Spring Cleaning, Anyone?

Spring Cleaning, Anyone?


For those of you in the deep south, the question of “Spring Cleaning, Anyone?” may seem a little late this year – after all, it is the second week in April, spring cleaning should be finished, right? For those of us up north – where it finally started to break 50º this week – the question seems almost premature.

If you do a thorough spring cleaning on your house, what exactly do you do? All the rooms? Do you wash the walls? Or just dust them? I’m not sure how many people still have coal furnaces and need to wash their walls, but old habits sometimes diehard. Clean the carpets? Take apart the chandelier and other lighting for a complete wash? Clean out the basement, attic and garage?

I have a bit of a spring-renovation/redecorating bug myself, but not really a spring cleaning impulse. I do not wash my walls, and the only walls in this house that really need dusting are the ones in the family room and Hubby’s office. They are textured paneling of a sort, and the crevices can accumulate dust. I’ve never really noticed dusty walls in this house otherwise, not even when sunlight hits “a certain way”.

As far as our floors go: the rug in our bedroom should be cleaned. We have a rug cleaner, and it resides in an upstairs closet, so there really is no excuse to not get this done. Darn it.

The upstairs hall carpeting, and the carpeting in Sonny-boy’s old room is being ripped out and replaced (oh the pictures this will bring! You have to see what that rug looks like to believe it!). I want Sonny-boy to come box up/giveaway the remains in his closet and dresser and then I can move along with that project.

I convinced Hubby to shovel out the basement in January. We accomplished quite a bit, but there is at least another six hours of organizing left. I think this is really our one spring cleaning project!

I plan on hiring someone to come clean our outside windows. Not only am I a horrible window washer (I leave streaks no matter what I use, regardless of the time of day I wash), but there is no way I will get up on a ladder to do the second floor. I could get Hubby on the ladder, but window washing is too much like housework for him to consider doing it. Not happening.

So, we do have three spring cleaning jobs on my list: basement, carpet in master bedroom and window washing. I should be able to tackle those by the end of the month – Hubby willing.

Spring Cleaning, Anyone? Any tips, ideas or solutions for accomplishing spring cleaning quickly and well?


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Auctions as a Source Of Cheap Goods

Auctions as a Source Of Cheap Goods


Hubby has gone to auctions in the past, and finally convinced me to tag along. He’s gut renovating a few apartments, and needed nearly everything you can imagine – from kitchen cabinets to flooring to tubs – to complete those renovations.



When he saw a local Auction house was back in business, he piled me into the car and we took off with a list.

Now the first thing you need to know about auctions, is you need to provide ID (driver’s license or passport) and sign in at the office. You will be required to pay for all your purchases in full before taking anything off the lot, there are no refunds (that is a squishy policy, if it plain doesn’t work some auction houses will make good), and there is generally a buyer’s premium plus you pay sale tax. In our case that added over 20% to anything we were purchasing. Check if your auction house accepts credit cards (and what type), or if it is cash only.

Still, we got some excellent deals!

Auctions as a Source Of Cheap Goods


Lots of tools, smoke detectors, flashlights and other miscellaneous items on full shelf purchases.

Auctions as a Source Of Cheap Goods


This was $25, which we gave to Sonny-boy. No word yet if it works. (It is almost a year later and I still don’t know if it works!!)

Auctions as a Source Of Cheap Goods


Hubby bought a lot of vinyl flooring. Some of it was stuck together, and when we returned later with it, hubby was given a credit.

Auctions as a Source Of Cheap Goods


These medicine chests were $25 + premium, the stickers say $107.

Auctions as a Source Of Cheap Goods


Bathroom fixtures, faucets (OMG! the deals we got on faucets), toilet seats, microwaves, patio furniture, fire pits – you name it, it was there. The volume of product available was astounding.

The auction house owner announced immediately that there were a lot of known ebayers there, and their money was as good as anyone else’s. Apparently that was to entice people to pay more? The tools were first up, and I am sure many of those are now up on eBay.

The auction continued in the main room for the first hour or so, and then we broke off into groups to follow one of the other two auctioneers, or stay with the original auctioneer. At this point hubby and I went in separate directions. By sheer luck I ended up on the room with the better deals. I bought a 36″ bathroom vanity, vanity top, mirror and matching toilet for $125 total. The bathroom towel bars and accessories I purchased worked out to under $5 each for name brand. Hubby did well, I did great – and it was all a function of the auctioneer and how high the people following him were willing to go. In my group, the answer was not very high at all.

Hubby checked out this auction the day before at preview. I would urge people to do so to determine if what you want is ding and dent free, and at what point in the auction your interests will come up. For instance, the auction was supposed to begin at 10 am, didn’t start until 10:30 am, and then they had tools for the next 90 minutes. We could have shown up at noon and stayed later, getting more goods that we had an interest in buying.

Also realize that even if you are the first person buying and want to leave, you have to wait for the auction sheets to get to the office. Estimate 20-30 minutes after your last win before you can pay. Then you can pick up your stuff (unless other arrangements have been made), load and leave.

A few other notes:

This can last for hours and hours. When you go to the preview, ask the owner how long s/he thinks the sale will go the next day. You can estimate 100 items per hour, but if there are 3-4 auctioneers working at the same time, things will run much faster than just one auctioneer.

Hubby kept track of every lot he won, and how much he paid for it. Me? Not-so-much. I think tracking is a smart idea, so bring pen, paper and clipboard to write on.

We went back for the clearance sale a few weeks later. We envisioned everything tagged (like a yard sale). It didn’t quite work that way at this sale. Basically we gathered a pile and the auction house owner gave us a total. He did give us a nebulous credit for the stuck-together-tile, and our total for a pile of good facets and other miscellaneous goods was about the cost of one of the Moen faucets we purchase would have been retail, so we did get a very good deal. I just feel we got some great deals at the auction itself.

Have you ever been to a goods auction? How did that work out for you?

Note: this post originally appeared on my old blog, Coupons, Deals and More.


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Laugh For Today

Laugh For Today, joke of the day


Laugh For Today


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