Beautiful Work

Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands…. Psalm 90:17a

Spring Cleaning Checklist April 15, 2009

Filed under: cleaning — Gretchen @ 5:19 pm

Ok this is a confession… I am really not going to be getting to any spring cleaning this month!  My husband is/has been gone every week this month, we are in the home stretch with home school, sports just started up again and my grandpa just died.  Life is crazy and I am sure there are some that will relate.  For this post I will be writing a checklist of the things I do for spring cleaning that will hopefully be accomplish in May!

The way I do spring cleaning is to accomplish small tasks each week so here is my list of tasks and extra cleaning…

  • wash curtains
  • wash windows/blinds
  • wash and dust walls and baseboards
  • sort through and store all winter gear-  get rid of things the kids have grown out of and make note of things we will need for next year
  • clean out pantry and fridge (gotta make room for summer fare)
  • change and/or clean toss pillows
  • wipe down cabinets and get out the plastic outdoor plates
  • while in Minnesota I do not bust out the summer clothes quite yet I do go through all the kids clothes and toss the clothes that can’t be given away, give away the clothes that we don’t need/use, and store all the heavy turtle necks and sweaters
  • go through all toys – this is a great time to get rid of toys and also to store toys that help during the winter months (this keeps kids from getting bored with toys- we store our wii during the summer to encourage outdoor play)



Spring Cleaning Monday: The office/playroom April 13, 2009

Filed under: cleaning,Free Your Space,Homemaking — Andie @ 1:50 pm
dsc_0231_400x598shkl2dsc_0229_800x1195shkl_600x896shkl6Okay, people. Planning 4 hours of cleaning during the week of Spring Cleaning was a great idea… until I realized that since I post on Mondays, my room had to be done before Spring Cleaning week had begun. Ha ha. Thankfully I did get to spend at least 3 hours of undivided time with my “Multipurpose Room” before today. And, it has come a long way. First, I will explain the nature of this room. The room is off of our dining room and it is about 7×11 ft. We use it for an office, playroom and storage/coat closet.  (And I’m actually wanting to move my exercise bike into it so I can watch HGTV on while I ride!)

Anyway, Here is the room before: As you can see, the many purposes of the room had collided and things had gotten quite SCARY! While I had some organizational pieces in the closet, there were still many areas that needed help- like inside the drawers and the scary stack of games, sewing kit and cardboard box up to the right. And, something that drove me crazy is the printer, sitting on the file cabinet, which I had to haul out and and plug in every time I wanted to print something (at the computer, which is to the left of the closet with no room for a printer).

DRUMROLL, please……

Here is the room after: Doesn’t it look like a much happier place? For the closet, I made use of some of the vertical space in by adding two stacking wire shelves ($5 each). Then, I didn’t have to stack all of that stuff on top of each other. I have games, a sewing kit, my painting supplies on those shelves. I moved some of the random big books downstairs to basement storage since we didn’t use them regularly. I reorganized and thinned out the stuff in the drawers using the 3 bag dsc_0047_400x598shkl3method: One for give-away, One for put-away, One for trash. I was able to throw away, give away or relocate about 1/2 of the contents!  My favorite part of the closet makeover is that I moved the printer up to a shelf where it can live permanently. I was SO EXCITED to realize that the cords will reach the outlet and computer from the closet.

dsc_0045_400x598shkl3For toy organization, I combined the cubes (which had been broken up inefficiently throughout the house) and made a large organizational structure. Many of the baskets I already had, but I did purchase the aqua ones ($3.50 ea). The striped one is a LUVS diaper box covered in scrapbooking paper.

PS. If you need to majorly declutter, check out these 3 questions to cut clutter. (If you want to keep up this page while checking out a link, you can apple key + click to bring up a new tab. PC users, try ctrl + click and see if it works)


Planning for Spring Cleaning April 8, 2009

Filed under: cleaning — Andie @ 12:34 pm


Here are some questions to help you plan for Spring Cleaning next week.

1.What space in my house/garage is driving me crazy?

2.What is it about this space that is driving me crazy? Be specific (and there is probably more than one thing). 

3. On first glance, does it make sense for everything I have in this space to be here? If not, what can I move and where?

