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

Gather Your Tools | The Best Tools for Spring Cleaning

The Best Tools for Spring Cleaning via Clean Mama

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

Spring Cleaning Caddy via Clean Mama

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

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

Clean Mama’s Favorite Spring Cleaning Tools

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

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

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

 

Spring Clean in 30 FREE Printables Checklist via Clean Mama

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

Clean Mama's Spring Cleaning Kit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Menu Plan for the Week - Full - Clean Mama

On the Menu Clean Mama Printables

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

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FREE Cleaning Calendar for April 2015

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

Fresh Start Clean+Organized 2015

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

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

Cleaning Routine Infographic - Clean Mama

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

Free Cleaning Calendar from Clean Mama

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

April Fresh Start Calendar + Spring Cleaning Challenge via Clean Mama

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

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

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FREE Spring Clean in 30 Checklist

Spring Clean in 30 FREE Printable Checklist via Clean Mama

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

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

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

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

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Clean Mama's Spring Cleaning Kit

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

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30% off Spring Cleaning SALE

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

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 Hurry!  Ends 3/21/15 at 9PM CST pm

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Busy Week Menu Plan – 7 Time Saving Meals

Busy Week Menu Plan - 7 Time Saving Meals for a Busy Week via Clean Mama

If you menu plan you know that having a plan for dinner is a huge time and money saver.  Over the next couple weeks I’m going to share my favorite busy week meal ideas, perfect for busy spring schedules (and spring cleaning!). I’m including a couple adjustments that I make to make the recipes work for us.

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

SHREDDED BBQ CHICKEN BURGERS VIA WHAT’S GABY COOKING
This comes together easily as most of the work is done in the crockpot. Add some fresh fruit and vegies to round it out and keep it simple.

GRILLED CHICKEN PINEAPPLE QUESADILLAS VIA THE PIONEER WOMAN
We love quesadillas and this sweet and tangy variation is a fun twist.  Picky little ones?  Make plain cheese ones for the kids.

HAM AND CHEESE SLIDERS VIA THE GIRL WHO ATE EVERYTHING
This one is pure comfort food with soft rolls, melted cheese and an easy mustard based sauce. We substitute turkey or chicken for the ham with great results. If I have extra time, I’ll make a batch of homemade rolls in a pie plate instead of store bought.

OLIVE GARDEN COPYCAT MINESTRONE SOUP (SLOW COOKER) VIA COOKING CLASSY
This vegetarian soup is loaded with all kinds of veggies to make for a healthy yet flavorful soup. It’s perfect for busy days when you don’t have much time. Throw the ingredients in in the morning and let simmer away until dinner. Serve with some fresh bread for dunking.

ORZO SALAD WITH CHICKPEAS, CUCUMBERS, LEMON, DILL AND FETA VIA TWO PEAS AND THEIR POD
We love pasta salad and we love the fresh flavors of lemon and dill in this orzo salad. You can easily make it in the morning or during a quiet time of your day and let the flavors blend until dinner. Serve with some fresh seasonal fruit.

BAREFOOT CONTESSA TURKEY MEATLOAF VIA BAREFOOT CONTESSA
This recipe makes a HUGE meatloaf or two which may be perfect for company or leftovers the next day. I also half the recipe with great success if you want a one night kind of recipe. Lean and full of flavor, this goes great with mashed sweet potatoes and a simple vegetable.

GINGER CHICKEN AND ASPARAGUS STIR FRY VIA MEL’S KITCHEN
Stir fry comes together quickly and is a favorite meal for us. Prep your vegetables earlier in the day to minimize your mealtime prep. Serve over some brown rice.

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

Menu Plan for the Week - Full - Clean Mama

On the Menu Clean Mama Printables

Coming in just 2 weeksSign up for emails and join me on Instagram!

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How to Speed Clean ALL Your Bathrooms in 15 Minutes

How to Speed Clean ALL Your Bathrooms in 15 Minutes via Clean Mama

If you follow along with my cleaning routine, on Mondays you clean bathrooms right along with me in your home. (I also post daily reminders on Instagram and Facebook, click to follow along.)Today I’m sharing a visual of how I clean ALL of my bathrooms in 15 minutes. I have 4 bathrooms and can attest to this being the absolute easiest and quickest way to get them all cleaned in a hurry.

