Seamingly Crafty

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season!!

This year our family embraced the reason for the season!  Instead of spending a ton of money and allowing greed to run our Holiday we had a semi Homemade Christmas.  I say semi homemade because although a lot of our gifts were homemade I still shopped a bit.  It’s the habit I think and really greed that drives us to spend spend spend on Christmas!  I don’t mean the greed like Scrooge in the Christmas carol, or even the give me gifts greed either although there are some like that, what I mean is the greed to HAVE to spend so much thinking it’s the only way to have a good Christmas.  Anyway here is some of what we did to get the most out of the season and the real meaning of it.

First we prayed, a lot!

Then we scoured the internet for ideas!

Here are a couple of things we did!

My daughter and I found these really cool mini crossbows made from Popsicle sticks and barrettes!  so we downloaded the instructions and made one for everyone. We even made ammo and custom colored each one.

You can find the video here. However the instructions are not free anymore but I believe they are under $5 and well worth it!  So much fun!

My daughter is a home schooled senior and this year I decided to do a woodshop class.  So for her first big project she made a beautiful pine cabinet for my husband.

linked here, we altered the design a bit because some of the instructions seemed off and we used pine from the oops wood at our local lumber yard, so we had to change the doors a bit.

Using a dremel she etched a tree into the each side.

Using a dremel she etched a tree into the each side.

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While shopping for materials in our local craft store we came across this batman light for nearly $200! Both my kids loved it, but $200 yeah right!!!

My gears began running and I built them lights for just $2.50 each! That included tissue paper, paint, the light, and the frame. I had the wood.

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I also made several crocheted items I will share later 🙂  A couple of cute sock monkeys, and for some Holiday entertainment an elf on the shelf was crocheted and named Larry, he made his first appearance Dec. 1st. 🙂

We made a gingerbread house from scratch, that was a fun family night!

What did you do to make your Holiday special?

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Bedroom Re-Design Vol. 2

So I mentioned being MIA in Bedroom Re-Design Vol. 1.  I was busy this summer.  Both of my kids got room makeovers.

My sons request was green.  I cringed a bit, I am picky when it comes to wall colors.  Certain shades of certain colors should never be used on walls in my opinion.  For instance that color blue from the 70’s actually to me most any blue unless it has a gray tint.  Anyway, so yes I cringed a little cause green is a tough one on walls for me.

I found this awesome design on google.

Photo found on Google Search. Credit is on picture Looks to say Franco Beraci.

So I had my inspiration and I had some samples of greens and grays.  He didn’t like the green in the photo. So Here is what we came up with.  I’m not into the green he chose, but it’s his room.

Before the walls were an eggshell with a border on the top.  Sorry I don’t have before pics.

The accent wall.

The closet door handles I did white with tribal on them.

I decided to paint tribal on each side of the window.

I found an image and printed it out, I made it large so it took 2 sheets of paper to print. I taped them together, used a pencil on the back of the paper and covered over the design, taped it to the wall then traced over the design leaving pencil markings on the wall. 🙂 easier than cutting and stenciling.

The entertainment center will be painted white and my daughter is going to custom paint video game characters on it.  I will post those pics when it is complete.

I will not use my ipod to take those pictures 😉  I promise.

His window just has blinds over it for now.  I’m either going to make curtains or leave it with blinds.  We haven’t decided yet.

Till next time.

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Custom Chandelier

As promised in Bedroom Re-Design Vol. 1 I am sharing how I made this custom chandelier.

I would suggest reading this entire post before going at this on your own.

It is always best to consult a professional.

I ASSUME NO RESPONSIBILITY IF YOU INJURE OR ELECTROCUTE YOURSELF OR A FIRE IS STARTED IF YOU ATTEMPT TO MAKE THIS.

Be sure to read and follow all instructions contained in your light fixture kits you purchase.

Now with all that out of the way, I used parts I had left over from 2 previous light fixtures I either made or altered.  If you make this project I have listed the parts I used, some of them may come in kits or can be purchased separately.

