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

The Right Way to Load a Dishwasher

The Right Way to Load a Dishwasher via Clean Mama

In my house we all (except for the toddler) load and unload the dishwasher and it most definitely doesn’t look like this all the time but when it does, it’s so much easier.  So today, I’m going to share a couple tips to loading up a dishwasher that will get your dishes cleaner and make it easier to unload and put away the dishes.  Everyone’s looking for an easier and more efficient way to do things, right?   (If you don’t have a dishwasher, you might want to check out this post.)

First things first, rinse the dishes – yes, the dishwasher is designed to get all the food off the dishes, but a quick rinse ensures that the dishes won’t need to be rewashed.

Stack dishes up on the counter according to type if you aren’t ready to load the dishwasher yet (i.e. you need to unload the dishwasher).  This is a time saver when it comes to loading the dishwasher up because everything is all set to be placed together in the dishwasher.

Rinse Silverware in a Colander While Prepping Dishes for Dishwasher via Clean Mama

Use a small colander to rinse silverware and to keep contained after meal times.  No knives down the disposal and it’s easy to put the silverware in the dishwasher basket, just bring the colander over to the dishwasher and load the silverware up.

The Right Way to  Load a Dishwasher via Clean Mama

Lower Dishwasher Rack detail via LCena Mama

Keep a standard format of glasses on top and plates and bowls on the bottom.  Arranging the same glasses and plates together simplifies the putting away of the dishes – stack or group on the counter above the dishwasher and put them away.

Wash your sponges in the dishwasher nightly to keep them germ-free.  (Did you know that the kitchen sponge is the dirtiest thing/place in most homes?  Yikes!)

Make sure that the arms aren’t blocked by a large pot or pan to ensure that the dishwasher is able to spray and get everything clean.

Get your dishwasher started out right by running the hot water in the sink so the dishwasher starts hot.

The Right Way to Load a Dishwasher details  Clean Mama

This isn’t my first bossy-pants post – check out The Right Way to Vacuum and The Right Way to Do Laundry.

This post is part of the Modern Day Homekeeping series here on the blog - go here to see all the posts in this series.  If you aren’t already receiving posts via email, you’ll want to sign up – something very exciting is coming!

 

 

 

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Keep Food Storage Easy – Create Zones

Keep Food Storage Easy - Create Zones - Clean Mama

If you have a pantry or a food storage cupboard, chances are you are feeling the effects of a little disorganization.  This week’s organizing challenge is the PANTRY and I”m going to challenge you to do just one thing to spiff it up.  (September’s cleaning and organizing calendar is here).  Put your pantry or food storage into zones.  Depending on the size of food storage you have, this could take 10 minutes, or it could take an hour.  But I promise you, the time spent will be worth it.  You’ll be able to quickly locate food and you’ll know precisely what you have on hand and what you need.

Keep Food Storage Easy - Create Different Zones via Clean Mama

Work quickly as with any decluttering project and you’ll be quickly reaping the benefits of organized food storage.  Ready?

  • First things first, empty your pantry or food storage area – my recommendation is to empty the contents on your kitchen table and set it into categories so it’s a snap to put back.
  • Toss any expired food.
  • Group in categories that make sense for how you cook and bake or what you store – here are some ideas to get you started:
    -snacks
    -cooking
    -baking
    -beverages
    -cereals
    -lunch supplies
    -food storage supplies
    -canned goods
    -grains and pastas
    -condiments

Keep Food Storage Easy - Create Zones - breakfast and baking via Clean Mama

  • Once you’ve determined your categories, begin to place the items back in a way that makes sense for your needs – if you bake all the time, baking supplies should be front and center, if your kids pack their own lunches or get their own snacks, put those where they can easily access them.
  • Contain and label.  The pantry is where labels and containers really do their best work – consider putting your food in containers and adding labels.  You can purchase containers or use glass canning jars with a homemade washi tape label.  Think outside the box and inside your budget – come up with a solution that works for you!

Keep Food Storage Easy - Create Zones via Clean Mama

Taking a little time this week to organize your pantry into zones will not only be time well-spent, it will be a huge time saver in the long run!

Are you following me on Instagram?  Last week I went through my cleaning routine ‘live’ via Instagram and this week I’ll be changing it up but going through it again – check it out and tag your friends!  Follow along and you’ll see a transformation in your house!

