Looking for the perfect cleaning resource? Check out my book, The Organically Clean Home!

Shop Update : Clean Mama’s Everyday Planner + FREE August Planner Pages

I’ve been working on a new planner style and format since I created a planner last year – for real.  I took a lot of things into consideration and have come up with a simple and perfectly functional planner that I absolutely LOVE and hope you will too!  Clean Mama’s Everyday Planner incorporates a few things that are really important to me – it has a straightforward and simple design, it’s super easy to print, and it prints perfectly back to back (hooray!).  It’s only available in black and white to make it easy to print on any printer (color, black and white, laser, inkjet….) and to keep the printing cost low.  I love the black and white design – it can be put in a fancy binder or planner, you can jazz it up with stickers, sticky notes, and washi tape and make it yours.  Better yet, if you combine it into a homekeeping notebook it’ll blend beautifully with what you have.  How about a couple pictures so you can see it?  (Make sure you scroll ALL the way down to the end for the FREE pages too!)

Clean Mama's Everyday Planner - A Simple, Perfectly Functional Planner via Clean Mama

Clean Mama’s Everyday Planner includes 160+ documents and has everything you need to assemble your own simple, perfect planner. Clean Mama’s Everyday Planner is in a simple and attractive format that works for any lifestyle and schedule. Print what you need or print it all out – either way you’ll love the black and white color scheme and ease of this planner. The planner is designed to be printed and bound or hole-punched – put it in a binder or have it professionally bound.  I printed my own on my inkjet printer and put it in a discbound notebook – I use an ARC punch and the Martha Stewart discbound notebook (both found at Staples).

Clean Mama's Everyday Planner via Clean Mama

 

Clean Mama's Everyday Planner - Monthly Calendars via Clean Mama

 

Prints perfectly front to back - Clean Mama's Everyday Planner

 

2 Versions of the Weekly Planner are Included via Clean Mama

 

Important Contacts - Clean Mama's Everyday Planner via Clean Mama

 

Notes page and Important Dates to Remember - Clean Mama's Everyday Planner
This listing is in 2 zip files – one for a blank planner and one for a planner with daily tasks (this is my FAVORITE feature!) – save and download both or just the one you will use. Each category is in its own file within the zip (the planner is together as one ‘document’), the calendar is separate and the pages are saved individually….this is so it’s super easy to print back to back or as A4/A5 size.

  • 16 Month Planner – each week on a 2 page spread – 140 pages – blank AND with Clean Mama’s suggested daily tasks are both included
  • Everyday Planner cover page – simple and sweet to match the planner
  • September 2014-December 2015 Calendar (vertical, binder style) – 16 pages
  • Notes page – ‘Jot It Down’
  • Important Dates to Remember – 1 page
  • Important Contacts

ACT FAST!  Clean Mama’s Everyday Planner is INTRODUCTORY PRICED AT $7 – Regular price will be $12, effective on August 1st

Not sure how to print a 140 page planner?  First of all, think about HOW you want the pages set up….you could print the calendars back to back with the ‘jot it down’ pages and then insert them between the planner pages.  Print the important contacts pages back to back and set up a little address book in your planner.  I love the important dates to remember page – perfect to write down all the special dates for each month – keep it front and center so you don’t forget that birthday again this year!

How in the world does one print a 140 page planner back to back without going through reams of paper in the process?  The EASIEST way is to print page 1 first by itself without anything on the back of it.  Then, print pages 2-140 BACK to BACK. Your printer will most likely stop halfway through and give you instructions on how to feed the already printed pages back into your printer. If you are unsure on how to do this, I recommend trying it out in ‘draft’ printing mode and printing page 1 and then pages 2-6 to make sure you get how to print back to back first. You can always send to a copy shop and have them print it back to back for you. Because the planner is one ‘document’ this is easy for them to upload and print.   Have a A4/A5 planner and want to resize?  Check out this post!  Want color and a non-dated planner spread?  Check out The Simplified Life 2014/2015 Calendar and Planner Kit.

Want to try out the planner and see what you think?  How about getting August 2014 for FREE!?  Go here to grab August’s pages in my shop and here to grab them on Googledocs.