You’ll notice that I am not sweeping, vacuuming, or washing the floors. This is part of the time-saving magic of this approach. I vacuum all the floors on Wednesdays and wash all the floors on Thursday, so there’s no need to wash them on Mondays.  If this is your first time trying this routine and you want to have all your bathrooms cleaned at once, feel free to clean the floors but it will take longer than 15 minutes. Also, I do a quick counter check every day as part of my cleaning routine and that keeps the cleaning time down on Mondays as well.  Go to this post to see more about the Clean Mama Cleaning Routine.

Please note: This is not pretend or fake cleaning or making your bathroom look clean when it isn’t, this is a simple way to thoroughly clean your bathrooms quickly. Try this today and you’ll have more time for other things that really matter. Ready?

Gather Your Quick Clean Tools for Bathroom Speed Cleaning via Clean Mama

Gather your supplies and tools – this is what you’ll need :

  • microfiber cloths (alternatively you can use paper towels or cleaning wipes, I prefer microfiber) – 1 for mirrors, one for each toilet, one for each sink, and a couple extras for tubs and showers
  • glass and mirror cleaner
  • disinfecting/bathroom cleaner
  • scrubbing powder
  • toilet cleaner (I use a disposable/flushable toilet cleaning system because toilet brushes gross me out.)
  • empty container for dirty cloths or paper towels
  • caddy or container to carry supplies from room to room

Supplies for Bathroom Cleaning via Clean Mama

Clear off your counters and sinks and get started.

Spray and Wipe Mirrors via Clean Mama

Start with the mirrors – spray and wipe clean. I use a glass and mirror microfiber for lint and streak-free mirrors. Keep this cloth handy and reuse in each bathroom.

Thoroughly spray sink, toilet, shower via Clean Mama

Next, move on to your sink, toilet, and bathtub or shower (if you don’t use a tub or shower regularly, you don’t need to clean it weekly) and quickly spray with your disinfecting cleaner. (I use non-toxic disinfecting cleaners – they work just as well and aren’t harmful to you or your family.  You can see my favorite cleaners here and if you’d like to make your own cleaners, my book, The Organically Clean Home.)

Clean Toilets via Clean Mama

Use your preferred toilet cleaner and brush and do a quick clean of your toilet.

Then REPEAT these steps in each bathroom. Once you’ve done that, go back to the first bathroom:

Wipe Sink, Toilet, Shower and Bathtub via Clean Mama

Wipe the sink, wipe the toilet, and wipe the tub or shower – take care to use a separate cloth or paper towel for the each toilet, sink, and bathtub/shower to avoid cross-contamination.

Don't forget to get the bottom of the toilet via Clean Mama

Don’t forget to get the base of your toilets too – I wipe here last.

Last Bathroom - Clean Mama

Place dirty cloths in a container and move on to wiping down the next bathroom and the next until you have wiped down each bathroom. And that’s it!

The simple step-by-step:

How to Speed Clean All of Your Bathrooms in Just 15 minutes via Clean Mama

What do you think? Are you up for a little bathroom speed cleaning?

If you like this post, you’ll like these posts too!  Click on the images below.

The Best Ways to Eliminate Residue, Stains, Gunk in the Bathroom via Clean Mama

How to Clean a Shower and Keep It that Way + Bonus DIY Cleaning Recipes via Clean Mama

How to Speed Clean Your House in Less than 30 Minutes via Clean Mama 1

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Homekeeping Society | April Essentials

April 2015 Homekeeping Society main Clean Mama

Feel like you need a little help staying on top of the dailies, you will be thrilled with April’s HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY.  A big CHANGE – I’ve added an EASY PRINT feature to the downloads!  Open and print the pages in ONE step.  This is set up exactly how the printed version is packaged with 4 pages of the weekly planners, etc.  This change is designed to take the guesswork and any hassle out of the printing process.  Of course, the individual pages are also included, but if you want to print everything in one easy step, you’ll be really excited about this addition.  (Keep reading for a great coupon if you want to try out HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY!)

April’s monthly essentials are aqua and teal with adorable touches of a cute flag bunting – perfect for getting ready for spring!  If you’re a member (log in here) and if you’d like to sign up today, it’s an instant (almost – it might a few minutes) download.  The Homekeeping Society MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION is designed to create order out of your household chaos and help you keep your home clean and your mind less cluttered.  Take a peek at what I’ve created for the month of April – you’re going to LOVE it!

