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How to Choose a Color Scheme for Your Home

How to Choose a Color Scheme for your Home

 

I LOVE choosing paint colors – the fan decks, the paint store, the paint swatches.  It can be a fun process but it can also be frustrating as well.  I’ll be doing a house tour on the blog this year and I thought that a paint tour would be a fun way to kick it off.  So for those that have asked for specific paint colors in the rooms of my house, I’m excited to share that and some helpful tips for you as well.

All the paint colors I used in our home are from Benjamin Moore – I use the VOC free paints and I only use flat paint throughout the house.  Benjamin Moore and Pottery Barn have nothing to do with this post other than I love their products.

I was a part-time employee at my local Pottery Barn for almost 6 years when I was teaching – I loved it and I especially loved when the new paint decks came out.  Remember those?  The color choices were great but the most valuable part for me was that they had weeded through the colors and picked the best ones.  This is really helpful if you are showing color choices to your spouse 😉

When we moved into our home 7 years ago, I had all the colors picked out before me moved in BUT guess what?  The colors that I had picked looked horrible in our new home.  They clashed with the carpet, were too beige, and just didn’t work.  The carpet that our home came with wasn’t our first choice, but considering it was practically brand new and we had other more important things to pay for, we were stuck with it.  The paint we chose made the carpet blend in and look so much better.

I pulled out the Pottery Barn paint decks and started searching for neutrals that would be gray and beige – greige if you will and came across the lovely Revere Pewter.

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We used this THROUGHOUT our home – it’s perfectly cool and warm and has plenty of contrast against white woodwork.  Here’s where you’ll see Revere Pewter:

  • entryway/foyer
  • living room
  • dining room
  • family room
  • kitchen
  • hallways
  • mud room
  • laundry room

The living room and dining room have a chair rail – we painted Galveston Gray (2 shades darker than Revere Pewter) on the lower portion.

galveston gray

The powder room and my office round out the first floor – they are similar but different colors.

buxton blue

Office – Buxton Blue

kentucky haze

Powder Room – Kentucky Haze

Here’s a look at the 4 colors all together:

First Floor Paint Colors - Clean Mama

The upstairs has been a process and all of the bedrooms have been re-painted at least once as we had a baby in that time, changed rooms, and changed a craft room into a tv room (that’s a story in and of itself).

The hallway and laundry room are Revere Pewter.

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The tv room is Stonington Gray (which is gorgeous!).

stonington gray

Our daughter’s room is Water Drops – of course I love this one!

water drops

Our oldest son’s room is Alaskan Husky – a great soft gray.

alaskan husky

The boys have a shared Jack and Jill bathroom – it’s Mediterranean Sky.

mediterranean sky

The littlest one’s room is this lovely true blue – Athenian Blue.

athenian blue

We painted the Master Bedroom and Bathroom Wedgewood Gray – it’s soft blue green that can appear gray.

wedgewood gray

Here’s a look at all the 2nd floor colors together:

Second Floor Color Scheme - Clean Mama

Tips for choosing a whole house color scheme:

  1. Use pre-picked colors to get started (like the Pottery Barn colors or a brochure from your local paint store).
  2. Go slow – don’t choose everything all at once – it might take years to get to your perfect color scheme and that’s okay!
  3. Start with a NEUTRAL and build on that.
  4. Make sure the paint coordinates/compliments the flooring.
  5. Choose colors based on accessories or items that are in the room.
  6. Have fun!

A Whole House Color Scheme - Clean Mama

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Quick Clean : 5 Minute Fixes – FREE Printable

Do you ever feel so overwhelmed by how much you have to do that you just don’t do anything?  I’m always amazed by how little time a dreaded task actually takes if I just do it.  This free printable is inspired by the procrastinator in me, I hope you find it helpful too!  Next time you’re dreading a task, time yourself, I bet you can get it done in a fraction of the time you’re thinking it will take.

5 Minute Fixes - 50+ Simple Tasks that take 5 Minutes or Less - Clean Mama

This list of 5 minute fixes is just the thing to give you ideas of quick things that you CAN accomplish in minutes.  I organized it by room/area so you can work through a room or just choose one task – use it any way that works for you!  I even included a place for you to jot down your own 5 minute fixes.  Think of those little nagging to dos, add them to the list and the next time you have a couple minutes, get them done.

Print the 5 Minute Fixes list out, put it in your homekeeping binder, tape it on the ‘fridge, put it in your planner….use it to when you have a couple spare minutes to do a little cleaning and tidying up.  I bet you’ll be surprised at how much you can get done in under 5 minutes!

How can you use this 5 Minute Fixes list?

  • do one task every day until you’ve made it through the list
  • when you feel like you need to accomplish something, choose a task
  • bored?  choose a task :)

5 Minute Fixes - Simple Tasks to Do in 5 Minutes or Less - Clean Mama

Go here to download your FREE printable of 5 Minute Fixes!