If you aren’t already receiving posts via email, you’ll want to sign up – something very exciting is coming!

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FREE Live Positive Parenting Webinar : No Whining, No Yelling

Positive Parenting Webinar - no whining, no yelling

With school in full swing, and schedules and routines being tested to the max, I’m so excited to be able to bring you this resource.  I’m teaming up with parenting professional, Amy McCready to bring you a Positive Parenting Webinar.  Ready for some guidance and professional help – for FREE? Read on!

You’ve counted to three more times than you can, well, count. Time out isn’t working anymore. Even rewarding and bribing with candy and toys eventually fell flat. Like most parents, you’re frustrated because it seems like no matter what you try, the same misbehaviors keep cropping up.

Take heart – there are ways to improve your kids’ behavior without nagging, reminding, punishing or yelling!  Clean Mama is excited to partner with Amy McCready, founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and a Today Show contributor, to offer a FREE LIVE training webinar on Thursday, September 18th from 1-2 p.m. Eastern time.

A FREE Positive Parenting Webinar: Get Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding, or Yelling

Join us to learn why kids act out and simple, positive discipline strategies to encourage your kids to listen and do the right thing. If you’re looking to reclaim your calm voice and restore some peace to your home, this webinar is for you!

All you need is your computer – no webcam required. You’ll see and hear Amy on your screen, and you can even ask questions and she’ll make them part of the presentation. Parents rave about this session!

RSVP today and then learn from the comfort of your home. Space in the webinar is limited, so register today!

ABOUT AMY McCREADY

amy-mccready-headshotParenting expert and “recovering yeller” Amy McCready is the Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and the author of If I Have to Tell You One More Time…The Revolutionary Program That Gets Your Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling. Amy is a regular parenting contributor on The TODAY Show and has also appeared on Rachael Ray, CBS This Morning, CNN, Fox & Friends, MSNBC, Steve Harvey and elsewhere. In her most important role, she plays mom to two teenage boys.

CONNECT WITH AMY:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/PositiveParentingSolutions

Twitter: @AmyMcCreadyPPS

Pinterest: AmyMcCreadyPPS

Google+: Amy McCready

Disclosure: I am an affiliate for Amy’s Positive Parenting Solutions courses.  I love them, which is why I’m sharing them with you!

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A Simplified Week : Bathroom Sink

a simplified week

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

Bathroom Sink:

  • Feel like the space under your bathroom sink lacks some serious organization and cleaning? Try one of these tips from Clean Mama to whip that space in to shape in no time!
  • Leave it to Real Simple to have some fantastic ideas on how to simplify your under the bathroom sink storage issue. I especially like the tension rod for storing cleaning bottles and the stackable drawers. Scroll through for all sorts of options.
  • I love how every inch of this bathroom sink storage is utilized with open, stackable containers. No wasted space here! Via The Orderly Home

Something to Eat:

  • There is still so much great produce to be found in gardens, farmers markets and as gifts from generous neighbors and friends. Check out this great guide from Design Mom on how to freeze your fresh grown veggies so that you can enjoy them this winter.

Something to Make:

  • I am itching to pull out the sewing machine to make a couple batches of this sweet (and easy!) bunting. How cute would this be for birthday celebrations or mantel decorating? Via Pretty Modern

Something For the Kids:

  • Beautiful fall colors inspire all sorts of creativity and lend themselves to some fun art projects. This fall leaf watercolor resist art project is perfect for both little ones with assistance and older kids independently. Via Fun at Home with Kids

Simplify:

  • Ever found yourself perplexed by how to clean your waffle iron, panini press or indoor grill when you can’t wash them in the sink? This method from The Mama’s Girls gets them clean every time!

In Print:

  • Did you see the September issue of Real Simple Magazine?  If you follow me on Instagram you saw a glimpse of an article on how to quickly clean a bathroom that I contributed to with two other cleaning experts – so fun and quite an honor for this Real Simple fan!

Clean Mama in Real Simple Magazine

Don’t miss a post!  There are lots of new and exciting things coming – follow Clean Mama by subscribing in the sidebar (put your email address in where it says ‘get updates’).

