What do lemons, uncooked rice and a chopstick have to do with spring cleaning? You might say it’s the kind of stuff you find under your refrigerator when you do some large scale kitchen cleaning. And in your case, that might be exactly the case. But here, those are three rather unexpected tools that Kate Riley recommends for getting the kitchen spic and span. Kate writes the popular design and decorating blog, Centsational Girl, so we were thrilled when she agreed to share with us her top ten kitchen cleaning tips.
The kitchen is the heart of the home, and like most families we spend many hours together in ours. With so much daily use, it’s a space that gets dirty quickly, so I use a combination of natural solutions and retail products to clean our kitchen so it’s both sparkling and sanitary.
To follow are ten of my little tricks for keeping my kitchen clean!
Make updating your outdoor living area one of the first items on your to-do list. It’s a great project if you love enjoying sunny weather or entertaining friends and family. Adding color is an easy way to create an atmosphere that’s cheerful and inviting. Here are a few patio ideas that will help you get your home ready for spring faster than you can say, “Spring Equinox.”
Since there are (most likely) no walls in your outdoor space to paint, choosing a patio set is the next best thing to adding a large splash of color outdoors. We love the soft blue cushions in this Hampton Bay Fenton patio set. The wicker creates a cozy atmosphere for your space while cushions and pillows add comfort.
Create visual interest to your patio with plants and flowers. Update your garden with flowerbeds. Or if you’re a novice gardener looking for something low maintenance, try planting drought-tolerant succulents and cacti in multi-colored planters. For an easy way to achieve this look, you can also make your own by spray painting terra-cotta pots.
If you want to clean your home from top to bottom or just tackle a little bit at a time, you’ll love these tips to simplify your spring cleaning. These are from Becky Rapinchuk, who should know a thing or two about spring cleaning–she’s the author of the popular homemaking blog, Clean Mama.
The key to simple and effective spring cleaning is having a plan and the right tools. It’s up to you: complete all of these spring cleaning tasks in a day or choose one at a time– regardless, you’ll be well on your way to a cleaner home.
Cleaning Tip 1
Save time and energy during your spring cleaning by putting your most-used spring cleaning tools in a container. Cleaners and tools can be placed in a handled container or tote to easily carry from room to room as you tackle your spring cleaning tasks. Stock your Large Ultra Caddy with the right tools:
Over the past couple of years, The Apron Blog has brought you some incredible outdoor decorating ideas put together by some of the best and brightest names in the blogosphere. It’s The Home Depot Style Challenge series. This year, in our Patio Style Challenge, we have 24 bloggers and decorators and DIYers ready bring you fresh ideas and easy ideas you can put to good use in your own backyard.
Featuring a 2014 patio set as the centerpiece, each blogger has one month to turn his or her patio, deck or backyard into the outdoor space of their dreams. When they’re done, we will reveal their redesigned outdoor spaces with all the details for how they put it together.
We are proud to introduce the talented participants of our 2014 Patio Style Challenge:
Amber is an avid DIY-er and crafting enthusiast living in Miami, Florida. Learn more about Amber on her blog, Damask Love, where craft is always in session.
Amy, of Your Southern Peach, is a genuine Georgia peach. Amy’s passion for southern hospitality and photography is evident with your fist glance at her blog. We can’t wait to see Amy’s final space, it’s sure to be full of domestic delights!
Anna is a lifestyle blogger at In Honor of Design, living in Atlanta. Last year, she participated in our Holiday Style Challenge with some fabulous dining room decorating ideas.
When it comes to spring cleaning, make it a family affair! Amy Bell, who writes the homemaking blog Positively Splendid, shares her list of 10 kid-friendly spring cleaning tasks. These are safe, productive tasks that children can complete to contribute to the your household spring cleaning.
Kid-Friendly Task 1 – Dusting
Finally, a way to use lone socks that have lost their mate! Have your children slip their hands into old socks to use as handy dusting “mitts” to clean the surfaces in their bedrooms. Make sure to move any items from dressers, nightstands and the like to ensure every spot gets a thorough cleaning. We love to use Pledge Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner, as it can be used on just about any surface in any room: glass, wood, stainless steel, granite and more.
