Category Archives: outside chores

Spring Cleaning — and Not

It’s spring so I did my annual search — looking for spring cleaning lists. I’m always trying to find things I may have forgotten.

Of course, there always are things I haven’t done, but many I do get done without a reminder. Fridge shelves get pulled, about 1 a week. We have bins on the doors and I just started doing these, again. Did the bottom bin last week. The next bin up the door will get cleaned this week. I’ll just keep going: bottom to top on the door bins, then top to bottom on the shelves, then do it again… Means the fridge is never ever completely clean top to bottom, but it also means that it never is a disaster everywhere either!  The only big problem with this is that the overall fridge doesn’t get wiped down. I do behind the bins and shelves I’m removing, but not otherwise. I guess I should add a week of just doing the rest of the door or large cavity after I get the shelves done? The freezer, on the other hand, only gets cleaned about once a year.

Another aspect people recommend as part of spring cleaning are pieces I clean as a part of the walls, windows, doors, floors, and ceilings: that is, things attached to those places. When the curtains become part of the window and you wash the window, you also put the curtains through the dryer to remove dust and clean the hardware at the same time. Again, my goal isn’t to have an immaculate house, but a house which doesn’t need marathon cleaning.

So I try and deep clean a few items every week so I don’t have to deep clean a lot of things at once. True of everything from bedding to yard work. (Works better for the bedding than the yard work, can’t pick up leaves midwinter, no matter how much you may want to!)

When I do this regularly, the house gets cleaner. Actually, it works too well and leans on the PTSD, so it gets done in fits & starts, like everything else. That said, it used to be that I only really decluttered and did maintenance cleaning in fits and starts.  These days, I regularly cull and declutter a bit and do maintenance cleaning almost all the time. I deep clean a little more regularly than I ever have. So progress, just slow.

More nibbling!

broom-cartoon

5/24: Started the reorganization required by the bathroom construction. That isn’t complete, and won’t be, until the constuction is entirely finished. Also started the cull/clean/reorganization of the pantry.

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Using What You Have & What Works

We have a large lot with a lot of trees. The trees dump a lot of pine cones, acorns and oak leaves on the property. Clean up requires much work, and a large volume of space to gather the leaves, cones, acorns, and compost same or haul them to the town’s leaf  or brush pile.

Because I am on a “clean up” jag, I’ve been working on the yard. I have no panic attack issues (that I know of) with the garden.

We only have 2 plastic trash barrels. They’re too big to go into my car. I have a few smaller metal trash cans, but they too would likely have to be put on their sides, and would probably leak leaves, etc. into my car. The better idea seems to be to bag up the leaves and take them to the dump that way. The leaf paper bags work, but are expensive and wasteful.

Because I’m not all that tall, hauling trash barrels and/or full leaf bags gets to be comic for everyone other than me, as the bags are nearly my size. They’re difficult to deal with, full.

Accordingly, we went looking for easier ways to haul the assorted leaves, twigs, etc.  DH brought home one of these:large concrete tub

It’s a concrete mixing tub. After using it a while, it cracked on the corner, so he bought another. It also cracked on the corner, but both are still usable, so we use them, cracks and all!

Last fall, we bit the bullet and bought a package of reusuable plastic bags. These are also made for construction. They’re called “Demo Bags” and we bought them with the idea that we’d use them over & over, for yard waste. So far that works!

The bags fit over the ends of the tubs. It’s not a loose fit, but it’s do-able.

I can push the contents of the tub right into the bag. This was completely unexpected, and welcome — it makes the job much easier!

The bags are big enough for me, especially with my “iffy” elbow that I don’t fill them, but put 1-3 tubs of leaves in them, about 1/2 the bag’s worth. I can then lift them without a problem.

I have a place to put away the tubs, but don’t have one for the previously used bags, yet. That’s the only glitch about this “system”. I’m using what we already had (the tubs), getting the yard cleaned up fairly efficiently, and I’ve cut down the amount of money spent on single-use supplies.

Definitely a win!

