These past couple of months I have been working on fixing up our basement a little bit in order to have more of a play room down there for Ray. For a while we just had a lot of storage down there with a few toys that he could play with when we were down there. Then we got a table that used to be mine from when I was little so he could paint and work on projects. Once I was finally able to give away the piano that was down there I started to get a lot more room in order to move things around an make it more functional for both of us. Now that he is getting bigger I am able to let him go down there to play by himself sometimes when I need to do things like get dinner ready.
I found a lot of the things that we have down there at yard sales so we did not spend all that much to really put this room together or some of it was from my childhood. He loves writing with chalk so the cute easel that I got at a yard sale was perfect. All I had to do was get some chalkboard paint and put another coat on it so that the chalk would work better.
We have a cute little bookshelf that was mine from when I was little along with the table. I have put all of his art supplies out on the bookshelf so that he is able to get out paper and markers or paints whenever he feels like doing that. We also have play dough that he is able to get and play with. The table is perfect for him as well because he can either sit in the chairs or stand beside it to do things.
We also decided to move his toy box down to the basement as well because he never really got into it when it was in his room. I have found that this is an easy way to rotate his toys. I am able to take some toys that we have upstairs that he has been playing with and move them down to the toy box and get something new out when he starts to get bored every couple months.
I also moved his little workbench down to the basement since he was being too rough with it when it was upstairs. Every time we go down there now that is the first thing that he goes to. It is also better down there since the walls are brick. If he hits them with his little hammer it doesn’t really matter.
We left most of the floor carpet. The people that owned the house before us put down remnant pieces that covered most of the concrete floors. Once I moved the shelving and the piano I had a small section of the floor that did not have any carpet covering it. I decided that my best bet would be to buy a pre sized piece of vinyl flooring which was just six feet by eight feet and put that down on the floor where he will be doing art projects. This makes for really easy clean up and I don’t worry too much if he spills something.
Overall for our little house having a space that he can play in and leave things out and just have some fun is great. Ever since he stopped going to daycare I felt like he needed a place where we could do art projects and have fun getting a little messy. In the winter it is great because he will be able to go and play and have some fun when it is too nasty to go outside. We are finding that in the summer it is also a good place to go in the afternoon when it is just too hot to be outside.
It is finally that time of year again! When the weather gets nice and you realize that your whole house needs to be buffed and shined back up. I feel like during the winter months I tend to let the little things slid a bit and just make sure to keep the surfaces clean for when company comes over. But spring time is when I get down and dirty and really get this house cleaned back up and looking good. It is the time when I vacuum the corners, clean the windows, and really scrub everything that needs it. We have only live in our house for three years so now and I remember the first year we were hear I did an overall clean. I was nine months pregnant and we had only been living here a month. I orange oiled all of the wood in the house and scrubbed all the floors on a Saturday and little man was born on Monday. Talk about nesting right!
Each year I try to block out some time to do all of this when little man isn’t home so I do not have to worry about him getting into any of the stuff I am using or the chemicals that I set out. Last year I used some of my vacation days but he was still in daycare so I had a couple days to myself to get everything done. Those days I also tried to reorganize closets and drawers and stuff. I do not recommend doing that at all when you are trying to clean. I felt like I was just rushing the cleaning so I could organize. Which isn’t really the best way to do things because a lot can get missed.
This year since I am planning on having my mom watch little man for a day and get all my cleaning done. My house isn’t too big so it should hopefully only take me a day. I am also planning on getting my basement cleaned up since I have converted that into more of a playroom and office for us. We just got rid of an upright piano that was down there so now I have some more space to work with and I want to completely redo that whole thing. But for now I am just going to get the walls wiped down and everything vacuumed. Our laundry room is also down there and that needs to be cleaned back up as well.
For me, I have a lot of cleaning stuff already so I do not have to go out and really buy anything to clean with. Right after college when I was just working a full time job I cleaned a couple of houses on my days off. My mom also cleans houses about four days a week so anything I don’t have I am usually able to borrow from her. Most of the stuff that we use though is easy enough to pick up at any store. We use microfiber towels for dusting and orang oiling furniture and cabinets. For windows, I started using flour sack dish towels after I helped my mom clean a house and that is the only thing she would use. They seem to work a lot better at keep streaks off of the windows.
It is crazy how much stuff we have to clean if you think about it. This is where a really good checklist and things to focus on in each room comes into play. I have made up a simplified checklist that is similar to the one that I use if you would like to give it a try. My personal one is just more specific to each room and I have all the rooms listed out instead of just bedrooms as a whole.
Some of my cleaning tips and tricks include:
-Spraying things down at the beginning to give the cleaners time to sit so that they actually work is a must! Usually showers and toilets.
-I always start with cleaning the kitchen and the bathrooms. Then move onto the main living areas and the bedrooms. Most of the time the kitchens and the bathrooms tend to take the longest.
-One other thing that I learned when cleaning houses is to move everything off of the countertops and vacuum them down first. That way you don’t have to deal with all sorts of crumbs and dust getting into your rag.
-I also like to keep a laundry basket near me so when I find something that needs to be in a different room I just toss it into the basket. Then when I am in that room I can put it away as I go. It just really helps to cut down on the time of running back and forth to put stuff away.
– Always go from top to bottom in each room so you don’t have to wipe things down twice. The floors should always be last!