Sprucing Up for the Holidays…

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Sprucing Up for the Holidays…

It was inevitable that I would begin to feel a little anxious about the state of the house with Thanksgiving only a few days away.  Even though Flylady has us cleaning and decluttering the master bedroom this week, I decided to break with the schedule and get the living room spic and span!  You see, it’s our tradition to decorate for Christmas on the day after Thanksgiving. Dear hubby is normally off of work and the kids aren’t in class, so the timing is perfect.  Advent is the Sunday after Thanksgiving! It’s so much more special to have our first Advent devotional in a festive atmosphere. Advent, as I mentioned here, is a very special tradition that our family has celebrated for many many years.

Cleaning Caddy

So I rolled up my sleeves, grabbed my cleaning caddy and hit the ground running yesterday.  I used the approach that Jeff Campbell uses . I put on my apron and stocked the four pockets with Windex, 409, and Wood & Furniture Polish from Don Aslett and a good supply of paper towels folded up in each of three of the pockets. The fourth pocket was for my FlyLady timer and soiled paper towels and bits of trash I might come across along the way.  I tucked FlyLady’s dust mop (so pretty!)  in the waist band at my back. My 16 yr. old quipped that I looked ‘just like Flylady’. (No I didn’t wear my pin..I save that for more public occasions. :o)

Piano Wall Art
My decor on and over the piano was inspired by Maria’s post on tablescapes. Thanks Maria!

Jeff, author of Speed Cleaning,  suggests doing this because it keeps you in ONE SPOT with every supply you need right at hand. He says that most homemakers waste a tremendous amount of time running around for supplies.  If you have all your supplies close at hand, you can look at each 4 x 8 stretch of wall (from ceiling to floor) and clean everything you see. If it’s glass..use windex. If it’s wood, use your polish. If it’s anything else, use the 409 to clean it. Move from left to right in a clock wise ‘circle’ around the room and work your way to the middle for the coffee table (and/or other furniture in the middle of the room.)  Jeff completely changed my approach to deep cleaning with his book.   

tea time

Flylady’s timer helped me to keep from spending too much time in any one area and helped remind me to take a break! That’s a good time to sit down for a nice cup of tea.  I had such a lovely break too because I was sitting on our new and Oh-so-comfy couch! I’ve been looking forward to showing it to you. We all love how roomy it is and enjoy hanging out together in the mornings.

livingroom window

I have to admit that I spent a good two hours in the living room which is much more than I normally do even on a monthly basis but that was partly because I took the opportunity to clean the windows both inside and out. I know…that’s  no fun, but I hate having dirty windows and I hadn’t cleaned them since spring. Don Aslett says there is just no excuse for dirty windows. Cleaning them is the quickest way to improve the whole look and feel of your home and your outlook on the world outside..and even your life! I could have kicked myself for putting that job off so long. I knew I needed to do them. I must have sat for 20 minutes just staring outside at the lovely fall colors! It was such a treat and reward to enjoy that view after two hours of hard labor cleaning.


Now the living room is absolutely spic and span and smells wonderful! I won’t feel at all embarrassed when company comes over in the next few weeks. A quick spruce up is all it will need until Jan. 1st when we take everything down and put it away again. I will do some de-cluttering this week too; just 15 minutes a day though.

How about you? Do you feel like your house is ‘holiday ready’? 

Just 15 minutes a day could do wonders!

Happy Homemaking!



GlorV1 said...

Hi Donna. These are really great ideas. My next cleaning job will involve gathering all the cleaning items I will need so they are at hand. Your room looks spic and span and I love your view. I would have sat there for an hour drinking coffee and just looking out the window. I'm being enticed by the views that New Mexico has and am oh so tempted to see what homes are going for in and around. I probably won't though, I just get tempted to want to move to exciting places like Taos, NM or just New Mexico. Hey Donna, in case I don't get back to you between now and Thursday:


Ky said...

Your living room looks so welcoming and cosy, Donna. I just adore the view from your windows. I'd be sitting there a few times a day just staring out if I could. Beautiful! xx

Beautifully Veiled said...

Ooooohhhh!!! So I'm really supposed to do all that stuff in all those cleaning and organizing books I have??? Well, what do you know??? I just may get my caddy cleaned out tomorrow and put it to work!!!

Your house looks great, Donna! And I love your "tablescape" at the piano!


Kerrie said...

Your home is beautiful!! I was thrown into speed cleaning because yesterday was quarterlerly "Bug Man Day"! Ha! Monday I cleaned every area I could save our Bedroom and then did that and the closets before he came yesterday. I needed that last shove of urgency to get it all done. Today a pie is in the oven and all is well with the world. hugs, Kerrie

Lorraine said...

well your house looks lovely and welcoming and what a view from that window..lucky you. hope you have a great thanksgiving

Shona Cole said...

I could get a lot done in 2 hours in my house! thanks for sharing your tips and ideas for the home.

Laura said...

Good Morning!
Just stopping by to wish you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving!

Maria Killam said...

Wow what a great sofa, you must be so happy to have such a comfortable place to hang out with the family! Can't wait to see the wall colour when it goes up. then we'll need some yellow cushions to tie it in.

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster

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