For this project I used:

  1. Two cluster fixture socket (pictured)
  2. swag light kit (pictured)
  3. electrical tape
  4. electric wire nuts
  5. wire strippers/cutter
  6. screw collar loop kit w/swivel crossbar (pictured below) you may also need to pick up a longer nipple (which is the tube in the left picture below with the threads on the outside)
  7. round box plate with center hole (pictured below)
  8. Two wire wreath forms I used 14″ (cheapest found at Walmart under $3)
  9. Pliers
  10. heavy duty wire cutters (to cut hanger)
  11. 3 wire hangers
  12. scissors
  13. 1 yard choice of fabric
  14. hot glue and gun
  15. beads of choice (Walmart cheapest)
  16. floral wire (thin gauge to affix beads)
  17. 4 yards ribbon (possibly less)
  18. jewelry Chain & jump rings
  19. rivet gun and rivets med. to large

To start out I opened the wire holding the circles on the wreath.  I used the outer and inner circles.  Those where not welded to the holding wire.  And were the perfect size for the chandelier I had visioned.

Next Icut wire hangers to get 8 pieces.  I bent the ends as seen in picture.

I attached 4 to the small rings and 4 to the large rings.

Before crimping I had to make sure the rings sat straight and even.  After fighting with it, I finally got it somewhat straight.

as you can see there was still one or two that just wouldn’t stay straight but that was fixed while adding the fabric and ribbon.

Taking the larger shade and the swivel crossbar I found my center, placed the center hole of the swivel crossbar on my center mark (this can be done on the floor or table by taping a piece of paper down, putting something on 4 sides of the shade to hold it in place then marking the center on the paper).  I measured the distance between the holes at the ends of the swivel to the shade added 2 inches cut 4 more pieces of hanger, made a loop on one end and crimped the other around the top of the shade. I then used the rivet gun to attach the other end to the swivel crossbar.

The next step was adding the fabric and the ribbon to the shade forms.  This was a daunting task.  I first measured then measured again then cut the length and width I needed leaving plenty on the length to fold a nice hem.  I then began gluing.  and.. gluing and.. yep you guessed it gluing some more.  It looked hideous. However the ribbon was intended to cover the wire form and hide the hideous glue 🙂 So I began to glue again first inside then out.

Next I assembled the light.  Using the kits and various parts I had from other projects.

I used screws to attach the wall box plate to the swivel crossbar.  This was to insure the chandelier wasn’t applying any pressure on the wires while hanging.

I ran the wires through the nipple and the swivel and plate. I followed the instructions that came with the swag kit and strung the chain and attached the switch.  Then I  attached the wires from the fixture to the swag with wire nuts put elec. tape over them just to be extra safe. I made sure everything was tight and in place.

I then measured the chain and attached it to the top cross bars and the bottom shade poking the jump ring through the fabric around the wire.  You can see it in the above photos.

Finally I decided on how to place the beads used the floral wire and poked it through the fabric where I wanted it to hang.

I plugged it while my husband held it up and turned it on to test it.  everything seemed to be in order and functioning properly.  We hung it up with the hooks that came in the swag kit.

For my second light fixture I made from scratch I’d say it turned out pretty good. 🙂

I did have a little pinspiration.

After completing this light I found that there were other light hardware pieces I could have used as opposed to riveting and cutting hangers.  But over all this was pretty cheap to make.

The one pictured above on ebay was going for $100

Mine was a fraction of that.

Until next time!

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Bedroom Re-Design Vol. 1

Hello!!  My it has been quite some time since I have posted.  I apologize for my neglect and being totally MIA for so long.  I have been going through many life changes and self discovery.  That has all come with so many ups and downs.  Anyway, enough of that stuff.

Lets move on to what I’ve been up to in my many months MIA.

We’ve been doing lots of remodeling (on the cheap), finding ways to give the place a face lift that wont break the bank.  We started in our kids rooms.

In this Volume I’m going to share with you what we did to customize our daughters room.  She did most of the designing with much advise from me 😉  but most of it she made the choices.

So here are some before pictures.  You can see we had to remove trim that had been up for about 12 or more years.  That was a task!  I will suggest having a bottle of warm soapy water to spray while removing such old trim.  IF it was stick on, meaning the glue was on it already and you only needed to dip in water to apply.  If it was done with wallpaper paste… well good luck 😉

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The room was painted a creamy coffee color.  That just wouldn’t do.

