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

Get Ready for Summer FLASH SALE!

It’s almost here – the glorious summer!  Feel like you need a little help getting things organized and cleaned up before school’s out?  Or maybe you’re home from work for the summer and can’t wait to tackle some projects.  Whatever your need is, I have lots of cleaning and organizational tools and I’m putting them on FLASH SALE for you for just 36 hours!  Everything is on sale – don’t miss it!  SALE ENDS 5/25/16 at 7pm CST!  Use the same coupon code for Clean Mama Home (20% off – this is the best coupon code I’ve ever offered!) AND Clean Mama Printables (30% off) – the code is HOORAY.  What are you waiting for?  Go snag something quick 🙂

Clean Mama Home FLASH Sale

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Clean Mama Home Microfiber Cloths

Clean Mama Printables Flash Sale

Homekeeping Foundations Kit - main - Clean Mama

And don’t miss the sale on Homekeeping Society – use the coupon code 30OFFJUNE for 30% off your first month!

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Happy (Almost) Summer!

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Quick Tip : Salad on Mondays

Quick Menu Planning Tip - Salad on Mondays - Clean Mama

Today I have a quick menu planning tip that I’ve been implementing for probably close to a year.  It’s nothing revolutionary, but it saves me time in the kitchen, uses up leftovers, and is a really simple way to get a quick supper on the table.

Salad on Mondays

The concept is simple – use up leftovers from the weekend, make a healthy salad for supper, and it’s quick and easy.

Here’s what I always use:

  • salad mix – pre-washed or this blend
  • grilled leftovers – use up that lone chicken breast or steak leftover from the weekend
  • veggies – tomatoes, avocados, cucumbers, grilled corn, mushrooms….
  • cheese – I either grate some or use up leftovers from the weekend (sliced, crumbled, shredded)

And then if any of these items are in the refrigerator, they get chopped up and get tossed in too:

  • lunch meat – if there’s any in the fridge I slice it up and toss it in
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • bacon

Add dressing – I either make a quick oil and vinegar or use a favorite ranch dressing.  

That’s it!  This concept could be used any night of the week – give it a whirl, dinner on the table in under 10 minutes on a Monday night is a big win in our house!

What if you have littles that won’t eat salad?

Put the components on a plate (minus the lettuce) and give them a little bit of dressing to dip the salad fixings in – easy peasy and a bit of a novelty so kids like it 🙂

 

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Tackle Your Spring Cleaning Checklist in Just 1 Hour + Pinterest Party

Spring Cleaning Checklist in Just 1 Hour

I’m so excited to share with you that I’ve partnered up with Scotch-Brite™ to bring you homekeeping tips and hacks this year.  Make sure you join me this Sunday, May 22nd from 5pm-7pm EST on the Scotch-Brite Pinterest page for a Homekeeping Hacks Pinterest Party complete with tips and tricks and prizes!  Hop on over to the party and enter to win one of FIVE Scotch-Brite + Clean Mama Home Gift Baskets at the bottom of this post during the party!

homekeeping hacks

I am proud to be a 3M-sponsored blogger and as part of my responsibilities, I get the opportunity to evaluate 3M products. Opinions are my own and additional products used in the project were selected by me. 

If you’re wanting to harness a little bit of the spring cleaning bug but don’t have time or energy to do a full whole house cleaning, you can still get a lot accomplished in a short period of time.  Carve out an hour of time, grab a couple tools, and start cleaning!

1 - Gather Supplies

Grab your tools:

Set your timer for 1 hour – timing yourself will keep you on task and focused. Put away any potential distractions so you can concentrate on spring cleaning.  If music or podcasts motivate you, put on your favorite station or music before you start.

Start in the kitchen:

OVEN (2-3 minutes of active time): If you have a self-cleaning oven, start it.  This can be smelly; open a window or two to air out the smell.  Most ovens take a couple of hours to finish this process. Once it has cooled you’ll only need to spend a minute or two wiping out the residue with a damp sponge.

Wipe Out the Oven with the Sponge

MICROWAVE (2 minutes of active time): Place two cups of water in a glass bowl with a halved and squeezed lemon. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes or until the water boils for a minute or so.  Don’t open the door for at least 5 minutes, but let the steam work to dissolve any grease, drips, and grime.

4 - Microwave

COUNTERS (10 minutes of active time): While the microwave is running and the steam is working, quickly clear your kitchen counters. Wipe down kitchen counters with a Scotch-Brite® Non-Scratch Scrub Sponge and a small bucket of warm water and a teaspoon or so of dish soap. Use your sponge to wipe the counters clean.  Put items back on the counter and wipe out the microwave.

9 - Use Non-Scratch Scrub Side for Water Spots and Stuck-On Grim

REFRIGERATOR (10 minutes of active time): Quickly remove the contents of the refrigerator, tossing any expired food or old condiments.  Wipe out the refrigerator with a damp sponge.  Dry thoroughly.  Return food to refrigerator.