Clean Mama's Everyday Planner - Get August 2014 for FREE via Clean Mama

sig5

 

Just Minutes to a More Organized Garage

Just Minutes to a More Organized Garage via Clean Mama

Have a garage that’s needing a little attention?  Or maybe it’s just me…. This week’s organizing task is to take a couple minutes to organize just one spot in the garage.  I’m tackling sports equipment and finding a better way to store the rackets, balls, bats, gloves, and all things fun and sporty and lacking a home.  And I’m not going at it alone, I’m getting the little sportsters involved in this organizing task.  It’ll be fun and will feel great to have accomplished.  Follow these simple steps and organize a spot or two in your garage this week!

  1. Determine which spot you’re going to work on – start small and make sure you can complete the task in a small amount of time.
  2. Set a timer for 10-15 minutes and get started.
  3. Completely empty area to be organized and sort into 4 groups – toss, keep, donate, relocate.
  4. Wipe down area with your favorite cleaner or wipes.
  5. Return ‘keep’ items to the formerly disorganized space and put the items away that you are relocating.
  6. Move on to another space if you have more time or feel motivated to continue.

So….why is spending a couple minutes organizing your garage a good thing?  And can just a couple minutes really help?  If you enter your home through your garage you won’t get that ‘this place is a disaster’ feeling when you enter your home.  Adding a little organization to your garage will save you time and make it easier to find all those garage items in a hurry.  If 15 minutes doesn’t put a dent in your garage mess, spend 10-15 minutes every day this week and get even more accomplished.  Every little bit helps!

What are you organizing in your garage this week?

sig5

A Simplified Week : Outside Toys

a simplified week

As part of Start Here. I post a weekly recap with a couple ideas (mostly simple and easy to implement) for the week’s focus and a few ideas from the web that I’ve enjoyed over the week. Did you grab July’s FREE cleaning and organizing calendar? Go here to grab it!

Outside Toys:

  • Now is that time in the summer where all the outside toys could use a little cleaning and organizing after being used.  Round up the kiddos and put some order back in to your outside toys. Via Clean Mama
  • Considering how much LEGOs get used in a lot of homes, it is no surprise that they tend to accumulate all sorts of who-knows-what on them.  I love this easy solution to get them clean in a jiffy from Gettin’ By.
  • Get your little ones involved in the toy cleaning by setting up a little cleaning station for them, too.  I’ve done this and been amazed by how long it holds their attention. Via Hands On As We Grow

Something to Eat:

  • This seriously looks like so much fun and so yummy, too – A S’mores Bar Party.  Check out the fun combinations that would be perfect for a casual summer get-together or special night with your family.  Via What’s Gaby Cooking

Something to Make:

  • Road trip in your future?  Whip up a simple iPad or tablet holder to attach to the headrest to allow for easy viewing. Via Infarrantly Creative

Something for the Kids:

  • It can be tricky to figure out just how to have your children help in the kitchen in a truly constructive way.  I love these ideas from 30 Handmade Days that detail how to get your kids involved and what sorts of skills you can start to teach.

Simplify:

  • Take advantage of all the yummy summer produce or a great sale and make your own bags of frozen fruit.  Perfectly prepped and ready to toss in your smoothies for that creamy texture.  Via Oh Basil

 

sig5

How to Wash Pillows

How to Wash Pillows via Clean Mama

One of the most popular questions I receive is, “how do you wash bed pillows?”  If you’ve ever asked this question or wondered if you can wash your bed pillows, this post is for you.  Not only can you wash your bed pillows, it’s pretty simple! Two simple steps and a little time and you’ll be sleeping on clean, fresh pillows in no time!  If you have feather or synthetic pillows, you can wash them.  Foam pillows are the only kind of pillow that you don’t want to launder – feel free to try washing them in the washing machine but do not dry them – they’ll melt and disintegrate.

