Archive for ‘Spring Cleaning’

May 3, 2011

Spring Cleaning STEP 7: Windows

by rebecca elisabeth design
A Window cleaner.

Image via Wikipedia

Wow two more tasks and we’ve completed the 8-step process to spring cleaning.  Are you feeling good knowing what is behind closed doors? This week we will cover those dreaded windows that everyone avoids doing.  If you have a 2 story home with windows that can’t be cleaned from the inside, you will definitely have a harder go of it than those of us with single story homes.  However, I promise if you or your housekeeper follows my steps, your window cleaning will go faster than in the past. Start inside one day and then do the outside the next day proceeding as follows:
1.    Remove all the screens and wash with biodegradable soapy water, leaving the screens outside to dry.
2.    In a bucket, mix 1.5 – 2 gallons warm water and ivory dish detergent with 1/2 cup of vinegar. It should be sudsy.
3.    Using a car washing glove, the kind that looks like a large looped terry mitten, wash the windows and tracks (and the trim if it is vinyl) thoroughly.
4.    Next, use a squeegee to squeegee the soapy windows. Be sure to dry the end of the squeegee that overlaps the part you just squeegeed.  This should leave little to no water on the window.
5.    With a car shammy, which you can buy at Costco, dry any streaks first, followed by the window edges and trim. Be sure to always have a dry shammy for the glass. You can use damp ones for the trim and tracks.
6.    Repeat this process for all windows both inside and out. Pick the right time of day to wash your windows. Morning for Western exposure, and afternoon for Eastern exposure. Do not wash windows that are in full sun or you will get streaks.
You should have a clearer view of the world now that your windows are clean.  REDinterior has heard of the newspaper trick and we think our shammys work better, but would love to hear about any other tips or issues you have encountered during this process. Please share your ideas with us on our Facebook page (hyperlink http://www.facebook.com/REDinterior)

April 26, 2011

Spring Cleaning STEP 6: Clothing Closets

by rebecca elisabeth design
t-shirt collection

Image by ario_ via Flickr

We are in the home stretch, but now we get down to the hard part.  The closets. Many of us have a hard time throwing out those treasured goods, or those smaller sizes.  I have to admit I still have my prom dress from high school (it was custom-made) BUT that is my only memory item.  Try to limit memory items to less than 10 items.

If you are a Facebook fan of REDinterior, you know that in January we suggested that you place the hangers in your closet backwards. As you wore things, you were to replace them on their hangers the normal way. This is a neat little trick to show you what you wear and what you don’t wear.  So, for those of you that did this, it is time take a look at the items still hanging the wrong way in the closet and determine if they really are keepers.

1.    Consider getting rid of the following clothing:

  • items on hangers still backwards after 3 months
  • items you haven’t worn in 3-6 months
  • items 2 sizes too small or too big (1 size is ok)
  • items that have stains or holes (that aren’t suppose to be there)
  • shoes that are overly scuffed, don’t fit, or you haven’t worn in over a year
  • out of style items (by the time they come back you shouldn’t be wearing them anymore!)

Once you’ve decided what items you can donate and what items belong in the trash, we can start the sorting process.

2.    Initially you will want to sort your clothing by season.
3.    Next sort your seasons by article i.e. tops, pants, shorts, dresses, etc.
4.    Re-hang all your clothing so that they face the same direction. Consider buying the new slim line hangers that are fuzzy as they allow more to fit in your closet and keep clothing in place on the hanger.
5.    Refold all your clothing so that they are folded identically.
6.    With mild soapy water, damp wash the cabinets and shelving. If you add a little vinegar to the water it will help remove any odors that might be in the cabinet.
7.    If you would like to use a shelf liner install or replace liner that isn’t in great shape.
8.    To put folded items back, consider what you use most and place those items from waist to eye level for ease of use. Put the things you use the least up high and down low.
9.    For hanging items, put this season’s items in the most accessible area and others seasons in the back or hard to reach areas, and then switch when the seasons change.
10.    Go the extra mile and color group clothing using ROY G BIV as your guide.
11.    Add in cedar products or herbal sachets using naturally available ingredients like cloves, peppermint, thyme, and rosemary to keep moths out.  And voila you are done.