12 - Remove the Contents of Refrigerator

14 - Use the Non-Scratch Scrubbing Side for Stuck on Food

PUT OUT FRESH HAND TOWELS (30 seconds of active time): Clean hand towels will finish the look of your spring-cleaned kitchen.

Move on to the rest of the house:

DUST LAMP SHADES (3 minutes of active time): Use a Scotch-Brite™ 50% Stickier Lint Roller to quickly roll the dust up onto the lint roller.  This method is quick and it works.  Change the lint roller sheet often and quickly move from room to room.

24 - Roll Over Lampshades

VACCUM VENTS (10 minutes of active time): Getting rid of dust and dirt in vents is quintessential with spring cleaning.  Take your vacuum cleaner with the hose attachment around your home and vacuum away the dust and dirt.

Vacuum the Vents

VACUUM BASEBOARDS (10-15 minutes of active time): While you’re vacuuming vents, run your vacuum attachment over your baseboards and corners of the house, concentrating on any dust bunnies and dirt.

CLEAN MOST-TOUCHED AREAS (5 minutes of active time): Use a cotton pad with rubbing alcohol and wipe over phones, remotes, keyboards, and light switches.  Rubbing alcohol will kill any germs as well as quickly cleaning hard plastic.

Finish up:

FINAL SWEEP (5 minutes of active time): Do a final sweep of the house and pick up clutter, fluff pillows and arrange throw blankets so your home has that neat and tidy touch.

Spending just an hour on a little spring cleaning might be just what you need to get your home ready for spring.  Stop here or keep going with some more spring cleaning tasks.

Don’t forget to come back this Sunday, May 22nd from 5-7pm est for a Homekeeping Hacks Pinterest Party!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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3 Steps to Quickly Sort Through Memorabilia

3 Steps to Quickly Sort Through Memorabilia - Clean Mama

For many, myself included, sorting through memorabilia is one of the most difficult organizing and decluttering tasks. It is hard to not attach memories and feelings to some of those special pieces. I am not going to tell you to sort through everything and take mental pictures of it all before you toss or donate it or to ask if it is really all that special. Memorabilia is personal and everyone has a different interpretation of what falls under keep worthy or not. Because of memorabilia’s nature, it doesn’t fall under my typical sorting pattern. I have a fairly simple method of keeping things that are special and important that I hope will help you as you begin this task. The goal is not to make it overly complicated or involved, but to create several containing systems or spots in which to save these special and important pieces and then file it accordingly.

You may wish to alter my rules and you are certainly welcome to do that. Chances are, you’re a little less or more sentimental, so tailor the rules as needed.

Three action steps:

Start with the really old items:
Begin with the really old things that you have been holding on to for years and years. These are the things that you know you really have no reason to keep and aren’t overly attached to. Spend a little time doing a quick purge of these items, moving quickly and efficiently without spending time to over-analyze. Label the things you are keeping by year or era. Examples of categories may be high school, college, wedding, grandma’s items, 1990-1995 etc.  Working chronologically backwards is helpful for me as those are the things that are harder to remember where they’re from and why I kept them in the first place.  If you find yourself not remembering or knowing why you kept something, it’s probably time to donate or toss.

Choose a bin for each child:
If you have children, use a bin or a box to store things that aren’t paper in nature and therefore can’t be filed or stored flat. These may be items such as special outfits or blankets. Keep it in their bedroom closest that you can easily access it and look through it with them. There is no sense in keeping these special items stored in the basement or tucked into a dark corner where no one will ever even look at them.  Having a bin for each child also limits the sheer amount of stuff that is kept as well.

Pick a method that works for you:
Establish a workable method from this point forward that works for you and your family. If you get all the old stuff sorted and don’t have a plan for implementing the deluge of papers and memorabilia that come in to the house, you will quickly find yourself overwhelmed again.  I choose to keep our children’s special papers in a file drawer that has a file folder for each year. Artwork and larger pieces get stored in a large folder. You can also take pictures of artwork and special pieces and save them digitally as well. The file folder method can easily be used for other memorabilia as well. Scrapbooks, both digital or paper, are also a great method to keep the memorabilia out of the closer and in to a special, easily accessible place.

These three action steps have been invaluable for me as I decide how and what to keep. Only you can truly determine what is important enough to keep and what you can do without. If you feeling overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of what you have to go through or it is emotionally difficult, start small so you don’t get overwhelmed. With the implementation of these steps, memorabilia doesn’t have to overwhelm you or stay stashed in chaos in your closets, garage, basement, or storage.