 

 

 

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8 Simple and Easy Fall Favorites

8 Simple and Easy Fall Favorites via Clean Mama

Fall is my favorite season – I love adding little touches to the home inside and out and doing fall-ish activities with the kids.  This round-up is my inspiration for this fall and a glimpse into our ‘to do this season list’.  Each idea is simple, easy and inexpensive.  What will you add to your fall list?

  1. I love putting printables in a frame for easy, affordable and versatile art for the season. The gold lettering on this one from Nest of Posies sets it apart and is just delightful.
  2. This combination of kale, mums, gourds and a pumpkin is simple and classic. I love how it’s different than the typical plant a mum in the pot fall decoration. Via Craftberry Bush
  3. Add a touch of fall flavor to your coffee by making your own coffee syrups.  Wouldn’t the Maple Vanilla or Warm Spice be the perfect addition on a cool morning? Via Nellie Bellie
  4. Try your hand at making your own Pumpkin Spice Latte. Real ingredients and as good as the $5 at your favorite coffee shop. Via The Kitchn
  5. No more smooshy pumpkins when you use a faux pumpkin for a planter this fall. Super quick, super cute! Via I Heart Naptime
  6. Love Pottery Barn?  This Pottery Barn inspired piece is simple and classy with minimal time necessary. Via Live Laugh Rowe
  7. Add some color and fall inspired beauty to your home with one of these garlands draped around a doorframe, window or mantle.  Best of all?  They are kid-friendly!  Via The Artful Parent
  8. Make your entire home smell like fall with this simmering scent blend.  Simply put the ingredients on the stove and simmer away for instant fall!  Via First Home Love Life

If you like these Fall favorites, you’ll love my seasons : fall pinboard!

 

 

 

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Shop Update : Half Size (A5) Printables

Shop Update - Streamlined and Everyday Lines Include Standard and Half Size Printables via Clean Mama

Big news!  I’ve added half letter size (A5) printables to The Streamlined Life Line and The Everyday Line.  What does this mean?  If you order anything from these lines you will get both sizes included (for the same original price).  No more having to resize, simply print out your printables and start using them.  This is especially great if you want the versatility of using a smaller planner and a larger homekeeping notebook – you don’t have to choose which one to purchase – you get both sizes included!

In case you’re curious, I still prefer the larger standard size, because it offers more room for handwriting but the smaller size is great if you want to incorporate some pages into your planner or create a half size planner.  The smaller pages are centered on the page and you’ll see that there is a little more room above and below the text than in the standard size – perfect for notes and decorations.  They print perfectly back to back and can easily be hole-punched with plenty of room to spare.  Yay!

Half Size Printables via Clean Mama

If you have purchased anything from either of these lines recently and want the smaller A5 half letter size, email me at clean dot mama at yahoo dot com with your receipt (looking up your order takes time, so please be considerate and forward me your receipt) and I will happily send the additional printables for free.  Hooray for options!  Happy printable-ing!  Questions about my printables?  Check out my FAQ page - I have lots of helpful tips, favorite products, and links to posts about printables.

 

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Save Time : Put Together a Mini Cleaning Caddy for the Bathroom + Recipe for DIY Peppermint Glass + Mirror Cleaner

Put together a Mini Bathroom Cleaning Caddy (plus Recipe for DIY Peppermint Glass + Mirror Cleaner) via Clean Mama

Yesterday I shared 4 tips to organize under the bathroom sink – today I’m going to show you a couple essentials that I keep in the cleaning caddy under the bathroom sink. I find it really helpful to keep a mini cleaning caddy in our bathrooms, I find that having a couple quick cleaning supplies at the ready for any little mess or just routine cleaning is a real time saver.  If I’m supervising bath or shower time I take a couple minutes to spray down counters and toilets to take advantage of a couple minutes of down time.  (Please consider the ages of your children if using this advice – never leave children unattended in a bath or shower.)

Put together a Mini Bathroom Cleaning Caddy via Clean Mama

Think about what supplies you use most or every time you clean the bathroom and put them together in a small caddy or container.  (I keep toilet cleaning supplies and shower cleaning supplies in separate containers.)  I always need/use a disinfecting cleaner, a glass and mirror cleaner, a scrub, microfiber cloths, and a magic eraser.

Supplies for a Bathroom Cleaning Caddy via Clean Mama

What’s in my Mini Bathroom Cleaning Caddy?