(The used bags are being stored right next to where the tubs are stored when they’re empty. Hurrah!)

 

Friday’s 5 & Tuesday’s too!

Okay, okay. Catch up. Today is hyper busy! The tile HAS to go into the basement today,  it’s supposed to snow tonight.  Also various other yard clean up things have reached criticality because of that. Not negotiable.

Organizing my day accordingly. I’m fighting off a cold, and will be so dirty after going in/out of the basement, hauling things to the sheds, etc. I will *have* to bathe. But I can’t go in/out of the house or up/down into unheated basement with wet hair.Guaranteed to make me sick. So the plan already started is:

Prep veggies for lunch/dinner soup. Get them started. (Done!)

Eat breakfast (Done.)

Move tile into basement. Do other yard clean up until 10. Work on pantry. Bathe, Make/eat lunch, then see what needs to happen the most!

Last Friday, I used the day to eliminate a chunk of the backlog. That won’t happen today! Although I will use the list, if it fits, to include the chores I’ve just talked about.

Today’s Five:

  1. Get the sand set up. Fri. 9 a.m.
  2. Get the onions stored properly. Fri., don’t know the time.
  3. Deal with the excess yams. Fri., don’t now the time.
  4. Get the trellises upright, again. (They fell down in the storm we had a few weeks ago.) Weds. 11/15
  5. (fill in) Clean the entry. Fri. 2:20 p.m.

Tuesday’s Five:

  1. Add labels to the pantry crates. Thurs. eve.
  2. Clean part of a bookcase, any bookcase. Fri. 2:35 p.m.
  3. Deal with the farm food. Fri. don’t know the time.
  4. Grab last-minute food from the garden. Missed this, we had a hard freeze.
  5. Make sure there’s enough storage containers for the last glut.

Backlog:

  • Dust the cuprack.
  • Get some of the cleaned laundry hung up which isn’t.
  • Do a short inventory of the meat in the big freezer. (Probably something like 1 chicken, 3 lbs ground round, and 1 other package of mixed chicken parts. . . but I don’t know exactly!)
  • Get the rice in one place, instead of 2-3, as it is now.
  • Clean, wax, organize the snow scoop, shovels, etc.
  • Use the commercial napkins for their intended craft, or get rid of them!
  • Dust the stair fan. Sat. morning, don’t know the time.
  • Get the odd pieces of insulation into the basement.
  • Check the water heater’s filter, does it need to be cleaned?
  • Sand some of the marks from the floor, at the edges.
  • Deal with the squashes from the farm.
  • Make room with the cold cereal for the hot cereal to go too.
  • Get the island/kitchen side cleared.
  • Update linked in.
  • (fill in) Send checks to publisher and BIL. Tues.
  • Work on the house binder.
  • Clean out the small ice box.
  • Get through the last of the tomatillos.
  • (fill in) Get things put away in attic which need to go there and pull something out which needs to go elsewhere. Sat. 11-3 pulled something out.
  • (fill in)Put laundry away.
  • Clean the oven, so it’s clean before Thanksgiving!
  • Dust the electronics in the office.
  • Eat the last watermelon.
  • Cull or add to the candle collection, as needed.
  • Get the mittens, etc. (winter gear) out of the attic and swap in the summer bill caps, etc. Fri. got winter gear from attic. 9 a.m.
  • Get the salt & sand next to the front door.
  • Clean the couch.
  • Get the coffee ad framed.
  • Clean part of the upstairs that hasn’t been touched in some time.
  • Double check the emergency supplies. (fill in)
  • Put away the canning supplies if not in use.
  • Put up the 3 missing hurricane clips
  • Put the grill away.
  • Put the tile in the basement. (I recently acquired a LOT of mosaic tiles.)
  • Get the ladders put away for the season.
  • Get the supplies for the knitted pillow all in one place so you can finish it!
  • Clean the office chairs.
  • Find a place to put away the dehydrator racks and do so when appropriate.
  • Recaulk the bathroom as needed.
  • Figure out a new way/place to store the yarn and put it away.
  • Look at the stored snow tires. Need new ones? In the budget?
  • Examine winter coats for flaws, etc. 
  • Find a new home for the cat towel basket. (Old towels used for car washing, spill clean up, whatever!)

