Jewelry Cleaning

I may have posted about this in the past, but it’s worth re-hashing. 🙂

A dear friend… it was Miss Connie (our bass player), as it so often is… gave me this great tip on cleaning jewelry. In fact, when I’ve stayed at their place, she has often cleaned my ring for me!

This method works really well, for an at-home job.

All you need is:

  • Mug
  • Water
  • Dish Soap/Detergent (I use Dawn)
  • Soft-Bristle Toothbrush

Heat the water and dish soap until boiling. This is can take a minute or less in the microwave…

Carefully drop the jewelry into the hot water mixture. Let it soak for a few minutes. Remove the jewelry (being careful not to burn yourself, if it’s still hot), and gently scrub with the toothbrush. Rinse, and let air dry.

Now the question… Where would y’all recommend taking jewelry for an occasional check-up/cleaning job? I’d like to find a trustworthy place that could do my ring, as well as Mama’s engagement ring, and other valuables.




Closet Re-Org

Yesterday I finally got in my “closet” (a.k.a. a corner of the sewing room/guest room/etc. that is connected to my bedroom) and reorganized. Organizing is a job I love, but, when it comes to my personal stuff, I’m usually in a mess.

Now that my older sister is married, the second bed in my room is far too often covered in clothes. With as much traveling as I’ve been doing these last few weeks, suitcases and shoeboxes have added to the chaos.

So, it was past time to address the issue. Instead of just hanging my clothes and being done with it, I decided to actually reorganize the whole space and make a new start.

It’s not the best photo, but it’ll give you a good idea of what it looks like.

Our house has no closets, other than a small medicine closet in the hall bathroom, a sort of coat closet under the stairs, and a small closet added into the master bedroom. So, I use wire shelves, shoe shelves, and hanging cubbies to take the place of a closet. Yesterday, I organized the hanging clothes as you see above:

  • Tunics
  • Skirts (roughly by color)
  • Dresses (by color, hung in the corner in order to open up the top of the shoe shelves)
  • Tops (by color)
  • Long Coats (hung to the side, out of the way of the shoe shelves)
Shoe Shelf #1

Shoe Shelf #1

For gig nights, I usually wear stilettos… Which don’t fit well on or under these shoe shelves. But, I did find that they fit pretty well like I have them in the picture above. They would obviously fit fine on the top shelf, but, considering the amount of boots I have, it was clearly reserved for them.

Shoe Shelves #’s 2 and 3

Since the hanging cubbies are holding most of my other shoes, I was able to dedicate all but the top shelf of these last two shoe shelves to clothes. I folded my jeans and cardigans, and laid them in neat piles on the floor (after cleaning it!). The middle shelves hold my “crinkly” skirts – the kind that can be stored in knots.

We’ll see how this system works out! Do you have any favorite organization tricks for closets?



I’m Back! + To-Do List

Okay, it’s time to get back to business. Vacation was great, and our push to get the church moved into the new facility was successful!

Now, after sleeping WAY in, and being still out of routine from all the traveling, how will I have a productive day?

I find that sitting down in the morning and writing out a simple to-do list can make a world of difference. I usually stay busy, but without a list, I often flit from one job to the next without making progress on the most pressing tasks. I’ll try to keep the to-do list fairly short (so that I’ll actually feel motivated to cross it all off), and prioritized. Here goes:

  1. Wash everyone’s sheets.
  2. Bathe the dog. (while sheets are in wash)
  3. Finish unpacking from all the trips recently, and PUT ALL CLOTHES AWAY PROPERLY.
  4. Dust mop downstairs.
  5. Blog ahead.
  6. Prepare Supper (Hmm… I reckon I need to figure out what to make…)

Time to start chipping away at the list. What are your favorite methods for having a productive day?

In General…

… Leave a place BETTER than you found it. (Pick up trash, sweep the floor, arrange the throw pillows nicely… Whatever you can do to show you care.)

… Return borrowed items PROMPTLY, and in top-notch condition.

… Treat other people’s houses and property BETTER and with MORE respect even than your own. (Just because you don’t care about wearing shoes in the house, does not mean they don’t care. Just because your couch has had lots of little dirty feet on it does not mean theirs has, etc.)

Season Transition: Wardrobe Purging

The warm weather is not gone, but we have more and more hints that it’s on it’s way out. This means that it’s time to take a look at your wardrobe. Should some of it be on it’s way out, too? Look at all your spring and summer clothes, especially.

Here’s a flow chart I created to help with the purging:

Seasonal Wardrobe Purging flow chart

For more detail:

An easy first step is to spy any of those pieces that are bad colors on you. If it’s a bad color, it probably shouldn’t be in your closet. Purge it. Next step:

Does it fit you?

  • No

Purge it. Someone else can put it to better use.

  • Yes…

Did you wear it at all during the season?

  • No

Purge it. If you did without it for an entire year, you can do without it for good.

  • Yes

Now we’re talking. It’s a great color, it fits nicely, and you’ve proven that you’ll wear it. If you have the space, I’d say you’ve found yourself a keeper.

Simple Household Tip – Washing Dishes

There are many simple tasks that, if made routine, can help maintain the cleanliness and order of the home. Here’s one that immediately comes to mind:

While preparing a meal, try to take advantage of free moments to catch up on washing dishes. Granted, there will be those times when, by the time the meal is ready, the kitchen is full of dirty dishes.

Here is a set of fun washcloths from our church’s Etsy shop (all profit goes to our church building fund!). Check ’em out!

Clean the kitchen after EVERY meal.

  • Deal with the dishes (hand wash them, empty the dishwasher, and refill the dishwasher. Run it, if it’s time.)
  • Put away any small appliances (blenders, mixers, etc.) – after wiping them down, if needed.
  • Put away any ingredients and tools that may still be on the work spaces.
  • Wipe down the countertops. I do this after every time I wash the dishes, as a habit. I highly recommend it!

This doesn’t have to take long, usually. Sometimes it only takes a few minutes! And it is SO worth it. Always expecting your kitchen to be full of dirty dishes and very little free counter space is not necessary or pleasant.

Give it a try!

What are some habits and routines that help you maintain order?

Cleaning the Tub

Cleaning the bathtub is not an easy task. In some cases, it’s downright difficult. But, through searching for affordable, homemade cleaners, we stumbled across something truly amazing.

Click on the image to see it on

Bathtub Cleaner

  • 1 part Dawn Dish Soap (if using a highly concentrated version. If not, simply back off on the amount of water.)
  • 2 parts Water
  • 6 parts White Vinegar

This is just a rough recipe. You can adjust it as you like, as always. Some sources recommend heating the mixture prior to use, but we find it very effective even without that.

Spray on surface, and let sit. I like to spray the tub first, then clean the rest of the bathroom. Clean the tub using a rag, or if needed, a brush. Rinse.

Voila! A clean tub.