Top Five Spring Cleaning Essentials [roundup]

SPRING CLEANING ESSENTIALS

I know the snow isn’t gone for everyone but it is for me (although I’m still waiting for the sunny days) and as a result I’m feeling the itch to get my spring cleaning on and bin the purge. But I know I can’t do it all. To avoid overwhelm and failure, this year I’m keeping things streamlined and simple. Here are my spring cleaning essentials for the busy person who has better things to do but still really really really wants to spring clean.

Top Five Spring Cleaning Essentials

  1. Make a plan
  2. I love this spring cleaning planner from Living Well Spending Less. Not only does it force you to clarify your “why” and break down your cleaning plan into manageable steps, but it gives you space to write your top five spring cleaning goals. I love it! And even better, it’s a free download for a limited time.

  3. Make your own cleaners
  4. Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be expensive. If you download the spring cleaning planner jump to page 13 for a bunch of DIY cleaner recipes. Of course my favourite is my DIY Shower Cleaner followed by my DIY Window Cleaner.

  5. Purge your closet and create a capsule wardrobe
  6. I’ll admit, this is the one I haven’t quite completed. I do quarterly “wear everything in my closet and get rid of everything I won’t/can’t wear” events but haven’t been able to pare down my wardrobe to a capsule-size…yet. But it’s a goal. One I’m circling. I love this how-to guide from The Urban Umbrella although if you’re just looking for a cheat sheet, this is a good one.

  7. Sell your extra stuff
  8. I love this tip from Side Hustle Nation. Embrace the purge, then sell it. Just because you’re not using an item doesn’t mean it’s not valuable or usable. In fact, it may be just what another person is searching for. Why not make a few bucks off your spring cleaning? I don’t know about you but it sure motivates me!

  9. Spring clean your email
  10. No kidding! Just because you don’t trip over your virtual files doesn’t mean they don’t overwhelm you. I remember a time when 600 emails in my inbox was normal. What!? Too many! These Email Inbox Management Tips from Fizzle were just what I needed to take my overflowing inbox by the horns and get it down to zero. True story. I got my inbox to zero and every Friday I spend a few minutes getting it back down to something reasonable. And I can’t tell you how amazing it feels.

Alright! These are my spring cleaning essentials—I hope you find some inspiration from this list or at least the courage to tackle one pile of junk this season. Oh, and I hope you’ll get unburied from the snow soon.

Easy DIY Garden Signs for the Non-Artistic [tutorial]

DIY Garden Signs

DIY Garden Signs

Here’s a quick and dirty tutorial for easy DIY garden signs even when you have zero artistic skills. I know because I did it.

What you need

  • Reclaimed wood (pallet, bed frame, etc.) upcycled into a sign-like form
  • Sandpaper
  • Sponge/paint brushes (various sizes)
  • Acrylic craft paint
  • Containers for water/paint (Solo cups will do)
  • Stencils or craft letters
  • Mod Podge or glue that dries clear
  • Sealer/finish spray/wax

Please Grow

What you do

  • Using staples, nails, etc. create sign-like shapes from old pallets or bed frames
  • Once you’re happy with your sign shapes, sand, sand, sand. Serious here—if there’s any kind of finish on the wood the paint won’t absorb. If you’re going for the distressed/weathered look (pre-actual weathering) sand extra! In fact, sand extra anyway. You’re welcome
  • Paint your pallet sign however you want. If you’re going for the washed-out look mix paint with a bit of water in a separate container and wash over wood with a sponge brush. This is an easy process and dries fast. Allow paint to dry before adding layers
  • Once your undercoat is dry, stencil letters/images with a pencil and paint in as desired. If you have zero artistic skill like me then glue craft letters to your sign using a clear-drying glue. Allow to dry again
  • Add any further embellishments and allow to dry
  • Seal using finish spray or clear wax and allow to dry

It’s a straightforward craft but adds so much character to your garden. In my case, future garden. I don’t have a lot of experience with vegetables so I thought I should go the route of encouraging my seeds along plus reminders (#pleasegrow #intaflowers #lettuceeat #wtf (water the flowers)). That said I’m also planning a sign saying “I didn’t plant this” because I’m quite certain I will grow many mystery plants. It’s just how things go for me.