If there’s one room in the house you really have to keep orderly, it might be your home office. Whatever area you’ve designated as a home office is where school projects are kept and important documents are stored, not to mention magazines, recipes, and little notes. It’s essential to keep your home office in working order! And even better–make it an attractive and comfortable space to pay bills, file away important papers or write a term paper. Here are a few home office organization ideas to get your work space in tip-top shape.
If piles of paper, stacks of magazines, and endless junk mail are giving you a run for your money, try a wall organizer with different compartments for all your paper-wrangling needs. You’ll instantly have more space on your desk and the mail clutter will be easily tamed.
Never waste space that could available for storage, even if you have to create your own attic access to make storage space usable.
Dana of the blog House*Tweaking found herself missing out on attic storage space after remodeling project ate up what had been her fixer-upper’s original attic access. We asked her to take us through the steps of installing an attic door and ladder. That’s what we have here, along with some very clever ideas on how to keep her attic storage space organized.
The photo above probably appears to show your everyday run-of-the-mill hallway. But what if I told you it holds one of the biggest secrets for keeping our modest home clutter free?
Let me explain.
Over two years ago my family of five downsized to this house. It was dirty, outdated and had been neglected for a long time. But the price and location were right and we could see the potential so we snatched it up. During renovation, we removed walls and vaulted the ceiling to create an open main living area. This gave us the light and airy feeling we desired but ate up precious attic space.
Before the remodel, the entire attic was accessible via a pull-down door in the garage on the opposite side of the house. After the remodel, the attic itself was smaller plus access to space above the bedrooms and bathrooms was nonexistent. (The vaulted ceiling cut off access to the attic space above the bedrooms and bathrooms.) Closet space was limited so we decided to tap in to the wasted space overhead.
Sure, the calendar says the new year begins on January 1, but in fact, it’s spring cleaning time that marks the true renewal we all look for each year.
Ashley Brown, who writes the 7th House From the Left blog loves the annual spring cleaning ritual in her home. She looks forward to is just as a kid looks forward to the Tooth Fairy, she says. She and her husband Greg actually spend a couple of days getting the house cleaned, polished, cleared out and repaired.
We asked her to share with us her top ten spring cleaning tips and tricks.
Spring Cleaning Tip No. 1
Let’s face it, keeping the shower glass spick-and-span can be a real pain. Over the past year, the Mister and I have learned that with two easy steps and an extra 55 seconds before getting out of the shower (yes, I actually timed it), you can cut down on an hour or more of scrubbing later.
The first thing we do is use a shower and bath squeegee to remove the water from the glass shower door– yep, after every shower. Doing this will drastically cut down on water spots and water deposit build up, keeping the glass looking extra sparkly, fresh and clean. After some quick squeegee action, we spray down the tile with Method Daily Shower Cleaner. It dissolves mildew stains and prevents soap scum build-up like a champ.
There’s something about emerging from winter hibernation that flips the Spring Cleaning switch in a lot of us. There’s almost a genetic desire to air out, wipe, scrub and scrape everything in sight. But we all miss something in this annual spring cleaning exercise. That’s why we came up with spring cleaning tips focused on the spots–unseen, or just maybe not so obvious–that you might be missing.
Let’s start at the top, and work our way down.
1. Top of the ceiling fan blades
It’s probably a good thing that you can’t see the top of your ceiling fan blades. But you know what’s up there, don’t you? And though the gunk on your fan blades is out of sight, all that dust and dirt is being flung around the room every time you turn the fan on.
Adding glass doors to existing shelves is a great way to upgrade the look of the room. You can store away your glassware when it’s not in use, but you still get the benefit of its eye-appeal.
Jennifer Bridgman of the home improvement blog The Chronicles of Home says you can make your own DIY glass cabinet doors. That’s exactly what she did in her home. And as you can see, her shelves with custom-built glass cabinet doors look smashing.
Here’s her step-by-step tutorial, along with lots of photos of how she built the cabinet doors.
The kitchen in my new house has a great little eating nook with built-in bookshelves on either side of the windows. All the extra shelving is great for storage but as I started putting some glassware away on the shelves I realized the open style was going to be a dusting nightmare.
Who wants to add dusting all of your glassware, piece by piece, to your weekly cleaning list?