Thursday, September 29, 2011

Move-In Cleaning

I dread and am thrilled about the idea of cleaning the previous owners' funk out of the house. Dread --because it's a large task. Thrilled --because it means I'm in my home sweet home! {Side Note: Just in case the previous owner ever happens across this blog post, I'll say it now she's one of the cleanest homemakers I have ever seen. That house probably doesn't have a speck of dust. Even the cans in the cabinets were all facing front and beyond orderly. I'm not really worried about infectious diseases or finding something totally gross.} We're going to give the house a once over make sure everything is super clean before we descend upon it with paint, new furniture and all our belongings (both old stuff and fabulously new wedding presents).

Here's how I'm aiming to tackle all this in just a few short days. I used Real Simple's many cleaning check lists to guide me and started laying everything out in a spreadsheet of course. Here's what I've come up with...

Cleaning Check List:
1. Clean all fixtures in each room.
Master Bath

Half Bath

Run Dishwasher
Vent Hood

Basement (Laundry)
Toilet (Yes, there is a random free-standing blue toilet in our basement. Yay us.)
Cellar Room Shelves

2. Clean all the vertical surfaces in every room in the house.
Door Knobs
Outlet Covers
Switch Plate Covers

3. Clean the floors.
Hardwood (We have hardwood floors almost everywhere. Excitedaboutit.)
Linoleum -Kitchen (I'm already seeing those pesky projects creeping up.)
Carpet -Attic
Concrete -Basement

4. Install shelf liner.
Master Bath
Half Bath
Master Bedroom (Closet)
Guest Rooms (Closets)

Supplies Check List:
Scrubbing Bubbles
Glass Cleaner
Dishwasher Detergent
Dish Soap
All Purpose Spray Cleaner
Tub & Tile Spray
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Magic Eraser
Hardwood Floor Cleaner
Cleaning Rags
Paper Towels
Broom & Dust Pan
Shelf Liner  

Okay, friends. Now tell me what I'm missing! What are you favorite cleaning supplies and do you have any tips for cleaning a new (to you) house?


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Gracious Living

Even though we are still 60 days from being The Bills Family of Two, I thought the day of our closing would be the perfect day to kick off this little family blog. As of today we are the proud owners of a 1920's bungalow colonial in Upstate New York (Okay, okay. It's not quite a bungalow even though it's styled like one, but Bills in a Colonial just doesn't have the same ring!). 

We are in a total love affair with this house!!! We love the neighborhood and love the street. The lot has trees so tall I don't think I can see the tops. While the house does have oodles of charm, I'm sure projects will quickly find their way into our lives! The neighbors we've met so far seem really friendly (even by my more southern standards!). We will be posting pictures within the next few weeks, as we're renting the house back to the previous owners for a few days. For now here are the pictures from the real estate listing.



[Living Room]

[Full Bathroom]

[Master Bedroom]


As a bride-to-be, one of the themes I desire for our household is living graciously. Josh and I both see this as a huge part of how we want our family to be defined. The Lord has been so gracious to us and blessed us in a mighty, might way! We want to be able to pass that grace on in everything we do. I don't just want to be known as a great hostess, but want to be able to share the love of Christ through my hospitality. We want our home, family and lives to be used to bless our family, friends and community. Whether we are hosting a family dinner, having friends in from out of town, working through the local church to meet needs or simply showing our neighbors that we care...we just want the gracious hand of the Lord to be evident to everyone we meet.

A sweet friend recently brought to my attention that bringing hospitality together with a Christ-like attitude is truly the definition of being gracious. The Old and New Testaments reference graciousness and hospitality on many occasions. Here are some verses that really stand out in helping continue this theme in our home and lives.

Romans 12:9-13
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.

Psalm 37:23 & 26
The steps of a man are established by the LORD, and He delights in his way...all day long he is gracious and lends, and his descendants are a blessing.

Nehemiah 9:17
But You are a God of forgiveness, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness; and You did not forsake them.

1 Peter 4:9
Be hospitable to one another without complaint.

This is a great desire for our home and we can't wait to share all our adventures with you! Our friends and family are spread out all o
ver and through this blog we hope to post all the schmancy (and not so schmancy) projects, celebrations and milestones that fill our days.

Stay tuned...