Category Archives: my house

30 minutes a day to a clean house

I have been doing a lot of research lately on how to clean my house efficiently and quickly and not seem like I am always cleaning. There are many solutions out there, but nothing that suited my exact needs, so I made my own that I am going to share with you today.


Firstly, let me set some boundaries so you know where I am coming from. I live with my husband, kids are grown and gone. Our house is a split level, so 1 story on half the house and 2 stories on the other.  It has 3 bedrooms but we only use 1 of them as a bedroom. The other bedrooms are our individual dressing rooms – the beauty of not having kids at home anymore! It has a full bath on the bedroom level and a half bath off the laundry. It has 2 other rooms downstairs, my very large craft room/study and my husband’s (much smaller) man cave/train room. The living/dining/kitchen is one space and is not that big.

I did not include washing. I do my own and the household washing and my husband does his own. Washing really doesn’t take much time to do, I do a load every few days.

I decided to do a schedule covering 5 weeks, or 35 days as I found those that went for less that that much time seemed very rushed. I set myself 30 mins each day to clean. Set the timer and only work for 30 mins. If you can’t achieve what you want in this much time then you are either going too slowly, worrying too much about it or you have set yourself too much to do, so fix your schedule.

Over the 5 week period, do a deep clean of each room once and do surface cleans of them during the other weeks.  I work on a 9 day rotating schedule, so each thing gets done every 9 days. Yes, this is a little more than a week between cleans for the rooms, but honestly, who cares! The place looks clean and tidy all the time.

Here are the things I do each 9 days, spaced out over the 5 weeks, meaning I do them 3-4 times during the 5 weeks.

  • Clean downstairs bathroom and laundry
  • Dust lounge/dining/kitchen
  • Clean upstairs bathroom and toilet
  • Change sheets/dust master
  • Surface clean dressing rooms
  • Sweep/vacuum all floors
  • Mop all floors
  • Dust/clean craft room

And the things I fit in elsewhere in the schedule one day during the schedule, so they get done once every 5 weeks.

  • Deep clean kitchen – sink, stone, rangehood, oven, appliances etc (I have a pyrolytic over so this only involves the outside part of the oven)
  • Clean interior window sills and light fittings
  • Clean all door knobs, remotes, banisters etc
  • Deep clean the lounge/dining (move the furniture/mats, full clean under table)
  • Clean out and tidy pantry
  • Clean out and tidy fridge
  • Clean out and tidy linen closet
  • Clean one item you have been meaning to do and never seem to get to
  • Deep clean my dressing room, tidy clothes and drawers (I leave my husband to do his)
  • Deep clean craft room
  • Clean entry and front porch including furniture

I hope you find my tips useful. I love comments, so let me know how you go with your cleaning schedule.


*My main idea for creating my own list was a list I found on


the new kitchen

Finally I am able to reveal my new kitchen. It has taken much longer than anticipated, but I am very happy with the results.

If you read my post about buying an Ikea kitchen you will know that is what I was thinking of doing. Pleased to report that we ended up doing this and here are the results.

I love my farmhouse sink. I also love the grey which goes so well with my wooden feature wall. My bench space has tripled in size and I have much more cupboard space even though the footprint of the kitchen only changed by 12 inches.

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I am back. 2016 has been a shocker. Just can’t seem to get out from under. I keep thinking it must get better. In amongst all that we have been continuing our renovations, although much slower that i had hoped.  I will share with you what we have done in other posts shortly. Just wanted to say “hi” again as I try to take back control of my life.

Here is a sneak peak.


Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

I recently purchased an old wooden tall boy from Gumtree. I wanted a chest of drawers for my dressing room but the only ones I found at Ikea were over $500 and they are not made of real wood so I thought I would try to recreate an old one. It cost me $140 which is pretty good as it is solid wood with proper steel drawer runners, which was an important feature to me. Here it is here sitting waiting to be dealt with.

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The next question was what to paint it with. I had thought I would make my own chalk paint but as I have never painted anything in chalk paint before I opted to play safe this time and buy Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I also wanted a specific color, the French Linen, another reason why I decided on buying the paint. At $60 a tin it is not cheap but it is so lovely to paint with. NO sanding required and it goes on nice and thick. I did 3 coats and only used a 1/3 of a tin.

Here it is a work in progress. The drawer on the left has had 1 coat and the drawer on the right has had 2 coats.

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I have yet to add a stencil to the front and then I will wax it with Annie Sloan wax. I shall show you that when done.

If you haven’t tried chalk paint before I would recommended it, definitely.

Outdoor setting

As we have moved to a house that has outdoor space, we needed a larger table for the poolside. We only have a small but lovely 2 seater mosaic table that is now living on our front porch.

We priced up purchasing a new setting but the prices of these things are astronomical, unless you go for a metal setting from Bunnings or somewhere similar. We purchased a refurbished on off Gumtree. A man over our way buys them, revarnishes them and sells them for a good price, about 1/3 the new price. Our is a wooden 8 seater with a square table.

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I then set out to buy cushion covers, again they are so expensive, $80 each! That is nearly as much as the table cost and I don’t care how much they tell me they are “fade” resistant, I don’t want to pay that much for them. I could have made them myself, but time is my enemy and so I ended up getting them from Barbeques Galore, they were $50 each but I bargained them down to $45 each, so $360 in all. Our new setting is lovely and we have already used it a lot. With the rest of the summer still to come this bargain basement price of under $1,000 in total is  worth it.