Wash Your Pillows

Remove the pillowcase and pillow protector (if you don’t use a pillow protector, go and get one).  You will want to use the most gentle detergent you have, avoiding harsh detergents.  Set your washer on a gentle, warm water cycle as well as its largest capacity.  Wash at least two pillows (to balance the machine) and no more than three pillows at a time to guarantee a thorough cleaning.  After your washer has completed it’s cycle, run it through the rinse cycle again. This is to make sure that all the detergent is removed from the pillow.  I like to run my spin cycle twice as well to remove any excess water and help the pillows dry a little more quickly.

Dry Your Pillows

Once your pillows are washed and the excess water has been wrung out, you can toss them in your dryer.  If your pillow is foam, you will want to line dry or hang your pillow to dry as a trip through the dryer would cause the material to melt. For other synthetic materials, dry on a low to medium heat cycle and avoid any high heat. Down and natural materials can’t stand much heat, so set your dryer on Air or Low and allow them to dry thoroughly.  If you would like to fluff up your pillows again, put a couple tennis balls in some socks and toss them in to agitate and return the fibers to their natural state.  Stop the dryer every 30 minutes or so to rotate the pillows around to make sure that they dry thoroughly and evenly.

With a little extra attention, your favorite pillows can feel like brand new again. So go ahead – wash and dry them and look forward to a good night’s sleep.

sig5

Martha Stewart Living Master Bedroom Closet Makeover

I was asked to share a Martha Stewart Living at The Home Depot Closet System makeover on my blog and while our master bedroom closet system was fine, you can bet I agreed to install a Martha Stewart Living at The Home Depot Closet System!

Martha Stewart logo

The process started with measuring out the closet and inputting the dimensions into MarthaStewartClosets.com.  There are three colors to choose from – Classic White, Espresso, and Wild Cherry.  I chose Espresso and ‘built’ the closet in the closet design system.  I love all the extras and add-ons that are available – hampers, belt and tie racks, sliding wardrobe rods, shoe shelves.  The closet design system was so easy (and fun!) to use.

Martha Stewart for The Home Depot Closet - Clean Mama

This is one of the 3 walls in our master bedroom closet that I designed.

The process is simple.  Design your space, order it online or pick it up at your local Home Depot.  The installation definitely requires quite a bit of time, a trusty level, and power tools, but the quality of products is great and the instructions are thorough and easy to follow.  (I did have professional help with the installation and makeover.)

Here’s a before picture of our master bedroom closet – nice, but the wire shelving wasn’t working well with the large space, so there was a lot of wasted space.

Master Bedroom Closet Before via Clean Mama

The first step was to completely clear the closet and remove the wire shelving.  I also wanted a fresh coat of paint on the walls too.  I went with a lighter shade of the master bedroom and bathroom color and we added a new light fixture.

During Master Bedroom Closet - via Clean Mama

Here’s the completed closet system from left to right around the closet…..

Master Bedroom Closet After 1  via Clean Mama

Master Bedroom Closet After 2 via Clean Mama

Master Bedroom Closet After 2  via Clean Mama

Once everything was installed and in place it was time to organize the space and put everything away.  We are still working on getting the space just how we want it but it’s working great so far.  I can’t believe how nice it is to have drawers in a closet system – it definitely helps to keep it all organized.  Here are a couple more pictures showing how everything fit back together.

Master Bedroom Closet After via Clean Mama

Closet System Drawers via Clean Mama

The hampers are my favorite feature via Clean Mama

Master Bedroom Closet Final via Clean Mama

Master Bedroom Closet Final 2 via Clean Mama

Master Bedroom Master Bedroom Closet Makeover via Clean Mama

  • Want a little more inspiration?  Take a peek at this gallery on MarthaStewart.com – it shows 4 ways to use the MSL Closet system.
  • Don’t miss out on The Home Depot’s Summer Home Organization Event starting July 10th through August 17th that brings you the best prices on shelving units, boxes, moving supplies, totes, baskets and more. Organize your life with fantastic storage and organization ideas from The Home Depot. From your closet to your garage to your pantry, The Home Depot’s storage options simplify and streamline your living spaces.
  • Disclosure:  This product was provided by Martha Stewart Living at The Home Depot. I only promote products that I love and use – all opinions (as always) are my own.  Read my full disclosure here.

sig5

How to Clean + Organize Outside Toys

How to Clean and Organize Outside Toys in Minutes and With Help From the Kids via Clean Mama

Have some outside toys to organize?  Not sure how to clean them?  This week’s organizing task is to clean and organize outside toys.  No outside toys to clean?  Clean or organize an outside area or another trouble spot.

