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06 July 2008

Adventures in Homekeeping brodonley's room is now cleaner than not, but the rest of the house needs some work...[More:]

Tomorrow's Home Depot shopping list, hopefully the last big trip we'll have to make to make the house gleam for the opening of the house to interested buyers on Tuesday:

- sliding screen door wheels
- Velcro cable ties
- stove burner liners
- giant garbage can
- "contractor bags", which are apparently way better than normal garbage bags
- Goo Gone
- white vinegar
- Simple Green
- Bon Ami
- Bar Keeper's Friend
- bucket
- brushes
- network cable that isn't fifty feet long
- mop (I broke the old one today!)
- 6 lightbulbs
- pink-to-white Spackle
- gel/splashless bleach
- cutting board, to replace the one originally installed in the house, and which we found, looking like a piece of scrap wood from a 10th-century Viking shipyard, under the stove

Just getting the previous owner's shelf contact paper out of the back of the cabinets, which we had never even seen before, took 40 minutes today. We just keep finding more and more to clean...aaargh.
If you have any wood to clean - kitchen cabinets, floors, etc., I'd recommend Murphy's Oil Soap, or the Clean & Squirt Murphy's.
posted by essexjan 06 July | 06:36
I used to love Murphy's Oil Soap. No can get here. OF COURSE.

I know that iconomy cleans and conditions leather stuff with shea butter and coconut oil... so if you have any leather furniture, that a nice tip.

I mentioned this the other day, but I sprinkle a bit of citrus essential oil on my swiffers, and the house smells fabulous after dusting.

I get these microfiber wipes with a waffle pattern for washing windows; I use a wet one (just water - no cleanser) for washing the windows, and a dry one for wiping, and it's super simple and easy. They cost 1-2 euros each here, and last quite a while. I imagine you can find those there, too. (Don't use bleach when you wash them.) I also have a microfiber mop head, and it's great, too.
posted by taz 06 July | 08:38
Another neat trick is to spill lavender or citrus oil (I prefer Honey oil) on the vacuum cleaning bag makes the house smells great while you vacuum.
posted by dabitch 06 July | 09:11
(honey because it smells sweet and presumably, makes you concentrate. I'm a sucker for getting distracted while trying to clean...)
posted by dabitch 06 July | 09:20
Cheryl Mendelson's Home Comforts is one of the rare books that I can recommend to almost everyone in the English-speaking world.
posted by box 06 July | 10:12
Cheryl Mendelson's Home Comforts is one of the rare books that I can recommend to almost everyone in the English-speaking world.

I have this book. I have had it since it came out. I love it. I "air" my bed because of her.

mdonley, that's a good list. I love Bon Ami and BarKeeper's Friend, or plain old Comet. Scouring powder is a must have. I'm very passionate about Comet and a little bit of bleach. They are both bad for the environment, I know. I love the Ms. Myers all-purpose cleaners. They are kind of pricey. Right now I have the Mr. Clean with Febreeze. It's blue and it smells good. I like good smelling cleaners it makes it more enjoyable to clean. That's why I rotate my Pledge scents. You gotta mix it up. Keep things interesting. ;-)

Putting down new contact paper makes everything look better and neater. I don't buy contact paper with adhesive. I use the spongy liner that grips. I have a dark olive green in my cabinets. It's a nice contrast with the white.

Several years ago when my sister and I had our first garage sale I hung a rope from one outside light to another that flanked my garage. As we were hanging shirts and jackets on our homemade clothesline sparks began to fly. My husband came out and pretty much told us that was an idiotic thing to do. We agreed in shame.

Ever since then one of the lamps didn't work. We messed up the wiring somehow. It made me crazy. It wore on my soul. I hated that only one light worked. We had the porch light and only one light by the garage. It looked bad. It looked like we were too lazy to change a bulb. I threatened to call an electrician several times but by frugal husband wasn't down with the idea. We were in Home Depot last week and we bought two new lamps. They're bigger than the original ones, and prettier. We knew that just buying lamps wasn't going to change the electrical problem. Well my husband found the problem and fixed the wires. He's a genius. After all of these years I have two lights. All is right with the world. ;-)

It's amazing what a couple new inexpensive things can do for the house.

When you're ready to show the house, mdonley buy some fluffy white towels from Kmart. Put white towels in the bathrooms. Buy a couple orchid plants and put them around as well. For your bathroom pick a big flower outside. Put it on a pretty saucer with one votive candle. (I have pink hibiscus on a blue saucer. It looks gorgeous. The hibiscus doesn't last too long but it's a cheap little thing to do to make things look pretty.) Fill a bowl with a pineapple, lemons and limes and put it in the kitchen on top of a white tablecloth if you have a table in there. These inexpensive things make things look inviting and "alive".
posted by LoriFLA 06 July | 10:38
Cheryl Mendelson's Home Comforts is one of the rare books that I can recommend to almost everyone in the English-speaking world.

Another fan here. Particularly since they produced a specially-localised British edition. (Although why they decided to go with that godawful lurid cover for the latest edition rather than this delicious original is beyond me.)
posted by chrismear 06 July | 14:56
awesome deal alert! || It's a long shot, I think,