Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Organizing: Spring Cleaning in January

Week three of the EAT TO THE BOTTOM OF THE FREEZER CHALLENGE and we are doing really well.  I have stuck to the plan and only broke down for a bag of hamburger buns that we could have done without but we were having company so I splurged!

I never have time to do much spring cleaning in the spring so thankfully the mood still strikes albeit a few months early - usually in January.  I think doing the Eat To the Bottom of the Freezer Challenge this month helps.

Last week I cleaned out every cupboard in the kitchen.  My kitchen is small by magazine standards - I know it could be smaller yet but to give you the idea my brother was once working in it and he said:  Anita this is a one "backside" kitchen! (that's not quite verbatim since I can't print what he actually said!)  It certainly is but that doesn't stop me from stuffing the cupboards full and making it work.  Somehow in the fall when I am busy canning not everything gets put away where it should go and eventually I end up with a few of those avalanche cupboards - you know - the ones where everything comes flying out when you open the door.

I really like useful gadgets and tools.  Some of the older ones I have already posted on the blog previously.  I have a hard time resisting kitchen items like rolling pins, or flour sifters, or measuring cups and spoons.  I have a thing for dishes too - I have several sets that I change out every so often.  There's a red theme of course! One set is all glass - purchased BEFORE we moved here.  I'm back to my red dishes now and they make me smile every time I set the table.  I have a few sets of "breakfast plates and bowls" with nostalgic scenes of chubby-faced children eating Rice Krispies.  When children come to visit I use those dishes and they are usually quite excited about them.

I am switching as many storage containers over to glass as I can.  I've never been a fan of plastic - somehow it never feels clean to me.  I love glass everything and that's not necessarily a match made in heaven for someone with hard water since it  makes for spotty dishes if you don't dry them right away.  Oh well.

I have been given several boxes of those beautiful old canning jars that I've written about many times before and although they might be fine for canning pickled beets or the like according to my older neighbour I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that so I have slowly switched out my regular canning/storage jars for those old beauties.  I am so glad I can still get the rubber rings for them.  I store most of my dry grains, dehydrated vegetables, seeds, spices etc. in them.    I like the look of them when I open the cupboards!

My cupboards are getting a paint job in the next few weeks - my daughter has offered to help since we're doing inside and out which is a messy project.  She's a great painter and I am looking forward to a freshened up kitchen.

Yesterday in my continuing rampage of cleaning I tackled the master bedroom.  It's a bit of a joke in this house because most people in new houses have closets bigger than our bedroom.  It just fits the bed and a desk and room to get in.  No closets, no extra anything.  I've always stored things under the bed in an attempt to make good use of the space but a few nights ago I was awakened to a symphony.  One man snoring.  One dog snoring.  One mouse under the bed chewing on something.  GREAT.  It's rather disconcerting to hear hurry-scurry two feet away from your head!!  I made up my mind right then that I was going to remove the basket under the bed and do some cleaning.  The carpet has always bothered me in this room because of my allergies and it's advanced age so out it came piece by piece as my daughter and I manoeuvred around the furniture.  There's some really cool tiles under the carpet so they will do just fine for a few years...and  MUCH better - nothing for the mice to chew on at least it was quiet last night anyway!

I guess it's that nesting snuggle-down-in-the-warmth-of-hearth-and-home feeling that sets off these mid-winter clean ups.  It's a good feeling to accomplish things when the weather is not calling me to be outside.  If I keep it up at this pace I'll have everything on my long-to-do-list done before spring but then again there's always time for another cup of tea.

How's your Challenge going??  Has it spurred you on to cleaning too?  Maybe I'm just the odd-ball!


  1. I've been doing some super cleaning and organizing. Growing up, I always use to do it when it was cold out and you couldn't do anything else. The last few years in Florida, I've not had the same drive. Of course, this year, the fact that we are about to have baby #3 may be spurring on the organize the garage and basement routine. :)

    1. Oh Dani!!! How exciting! congratulations on your soon-to-arrive little one :) I remember that nesting feeling too. hugs!

  2. I have those jars in a box with your name on it. :)

    I think it's the time of new for new beginning and part of that is organizing the house. You are doing better then me.

  3. Oh, how I wish I had your energy! You're doing a great job. Once I get moving, I'll have to clean and declutter in preparation for our move to the land this spring. Something has to be done soon, although we're keeping the house in town for awhile. What colour will you be painting your cupboards?

    1. I think my energy comes from the sure knowledge that when spring (and before) arrives I will be so busy outside that I won't get to these things until next year. Living in the country and according to the seasons certainly changes how you look at things!

      My cupboards will be a coffee-with-cream colour. We are always on the look out for paint in the bargain bin at Home Depot. If the colour is reasonable I'll buy it and set it aside. I bought a 16L pail of paint for $22.00 and the colour will be perfect because the price is right :) Ha ha!


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