"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spring Cleaning

Cleaning Bucket

Trusty Supplies
De-cluttering is on the agenda.
I've managed not to kill this plant!
Now that spring is here I'll bring another plant home and cross my fingers.
Time to take stock of bathroom towels.
I also need to sew up new towels for the kitchen.
I have to get the laundry room organized and in good shape.
Why does so much clutter end up in here?
My clothesline fell down during a winter storm.
A top priority is to get that fixed and soon.
Then I can dry the linens outside once more, can't wait, there's nothing like sun and wind for freshening.
Meal planning is key!
It's been a busy winter and I'm feeling off my game with dinners.
I have to scrub the whole kitchen and get a good meal plan on the go.
Happy Spring!
I'm trying to motivate myself with visuals and a list this morning, I've set aside the whole next week for spring cleaning.
I have so much to do so I think I'd better start at the top of the house and work my way down.  I'm going to thoroughly clean and de-clutter every room in the house with particular attention paid to the bathrooms, the kitchen and the laundry room.
How does my laundry room end up in such a mess?  It's the dumping ground for all of the unwanted things apparently.
I've been in a real rut with family dinners these last weeks, I need to get my cookbooks out and make some lists of meals and re-stock the pantry.
Hostess asked me for some of my favourite recipes and I'm happy to oblige, it's one of the posts I'll work on this week...
Have you helped your parents down-size to a smaller house or an apartment?  We did that this past winter for my in-laws and the whole process really knocked home the fact that it's much easier to keep things clean and tidy with less stuff around.  It's that old rule that I must remember: keep nothing that is not useful or beautiful.  We just finished the clear-out of their house yesterday so this first day of spring is perfect timing to start a big clean of my own.
Wishing you a happy, beautiful Spring!  (Or a wonderful Autumn if you are in Australia.)
Any big cleaning plans up your sleeve?
xoxDani

43 comments:

  1. I've been doing a lot of spring cleaning and baseboard painting. Everything does look so crisp if the bases are freshly painted. Sort of like that gardening knowledge that if you're pressed for time, the highest priority should be crisp edges to your beds. Good luck with your cleaning! I did a huge cookbook reading a few weeks ago and it really does invigorate with new ideas and fresh eyes. And I had a dinner on Thursday and am planning an Easter lunch. Nothing gets me to clean quite like imagining a countdown clock over my doorbell. I need to be like you and Janet and FF and embrace the decluttering. Considering I bought 50 pieces of stemware this week, that seems improbable. Actually 54. I found green wine glasses I just had to use for Saint Patrick's last week.

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    1. Stephen Andrew it had to be done- the green wine glasses that is. Did you have a St. Patrick's Day dinner? Would love to know what was on the menu. I always plan on doing that but it usually falls within our March Break which means I'm busy talking my youngest daughter here and there. Last week it was skiing and then shopping in Toronto- a mall during March break with a migraine headache is not recommended.
      Even though you have 54 new wineglasses I have a feeling your house is ship-shape. I need to plan a dinner party too, that will get me on the move. XO

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    2. I did! But no corned beef or cabbage. I made my bread and sundried oil, lemon thyme roasted chicken breasts, cavatappi tossed in pesto w roasted tomatoes, seared asparagus and bell peppers, and the cutest mint cream cheese swirled brownies. I'd never made those before and was quite worried the green wouldn't hold. I made a mint pesto basically and doused it with vodka to try and get the color to keep. It worked! I didn't want to use food coloring. Although I did put green food coloring in my toilet water. I couldn't help myself.

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    3. Oh gosh that's it I have to host a St. Patrick's Day dinner just so I can dye the toilet water that is hilarious. Your menu sounds perfect, funny how vodka and pasta go so well together, I served a vodka penne dish at a dinner party years ago and it was such a good party, easy food but delicious.
      You are like a chemist with food! XO

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  2. why yes dani i am in the spring cleaning/organizing mode too. i always get so excited for this. i love taking stock and seeing what is and isn't working and like you, i wonder how stuff accumulates. i've gone thru my one and only closet and purged quite a few things. i've done the medicine cabinets, laundry room and pantry. today i plan to open all the windows and do a deep cleaning. why this excites me i have no idea. x

