Thursday is Floor Day–Last Day with Kitchen as your Area of Focus

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Hello, Lovely!

Thursday is Floor Day. Vacuum or sweep and mop your floors. Don’t make it a career. Just get it done.

By having a time during each week when we face and conquer regular tasks in our home, we spread our work into small manageable segments and keep our home friendly and welcome all the time for everyone, including ourselves.

Our Area of Focus for the last day this month is our Kitchen. Tomorrow our Area of Focus shifts to our Bedroom, Bathroom, and Closet.

Here is the Bedroom Cleaning Checklist:

Bedroom Checklist

  • Is your bed made? (D)
  • Are there cobwebs that need to be removed? (M)
  • Are there any burnt out bulbs in the light fixtures? (M)
  • Do the light fixtures need to be cleaned? (M)
  • Are the ceiling fans clean? (M)
  • Are the windows and window treatments clean? (M)
  • Is the woodwork and walls free of fingerprints and marks? (M)
  • Are the sheets clean? (W)The duvet? The dust ruffles? The Mattress pads? (M)
  • Are the surfaces (night tables, dressers, tables) free of clutter? (D)
  • Does the furniture need to be polished? (M) Dusted? (W)
  • Are your drawers and cabinets in order? (M)
  • What’s under the bed? (M)

 

The Closet:

  • Are the shelves in order? (M)
  • Are the hanging clothes in order, clean, in good repair? (M)
  • Are the shoes in order? (M)
  • Are there items stored in your closet that should/could be stored elsewhere like the attic? (M)
  • Does the floor need to be dust mopped or vacuumed? Does the carpet need to be shampooed or spot cleaned? (M)

Cleaning Checklist for Your Bath

  • Wash Area Rug—also toilet seat cover, and shower curtain. (M)
  • Clean sink—I wipe mine out after each use (D)
  • Polish faucets (D)
  • Clean toilet (every Monday) (W)
  • Clean tub after every use. Clean and wax shower. – (Use car polish. DO NOT GET POLISH ON THE SHOWER FLOOR) (M/S)
  • Clean shower door—Lemon juice works. You can even slice a lemon and apply directly to the glass. It will cut soap scum and smell fresh, too. (M)
  • Clean mirror (W)
  • Polish countertop (W)
  • Clean cobwebs (M)
  • Clean window treatments (M or S)
  • Wash windows (M)
  • Vacuum fan grill (S)
  • Clean grout (M or EOM)
  • Wipe down woodwork, cabinets, baseboards, doors, door and window frames (M)
  • Clean blinds (M/S)
  • Clean out medicine cabinet (S)
  • Clean and organize cabinets and drawers (M)
  • Clean brushes and combs (M)
  • Clean scale (M)
  • Wash floors (Every Thursday)
  • Empty trash. (as needed)

 

Checklist for Your Child and Your Child’s Room

Before Bedtime:

  • Put away shoes and clothes
  • Put away toys
  • Lay out clothes for tomorrow

In the morning:

  • Put away pajamas
  • Make Bed

Each week:

  • Dust
  • Vacuum
  • Change sheets

Seasonally:

  • Work with mom to go through outgrown clothes
  • Work with mom to deep clean

Even when changing sheets, it’s nice to have someone work with you. Changing sheets is a great way to work with your children.

When I am waiting in a room whether in the kitchen for my coffee or tea to brew or waiting for other people to be ready to go out the door, I look around to see if there is anything I can put away or any small improvement I can make. This small habit makes a major difference over time.

Friday is Wrap Up the Week Day

Get ready to:

  • Clean out your car
  • Clean out your purse
  • Put your home in order for the weekend.

 

Love, love, love,

MaryIMG_0397.jpg

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Wednesday is Desk Day–Simple Action File for Your Papers

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Hello, Lovelies!

Wednesday is Desk Day. Take time to put your paperwork in order and take care of personal and family business.

I keep an Action File

In that Action File are files labeled:

To Do

To Pay

To Read

To File

I also have a Current File for papers that I have taken action on but have not fully resolved.