 

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How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances - Clean Mama

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably have seen pictures of my refrigerator in my cleaning routine pictures.  Every time I post one of them, I am asked how I get my stainless steel to look so shiny.  How do I keep those pretty appliances looking new and not smudgy and full of fingerprints? If your house is anything like mine, they are covered in the latter more than they have that sleek showroom look.  I’ve tested and tried just about every brand on the market and have come to the conclusion that not all stainless steel cleaners are created equal AND not every brand works on every stainless steel appliance. Different appliance brands use different grades of stainless steel and they react differently with various cleaners. I can attest to this in my home because different products work on each stainless appliance.  This is why I set out to find something that worked on all of my appliances.

Wipe in the Direction of the Grain - Clean Mama

What’s the best way to clean stainless steel appliances?

The first thing you need is a SOFT cloth to apply your preferred cleaner to the appliance.  My preference is a microfiber cloth – most specifically, a Clean Mama HOME Polishing Cloth. Of course I’m biased, but I researched and searched for the PERFECT microfiber cloths and then had them made for my line.  These cloths WORK!

gray polishing microfiber - cmh

Through my research, testing, and trial and error, here are my top 3 favorite ways to clean stainless steel appliances – every single method uses a microfiber cloth for the application.

My Top 3 Methods for Cleaning and Polishing Stainless Steel:

Favorite Products to Clean Stainless Steel - Clean Mama copy

Choose one method – these are my favorites:

water (applied to the cloth) + microfiber polishing cloth

white vinegar (applied to the cloth) + microfiber polishing cloth

Williams-Sonoma Stainless Steel Cleaner (sprayed on stainless steel) + microfiber polishing cloth

Other methods to try:

club soda – spray on stainless and wipe in the direction of the grain

olive or baby oil – apply to a dry cloth and buff in the direction of the grain

window cleaner – some people swear by this technique – I suggest using a non-ammonia window cleaner

Application Process:

Apply water or cleaner to a microfiber cloth and clean quickly.  Quickly buff away any residue. Don’t let the cleaner dry on the stainless before buffing it in to the surface.  I recommend using a microfiber cloth that is designed to be used on stainless steel.

When applying cleaner you need to wipe your cloth in the DIRECTION OF THE GRAIN of the stainless steel.  This is because dirt can get trapped in the grain of the stainless steel.  This method not only cleans better, but your stainless steel will appear much cleaner this way.  I keep a little stack of microfiber cloths in a kitchen drawer with my bar mop cloths so I can easily wipe appliances as necessary.

Bar Mop Cloths in Drawer -Clean Mama

Do you have stainless steel appliances?  Any stainless steel appliance tips to share?

Have you visited my shop Clean Mama HOME?  Pictured below are my candles – available in two amazing scents – CLEAN HOME and FRESH LAUNDRY.

clean home candle burning - cmh

 

 

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Microfiber is back in stock!

Just popping in to tell you that the amazing microfiber cleaning cloths are BACK IN STOCK!  They sold out quickly the last time and while I am confident that I’ll have enough for longer than a week this go around, head on over to the shop to grab them.

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If you’re unsure of what you can clean with microfiber, let me give you a little back story on it and how/why I use microfiber cleaning cloths to clean just about anything and everything.

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Microfiber is a blend of polyester and polyamide fibers – if you’ve ever thought that microfiber feels scratchy or funny on your hands while you use it, that most likely had to do with the ratio of polyester and polyamide.  I researched and researched microfiber and different companies that manufacture microfiber to find the BEST quality microfiber possible.  The Clean Mama Home microfiber cleaning cloths not only LOOK beautiful in your cleaning caddy, they are soft (NOT scratchy), absorbent, and larger than most microfiber cloths so you can clean more space in a shorter amount of time.

Clean Mama Home Microfiber Cloths

I put together a 4 pack of microfiber cloths with my bathroom speed cleaning routine in mind – I use 3 utility cloths in each bathroom and one polishing cloth for each bathroom.  I use the cloths to clean my entire home – here are just a couple ways I use them:

UTILITY CLOTHS – I have a basket of these in my cleaning closet – they can clean just about anything!

aqua utility microfiber - cmh

  • Clean Mama aqua (the perfect shade!)
  • super soft and plush – use with cleaner, dry, or dampen with water
  • bathrooms – clean sinks, tubs, and toilets
  • kitchens – clean counters and sinks
  • dusting – use dry, damp, or with your favorite dusting spray – they pick up dust and hold onto it – shake outside and keep using :)
  • machine washable – launder microfiber separately on warm/hot and DO NOT use fabric softener (it’ll coat the fibers and won’t be as absorbent).  Tumble dry on low.  Microfiber cleaning cloths can be washed at least 300 times before losing its effectiveness – that’s a lot of cleaning!