Quote for the Kitchen Sink - Clean Mama's Homekeeping Society

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 it can feel downright defeating many days. Why bother cleaning when it’s only going to be a mess again the next day!

Curious about Homekeeping Society and want to try it out? I’ve got a coupon code this month for 25% off your first month – enter the code 25APRIL at checkout (coupon expires 3/31/15) and you’ll receive 25% off this month’s subscription (the regular price will resume after this month).  All payments are secure with SSL encryption.

 April 2015 Daily Monthly Pages - Homekeeping Society - Clean Mama

I understand just where you are coming from. Keeping your home clean while maintaining your sanity can be incredibly stressful. You may feel as though you can’t do anything right when it comes to maintaining a clean, organized, and welcoming home and even if you could find the time, you wouldn’t know where to start.

Need some serious help, a virtual hand to hold and guide you through the process of cleaning, homekeeping, and creating a home you feel proud of?  That’s exactly why I created the Homekeeping Society, the perfect monthly intervention that is purposely designed to get your life and home in order with ease and adorable seasonal touches to keep you motivated.

I’ve created a monthly essentials subscription designed to help you get your home and life in order – HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY.  This monthly subscription is made for YOU to get your life in order – with ease and adorable seasonal touches to keep you motivated to do the daily tasks that get boring and monotonous.

April 2015 Homekeeping Society via Clean Mama

 

 

HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT EVERY MONTH:

  1. INSTRUCTIONS – tells you how many pages to print out of each page and suggestions for implementing and making the pages work for you – an easy print option is also included to make printing just one step!
  2. COVER PAGE – with the month – great for putting in your binder or homekeeping notebook to keep each month separated if you choose to keep the pages from month to month
  3. HOMEKEEPING FOCUS page – every month will focus on a room or area in the home (April is Spring Cleaning) – this page lays it out 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
  5. DAILY PLANNER PAGE – great for those busy days (or every day!) includes schedule, to dos, notes, and a space for meals
  6. WEEKLY DOCKET– Use the weekly docket to see your whole week and schedule on a page (Sunday start and Monday start are both included)
  7. MENU PLAN FOR THE WEEK WITH A SHOPPING LIST- make a menu plan and take it with you
  8. MENU PLAN FOR THE MONTH – always includes a list for recipe ideas or ingredients to pick up
  9. 2 MONTHLY CALENDARS (1 blank, 1 pre-filled) – suggested daily cleaning tasks, weekly cleaning tasks, rotating cleaning tasks, organizing suggestions
  10. SEASONAL PREPARATION PRINTABLE – a helpful seasonal prep printable is always included in the monthly subscription – perfect for placing in a binder (April is a spring cleaning checklist)
  11. KITCHEN SINK QUOTE– the quote for the month – 5×7 – frame and put at your kitchen sink or tape to your fridge to give you a little motivation and inspiration for the month
  12. INFORMATION PAGE – this month includes a HOUSEHOLD FOOD INVENTORY – 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.)

Clean Mama's Homekeeping Society - April 2015

 

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

Menu Planning - April Homekeeping Society - Clean Mama

 

Please note: As a member, you will be able to download your digital subscription every month by going to your account page, click on the link for April 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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Spring Clean in 30 (Sneak Peek)

Spring Clean in 30 Challenge Sneak Peek

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

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

Clean Mama's Spring Cleaning Kit

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How to Clean Woodwork and Cupboards

How to Clean Woodwork and Cupboards via Clean Mama

I recently posted a question to my readers and asked what their biggest cleaning conundrums are. I received a lot of great questions that I’m planning to cover in upcoming posts. Today we are going to look at methods of cleaning woodwork, doors and cupboards, as this seems to be a common cleaning issue with many. Fingerprints, food, dust, dirt and grime have the tendency to accumulate quickly. Cleaning all your baseboards, doors or all your cupboards can sound a bit daunting, so let’s make it easy as possible with several different cleaning options and recipes.

BASEBOARDS AND DOORS:

Cleaning Baseboards with Baby Wipes via Clean Mama

Baseboard cleaning is a task that is really a lot easier than it sounds. For starters, I like to enlist the help of my kiddos on this task. Armed with baby wipes, this task is perfect for kids and their nimble knees. Simply have them do the perimeter of a room for one of their weekly chores. I’ve found that when I keep up with cleaning them, it makes the job so much easier as dirt doesn’t have a chance to accumulate.  Baby wipes will work on BOTH painted and wood trim baseboards.  If you are trying to clean up stubborn scuffs and marks on white trim, use Magic Erasers to remove scuffs and dirt.  It works like a champ to remove some of those marks that are a bit more stubborn.

