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

The Laundress : 30-Day Clean Home Challenge

The Laundress2  via Clean Mama

This is a sponsored post in coordination with The Laundress.  Rest assured, I only recommend products that I personally use in my own home and love.  You can see my disclosure statement here.

TL_HomeCleaningLogo[1]

I’ve been using The Laundress laundry products for quite awhile (you might have seen them on my favorites page and on photos of my laundry room) and I love them!  Regardless if you have or haven’t experienced them, and you’re looking for a completely refreshing laundry and home cleaning experience, read on for an eco-friendly challenge and don’t miss the great coupon and free samples at the bottom of this post!

I started using The Laundress when I was testing out natural laundry products and looking for something that could effectively get rid of that gym clothes smell.  After testing out a handful of products, The Laundress’ Sport Wash was the only one that really did the trick.  It smells fresh and clean and actually works with the fibers in performance fabrics to get them clean without just covering up the smell.

Sport Detergent via Clean Mama

One of the things I really like about The Laundress products is that you can use them in the laundry and to clean your home.  They also include ideas for other areas that you can use their products to clean in your home.  Multiple purposes for one product?  Sign me up!

Laundress Tough Stain Remover via Clean MamaYou can use the spray Surface Cleaner to clean your whole bathroom and if you have grout stains, mildew, and soap scum, grab your All-Purpose Bleach Alternative, sprinkle a little bit on your grout, scrub and rinse.  Stains are scrubbed away!  This same Surface Cleaner can be used on every surface in your home from wood to stainless steel.

Tough Stain Remover via Clean Mama

Laundry stains come out easily with The Laundress laundry products but if you get a stain, use the Stain Solution to get pre-treat and get that stain out.  If you have a tough stain (like pit stains), add a sprinkle of All-Purpose Bleach Alternative and gently scrub away the stain.  Easy peasy.

I’m just touching on a couple of my favorite products, but you’ll love their Laundry and Home Products, they have a wonderfully clean and natural scent.  They even have Scented Vinegar – great for cleaning AND your laundry!

Here’s what you need to know!

The Laundress is Natural and safe:

-Each laundry, fabric-care and home-cleaning product is custom designed for a specific fabric or surface, pairing the most effective ingredients with our favorite scents. 
-Non-toxic & biodegradable
-Ingredients are plant derived and free of Allergens, SLS, Petroleum, Phthalates, Phosphates, Parabens and Chlorine Bleach

 

Take the 30-Day Clean Home Challenge and Say Goodbye to Toxins!

Spring Cleaning is upon us! Detoxify like a Laundress and take the 30-Day Clean Home Challenge! Get 20% off when you buy 3 or more our nontoxic, eco-friendly solutions.  Not quite ready to commit to the challenge? That’s ok. Sign up for the newsletter and they’ll send you a FREE SAMPLE to get you started!   #thelaundress #TL30dayclean @thelaundress 

 
New to The Laundress?  Sign up for the newsletter and they’ll send you a Free Sample!

 

Discount Offer and Coupon Code

Start by getting 20% off any purchase of three or more products by using the code: CLEANMAMA
OR
Pick up the Exclusive Spring Cleaning Bundle — a $120 value for $80 ! –Limited Quantities Available

 

30DayCleanBundle[1]
DETAILS:
·       Promotional offer period begins April 20, 2015 at 12:01am EST and ends June 10, 2015 at 11:59pm EST
·       Coupon code (CLEANMAMA) required for discount redemption
·       Discount available on orders containing 3 or more Laundress home cleaning and/or laundry products
·       Offer not valid on the Jiffy Steamer & Beckel Canvas storage
·       One sample per user and sample offer valid while supplies last
·       This offer cannot be combined with any additional promotions or discounts
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Homekeeping Society | May Essentials

May Homekeeping Society - main - via Clean Mama

If you feel like you need a little help staying on top of the dailies, you will be thrilled with May’s HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY.  Complete with seasonal touches, this month features a teal, soft navy, and strawberry color scheme.  Arrows are the featured design – I love how it calls you to action in a cute, non-bossy way.

You’ll love the EASY PRINT feature, simply open and print the pages in ONE step. This is set up exactly how the printed version is packaged with 4 pages of the weekly planners, etc. This change is designed to take the guesswork and any hassle out of the printing process. I have also included a just one of each EASY PRINT option as well.  Of course, the individual pages are also included, but if you want to print everything in one easy step, you’ll be really excited about this.  If you want to print back to back, just select that upon printing and print away – easy, peasy!

If you’re a member (log in here) and if you’d like to sign up today, it’s an instant (almost – it might take a few minutes) download. The Homekeeping Society MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION is designed to create order out of your household chaos and help you keep your home clean and your mind less cluttered. Take a peek at what I’ve created for the month of May – you’re going to LOVE it!

May Homekeeping Society - Quote for the Kitchen Sink via Clean Mama

This month’s Quote for the Kitchen Sink is a favorite of mine from Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Don’t you love the design?  It was created by Kristi from one of my favorite shops – Barn Owl Primitives.  Every month includes a special quote and a 5×7 printable you can put at your kitchen sink or on your fridge or in your binder.  (Read on for a coupon code just for Clean Mama readers at the bottom of the post!)