POLISHING CLOTHS – I keep a stash of these in my cleaning closet AND in the kitchen with my kitchen towels for cleaning stainless steel appliances.

gray polishing microfiber - cmh

  • trimmed in Clean Mama aqua, this soft gray polishing cloth is lint free and leaves a streak free shine on all smooth surfaces.
  • perfect for windows and mirrors – spray your favorite glass spray on the cloth or on your surface and wipe for a streak-free shine
  • stainless steel appliances – use with water, white vinegar, OR your favorite stainless steel cleaner – this soft cloth will polish your stainless steel to a beautiful shine.
  • electronics – the soft, absorbent cloth will wipe the fingerprints right off your electronics
  • machine washable – launder microfiber separately on warm/hot and DO NOT use fabric softener (it’ll coat the fibers and won’t be as absorbent).  Tumble dry on low.  Microfiber cleaning cloths can be washed at least 300 times before losing its effectiveness – that’s a lot of cleaning!

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Go here to check out the shop and stock up!

 

 

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Come Clean – Wrap Up

This month we’ve been doing the Come Clean Challenge to jump start the 2016 cleaning calendar theme – Come Clean in 2016.  Each week this month we’ve been doing simple, daily tasks and incorporating them into monthly cleaning routine.  I hope that you’re finding that your house is cleaner and more organized than it was at the beginning of the challenge.

Come Clean Challenge Wrap-Up

Now that the Come Clean Challenge is over, how can you keep up with your homekeeping in the midst of life?  Start by grabbing the FREE February cleaning calendar here.

February 2016 Free Cleaning Calendar - Clean Mama

Make sure you’re getting the support and encouragement you need to keep on cleaning!  Follow along on Instagram, Facebook, and join my private Facebook group – Homekeeping Society – you’ll love the support and other people completing tasks right also side each other.  My monthly subscription – HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY is a great way to keep up with the dailies – go here to check it out.

Then, every day, start with the daily tasks and make sure those get completed – wipe counters, check floors, one load of laundry, clutter THEN when those are completed or started, complete the weekly tasks – Monday is bathrooms day (follow my speed clean plan to get started), Tuesday is dusting day, etc.  I work QUICKLY and get the task finished up in about 15 minutes. Think of ways to maximize your time and effort by adding another task or two to what you’re already working on.

Today is the day for a FINAL SWEEP THROUGH HOME – QUICK CLEAN – Get ready for the week ahead by making sure surfaces remain cleaned off and everything is tidied up.  Relax and enjoy the new habits you’ve formed and the tidy home you’ve achieved this month!

Check out this post with my 3 favorite speed cleaning posts – SPEED CLEANING TO THE RESCUE.

Come Clean Challenge - Clean Mama

New here?  You can still get your FREE Come Clean Challenge worksheet here and complete the challenge anytime!

Catch up on the posts here:

Come Clean Challenge – Free Printable 
Come Clean Challenge Quick Start
Week 1 – Kitchen
Week 2 – Living Spaces
Week 3 – Bathrooms
Week 4 – Bedrooms
Come Clean – Wrap Up

The excitement over Clean Mama HOME has blown me away!  Microfiber is BACK IN STOCK!

Clean Mama Home Microfiber Cloths

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Organic + Healthy Products Delivered (You’ll Save Money Too!)

Today I’m sharing something that isn’t necessarily directly cleaning and organizing related, but it’s most definitely meal planning related, so if you eat and want to spend less money on food, keep reading.

Thrive Market didn’t contact me, and they probably don’t know who I am.  My sister is the one that gets all the credit for sharing Thrive Market with me.  I was skeptical at first, but she kept telling me to check it out (you know how sisters are) so I finally took a peek and realized that it’s a great concept and and an even better company.  Even if you’re a little skeptical, I urge you to read on.

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For me to jump into something like this it has to be BOTH cost effective and convenient.  I spent a couple minutes and searched for items that I already purchase and then did some cost comparison at stores I normally purchase the products at (Target, Fresh Market, Meijer, Amazon).  Once I saw that Thrive Market was the same price on some products but lower on most products AND I knew I had a coupon code to make it even cheaper, I was sold.  So I filled up my cart, added some cleaning products, did a little meal planning and pantry stocking for the month and was done in about 15 minutes!  Cost effective, convenient, and a time saver – perfect!

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What’s the best way to describe Thrive Market?  Think Costco (membership + LOW prices) meets Whole Foods (natural and organic food) meets Amazon Prime (fast, free delivery ($49+) and you’re getting close to what Thrive Market is all about.  Thrive Market has an annual membership of $59.95 – less than $5/month (try it free for 30 days), but I promise you the membership is probably going to be paid for with what you save on your first purchase.  When I first started looking and signed up with just my email address, I had a 15% off coupon sent to me but as I was browsing, they gave me a 25% off coupon.  Just saying, hang out a little bit and I bet you’ll get one too!