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Get Organized with Homekeeping Society | June Essentials

Do you need some gentle homekeeping help as schedules shift as we start looking toward summer?  June’s Homekeeping Society subscription is up – I hope it’s just what you need to feel successful in your homekeeping. Homekeeping Society has some great changes that make it better, more interactive, AND easier to use!  Make sure you read all the way through the post – there’s a great coupon code if you’d like to try it out!

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If you don’t know where to start or are feeling a little defeated, I think you’ll find encouragement in the support Homekeeping Society provides!  Homekeeping Society is intended to be just the gentle nudge you need making your tasks and to dos more enjoyable with a sweet and simple format.  June’s Homekeeping Society is fresh and summery.  My favorite thing about Homekeeping Society is that each month is different, yet it all looks good together, and it has seasonal touches you’ll love!

Not sure if Homekeeping Society is for you? Try it out this month and use the coupon code 30OFFJUNE for 30% off your FIRST month. Hurry!  Offer ends May 31st, 2016.

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Homekeeping Society is simple to use:

  • 2  EASY PRINT  packets are included – simply open and print the pages in ONE step. One version features one of each and the other is set up exactly how the printed version is packaged with 4 pages of the weekly planners, etc. You’ll love how easy this is to use!  Of course, the individual pages are also included, but if you want to print everything in one easy step, you’ll love this. If you want to print back to back, just select that upon printing and print away – easy, peasy!
  • I have a new Facebook Group – HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY – join if you’re a member of the subscription or not, it’s a special place to discuss homekeeping struggles, tips, and tricks.  It’s a closed group, just ask to join and I’ll add you.
  • I am adding Homekeeping Society to my Etsy shop – you can only purchase one month at a time and you will NOT have access to the previous months.  Don’t want to subscribe?  Want to use PayPal?  This is a great option but you’ll need to repurchase each month instead of it being an automatic payment and download.
  • Another great feature with Homekeeping Society is that you can also access/save/download ALL the previous month’s of HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY!  That’s well over 200 printables that you can use!
  • I also send out an email to all members after the 20th of each month reminding them to log in and download the next month’s subscription and I also include a couple blog posts to help them navigate through the month’s tasks and to do’s – it’s so fun to know that other people are doing the same tasks every day, isn’t it?

How to login:

If you’re a member (log in here) and if you’d like to sign up today, it’s an instant download. The Homekeeping Society MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION is designed to create order out of your household chaos and help you keep your home tidy with ease and your mind less cluttered.  You can cancel ANYTIME right on your membership screen.  Take a peek at what I’ve created for the month of June – I think you’ll LOVE it!

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. If you struggle during the summer with a different routine and more or less free time, Homekeeping Society will help you keep on top of the tasks and provide a little structure.

Go here to sign up for a digital subscription or go here to sign up for the printed for you subscription.

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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 want to welcome family, neighbors, and friends 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 purposefully 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.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT EVERY MONTH (15+ printable documents):

  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 (June is BEDROOMS) – this page lays out simple steps and gives you room for making your own adjustments and goals.
  4. TO DO LIST – every month features a new, and highly functional to do list. This month is a simple TO DO LIST, just right for keeping tabs on your to dos.
  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- (Sunday and Monday starts) make a menu plan and take it with you to the grocery store to keep your shopping and planning in check.
  8. MENU PLAN FOR THE MONTH – always includes a list for recipe ideas or ingredients to pick up so you won’t forget to add it to your weekly shopping list.
  9. 2 MONTHLY CALENDARS (1 blank, 1 pre-filled) – suggested daily cleaning tasks, weekly cleaning tasks, rotating cleaning tasks, cleaning and organizing suggestions.
  10. SEASONAL PREPARATION PRINTABLE – a helpful seasonal prep printable is always included in the monthly subscription – perfect for placing in a binder
  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 – HOME IMPROVEMENTS Checklist. Fill these pages 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.).
  13. PLUS – access to all previous months’ HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY – well over 200 documents!

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This month’s Quote for the Kitchen Sink is a fun tribute to June – hooray for summer!  The quote for the kitchen sink can go on your refrigerator, a bulletin board, or even your binder. Put it somewhere that you’ll see it and be inspired by it.

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 here to see all the posts and past months of Homekeeping Society!

Not sure if Homekeeping Society is for you? Try it out this month and use the coupon code 30OFFJUNE for 30% off your FIRST month.  Hurry!  Offer ends May 31st, 2016.

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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!

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Three Kitchen Cleaners to Stop Buying and Start Making

Three Kitchen Cleaners to Stop Buying and Start Making - Clean Mama copy

Despite what commercials, advertisements and media may tell consumers, cleaners don’t need to contain toxic chemicals, unnatural scents or bright colors in order to clean well. In fact, the ideal cleaners can contain as few as three to five ingredients to be effective on just about any surface or for any need.