How to Clean White Trim via Clean Mama

I also like to mix up a simple cleaner to spring clean or deep clean those baseboards on occasion. Mix 1/2 cup of Borax with a gallon of water and stir to dissolve. I like to use microfiber cloths as they do a great job at getting in the nooks and crannies of trim, but you can also use a sponge. Wring out your cloth or sponge to remove excess water and wipe baseboards and/or doors to clean. No rinsing required! Wipe your doors from top to bottom and left to right. Keep an old bath towel nearby to put under your bucket to catch errant drips.

NON-PAINTED WOODWORK:

If you are cleaning stained wood trim, you clean and polish it much like you would clean and polish furniture.  I have stained oak trim on the staircases in my home and I use this simple recipe for cleaning it up.  I use microfiber cloths to dust and then apply this polish with the grain and it cleans up in a hurry!  Mix up in a small container and use sparingly – it just mixes up a small amount so no storing is necessary.

CITRUS WOOD CLEANER:

1/4 white vinegar
2 tablespoons almond or fractionated coconut oil
10 drops lemon or orange essential oils (feel free to combine both oils)

CUPBOARDS:

With the heavy use that most kitchens get, it doesn’t take much before cupboards get dirty with fingerprints, food spills and everyday dust and grime. You’ll be surprised at what a good washing can do to clean up your cupboards, no matter what the surface or color. I like to wash the exterior of my cupboards monthly, or as needed. The interiors don’t typically get such a thorough cleaning on a monthly basis, but I like to wipe out crumbs and dust as needed.

How to Clean Cupboards via Clean Mama

I use a great cupboard and cabinet DIY cleaner that is gentle and safe to use on any type of surface. Be sure to give your cloth or sponge a good squeeze in between to assure that the surface doesn’t get overly damp. Again, I like to use microfiber cloths as they do a fantastic job of getting all those fingerprints and all that grime, but you can use a sponge as well. I like to add a little essential oil to freshen up the kitchen, but it’s not a necessity. If you are new to Castile soap, I find it at my Target in the health and beauty department, at Costco and other retailers.

CUPBOARD AND CABINET CLEANER:

8 cups warm water
2 tablespoons liquid Castile soap
3 drops lemon essential oil.

Mix all ingredients in a bucket. Work from top left and scrub your way down to the right using a microfiber cloth or sponge. Be sure to wring out your cloth or sponge frequently and well.

Keep an eye out for more of your cleaning questions and conundrums to be answered in upcoming posts!

If you like these recipes, you will LOVE my book, The Organically Clean Home!

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Feeling Overwhelmed? Do One of These Simple Tasks

Feeling Overwhelmed Try one of these simple tasks via Clean MamaEver have a day (or week) where it feels like you just can’t get anything accomplished or like you’re chasing around not really getting anything done?  Everyone feels like that from time to time and some seasons feel more like that’s just how it is.  If you WANT to feel like you’re checking things off your list and getting out from under the frustration of clutter and mess, I have a couple SIMPLE things you can do today to jumpstart your productivity.

Choose one thing or do them all, either way you’ll be on your way to clearing some space and balancing your brain.  If you don’t think that making some progress and getting something (even the littlest thing) done, isn’t going to make a difference, I am here to tell you that you’ll be surprised to see what a difference these little steps will make.  These brain balancers will help you balance that mental register – the one that keeps track of all the things you have to do.  The one that looks around at all there is to do and gets frustrated with how long all these things could potentially take to complete and quits before starting.  Even the simplest and smallest to do goes a long way to getting things done.

MAKE A LIST – Quickly write down all the things that you have swirling around in your head.  Or make a menu plan for the next week (you can find the featured notepad in my shop).  Doing something that makes you FEEL productive can propel you to BEING productive.  You don’t need to do everything, but sometimes just making a list is a great way to move toward getting something done.

COUNTERS – Cluttered counters overwhelming you?  Clear one off.  Maybe it’s a bathroom counter, maybe it’s your kitchen counters, completely clear the space, wipe it clean and return only the necessities.  This 10-15 minute task will alleviate that stressed feeling you get when you see the messy counter in front of you.