Keeping a home clean can be both rewarding and frustrating. Sure, it’s possible to get your home clean, but to keep it that way can be the biggest challenge. Throw in the additions of busy schedules, jobs, kids, chaos, and lack of time and energy and it can feel downright defeating many days. You’ll love the Clean Mama Cleaning Routine included in every month of Homekeeping Society – it truly takes the guesswork out of cleaning and sets it on auto-pilot.

May Homekeeping Society - Daily Weekly To do via Clean Mama

 

Keeping your home clean while maintaining your sanity can be incredibly stressful. You may feel as though you can’t do anything right when it comes to maintaining a clean, organized, and welcoming home and even if you could find the time, you wouldn’t know where to start.  Sign up for HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY and see how this simple and do-able approach can streamline your life.

I love to provide a ‘virtual’ hand to hold and guide you through the process of cleaning, homekeeping, and creating a home you feel proud of and welcome family, neighbors, and friends into without thinking twice about the mess behind that front door. The intent of Homekeeping Society is to give you that perfect monthly intervention that is purposely designed to get your life and home in order with ease.  Each month I add different and adorable seasonal touches to keep you motivated to do the daily tasks that get boring and monotonous.

May Homekeeping Society - close up - via Clean Mama

 

HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT EVERY MONTH:

  1. INSTRUCTIONS – tells you how many pages to print out of each page and suggestions for implementing and making the pages work for you – an EASY PRINT option is also included to make printing just one step!
  2. COVER PAGE – with the month – great for putting in your binder or homekeeping notebook to keep each month separated if you choose to keep the pages from month to month
  3. HOMEKEEPING FOCUS page – every month will focus on a room or area in the home (May is Organizing Methods) – this page lays it out and gives you room for making your own adjustments and goals.  May is the month to set a couple organizing methods into place so you can enjoy the summer!
  4. TO DO LIST – every month features a new, and highly functional to do list.  Print one or two and put it front and center – set some realistic goals and make plans for some fun things to do this month
  5. DAILY PLANNER PAGE – great for those busy days (or every day!) includes schedule, to dos, notes, and a space for meals
  6. WEEKLY DOCKET– Use the weekly docket to see your whole week and schedule on a page (Sunday start and Monday start are both included)
  7. MENU PLAN FOR THE WEEK WITH A SHOPPING LIST- make a menu plan and take it with you
  8. MENU PLAN FOR THE MONTH – always includes a list for recipe ideas or ingredients to pick up
  9. 2 MONTHLY CALENDARS (1 blank, 1 pre-filled) – suggested daily cleaning tasks, weekly cleaning tasks, rotating cleaning tasks, organizing suggestions
  10. SEASONAL PREPARATION PRINTABLE – a helpful seasonal prep printable is always included in the monthly subscription – perfect for placing in a binder (May is a VACATION CHECKLIST)
  11. KITCHEN SINK QUOTE– the quote for the month – 5×7 – frame and put at your kitchen sink or tape to your fridge to give you a little motivation and inspiration for the month
  12. INFORMATION PAGE – this month includes an EMERGENCY INFORMATION AND PLAN printable – fill them out and save in a family info section of your homekeeping binder or notebook and you’ll have a complete information section (insurance, 401K, etc.)

May Homekeeping Society - Vacation Checklist via Clean Mama

May’s Seasonal Preparation Printable is a VACATION CHECKLIST – perfect for your summer trip, but you’ll want to keep it for any trip!

May Homekeeping Society - Emergency Information - via Clean Mama

This month’s Important Information Printable is an EMERGENCY  INFORMATION printable – fill this out and keep in a place where anyone can access in case of an emergency.

Want to see more and get on the list? I can’t wait for you to join me! Go here to learn more and sign up for a digital subscription or go here for the printed for you subscription. Want to see some ideas and more information on how to implement Homekeeping Society? Go to this post.

May Homekeeping Society - Menu Planning via Clean Mama

 

PLEASE NOTE:  As a member, you will be able to download your digital subscription every month by going to your account page, click on the link for May and it will allow you to download the monthly essentials zip file. If you are a member, your essentials are already in your account – yay!