Kitchen cleaners can easily clutter your under the sink storage as well as bring some harsh and unnecessary chemicals in to your home. Today I am sharing three effective, cost efficient kitchen cleaners that are not only safe and incredibly affordable, but will also give their commercial brand competitors a run for their money. Still on the fence as to whether DIY cleaners are really all that they are hyped up to be? I challenge you to choose one of these cleaners and try it out for yourself. I think you will pleased with just how effective these natural kitchen cleaners are.

Nightly Sink Scrub

Nightly Sink Scrub and Brush - Clean Mama

I love using this sink scrub in the evening after the dishes are done and the sink is emptied. Works beautifully to shine up the sink as well as remove surface stains.

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 10 drops clove essential oil
  • castile soap (or dish soap) – This is not added to the baking soda until it’s used – keep reading!
  • container with a lid or a shaker top (I like a mason jar, this one specifically :)) – I’ve previously used a shaker top but have switched to a lid – either way works!
  • sink safe scrub brush – I use this one and keep it under my sink in a vintage mason jar.  I can toss the head in the dishwasher to sanitize it as needed.

To Use:

  1. Put baking soda in your container
  2. Add essential oils to the top of the baking soda
  3. Stir and combine with a kitchen knife
  4. Wet your sink
  5. Sprinkle liberally in your sink
  6. Add a squirt or two of dish or castile soap
  7. Scrub with a sink-safe scrubber
  8.  Rinse thoroughly

Sink Scrub

Marble and Granite Spray

Marble + Granite Cleaning Spray on Counter

I am amazed by how wonderfully this stone cleaner works at a fraction of the price. One of my favorites!

  • 3 tablespoons rubbing alcohol
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon castile or dish soap (if you want your spray to smell like your dish soap, use that)

TOOLS:

  • measuring cup
  • measuring spoon
  • funnel – this just makes it easier to pour liquid ingredients into a spray bottle
  • spray bottle

Combine ingredients, close spray bottle, shake, and CLEAN!

 

All-Purpose Spray

All-Purpose Spray - Clean Mama

This cleaner works perfectly on just about any surface you can dream up (except for marble, granite, and stone because of the acidity/pH level). Even better, it’s kid friendly.

  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 10 drops of your favorite essential oil (lemon and clove is my favorite blend)

Ready to simplify your cleaning while keeping it safe and cost efficient? Try one or all three of these kitchen cleaners out today!

Check out this post for 3 BATHROOM cleaners you should stop buying and start making.

3 Bathroom Cleaners to Stop Buying and Start Making - Clean Mama

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Hotel Room Hot Spots : What to Clean + How to Clean It

Hotel Room Hot Spots - what to clean and how to clean it - Clean Mama

With travel and vacation season upon us, I have a couple tips for what to quickly clean when you check into a hotel room.  In my opinion and after seeing some icky things in hotel rooms, I think it’s fair to say that there are a couple things I keep in my overnight/carry-on bag just for doing a quick once-over of germy hotel spots. Let’s face it.  No one likes to be sick on vacation and if taking a couple steps to prevent catching something icky, sign me up.  Bonus: if you’re flying, grab an alcohol wipe and give your airplane tray and seat handles a swipe if you’re so inclined.

Bring these things along:

  • small bag or pouch (to hold items)
  • zip top bag – some experts recommend putting the tv remote in a zip top bag in lieu of cleaning it since it’s probably the dirtiest thing in the hotel room
  • cleaning wipes or spray (look for travel size if you’re flying) – if you like to DIY your cleaners, put your favorite cleaner in a little travel sized spray bottle.
  • alcohol wipes (my preference is to use these wipes for all my hotel cleaning so I bring along a little stack)

Put Supplies in a Bag - Clean Mama

Clean these areas:

CLEAN THE BATHROOM – spray or wipe the seat, wipe the toilet handle, wipe the sink and handles, counters, and rinse out the bathtub (squirt a bit of shampoo or bring along some dish soap and rinse thoroughly).

WIPE MOST TOUCHED AREAS – door knobs, light switches, phone, alarm clock, tv remote, mini refrigerator…

CHECK FOR BEDBUGS – remove the bedspread and put it on a chair (these don’t typically get laundered in between guests), check under the sheets and mattress pad (ew, I know).  If you spot anything suspicious and bedbug-esque, request a new room or leave the hotel.

DRINKING GLASSES – these don’t always get washed in between guests (yuck).  Either look for sealed glasses or wash them thoroughly with soap and hot water.

Once you’ve given your hotel room a quick once-over, relax and enjoy your vacation!  Anything you’d add to the list?

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Three Bathroom Cleaners to Stop Buying and Start Making

3 Bathroom Cleaners to Stop Buying and Start Making - Clean Mama

One trip down the cleaning aisle at your local store and you find a plethora of bathroom cleaning supplies making numerous claims. The brightly colored cleaners with flashy labels may be eye catching but their contents leave much to be desired. I am a firm believer in using cleaners that have ingredients that I can pronounce and are safe to use around children. The three cleaners that I am sharing today fit my requirements.