As I open my mail each day next to the wastebasket, I put papers that I need to keep and act on in the appropriate folder in The Action File,

On Wednesday I check the files and make sure that everything is up to date.

I have 12 files labeled with the months of the year. At the end of the month, I go through the papers in that month’s file and toss any unneeded receipts and bills. I then place the file at the back of this section of my Action File after putting the papers (receipts, bills) in a manila envelope. I keep the papers by quarter: Jan/Feb/Mar; Apr/May/Jun; Jul/Aug/Sep; and Oct/Nov/Dec.

I also have Tax Files labeled by category:

Income

Interest

Taxes

Medical

Charitable

Any papers that I will need to support my tax return go into the appropriate file. In this way, when it is time to prepare my tax return the papers are already in the right place and I do not have to search for them. I have auto ship on Turbo Tax. As soon as I have received the W2’s from everyone I am ready to go.

Today (Wednesday) and Thursday are the last two days in the Kitchen. What tasks do you need to do to make your kitchen a functional and pleasant place to be? You may not have to do everything on the cleaning checklist but you do have to decide what you will do and when.

Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

  • Are there any cobwebs? (M)
  • Are the light fixtures and ceiling fan clean? (M)
  • Are the windows and window treatments clean? (M)
  • Is your refrigerator clean —inside and outside? (M) Are there fingerprints? (as needed) Are you using leftovers? (D) Do any items need to be tossed? (M)
  • Is your freezer clean? (M) Are there any foods that need to be used before they go out of date? (M)
  • Is your microwave clean inside and out? (M or as needed)
  • Are your stove top and oven clean? (M or as needed)
  • Are your drip pans or grates clean? Do they need to be replaced? (M)
  • Is the stove hood and filter clean? (M)
  • Are canisters and decorative items clean? (M)
  • Are there fingerprints or other marks on walls, window sills and woodwork? (M)
  • Are doors and door frames free of marks? (M)
  • Are baseboards clean? (M)
  • Are cabinet fronts clean? (M)
  • Do your cabinets need to be put in order? (M)
  • Is your under-sink cabinet clean and in order? (M)
  • Are your countertops clean and sanitized? (D)
  • Is your sink clean and sanitized? (D)
  • Are your floors swept? (D)
  • Do your floors need to be mopped? (W or as needed)
  • Are the dishes done and put away (D) Is the dishwasher empty? (D)

Love, love, love,

Mary

You CAN Be the Change

Hello, Lovely!

I was wrong. Someone had once told me, “I you want to see how much you will be missed in a job, put your hand in a bucket of water and when you pull it out the size of the hole that is left is how much you will be missed. I believed that person. Again, I was wrong. I watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” again after not seeing it for several years. I got the message. Each life touches so many other life. Your every other contact with other people can make a difference in their day or maybe even their life. I can be the change. You can be the change.

Love, love, love,

MaryIMG_0395.jpg

Deep Cleaning Your Kitchen–Tuesday is Duster Dance Day

December 12, 2017

Good Morning, Lovely!

Tuesday is Duster Dance

Dust happens. When left to build up it becomes harder and harder to remove as it combines with the moisture in the air and forms a film. Some dusters do not work. If you have a chicken feather duster, walk directly to your waste basket and drop it in. Chicken feather dusters do not work and only move the dust around. Ostrich feather dusters do work, as well as lambs’ wool, Swiffers, and microfiber cloths. A slightly damp cloth with another soft, dry, lint free cloth for drying work well. There is a duster for every personality and budget. You are going to have to dust sooner or later or be subject to a sneeze filled life and children with breathing difficulties. I will say the same things again and again—Make It Fun! Put on some music. Get your little helpers (aka children) to help you and dance the dust out the door.  You do well what you enjoy and you enjoy what you do well. If you are having fun it will be over before you know it—almost too soon.

The Area of Focus is The Kitchen

Some simple practices will help keep your kitchen clean.

·         Empty the dishwasher when the cycle ends so it will be ready to be loaded as you go throughout your day.