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    1. Janet me too it makes me happy beyond all reasonableness to get my house in order with everything scrubbed and accounted for. If I didn't meet my kindred spirits here on the blog I'd feel like a freak. Medicine cabinets get very cluttered don't they. It's still cold here but I'm hoping to get all the windows open at some point this week. Our snow is gone and the crocuses are up- looks like an early spring for us (crossing fingers). XO

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  3. Very good Dani! We've already had our little Barkeeper's Friend talk and I'd lovr to run barefoot over those lush bathtowels....they are divine though I do fret when my hotel has only those thick towels on offer as it makes shutting my suitcase quite a challenge.

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    1. G I'm not sure this daytime drinking thing is working out for you.
      I think a little scrubbing with some Barkeeper's Friend would do you good! XO

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    2. My Dear Dani,
      Contrary to popular opine, GSL very seldom imbibes prior to sunset and if so usually with my Truman Capotesque sidekick, Terry Drama, as the shoulder-devil leading me astray....which is not to say I haven't smartphoned a quip or 2 from deep into cups from time to time...

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  4. Hi Dani, I have been doing some bits and bobs of spring cleaning. I found a great You Tube channel, How Jen Does It. She has lots of videos about cleaning routines - spring, weekly, morning, night time, etc. I find them oddly mesmerising! Here's a link:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdkFPwH9ZO0

    I think another of the markers of springtime is stepping away from the comfort foods and making lighter dishes, I also need to go through my cookbooks.


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    1. Patricia thanks for that link it sounds like the most comforting YouTube channel ever. Cleaning, and thinking about it- it's very calming.
      Last night I made a salmon dinner with a cucumber, fennel, feta and dill salad. It was super-good, perfect spring time food. I think I'll haul out Nigella's Forever Summer cookbook this week. XO

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    2. That sounds lovely Dani - I love fennel in a salad! We had the boys over for dinner (we oversee them doing their taxes) - we had flank steak by request, but also an Asian-style noodle salad and a Thai-style mango salad - so fresh.

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    3. Patricia that sounds like a gorgeous dinner my son would love it! I hope your boys are well these days. XO

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  5. Glad to hear I'm not the only one who feels their food repertoire is down to three miserable dishes! I adore the idea of spring cleaning; your photos are a tonic Dani. You are much more efficient than me--my long list only gets half done and takes a whole month! I run out of steam and think, "how about FALL cleaning?" Dannie

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    1. Dannie ugh my meals were getting very uninspiring and I have no excuse for it! Back not rack now though and between my cookbooks and Pinterest boards I'm feeling better organized. Also did a big shop at my favourite grocery, the FreshCO near the Happy Store, do you go to that one? It's the best grocery store in the city in my opinion. Come by for tea soon! XO

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    2. "on track" I meant! "not rack": autocorrect ;)

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  6. Dear Dani,
    That cleaning bucket of yours always gives the image of you on your knees scrubbing the floors like a Cinderella. :) Absolutely nothing better than throwing those windows open and letting all that clean air and sunshine stream in. And yes! Better get that clothes line up - clothes, (especially whites) need that outside freshness and sunshine.
    Given your list, and the time frame, I now know why you stay so slim. I take months to get through spring cleaning. By the time I'm done, I need to start again. (lol)
    My biggest culprit isn't so much which rooms accumulate clutter but 1 husband that won't throw away anything and lives in complete mess and chaos and 1 younger daughter who is too sentimental to part with even a scribble done 10 years ago.. That downsize won't come soon enough for me!! Happy Cleaning Dani!!! Helen :)

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  7. Dear Dani,
    That cleaning bucket of yours always gives the image of you on your knees scrubbing the floors like a Cinderella. :) Absolutely nothing better than throwing those windows open and letting all that clean air and sunshine stream in. And yes! Better get that clothes line up - clothes, (especially whites) need that outside freshness and sunshine.
    Given your list, and the time frame, I now know why you stay so slim. I take months to get through spring cleaning. By the time I'm done, I need to start again. (lol)
    My biggest culprit isn't so much which rooms accumulate clutter but 1 husband that won't throw away anything and lives in complete mess and chaos and 1 younger daughter who is too sentimental to part with even a scribble done 10 years ago.. That downsize won't come soon enough for me!! Happy Cleaning Dani!!! Helen :)