Depending on how many outside toys you have and how dirty and/or disorganized they are will determine your plan of action will be for cleaning and organizing the toys.  If you are overwhelmed by all the toys, clean and organized one area or bin at a time.  If you aren’t overwhelmed by the outside toys, clean and organize them all at once.  Regardless of the task you have in front of you, follow these simple directions (and by all means, let your kids help you!):

  1. Sort toys and throw away any broken toys, donate or give away to a neighbor or friend any toys that are outgrown or no longer being used.  Get your kids involved in the sorting and purging of toys.
  2. Group like toys together – this is helpful for picking up and for choosing what toys will be played with.  Buckets and bins are great for sorting and storing toys.  We have handled bins for water toys and covered bins for sandbox and water table toys.  Balls and sports equipment is stored in mesh laundry sorters.  Chalk and bubbles have their own containers so they can be brought out individually and kept contained. Think of ways to organized toys and sports equipment that will make it easy to return them to their proper place – this keeps it easy for the kids too!
  3. Kids love playing in the water and in bubbles (or at least mine do) so I always get them involved in any toy washing event.
  4. All toys can be sprayed with a DIY cleaning recipe (from my book) of equal parts water and white vinegar, or if you prefer, you can mix up a bucket of dish soap, soap up with a sponge and rinse with your garden hose.  (I always wash toys in the driveway on a sunny day so I don’t damage any plants or grass with the soap or vinegar mixtures.)  Once the toys are clean, set them in the sun and let them dry.
  5. Organize toys by type and make sure to keep toys that will be in the rotation, used, and enjoyed!

Have a great idea for cleaning and organizing outdoor toys? Leave it in the comments!

sig5

A Simplified Week : Laundry Area

a simplified week

As part of Start Here. I post a weekly recap with a couple ideas (mostly simple and easy to implement) for the week’s focus and a few ideas from the web that I’ve enjoyed over the week. Did you grab July’s FREE cleaning and organizing calendar? Go here to grab it!

Laundry Area:

  • Need some quick tips on how to organize your laundry room? Check out these tips from Clean Mama to get some practical tips to implement in no time!
  • I really love this laundry room featured on Morganize with Me. You don’t need to have a model home in order to have a model laundry room, despite what Pinterest tells you.
  • You have got to check out this awesome laundry room/mud room from Polka Dot Chair. Using inexpensive IKEA systems, a ho-hum entry way is totally transformed in to a multi-purpose space.

Something to Eat:

  • Something about raspberries and lime just screams summer to me.  This easy blender drink for Raspberry Limeade Slush looks like the perfect warm weather drink. Via Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Something to Make:

  • As a mom to three little ones, my life doesn’t have a lot of room to spend hours crafting and creating.  With minimal time needed, these little washi tape magnets caught my eye. Perfect for a nap time craft or one to involve kiddos. Via My Poppet

Something for the Kids:

  • I really enjoy creating with my kiddos and my older two especially are at the perfect age for it.  This tutorial for DIY Bleach Spray T-Shirts is on our must-do list. Wouldn’t it be fun for a sleepover or play date? Via Practically Functional

Something to Simplify:

  • I love those simple little a-ha tricks make life easier, like this method of folding t-shirts from Organizing Made Fun. No more jumbled piles when you simply change how you fold and store them in the drawer. Genius!

sig5

How to Naturally Clean Any Washing Machine

How to Naturally Clean Any Washing Machine via Clean Mama

If you’ve ever wondered why your washing machine smelled funny or if you should be cleaning it, you need to clean it.  If you haven’t ever wondered about cleaning this hard-working appliance, you still need to clean it.  Add this simple step to your laundry process and you’ll have fresh smelling laundry AND an odor-less washing machine.

