Spring cleaning, windows edition-with bonus cheap, temporary skylight shades!

  Now that it’s spring, it’s time to air out our houses and get cleaning.  You know, so that the mud we track in during those summer storms shows up especially well.

  In my house, the windows get thrown open at the first hint of warm weather.  Our house is old and made out of mountains and boulders (somewhat literally, it’s a field stone house).  That means, with the windows shut, it keeps cold in like a refrigerator.  That’s awesome come the dead heat of summer, but not so great in spring.
  I’m certainly not going to try and fool you guys into thinking I already have my windows cleaned and sparkling (yeah right, with all the homework I’ve had lately?), but windows usually are where I start my spring cleaning, so I thought it’d be a good place to start sharing how I do it all.
  First things first, I promised a temporary skylight shade, so lets get that out of the way.  We have 3 of these skylights on the North side of our bedroom.  I love them in that they let the sunlight pour into our room during the day, but for about 3 days a month I hate them because they do the same thing with moonlight at night.
  I’m one of those finicky sleepers who can’t handle any light at all in the room, so my Mr. rigged up a system with magnets Command tabs and Mylar blankets for during the full moon.  It’s not glamorous…we’ll eventually get real skylight shades, but in the meantime, it works, and our money can go other places.  Like my tuition. 
  Supposedly, one of the first explorers to Michigan said that nobody would ever live here.  They said it was an “uninhabitable swamp” with “hoards of mosquitoes”.  Suffice to say, our windows don’t get opened without screens in them.  In the winter I pull them out of the windows (I want every ounce of light coming in that I can get in the dreary months) and store them in the basement.  I label each screen with the window it came out of using a post it note.  The last thing I want in the spring is to be walking from window to window with a giant screen, not knowing which one it fits in.  Keeping the screens in the basement helps keep them from getting too cobwebby over the winter, but all of them get a good spray with the hose before they go back in the window just the same.
  When all of my screens are clean and up, it’s time to wash my windows.  I make my own glass cleaner (surprising no one at this point I’m sure).  I don’t notice any difference between this and store bought solution, and since I always have the ingredients on hand, I don’t have to worry about having enough.
Homemade Glass Cleaner
1/4 c. white vinegar
1/2 tsp liquid soap
2 c. water
  I use this solution on all the insides of my windows.  Highest priority goes to windows G is too short to reach.  Why bother when they’re going to be covered in fingerprints again in an afternoon anyhow?  For the outside windows I can reach, I use my hose and a bucket of soapy water.  Several of my upstairs windows just stay dirty on the outside.  I haven’t figured out a safe way to clean them with a toddler around, and while I love a perfectly clean window, I love not being splattered on my driveway more.
  Once all my windows are clean and thrown open, my house is nice and bright and sunny…and I can see all the dust bunnies that collected!  Next week we’ll talk about grime hot spots that may have gone unnoticed in the dim winter light.
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