Monthly Archives: June 2010

Encyclopedia Media

While moving into a new apartment and adjusting to married life, I’ve eagerly sought out sources of free furniture. My husband went on an errand to pick up $10 bookshelves from Craigslist and was offered an encyclopedia bookshelf for free. When he showed it to me, I instantly thought of our “homeless” DVD’s.

Here is the shelf when we took it in:

I removed the legs and sanded the shelf with 100 to 200 grit sandpaper until the glossy layer was gone. Then, I went crazy with a bucket of primer and primed the whole shelf. Finally after letting it dry, I used a basic white paint that my parents had in their garage from painting doors. This took several layers to cover the dark wood-about 3. I let them each dry overnight. The legs were painted separately.

A helpful “how-to paint any piece of furniture” can be found on Young House Love.

And for the finished product!! Looks like new…

Picture of shelf with DVDs (looks a tiny bit classier than a metal frame DVD rack).


“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun…”

“…You find the fun and – SNAP – the job’s a game!”

I hate cleaning in nooks and crannies. The first five years after moving out of my parents’ house I vacuumed only as far as the cord stretched from the outlet. NOW I must say that I enjoy cleaning up the far-reaching corners. My new cleaning habit has turned cleaning from a chore to a game.

Desk Before

Desk After


What room is the messiest/dirtiest? This is the room I attack. I kill it ‘til it’s dead – 15 minutes a day. I make sure my room has received its daily routine pick-up (toys put away, bed made, empty cups put into kitchen).


I set my handy-dandy timer (something like this is perfect) and begin!


Now is the time to get out my cleaning supplies. It helps to mentally prep – what will I work on today? I always begin with decluttering. Then on to the windows, dusting, vacuuming…. The rule is, I STOP with the timer. The next day I pick up where I left off. Once that room is done, on to the next! It makes it easy to be detailed when I know there is an end in sight and I’m racing to beat the timer.

Rooms get used differently, which means they get cleaned on a different schedule. My baby’s room (slash guest bedroom) only needs deep cleaning every other week or less, whereas my bathroom needs it each week and a half with more frequent touch-ups.

I use this same method with organizing and home-office management. I set my timer for 10 minutes a day for these tasks – and they are the tasks that are first to go if I’m short on time.

Desk After

Desk After

Here are the things I attack in each room:


Clean sink/counter/soap & lotion bottles
Wash mirrors/picture glass/glass jars & trinkets
Clean toilet/t.p. holder
Clean tub/tile
Wash mildew/mold with bleach product
Clean floor
Wash towels/rugs
Wash tub toys
Wash toilet brush/plunger
Wash out cloth diaper pail

Wash windows/picture glass/surfaces such as baseboard heater
Vacuum (get in all those corners!)
Wash bed linens

Dust (dust each item & scoot things around to get everything!)|
Wash windows/picture glass/t.v.
Clean high chair

What cleaning ideas have you come up with to make it more fun and effective?