    Chores on hold or in process, for whatever reason

Pick up the yard, put more items away for winter. 11/3 Chairs put away, hoses, hose table. (All need to be covered.) Also not-so-great paint in the shed. Raked around the house, or most of it. (Need to pick up leaf piles.)

Make up/try the Naval Academy brass polish. Deferred because I have THREE containers of general metal polish. I want to use up at least one of those before I make up more. I sure don’t need 4!!!

Go thru the record collection, cull. First part done. Moving to in-process 10/27, 2nd piece done 11/2

Wash the net curtains. First pair pulled from over the dry stores 4:30. Washed Tues. 10/24 a.m. One pair to go. Two pairs to go.

Fertilize the lawn. Did the dooryard lawn and the lawn on the street side of the bulb bed. Tues. 4:30 p.m. Lots more to do! Finished Fri. 11/10 

Cull books from one “holding pattern” bookcases. Either they’re out or they stay!, in process Thurs. a.m. (I did the 1st shelf.)

Put family photos in the album. Can’t be done. Photos located, album missing!

Clean off DH’s desk. This is going to be delayed until he and I catch up. I pulled everything from the top drawer on his side of the dresser, we’re still going through all of that.

 

Finish the freezer/fridge cleaning. More done, but not complete. 7:00 p.m. Move to on-going.

 

5/35 or 14.3% 6/35 or 17.1%

 

Monday’s Six & Unexpected Flurries. . .

I’ll explain the unexpected flurries first. DH over the weekend bought a bin to house our paint sprayer, which has been in its original cardboard box inside a laundry basket, and stashed in the wood shed. It needed to be put into the attic and it needed a better container for all its bits. So we bought one Sunday.

Sunday night here we had a huge storm. Bad enough we had no power or internet when we woke  and there were branches and pine cones and asst. stuff all over our yard when we got up. It seemed pretty obvious we’d be without power for some time, so DH took the day off to haul wood or water, help clear the yard, etc, In between other chores, he decided he’d pull out the paint sprayer. He took the box out of the basket and brought it inside and started pulling the pieces out.

Then he yelled my name, loudly! I came pelting down the stairs to find out what was wrong? There had been a mouse in the box. It was now loose in our kitchen. Ack!

He took the remaining packaging outside, no more mice. He pulled a loose piece out of the basket and there were suddenly mice, a pack of them, everywhere all over the deck and scurrying away from the nasty human who’d upset their home. The bad news? We have a mouse in the house (we have 2 cats), not great, but it will be dealt with either by the traps we set out or one of the cats will get it. The good news? The other mice didn’t get in!

After we went and got water (didn’t have what we needed, remember my backlogged goal?) we also got mousetraps. Set the traps, stored the water and went off to go stock the booth and get some organizational bits for the workshop.

As we were driving down the state road which leads to the next town en route to the college town where my booth is, I noticed a movement to my left. Fortunately, DH did more than notice, he swerved! The large pine tree which I’d noticed moving FELL all the way across both lanes (we were in the right one) and DH missed it by pulling the car onto the verge. There was a sort of whoosh followed by *crack!* as the tree hit the ground and a kind of cloud of pine needles. (The 2nd flurry of the day!)

We turned around and started pulling the tree out of the road. The fellow behind us stopped. The two cars coming the other direction stopped and between us the tree’s pieces were removed from the roadway. Instant community!

After that? No more flurries, of mice or pine needles, but that was plenty!