SOURCES:

  • Quote for the Kitchen Sink this month is designed by Kristi of Barn Owl Primitives .  Kristi makes amazing signs and created the kitchen sink quote just for Homekeeping Society.  If you want to purchase one of her handpainted signs, use the code CLEANMAMA for 20% off your order!
  • Vintage quart mason jar tumbler from Erin of Tweet Potato Pie – I have a love for vintage Ball jars and ice cold water so this is perfect!  She has FREE shipping too!
  • discbound notebook: Staples- Martha Stewart brand (no longer available)
  • pens and clipboard: Target (Staedtler) and Poppin
  • washi tape : The Sewing Post
  • doughnut: Dunkin’ Donuts ;)
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Week 2 : Spring Clean in 30

It’s officially spring cleaning season and A Bowl Full of Lemons and I are half way through our “Spring Clean in 30″ Challenge!  We are completing 30 cleaning tasks (each under 30 minutes) for the next 30 days and sharing daily on Instagram.  If you don’t have an Instagram account, you can find out what we’ve been cleaning each week by way of a weekly update on the blog.  If you have an Instagram account, follow us at @cleanmama and @abowlfulloflemons to see our daily tasks.  We would love for you to join the challenge and share and tag us, using the hash tag #springcleanin30.  Grab the FREE checklist here!  And go here to see all the tools I’ll be using this month as well.

spring clean in 30 via Clean Mama

Here’s an overview of what we spring cleaned this week:

WEEK 2

  • Day 8:  Wipe door knobs and doors
  • Day 9:  Dust light fixtures
  • Day 10: Freshen disposals and all drains
  • Day 11: Dust ceiling fans
  • Day 12: Clean refrigerator and freezer
  • Day 13: Clean oven and microwave
  • Day 14: Clear and clean kitchen counters

 

Day 8: Wipe door knobs and doors – use a wipe on the door knobs and this method for cleaning doors.

Day 8 Wipe Door Knobs and Doors via Clean Mama

Day 9: Dust light fixtures – I love using this filament extendable duster for light fixtures because it easily and gently cleans light fixtures.

Day 9 Dust Light Fixtures via Clean Mama

Day 10: Freshen disposals and all drains – check out this post for the simple how-to on cleaning drains and garbage disposals.

Day 10 Freshen Disposal and Drains via Clean Mama

Day 11: Dust ceiling fans – I use the fan cleaning attachment from this kit to clean my ceiling fans.  If you don’t have a fan cleaner, you can place an old pillowcase over each blade one by one and turn on the fan or wipe it clean.

Day 11 Dust Ceiling Fans via Clean Mama

Day 12: Clean refrigerator and freezer.  This task is often overlooked, but it makes a big difference!  Clean it really well (see my favorite method here) and then stay on top of the task by wiping off your shelves before you go to the grocery store.

Day 12 Clean Refrigerator and Freezer via Clean Mama

Day 13: Clean oven and microwave – I use this method for cleaning my oven.  I love that it’s safe and natural and it really works!

Day 13 Clean Oven and Microwave via Clean Mama

Day 14: Clear and clean kitchen counters and you might want to see this post on how to keep them cleared off for good!

DAY 14 Clear and Clean Kitchen Counters via Clean Mama

 

Follow along on Instagram or check back here next week for another set of cleaning tasks.  Happy Spring Cleaning!

Revisit the Spring Clean In 30 Challenge here:

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Did you see the CLEAN MAMA ESSENTIALS KIT?  It’s perfect for spring cleaning!

 

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Giveaway : $500 SPA Bundle

TWEET YOURSELF TO A SPECIAL DAY

How often do you hear people say, “You need take time for yourself?”  What is your typical answer? Yeah, we would have some similar responses.  We are here to tell you that it is finally YOUR time! Read on to enter for a chance to win an amazing spa bundle!

How excited would YOU be if you were gifted with an amazing SPA bundle?tweet-yourself-square-b

As parents ourselves, we know how crazy life can get and we know all too well how we toss our “me” time to the side. Even when we have the affordability we STILL find a way to put our personal needs on the bottom of the to-do list.

Please allow us to give you THE reason to take that much needed and DESERVED spa time off. I’m teaming up with a group of bloggers to bring you this amazing spa bundle so that you will return home feeling fresh, beautiful and re-energized.  We are SUPER excited about this spa gift!

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With Mother’s Day around the corner, this could be your ticket to an over-the-top day! $500 dollars worth of relaxation and beautification from your favorite blogging tweeps!

It is time to place YOU at the top of that ever-so-long-and-continually-adding-to-list so let’s hop to it! Are you ready to “tweet” YOURself to a special day?

What you’ll get!

$500 total in Gift cards ( $150 from Spa Finder, $150 from Sephora and $200 from Target!)

Here’s how: Hop in that widget below and follow EACH tweeter! That’s IT and you are IN!

Don’t wait! “Tweet” yourself today!

Tweet Yourself to a Spa Day


BONUS GIVEAWAY! ANOTHER $250 IN PRIZES

That’s right! We aren’t done! We have more prizes!! Join us for a twitter party and we can share ideas on how to make time for ourselves! All you have to do is on

APRIL 20th: 9:00 pm ET/7 MT

Hop on your phone, tablet or computer. Pull up twitter and follow the hashtag #maketime4u ! Every participant will be entered into the bonus giveaway that night..

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How to Clean Any Kitchen Sink

How to Clean Any Kitchen Sink via Clean Mama

Several months ago, I asked you what some of your biggest cleaning conundrums were.  I’ve covered quite a few already in blog posts and will continue to sprinkle them in to upcoming posts as well. This week covers cleaning something that most of you have – a kitchen sink.  Whether yours is stainless or porcelain, cast iron or solid surface,  I’ve got you covered.