Here’s what the savings in my cart looked like:

Order - clean mama

You can shop by what your food interest is – we don’t have any dietary restrictions, but this would be so helpful for a family that does!

Categories to Choose From - Clean Mama

Whether you’re looking for gluten-free snacks, hypoallergenic cleaning products or organic baby food, there’s something for every dietary need and lifestyle on Thrive Market. Search by the qualities that mean most to you – Thrive has have over 70 values and certifications to make shopping for exactly what you want easier than ever before.

On Thrive Market you can shop 4,000 of the best-selling health and wellness products from 400 of the top brands always at 25-50% off regular retail prices.  And you don’t have to purchase in bulk – everything is in regular sizes and sold individually and you still save.

So I placed my order on Sunday and it showed up on Tuesday with FREE shipping!  If you want to save money on things that you already purchase and save yourself some time and energy running around, go sign up for Thrive Market – you’ll LOVE it!

Thrive Market Delivery - clean mama

You can see some of the products I purchased – all of these were CHEAPER than what I usually spend at my local grocery store.

Here are just a couple favorites that I put in my cart – check out the low prices and then I had a coupon for 25% off beyond that too!  See that Lemongrass Basil Simmer Sauce?  Mix that with veggies and chicken for an amazing dinner in about 15 minutes!

Thive Market Favorites

Did I tell you that Thrive Market also has cleaning and personal care products?  They also have Murchison-Hume, Dr. Bronner’s soaps, Mrs. Meyer’s to name a few other favorites!  And the prices on them are cheaper too!

Thrive Delivery - Clean Mama

Go here to check out Thrive Market!

I am an unsolicited affiliate of Thrive Market – I signed up because I love it and think you will too, not because they contacted me to tell you about what an awesome place to shop Thrive Market is.  If you sign up as a paying member, I will receive a portion of your membership fee.  You can share Thrive Market with your friends too!  See you in the aisles :)  Read my full disclosure statement here.

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Clean Mama on BHG.com

Feel like you’re playing catch-up after the weekend to get your home in order? Even though I relax on Sundays, I still have a couple tricks to getting the house feeling like it’s ready for a brand new week.  I’m over on BHG.com sharing Sunday cleaning habits of people with sparkling homes – click on over to check it out!

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Come Clean Challenge – Week 4 – Bedrooms

Clean Your Bedrooms In One Week - Clean Mama

This month I’m doing a Come Clean Challenge to jump start the 2016 cleaning calendar theme – Come Clean in 2016.  Each week this month we’ve been doing simple, daily tasks – and this is our LAST week of the challenge.  I hope that you’re finding that your house is cleaner and more organized than it was at the beginning of the challenge.

As you’re doing the challenge, I’ve designed it to work WITH my cleaning routine.  For instance, when you’re vacuuming on Wednesday (vacuuming day), you’ll see that clean and wash baseboards is the task for the day.  Make the challenge work for you and your schedule but don’t get discouraged by what you can’t accomplish, concentrate on what you can get done in short chunks of time.

Make Your Bed Every Day via Clean Mama

Not sure how to incorporate deep cleaning your bedrooms AND keep up with other household tasks?  Here’s what I do….

Start with the daily tasks and make sure those get completed – wipe counters, check floors, one load of laundry, clutter THEN when those are completed or started, I do the weekly tasks – Monday is bathrooms day (follow my speed clean plan to get started), Tuesday is dusting day, etc.  I work QUICKLY and get the task finished up in about 15 minutes.  This week I’ll be working on bedrooms as I can and with the weekly tasks incorporated as much as possible.  Think of ways to maximize your time and effort by adding another task or two to what you’re already working on.

Little Boy's Bedroom - Clean Mama

On the checklist for this week and a little bit of direction:

  • THOROUGH DUSTING OF ALL SURFACES, LAMPS, AND LIGHT FIXTURES – Do a quick dust of any light fixtures.  I use this duster and/or my soft bristle vacuum cleaner attachment.  If you have glass light fixtures and they are really dusty (and you have time) you can remove them and wash in your kitchen sink with warm soapy water.  A lint roller works great for getting the dust off lamp shades.
  • CLEAN AND VACUUM UNDER BEDS – While dusting (Tuesday is dusting day) incorporate checking under the beds, cleaning out anything unnecessary and vacuuming under the beds if you are able.
  • VACUUM/WASH BASEBOARDS – After vacuuming (vacuuming day) take the time to use the hose attachment on your vacuum cleaner to get the edges, corners, and baseboards.  Then wash your baseboards thoroughly.  If you have little ones that want to help, baby wipes work great for this task.
  • CATCH UP ON LAUNDRY/PURGE LAUNDRY – If you’ve fallen behind on laundry this week, take some time today to get caught up.  While you’re folding clothes, put anything that no longer fits correctly or has seen better days in a toss or donate basket and take it to your favorite donation center or toss it.
  • WASH PILLOWS – Get your bedding in tip top shape this week by washing any bed pillows that are launder-able.  Check out this tutorial to get them in like new condition in no time.
  • CATCH UP ON ANY UNCOMPLETED TASKS – Did you run out of time or energy to complete tasks during the week?  Catch up on this day!
  • FINAL SWEEP THROUGH HOME – QUICK CLEAN – Get ready for the week ahead by making sure surfaces remain cleaned off and everything is tidied up.  Relax and enjoy the new habits you’ve formed and the tidy home you’ve achieved this month!
    Girls Bedroom - Clean Mama