4. What are some possible solutions to address the difficult parts?


If there are those of you whose house is already organized and what you are keen on is just getting things clean, Gretchen will have a post for that :) and you can ignore all the strategizing….


FYSF- getting ready for the Spring Clean April 3, 2009

Filed under: cleaning — Andie @ 1:01 pm


Though some of us still have snow in the northern states, it IS April and we want to get excited about spring. So, excited we will be, even if the weather is dragging a little in that department. In a couple weeks we are going to have a Spring Cleaning week here at Beautiful Work. If you want to join us, you can start planning today.

Here’s how it’s going to work:

-Clear your calendar and plan to spend about an hour each day April 13-16  (Monday-Thursday) devoted to Spring Cleaning/Organizing

– Write down the areas of your house that need some help

– You will have 4 hours during the week (4/13-4/16) to address one area with deep cleaning/organizing, or several areas with lighter cleaning

– At the end of next week before we start Spring Cleaning Week, we’ll have more specific brainstorming time that will help you think about what tools you need for your particular area and that will give you time to buy the tools you need

-We’ll show you the areas we tackled each day during the week, and on Friday the 17th, we’ll display any photos you send our way


Swiffer, Be Mine! February 3, 2009

Filed under: cleaning — Leah @ 8:00 am

When I was first married I cleaned every Friday.  Mess or no mess, my home got cleaned…top to bottom, inside and out…CLEAN.  Three kids later, my standards haven’t changed as much as the level of filth that I am often forced to accept has changed.  I can’t always clean when I want to.  Sometimes the bathroom just has to wait a day.  I’ve tried cleaning during the kids’ rest time.  But in the end, I was dirty and tired when they woke up and the house was only half done.

A friend pointed out to me that she cleans when her kids are awake.  “Woah” I thought, “That’s a wild idea.”  Then I realized that it might be an important thing for them to see me do…after all they regularly participate in the mess making!  So now I swiffer it.  I use the long handled duster to do my living room and ceiling fans, clorox wipes to do the bathroom, and after vacuuming I hit the kitchen and bathroom floors with the swiffer wet sweeper.

At first it was hard for me to shell out the extra $ to buy products with the cleaning chemicals already on them, but after seeing that I can clean without worrying about my kids eating the comet when my back is turned, I gladly spend the extra $!  The ease of use is the other reason for my love affair with the Swifferness.  It’s hard for me to get in the cleaning zone when the kids are running around, so the easier it is for me, the better!

I heart Swiffer.



Cleaning Cleaning February 2, 2009

Filed under: cleaning — Andie @ 1:24 pm

This week’s question is: Do you have a house cleaning schedule and how do you keep on top of cleaning with kids?


My answer is: house cleaning schedule?? Ha ha. Those of you who have seen my house (other than on small group days) know that house cleaning is not my (ahem) gifting. Nevertheless, I do try to keep some sort of order so that I can bless my kind husband, who appreciates order. 

The method to my housecleaning madness is truly to clean if I notice that it’s gross. Thankfully, as I have mentioned before, we do host small group here and so my house must get cleaned at least 2 Sundays a month. 

Some things that help me in the cleaning area:

  • Divide and Conquer. Andrew saves the day when I’ve dropped the ball. He also encourages us as a family to get things cleaned up right after dinner. He and Ruth clear the table. Then, he plays with the kids or puts them to bed while I clean up the kitchen. 
  • Host people. I regularly have friends over for tea and chatting while the kids nap. So, it forces me to run through my house and try and get things clean before they arrive.
  • Purge stuff. The less stuff I have, the less mess there will be. I have taken to keeping the toys in the play room MINIMAL so there is less of a mess to be made. Also, I have multiple small bags a week going to the Savers pile in the garage.
  • Clean up immediately. I’m taking baby steps in this area. I’m trying to wipe the table before it gets crusty, put away my makeup so the kids don’t get into it, make my bed so the room looks so much neater, etc. Read this post from Simple Mom to see my inspiration.

Hello, I will change your life January 30, 2009

Filed under: cleaning — Andie @ 12:59 pm

I hope this is not too grand of a claim. But, this stuff is amazing in the kitchen. It works so much better than Comet or baking soda for cleaning my porcelain sink scratches, my flat top stove, and my stainless steel pan.