To start we purchased a bed set for her, she wanted a new one for her birthday.  She gave me colors she’d like and I went from there.  I chose at Walmart a bed in a bag set.  It came with sheets, pillow case, pillow sham, comforter, and bed skirt.  Because she wanted purple and this set was only black and white I purchased a purple sheet set also.  Because the bed in the bag was so inexpensive I was able to stay in budget with adding the sheet set.  Also it gave her many options on styling her bed.  We also got a large fuzzy purple pillow.  She’s a pillowhaulic always has been 🙂

So I began scouring the interwebs for bedroom designs in purple and black (her colors) to get some inspiration.  We found a few we liked and grabbed ideas from several images.

Here is her vision.

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Above:  In a future post I will share how I made this custom chandelier.

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over her bed “Always Kiss Me Goodnight”

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These curtains we found at our local family dollar for $12 each panel.  The are single rod silk swirl design drape and valance with lace drape in the back.

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🙂  Just an owl wall sticker

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She decided to paint the closet and entry door with chalk board paint so her and her friends could write little notes.  For the handles we purchased a key and  keyhole knobs from Hobby Lobby on sale 50% off.  We painted them purple.

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This is her focal wall it is sprayed with purple and silver glitter over the purple paint.  Really hard to see it in the photo, but it’s there. 🙂  That was a bit pricey but I later found out it would have been cheaper if I had purchased the paint from walmart instead of Hobby Lobby :S Lesson learned.

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The trim in the room was painted with a semi gloss black.

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The bed set with the purple sheets.

Over all the cost to do this including the bedset was under $175.00

Well worth it!

Stay tuned for Vol. 2 🙂

Till then Keep it Crafty!

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DIY Fire Starters

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The cold weather is here! As I was browsing Pinterest I found these neat little homemade fire starters. I thought since it is also hunting season I usually send my hubby with something special I’ve made. Whether its a yummy snack or a simple I love you note tucked into his gear. This year I decided to make him these neat little fire starters.

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What you’ll need:
Cupcake tins
Wax paper
Wax (I grabbed a large jar candle from the dollar store)
Bamboo skewer
Lint from the trap in dryer

Melt the wax carefully the way you feel most comfortable. In this case I placed the jar in a pot of water and carefully heated it until it melted. Cut the wax paper into enough squares for each cup of the muffin tin.
Stuff each cup with lint
Break the skewer into six pieces and use one in each cup. Carefully pour the wax into each cup using the skewer to hold the wax paper down.

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Allow them to cool and there you have it! 🙂
Till next time keep it crafty!

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Hand Painted Signs and Potato Stamp How-to

Well I have been MIA for some time now.  There has been so much happening in my life, it’s taking a toll on me.  I have been taking a mental break so to speak. 🙂

I have found a little time to work on a few projects.  One of them is these signs.  Another thanks to Pinterest!

My husband brought home a few big boxes of these pieces of wood.  They look to be sides of drawers.  I instantly had ideas floating through my mind.  I am a big fan of these cute signs you see all over the net.  I think they look amazing with decor.

I tried giving them a distressed look.  The sign above I used a potato stamp for the small stars.

Here’s how:

Materials:

Potato

pencil

stencil (optional)

paring knife

paint

How to:

Cut the potato in half.  Using the stencil and the pencil 😉 trace or just draw out the shape you want to stamp onto the cut end of your potato.  You may need to scar the potato if it is really wet the pencil may not show up.

using your paring knife carefully start cutting away the potato around your shape.

once finished dab the the potato on paper towels to dry.  Dip into paint and stamp away!

The above sign is my favorite!  It represents these tough times in my life that at times seem unbearable but through the grace of God, my will to push on and great friends and family (anchors) I have remained sane.

Hope you enjoyed!

Till next time!

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Regrow Food at Home

I’ve always had a green thumb as long as I can remember.  I think it was a trait passed down from my Grandmother cause my Mother also has a green thumb.  Something about growing plants.  🙂  I have always been interested in growing seeds from produce I buy at the store.  I have had a lemon tree growing in a pot for 12 years now, that I started from a seed I saved from a lemon.  1 more year and it will start to bear fruit.  Lemon trees take 13 years to mature.  I recently found out to trick them into thinking they are older to bear fruit much sooner you can prune a stem from an old lemon tree and root it.  I think that may be one of my next projects!  Anyway, that is just one thing you can regrow at home.  Today I’m going to be talking about my latest veggie I decided to give a go at regrowing and so far it’s coming along very well!

