So, I talked to my husband yesterday about how I want to make our apartment more inviting, homier, more comfortable. I think often about painting the walls, and I know right now we can’t afford to go out and buy paint supplies and all that stuff, but maybe in a month or two I can paint at least the bedroom as a summer project. The bedroom is our barest room, particularly owing to the fact that almost a year ago the box spring on our bed was curving so bad we decided to get rid of it. Except all we did was prop it up against the wall and get rid of the metal bed frame, and place the mattress, which is also pretty worn down, on the floor. So for something like 8 months, we’ve had a single mattress on the floor, with sheet and a quilt over it, and a box spring leaning against the wall, all covered in rips from the cats. There is a single piece of real furniture, a nightstand, which we got for $10 off craigslist. Our clothes lie either in piles on the floor, or some of mine are in plastic bins that we have. Sometimes the piles aren’t very neat, either. And the walls? They are white, with two hangings on them. One above the mattress, which I bought at the save-a-lot for $10, and another on a wall near the window, which was a gift to me when I was younger – a winnie the pooh scene. And there are curtains over the windows, which my mom was gracious enough to gift to husband and me when we moved into the apartment two years ago. So this is a pretty undecorated, empty room.
The living room is a little more decorated, but lately it’s gathered a lot of clutter – our small NYC apartment doesn’t have much discreet storage space, so when I get things that I haven’t had a chance to unpack, they sit on the floor in the entryway or the living room.
So anyhow, we’re too broke right now to do any decorating that costs money, but I decided that the apartment will feel better if it’s cleaned and organized. So I began cleaning this evening.
This is what my task list looks like:
Wash the dishes in the sink (by hand of course as most NYC apartments, or at least those of my friends and other people in my economic class, don’t have dish washing machines)
Wash the kitchen counter tops
Wash the stove top
Attempt to wash the blinds in the kitchen window. Do this as the sun is going down, and it is getting dark because the light bulbs went out in the kitchen about a month ago and we have by turns not had enough money to buy new ones and not known where to find them or had the desire to go looking for a hardware store with this specific kind of light bulb. Wash by the light coming in from the foyer and a flashlight. These blinds have not been washed since we moved in, and they are really grimy. I think they need to be washed further, but at least they are improved.
Wash the top of the refrigerator, which has been covered in grime since we moved in. I have this new no scrub bathroom grime product, and it works really well so I thought I’d try it on the fridge. I think it’s about 80% clean now.
Spray the wall by the trash bin and wash off the stains from wet tea bags that splattered.
Scrub down the trash bin.
Move everything off the square shelves in the entryway, and wipe them down. Put it back. Move the shelves themselves, wipe down the dust and cat fur that was between them and the wall.
- Move to the bedroom.
Take down the curtains, which are dusty and covered in fur. They are particularly dirty right by the air conditioner, where it blows air at them all the time.
Wash the curtains by hand in the bathtub. Do this by hand because a) the nearest laundromat is about 6 blocks away, it’s raining outside, and it’s probably closed already anyhow because it’s sunday, and b)it’s free to do it at home but costs money to do it at the laundromat. Hang them on the shower rod to dry. Hope no one needs the shower tonight!
Move the clothes and clothes bins out of the bedroom, to prepare to clean the floor.
Unpack a box that’s been packed for two years, sitting under a clothes bin. Get excited because it has an unfinished oil painting in it that I want to continue working on.
Husband takes out the trash.
Move the box spring, which is still in the bedroom against the wall, to the entryway. Ask to take it outside with Husband, but he returns to tell me it’s raining outside.
Wash the blinds in the bedroom. This actually goes well, because they are less grimy and because there is plenty of light in the bedroom. Still, cleaning blinds is not so fun.
- Finally, take a break. Make scrambled egg whites and whole wheat english muffins, thus producing more dirty dishes. Write this post.
- Move the mattress and remaining things on the floor out of the bedroom. Wash the edge of the molding near the floor to get rid of the dust and fur that’s collected.
- Wash the floor, which is wood, with Murphy’s oil soap.
- Move the bed back in. Change the sheets.
- Move the clothes back in, preferably in neat piles.
- Take the stuff off the nightstand table, and wash the blanket that is resting on top of it (a gift from my mother in law).
- Wash the rug in the kitchen in the bath tub.
- Clean the cat litter box.
- Scrub the kitchen floor by the litter box and cat food.
- Wash the whole kitchen floor with Lysol.
- Unpack the box of dishes that’s been sitting in the living room since the end of last year. Wash them, let them dry, and put them away.
- Find a home in a cabinet or closet for the fondue pot that was also a wedding gift.
- Unpack the box of things that are left over from the wedding reception, that is also sitting on the floor in the living room.
- Unpack and find a home for the tray tables (another wedding present that’s been sitting out for a while).
- Vacuum the quilt covering the futon in the living room (which we got from a friend when we moved in and I really really want to replace sometime in the next year).
- Take down the living room curtains, wash them and hang to dry.
- Wash the living room blinds and the windowsill.
- Tidy up Husband’s desk, and tighten the screws that keep it together. It was another craigslist find, a used Ikea desk which is pretty sturdy, but needs to be repainted.
- Dust the bookshelves, and put away stray books.
- Clean out and organize the space between the living room and the window that goes to the fire escape. Hang up any of the wall hangings that are resting in this space.
- Clean out under the futon, where the Feisty cat likes to hide things.
- Once all the crap is organized and off the floor, wash the floor with Murphy’s oil soap.
Things to do sometime over the summer, that aren’t free but will be relatively cheap redecorating:
- Reupholster the chairs at the dining table (which is in the living room) to be some sort of navy print to match the living room.
- Find some throw pillows for the futon, or make some with the same fabric as the chairs.
- Pick out a wedding picture for the signed frame, have it printed and put it in the frame; hang up on the wall.
- Make a collection of pictures from the wedding and honeymoon for the walls in the bedroom.
- Paint the bedroom walls.
- Possibly, paint the bathroom walls.
- Hang the wall mirror in the bedroom.
- Find something blue or navy to fill the crystal vase with. It was a beautiful wedding gift, but fresh flowers? a) the cats eat them, b) they cost money, and c)we’re too lazy.
Woo….what fun! I’ve made good progress, but there’s more to be done. Time to get back to cleaning!