Cleaning your kitchen sink may not be the first thing on your agenda, but a simple scrub and rinse does wonders to improve the look of it. Whether your sink is stainless or porcelain, you don’t need any cleaners with harsh chemicals or toxic ingredients to get your sink sparkling clean.  You’d think for all the soapy water and washing that goes on in your sink that it would be perpetually clean, or at least cleaner. Between rinsing dirty dishes, hand washing and goodness-knows-what, sinks can get dirty and look pretty scummy.  My favorite method to cleaning any sink is a DIY scrub.  It’s a nightly ritual and something that I cap off a clean kitchen with at the end of the day.  Once you start making a simple scrub you’ll be hooked too.  Read on for now to make your own sink scrubs!

Stainless Steel:

This is one of my favorite DIY cleaners both for it’s ease and it’s effectiveness for removing debris and shining up your sink. I keep mine in a Ball jar under my kitchen sink and use it nightly after my dishes are done and the sink is empty for the night. Feel free to vary your essential oils to your preference or leave it unscented.

Nightly Sink Scrub (see the original post here):

2 cups baking soda
10 drops lemon essential oil
10 drops clove essential oil
Squirt of dish or castile soap

Put the baking soda in a jar, add the essential oils and top the container. Give it a good shake to combine. Simply sprinkle up to 1/4 cup in your sink, add a squirt of dish soap and give it a good scrub using a scrub brush. Rinse well and air dry or wipe down a paper towel or dry cloth.

If you want to ‘shine’ your sink a little more, spray with your favorite glass cleaner and wipe clean.  Here’s the recipe for my Peppermint Glass and Mirror Cleaner.

Solid Surface Sink:

A solid surface sink is a great sink option because they don’t have crevices to clean and the pattern goes all the way through the sink so there isn’t much of a chance that it will scratch or that the scratch will show.  Cleaning this sink is a breeze and can be done with a simple sprinkle of my Nightly Sink Scrub and a little elbow grease.

Porcelain Sink:

Porcelain sinks can be scratched easily if you use too harsh of an abrasive, commercial cleaner. Baking soda is gentle enough to leave your sink unscratched but mighty enough to get it clean. Add the power of vinegar and it’s the perfect combo. Win-win! This is a one time use cleaner, so half the ingredients if you need just a bit. Feel free to vary your essential oil or leave it unscented.

1/2 cup baking soda
1/4 cup vinegar
5 drops lemon essential oil
5 drops clove essential oil

Mix ingredients in a small bowl until you reach a paste-like consistency. Add more or less vinegar to reach your desired consistency. Apply to sink and use a scrub brush in a circular motion. Rinse well and dry with a paper towel or dry cloth to polish it up.

Cast Iron Sink:

Cast iron sinks are guaranteed to not chip and are extremely heavy and durable, but they can scratch and dull with scouring pads and the wrong abrasive cleaner.  Use the porcelain sink recipe for optimal cast iron cleanliness.

If you don’t want to use a DIY sink scrub, these are my favorites:

Favorite Kitchen Sink Scrubs via Clean Mama

BON AMI:
Bon Ami products can do a great job at removing rust, residue and stains with minimal fuss and work. Both come in a can in a powder format and soft scrub liquid – I recommend the original 1886 powder as it’s the safest version.  This powder works as a gentle, mild abrasive that scrubs without damaging surfaces. Dampen the surfaces as well as a sponge and scrub in a circular motion.  Rinse your sink really well when you are done in order to get all the cleaning residue off.

ECOVER:
If you prefer a soft scrub formula, Ecover has a great Cream Scrub that’s perfect for cleaning kitchen sinks.  Use a soft, damp sponge or microfiber cloth and scrub away.

I’ll continue to answer your cleaning conundrums in upcoming weeks, so keep an eye out for simple solutions to your biggest cleaning irritations.  Go here to see all the posts in this series.

Are you following me on Instagram?  I post my weekly cleaning routine – come follow along!

If you like these DIY recipes, you’ll LOVE my book, The Organically Clean Home!

Give the Gift of The Organically Clean Home this Holiday Season via Clean Mama

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Quick Clean : Lemon Disposal Cleaner

Quick Clean - Lemon Disposal Cleaner via Clean Mama

If you have a garbage disposal or kitchen drain you know it can get a little stinky from time to time.  I have a simple, 2 ingredient DIY solution that you can probably whip up today.  If you want to add this to your routine, use this weekly.

Lemon Disposal Cleaner

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (fresh or in a jar)

Mix the baking soda and lemon juice together to make a pasty liquid.

Lemon Disposal Cleaner via Clean Mama

The liquid will start fizzing – quickly pour down the disposal.

Lemon Disposal Cleaner in drain via Clean Mama

Let it sit for at least 5 minutes.  Run cold water and turn on the disposal and run for up to a minute.  If you’re following along with the Spring Clean in 30 Challenge, this is today’s task – hooray!

Lemon and Clove Nightly Sink Scrub via Clean Mama

Curious how I clean my sink?  Check out this post for my Lemon + Clove Nightly Sink Scrub - it’s probably my favorite DIY cleaning recipe!