Celery!

Yes, you can regrow celery you bought at the store!  Here is how..

photo ©Stacey Austin Seamingly Crafty

Start out with a head of celery.  Cut off the stalks close to the bottom leaving about an inch or two.  Set your stalks aside, we are going to fix those up later in this post.

photo ©Stacey Austin Seamingly Crafty

you will end up with this.

The bottom of the celery head is where the roots will grow from.  Your celery head may have a few small roots already growing from it.

photo ©Stacey Austin Seamingly Crafty

Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t.  As you can see mine didn’t and was cut really close to the stalks.

Next you can choose to plant your celery out in your garden or you can start it in water in a shallow dish inside or in a pot inside if you wish to grow it over the cold months.  I chose to plant mine in the garden.  When planting in soil plant it down just enough for the nubs of the stalks to sit even with the soil or just under.  In my photo below mine where even but with watering and rain they got covered.  Be sure to water your celery after planting it and be sure to keep the soil moist.  After the roots take well you won’t have to worry so much about the soil staying so moist.

photo ©Stacey Austin Seamingly Crafty

Here is my celery about a week after planting it.  (don’t mind the mess, we were in the process of cleaning up after a storm)

When preparing your celery for regrowing, you can also choose to snap off the stalks leaving only the center most hearts of the celery and plant that.  This will grow your stalks much faster.  🙂  This process I am going to try indoors over the colder months.

So whichever way you choose to regrow your celery enjoy! and please share your experience with me!! 🙂

Now lets talk stalks.

Cut off the tops of the stalks and recycle in compost or use for stock or to feed your bunny 😉   The leaves can be used in salads and can also be dried and used for seasoning.  Clean the stalks well.  I use my potato brush to scrub them.  Store them in a Ziploc bag until ready to use.  OR  If you notice your celery getting limp, simply place them in a container with water stored in the fridge.  They will crisp up in a few hours or less.   I use bottled or filtered water for this.

DID YOU KNOW…

Celery is known as a “negative calorie food”  This is the idea that your body will burn more calories digesting the food than it will extract from the food.  YES! score! 🙂

Celery is also a good alternative to smoking… I know this from personal experience and experiences shared with me by others.  When trying to quit smoking carry around some celery in a small bag.  Whenever you feel the urge to smoke chew on some celery.  🙂  It worked for me.

There are many other foods you can grow from your fridge and pantry.  Coming soon I’ll talk about potatoes and pineapple 🙂

 

In the meantime remember my last post about my sweet peas?  Here is an updated photo.  My how they’ve grown in just 7 days!

photo ©Stacey Austin Seamingly Crafty

 

Until next time… Keep it Crafty! 😉

 

 

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Natures Helpful Garden Trellis

My Husband and I have been working out in the garden.  This year we decided to grow some sweet baby pea pods.

I have placed two plants in a large planter and used an old little trellis for them I had laying around.

I love plants that vine.  It is awesome how the wrap so tightly around the nearest thing they can find.

We also planted several pea pods in our garden.  We have been trying to keep to a tight budget so we didn’t want to go out and spend any money on supplies for the garden.  We forgot that the pea pods needed a trellis or line to cling to and grow.  One afternoon after cutting the lawn I had noticed the tree in the front needed some trimming done.  After trimming and dragging the small branches to our compost pile I thought how pretty would it be to use the branches at little trellis’s for the pea pods!  So I stripped off all the leaves and bent them into a curve and My Hubby pushed them into the ground.

I absolutely love natural elements in the garden!  Our tomatoes have metal basket things around them and I think they look awful! We will eventually come up with something more natural for those as well.

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Spring Cleaning 101

The Spring Equinox is March 20.  Spring is literally around the corner!  Very soon the squirrels with be frolicking, tulips and daffodils will be beginning their ascent from the dirt and the birds will be singing joyful springtime songs.   Nothing beats the slumpy winter blues like a fresh and clean home!