You can clean a top loading or front loading machine with white vinegar or bleach.  My preference is to use either white vinegar OR non-chlorinated bleach because they are safe, all-natural solutions, but some washing machine manufacturers recommend only using chlorinated bleach.  Most importantly, follow the instructions for your specific machine or try one of these natural methods.

Top Load

How to Naturally Clean Any Washing Machine - Top Loading via Clean Mama

Cleaning your top loading washing machine is simple, all you really need is white vinegar and some cleaning cloths.  Worried that your laundry room will smell like a pickle?  Once the rinse cycle runs you won’t smell the vinegar.

  • Start by setting your washer to its hottest temperature, highest capacity and longest cycle.
  • Add four cups of white vinegar to the hot water, close the lid and allow it to agitate for several minutes.
  • Open the lid or pause/stop the machine and allow it to sit for an hour so that the vinegar can do its job to get rid of the bacteria, mold and mildew and the hoses of your machine.

After you have run a complete cycle with the vinegar solution, you can repeat the process if your washing machine is extra dirty.  The vinegar does a great job of removing any buildup, not to mention softening any soap scum and other residue that may be in the washer and hoses. Let your machine agitate the solution for several minutes and open the lid.

While you allow this solution to sit for an hour, it’s time to tackle the exterior of the washer as well as the fabric softener and bleach reservoirs. Using a cleaning rag or microfiber cloth, dip it in the vinegar solution and wring it out. Wipe down the exterior, lid and control panel, taking care to not get it too wet.  Remove the bleach reservoir and wipe down around the area where scum and dirt tends to collect.  Rinse your cloth and remove the softener reservoir from the machine and wipe the exterior and interior of it as well.  Close the lid and allow the washer to complete its cycle.

(HE) Front Load or (HE) Top Load

How to Naturally Clean Any Washing Machine - Front Loading (HE) via Clean Mama

Front load washing machines are relatively new on the home appliance market and have quickly gained popularity for their efficiency and cleaning abilities. Despite all the benefits they have to offer, there is one common complaint that seems to plague owners: stinky laundry. Wiping down the interior of the washer with cleaner, using extra detergent or running everything on the longest, hottest cycle does nothing to help dissipate the scent. However, one simple cleaning task will not only eliminate the issue, it will keep your washer in tip-top condition.

HE washing machines use less water and less energy which in turn can result in more mildew, mold, detergent residue and buildup in your washer. Some washers have a separate cleaning cycle as an option – I have that on my washing machine and run that cycle after I wash cleaning rags every week.  I’m pretty sure that that is the secret to a non-smelly HE washing machine.

The best way to clean your front loading washer is simple:

  • Select the hot water setting. If your machine does not have a hot water setting, then select a “white” or a “stain” cycle setting.
  • Select the “extra rinse” option if your washer has that choice.
  • Add ¾  cup of white vinegar OR ¾ cup non-chlorinated bleach (not both!) to the bleach dispenser or fill to its max level.
  • Allow the cycle to run until it has completed.
  • To ensure that no vinegar remains in your washer, manually select an additional rinse cycle if your washer does not have a 2nd rinse cycle selection.

After you have finished washing the interior of the washer, take a couple minutes to clean the bleach and fabric softener dispensers. These can be easily cleaned by simply removing and washing in warm, soapy water to remove any residue or by wiping them down with white vinegar on a cleaning cloth.  Rinse and dry them thoroughly before reinserting them.

Make sure you wipe down the rubber seal on the door as it is a perfect hiding spot for mold and mildew. Carefully pull back the rubber gasket and inspect to see if you have mold, mildew or socks (as is the case with mine). Carefully wipe down the area with white vinegar and a soft, white cleaning cloth.  Rinse with a cloth dampened with water and dry thoroughly with a clean cloth to prevent any moisture build-up.

After cleaning these three zones, you can wipe down the exterior and control panel with a gentle all-purpose cleaning spray to remove any dust and dirt buildup.  Maintaining a clean washer and eliminating the stinky laundry issue is simple.

