Living Room Kleaning Missions: Midweek Progress

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So this week we have finally moved on to our Living Room which for us is the Main Room of this little cabin which also serves as the Dining Room, Home School Area, and temporarily holds a bunk bed set for now. A lot goes on in this room so just thinking about tackling it was a bit daunting. I broke it down into sections and decided to take it one wall/partial wall at a time.

The FlyLady missions for the week were to do a Hot Spot Drill, to get rid of anything that doesn’t belong in this area, do a detailed vacuuming session which includes the baseboards and under the furniture, a detailed dusting of pictures and decorative items, and then on Friday it was for a multi room mission to tackle Hot Spots in the Dining Room, Entrance, and Porch Areas. I planned to a do a more detailed cleaning but these would have been a good starting point if I was just doing my regular housecleaning.

Day 1

The first wall I worked on was the wall where the couch sits. We moved the couch away from the wall and the kids worked on gathering up their toys and such that had ended up underneath there. I took down all the pictures on this wall while the girls cleaned the lamps and end tables. (Right now we have a filing cabinet and a night stand as end tables because my regular tables don’t fit there.)

I did measure again to see if there was any way to get the end tables in here but not yet. Currently they are pushed together and being used as the coffee table while the coffee table is out in the storage area on the porch. I really do miss my coffee table as it has storage where we have always previously stored all of our board games. I will be so happy when we can finally get everything situated to bring it into this room. Small steps will make it happen.

I used the vacuum cleaner to clean the cobwebs and such from the corners and the wall. The walls are made of rough cut lumber so it can be a bit tricky to clean and I wasn’t really sure how to go about it.

I ended up using my new wood cleaner from Grove and a couple of damp rags. I was able to clean off most of the dry wall mud and paint that had splattered down from the ceiling too. I wiped the walls from ceiling to base board and everything in between. It made a big difference! You may remember that I used a wood floor cleaner on my cabinets in the kitchen but this is a spray and it has that same wonderful almond scent to it.

There was one small portion of wall that I attempted to clean with the wet rags before using the vacuum. Big mistake! It is much easier to remove the cobwebs and dust with the vacuum first and then go over it with the cleaner and damp rag. The girls worked on wiping down the lamps and tables as I cleaned.

We then used the steam mop to clean the floor under the couch before moving it back into place. Then came time to clean out the couch. I showed the girls how to use the attachments on the vacuum to clean the cushions and then we lifted the bottom cushion so they could clean out the storage area underneath. We removed everything and relocated a few items that really didn’t belong in this area.

After cleaning it out the kids folded the blankets neatly and placed them back into the storage area. They then fixed the couch up nicely and put the throw pillows back on it. This made me aware that I desperately need to make some new covers for these pillows as they have definitely seen better days.

Yes, the arm rests are on the wrong sides. The couch had some defects when it arrived and this is the only way to keep the sides tight. I got a discount for keeping it and it serves its purpose for now so we can live with a little bit of backwardness.

That was enough for the day as I was pretty wore out from all of the other work I had done earlier. I had the kids do a quick pick up through the main room and they straightened up a few toys and such before dinner so everything would be nice and tidy before bed.

Day 2

OK, the second day in the living room. Where to start? To the left of where we started yesterday or to the right? Or should I attempt to clean the fans and the center beam? So many decisions. I finally decided to go to the left so I could finish the other side of the wall I had started on. I had to bring the step ladder back into the house and get my supplies ready but first we tackled our daily chores and got some laundry started.

We stripped the beds and got the sheets put in the washer. The girls swapped them out in between rain showers. Then we set to work on the next area.

This little corner had the DVD shelf, the chalkboard, a couple of extra chairs, and a slew of other items like a light table that we haven’t had room to set out and some small pop up tents the kids like to play in. We also went through the closet we had in the corner.

This closet holds most of the kids’ square dance outfits and such. Plus it was home to extra sheets and other random things.

After emptying the closet and sorting everything out here is what it looks like. Wow! There’s actually an empty basket down there too! What oh what shall put in it? Nothing for now. I’m really liking having empty spaces.

Then it was time to move this thing so I could clean behind and under it.

So that’s where all the missing puzzle pieces and bean bags have been hiding! That’s a stack of molding there too for a future project. We are hoping to get a storage shed cleaned out so we can move some of this molding and stuff out of the house.

Next I grabbed the vacuum and cleaned the walls. (Notice how dirty and dingy that threshold is?) After sucking up most of the cobwebs I wiped the walls down and scrubbed off any paint/mud and boy do these walls look better!

Here’s a picture from above of the rest of the work in progress while I was doing this.

What a mess!

I worked my way around to the big window which meant we had to move the bunk bed and the chalkboard.

That’s the girls trying to pick up before I could get a picture of the mess they had.