I am going to share with you my spring cleaning list and how I go about completing it.  Now because this is an extensive list I suggest doing one or two things on the list a day and getting your whole family to help!  We like to put on some music to get the family cleaning!  I remember my mom always put on music Sunday morning after breakfast to clean.  It is a tradition I carried on to my family.   I am also including the list I write out for my husband.  He would rather go fishing but this stuff must get done so putting on his music in the garage and giving him a cooler and a six pack usually helps. 🙂

To keep from cleaning spaces more than once I start at the top and work my way down.  Here are 11 things to have on hand to help out with cleaning:

  1. distilled white vinegar
  2. cleaning rags
  3. 20 mule team borax
  4. lemons
  5. duster
  6. vacuum
  7. Mr. Clean magic eraser
  8. baking soda
  9. mop and bucket
  10. broom
  11. steam cleaner

Lets get started, as i said I work from ceiling to floor to keep from cleaning multiple times.  You can choose to do one room at a time or do the ceilings in all rooms etc.  I prefer doing one room at a time but there is no rule on spring cleaning.

Get a box for items you no longer want or need and mark it sell or donate. Along the way of spring cleaning add items to the box.

Spring cleaning list

basic cleaning steps for all rooms:

    • sweep cobwebs from ceilings making sure you get in the corners, determine whether or not they need to be washed or just spot cleaned
    • wipe down all horizontal surfaces with a rag dampened with vinegar
      • door frames
      • artwork and pictures
      • base boards
      • shelves
      • banisters
    • remove all glass light covers and wash in warm soapy water
    • clean ceiling fans
    • wipe down walls Mr. Clean magic eraser comes in handy for this job fill a water bottle with equal parts water and vinegar and a few wedges of a lemon squeezed in and the rind put in the bottle.
    • vacuum floor and wall vents and wipe down with vinegar
    • remove and clean window treatments per factory recommendations (check tags)
    • bring floor mats and rugs outside and take out some aggression and beat them with a broom handle 😉
    • wash windows inside and out and scrub the tracks with soapy water and an old toothbrush

Room by room list:

      • Organize declutter and deep clean bathrooms
        • work from the ceilings down using the steps in the basic list above this includes taking down and washing shower curtains.
        • pull out everything from cabinets and drawers wipe them out
        • check dates on meds and vitamins and dispose of  any that are expired
        • replace items and organize as you put it all away.
        • empty and clean out trash can using vinegar and lemon
        • wash the sink and tub and shower I find that a scrub brush and 20 mule team borax works great! Don’t use vinegar or lemon on tiles! It will eat away the grout!
        • wipe down the cabinets
        • give the toilet a good scrub down using a good cleaner that gets hard water, cleaning the out side around the toilet, use a steam cleaner if you have one!
      • Organize declutter and deep clean kitchen and dining room

        • work from the ceilings down using the steps in the basic list above
        • clean off and declutter top of refrigerator remove any magnets wipe down with vinegar
        • clean the oven spray it with cleaner and move on to the next step while you wait for it work.
        • remove everything from freezer wipe out and clean shelves in warm soapy water organize and check dates on food when putting it all back. replace baking soda box.
        • remove everything from fridge clean shelves and drawers in warm soapy water check dates  on food and condiments. replace baking soda box
        • remove knobs, burners, and burner covers from stove top and clean in warm soapy water
        • if your burner covers are crusted with greasy grime that wont come off in soapy water place them in a 2 gallon ziplock bag pour about 3 tablespoons of ammonia seal the bag and let sit over night then wash in warm soapy water. (you will be amazed at what actually comes off!)
        • wipe down and clean small appliances
        • run coffee pot cleaner through your coffee pot after wiping it down
        • clean out Microwave if you have stubborn splatters in there bring some water to a boil in the microwave and let it stand a few minutes it should wipe right out.  Invest in food cover for your microwave.  I did and wow! it keeps the splatters off the walls of the microwave!
        • clean out dishwasher if you have one following manufacturers cleaning directions
        • clean out and organize cabinets and drawers getting rid of clutter (mix matched lids etc.) wipe out with vinegar.
        • clean the front of cabinets and drawers
        • clean out sink.  My cousin Amy posted a great sink cleaning and repair technique on Painted Posies, you can find it Here.  it explains how to get tough stains out of porcelain sinks.  The same technique can be used on stainless steal for coffee stains etc.
        • wash counter tops to get tough spots (between back splash and sink I use my steam cleaner.
        • by now the oven should be ready put on those tacky yellow gloves and have at it.
        • wipe down tables and chairs
        • clean out drip pan
      • Organize declutter and deep clean living room and family room