If you like this DIY recipe, you’ll LOVE my book, The Organically Clean Home!

Give the Gift of The Organically Clean Home this Holiday Season via Clean Mama

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Week 1: Spring Clean in 30

It’s officially spring cleaning season and this past week A Bowl Full of Lemons and I kicked off our “Spring Clean in 30″ Challenge!  We are completing 30 cleaning tasks (each under 30 minutes) for the next 30 days and sharing daily on Instagram.  If you don’t have an Instagram account, you can find out what we’ve been cleaning each week by way of a weekly update on the blog.  If you have an Instagram account, follow us at @cleanmama and @abowlfulloflemons to see our daily tasks.  We would love for you to join the challenge and share and tag us, using the hash tag #springcleanin30.  Grab the FREE checklist here!  And go here to see all the tools I’ll be using this month as well.

spring clean in 30 via Clean Mama

Here’s an overview of what we spring cleaned this week:

WEEK 1

  • Day 1: Dust all edges and corners at the ceiling level
  • Day 2: Dust all edges and corners at the floor level
  • Day 3: Dust or vacuum vents and change filters
  • Day 4: Vacuum edges (where the floor meets the baseboards)
  • Day 5: Wash baseboards
  • Day 6: Clean front and back door
  • Day 7: Wipe switch plates

Day 1: Dust all edges and corners at the ceiling level.  This is one of those tasks that moves quickly and and is a great start to get you going.  It also produces a lot of dust you never knew you had :)  I love using this filament extendable duster to get into all the nooks and crannies.  I shake the extendable duster outside as I’m working and rinse/hand wash when the duster looks like more dust than duster.

Day 1 Dust Ceiling via Clean Mama

 

Day 2: Dust all edges and corners at the floor level.  Using the same process and duster I used for the ceiling, I quickly dusted the lower edges and corners in the house.

Day 2 Dust Floor via Clean Mama

Day 3: Dust or vacuum vents and change filters.  Depending on how dusty the vents are, I either use a filament duster or my vacuum cleaner with the hose/brush attachment to get into the vents.  This is also a great time to change those furnace filters.

Day 3 Clean Vents via Clean Mama

Day 4: Vacuum edges (where the floor meets the baseboards).  This is easily accomplished with your vacuum cleaner’s hose attachment.

Day 4 Vacuum Edges via Clean Mama

Day 5: Wash baseboards – check out this post for some great tips on how to clean baseboards and other woodwork.

Day 5 Wash Baseboards via Clean Mama

 

Day 6: Clean front and back door – use a microfiber cleaning cloth and a small bucket of castile or dish soap.  Dip your cleaning cloth in the solution, wring it out and wipe from left to right and top to bottom, alternately you can follow the method in this post for baseboards too.

Day 6 Clean Doors via Clean Mama

Day 7: Wipe switch plates –  use a disinfecting wipe or rubbing alcohol on a cotton pad or cloth and work quickly!

Day 7 Wipe Switch Plates via Clean Mama

Follow along on Instagram or check back here next week for another set of cleaning tasks.  Happy Spring Cleaning!

Revisit the Spring Clean In 30 Challenge here:

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Did you see the CLEAN MAMA ESSENTIALS KIT?  It’s perfect for spring cleaning!

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Practical Cleaning Routine Tips for Any Schedule

Practical Cleaning Routine Tips via Clean Mama

I talk a lot about my cleaning routine and what tasks to do on different days and how to complete those tasks, but how about specific ideas for ways to implement my cleaning routine into a variety of schedules?  Today I’m going to share some simple tips and tricks for how to incorporate a cleaning routine. Let’s not dispute whose schedule is more difficult to fit a cleaning routine into, but let’s talk about HOW to incorporate a cleaning routine because figuring out WHEN to clean can freeze up the progress.  I’ve included some helpful posts that you might like to take a peek at as you’re reading as well.  You can always find the current month’s FREE cleaning calendar at the top of my free printables page!

A little bit about Clean Mama’s Cleaning Routine:

I love a clean house, but when people live in a home, cleaning up is constant.  That’s where a cleaning routine is essential – simple tasks completed daily and weekly really keep the cleaning to a minimum so I can spend time with my family and not cleaning.  With minutes a day and a plan, homekeeping can be enjoyable, simple, and easy to fit into your busy life and schedule.  In case you’re curious, I have been implementing this cleaning routine for nearly 15 years – as a newly married, full-time working gal, a full-time working out of the house mom, a stay-at-home mom, a traveling working in and out of the home mom, and now a work-at-home mom with three active kiddos.  This routine is for anyone that’s busy and doesn’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning.  It may need to be tweaked for your life and schedule, but if you want to spend a couple minutes every day with a little homekeeping, the Clean Mama Cleaning Routine is for you!  Remember, it’s just ‘everyday a little something’!