Some blog posts to inspire and give you some guidance:

5 Ideas for Organized Bedding
Simple Tips for Organized Bedrooms & Living Spaces
How to Clean and Care for Your Mattress
How to Organize and Maintain Kids Closets
How to Clean Woodwork
How to Wash Pillows

Come Clean Challenge - Clean Mama

Get your FREE Come Clean Challenge worksheet here and the cleaning calendar for January 2016 here!

Catch up on the posts here:

Come Clean Challenge – Free Printable 
Come Clean Challenge Quick Start
Week 1 – Kitchen
Week 2 – Living Spaces
Week 3 – Bathrooms
Week 4 – Bedrooms
Come Clean – Wrap Up

The excitement over Clean Mama HOME has blown me away!  Pictured below are my candles – available in two amazing scents – CLEAN HOME and FRESH LAUNDRY.

clean home candle burning - cmh

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Come Clean – Free Cleaning Calendar for February 2016

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

February 2016 Free Cleaning Calendar - 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.  If you’re new here, you might want to check out the COME CLEAN CHALLENGE – it’s just finishing up but you can complete it anytime.

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 FEBRUARY 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 February 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 new 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.

 

Come Clean - February 2016 Free Cleaning Calendar - Clean Mama

Go here to grab your FREE calendar for February 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!)

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

Homekeeping Society - February 2016

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Simple Salad Hack : Chopped Salad

Simple Salad Hack - Chopped Salad - Clean MamaI’ve got a great salad hack for you today that I know you’ll love (if you like salads or are trying to eat more of them).  Even our kids love this salad mix and it’s easy to prepare ahead and even easier to get a nutritious dinner and salad on the table.  Here’s how I use this DIY salad mix:

  • Prep ahead for 2-3 nights of side salads – wash and dry greens and veggies and put in a bag with a paper towel to absorb any moisture.
  • Put dressing and other ingredients in the bottom of a mason jar and put the greens on top.  Shake when ready to eat – instant lunch.
  • Dinner salad – add a protein and a couple other ingredients like tomatoes, avocado, cucumbers, nuts, and favorite dressing.  Our favorite salad?  Barbecue chicken and ranch dressing with cheddar cheese – yum!

Here’s how to make your own chopped salad mix at home – you just need a couple ingredients and about 15 minutes to wash and cut your veggies.  I use baby kale and baby romaine because it’s smaller and has a good texture that my kids will eat.  I buy pre-washed lettuce and organic produce when I can – that’s just my preference because it’s quick and easy.  Feel free to adapt and change to fit your taste!

Chopped Salad Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • red cabbage
  • green cabbage
  • green onions
  • baby kale
  • baby romaine
  • carrots – I use the pre-shredded variety

Prep your greens – this is what I do for 2-3 days of salads for our family of 5:

  1. Wash and cut up or shred in food processor, half a head of each cabbage (keep the other half in the fridge for later in the week).
    Chop Ingredients - Clean Mama
  2. Wash and cut up 3-5 green onions.  If you’re not into onions, leave them out.
  3. Chop about 3 ounces each of pre-washed baby kale and romaine.  I use a food prep scissors to make this really quick and easy.
    Chopped Salad - Clean Mama
  4. Add about a cup of shredded or chopped carrots.
    Chopped Salad - Clean Mama
  5. Combine ingredients and portion out enough for dinner that night and then pre-portion any remaining for lunches and dinner for the next 2-3 days.  I use zip top bags with a paper towel in it to absorb moisture for a larger amount and canning jars for individual lunch servings.

Store Chopped Salad - Clean Mama

I love menu planning and looking for ways to make dinner a little easier.

Here’s a FREE printable just for you:

Whats-For-Dinner-FREE-Printable-main-via-Clean-Mama-2

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How to Reduce Paper in the Kitchen

How to Reduce Paper in the Kitchen - Clean Mama

One of my most clicked on posts and ideas is how I cut way back on paper towel usage in the kitchen.  A few years ago I felt like I was going through a roll of paper towels every day and if you’ve ever bought paper towels you know that that can get a little bit pricey and wasteful.  So I tried to figure out a way to get kick the habit.  I rolled up bar mop cloths in a clear glass jar and put it where my paper towel holder used to be.  Five years later, I’m happy to say that I am still using the same jar and idea!  I still use the occasional paper towel, but I love the way bar mop towels clean counters and the whole kitchen.  They truly work better than paper towels and they are so much prettier!   I now have aqua and white bar mop towels in my shop – these incorporate all my favorite features into one beautiful and functional towel.