        • work from the ceilings down using the steps in the basic list above.
        • clean and vacuum couches and chairs
        • clean electronics remove all books games movies from cabinets clean and dust sort put away
        • dust knickknacks and lamps I find that using a can of air works great
        • vacuum under all furniture
      • Organize declutter and deep clean bedrooms
        • work from the ceilings down using the steps in the basic list above.
        • remove all bedding including skirts and pillows and launder
        • sprinkle the bed with baking soda and leave sit at least an hour then vacuum off with the brush attachment this would be a good time to flip your mattress
        • dust down and clean lamps and knickknacks
        • wipe down all dressers and furniture
      • Organize and declutter wardrobe and closets (make use of the sell box)
      • Organize and declutter office/computer room
        • work from the ceilings down using the steps in the basic list above
        • clean off desk wipe down
        • remove stuff from cabinets wipe out
        • sort out papers
        • organize clutter
        • this is a good time to go through that file cabinet and get shredding 😉
        • thoroughly wipe down desk chair
        • don’t forget to spring clean your computer!!  delete old unused files and games get those pictures printed and put on a disk  etc.
    • Organize deep clean and declutter laundry room/ utility room
          • work from the ceilings down using the steps in the basic list above.
          • wipe down and clean out cabinets
          • with help pull out the dryer and follow the manufacturers instructions on cleaning out the lint area in the back of the machine this can be a fire hazard if it gets too stuffed with lint.
          • clean and dust off appliances

      Finishing up and final touches

        • sweep all floors taking care to get in the corners and under all appliances etc.
        • vacuum all carpets getting in corners and along walls and under all furniture etc.
        • deep clean carpets with a carpet cleaner rinse thoroughly left over soap will collect more dirt and grime
        • deodorize all drains including in basement I pour in baking soda a little water then dump in vinegar wait 5-10 minutes then dump a little more vinegar wait 30 mins and dump really hot water to flush.
        • clean out and dust off vacuum cleaner and floor cleaner swiffers etc.
        • change vacuum filter
        • change batteries in all smoke and carbon detectors and test

At some point I’m sure the husband has started to work outside .  But to get started on his list I walk around in every room with a tablet of paper and pen and jot down all the maintenance that needs to be done.  This stuff will be added to my husbands spring clean up list but at the bottom because I’m not afraid of  hammers and nails and power tools so I will be helping more than likely with these things. And I will make sure the work is done in each room before I get started in it.  I will get a large box and mark it sell for our next garage sale and put it out in the garage for him to put any unused and unwanted items.

The Husbands Spring Cleaning List

(IF YOU DON’T USE IT PUT IT IN THE SELL BOX)

          • Organize and clean up the garage
            • Organize the tool box
            • clean off the top of the tool box and work bench
            • clean out and organize the drawers, cabinets and shelves.  Putting loose nails, screws, etc. in plastic containers or jars.
            • straighten up the sports station putting air in the balls that need it. (have son do this while you are cleaning other stuff)
            • put remaining Christmas boxes up in the attic
            • sweep floor
          • Clean up the patio
          • Organize the shed
            • move the snow shovels and snow blower to the back
            • move the sleds to the back
            • bring forward the lawn mower and wheel barrow
            • bring the grill forward
            • sweep the floor
          • clean up the garbage can area and clean out the cans with lysol
          • Maintenance inside the house
            • oil hinges on doors if needed
            • tighten door knobs if needed
            • fix small hole in the computer room wall
            • replace threshold between hallway and kitchen
            • treat the pergo floor in the kitchen
            • upstairs bathroom toilet is wobbly.. see what’s up with that and fix it.

Well that’s it! That is my extensive spring cleaning list. I am sure there is more that I will add along the way.  But when it is all done we all feel better and we are ready to take on the summer! 🙂  No matter how you choose to take on your spring cleaning whether its all at once or a room a day I hope this post helps!!

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