·         When you begin to cook, fill the sink with soapy water and wash anything that cannot go through the dishwasher as you go.

·         Before you go to the grocery store, make sure you get rid of any leftovers that are past using.

·         Put away ingredients you are finished using after you have used them.

·         Defeat the mess before it begins.

Before you attempt to deep clean your kitchen, put it in order

·         Wash, dry, and put away any dirty dishes.

·         Clear countertops and wipe clean.

·          Clear any clutter that does not belong in the kitchen.

 

ORGANIZE YOUR PANTRY

·         Take out all food and place on table or countertop. As you do, check labels and toss items that are expired, stale, empty, or not worth eating

·         Fill a donation bag or box with unopened items that you will not be able to eat before they expire, or items that you know your family won’t eat.

·         Wipe down all shelves with soapy water or kitchen cleaner.

·         Put food away.

·         Keep open items separate from unopened.

·         Arrange like items together.

·         Put oldest items in front; newest in back

CLEAN and ORGANIZE REFRIGERATOR

·         Take out all food and place on table or countertop. As you do, check labels and toss items that are expired, empty, inedible, or otherwise unfit to eat.

·         Wipe down all shelves with soapy water or kitchen cleaner.

·         Remove produce drawers and wash well.

·         Put food back in refrigerator.

·         Arrange like items together.

·         Remove excess magnets and unneeded papers. Limit what you post on your fridge/

·         Clean and/or polish exterior.

CLEAN and ORGANIZE COOKING/BAKING CUPBOARDS

·         Take out all items and place on table or countertop. As you do, check labels and toss items that are expired, stale, empty, or otherwise unfit to eat.

·          Wipe down all shelves with soapy water or kitchen cleaner.

·         Use clean, well-labeled, airtight containers to store baking and cooking staples such as flour, sugar, bread crumbs, or other items (OXO Good Grips Pop Top containers)

·         Put items back in cabinet, making sure the most frequently used containers are easy to access.

CLEAN and ORGANIZE STORAGE CUPBOARDS

·         Remove all items from cupboards or shelves and place on countertop or kitchen table. As you remove items, toss or donate any items that are broken, unwanted, unnecessary, or haven’t been used in over a year.

·         Set aside any seasonal items that only get used once or twice a year to be placed on higher shelves with other seasonal items in storage.

·         Wipe down all shelves with soapy water or kitchen cleaner.

·         How can you rearrange any of your storage areas to make your kitchen work well?

·         Group like items together and place back in cupboards.

·         Put seasonal items in storage

·         Take donation items to local charity as soon as possible.

CLEAN and ORGANIZE DRAWERS

·         Remove all items from drawers and place on countertop or kitchen table. As you remove items, toss or donate any items that are broken, unwanted, unnecessary, or that haven’t been used in over a year.

·         Set aside any seasonal items that only get used once or twice a year to be placed with other seasonal items in storage.

·         Wipe down all drawers with soapy water or kitchen cleaner.

·         Wash drawer organizers.

·         How could you rearrange any drawers to make your kitchen work well?

·         Group like items together and place back in drawers.

·         Put seasonal items on the highest shelves or in storage.

·         Take donation items to local charity as soon as possible.

CLEAN APPLIANCES

·         Wipe down microwave inside and out.

·         Wash the stove hood filter in the dishwasher and put back into place.

·         Clean and polish stovetop

·         Follow manufacturer’s instructions to run self-cleaning cycle on oven.

·         Clean and polish exterior of oven

·         Clean and/or polish exterior of dishwasher.

·         Clean and polish small countertop appliances.

CLEAN SINK, COUNTERTOP, and CUPBOARDS

·         Keep front 2/3 of your countertops clear for food preparation. Remove any remaining clutter from countertops; try to get them as clear as possible!

·         Remove countertop appliances. Spray countertop with kitchen cleaner; wipe clean and dry well.

·         Use glass cleaner or a damp microfiber cloth followed by another soft cloth to polish to make granite spotless.

·         Wipe down your backsplash

·          Wipe down cabinet exteriors.