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    1. Helen my husband doesn't like to throw anything away either but then doesn't notice when I've done an edit... while he's at the office! I'll need more time than this week, it's a huge job and I've been moving at turtle pace. A good scrub on hands and knees is the best way to sparkling clean but my old runner's knees can't take it, I have a microfibre mop that does the job kind of well.
      I can't wait to get that clothesline up it's very discouraging to see it lying out there in the garden, abandoned! XO

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  8. Oh I love the freshness after a good clean up. I have been standing on my step stool wiping away the cobwebs from the dark beams at the ceiling. I washed some of the windows and have culled some things and taken them to s consignment shop. Looking forward to your tried and true favourite recipes.
    I had to throw away a pair of cleaning gloves as they were so worn. Wearing a clean new pair is inspiring me no end!
    Happy cleaning 💛💛💛

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    1. Hostess funny how a small thing like a new cleaning tool (or gloves in your case) can be very inspiring. These things should not be under-rated. I've been tackling the cobwebs too with my giant long duster, found a couple of spiders in the crown mouldings but let them escape. Window washing... I must do that too but it's still so cold, maybe next week if it warms up fingers crossed. XO

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  9. Dani, Love this post! It's right on time as I am ready to purge and clean. I think you know my saga with the grandmother's house. We actually finished the clean out- one year later. Can you believe it? That's time we will never get back and I sure as heck will not do the same to my family.
    I too have so much stuff in the laundry. I need to have it tidy and pretty like yours. I could not agree more that the less you have, the less you need to manage!! When I have time, it feels so good to restock the pantry and plan meals. When life gets crazy like the past few weeks I also got off track. Good idea to re-set and get things in order. I'm going to share this post on my Facebook Monday morning. Always a good time to start fresh ! Have a great week Dani! xo Kim

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    1. Kim, one year... I believe it! Wow though. Yes I can see that it would give you a resolve to keep a tidy and fairly minimal home.
      I'm working my way through the house and haven't managed the laundry yet, it will be the last room to be cleaned and de-cluttered this week. The kitchen has taken me loads of time because I've been neglecting my meal planning these last months. Thanks for the sharing Kim and I hope you're having a great week too. XO

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  10. Oh I just hate cleaning:(. I wish I could find some aesthetic joy in it, or simple pleasures, or something, but nothing!

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    1. Lisa there's no fighting it then! I've always enjoyed cleaning, for me it's an anxiety cure, controlling chaos etc. XO

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  11. Hello copper pot - it has been a while! Great posts - I have been away visiting my little old auntie. De-cluttering is easy for me - I have moved so often I only keep and have what I love and use (along with a FEW sentimental things especially books and crafts the children made) but for older people who haven't moved de-cluttering can be traumatic as I have just witnessed. The things that are stored away and taken out often have a story - and the stories aren't necessarily happy ones. Alas. So glad you got out skiing this year as well - I cross-country often and call it outdoor yoga. Share recipes please! Annax

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    1. Anna I hope you had a good visit. Yes the copper pot reigns again! The ski season was fun but hectic too with weekends away, and the driving. Though I can't complain because Thornbury is less than 2 hours away and a country drive.
      I hadn't though about it but you must have a very well-edited home with all of the moves and not just local but international! You could write the book on moving. XO

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  12. I think the urge to clean is definitely a seasonal thing. Although I tend to do a bit one post Christmas while we have our long Summer holidays and things are quieter. But I've been fluffing the nest in preparation for Autumn - it still feels very summery here, but the deep cleaning and dust elimination are an on going battle. I was also thinking about having the carpets steamed before the weather gets too cold and they don't dry quickly. Sounds like you've been very busy helping your inlaws - it's quite a process to downsize, and you're right the discipline to keep doing it regularly is key. Otherwise you fill all those empty rooms with stuff you no longer need. xx

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    1. Heidi when my children were small the post-Christmas de-clutter was a definite necessity, so many things coming in the house for the kids!
      The down-sizing was a huge job, 30 years of accumulated things and many with memories and meaning. We worked on it all winter. Must be human nature to fill rooms and closets! XO

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  13. I'm on the clean! No matter that I constantly strip things back, there's always one cupboard or drawer that seems to end up bogged down with pointless stuff again. I've started in the garden too, I've been ruthless and quite a few really mature leggy shrubs have been pulled out or hacked back to base level, even the gaping holes look better than the tangled mess that was there before.