It is no secret that I use and love DIY cleaners. Heck, I even wrote a book all about them. Not only are the ingredients safe to use around your home and family, the cost savings can be pretty extreme. It’s easy to go through cleaners at a fairly quick pace, but you won’t have to be concerned about spending a lot of money while you do it. In addition, while I love the effectiveness of these cleaners, I also love the scent that they add while I clean. No artificial fragrances, just pure essential oils.

A couple of things to cover: if you don’t want to use vodka, you can use rubbing alcohol in it’s place. I prefer to use vodka (the cheapest you can find will do the trick) because it doesn’t have as much of an alcohol scent. If you really don’t care for a certain essential oil scent, you can sub out a different oil instead.

On to the cleaners!

Peppermint Daily Shower Cleaner Spray

Daily Shower Spray - Clean Mama

  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 1 cup water
  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil

Mix and store in a spray bottle.  Spray shower or tub daily after showering.  No rinsing necessary.  This cleaner won’t keep your shower or tub clean all the time but it will make it easier to clean and keep that soap scum at bay.  Hooray!

Window and Mirror Cleaning Spray

Window + Mirror Cleaning Spray Ingredients - Clean Mama

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol
  • 3 drops peppermint essential oil

Mix in spray bottle, spray liberally on surface and wipe clean with a window + mirror cleaning cloth.  If you haven’t tried a single DIY cleaner before, start with this one – it’s absolutely wonderful and its secret is that it dries super fast and streak-free because of the rubbing alcohol.

All-Purpose Cleaning + Disinfecting Spray

Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner - Clean Mama

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vodka (excellent germ-killing properties)
  • 15 drops of your favorite essential oils (lavender + lemon and peppermint + lemon are my favorite combos)
  • 1 1/4 cups water

Combine all ingredients and put in to a glass spray bottle. Spray surface and let sit 10 minutes before wiping. Use your favorite cloth to wipe up the cleaner  Here are my favorites – but I’m a little biased :).  I love using microfiber in the bathroom for cleaning – it cleans effortlessly and is lint-free so you aren’t creating more of a mess than when you started.  (Vinegar is not safe on natural stone – marble, granite, etc.  If you have that in your bathroom(s), you’ll love my marble + granite cleaning spray.)

Try out one or all three of these cleaners in your cleaner arsenal. Not only will you save money, but you can feel good about what you are using in your own home.

If you’re looking for a super fast and efficient way to clean your bathrooms, check out this post!

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Update : Start Here

Natural Cleaning Ingredients - Clean Mama

I’ve been blogging since 2009.  That means that there’s a lot of content, blog posts, and information in this little corner of cyber space.  When a brand new reader hops on the site and is looking for where to go, I am guessing it’s a little confusing and overwhelming.  So…I’ve been making some changes behind the scenes in categories and places for readers to go for more information and help.

As I continue to update the site, I’d LOVE to hear from you in the comments or feel free to email me too (becky@cleanmama dot net) – what would you like to hear about from me?  If there’s a topic you’re struggling with or something you’re wondering about?  Why do you come to Clean Mama?  What would you like more of?  If you’re new here or just curious about what I’ve been working on, check out the START HERE tab on the blog!

Start Here Tab - Clean Mama

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DIY Homemade Cleaners : Nightly Sink Scrub

 

Nightly Sink Scrub - Clean Mama

My favorite DIY recipe is also my favorite nightly ritual – the Nightly Sink Scrub.  It’s a recipe I came up with a few years ago and it pretty much started my DIY cleaners obsession which also turned into my first book, The Organically Clean Home.  The great thing about this recipe is that it’s so simple to whip up and it does such a great job at giving the sink a little scrub, you’ll love it!  Did you know that the sink is pretty much the dirtiest spot in your whole home?  Another reason to give it a nightly scrub!

DIY Nightly Sink Scrub - Clean Mama

Gather your simple ingredients:

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 10 drops clove essential oil
  • castile soap (or dish soap) (this is not added to the baking soda until it’s used – keep reading!)
  • container with a lid or a shaker top (I like a mason jar, this one specifically :)) – I’ve previously used a shaker top but have switched to a lid – either way works!
  • sink safe scrub brush – I use this one and keep it under my sink in a vintage mason jar.  I can toss the head in the dishwasher to sanitize it as needed.

See how easy it is to mix up and use…

  1. put baking soda in your container
  2. add essential oils to the top of the baking soda
  3. stir and combine with a kitchen knife
  4. wet your sink
  5. sprinkle liberally in your sink
  6. add a squirt or two of dish or castile soap
  7. scrub with a sink-safe scrubber
  8. rinse thoroughly

Sink Scrub

I keep this jar and scrubber under the kitchen sink just for cleaning the sink – it’s convenient and easy to grab every night.