·         Polish wood cabinet doors with furniture polish

CLEAN TRASH CAN

·         Wipe down the interior and exterior of your trash can

CLEAN FLOORS

·         Sweep entire floor well. Be sure to move any moveable furniture!

·         Spot clean any sticky or dirty areas or stains.

·         Mop floor with heavy duty floor cleaner or a microfiber mop

·         Wash throw rugs.

 

Love, love, love,

IMG_0383Mary

Monday is Launch Your Week Day–Area of Focus–The Kitchen

Monday, December 11, 2017

Good Morning, Lovely!

Each Monday we begin a new week.

·         Put your home back into order after the weekend.

·         Clean your toilets

·         Check your bathrooms for any needed supplies—personal, paper, or cleaning

The Area of Focus until Thursday the 14th is your Kitchen.

This week I am baking bread and making chicken salad as a gift for friends and neighbors.

As I prepare my gifts, I will be working to clear out unneeded things in the kitchen. My daughter has built a large home that is appropriate for entertaining with a huge pantry. I will be passing on  good quality serving pieces that I will never use to her. She will be able to see them and use them with her large family, friends, and business associates. NOTE TO SELF AND OTHERS: Do not pass on your excess to others who cannot use those items. Do not transfer clutter from your home to another.

Tomorrow is Duster Dance Day.

Wednesday is Desk Day

Thursday is Floor Day

Friday is Wrap Up Your Week Day

Saturday is Family Fun Day

Sunday is Priorities Day—God first, then husband, then children, then everything else.

Worship and plan for the week

Meantime, how is your heart this Christmas season.

Love, love, love,

Mary

 

Refrigerator 

Area of Focus -Kitchen. Friday is Wrap Up Your Week Day.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Good Morning, Lovely!

Each Friday Wrap Up the Week

  • Clean out your purse, diaper bag, totes, computer bag, backpack, or whatever you carry with you when you leave your home.
  • Clean out your car. Think of your car as a room on wheels. Make it a habit to not leave anything in your car that does not belong there. Containerize what does belong in your car—if you have books and toys to entertain your children when you are on the road, keep them in a tote. Store your maps in the pockets on the back of the seats. Take trash out of your car whenever you stop –at home or on the road. There are usually trash cans near the gas pumps at service stations and most stores have trash receptacles near the door. If you throw away credit card offers or any other papers that have sensitive information, tear that part of the paper into little tiny pieces.
  • Put your home in order for the weekend.

The Area of Focus from Today (the 8th) to Thursday the 14th is your Kitchen

Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

  • Are there any cobwebs? (M)
  • Are the light fixtures and ceiling fan clean? (M)
  • Are the windows and window treatments clean? (M)
  • Is your refrigerator clean —inside and outside? (M) Are there fingerprints? (as needed) Are you using leftovers? (D) Do any items need to be tossed? (M)
  • Is your freezer clean? (M) Are there any foods that need to be used before they go out of date? (M)
  • Is your microwave clean inside and out? (M or as needed)
  • Are your stove top and oven clean? (M or as needed)
  • Are your drip pans or grates clean? Do they need to be replaced? (M)
  • Is the stove hood and filter clean? (M)
  • Are canisters and decorative items clean? (M)
  • Are there fingerprints or other marks on walls, window sills and woodwork? (M)
  • Are doors and door frames free of marks? (M)
  • Are baseboards clean? (M)
  • Are cabinet fronts clean? (M)
  • Do your cabinets need to be put in order? (M)
  • Is your under-sink cabinet clean and in order? (M)
  • Are your countertops clean and sanitized? (D)
  • Is your sink clean and sanitized? (D)
  • Are your floors swept? (D)
  • Do your floors need to be mopped? (W or as needed)
  • Are the dishes done and put away (D) Is the dishwasher empty? (D)

I have a cold. I am alternating resting and working. Yesterday I mowed most of the slightly less than an acre my home sits on. It needed to be done because the weather report has snow and anything that wasn’t done yesterday probably wasn’t getting done until Spring.  I am still working through the Christmas décor. Anything that is not in use is going. I have a wonderful friend who makes floral arrangements for her friends for Christmas. I have items I know she will be able to use so I am passing them on to her. I am plugging in each string of lights and discarding any strings that no longer work. If you can’t use it and it can be used by someone else, donate it. If it’s not usable, toss it. Broken items usually do not improve with time.