Practical Suggestions for Implementing Clean Mama’s Cleaning Routine:

WORKING OUTSIDE OF THE HOME
If you work outside the home and get home late or leave early (or both!) and are exhausted and have no energy to put a cleaning routine into place, my best suggestion is to start with 5-10 minutes before you leave for work and 5-10 minutes when you get home.  Start with the daily tasks and work on completing them every day.  If the daily tasks are overwhelming, just start with one – one load of laundry from start to put away, pick up clutter, check floors, or wipe counters.  Add one every week and before you know it you’ll have built a little routine into your schedule.  Once you feel like you’ve got a good handle on daily tasks, start adding the weekly cleaning tasks – Monday is bathrooms day, Tuesday is Dusting Day, etc.  Set a timer for 5-10 minutes and do what you can in that amount of time and forget the rest.  Keep going and before long you’ll have added this step to your routine as well.  If you feel like you can add more time, and get more accomplished, increase your time to 15-20 minutes.

If you work 12 hour shifts or an unpredictable schedule, you might need to double up tasks and tackle two or three on your days off so you truly don’t have to do much on the days that you are at work.  A cleaning routine can be accomplished, but give yourself grace while you’re trying to figure out what works best for you.

The following post might be helpful if you’re trying to find a good rhythm for your routine:

Six Things I Do Every Day to Keep the House Clean via Clean MamaSix Things I Do Every Day To Keep the House Clean

WORKING AT HOME
Studies show that taking breaks throughout the day can actually help you be more productive.  Choose specific times to take homekeeping breaks and throw a load of laundry into the washing machine or unload the dishwasher.  These little breaks will get your body moving and might just help you be more productive during the day.  I find it most helpful to get my homekeeping tasks out of the way early in the day so they don’t get pushed to the back burner and not completed.  Find YOUR time to clean – do you get more accomplished with little chunks of time throughout the day or do you do better by getting it all completed before you start working.  Figure out what works best for you!

Feeling Overwhelmed Try one of these simple tasks via Clean Mama
Feeling overwhelmed?  Do One of These Simple Tasks

STAY AT HOME
If you are at home all day with kids or if they are at school for part of the day, you know that the house is most likely in a constant state of flux and mess or potential mess.  ENJOY it, but if you need to have it tidied up during the day (I do!), my best suggestion is to implement times during the day when the kids tidy up their messes and you do your daily/weekly tasks.  Complete tasks during nap time or when kids are playing independently.  Building time to clean up into your schedule is the best way to find the time to clean.  If you don’t plan cleaning, you’ll get to the end of the day and realize you didn’t get anything done and feel defeated.  I find that seasonal cleaning is really helpful to get that everything’s cleaned all at once feeling.


Spring Clean in 30 FREE Printable Checklist via Clean MamaSpring Clean in 30 Challenge

GETTING KIDS INVOLVED
If you have children, get them involved in homekeeping.  It will make it easier for you to incorporate cleaning and they’ll help make the work a little lighter for you.  A couple things that work well at our house – take one activity out at a time, clean up before lunch/naps, clean up before dinner, quick clean up before bedtime.   Assign specific, age-appropriate tasks – laundry, dusting, making beds, cleaning up after themselves are all simple daily tasks that kids of all ages can complete with a little guidance.

 

Let's Clean House - 2 Free Kids Cleaning Checklists - Clean Mama Let’s Clean House – Cleaning With Kids (free printable chore cards)

Pick a Chore Jar via Clean MamaSimple Chore + Reward System (free printables)

What are your best tips for implementing a cleaning routine with your schedule?  What have you done that works?

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Did you see the CLEAN MAMA ESSENTIALS KIT?  It’s perfect for your cleaning routine!

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Spring Clean in 30 Challenge

It’s officially SPRING CLEANING SEASON and Toni from A Bowl Full of Lemons and I are kicking off our ‘Spring Clean in 30′ Challenge TODAY on Instagram!  We are completing 30 cleaning tasks (each under 30 minutes) for the next 30 days and sharing daily on Instagram.

spring clean insta pic

If you don’t have an Instagram account, you can find out what we’ve been cleaning each week – here on the blog.  If you have an Instagram account, follow us at @cleanmama and @abowlfulloflemons to see our daily tasks.  We would love for you to join the challenge and share and tag us, using the hash tag #springcleanin30.  I will also post an overview of my week each Wednesday (4/8, 4/15, 4/22 and on Thursday, 4/30).   Grab the FREE checklist here!  And go here to see all the tools I’ll be using this month as well.

spring clean in 30 via Clean Mama

 

I’ll see you on Instagram or back here next week with a review of the first week.  Happy spring cleaning!  Go here to see all the posts in this series.

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Introducing : Clean Mama Essentials Kit

CleanMamaEssentialKit-Clean Mama

I am over-the-moon excited to introduce you to a limited edition collaboration with one of my favorite companies, Murchison-Hume – the CLEAN MAMA ESSENTIALS KIT!