Okay. Today’s 6:

  1. Stitch together the two smaller rugs you’re using as a runner, so that it IS a runner.
  2. Get the measurements so DH can cut the plywood for the fan storage.
  3. Get the coffee ad framed.
  4. Get the rest of the burlap and stick it down onto the hill for erosion control.
  5. Clean part of the upstairs that hasn’t been touched in some time.
  6. Double check the emergency supplies. (fill in)

The backlog:

  • Put away the canning supplies if not in use.
  • Remount the last yardstick.
  • Find a new home for the basket which holds the “cat towels.” (Old towels used for whatever is needed: car washing, spill clean up, whatever!)
  • Pick up the yard, put more items away for winter.
  • Put up the 3 missing hurricane clips
  • Replace the saved emergency water supply. (I deliberately used the old water supply this summer.) Mon. 1:00 p.m.
  • Put the tile in the basement. (I recently acquired a LOT of mosaic tiles.)
  • Get the ladders put away for the season.
  • Get the supplies for the knitted pillow all in one place so you can finish it!
  • Get the rest of the better paint into the attic.
  • Clean the office chairs.
  • Find a place to put away the dehydrator racks and do so when appropriate.
  • Use up the ice cream base in the freezer.
  • Put garden hoses away for winter.
  • Recaulk the bathroom as needed.
  • Figure out a new way/place to store the yarn and put it away.
  • Look at the stored snow tires. Need new ones? In the budget?
  • Examine winter coats for flaws, etc. 

Chores on hold or in process, for whatever reason:

Make up/try the Naval Academy brass polish. Deferred because I have THREE containers of general metal polish. I want to use up at least one of those before I make up more. I sure don’t need 4!!!

Go thru the record collection, cull. First part done. Moving to in-process 10/27

Wash the net curtains. First pair pulled from over the dry stores 4:30. Washed Tues. 10/24 a.m. One pair to go. Two pairs to go.

Use up the eggplant from last week. Used the first one for Sunday’s dinner. 2nd one used Fri. lunch. (2 to go!)

Fertilize the lawn. Did the dooryard lawn and the lawn on the street side of the bulb bed. Tues. 4:30 p.m. Lots more to do!

Cull books from one “holding pattern” bookcases. Either they’re out or they stay!, in process Thurs. a.m. (I did the 1st shelf.)

Put family photos in the album. Can’t be done. Photos located, album missing!

Clean off DH’s desk. This is going to be delayed until he and I catch up. I pulled everything from the top drawer on his side of the dresser, we’re still going through all of that.

Monday’s Six and Backlog

Here’s the six for today:

  1. Wash the rug which had been in the laundry and put it back.
  2. Clean the dry stores shelves. Right side done 3:50. Complete 4:30
  3. Get the supplies for the knitted pillow all in one place so you can finish it!
  4. Get the rest of the better paint into the attic.
  5. Clean the office chairs.
  6. Sweep the decks, porch & entry (fill in).

Backlog:

  • Sanitize the water pic.
  • Find a place to put away the dehydrator racks and do so when appropriate.
  • Use up the ice cream base in the freezer.
  • Wash the net curtains. First pair pulled from over the dry stores 4:30.
  • Go thru the record collection, cull.
  • Put garden hoses away for winter.
  • Recaulk the bathroom as needed.
  • Make pepper jelly (or use up the peppers somehow). Mon. 9:30 a.m.
  • Figure out a new way/place to store the yarn and put it away.
  • Look at the stored snow tires. Need new ones? In the budget?
  • Make cookies with the frozen oatmeal. Recipe found. Oatmeal removed from freezer, put in fridge Tuesday. Tossed Monday, sigh.
  • Empty my desk, again. Mon 10/23 9:00 a.m.
  • Make up/try the Naval Academy brass polish.
  • Examine winter coats for flaws, etc.
  • Put ice scrapers in the cars, examine and see if they need replacement?

Chores on hold or in process, for whatever reason:

Use up the eggplant from last week. Used the first one for Sunday’s dinner. 

Fertilize the lawn. Did the dooryard lawn and the lawn on the street side of the bulb bed. Tues. 4:30 p.m. Lots more to do!

Cut more sage and other such from the garden. Kale Fri. 10/13, most of the rest of it 10/15. Need to pull some tarragon and that’s it. Finished Tues. 10/24 9:30 a.m.