Not into making your own cleaning products?  Put your favorite disinfecting, glass cleaner, and scrub in your mini cleaning caddy for the same results.  Go here to see some of my favorite cleaning products.

How about a recipe for the Peppermint Glass and Mirror Cleaner?  With just a couple safe ingredients, you can have a quick drying, easy cleaning glass and mirror solution that smells great and cleans even better!

DIY Peppermint Glass and Mirror Cleaner via Clean Mama

Gather these ingredients, pour in your spray bottle, give it a little shake, and start wiping those mirrors and windows!

Peppermint Glass + Mirror Cleaner

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol
  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil

You can find this and 149 more DIY cleaning recipes in my book, The Organically Clean Home!

What do you do to make your bathroom cleaning a little easier?

Are you following me on Instagram?  This week I’m doing my cleaning routine ‘live’ via Instagram – check it out and tag your friends!

 

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4 Tips to Organize Under the Bathroom Sink

4 Tips to Organize Under the Bathroom Sink

This week’s organizing (and cleaning) task is the BATHROOM SINK.  (September’s cleaning and organizing calendar is here).  Take a couple minutes this week to organize your under the bathroom sink this week – if you have more than one bathroom, choose the most-used or most desperate for a little organization.  I have 4 quick tips to organize under the bathroom sink and keep it that way!

4 Tips to Organize Under the Bathroom Sink via Clean Mama

CLEAN: Start by emptying out the space and wiping it clean.  Toss or donate anything that isn’t used regularly.

CONTAIN: Anything that’s left put it in a container.  If you have lots of items stored under your sink, separate and group them together and place them in a container.  I like using open plastic storage containers for easy access to products.  Keeping items contained also ensures that any leaky products won’t ruin your cabinets.

CLEANING CADDY: For me, the most important item under the bathroom sink is a mini cleaning caddy.  Keeping your most-used cleaning sprays and tools at the ready make it easier to spot clean a bathroom or completely clean it while little ones are doing baths or just when you happen to have a couple minutes.  (Go to this post to see what’s in my mini cleaning caddy AND grab a great DIY cleaning recipe.)

GARBAGE LINERS: Just a helpful hint – keep a small roll of garbage can liners (or 4 or 5 extras) in the bottom of your garbage can.  This is not only a time saver, but a mess saver.  Keeping the garbage cans lined keeps the mess in the bag – no more gum stuck to the bottom and sides of garbage cans.  (Or maybe that only happens at my house?)  It’s also helpful when colds and flu are going around to keep tissues a little easier to clean up.

Here are a couple other bathroom cleaning and organizing posts you might be interested in:

 

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8 Steps to Cleaning Your House in Under an Hour

8 Steps to Cleaning Your House In Under an Hour

Today I have a guest post that’s a fun take on cleaning your whole house in under an hour.  Which of these tactics do you include in a frenzied speed cleaning?  Any others you’d add?

Written by Adriana Velez on CafeMom’s blog, The Stir.

If we don’t have time to do a thorough top-to-bottom job, maybe we can carve out an hour to dig ourselves out of the worst of it.  So how about this: 8 simple steps for a quick, good-enough cleaning.

Those of you with high standards may want to look the other way.

1. CLEAR OFF ALL SURFACES:  Scan the room and scoop up any objects you see on any chairs or sofas. Scan the room again and scoop up the stuff on the floor. Then clear off anything you see on your counters or tables. Put everything in a basket or grocery bag and schedule a time to find a place for it all, later, after your guests leave. Actually put it on the calendar.

2. STACK BOOKS AND MAGAZINES:  If you have a lot of books and magazines with no place to go, arrange them all in a tall stack against the wall. Cool design-y effect that looks deliberate!

3. CONCEAL THE STAINS:  Strategically drape throws over any stains on your sofas or chairs. If your dishwasher and your sink are both full, keep the dishes in your sink in a large stockpot until after your guests leave.

4. AIR OUT THE ROOMS: Open all the windows in your home to get cross breezes blowing through everything. If it’s warm enough, leave a few open. Fresh smells can trick people into thinking they’re in a clean environment.

5. SPRUCE DOORS, FRAMES, AND KNOBS:  Grab a Magic Eraser and scan all your doors. Give any obvious hand prints a quick swipe.