Tomorrow is Saturday. Saturday is Family Fun Day. Work or play together as a family and keep it positive.

Sunday is God first for me. My priority is worship on Sunday. Worship is recognizing the unimaginable scope of who God is and what He had done, is doing, will do.

Sunday is also a day for coordinating the family calendar and making sure all events for the next week and coming weeks are on the calendar and prepared for.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Love, love, love,

Mary

Thursday is Floor Day Declutter Your Personal Products

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Good Morning, Lovely!

Thursday is Floor Day—Sweep, vacuum, mop, or whatever is appropriate for each kind of flooring in your home. Again, getting your child small size broom and mop and allowing them to help you is a great idea. Work  can and should be fun for everyone involved.

Today is the last day with the Gathering Spaces as your Area of Focus. Tomorrow through next Thursday—The Kitchen.

As you finish in your Gathering Spaces, what can you do to make them:

  • Less cluttered
  • More orderly (organized)
  • Cleaner
  • More pleasant and convenient for you and your family.

I mentioned lighting, and throws or shawls in Gathering Spaces. You may want to have waste baskets conveniently located throughout your home to make it easy to discard trash.

As you declutter, you may find duplicates of many items already open. If it is not old and in need of discarding you can arrange personal care items from oldest to newest and begin to use up your older products. The policy is use it or lose it. If you will never use something toss it, give it to someone who will, or donate unopened products to your favorite thrift shop or charity that can make use of it. I donate diapers to my church nursery as my grandson passes that size. I share books and videos with a ministry that has a home for expectant unmarried teen moms. Give where you know that it will do the most good.

Here is the Kitchen Cleaning Checklist for the next week.

Love, love, love,

Mary

Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

  • Are there any cobwebs? (M)
  • Are the light fixtures and ceiling fan clean? (M)
  • Are the windows and window treatments clean? (M)
  • Is your refrigerator clean —inside and outside? (M) Are there fingerprints? (as needed) Are you using leftovers? (D) Do any items need to be tossed? (M)
  • Is your freezer clean? (M) Are there any foods that need to be used before they go out of date? (M)
  • Is your microwave clean inside and out? (M or as needed)
  • Are your stove top and oven clean? (M or as needed)
  • Are your drip pans or grates clean? Do they need to be replaced? (M)
  • Is the stove hood and filter clean? (M)
  • Are canisters and decorative items clean? (M)
  • Are there fingerprints or other marks on walls, window sills and woodwork? (M)
  • Are doors and door frames free of marks? (M)
  • Are baseboards clean? (M)
  • Are cabinet fronts clean? (M)
  • Do your cabinets need to be put in order? (M)
  • Is your under-sink cabinet clean and in order? (M)
  • Are your countertops clean and sanitized? (D)
  • Is your sink clean and sanitized? (D)
  • Are your floors swept? (D)
  • Do your floors need to be mopped? (W or as needed)
  • Are the dishes done and put away (D) Is the dishwasher empty? (D)IMG_0378

Choose happiness! Monday is Launch Your Week Day!

Good Morning, Lovely!

Well both sides of my kitchen sink are blocked and full of nasty water, my heat was out from Wednesday until last night when I was finally able to get someone over here. I do not love my home warranty company. And, biggest challenge, tomorrow is the second anniversary of Roy’s death. BUT I am happy. My happiness, my joy, does not depend on my circumstances. I have decided to not be overcome by frustration. When I begin to feel blue because of my loss, I recognize it, and embrace it as normal. I am an overcomer by the power of God’s Spirit in me and I will love the people around me, take joy in the midst of less than desirable circumstances, and seek to encourage others. God is good and life is good, even in the worst of times. My eyes will not be on my challenges but on my very good God and Father who is able in any and every circumstance to cause me to triumph. I choose happiness. I choose joy. I choose peace. I choose love. All because of the grace of God.

