of the clean clothes. Run first hot water cycle with empty washer and  2 cups vinegar in the detergent slot. Run second hot water cycle with 2 cups bleach. Run third water cycle with just plain water. Remove the soap dispensers and soak/wash them in the sink. Take a cloth damped with very diluted bleach water and wipe down the rubber gaskets around the door. The last steps sound tedious compared to the press-button cleaning process. I promise it is all worth it.
Thank you, Jillee @ OGT! Source.

5. Homemade Body Wash

There are tons of recipes out there for grate and heat body wash. gratedbarliquidsoapAny old Google search will reveal tons with slight differences. I honestly don’t have all the answers. I feel like each brand of soap will give slightly different results. However I will share my best tips for making it.
Combine 3 tablespoons of glycerine, 6 cups of water and 3 bars of soap (grated) in huge cook pot. Heat on medium to melt soap flakes. Avoid boiling! Burnt soap is a bad, bad thing. Once the soap bits are completely melted turn off the stove and allow the soapy water to sit overnight. Next day use a hand mixer to break things up. Add more water if you feel that the mixture is too thick. Bottle and go.

6. Bathtub Scrub

For some reason I haven’t been able to hunt down the the proper recipe original pinner I copied the idea from. Many apologies to the person I took this idea from. Grab a spray bottle and mix together equal parts of dawn dish liquid and white vinegar. Spray this all over your disgusting shower and allow it to sit for 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on your free time. As a warning to sensitive people, the combo of these two makes for a strong smell. If you are sensitive you may open a window when you go to wipe down and rinse off the walls of the shower.

7. Organized Cupcake Liners

This is much like the first tip above. Very simple and it makes life just that much easier. Take all the random half cellophane masonjarcraftsblogcupcakelinerorganizationwrappers full of your mismatched  cupcake liners and stack them in a mason or bell jar. My only complaint about this is I usually want the V-day/Xmas/Halloween liners that I have put at the bottom of the stack. It looks pretty in the cabinets I think and you know we all secretly want beautiful cabinets.
Thank you, Mason Jar Crafts Blog! Source.

8. Cheaters Car Wash

This is a great in-between washes way of making your car a bit more presentable. Use Pledge or a similar off brand furniture polish. This cuts the nasty road grease. After you wipe away all the nasty get a fakeitfrugalpledgecarwashclean microfiber cloth or paper towels and buff the residue until you can see your face. I bought the cheap store brand version and it worked just as promise.
Thank you Fake-It Frugal! Source.

9. Denture Clean Water Bottle

This is another easy one to help avoid the soapy taste and nasty bacterial smell after filling up your reusable bottle. Grab two of the denture cleanser tablets and toss them into your bottle with warm water. Allow to soak before dumping and rinsing the bottle.
Thank you, Jenny @ Popsugar! Source.

10. Homemade Windex

Easy to mix up and works better than the store brand. You’ll a spray bottle, 1/8 cup white ammonia, 1/4 cup isopropyl rubbing alcohol and 1 drop of laundry detergent and warm water to fill the bottle up. This is great in the bathroom for good cleaning and doesn’t leave streaks on mirrors/windows.
Thank you, Fake-It Frugal! Source.

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More House Work

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You may recall one of my recent blogs about Fixing the House. The epic continued as we stripped off the trim and molding—and I found out we would definitely have to repaint it. Again.—We must have vacuumed about five times to make sure there weren’t a ton of loose bits on the floor. Then we starting unrolling, sticking down and cutting tthe foam underlayment.
I said, “HT, hold the roll up so I can cut along the wall.” And the above picture was her response. I made her hold the pose as I ran for my phone and the hilarious picture of her above.

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After much grumbling, measuring and consultation of the instructions, the first row of boards were laid down. I have to give a shout out to Kit on this one. He read the crummy instructions, got all the tools, measured, cut, hammered and more to get that floor in. He is great!

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Don’t let the pictures fool you, after the first few boards were put in HT and I went to fix a massive pot of spaghetti, breaded and baked mushrooms (very loosely based on this recipe) and a green salad. Another friend came over because he wanted to learn how to install this type of flooring. Kit and I got tons of work done with such willing helpers!

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Kit worked quickly and well. We finally took a break for supper and decided to pick it up the next day. That’s when I helped the most, because everyone was at work on in school.