Nightly Sink Scrub Under the Kitchen Sink - Clean Mama

There you have it – a simple and effective DIY cleaning recipe to add to your repertoire!

Nightly Sink Scrub and Brush - Clean Mama

 

Nightly Sink Scrub - scrub rinse repeat - Clean Mama

More posts in this series – just click on the image to go to the post:

Marble + Granite Cleaning Spray - Clean Mama

Soft Cleaning Paste - the perfect scrub - Clean Mama

All-Purpose Spray - Clean Just About Anywhere Spary - Clean Mama

The Perfect DIY Glass Cleaner - Clean Mama

DIY Cleaners Ingredient Storage - Clean Mama

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Summer Boredom Busters : No Screen Required

Summer Boredom Busters - No Screen Required - Clean Mama

As the school year winds down I/we get really excited for the summer.  For me, I love the relaxed mornings, trips to the pool, a little vacation time, and less structure.  I also know that we need a couple boredom busters to carry us through the summer because everyone needs a little downtime/ rest time, right?  Best thing about this list?  It doesn’t require a screen, an outlet, or a cord – hooray!  You could re-purpose this for trips, things to do with a sitter, rewards for extra chores, etc.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • grab a basket, a bucket, a bag to gather your boredom busters – look for something that you have and can reuse.
  • collect existing coloring books, workbooks, and other resources that you already have around the house that you know your kids will enjoy during the summer.
  • add some new activities – I like to keep things in a couple categories to captivate the kiddos for an hour or so.  Art, strategy, brain exercises, tactile activities, puzzles….
  • put together the bucket or basket and HIDE IT until summer – it’ll be a great surprise when the ‘I’m bored’ comments start!

small summer boredom busters

These are all items that we have, have used, or have bought for the summer – I know you and your kids or grandkids, or friends’ kids will love them.  This list is best suited for the elementary-aged crowd, but there are definitely some preschool, pre-teen and early teen crossovers here as well.

Summer Boredom Busters - Clean Mama

Kids go crazy for this fun book that contains 50 3-D models of creative and silly monsters. The pages are perforated and tabbed to make construction easier.  Papertoy Monster

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Star Wars meets paper airplanes. What’s not to love?  Star Wars Folded Flyers

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Step by step directions make paper airplane making easy and fun!  Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes

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This book is full of various brain games and puzzles to stump and challenge all minds.  Kids Big Book of Games

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This puzzle book is so fun! Various mazes, word games, visual and logic puzzles, and more will keep kids busy for hours.  Brainiest Insaniest Ultimate Puzzle Book

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Fun facts and challenges encourage kids to use their brains in new ways as they learn and solve puzzles.  National Geographic Kids Brain Games

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These intricate dot to dot puzzles range from 300 to 1400 dots. Intricate and challenging to encourage high level thinking skills.  Extreme Dot to Dot Animals

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Great for a variety of ages and skill levels, this book is full of fun and thought provoking problems that are sure to engage and challenge.  Word Winks

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Intricate color by number artwork that is ideal for building concentration and encouraging relaxation.  One for animal lovers : Color Counts: Animals

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And one that would be great on a road trip : Color Counts: Travel the USA

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The element of surprise in this coloring book makes it extra intriguing.  Mystery Mosaics: Book One

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Who doesn’t love a good maze? The details and twist and turns in this activity book make it extra fun. Extreme Mazes

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These simple but intriguing water toys are a blast from the past. Tomy Pelican Water Game

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Tomy Dolphin Water Game

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Encourage higher level thinking with this ingenious puzzle cube. ThinkFun Adams Cube

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This gravity powered logic maze is wonderfully versatile for various ages and skill levels.  Gravity Maze

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Encourage spatial thinking and logic with this addictive and challenging game. Rush Hour

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Mesmerizing and challenging, this three dimensional maze is fun for any age. Perplexus Epic

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And of course there needs to be one for me – The Inspired Room Coloring Book – it comes out July 1st, just in time for some lazy summer day coloring 🙂

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Have any other favorites to add?  Here are a couple more posts that might help you get through the summer!

Kid-Friendly Cleaning Caddy + DIY Cleaning Spray via Clean Mama

Simple Chore Chart and Reward System Your Kids Will Love via Clean Mama

How to Organize Snacks + Lunches via Clean Mama

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ENDED The Perfect Tool for Your Home : The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle

BundlePreviewThis special promotion has ended.  Thank you to all who purchased!  Sign up in the sidebar for reminders and blog posts so you don’t miss something like this 🙂 I love sharing homekeeping tips and tricks that work in our home and today I have something really special to share with you that I KNOW will encourage you, help you on your own homemaking journey, and ultimately save you a lot of time and money!