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Finished powder room

We have finally finished the downstairs powder room. We actually completed it a few months back, but I was still trying to find something else to put in the space. I wanted a surface where visitors using the bathroom could place their belongings. I bought one thing, a small hall table to go in there but it just didn’t suit. I shall have to find another place for it as it is a lovely old piece.

You can read my original thoughts on what I was going to do here.

I then found this great piece at the vintage store. It is an old plant stand (I think) that has a part of a wooden table attached to the top.

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We ended up painting the walls in Dulux Duck Egg Blue, which is a lovely constrast to black and white tiles.  I also love my little sink.  The tiler was none too happy about my floor layout but he did a great job on it. The top tiles have a rolled edge on them, hard to see in this photo. I wanted a vintage looking bathroom, no modern large tiles here. The builder told me he last tiled a bathroom like this 40 years ago as an apprentice, so mission accomplished.

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The table fits perfectly in here and matches really well.

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I have some hooks to put up on the wall yet and I will get a wire basket and fill it with pool towels as this the change room for the pool for both us and visitors.

my bedroom

It is finally happening and I am amazed! My bedroom is being decorated.  It has been pulled apart for a few weeks and the skirtings prepped but nothing had progressed due to the other things we were caught up with. Now it has progressed and the paint is going on the walls. The color I have selected as discussed in my post on painting interior walls have turned out so gorgeous.  The light fitting I showed you in new lights is up and looking wonderful. So blingy!

Here is a picture taken from my bed.  The wall color is very hard to photograph properly, but you get the picture. I have not yet painted my floors white but I will be doing that soon.

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downstairs bathroom renovation

We are renovating our downstairs bathroom. We are removing the shower and just putting a toilet and vanity in there and hopefully a cupboard as well.  The room is not that big and we have some issues with the plumbing that will continue to be a problem if we put in a shower. There is currently a shower there but it doesn’t work.  This vanity below is one that I like.

As you know from my post black and white bathrooms I am doing this one in black and white and I think this vanity will fit in well.

I also like these black and white tiles but they may be a bit big for a small space. The yellow gumboots look fantastic with it. Maybe I will do yellow accents.



These pedestal vanities look fab in this retro bathroom.



So what did I buy?  I ended up going quite retro with the black and white. I have hexagonal tiles in white on the floor with a smattering of black.  (Don’t you just love the word smattering?)  The walls are a white subway tile with a black pencil and capping in black.

What a mess! The walls and ceiling come out.


Looking through the powder room walls to the laundry and side door.  The old floor tiles will have to stay. I can’t afford to replace them.



The laundry wall is rebuilt.


There will be a bench top with cupboards underneath on this wall plus space for the washer and dryer underneath. These are the cupboards. Crisp white with a black marbled bench top.



Closeup of the bench top.



I have laid out the floor tiles ready for the tiler to install. The hexagonal white tiles will have the black scattered throughout.  There will be a black threshold of square tiles into the room so the tiles don’t show on the outside of the door.


Here is the cute little basin I bought.


The tap will be the one below.



and the plumbing will be exposed below the sink.


We have built the cupboards ready for install.  It should all be done next week.  Can’t wait!








painting interior walls

We have been picking paint colors for the house. I really like Grey Pail by Dulux but hubby thought it was a bit dark. What he actually said was that it looked like a battleship and we should christen our house the U.S.S. Missouri.  Hilarious!  What do you think?

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So then I chose to have some walls in white and some in Grey Pail and a paler grey. That’s grey pail in the centre, another one I tested on the right and the one I chose on the left. I thought the one on the right was too silvery.

wall color

I may paint my dressing room in a pale pink, maybe this color called Lily Legs Quarter by Dulux, and then paint the furniture in Grey Pail.
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I am going to paint my bedroom in this color called Tidal Green. So pretty.  I may even end up using it in my dressing room as well.tidal green

I love this color. This image from Forever Decorating is the one that inspired me. As you know if you read my blog, I just love love love this blog. I am not sure what color this is but I think it is close to the one I selected.


The other thing that influenced me was a photo frame. I actually went to buy a different color green that I had decided upon with my DH this morning, however I was sidetracked to another store (what I call the pretty shops, the ones that sell lots of gorgeous bric-a-brac) and bought this photo frame which is just beautiful. I loved the green so much I took it into Bunnings and matched the paint color to it.


I will use this frame in my bedroom. I think I shall print some black and white photos of my family and put in these frames.

My bedroom is just an ordinary bedroom but I want to make it as pretty as I can. The quilt I am making for my bed should match these colors perfectly. I have not seen the fabric for a while as it is packed in a box (of course!) but I think from memory it will match well.

Here is the “before” picture of the bedroom, a work in progress. You can see the neighbours out the window and a gorgeous winter’s day in Brisbane. I also have the side window that looks over the carport.  It is a very bright room so will take the dark paint well.

bedroom before

My DH has painted the ceiling and prepped the walls. I painted the inside of the cupboard and patched the walls.  The trims need doing and then finally we can paint the walls. Really looking forward to seeing the paint on the walls.

The finished product will be up soon.

new seating

When we moved into our house recently we had a servery off the kitchen window that goes to the outdoor entertaining area. This was a great idea as it meant not carrying things up and down the stairs, there are 6 steps. However, we are both vertically challenged (although don’t tell my husband I said that) and it meant that the servery was above our eye level, so pretty dangerous and not much use.

The builder was working around the house so I asked him if he could he move it down to make a bench as it was a very solid piece with solid looking brackets.  Here is the result, pretty cool, eh?  It seats 3 people comfortably and I will make a nice cushion for it.