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The flooring was tedious, there was a lot of fudging and techniques you had to learn along the way to make it work. The last piece wanted to be a monster, but Kit finally make it happen.
Thankfully, after all the cursing, we finally have a completed laminate floor!!
Supper was slamming too, by the way.

Until next time,
Kat

Fixing the House: Our Progress

Recently, Kit and I have been working on fixing up the spare bedroom. A friend that will be living with us through the winter semester and I can’t wait!
Some of my friends from work came over to help on several occasions and they were so efficient I didn’t have time for pictures.
As my professor would say, if you have time to take photosof people working then you’re not working with everyone else.
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We started out by fixing some nails holes and one random huge hole in the wall. We put on one coat of killz, to keep any evils from seeping through. And put two coats of midnight purple on the walls.
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I’ll go ahead and tell ya, it is a lot of purple. The room looks gorgeous though. If I ever get to decorating it properly, I want to add accents of silver and light gray.
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After the paints were laid, HT and I pulled the carpet and foam underlayment. We removed the carpet tack strips and out to the trash they went. We only found out that kicking the pry bar underneath the strips was crazy. Yes, we had a hammer, but you see, we also had wine-given strength.
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The other day, I reorganized, read: pulled everything out of the closet. Once I had some room, I pulled the carpet in the closet. Tell me, who chooses to put down carpet in a closet so darn awkward!?
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I made the decision not to pull the strips in the closet because I do not plan on putting flooring in there. I will likely change my mind later, but I will wait for the inspiration of a drunken evening to pull up the rest of it.
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Please note the cat taking advantage of the free bed.
My next steps are to paint a second coat of ultra white paint on the brown trim and coat the floor with killz before we put down the laminate.
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We are also replacing some of the particleboard near the doorway, but we haven’t gotten that finished yet. I will be painting around it until we get it all the way pulled up and replaced.

I am so pleased that this 1970s room is getting a face lift. I hope that we can continue reorganizing and replacing bits of our house as we go. It is exciting to find that fixing one’s house is possible.
We are certainly not Weekend Warriors. Perhaps Weeklong Warriors would be more appropriate.

Day 306: House Stitch

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I did some embroidery with my sister over the last couple of days (it was an epic sleepover).

I teased her relentlessly until Ashe finished her last project. Getting a promotion at work made her put down this project for a couple of months. But….the real reason? She didn’t have another design lined up so she was going as slowly as possible.

Can you spot where she stopped?

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The left chimney isn’t finished. Less than two minutes of stitching!
She finished it while we were watching Magic Mike. Or rather, as we were ignoring the dialogue until I pinched my sis and made her watch the floor show parts.

Murcia’s new project is pretty cool. She is stitching the text “I want to do with you what spring does to the cherry tree” and a cherry blossom. I didn’t get a picture of it before I left, but she is doing spring colors and Pablo Neruda’s name will be in a light tree trunk brown.

Day Twenty-six: Easy on the Sticky

it starts from the ground up

This is my floor. More importantly, this is my floor without sticky spots on it. I cracked the whip and made my nieces help clean up the living room before I swept and mopped it. I am trying to stay on top of household stuff, but with work and classes it can get away from me.

The girls did a great job helping me clean!! I had dinner ready just a few minutes after we finished cleaning and we all sat around our ghetto table and enjoyed a family meal.

Sometimes it just takes the tiniest thing to make a person happy. In the case of this evening I was very happy to mop the floors and smell the cleanser. Later this evening I found out that I have tickets reserved for my trip out West. It’s official!!
Things just kept improving when just about an hour ago I found an email from my school letting me know that I have financial aid coming in. This may not sound like a big deal, but I am about three weeks into school and I had to borrow money to cover my tuition. I’ve been a bit nervous about money of late.

Nose to the grindstone. Small victories will keep building until more and more of my life will be on the right track.

Day Thirteen: Furniture!

New old sofa!

Just bought some furniture off my brother and his wife during their move. It’s a great little sofa to flop on and take a nap whenever I please. At some point I will upgrade to something less ugly, but I hope my next couch is just as comfy.

Please take note of the rainbow colored fuzzy slippers and the laptop.

Before getting this sofa I just had a little love seat which is okay, but not great for a bunch of guests to come over. In addition to this couch I also bought a satellite chair.