Half Birthday HatIt’s hard for me to believe, but my little A’s first “half birthday” is tomorrow!  It totally blows my mind that she has been with us for 6 months already; how and when did that happen?!  But, I also can’t really remember life without her.  It’s a strange little dichotomy, isn’t it?  We are so lucky to have our little cute-ster in our lives, and she seems to be enjoying her time with us too.  She’s very curious about lots of different objects and noises these days, and loves putting anything and everything straight into her mouth.  She also enjoys babbling at us and has recently discovered that she can shriek really loud.  She giggles when B tickles her little neck, and is mesmerized by the noise KP’s collar makes when she does her morning scratch-and-shake routine.  Yep, life at 6 months is good.

So in honor of this major half-year milestone, I decided to come up with an official Keep It Neat list of suggested things to do every 6 months(ish) to keep your home and your life running smoothly and efficiently.  Enjoy!

General Home Maintenance:

  • Check your smoke alarm batteries – most people recommend doing this on the daylight savings dates.
  • Change the filter in your HVAC system – you can usually buy a new one at your local hardware store or at the big stores like Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Target.
  • If applicable, change out storm windows/doors and replace with screens – it’s time to get fresh air into the house!
  • Give windows a good cleaning – if they have been shut all winter then they will really need it, and if they are about to shut for the winter it’s nice to send them off in clean style.


  • Go through your fridge, freezer, and cupboards – toss very old food items and make a ‘donate’ pile for the non-perishables that you don’t plan to use.
  • While contents from above are out of their places, give these surfaces a good wipe-down.
  • Pay some attention to the inside of your oven – scrape off any charred bits that have stuck around (they could be dangerous if they catch on fire), and wipe down the wire racks.
  • Run a few lemon wedges through your garbage disposal to disinfect and keep things smelling fresh.


  • Check your medicines and prescriptions – toss anything that is way past the expiration date.
  • Give your shower curtain a good cleaning – you can run almost any kind through the washer on a gentle cycle, and just let it hang outside for a bit to dry.
  • Keep your pipes clean – pour some Draino or Liquid Plumr down your tub drain to keep things moving.  Backed-up drains will cause dirty water to linger which can cause bacteria to stick around and build up.


  • Do a seasonal review of your closet, storing things you won’t be needing and displaying things for the current season.  More details on this here.
  • Flip and rotate your mattress, if you’re into that kind of thing.  I will admit I never do it.  Yep, you caught me.


  • Rescue your photos!  Print or buy pictures you have taken on vacations at family/friends events, or even just around town.  Put them in a book to flip through, or put them out in frames.  Sometimes we are too caught up with digital pictures and we forget to actually do anything with them, other than email, post, and tag!
  • Computer cleaning – organize and store any important documents, delete old files that you don’t need,  clean out temporary internet files, run an anti-virus scan, run any necessary software updates, back up hard drive, etc.  Think about updating your background too, your eyes could probably use a change of scenery (literally).
  • Goals – update (or create) your list of both personal and professional goals for the year.  And add new ones as appropriate – you can never have too many goals.  But be sure to set priorities if you start to have a lot.  Goal achievement should be about quality, not quantity…

Did I miss anything? Anyone have any other things they like to do bi-annually to keep things in order?

Happy 6 months A!


2 thoughts on “Halfsies!

  1. Congratulations on 6 months! Awesome. There are quite a few great ideas here. I’d encourage you to ditch the Draino & Liquid Plumr and substitute a non-toxic healthy concoction made from household items. First manually remove gunk and hair from the drain. Then pour down 1/2 cup of baking soda, followed by 1 cup of white vinegar. Fizz. Fizz. Fizz. 15 minutes later follow with water. May need to repeat a few times if the drains are packed with crud.

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