I cleaned this wall and the window frame. I also cleaned the window which didn’t do a whole lot of good because the outside is really dirty. I can’t get to it because of the water level being up but eventually it’ll get washed.

Can you see the difference? Now I’m sure if I had used a little more elbow grease it would’ve made a bigger impact but I don’t want to get the wood too wet.

The girls made their beds with the freshly laundered sheets and wiped down the bunk bed and chalkboard while I cleaned. I would have had them help with the wall but I have gotten a couple of nasty splinters already so I let them handle some of the other cleaning. Then we did a quick mop.

Once this was cleaned it was time to put it all back. The girls sorted through the mess they had picked up from behind the bed. They also cleaned the puzzle pieces and put them where they belonged.

I put the chalkboard behind the bed for now as I just wanted it out of the way. We sorted the DVDs and culled out a few after making sure everything was in the correct case. I also fixed the shelf as it was kind of falling apart. Now the shelf has some empty space too and I’m loving it! Hopefully I can gather up a few stray DVDs from my room and give them a home here tomorrow.

I emptied the homeschool/art supplies that had been hidden in the pretty storage boxes on top of the cabinet. (I did such a good job hiding them I completely forgot they were there!) They are now in one of the homeschool cabinets. The empty boxes went back on top of the closet for now.

The extra sheets all got rehomed in the couch storage area with the ones from yesterday. I also took all the flat sheets and put them in a giveaway bag as the kids never seem to use them anyway. I get tired of washing them over and over just because I find them in the floor.

The extra chairs actually fit into the closet so I put that empty basket in my room for now along with the sleeping bags. I will put these away tomorrow in a tote that I keep in William’s room.

I also used the extra screen in the corner between the DVD shelf and the bunk bed.

Then I set to work scrubbing that dirty threshold between the main room and the bedroom. I ended up using a stiff bristle brush and the wood cleaner to get it clean. I also had to take off the front piece of trim to get all of the dirt out. (Oops, I should’ve shook out the rug before the pic.) The difference is amazing and I am wondering how the walls would’ve looked if I’d been using that brush to start with. I think I’m gonna need to invest in a long handled brush and a sturdy bucket for this task in the future.

Mr. Awesome was a bit concerned as to why exactly I have been cleaning like a crazy lady when he saw me scrubbing the threshold here. He thought maybe we had some company coming or something. I told him we weren’t expecting any company and that the house just really needed a good cleaning.

I had intended to clean the walls and all before moving in but things just didn’t work out that way. It’s better late than never right? He did comment on how nice the house smells since using that new cleaner.

I wish I had taken a before picture but here is the cleaned corner:

The boys really like this corner as they have a hiding spot now.

A couple of months ago I took apart a room divider screen to make a temporary door for this bedroom and it has worked out pretty well for this small space. The original door is actually out in the shed but it needs some work to fit in here after the drywall and door molding was put up in the bedroom. I would really like to put some kind of sliding door or pocket door here if we can.

After putting everything back together it was time for dinner. We had a gourmet meal of Sloppy Joes, Boxed Mac N Cheese, and potato chips. Not the most nutritious meal but it sure was good.

After dinner everyone had showers and did a quick pick up before bed. I also took the two board puzzles that had all the pieces to the kitchen. I saran wrapped them before placing them in the giveaway bag.

What area will we tackle next? I’m not really sure yet but it might be the TV wall or maybe my desk area? I really want to tackle the fan and center beam on this side of the room but I’m not sure that I can reach them with my ladder.

I think our strategy of breaking it down into sections and our top to bottom cleaning method is working out pretty well so far. Everything gets emptied, sorted, and wiped down before being put back. Once the cleaning is finished I may do some rearranging but I’m not sure about that yet as we will be doing a major rearranging soon.

I’ve also informed Mr. Awesome that once we get our upcoming project completed and all the furniture is where we want it that I’m gonna need a nailer and some molding. I plan to tack some molding along the bottoms of the cabinets and such to keep from having so much stuff getting lost underneath.

All in all we are making a lot of progress. Over half of the house, maybe three fourths, has been decluttered and cleaned. That leaves the main closet and about half of the Main Room to go through. As we’ve cleaned we have been getting rid of things we don’t need or use. We have also been gathering like things into one area, today I pulled that storage basket of office supplies out from under my bed and put it on my desk, which will help me to decide what needs to go and what needs to stay.

I know I will be able to continue to deep clean some areas I missed the first time around as well as finding more items to get rid of or repurpose elsewhere. In the bathroom I will look back through some of the supplies I kept in a month or so. If they haven’t been touched then I need to pass them along or get rid of them.

The porch storage area will come along soon enough. Hopefully when the rain stops we will be able to work out there. The rain has put quite a few projects on hold but I have faith that we will get to them.

Hope you all have a great rest of your week!

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