If you have some items that you know your friends will love, consider throwing a party where everyone brings clothing they are willing to trade. Serve a little wine and agree that if it is not taken then it should be donated and drop the items off at your local shelter.

Just remember what is old to you, is new to someone else.  Donating those suits you don’t wear to your local organizations, like shelters that help abused and homeless women get back on their feet, will make it easier for you to part with those things you really don’t wear anymore. Let REDinterior know how it’s going, and share any ideas you may have encountered during this process on our Facebook page.  Next week – Windows.

More Spring Cleaning by REDinterior

April 19, 2011

Spring Cleaning STEP 5: Lower/base kitchen cabinets clean out.

by rebecca elisabeth design
Some kitchen items

Image via Wikipedia

As part of REDinterior’s 7 step spring cleanup process, this week we will clean out the base kitchen cabinets.  With the base cabinet clean out you may want to get some accessories to help you organize.  There are great inserts you can buy from your hardware store or from a place like Rev-a-shelf. There are organizing inserts for pot lids, corner cabinet, knife trays etc.
1.    Remove all your pots and pans from your various base cabinets and place like items together.  Pots, pans, storage dishes, utensils, etc.
2.    With mild soapy water, damp wash the cabinets and shelving. If you add a little vinegar to the water it will help remove any odors that might be in the cabinet.
3.    Plastic shelf liner is recommended in base cabinets for easy clean up.
4.    To put things back, consider what you use most and place those items on the higher shelves for ease of use. Put the things you use the least down low.
5.    Next, remove all of your food items, and place like items together. Onions, potatoes, boxed foods, etc. If these items belong in the pantry now would be the time to move them.
6.    With mild soapy water, damp wash the cabinet and shelving.
7.    Replace shelf liner that doesn’t look great.
8.    To put things back, consider what you use most and place those items on the higher shelves or drawers for ease of use. Put the things you use the least down low.
9.    To finish up, scrub your backsplash and countertops.
We’ve heard from some of you that you are liking the fact that REDinterior has broken it down into 1-2 hour parts so that it doesn’t seem so overwhelming. Is there something we’ve missed that you want instructions on?  Visit us on Facebook and let us know. Maybe we will pick your suggestion for our last step. Next week we tackle clothes closets.

More Spring Cleaning by REDinterior

April 12, 2011

Spring Cleaning STEP 4:Upper kitchen cabinets clean out.

by rebecca elisabeth design
A set of plates ready to be glazed at a cerami...

Image via Wikipedia

After this step we are half way through our 8 step spring cleanup process. This week we tackle the upper kitchen cabinets. Whether it’s you or your house keeper that is taking on these cleanups be sure to get everyone in the family on board with keeping it organized, by explaining the system to the whole family.

1.    Remove all your dishware from your various upper cabinets and place like items together.  Plates, glasses, serving dishes, cookie sheets, etc.
2.    With mild soapy water, damp wash the closet and shelving. If you add a little vinegar to the water it will help remove any odors that might be in the cabinet.
3.    If you use shelf liner, now is the time to replace anything that doesn’t look great.
4.    To put things back, consider what you use most and place those items on the bottom shelves for ease of use. Put the things you use the least up high.
5.    Next, remove all of your food items and place like items together. Spices, canned goods, boxed foods, etc. If these items belong in the pantry now would be the time to move them.
6.    With mild soapy water, damp wash the cabinet and shelving.
7.    Replace shelf liner that doesn’t look great.
8.    To put things back, consider what you use most and place those items on the bottom shelves for ease of use. Put the things you use the least up high.
9.    If you have lots of spices, consider using a lazy Susan on a bottom shelf to make yours easily accessible and organized.
10.    For the hyper-organized, consider getting special spice jars to organize your spices, and canisters to organize your dry goods so that when you look in your cabinets all the containers are identical.  This will make those of us with OCD feel great when we look at our food supplies.
Next week we tackle the base cabinets in much the same way.

