I've been asked to begin a blog that shows a "how-to" for the things that bring pleasure to my life. So, the intent of this blog is to share recipes, gardening, composting, sewing, crafts, art, everyday projects and even psychology tips to aid in healing wounds and living the life you're meant to live, a life with purpose!
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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Spring Cleaning and Springtime Yard and Garden work Tackled, and on a Budget Too! Homemaker

How to tackle spring cleaning and keep the costs of spring maintenance down?

Besides spring flowers popping their little green heads out of the cold ground; cleaning out clutter from our homes can bring an “Out with the old to bring in the new” feeling. If you are ready for it, but are over-whelmed, take baby steps by tackling one task at a time. The best way to not feel over-whelmed is to enlist the families help. Hey, they made the finger-prints, dirty floors, messy cabinets and sticky "what-ever" too! Split up chores and rooms one week ahead of the "spring-clean day," so they understand the expectation. 
I just loved this pic, because the pride on her face! I found it by simply Google searching: Kids Cleaning House; there were so many adorable images of happy kids cleaning on the internet! ~Want to smile today? Try the search yourself!~ A fellow blogger: Su Soutter's picture. ;-) She obviously believes in kids cleaning too!
This family clean day can be fun, but it must be understood, the job isn't done until you inspect it to your standard of clean. Assigning rooms, or tasks, will ensure the "laziest child" doesn't get off easy by "farting around," while the hard working kids get their part done, to now have to pick up their siblings share. The positives of your kids learning valuable tools for their lives: work ethic and team work are must-have lifelong habits! Additionally, the pride they will feel knowing they were a major part of  

 Image: http://pplump.blogspot.in

something; realizing they were useful to the family, they will feel proud of themselves. Although, you may not hear them vocalize it, just pay attention and watch them enjoy their new sparkling digs... ;0)    
 I started with my desk and am now working on my file cabinets. One room at a time, otherwise, a little bit in each room will not get the job done and will frustrate you. So, if your kitchen is the main room you want to see clean, start there! Wash the dishes, appliances, counters, cabinets, walls, floors, and if you're really adventurous: inside the refrigerator, cabinets, pantries and shelves! With one room sparkling, you'll feel more likely to do more! Onward to the next room! By the way, Once the task lists are completed, pizza delivered is the best dinner to reward kids; let them make the call and pick the toppings! And, you needn't mess up your newly clean kitchen!
How do we begin to do the spring season work on a budget?  
Team up with your neighbors if you need to have any lawn work done. Tree trimmers and grass aerating gardeners will charge less to come to the neighborhood on one trip instead of two. 
Share the cost of rental equipment too. If you are a do it yourselfer, coordinate with your neighbors and share the rent on an aerator, rototiller, or any heavy machinery. Share in the cost of supplies as well. Supplies can be grass seed to a pile of dirt, or a river rock delivery!
Just the sight of new bulbs excites me into cleaning. In with the new means out with the old.
One delivery is cheaper than two, because you are charged extra to drive to your home. And in items like grass seed, do you really need that big bag to do the job? If not, split the cost with a neighbor who needs to seed their lawn too.
Donate, Sale, or Throw out items. For items that are large like furniture, Craig’s List, EBay (although EBay charges to list an item) can aid you in selling your unwanted goods. The money may come in handy for that new tree you want to plant.
Freecyle, Gigoit.org, Goodwill, and Salvation Army will be eager to take the items because there are many people who could happily use them! Salvation Army will even come to your home and pick them up. Just call and schedule the pick-up. There are also various foundations, like the Kidney Foundation that will come for a pick-up too; I've even donated vehicles to them!
Usually you will receive a statement to use for tax purposes, because donations are tax deductible. If the service does not offer it, ask them for the slip. Come tax time you will be glad you did.
Another method that a friend of mine tried, you can give a go: She picked up every nic nac, and boxed it up, so that her home was bare. Her intent was to only return a few items back into the home. However, she found she loved the free feeling of open, with no cluttered spaces, so she decided to live that way for awhile. I can relate, like in the picture below, while moving into a new home, everything was boxed up and placed into storage-- I noticed the uncluttering of my head by simply being surrounded by the open space of no clutter!  

 Once your home is free of clutter, sigh…  You can begin cleaning.

 Another money saving, eco-friendly tip: Save money by using items found in your kitchen; try using Lemons, Baking Soda, and Vinegar in your cleaning. Your wallet will like this tip too. You can simply use a lemon by itself, or if you'd like actual recipes to make cleaning supplies, click on the link below. Note: Most Essential oils can be added to these recipes too; simply add 7-12 drops of lemon, orange, linen, or etc. 
Homemade cleaning supplies are earth friendly as well as budget friendly. Check out another article I wrote on this blog for many homemade cleaning supplies: http://lisakramerartlifestyle.blogspot.com/2011/01/clean-your-house-w-household-items.html.

Now kick back and enjoy your clean clutter-free home! 

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