Today is Monday, December 4, 2017

Monday we launch our week by:

·         Putting our homes in order after the weekend.

·         Cleaning our toilets.

·         Checking the bathrooms for any needed supplies (personal, paper, and cleaning.)

Sometimes I do go from bathroom to bathroom to clean the toilets. Sometimes I simply make it a point to use each bathroom during the day and clean the toilet while I am there.

Our Area of Focus until the Thursday the 7th is the Gathering Spaces (Living Room, Family Room, TV Room, Den, etc.)

What do you do to make that area more welcoming?

I make it a point to have a shawl or thrown on each seat. I have a tray where the remotes are supposed to live (each time I find them I return them to that tray) I make sure there is enough lighting where anyone would read or work. I enjoy my Living Room. It is welcoming and comfortable.

Tomorrow is Tuesday—Duster Dance Day!

Where are you in your celebration of Christmas? What needs to be done? How is your heart?

Love, love, love,

Mary

Simplify Christmas! and Thursday is Floor Day

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Hello, Lovely!

Thursday is Floor Day. Sweep, vacuum, and mop your floors. Give floors in the areas that have been your focus extra attention. Vacuum drapes, furniture, and around, behind, and under furniture in those areas.

Today is the last day of November. Finish up in your bathroom(s)! Tomorrow through next Thursday (1st to the 7th ) The Gathering Areas are your Area of Focus (Living Room, Family Room, Great Room, Den, TV Room)

December is a month of celebration. Pace yourself. Plan ahead. Work from a budget. Keep it simple, low stress, and fun. Faith, family, and friends are priorities. The church I am part of gifted a devotional to the church family and I plan to use it in December.

I am bringing my Christmas decorations—all of them—down a box at a time. I am going through my Christmas boxes and plan to drop off everything I will never use again at my favorite Thrift Store—ReGenesis at the intersection of Jeff Davis and Osborne Road in Chester. Find a favorite place to donate and educate yourself on what they do with your donations and how the funds are used. Donating now may allow my Christmas items to make their way into another home this season.

I have taken Roy’s shirts to a friend and I am having personal items made for family members—door pillows, key fobs, a teddy bear, and different types of bags. I am baking and cooking for friends and neighbors this Christmas. I am also giving experience gifts to people near and dear to me—passes to places like Busch Gardens, and Colonial Williamsburg, and tea at the Jefferson with some granddaughters. Too many top gift items rapidly end up in a closet or drawer or on the floor. I want to give things that will be valued for years to come—mementos and memories. Give thought to what will mean the most to the people receiving them.

After going through Christmas decorations, I will take time off from decluttering—a constant practice with me—to enjoy Christmas.

So here is the Cleaning Checklist for tomorrow for the Gathering Areas.

My Cleaning Checklist for the Gathering Spaces

(Living Room/Family Room/TV Room/Den)

  • Have you cleaned cobwebs? (M)
  • Have you cleaned the light fixtures? (M)
  • Have you cleaned windows? (M)
  • Have you cleaned the window treatments? (EOM)
  • Have you cleaned any marks and fingerprints from walls and woodwork? (M)
  • Have you cleaned decorative items? (M)
  • Have you cleaned out the fireplace? (as needed or seasonally)
  • Have you cleaned out the end tables? (M)
  • Have you straightened the bookcases/entertainment center? (M)
  • Have you dusted the lamp shades? (M)
  • Have you polished the furniture? (M) Have you dusted? (W)
  • Have you culled out dated magazines and catalogs from magazine basket or rack? (M)
  • Have you cleaned the phone(s)? (M)
  • Have you vacuumed the traffic areas? (W)
  • Have you vacuumed under, around and behind furniture and drapes? (M)
  • Have you shampooed the carpets? (S)

 

Have a joy-filled day and get ready for a joy-filled month!

Love, love, love,

Mary

 

 

 

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