More Spring Cleaning by REDinterior

April 5, 2011

Spring Cleaning STEP 3: Organize your kitchen pantry

by rebecca elisabeth design
Our Father's House Soup Kitchen pantry

Image via Wikipedia

Design is in great part all about organizing.  Organizing furniture so that it is conducive to conversation, planning a kitchen so that thing you need are at your fingertips, etc. We have been working on the microscopic level of design, if you will, by focusing on what is behind closed doors. If you have been following along you now have an organized linen closet and medicine/toiletry cabinet.  This week we will attack the kitchen pantry. My pantry is 10 feet wide, by 1 foot deep by 7 feet tall. Pretty big I know but everything has its place and you can get yours organized even if it is a combination of upper and lower cabinets or only a fraction of the size!

Let’s touch for a minute on general kitchen organization, as we will be addressing the pantry this week and the upper and base cabinets of your kitchen in subsequent weeks. I recommend group things that are alike such as pots and pans stacked together to conserve space, spices together in a spice rack or a cabinet designated to spices, and so on. I have seen numerous clients have things kind of jumbled which I don’t recommend.  As we will be doing this in stages if you are the jumbled type you will need an area for interim items for the next couple weeks.

  1. Make sure you have a large space cleared on the kitchen counter
  2. Clear everything out of the pantry and sort. Get rid of stale or expired items.  Items that you haven’t eaten in the last 6 months that aren’t expired can be donated to the homeless because you are not likely to eat them anyway.
  3. Sort as you see fit but here are some ideas:
    • breakfast foods
    • teas, coffee, drink mixes
    • canned goods
    • jarred goods
    • snack items
    • pastas and rice
    • condiments
    • specialty or ethnic items (mine are Asian and Indian)
    • paper goods
    • baking items
  4. One shelf I like to have I call drop-ins.  Ever have people show up and you didn’t know what to offer.  Have a shelf with prepared items that are easy to serve up to unexpected guests. Items here can include: dip mixes, crackers, fancy cookies, chocolates, etc. If you have any great “drop-in” items please share them on our Facebook page.
  5. Wash the pantry out with warm soapy water and let dry.
  6. Where possible designate an entire shelf to a category.  Metal shelf dividers can be purchased at the Container Store to divide shelves for multiple categories.
  7. Other useful pantry storage items are lazy susans, glass jars and air sealed containers which can be used to store your most used items. If you pantry is more than 12″ deep consider getting tiered inserts so that you can see what is in the back most row.
  8. Involve your family by showing them your system so that they can participate in keeping it orderly. You can go to the ultimate step in organizing and label your shelves so everything is absolutely clear to anyone looking in your pantry.

Next week we will clean out our upper kitchen cabinets.

More Spring Cleaning by RED

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March 29, 2011

Spring Cleaning STEP 2: Medicine Cabinet

by rebecca elisabeth design
what's in your medicine cabinet?

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Last week we started this trip down spring cleaning lane with the linen closet.  This week is our medicine cabinet/s. As you can imagine this is critical to the health and safety of your family. If you are like many households your medicine may be a bit spread out and now is the time to get it all together to evaluate what you have.
  1. Gather all the medicine from your closet, bath vanity area, refrigerator, etc. My medicine cabinet includes toiletries like deodorants, shampoos, toothpaste, etc. if yours does too, follow the same steps as below including these items.
  2. Check the expiration dates and create an expired pile. Be sure to properly dispose of the following:
    • expired
    • discontinued
    • broken containers
    • illegible labels
    • liquid medications that have separated
  3. Combine like items.  There is no need to have 3 boxes of Alka Seltzer open when they can be combined into one box.
  4. Sort your medicines and toiletries into categories such as cold and cough, pain, his, her, kids, etc. Once sorted, consider running out to get containers to store them in categories, so that they stay neat and orderly. Clear drinking glasses are a great way to sort smaller items such as lipsticks, manicure tools, small tubes of creams, etc.
  5. Wash out the closets, shelves and drawers with warm soapy water with a touch of vinegar to get rid of odors. Dry shelves and replace medicines in storage containers or in neat rows, labels facing front, grouped by category.

Many local pharmacies accept drugs and medicine for safe disposal.  Medications should never be flushed or poured down the sink. There is concern about medicine reaching our water supply because it isn’t adequately cleaned by water treatment plants. Please dispose of your medicines properly so that you do not add to this problem.

Follow along with REDinterior’s spring cleaning over the next few weeks to get your house into tip-top shape. Let us know how you are doing with your spring cleaning on our Facebook page.
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