Keeping a clean house doesn’t have to be difficult!  With the right products, you can clean your home with ease and enjoy the process.  Murchison-Hume is the perfect combination function meets style. I love that Murchison-Hume products are plant-based, safe, and natural products, but I am over the moon with how they clean!  The subtle scents and attractive packaging make clean beautiful.
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The CLEAN MAMA ESSENTIALS KIT brings you four of my favorite Murchison-Hume products that are essential to every household paired with an adorable Clean Mama/Murchison-Hume Tote.  You’ll quickly fall in love with the fig scent and start forgetting how much you don’t like to clean.
  • COUNTER SAFE can be used on any counter surface, even granite and marble!  Its pH neutral formula ensures that you can spray it all over your kitchen for safe and effective cleaning.
  • THE BOYS’ BATHROOM CLEANER is a must for any home and if you have boys, you’ll love it even more.  I spray the entire toilet, sink, and tub, let it sit for a couple minutes to work its no-smelly-bathroom powers and wipe clean.
  • Once you’ve spruced up those bathrooms, move on to your furniture with the EVERYDAY FURNITURE & UPHOLSTERY CLEANER.  Spray directly on surfaces or spray on a cloth and wipe away any dust.
  • Once you’ve cleaned your home it’s time to wash those floors. The EFFORTLESS FLOOR CLEANER lives up to its name – spray directly on any floor surface, wipe with your favorite floor mop or fill up your refillable mop and enjoy the ease of having the spray at the ready.

Getting ready to do a little spring cleaning?  This kit will get your home cleaned up in a hurry!  Grab yours before they’re gone!

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Gather Your Tools | The Best Tools for Spring Cleaning

The Best Tools for Spring Cleaning via Clean Mama

If you’re ready to do some SPRING CLEANING, you’ll need to gather your tools.  I find it most effective to gather from tools I have and then assess the situation and see if I need to get anything else.  This ensures that I am ready to do a little bit of cleaning every day and stay on track to meet my goal of having the whole house spring-cleaned by the end of April in under 30 minutes a day.   Grab a container, a basket, or a cleaning caddy and collect the tools you’ll need for spring cleaning.  You can carry this from room to room with you or keep it in a mudroom or storage closet and just take out what’s needed each day.

Spring Cleaning Caddy via Clean Mama

The best tools for spring cleaning also happen to be some of my favorite cleaning tools.  I am guessing you have a few of these already and if you don’t and you don’t have the budget for anything new, make do with what you have.  Spring cleaning is mostly about dusting and vacuuming and cleaning those not-cleaned-very-often places in our homes.  If you do end up purchasing new, you’ll have great all-purpose cleaning tools to use all year long.

The Best Tools for Spring Cleaning - details -  via Clean Mama

Clean Mama’s Favorite Spring Cleaning Tools

(links go to the products – some are affiliate links – read my full disclosure here)

What else would you add?  I’ll be back in a couple days with my favorite SPRING CLEANERS – make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss a thing!

Are you cleaning along with us?  Toni from A Bowl Full of Lemons and I can’t wait to get started with you!  The #springclean30 challenge starts on April 1st!

 

Spring Clean in 30 FREE Printables Checklist via Clean Mama

Don’t forget to grab and print your FREE checklist here!

Clean Mama's Spring Cleaning Kit

Can’t wait to get started?  The Clean Mama Spring Cleaning Kit is in the shop! You can see all the products in my shop here.

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Busy Week Menu Plan – Take 2 – 7 More Time Saving Meals for a Busy Week

Busy Week Menu Plan - Take 2 - 7 Time Saving Recipes for a Busy Week via Clean MamaThis post is one of those bossy posts where I tell you to try menu planning.  If you don’t menu plan and you need a reason to, these seven recipes are it.  Seriously, go to the links, print them out and make them.  You probably only need to choose your favorite 5 or 6 recipes because there’s most likely going to be leftovers from a couple of them.  Plan for leftovers – it’s the secret to easy menu planning!  Once you’ve printed out the recipes, put them in order for the week ahead and make a shopping list of what you’ll need.  Take the list to the store, buy your ingredients and get ready to sail through dinnertime in the next week.  If you love the recipe, save the print out and put it in your menu planning rotation.  Last week I shared another roundup of some of my favorite busy week meal ideas, perfect for busy spring schedules (and spring cleaning!).

I menu plan for the week, I take a look at our schedule, our busier days and days that may allow for a little more time in the kitchen.  We stick to a fairly healthy diet without a lot of boxed and prepackaged foods loaded with who-knows-what. All of these meals are kid friendly and fan favorites – enjoy!

GRILLED CAPRESE SANDWICH VIA I HEART NAPTIME
Fancy up your sandwich routine with a grilled Caprese sandwich. Serve with a side of fruit for a 10 minute meal!

CAESAR CHICKEN WRAPS VIA THE BAKER UPSTAIRS
We are big fans of these delicious Caesar Chicken Wraps in my home.  They come together in under 10 minutes and the kids love them too!  I like to use a rotisserie chicken to keep it even easier or pull out some precooked, cut up chicken from the freezer.  Make a double batch for company or to guarantee leftovers.