DIY Garden Signs tutorial

I still have some finishing touches to put on my signs but this is the general idea if you’re looking for a fun project on a cold winter’s night. Watch my Instagram for the finished products in all their glory. Or however they turn out.

DIY Black Tea Window Cleaner

DIY Black Tea Window Cleaner

DIY Black Tea Window Cleaner

A few weeks ago my husband and I were at a home renovation trade show where we signed up for a free air purifier. Free with an in-home demonstration of a premium air purification system of course.

Well the demonstration happened and we sat through the entire presentation in order to receive the promised air purifier. It was a long night. While waiting for our free gift I managed to learn a little something about cleaning products. For example, we spend a lot of money on cleaning products and many of them contain scary chemicals.

I guess I knew this before, but when the opportunity came to try out a DIY window cleaner from black tea of all things, I was educated, primed, and all in.

The kind people at Choice Tea sent me a variety of black teas in order to conduct my experiment and they were delicious. English Breakfast, Wild Forest Black, Classic Black. Yum. They’re organic, fair trade, GMO free, and of course gluten free. So silky. So tasty.

I didn’t want to make cleaner out of the tea, I wanted it all in my mouth.

But I had to know: will black tea really clean my windows?

DIY Black Tea Window Cleaner

DIY Black Tea Window Cleaner Instructions

As far as DIY cleaners go, this one is on the easy side.

DIY Black Tea Window Cleaner

What you need

  • Empty spray bottle
  • 3 bags of black tea
  • 1 cup of water

What you do

  • Steep 3 tea bags in 1 cup of water and let cool
  • Pour brewed tea into spray bottle
  • Spray on glass and wipe with paper towel or cloth

I tried it out on my glass coffee table and, you know what? My table smells like tea. Also, it’s super see-through.

Later in the day I brought my husband by the table to check it out. We took some time sniff-testing it and I decided I prefer it to smelling like chemicals or looking streaky when I only clean it with water.

This was fun, and I’ve Pinned 18 ways to use black tea so if I can hold back from drinking this deliciousness then I will have some black tea fun this summer.

And great news, Choice is available in Canada! Use this handy store locator to find your closest distributor.

I Think I Can! (But I Need Your Help)

Well guys, we’re at an impasse. So it’s time to try everything on the Internet.

First things first: give myself pep talks.

What I’ve decided to do is take ALL the positive motivational phrases and… wait for it…

RECORD THEM AND USE THEM AS MY ALARM CLOCK!

Hah.

Honestly, I can’t see this going well. Those positive statements get on my nerves. But if I’m doing it for the blog…well, I seem to have incredible tolerance for crap like this.

Anyway, I’d like some input, if you’re willing. If you have any of those positive phrases/statements on the tip of your tongue please enlighten me!

Ooooh can’t wait to get going on this one.

I will become a morning person I will become a morning person I will I will I will I will I will become a morning person!

Here are a couple to get the ball rolling…

  • Today I will take one step toward my dreams
  • Motivation catapults me toward my goals

Blech

Becoming a Morning Person: Week One

I love how helpful everyone is being in my quest to become a morning person. It’s so encouraging!

And after nearly a week of practicing being a morning person I’m happy to report some of your ideas were awesome!

And some I’m not ready for yet.

Like going to bed earlier.

All I’m worrying about right now is being asleep before midnight…that is a good first step.

So here is how it went (perhaps I should be keeping better notes, these are quite random):

  • Monday: I didn’t write anything down, but I managed to get up on my second alarm (I set three most days) and got off to a good start.
  • Tuesday: After my manifesto went live I was extra motivated and got up on my FIRST alarm! The day went pretty well.
  • Wednesday: Mmm…third alarm. The day wasn’t quite so spectacular, but not bad.
  • Thursday: Attempted to rouse at second alarm but it didn’t go well. Third alarm finally convinced me. I did set my coffee to brew before I got up. I couldn’t smell it in my room but it was nice to have a cup of coffee waiting for me. That made everything better. I took my time getting ready and then realized I should probably go to work. Whoops.
  • Friday: It was such an up and down week I thought it best to take the day off.

So there we go! Progress? Well, let’s go with baby steps.

Oh, and for those of you who emailed links and suggestions I am checking them out, sorry I haven’t responded yet. Please, keep them coming—I can tell my motivation won’t last as long as I need it to .