6. BATHROOM BAMBOOZLE:  Take your stained, hair-covered bath mat and toss it into the bathtub. Take all the toiletries out on counters and the sink and put them in a clean bowl. Put that in the tub as well. Close the shower curtains. Check the toilet just to make sure there’s nothing horrific you need to take care of.

7. CLOSET THE DOORS TO YOUR KIDS’ ROOMS: The other kids who visit them probably won’t tell the grown-ups what a mess they are.

8. ALTER YOUR GUESTS PERCEPTION:  Still worried your home isn’t clean enough? Greet your guests at the door with a glass of wine. Have one yourself. And remember: People who truly love you aren’t scrutinizing your home for cleanliness — they’re there to enjoy your company.

What are your favorite quick-cleaning tricks?

More from The Stir:

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A Simplified Week : Refrigerator

a simplified week

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

Refrigerator:

  • Clean your refrigerator lickety split with a little elbow grease and a super simple cleaning solution from Clean Mama.
  • Finding the right system for organizing your fridge makes a world of difference.  This post from Four Generations One Roof has all sorts of sources and ideas for organizing everything from juice boxes to snacks.
  • It’s one thing to clean your fridge and a whole other thing to keep it that way.  Check out these tips from 36th Avenue on how to keep it clean and organized after all your hard work.

Something to Eat:

  • Quick breads are perfect for making, freezing and sharing not to mention a quick breakfast, lunch or snack.  This roundup from Lil Luna has 50 different recipes and links to pick your own family favorites.

Something to Make:

  • I love the look of customized rustic wooden signs for decorating.  This tutorial gives detailed directions for making your own from the DIY Network.  I’m already thinking about making my own Christmas sign for the front porch after seeing how cute these turn out.

Something For the Kids:

  • Looking for a unique and artistic way to actually display all the beautiful leaves your kiddos collect?  This leaf mandala is durable and easy to reposition, not to mention attractive. Via Artful Parent

Simplify:

  • Getting sick is never convenient or fun. Plan for the inevitable by putting together a sick kit rather than running to your closest 24 hour store for the necessities. Via Clean Mama

Around the Web:

  • I’m over at A Bowl Full of Lemons this week with some tips for getting the most out of your vacuum cleaner.  Go here to see how to use those attachments!

 

 

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Clean Mama’s Cleaning Routine

Clean Mama's Cleaning Routine - everyday a little something

It’s obvious that I love a good cleaning routine.  Honestly the reason I love a good cleaning routine is because I love a clean and organized house.  With minutes a day and a plan, homekeeping can be enjoyable, simple, and easy to fit into your busy life and schedule.  This post is intended to sum up my cleaning routine and point you in the direction of a little (or a lot) of help to get you started.   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.  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’!Daily Cleaning Tasks

Every single day I accomplish a handful of daily tasks – chances are you do too.  These daily tasks are little things that get done on a daily basis and take minutes but staying on top of them keeps the clutter and visual chaos away.  On my daily list are the following tasks:

daily cleaning tasks - clean mama

Daily tasks for your household may vary, but these are the main tasks that get checked off my list every.single.day.  These simple tasks have a couple hidden tasks involved too – checking floors sometimes means a quick sweep under the kitchen table, other days it may include getting out the vacuum cleaner.  Clutter refers to taking care of any clutter or the act of decluttering.  This includes things like making beds, opening and dealing with mail, sorting out homework, etc.  Laundry gets done every day.  I am easily distracted and hate laundry – so I do at least a load every day from start to finish.  It’s a great system – try it!  Wipe counters is clearing counters, loading/unloading the dishwasher, checking bathroom counters, etc.  Want more information?  You can read more specifically about my daily cleaning routine here.

Weekly Cleaning Tasks

Every day of the week I tackle a larger cleaning task.  Monday is bathrooms day, Tuesday is dusting day, etc.  Each task builds on the next and the system itself flows nicely through the week.  Friday is catch all day – a day of grace to catch up on anything that didn’t get accomplished during the week or to work on paperwork, bills, etc.  On my Facebook page, I also post reminders of these cleaning tasks each day – if you want my reminders to pop up in your feed follow me hereGo here to get more details on what’s involved in my weekly cleaning tasks and go here to see my favorite products for each cleaning task.