Rolled Bar Mop Towels - Clean Mama

What’s so great about bar mop cloths?

Once I figured out how much I enjoyed using the bar mop cloths, I found them to clean better than paper towels – no streaking, no/less lint, I can clean all the counters with one cloth.  And they just plain feel better – soft and luxurious.

Close-Up Bar Mop Towels

Tips and tricks to reduce paper in the kitchen:

  1. Stop buying paper towels and put away your paper towel holder.
  2. Buy at least a dozen bar mop cloths, put the cloths in a container where your paper towels used to be.
  3. Use one or two cloths every day to eliminate possible cross-contamination.
  4. Have a plan for the dirty towels – I put mine on a hook under the sink and then in a basket when they’re dry.
  5. Have kitchen towels that you love and keep them in a convenient place for hand drying (by the sink or dishwasher) – put out fresh ones nightly.
  6. Use microfiber on appliances (microfiber will last through 300+ washings).  I love my new Clean Mama Home microfiber cloths – the polishing cloth works amazingly well on stainless steel!
  7. Add fabric napkins if you’re feeling ambitious – this is something that I tried but went back to paper when my youngest was a baby and haven’t gone back yet.

Bar Mop Cloths in Drawer -Clean MamaI keep extra bar mop cloths in a drawer with these microfiber stainless and glass cleaning cloths.

Make your homekeeping a little more enjoyable by adding pretty products in the kitchen and reduce your paper waste in the process!

Kitchen Towels - Clean MamaThis is my kitchen hand and dish towel drawer – organized towels make it easy to find what I need and just nice to look at when I open the drawer.

Here are a couple of my favorites for reducing paper in the kitchen:

Bar Mop Cloths – aqua and white
Kitchen Towels – gray and white
Microfiber Cleaning Cloths – gray/polishing
Anchor Hocking Jar – glass

The Clean Mama HOME Bar Mop Towels and Kitchen Towels are ON SALE in my shop through Friday (January 22nd)!  Go check them out!

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Come Clean Challenge – Week 3 – Bathrooms

Clean Your Bathrooms In One Week - Clean Mama

(The adorable aqua blue microfiber cloth above is from my Clean Mama HOME shop and is currently sold out but will be back in stock in the next week or two!)

This month I’m doing a Come Clean Challenge to jump start the 2016 cleaning calendar theme – Come Clean in 2016.  Each week this month I’ll have simple, daily tasks to work on – don’t worry about getting everything done, work on a little something every day and your bathrooms will be cleaner than they were at the beginning of the week. For instance, when you’re vacuuming on Wednesday (vacuuming day), you’ll wash floors and baseboards is the task for the day.  Adding this step on Wednesday will make Thursday’s tasks a little easier.  Make the challenge work for you and your schedule but don’t get discouraged by what you can’t accomplish, concentrate on what you can get done in short chunks of time.

Not sure how to incorporate deep cleaning your bathrooms AND keep up with other household tasks?  Here’s what I do….

Start with the daily tasks and make sure those get completed – wipe counters, check floors, one load of laundry, clutter THEN when those are completed or started, I do the weekly tasks – Monday is bathrooms day (follow my speed clean plan to get started), Tuesday is dusting day, etc.  I work QUICKLY and get the task finished up in about 15 minutes.  This week I’ll be working on bathrooms as I can and with the weekly tasks incorporated as much as possible.  Think of ways to maximize your time and effort by adding another task or two to what you’re already working on.

Clean Bathrooms via Clean Mama

On the checklist for this week and a little bit of direction:

  • DUST LIGHT FIXTURES – Do a quick dust of any light fixtures.  I use this duster and/or my soft bristle vacuum cleaner attachment.  If you have glass light fixtures and they are really dusty (and you have time) you can remove them and wash in your kitchen sink with warm soapy water.
  • VACUUM FLOORS, BASEBOARDS, VENTS – While dusting (Tuesday is dusting day) incorporate dusting any edges, corners, and vents.  Use a dusting wand, a duster, and/or your vacuum cleaner to make this simple and easy.
  • WASH FLOORS AND BASEBOARDS – After vacuuming (vacuuming day) take the time to use the hose attachment on your vacuum cleaner to get the edges, corners, and baseboards.  Then wash your floors and baseboards thoroughly.
  • EMPTY AND CLEAN AT LEAST ONE CUPBOARD AND DRAWER – Start under the bathroom sink and completely empty it.  Toss any expired products
  • TOWEL INVENTORY AND STORAGE – Today’s the day to evaluate your bathroom towel situation.  Do you have too many towels?  Are there raggedy ones that could be replaced?  January is a great time to buy new towels because of all the white sales :)  Donate any unneeded towels to your favorite donation spot or local animal shelter.
  • CATCH UP ON ANY UNCOMPLETED TASKS – Did you run out of time or energy to complete tasks during the week?  Catch up on this day!
  • QUICK DECLUTTER OF ALL SURFACES – Get ready for the week ahead by making sure surfaces remain cleaned off and everything is tidied up.  Bathroom counters can become clutter magnets – declutter again ahead of a busy week.