Maybe you wonder how you can keep up with it all and still have the energy and intentionality to be the kind of mom, wife and woman you want to be.

I know as well as you do that homemaking is never going to be stress-free (though it sure sounds nice). But what if you had more (and better) tools to help make it stress-less?

That’s why I’m over-the-moon excited to tell you about something very special happening right now called The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle 2016.

It was created to give you a plethora of amazing, high-quality resources to take some of the stress, overwhelm and difficulty out of homemaking and mothering.

I just know that this bundle is going to make you feel like you’re winning more often – those little wins really do add up!

Here’s what you need to know:

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle includes 93 hand-picked eBooks, eCourses, and printables, on topics that matter to moms such as:

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  • organization, routines & creating a cozy home
  • recipes, grocery shopping and meal planning
  • budgeting and saving money
  • motherhood (no matter what age your kids are)
  • cultivating a strong marriage
  • faith (for you & your kids)
  • and even self-care (like exercise, weight loss, life planning and coloring books!)
  • and much more…

This can seem overwhelming, but if you PICK and CHOOSE you’ll find that it’s totally worth it.  A couple favorites?

OrganizationRoutines

I love the Organization and Routines Category – you’ll see my ebook Cleaning Around the Seasons – if you add up just this category, the 14 ebooks, printables and e-courses the price would be hundreds of dollars. Do you see the Cozy Minimalist Mom ecourse from The Nester?  That alone is valued at $29!  Or how about 31 Days to a Clutter-Free Life from Ruth Soukup and Makeover Your Calendar from Crystal Paine?  There’s a lot of content but even if you don’t access every single thing you are winning over and over again.

You have a full year to download the eBooks and printables and take the online eCourses, and everything you’ve downloaded becomes part of your permanent library, so you can go back to it whenever you need it.

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Plus, it comes with these FREE bonus offers from companies who know what homemakers need and want. Some are 100% free; other are yours for the cost of shipping only.  I’ve already ordered a handful of these bonuses and they’re AWESOME – and if you choose one or two it pays for the bundle itself – amazing!

Bonuses

 

What’s the catch? It’s available for just 6 days – from now until Monday, May 2nd, 2016 at 11:59pm EST. That’s why the Ultimate Bundles team can offer so much, because they only have permission to sell it for such a short period of time.

Here’s the Clean Mama BONUS!

If you order through MY LINK, forward your receipt to clean.mama at yahoo.com and I’ll send you a direct link for your FREE Homekeeping Foundations Kit ($20 value!) with fillable fields – the perfect companion to this bundle!

Homekeeping Foundations Kit - main - Clean Mama copy

 

The total value is an astonishing $1000+ (plus over $250 in bonuses), but you get it for just $29.97. That’s 97% off what it would cost to buy everything individually!

If you choose to purchase the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle through my affiliate link, I will receive a portion of the sale, but you will not pay any extra.  This is a wonderful product and an amazing deal that I am promoting because I know you’ll love it!  You can see my full disclosure statement here.

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Free Summer 2016 Calendar

Summer 2016 Free Printable Calendar - Clean Mama copy copy

I’ve had so many requests for another summer schedule (you guys loved 2015) and I’m happy to share a new one for you this summer! We’ve been working on getting the summer schedule figured out at our house and since I know that I’m not only one trying to figure out the kids’ schedules, I thought I’d share a simple way to see everyone’s classes and activities at a glance.  Use this for determining what’s enough and what’s too much or for keeping track for schedules all summer long.  I find that laying it out at a glance is the best way to see what’s going to work and what won’t work this summer.

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I left a little room on the top, bottom, and margin of the sheet if you’d like to make a little key and color code the activities/kids.  I hope this is a helpful and useful tool as you lay out the summer and make the most of the these three great months!

Summer 2016 Calendar full - Clean Mama

Go here to download the free Summer 2016 Calendar printable

It’s a FREE download, once you login and save your info, your account will save all of your printables for you and make it easy to save and keep your printables.  Don’t forget to check out the FREE PRINTABLES page too!

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

The aqua binder and notebook are both available in my Clean Mama Home shop and the pens shown are the new PaperMate Ink Joy gel pens (they’re great!).

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Come Clean – Free Cleaning Calendar for May 2016

It’s almost May and that means that it’s time for May’s FREE cleaning calendar!

Come Clean - Free Cleaning Calendar for May 2016 - Clean Mama

Every year I choose a new theme for the cleaning calendar and blog and this year it’s COME CLEAN.  2016 is the year to get your cleaning routine in order, find some new and workable solutions for organizing, hold yourself accountable, and get your home in a routine that works for you and your family.

Feel free to jump in on the self-paced Spring Cleaning Challenge (the link is at the end of the post) – it fits perfectly with my cleaning calendar and will help you spring clean your home.  Make sure you’re subscribed in the sidebar and following along on social media so you don’t miss a thing!