CM | day icons

 

Rotating Cleaning Tasks

I also assign a handful of rotating cleaning tasks to each month – these tasks I complete on Fridays OR as I’m cleaning during the week.  For instance if I’m dusting (on a Tuesday) I will dust the light fixtures for the month at that same time.  (You can see the rotating cleaning tasks for each month on the free monthly calendars referenced below or in any cleaning product in my shop.)  If you are just starting with a cleaning routine, you can easily leave the rotating cleaning tasks out and just do the daily and weekly tasks for a month or two until you want to add in the rotating tasks.

Here’s a FREE printable daily and weekly checklist (The Clean House Cleaning Routine) you might like too – it’s from my Modern Day Homekeeping series.

The Clean House Cleaning Routine Instructions via Clean Mama

 

Every month I have a FREE cleaning and organizing calendar here on the blog – you can go here to get September’s calendar (and you’ll also see a link to the product in the first picture) and hop over to the sidebar to sign up for my posts in your inbox so you never miss a free calendar!

 

How to Make a Cleaning Planner via Clean Mama

If you want a very detailed and customizable cleaning plan – check out my post on how to make a cleaning planner and check out the Everyday Cleaning Planner in my shop!

 

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FREE DIY Cleaning Recipe List

Organize Your Cleaning FREE Printable - DIY Cleaning Recipe List via Clean Mama

I love making my own cleaning concoctions – I know exactly what is going on the counters, toilets, and other surfaces  in our home.  Yesterday I shared 8 great DIY Kitchen Cleaner Recipes and today I thought it would be fun to share a free printable to jot down some favorite recipes to try or just to keep as a list.  Use it in your cleaning planner or your homekeeping planner – the next time you’re trying to remember how much vinegar and water goes in your floor cleaner, take a peek at the list and you’ll be ready to mix up your concoction!

FREE Printable - Favorite Cleaning Recipes via Clean Mama

 FREE Favorite Cleaning Recipe Printable via Clean Mama

Grab the FREE  DIY Cleaning Recipe List here in my shop or here on Googledocs.

This FREE printable coordinates perfectly with my brand new Everyday Cleaning Planner in my shop. It’s a great addition to the kit or use it by itself – it works perfectly in a cleaning planner – go to this post to see how I made mine.  You can see the entire Everyday Line here in my shop, and read more about the whole Everyday Line here on the blog.

Everyday Cleaning Planner - Clean Mama Printables

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8 DIY Kitchen Cleaner Recipes (with Ingredients You Can Pronounce)

8 DIY Kitchen Cleaner Recipes (with Ingredients You Can Pronounce) via Clean Mama

It’s no secret that I love making and using DIY natural cleaners (heck, I wrote a book about them!) so today I thought it would be fun to round up some natural kitchen cleaners that you”ll love!  These recipes cover the kitchen sink, cutting boards, hardwood floors, and beyond – get ready to scrub up your kitchen with homemade cleaners!

  1. Lemon & Clove Nightly Sink Scrub – say hello to a super shiny sink with this natural and gentle sink scrubber that works wonderfully to clean and remove surface stains. Via Clean Mama
  2. Liquid Dish Soap – ever looked at the back of your dish soap at the unpronounceable ingredients? Not only does this liquid dish soap work fantastically, it’s safe and non-toxic. Can’t beat that! Via Mommypotamus
  3. Wood Butter – bring new life to your wooden cutting boards, bowl, utensils and rolling pins with this nourishing wood butter. Just two ingredients! Via Creative Culinary
  4. Lemon Scented Glass Cleaner – get rid of those sticky fingerprint and nose prints on oven doors, patio windows and glass surfaces with this lemon powered glass cleaner. Via Ask Anna
  5. Homemade Cleaner Trio – this set of three homemade cleaners are perfect for gift giving (and keeping!) and scented with a refreshing duo of mandarin orange and lime. Includes labels too! Via Hostess with the Mostess
  6. Hardwood Floor Cleaner – clean your hardwood floors effectively with this natural and gently scented floor cleaner. Economical and no pickle smell! Via Clean Mama
  7. Granite Cleaner -  clean your granite countertops safely, easily, and thoroughly with this natural granite cleaner.  Works like a charm!  Via Clean Mama
  8. Homemade Goo Gone – remove pesky labels and sticky residue on bottles and containers with this goo gone. Not only does it work well, it’s natural and safe! Via Simple is Pretty

Go here for a FREE DIY Cleaning Recipe List printable!