Cull books from one “holding pattern” bookcases. Either they’re out or they stay!, in process Thurs. a.m. (I did the 1st shelf.)

Put family photos in the album. Can’t be done. Photos located, album missing!

Clean off DH’s desk. This is going to be delayed until he and I catch up. I pulled everything from the top drawer on his side of the dresser, we’re still going through all of that.

Thursday’s Five & Backlog, still. . .

  1. Get rid of the clothing donations which were supposed to go to the dump Sunday. 11:00 a.m.
  2. Use up the ice cream base in the freezer.
  3. Wash the net curtains.
  4. Do another load of the backlogged laundry. (fill in) 6:15 p.m.
  5. Wipe down the sweeteners and their shelf in the pantry.

BACKLOG:

  • Go thru the record collection, cull.
  • Put garden hoses away for winter.
  • Recaulk the bathroom as needed.
  • Make pepper jelly (or use up the peppers somehow).
  • Figure out a new way/place to store the yarn and put it away.
  • Look at the stored snow tires. Need new ones? In the budget?
  • Make cookies with the frozen oatmeal. Recipe found. Oatmeal removed from freezer Tuesday.
  • Empty my desk, again.
  • Make up/try the Naval Academy brass polish.
  • Move the longer lumber from the shed so it can be put away in the loft.
  • Examine winter coats for flaws, etc.
  • Do the last gather of tag sale materials, last sale is Saturday 10/14 date changed to 10/21
  • Put ice scrapers in the cars, examine and see if they need replacement?

Chores on hold or in process, for whatever reason:

  • Fertilize the lawn. Did the dooryard lawn and the lawn on the street side of the bulb bed. Tues. 4:30 p.m. Lots more to do!
  • Cut more sage and other such from the garden. Kale Fri. 10/13, most of the rest of it 10/15. Need to pull some tarragon and that’s it.
  • Cull books from one “holding pattern” bookcases. Either they’re out or they stay!, in process Thurs. a.m. (I did the 1st shelf.)
  • Put family photos in the album. Can’t be done. Photos located, album missing!
  • Clean off DH’s desk. This is going to be delayed until he and I catch up. I pulled everything from the top drawer on his side of the dresser, we’re still going through all of that.

Wednesday’s Five and Backlog:

I will say that it was nice to NOT carry over most of the previous day’s five (just one from yesterday) and also eliminate others off the backlog. Progress — finally!

Wednesday’s Five:

  1. Put the watering cans away for winter. Went to do this Thurs. a.m., and I’d already done it!
  2. Vac the mattress when you strip/change the bed.2:20 p.m.
  3. Go thru the records and cull.
  4. Clean at least 3 ceilings laundry, dining room, hall 2:00 p.m.
  5. Put the hoses away for winter too.

BACKLOG:

  • Recaulk the bathroom as needed.
  • Make pepper jelly (or use up the peppers somehow).
  • Figure out a new way/place to store the yarn and put it away.
  • Look at the stored snow tires. Need new ones? In the budget?
  • Make cookies with the frozen oatmeal. Recipe found. Oatmeal removed from freezer Tuesday.
  • Empty my desk, again.
  • Make up/try the Naval Academy brass polish.
  • Clean off DH’s desk.
  • Move the longer lumber from the shed so it can be put away in the loft.
  • Examine winter coats for flaws, etc.
  • Do the last gather of tag sale materials, last sale is Saturday 10/14 date changed to 10/21
  • Put ice scrapers in the cars, examine and see if they need replacement?

Chores on hold or in process, for whatever reason:

  • Fertilize the lawn. Did the dooryard lawn and the lawn on the street side of the bulb bed. Tues. 4:30 p.m. Lots more to do!
  • Cut more sage and other such from the garden. Kale Fri. 10/13, most of the rest of it 10/15. Need to pull some tarragon and that’s it.
  • Cull books from one “holding pattern” bookcases. Either they’re out or they stay!, in process Thurs. a.m. (I did the 1st shelf.)
  • Put family photos in the album. Can’t be done. Photos located, album missing!