I spent most of an afternoon driving around Windsor with my son trying to match some tile he needs for one of his rental apartments. We hit Tile Town, Hi Neighbor Flooring, and Home Depot with no luck. Last ditch effort we went to ReStore Building Supplies. We didn’t find tile to match, but I think I found my new favorite store.

These are stores run by Habitat for Humanity, they accept donations of building supplies. When we went there were headboards and footboards – perfect for building a bench. Old wood shutters, desks, cabinetry. Toilets, sinks, faucets, light fixtures. The place was awesome, and staff told us their inventory changes all the time.

I bought a mirror that I fell in love with for the bathroom. We have some moisture issues in our bathroom – as in two boys whose favorite hobbies are showering and changing their clothes and an ineffective exhaust fan moisture problems.

Every single mirror I’ve bought for the bathroom has eventually succumbed to the moisture and disintegrated or fallen off the wall.

Maybe my bad relationship luck is from all those broken mirrors?

The last time it happened I put up this little mirror I’d picked up at Value Village. It was better than no mirror but not by much. Putting yourself together in a mirror the size of a sheet of paper is tricky.

Small MirrorSo finding this huge 2′ by 3′ mirror for $20 bucks was exciting for me, even if while I was paying for it we realized it was fastened in the frame a bit oddly.

Mirror Taped Into FrameIf a cardboard frame won’t stand up to the humidity in my bathroom, tape isn’t going to cut it either.

Window PointsSo I went to Rona (I got a new bathtub faucet too!!!) and bought some window points and a picture hanging kit. Window points are what holds the glass in place in old single pane style windows – perfect for keeping my mirror in it’s frame.

Window Points In FrameThey’re simply placed flat against the mirror and pushed into the wood frame. The package recommends every 12″ for larger frames.

Eyes and WireThen I fastened an eye in each side of the frame and added the wire. I cleaned the mirror too before hanging it – probably not the best choice because as you can see below I had my hands all over it while hanging it.

Mirror, mirror on the wallIt’s perfect! I’ll be able to pluck my eyebrows again and maybe even get over my grudge over the plugs that aren’t where I wanted them to be.

One Easy Trick for a Spotless Kitchen – homeq servicing com

One simple trick to a spotless kitchen. Sounds awesome doesn’t it? Except for one thing – it’s total bullshit. But I’ve been working pretty diligently at mine and it’s a lot nicer to cook in there now.

Kids, Teens, and Chores

I gave up on the idea that either of my boys were going to take ownership of any kitchen chores. That doesn’t mean I’ve given up on them doing the chores, but at the end of the day those chores being done or not done is never going to mean as much to them as it does to me.

Myself I think it’s a simple thing, you have a dirty dish in your hand and the dishwasher is full of clean dishes so you should unload it and put your dirty dish where it belongs. If the garbage is full, you take it out. You dirty a pan you clean it, or at least put away the pans someone else has cleaned.

It doesn’t matter to the people who don’t have to cook in that kitchen. It doesn’t matter to them if you can’t clear your counters because the trash is overflowing. It won’t matter to them if you’ve got no more room in the sink for clean pans or that you can’t wipe the counters because you’ve been playing Jenga with your clean pans for the past week.

Pots and Pans JengaSo I stopped doing it. I stopped waiting for someone to remember their chores. If the garbage needs to go out, I wait if I have time, if I don’t I take it out myself. Same with the dishwasher, it’s not as if it takes that long to unload and then at least they put their dirty dishes where they belong.

Dishes every night, or at least a bit of water and soap in the sink.

The other thing I do that makes my kitchen look a lot nicer? I put water in the sink, even if I’ve only got one pan to wash, and wipe shit down. The stove, so whatever crap the boys have spilled doesn’t get charred on. I wipe down the lower cabinets, the front of the dishwasher, and the front of the fridge. Two big dogs coming in from a muddy walk can spatter a lot of dirt and grime. Add one teenager who can’t pour a cup of coffee without spilling at least a quarter of it and everything from the counter down gets gross.

Since my front door leads right into the kitchen, it’s a lot nicer to walk into clean cabinetry rather than mud and food spatter.

Finish the job

I also stuck the dish drainer under the sink and started drying dishes as I washed them.

My old way of doing things was to put a few dishes in the sink to ‘soak’ while I watched TV or played around on the computer. Now while those dishes are soaking, I dry and put away the ones already washed. I get a second chance if I missed something and my pans look so pretty and polished.

The best part? Once I stopped playing Jenga with the clean dishes, the counters are clear, so when my youngest scatters sugar everywhere fixing his coffee it’s a lot easier to wipe up. Ideally I’d like him to learn to sugar his coffee without making a mess everywhere, but since he only just learned to hit the target while peeing a few years ago, I won’t hold my breath on that one. So yeah, there’s still a lot to clean – like all the upper cabinets and shelves. The floor is still missing tiles, the cabinets are still kind of shitty, but at least it looks like somebody cares and it only takes around 30 to 40 minutes every night. Simple? Not really, but it is worth it.