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.

Come Clean 2016 - Clean Mama

If you’ve been following Clean Mama for even a week, you know that every day 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 MAY 2016 and get ready to see how doing a little bit everyday really is the secret to a clean house.

Here’s an infographic that explains my cleaning routine:

Weekly and daily tasks are detailed at the top, rotating cleaning tasks are on the bottom of the calendar with a little checklist.  How you use the calendar is up to you – put it on a clipboard, in your planner, on your refrigerator.  Use checkmarks, draw lines through tasks or simply keep it up as a reminder.

Come Clean Infographic - Clean Mama

Want to join in on the fun? Grab a FREE cleaning and organizing calendar for May and join me!  Follow along (subscribe in the sidebar) for motivational posts and tips to keep up with the daily and weekly tasks. I also post daily reminders on Instagram and Facebook and have a private Facebook group too called Homekeeping Society (just ask to join and I’ll add you) – it’s great for support and to meet others that are following along with my cleaning routine.

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Go here to grab your FREE calendar for May 2016!

(Please note: You’ll need to put the calendar in your cart and checkout – it’s still FREE – once you create an account it will save any free printables and you can come back and access them anytime. Upon checkout you’ll see the link for the free calendar AND it will also be emailed to you automatically!)

Come Spring Clean Challenge - Clean Mama

Want to spring clean too?  Grab the Come Spring Clean Challenge worksheet here.

Find Out More Homekeeping Society

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

Want to up the cute factor in your cleaning?  Check out Clean Mama HOME!

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Don’t miss this bundle!  

 YesPlease

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Shop Update + Clean Mama Home Earth Day Sale!

Today is Earth Day so let’s celebrate with a little Clean Mama Home SALE, shall we?  Glass and microfiber are two excellent ways to green your cleaning and homekeeping – keep reading to see how you can get both for FREE!  Don’t miss the darling shop additions – an AQUA notebook and binder, a Bathroom Cleaning Kit, and a Mason Jar and Microfiber Cloth Kit – hooray!

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I’ve searched high and low for a simple 3-ring binder and notebook and I’ve found the perfect combination – aren’t they darling?

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Make cleaning the bathrooms a breeze with the BATHROOM CLEANING KIT – it almost makes me want to clean the toilets.

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And because an aqua microfiber cloth rolled up in a mason jar is just so cute – I’ve combined the two in a little combo under $10 just for you – MASON Jar + MICROFIBER KIT.

If you haven’t tried MICROFIBER for cleaning, you need to and here’s why:

Clean Mama Home Microfiber Cloths

  • Microfiber can be washed in the washing machine and re-used at least 300+ times (whoa!).
  • Use them for cleaning and dusting – they can be used wet, dry, damp, and with your favorite cleaners.  I consider microfiber to be a multi-purpose tool.
  • Microfiber is lint-free (ditch paper towels for the best clean).
  • Not all microfiber is created equal – Clean Mama Home microfiber is soft to touch (not scratchy), and not only does it help you clean effortlessly, but it looks good too!

How about GLASS spray bottles – what’s the big deal?

spray bottles with 3 labels - cmh

  • Glass spray bottles can be washed in the dishwasher (not the sprayer, but the bottle).
  • I sell a sturdy glass spray bottle – of course it will break if you drop it just like a drinking glass, but it’s a very thick glass that’s made to stand up to use and just about any liquid you put into it.  For what it’s worth, I haven’t broken one and I’ve dropped them a time or two.
  • If you use essential oils in your cleaners and concoctions, it will leech through plastic but it’s much more stable in glass.  Plastic spray bottles are fine, but you might find some with BPA or other chemicals in them that you’d most likely be wanting to avoid if you’re making you own cleaners.  My spray bottles are lead free and the sprayers are BPA free – yay!
  • Doesn’t glass just look so pretty?  I’m all about making cleaning cute!

Now that you want microfiber and glass spray bottles :), here’s how you can get them for FREE (no coupon necessary).

Earth Day Sale 1- Clean Mama Home

Spend $50 (before shipping) in Clean Mama Home and I’ll include a glass spray bottle ($7.99 value) for free!  Spend $100 (before shipping) I’ll include a GLASS spray bottle AND a UTILITY microfiber cloth (aqua) for free (total for 2 items is a $12.98 value).   If you’re an over-achiever, and you get up to $150 in your cart (before shipping) I’ll throw in a POLISHING microfiber cloth (gray) for free (total for 3 items is a $17.97 value).  Please note that the free items will also ship for FREE 🙂

Simply go to Clean Mama Home, add what you’d like to your cart – make sure you get your cart before shipping to $50 or $100 or $150 to get your freebies!  Happy Earth Day!  Hurry, this sale is a quick one and will end on 4/23/2016 at 10 pm CST (NO EXCEPTIONS).

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