ONE POT BAKED ZITI VIA NUMBER 2 PENCIL
One pot meals are perfect for those nights when you want minimal prep with minimal clean up. This one pot baked ziti comes together in a snap and can be easily modified using ground turkey or made vegetarian if you want.

GREEN CHILE CHICKEN ENCHILADA STACKS VIA MEL’S KITCHEN CAFE
These green chile chicken enchilada stacks provide just a little bit of heat with a lot of creamy, delicious flavor. Prep the sauce ahead of time if you are short on time in the evening and simply stack and bake.

GREEK SALAD VIA DAMN DELICIOUS
Served with a baguette or crusty bread, this Greek Salad with homemade lemon dressing comes together in a hurry. Perfect for when you want a light meal.

CHEESE TORTELLINI SOUP VIA LIFE IN GRACE BLOG
In the mood for a hearty, healthy soup that comes together in 30 minutes? This Cheese Tortellini Soup from Life in Grace is easy to put together and makes enough for leftovers!

CROCK POT BEEF SANDWICHES VIA THIRTY HANDMADE DAYS
These crock pot beef sandwiches are absolutely delicious! I like to make a double batch and freeze half to use for another night or use in enchiladas or quesadillas. If you are feeling extra fancy, make a batch of homemade rolls to go with!

If you need a little help with your menu planning, I have an adorable menu planning notepad in my shop and menu planning kits as well. Click on the images below to see them in my shop.

Menu Plan for the Week - Full - Clean Mama

On the Menu Clean Mama Printables

Coming in just 1 week! Sign up for emails and join me on Instagram!

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FREE Cleaning Calendar for April 2015

It’s almost April and that means that it’s time for April’s FREE cleaning calendar! If you’re feeling like you need some help with your cleaning and homekeeping and don’t know where to start, you’re going to love my cleaning routine and calendar. I keep daily homekeeping tasks to 15-30 minutes a day and this simple plan is how I do it! This is a solution for busy households – give it a go, I think you’ll be surprised how a little bit every day can make a huge difference in your home.

Fresh Start Clean+Organized 2015

If you’ve been following Clean Mama for even a week, I hope you know that everyday is a chance to start over and so is every week, month, etc. I hope that you find that my cleaning routine is SIMPLE, EASY TO IMPLEMENT, and full of GRACE.

Read on, grab the FREE calendar for April and get ready to see how doing a little bit everyday really is the secret to a clean house.  If you’re doing the Spring Clean in 30 Challenge, I also have a version with the challenge included.

Cleaning Routine Infographic - Clean Mama

Want to join in on the fun? Grab a FREE cleaning and organizing calendar for April and give it a go. Follow along for motivational posts and tips to keep up with the daily and weekly tasks. I also post daily reminders on Instagram and Facebook!

Free Cleaning Calendar from Clean Mama

Go here to grab your FREE calendar for April 2015!  If you’d prefer to download from Googledocs, go here.

April Fresh Start Calendar + Spring Cleaning Challenge via Clean Mama

If you’re doing the Spring Clean in 30 Challenge and want a combined checklist you can grab it here.

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If you like this FREE printable you’ll love my HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY and the organizing printables in my shop!

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FREE Spring Clean in 30 Checklist

Spring Clean in 30 FREE Printable Checklist via Clean Mama

We’re getting ready to do a little spring cleaning on April 1st – grab your free checklist in this post, print it out and get ready to spring clean your entire home in April in just 30 minutes a day!

Feeling like your home needs a little spring cleaning?  I love spring cleaning and am so excited to be teaming up with Toni from A Bowl Full of Lemons to bring you a Spring Cleaning Challenge (SPRING CLEAN IN 30) on April 1st!  Today we have the FREE printable calendar and cleaning plan and this week I’ll continue to share ideas for gearing up for spring cleaning, and simple menu plans for getting food on the table while you’re busy spring cleaning (or just busy).  Then on April 1st, the challenge will start on Instagram with daily prompts and encouragement for each simple daily task (under 30 minutes/day).  I’ll post weekly updates on the blog too, but you’ll definitely want to follow on instagram – @cleanmama . We’ll also be using the hashtag #springcleanin30 and you can too!  Haven’t signed up to be on my email list?  Go here! so you don’t miss a thing!  Go here to see all the posts in this series.

Spring Clean In 30 Challenge Checklist image via Clean Mama + ABFOL

Go here to download the FREE checklist in my shop or go here to download the FREE checklist in googledocs.

Revisit the Spring Clean In 30 Challenge here:

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Clean Mama's Spring Cleaning Kit

Can’t wait to get started?  The Clean Mama Spring Cleaning Kit is in the shop! You can see all the products in my shop here.

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30% off Spring Cleaning SALE

Happy Spring!  I’m just popping in to let you know I’m having a SPRING CLEANING SALE in the shop – Clean Mama Printables – today and tomorrow (Friday and Saturday).  Use the coupon code 30SPRINGCLEANING for 30% off your ENTIRE order!  Everything’s included, even the notepads with FREE SHIPPING!

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 Hurry!  Ends 3/21/15 at 9PM CST pm

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