 Some blog posts to inspire and give you some guidance:

START HERE on Monday: How to Speed Clean ALL Your Bathrooms in 15 Minutes
Simple Toiletry Organization
Simple Tips for Organizing Bathrooms
4 Tips to Organize Under the Bathroom Sink
8 Simple DIY Bathroom Cleaners + FREE Printable
Homekeeping Skills You Need In the Bathroom
The Best Ways to Eliminate Stains and Gunk in the Bathroom
How to Clean a Whirlpool Bathtub
How to Clean a Shower and Keep It That Way + DIY Recipes

Come Clean Challenge - Clean Mama

Get your FREE Come Clean Challenge worksheet here and the cleaning calendar for January 2016 here!

Catch up on the posts here:

Come Clean Challenge – Free Printable 
Come Clean Challenge Quick Start
Week 1 – Kitchen
Week 2 – Living Spaces
Week 3 – Bathrooms
Week 4 – Bedrooms
Come Clean – Wrap Up

The excitement over Clean Mama HOME has blown me away!  Pictured below are my glass spray bottles – available with and without labels. I sold out of the microfiber but it will be fully stocked in the next couple weeks.

spray bottles with 3 labels - cmh

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Get Organized with Homekeeping Society | February Essentials

Homekeeping Society has some exciting changes that will make it better, more interactive, AND easier to use!  February’s subscription is up – I hope it’s just what you need to feel successful in your homekeeping. Make sure you read all the way through the post – there’s a great coupon code if you’d like to try it out!

Homekeeping Society - February 2016

Half way through January, you might be feeling a little defeated but 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.  February’s Homekeeping Society is about as sweet as it gets – bubble gum pink and soft red hearts stitched together.  My favorite thing about Homekeeping Society is that each month is different, yet it all looks good together, and has seasonal touches you’ll love!

Habit Tracker and Bill and Payment Checklist - February Homekeeping Society - Clean Mama

Not sure if Homekeeping Society is for you? Try it out this month and use the coupon code 25FEBRUARY for 25% off your FIRST month. Hurry!  Offer ends January 31, 2016.

Here’s what’s NEW this month:

  • I have a brand 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 but 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.
  • This isn’t new but did you know you can also access/save/download ALL the previous month’s of HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY?  That’s 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?

Daily and Weekly Planning pages - February 2016 Homekeeping Society - Clean Mama

Homekeeping Society is simple to use:

  • 2  EASY PRINT  packets are included – simply open and print the pages in ONE step. One version is 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!

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 February – I think you’ll HEART it!

Calendars - February 2016 Homekeeping Society - Clean Mama

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.

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.

 

Menu Planning - February 2016 Homekeeping Society - Clean Mama

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 (February is the KITCHEN) – 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 an BIG TO DO LIST.  Print one or two and put it front and center – you’ll love it!
  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 (February is a HABIT TRACKER – use it to track any new habit you’re working on!)
  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 a bill and payment checklist (2 color ways) – 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.).
  13. PLUS – access to all previous months’ HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY – over 200 documents!

 

This month’s Quote for the Kitchen Sink is one a sweet one – a great reminder appreciate the life you have.  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.

Quote for the Kitchen Sink - February Homekeeping Society - Clean Mama

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 25FEBRUARY for 25% off your FIRST month.  Hurry!  Offer ends January 31, 2015.

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 FEBRUARY 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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Speed Cleaning to the Rescue

Speed Cleaning to the Rescue - tips and tricks for bathrooms, kitchens, and home - Clean Mama

If your days are anything like mine, having a couple of speed cleaning routines in your back pocket can be just the ticket for those days where time is minimal. In an effort to help streamline the “hot spots” where a quicker cleaning method is vital, I designed a kitchen, bathroom and whole house speed cleaning routine. These are perfect for those times where unexpected guests are on their way, when you are tired of spending time cleaning in the evening after the house settles down or for when you need to do a surface clean in order to maintain your sanity. All you need is between 15-30 minutes of time for each of these three routines to get the job done.

Kitchen Speed Cleaning Routine:

This is my nightly kitchen cleaning routine and my go-to method when I need to get the kitchen cleaned in as little time as possible. This isn’t for those times where you need to deep clean, but perfect for after mealtime or the end of the day. Be sure to grab the free printable too!