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    1. Tabs in the garden already I'm jealous! It's freezing here again we even had snow on Monday ugh. Weary of winter but we typically have another snow in early April so it's not over yet. I still haven't tackled the large kitchen drawer where everyone (including me) stuffs junk and odd bits. XO

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  14. Funny as if on cue out of nowhere I felt like cleaning so the spring deities do exist i am sure of it because I am no declutterer nor cleaner. But I am now back to normal. Mess doesn't upset me at all. Downsizing though is a little bit of an emotional upheaval...x

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    1. Naomi it's the spring cleaning bug a real thing! I wish I was less bothered by mess. But I don't get upset by normal life like the dog tracking in dirt etc because that mess is part of the fun. XO

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  15. I have cleaned my to-be-sold home top to toe and will be doing the same in the new place. I downsized significantly three years ago and got rid of at least half my stuff. I got rid of another half for staging my house for sale. I have half a mind to simply donate everything packed away as, save for a few seasonal decorations and sporting goods, I clearly do not need it! I am committed to not fill the new place (which is larger since it accommodates our five kids) and keep it pared down. There is nothing like moving everything several times to help make one into a minimalist! I'm also bored with meals. With all of the work, we've been eating horribly. My new house resolution is to make healthy, spring fare! Love to see your recipes! That quinoa spinach one you posted kept me going much of the late winter. xoxo

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    1. Jen I once donated boxes of things in the basement same theory! Didn't miss anything. Moving is the best editing tool that's for sure. Yes I think it's time of year re boredom with meals? I'm back on my game this week after lots of list-making and kitchen organizing, it's taken me forever. Very happy about the quinoa-spinach thing, so healthy too XO

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  16. Getting rid of things not used or needed is so important. I, too, am going through my home doing the same thing. Amazingly, without notice, clutter grows. My discard pile is growing. It's a good thing. Spring is in the air!

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    1. Anon I have two boxes ready to fill for donations, even though I did a massive de-clutter last year it's amazing the things that pile up again. Yesterday I did the medicine cabinets and the drawers in my husband's study/dressing room which were a horror! Spring coming is a motivator XO

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  17. Oh, Dani, how I admire your commitment to cleaning. I am in the process of downsizing, moving to a slightly smaller house after living in my current space for 14 years. I am in shock over the 14 years of accumulated stuff, most of which needs to go. I know in the end it will be liberating, but geez, getting there is a ton of work. Going forward, I am going to declutter and get rid of stuff regularly. Happy spring to you.

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    1. Anon I'm feeling your pain it is loads of work. I hope the clearing out goes well, the hardest thing is finding a new home for everything and then there's the moving around of it! Best of luck to you XO

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  19. Oh how late I am to the game. Have been out gambling again...shhhhh. Anyway, love spring! It is time. I have had not a very good winter and nothing gets me back to me like cleaning. It is odd how it goes full circle and we resemble our mothers. Anytime my mom was angry, in a mood, etc, she cleaned. It is quite cathartic.

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  20. How sparkling and tidy your place will be/probably already is! I find myself making some lists re:cleaning and deaccessioning even though I'm not yet back! I've enjoyed having 800 square feet and nearly zero clutter, cleaning the whole place in 20 minutes. Yes, we cleaned out my parents' house, and it was awful, because of my dad's late life hoarding tendencies.

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  21. Oh how late I am to the game. Have been out gambling again...shhhhh. Anyway, love spring! It is time. I have had not a very good winter and nothing gets me back to me like cleaning. It is odd how it goes full circle and we resemble our mothers. Anytime my mom was angry, in a mood, etc, she cleaned. It is quite cathartic

    This is very nice, A beautiful pictures which you have shared , I'm truly glad to see this sort of things.

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