Sunday, May 23, 2010

Spring Cleaning :: Kitchen and Dining Before and After

"Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."
--William Morris, 19th century architect

So it has started. I am nesting. I want to clean everything these days and have everything ready for the little one but the baby isn't due for months. I am trying to channel my energy into cleaning and organizing the house. Good timing as we have company coming next week (Yeah Grammie!) I really don't like to clean or organize and always put things off until they are out of control and then when I get started I LOVE IT! One of the challenges of being an only child is that neither Ryan nor I had chores or many responsibilities as kids so now it is a challenge "being adults" sometimes. Thank goodness for hormones!

I have been inspired often by the simplemom blog (and simplekids blog, but more on that later) with ideas on how to be a better home manager. I need all the help I can get. With a small house it is a relief to have a clean, organized, simple home. If only we could keep it this clean everyday.

I was going to use their guide for spring cleaning, starting with living rooms, bathrooms, kitchen, pretty much all of the public areas and then finishing with the bedroom. As I started this morning, which was a surprise as my schedule was to start with the kitchen Monday, I wanted to get Gracie's main play area clean. That involved switching with the dining area. I then realized that I simply start at one side of the house and work thoroughly toward the other side of the house, it is a better system for me. We'll see if I make it all the way over the the bedroom but here is what I have done today. YEAH ME!

I started last week with organizing my cleaners. Basic light, medium and heavy dilutions of Charlie's Soap. Simplemom also has a post about the benefits of non-toxic cleaning.

**I am not organizing much inside of cabinets, etc. as I want to get things really clean first and then I can tackle truly organizing things.**

Before. Yikes! 

 After. Phew!

I left the arches off of her playstand (built by her grandpa) so that  I can still get to the pantry and cookbooks but I can put them on when she wants a "house" and I think she uses it more when it is open. The basket on the table is for library books as we are always looking for them, to return, read, etc. 

I simplified her cooking area with less on the shelves and two bins under, one for ingredients and the other for cooking supplies. Utensils are in the basket. I used this same strategy for less on the counters in the big kitchen too, knowing the best "utensil" to have in the kitchen are open counter spaces. 

I added a hook for her backpack. I need to put two more up for Ryan and I. I have been looking for a decoration for my Home Management Binder (behind the canisters) and while clearing the fridge door of excess artwork I realized that her beautiful watercolors are the perfect solution. My HMB holds (or should hold) calendars, garden charts, phone lists, babysitter sheets, shopping lists, etc. 


This dining space just needs something for the wall above the dining table, some pretty linens and a bouquet of spring flowers. I have been trying to get a print of the Grace Baking Company's logo. I love that it has the golden gate in the background.

Now for a cup of tea.

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