My number one maintenance tip?  Be sure to leave the door open to prevent moisture build-up in between loads and clean it inside and out every month.

sig5

BrightNest : 5 Tricks to Unlock Your Kitchen’s Hidden Potential

5 Tricks to Unlock Your Kitchen's Hidden Potential via BrightNest on Clean Mama

Today I have a great guest post from BrightNest.  BrightNest is devoted to inspiring and empowering you to take great care of your home. From basic maintenance tasks to fun cleaning tricks, we deliver everything you need to shape up your home and simplify your life.brightnest_logo

No two kitchens are created equal. Some are used every night, while others are only used on special occasions. Some are small. Some have islands. And some kitchens are the pride and joy of the homeowner. All kitchens have one thing in common, though: They have hidden potential!

Take a page out of the pros’ book and try these tricks. Not only will they make you a better cook (maybe… no promises), some of them will save you money, too!

Unlock your kitchen’s hidden potential with these five tips:

1. The Fridge Trick

If your refrigerator’s coils are along the back of the unit, scoot your fridge forward two inches. Most people ram their fridge as close to the wall as possible to eke out some extra floor space, but those extra inches aren’t worth it. By giving your refrigerator coils some breathing room, you’ll reduce your fridge’s energy usage by as much as 40 percent!

2. The Pots and Pans Trick

Place a dryer sheet in the bottom of the pot or pan, fill it with warm water and leave it overnight. Come morning, that apocalyptic magma stuff that was stuck to the bottom will come right off. Just rinse everything with dish soap to remove any remaining residue from the dryer sheet.

3. The Stovetop Trick

If you get distracted while you’re prepping water for your pasta, it can boil over pretty fast. To avoid that, try this: Place a long wooden spoon across the top of the pot. The spoon will pop the rising water bubbles and absorb some of the heat.

4. The Cutting Board Trick

Even the most accomplished chefs can have an accident if their cutting board goes mobile while they’re chopping. Do your fingers a favor – use this trick to anchor your board: Wrap a rubber band around each end. That’s it! Your cutting board will stay in place.

5. The Freezer Trick

The average temperature of a freezer is 0-5 degrees F! So while it’s always nice to have ice water in the heat of summer, think about how hard your freezer works to make it. Use this trick to lighten the load: Freeze a few 1-gallon jugs of water and leave them in your freezer. This makes it easier for your freezer to keep a consistently low temperature, which saves energy and increases your fridge’s longevity!

BrightNest is a free site that provides tools and tips to homeowners to help them save money, get organized and keep their homes in great shape.  Sign up for a free BrightNest account today!

 

Go here to see this post on BrightNest!

sig5

Quick Ways to Organize a Laundry Room

Quick Ways to Organize a Laundry Room via Clean Mama

If you do laundry daily (like me) you spend a fair amount of time in and out of your laundry room/basement/laundry closet.  It is so much easier and more enjoyable to have an organized laundry room – so for this week’s organizing task we’re going to organize the LAUNDRY ROOM.

Take a couple minutes to wipe down the exterior of your washer and dryer with your favorite cleaner to get the lint and dust off your machines.  Vacuum under and around the machines if you have the time.  Then take a peek at your space and look for ways to make this space more efficient, organized, and user-friendly.

  • Remove any non-laundry or unnecessary items.  If your laundry room has become a dumping ground for non-laundry items, put them where they belong.
  • Group cleaning supplies in a cleaning caddy or bin.  Keeping these items in a designated caddy will help to keep your space more organized.  If you can put cleaning supplies that aren’t laundry related in a different space, take the time to do that this week.
  • Create a laundry room ‘stray’ basket or container for lone socks, pocket change, and other miscellaneous items.  Just make sure that you find the real spot for these items so it doesn’t turn into a junk basket.
  • Short on storage?  Use the top of your washer and dryer for storage.  (Just keep anything breakable off your washer and dryer so the spin cycle doesn’t send anything flying.)
  • Group like items together – washing products together, stain treatment products together, softening products together, etc.  Organizing always works better when items are grouped together.
  • Take powders out of boxes and put them in clear containers for a more decorative and uniform look.
  • Add labels if you’d like – take a couple minutes to add this finishing touch to your laundry room – you might know what that white powder is, but other people using the laundry room might not.