If you like these DIY cleaning recipes, you’ll love my DIY Cleaners pinboard!

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How to Clean Your Refrigerator

How to Clean Your Refrigerator via Clean Mama

This week’s organizing (and cleaning) task is the REFRIGERATOR.  (September’s cleaning and organizing calendar is here).  Keeping your refrigerator clean and organized isn’t easy with all the use it receives every day.  Sticky shelves, crumbs, and food residue can be easily wiped up and taken care of in minutes, making cleaning your refrigerator a simple and easy 15-30 minute task.

Weekly Maintenance Tip:

I find that the only way to keep the refrigerator organized and clean is with a little maintenance and to group like items together.  Wipe down any sticky shelves before you do your grocery shopping. Reorganize items so that when you come home from shopping you can quickly and easily fit your groceries.  It only takes a couple minutes and it will keep your refrigerator neat and tidy.

My Favorite Refrigerator Cleaning Tools:

My favorite refrigerator cleaning tools?  Warm water, dish soap, baking soda, and a microfiber cloth.  The warm water helps the soap bubble up and is perfect for dissolving any stickiness and picking up crumbs.  The baking soda helps naturally deodorizes any residual stinky corners or drawers.  The microfiber cloth can be rung almost dry making the wiping that much easier.  I don’t find a need to rinse this solution because the microfiber wipes the shelves clean and there isn’t any residue left behind.

Ingredients to Clean Refrigerator via Clean Mama

Where to Start:

  • Mix up 1 teaspoon of dish soap (or my favorite, Dr. Bronner’s Citrus Orange castile soap -  (here’s a free recipe printable on castile soap), 1 teaspoon baking soda, and  about 4-6 cups of warm water.
  • Start by emptying your refrigerator.  (Work quickly so your food stays cold.)
  • Wipe down the shelves with a well rung out microfiber cloth or dish cloth.  Repeat until all shelves and drawers have been wiped clean.  Dry if necessary.

That’s it!  The recipe for a clean refrigerator is so easy – you’ll love how clean and fresh it makes your refrigerator.  (You can also use this same method to clean your freezer!)

You might also be interested in these posts on the germiest places in your kitchen and how to clean them: part 1 and part 2

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A Simplified Week : Homework Station

a simplified week

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

Homework Station:

  • Streamline the homework routine and set everyone up for success with these tips on creating a homework station from Clean Mama
  • I love this little homework station nook- it fosters all sorts of creativity and keeps everything at kiddo’s fingertips. The supply caddy is perfect for housing all the supplies kids could possible need. Via Mom 4 Real
  • If you are short on storage space or are looking for something more portable, you need to peek at this tutorial on creating a homework crate. Paint it to match your space, stock it with supplies and move it from room to room with ease. Via Uncommon Designs Online

Something to Eat:

  • This chicken and nectarine salad is simple enough in it’s ingredients- nectarines, blueberries, grilled chicken, almonds, baby spinach and homemade poppyseed dressing. The combo of these rather unexpected flavors is so good and so perfect for a busy night where you need to throw together dinner in a hurry. Via Pinch of Yum

Something to Make:

  • Mason jars are all the rage right now and I am happy to be on that bandwagon.  This simple 5 minute project is perfect for adding a touch of style to your bathroom while fulfilling a need as well. Put together this Mason Jar Toothbrush Holder with your favorite jar color.  Via The Country Chic Cottage

Something to For the Kids:

  • With the weather cooling down and school starting up, my mind is moving on towards all the fun fall decorations and activities there are out there for kids.  I love these paper lantern pumpkins- wouldn’t they be cute as a garland decoration for the kids to make this fall? Via Your Homebased Mom

Simplify:

  • Company coming unexpectedly and your home is a disaster zone?  Try some of these Speed Cleaning Tricks from Buzzfeed for some ideas to get clean in a hurry.

Just in time for the weekend…a little shop coupon code – use the code 20LABORDAY for 20% off your entire order!  Sale ends 9/1//14 at midnight CST!

Labor Day Coupon Code

 

 

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