Julies Blog

Turning out drawers

by Julie Finch-Scally

It is amazing what we find when we are looking for something specific.  I was looking for information on an activity I took part in several years ago and while turning out the drawers discovered so many things I had forgotten I kept.

Now some of the items, such as photos were an instant recall into interesting sectors of my life, but most of what was being stored was old birthday, anniversary and Christmas cards. 

Of course I had kept those cards because they were from family and said something important at the time, but looking back several years later I started to realise that these cards, which were nice but not really important, were taking up valuable space.

That doesn’t mean I took the lot and threw them into the recycling bin.  No, I removed them from the drawers and put them in my working space to go through and sort out. 

Firstly I arranged them into categories of birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas.  Then checked each category to see who the card was from and what was said.  Many of them had years they were received and several of them were more than memorable.  It was the more than memorable cards I decided to still keep.  But I didn’t want to just put them back into the drawer and forget about them. 

Now it just so happens that over the past three years; daughter has sent me some very cute and clever Mothers’ Day cards.  The words or the pictures on the front were so clever I have placed the three – one inside each other – on my dressing table so the top one can be seen on a daily basis.  Because there is a window near by, the cards often blow on the floor.  When I pick them up I swap the top card around.  This means I get the benefit of daughter’s cards for longer than Mothers’ Day. 

Because of the success of the rotation of the Mothers’ Day cards I decided to do the same with some of the memorable cards I found in the drawers.  The cute, clever and funny ones I have placed around the house in clumps of three with the intentions of swapping them around when I clean the area where they are sitting. 

As for those other memorable cards that I know I just cannot throw away, they have gone back into the drawer which now has a special space for such memorabilia.  And the ones I know I can do without and don’t mean as much now as before?  Well they have gone the way of all used paper and cardboard, into the recycling bin.


Mini Spring Cleans

by Julie Finch-Scally

The greasy area above my kitchen cupboards has been annoying me for weeks.  Last Friday I decided to do something positive about it.  I brought the step ladder up stairs, ran some hot water in the sink and trotted out the trusty cream cleanser.

Using the cream cleanser on the scourer side of a sponge/scourer rinsed in the hot water, I climbed up and started scrubbing the wall.  As I was now at the same level as the top of the cupboard doors I could see the grease and dirt across the top of them.  These got a scrubbing as well.

The top shelves of the cupboard I was cleaning are difficult to see into when standing on ground level, so I used the opportunity of being up high to wipe out the shelves as well. 

I moved out one item on the top shelf and placed it down on the bench.  With the damp scourer still impregnated with cream cleanser I scrubbed the area where the item had been sitting.  Taking a clean damp cloth I wiped off the residue of the cleanser then dried the shelf with a tea towel.

As that section of the shelf was now clean I moved another item on the top shelf into the clean space and using the previous process cleaned the area where the second item had been sitting.  Once dry I moved the final item on the top shelf into the clean space and went over the remaining dirty area.  When the whole of the top shelf was clean I pushed the items back into their original position and replaced the item I’d placed on the bench. 

I cleaned the other shelves in the cupboard using the same procedure.  There were a couple of marks on the front of the shelves so I made sure they were removed prior to closing the cupboard door.  Then for good measure I cleaned the front of the cupboard door as well.

There was another cupboard sitting above the range hood, so I cleaned that out as well.  Then I tackled the Range Hood.  The base of the hood is removable and allows one to take out a metal filter.  The base is too large to fit into the dishwasher but I managed to fit in the filter.  As I was going to clean the stove top I removed the cast iron hobs and placed them in the dish washer as well.  Once they had been through the pots and pans cycle they came out clean.  The heat of the water and the strength of the cleanser dissolve the grease especially in the small nooks and crannies. 

The base of the Range Hood I washed with the scourer and cream cleanser and placed outside in the sun to dry while I cleaned around and inside the Range Hood.  Once again I used the scourer and cream cleanser making sure all the residue was removed and the areas I had cleaned were thoroughly dried. 

When everything was clean and dry I replaced the filter and base of the Range Hood.  By this time I had cleaned the rest of the walls near the stove and the top of the doors.  The high wall and kitchen cupboards looked so much better and I felt I had done enough for the day.

The extra cleaning had been added to my usual wipe over of the splash back, bench tops and cupboard fronts under the bench.  Did it take long?  Not really: about an hour. 

Of course this was not a full Spring Clean of the kitchen but enough.  I’d clean out the lower cupboards a few weeks ago, so except for the pantry which will be a next week job, the kitchen has been given a Spring Clean in mini doses. 

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