Need a little more laundry inspiration?

FREE printable Laundry Guide

The Right Way to Do Laundry

Have a great idea for organizing a laundry room? Leave it in the comments!

sig5

 

 

A Simplified Week : Purse

a simplified week

As part of Start Here. I post a weekly recap with a couple ideas (mostly simple and easy to implement) for the week’s focus and a few ideas from the web that I’ve enjoyed over the week. Did you grab July’s FREE cleaning and organizing calendar? Go here to grab it!

Purse:

  • Is your purse weighing you down? Check out these tips from Clean Mama to make quick work of getting your purse cleaned out and clutter-free.
  • Need some good ideas for how to cut the clutter in your purse? I especially like the simple coupon organizing method. Via I Heart Planners
  • Leave it A Bowl Full of Lemons to have a great method of keeping everything tidy in your purse. I love the individual “kits” to keep everything in it’s place.

Something to Eat:

  • Four ingredients- frozen peaches, honey, plain yogurt and lemon – are all you need for this yummy peach frozen yogurt. No ice cream maker required! Via Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Something to Make:

  • Need some art and craft supply storage help?  If you are running short on space, check out this craft room makeover.  I love the wall-mounted IKEA system to maximize every square inch of storage space. Via Unskinny Boppy

Something for the Kids:

  • Jumping on a giant water pillow?  Count us in!  Check out this fun summer activity from Modern Parents Messy Kids with a complete tutorial on how to make a giant water blob.

Simplify:

  • If you are in need of some good cleaning hacks, check out this round-up post from Buzz Feed. It covers how to clean tons of those tricky things, from air vents to acrylic paint spills.

Don’t miss the 4th of July weekend sale!

Clean Mama Printables 30 OFF 4th of July Sale

 

sig5

Clean Mama Printables 4th of July SALE

 photo CleanMamaPrintables30OFF4thofJulySale.png

How about a 4th of July weekend sale in the shop! From now until Sunday morning at 10am cst, use the coupon code 30FREEDOM for 30% off your entire order. Need a little structure and organization in your summer routine? Fun colors and functional printables? Head over and fill your cart – ACT FAST - this sale will not be extended! (I’ve added some 2015 calendars to the kits and in the shop too!)

The Simplified Life 2014-2015 Calendar and Planner Kit

Clean Mama Printables

sig5

Ended : Take a Load Off Giveaway! $100 SpaFinder Gift Card and 3 Bottles of OxiClean Detergent

This contest has ended and the winners are announced in the Rafflecopter and have been emailed.  Thank you for participating!

I’m so excited to be tell you all that I’ve been brought on by OxiClean as a 2014 ambassador for OxiClean™ Laundry Detergent!  This is a great new laundry detergent that uses one of my favorite laundry products – OxiClean.  I’ve been using the unscented, perfume and dye-free liquid laundry detergent.  I love that I can use it to pre-treat and to wash clothes with, but if I forget to pre-treat a stain, it’s probably going to come our anyway.  It’s safe on all fabrics, whites and colors and uses the power of OxiClean to get tough, dried on stains!

OxiClean Laundry Detergent

OxiClean Laundry Detergent Removes:

  • Grass, Blood, Soil
  • Fruit, Wine
  • Coffee, Chocolate Ice Cream
  • Ketchup, Spaghetti Sauce, Barbecue Sauce

Available in Fresh Scent and Perfume & Dye Free (my favorite and perfect for sensitive skin and those of us that don’t like added fragrance).  I really like that OxiClean Laundry Detergent’s stain fighting abilities are meant to help moms take a load off their day.

Take a Load Off via Clean Mama

When the weather is beautiful, the last thing I want to be doing is laundry. Here are a few of my favorite SUMMER LAUNDRY TIPS sure to take a load off:

  • Call a friend and chat while folding clothes – the time flies and all the clothes get folded and put away.
  • Take the laundry outside! Fold clothes on your picnic table or on a blanket while the kids play outside.
  • Do one load a day from start to finish and folded and put away. This is my best tip to keeping on top of the laundry monster. Clothes are put away and there’s always something to wear.