Bathroom Speed Cleaning Routine:

If you follow my daily cleaning routine, you’ll be familiar with Monday’s task: bathroom cleaning. This is one of my favorite routines for one of my least favorite things to clean. I think you’ll be as pleased as I when you can clean all your bathrooms in about 15 minutes. We have four bathrooms in our home and I can attest to this being the best way to get them all cleaned in literally no time flat.

Whole House Speed Cleaning:

This routine is perfect for when you have unexpected guests on their way, need a quick clean of your home or feel like you need a quick start to in your cleaning schedule. Sometimes we need to feel Iike we accomplished something at the end of a crazy day and that is where this quick clean shines. Don’t forget to use the free printable too!

Try one or all of these methods and let me know how they work for you!

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Come Clean Challenge – Week 2 – Living Spaces

Clean Your Living Spaces in One Week - Clean Mama

This month I’m doing a Come Clean Challenge to jump start the 2016 cleaning calendar theme – Come Clean in 2016.  Each week this month I’ll have simple, daily tasks to work on – don’t worry about getting everything done, work on a little something every day and your living spaces will be cleaner than it was at the beginning of the week. For instance, when you’re vacuuming on Wednesday (vacuuming day), you’ll see that vacuum edges and under furniture is the task for the day.  Make the challenge work for you and your schedule but don’t get discouraged by what you can’t accomplish, concentrate on what you can get done in short chunks of time.

Not sure how to incorporate cleaning your living spaces AND keeping up with other household tasks?  Here’s what I do….

Start with the daily tasks and make sure those get completed – wipe counters, check floors, one load of laundry, clutter THEN when those are completed or started, I do the weekly tasks – Monday is bathrooms day, Tuesday is dusting day, etc.  I work QUICKLY and get the task finished up in about 15 minutes.  This week I’ll be working on living spaces as I can and with the weekly tasks incorporated as much as possible.  Think of ways to maximize your time and effort by adding another task or two to what you’re already working on.

Clean Living Spaces via Clean Mama

On the checklist for this week and a little bit of direction:

  • CLEAR ALL FLAT SURFACES – Make a quick run through your living spaces and clear all flat surfaces – remove any clutter, unnecessary items, and things that just don’t belong.  Take 15-30 minutes to evaluate what you love and want to keep and what you don’t need to keep around any longer.  Keeping surfaces clutter-free will give your home room to breathe and it makes dusting a breeze.
  • DUST CORNERS, VENTS, AND LIGHT FIXTURES  – While dusting (dusting day) incorporate dusting any edges, corners, and light fixtures.  Use a dusting wand, a duster, and/or your vacuum cleaner to make this simple and easy.  If you have glass light fixtures and they are really dusty (and you have time) you can remove them and wash in your kitchen sink with warm soapy water.
  • DEEP VACUUM – VACUUM EDGES + UNDER FURNITURE – While vacuuming (vacuuming day) take the time to use the hose attachment on your vacuum cleaner to get the edges, corners, and baseboards.  Pull out furniture if you’re able and if needed and vacuum underneath it.
  • DECLUTTER AND CLEAN STORAGE AREAS + TOYS – If you have storage in your living spaces, declutter it today.  Clear it out, clean it and only put back what you love and use.  If you have toys stored in living spaces, clear, clean and declutter it!
  • CLEAN WINDOWS AND MIRRORS – Notice smudges, fingerprints and/or dusty mirrors?  Us a microfiber cloth and give them a little spritz and keep moving.
  • CATCH UP ON ANY UNCOMPLETED TASKS – Did you run out of time or energy to complete tasks during the week?  Catch up on this day!
  • CLEAR SURFACES AND QUICK CLEAN – Get ready for the week ahead by making sure surfaces remain cleaned off and everything is tidied up.  Living spaces take a beating – have them ready for the week and chances are they’ll stay that way as the next week moves in.

 Some blog posts to inspire and give you some guidance:

Use an ‘On Your Way Up Basket’ to keep clutter away
Tips for Organizing Toys in a Family Room
How to Clean Your Vacuum Cleaner
Kid-Friendly Cleaning Caddy + DIY Cleaning Spray
Carpet Cleaning (2 Ways to DIY)
The Best Way to Wash Windows
The Right Way to Vacuum – 5 Steps You Might Be Missing


Come Clean Challenge - Clean Mama

Get your FREE Come Clean Challenge worksheet here and the cleaning calendar for January 2016 here!

Catch up on the posts here:

Come Clean Challenge – Free Printable 
Come Clean Challenge Quick Start
Week 1 – Kitchen
Week 2 – Living Spaces
Week 3 – Bathrooms
Week 4 – Bedrooms
Come Clean – Wrap Up

The excitement over Clean Mama HOME has blown me away!  Pictured below are my aqua and white bar mop towels (in stock). I’ve sold out of a couple products but rest assured everything will be fully stocked in the next couple weeks.

Clean Mama Home Bar Mop Towels

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