So instead of pre-treating all those summer stains, you can toss the clothes in the wash and go do something fun!  Like go on a picnic, go to the park, read a book, or go to the spa (enter the giveaway below!).

Win this prize pack - relax and get your laundry done in one easy step! via Clean Mama

Want a chance to win one of two prize packs?  The Grand Prize winner will receive a $100 Spa Finder Gift Card and 3 bottles of OxiClean Detergent and the runner up winner will receive 3 bottles of OxiClean Detergent.

Super simple entries below in the Rafflecopter – go enter to win!  Must be 18 years or older to win and a US resident.  Winners will be announced on this blog post and emailed within 24 hours of contest commencing.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from the OxiClean Brand– I received products from OxiClean and compensation in return for this post and promotion.  I only promote products that I love and use – all opinions (as always) are my own.  Read my full disclosure here.

 

sig5

How to Organize Your Purse (So It Stays that Way)

How to Organize Your Purse (so it stays that way) via Clean Mama

This week’s organizing focus is your PURSE.   If you haven’t grabbed July’s FREE cleaning and organizing calendar yet, you can go here to grab it.

Organizing your purse will only take a couple minutes, but it’ll save you time in the long run because you’ll know exactly where everything is.  Traveling?  If you’re a passenger you can do this while you’re riding in the car.  Waiting to pick kids up?  That’s a perfect time to do a little purse organization!  Just grab a small bag to toss any garbage in before you start and you’ll be all set.

  • Start by emptying your purse.  If your purse needs to be wiped down or cleaned, take a couple minutes and do that before moving on to the organizing.
  • Throw anything away that shouldn’t be in there anyway – gum wrappers, old receipts, etc.
  • Relocate anything that should be stored elsewhere.
  • Put all the items that you want to keep on a surface and group like items together.  I keep a pretty simplified purse – just a makeup bag, wallet, and anything that I might need for the kids wherever we’re going.  I keep my planner at home unless I need it for wherever I’m headed.
  • If you find that you have a lot of receipts in your purse you might want to add a small plastic envelope to put them in until you can sort them out.
  • Once you have all your must-have items back in your purse designate a pocket or two for your keys and cell phone.  I find it super helpful to always put my cell phone and keys in the same pockets in my purse so I’m not digging around trying to find them.
  • How to keep it this way?  Keep LESS in your purse and empty weekly or daily so you are in the habit of keeping it this way.

Designate spots in your purse to always put your phone and keys via Clean Mama

Have a great idea for cleaning and organizing your purse? Leave it in the comments!

 

sig5

A Simplified Week : Socks + Undies Drawer

a simplified week

As part of Start Here. I post a weekly recap with a couple ideas (mostly simple and easy to implement) for the week’s focus and a few ideas from the web that I’ve enjoyed over the week. Did you grab July’s FREE cleaning and organizing calendar? Go here to grab it!

Sock/Undie Drawer:

  • Organizing your socks and undies drawers doesn’t need to be rocket science.  Follow these three steps from Clean Mama take care of your business.
  • This system sure beats stuffing all your unders in a drawer!  I love this method of folding as well as the drawer inserts to keep everything in it’s place. Via Happily Ever Organized
  • Need some visual help to assist you in your folding? Check out this post with detailed photos to show you just how to fold all those unmentionables and undergarments to maximize your space. Via Imperfect Homemaking

Something to Eat:

  • Leave it to Giada to have a stellar recipe perfect for summer. This orzo pasta salad is fresh and bright and features the perfect vinaigrette to keep it light and easy. Via Food Network

Something to Make:

  • Traditional air fresheners are full of artificial scents and chemicals that can be toxic and irritating.  Try out this alternative using fresh ingredients from your garden and fridge from Thistlewood Farms

Something for the Kids:

  • Beat the heat this summer with this great round-up of 38 ideas using water and ice from Hands On As We Grow. Perfect for those hot days when you need to try something new!

Simplify:

  • With all the electronics in the typical home, it’s easy to get a pile of disorganized cords going every which way. Follow this super simple tip to know what goes with what! Via Apartment Therapy

 

sig5