LAUNDRY – Don’t worry about any unfinished laundry right now, just do ONE load of laundry from start to folded to put away.  Then do that again tomorrow and the next day and if you like the routine, add it to your daily routine.  I am someone that is easily overwhelmed by piles of laundry.  Instead of having laundry baskets loom, I started doing at least a load a day years ago and have never looked back.

SINK – Empty your kitchen sink.  Complete this simple task, wipe it clean.  This simple task helps get you to the next meal and it also just helps you feel less overwhelmed in the kitchen.  Again, a simple task that is overlooked or neglected yet can make a difference.

PAPER PILE – That paper pile or mail pile on the counter, your desk, kitchen table….take care of it.  Toss what isn’t needed, file what needs to be filed and deal with any bills or mail that need to be dealt with.

INBOX –  If you’re at work or at home and have a couple minutes and feel stuck, try zeroing out your email inbox.  Use files in your email program to separate emails that you still need and get them out of your inbox.  I create a file for any company or business or bill and just put those emails in that corresponding box.  That way if I need to locate the email in the future I just search by the company name and can easily locate any pertinent information.

There you have it, six small things that you can do (one, some, or all) right now, today that will add up to big steps in your productivity.

If you like this post, you might like these related posts – just click on the image to go to the post:

Clean Mama's Cleaning Routine - everyday a little something

Laundry Day vs. Laundry Every Day - Two Methods that Really Work via Clean Mama

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

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How to Clean a Whirlpool Bathtub

How to Clean a Whirlpool Bathtub - Clean Mama

 

Have a whirlpool tub that needs a good cleaning?  Today I’m sharing the best way to clean (really clean) your whirlpool tub.  With the jets and additional mechanisms, a whirlpool tub is more difficult to clean than a standard bathtub, but with regular cleaning  you can soak knowing that your whirlpool tub is perfectly clean.

Cleaning Frequency

This really depends on the frequency of use, but I recommend using this method monthly to quarterly if you use your whirlpool tub frequently and biannually or annually if you use your tub infrequently.

Clean the Tub

Begin by filling your tub with hot water to about three inches above the jets. Add four tablespoons of powdered dishwasher detergent and 1/2 cup of vinegar or bleach to the water.  My preference is vinegar, but if I was moving into a new house and wanted to thoroughly clean the tub, or if there is mold present when running the jets, I would look at using bleach.  The detergent will serve to loosen and remove any greasy residue left behind by soap or bubble bath from the jets while the vinegar or bleach will disinfect.  Turn the jets on at full capacity and allow it to run for 15 minutes.

Rinse the Tub

Empty the tub and fill it with cold water to three inches above the jet level once again.  Turn on the jets and run for an additional fifteen minutes to remove any remaining residue and thoroughly rinse the tub.

Wipe Clean and Detail Jets

After completing these two cycles, use a cleaning rag and wipe away any residue that remains. You can also use a toothbrush or similar small brush to reach into the crevices of the mechanisms and get at any particles that are hidden in the interior of the jets.

Clean the Surface

Is the surface of your tub in need of a little cleaning as well? Try using a non-abrasive cleaner to gently scrub the interior of your tub (see this post for my favorite products for deep bathroom cleaning). Be sure not to use any sort of an abrasive cleaner as this could potentially scratch the surface. Use a toothbrush around the handles and the faucet and follow with wiping down the interior with a cleaning cloth or rag.

Happy Cleaning!

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Free Printable : House for Sale Cleaning Checklists

House for Sale Cleaning Checklists - free printable - via Clean Mama

You’re moving.  Now what?  Not sure where to start to get your house ready to go up for sale?  I’ve got a great two part checklist for you today – one side gets you ready to list your house and the other is a simple checklist to follow when you have showings.  Moving can be stressful and sad and happy and exciting.  This simple checklist takes some of the work out of what to do and when to do it.  Print out a couple and get your house ready to SELL!

Grab the FREE checklist in my shop if you’d prefer in googledocs, here.

House for Sale Cleaning Checklists via Clean Mama

Not moving but need a Speed Clean Checklist?  Check out this one!

Free Printable - How to Speed Clean Your House in Less Than 30 Minutes via Clean Mama

If you like these FREE printables, you’ll love my shop!  These printables match the EVERYDAY LINE.

Everyday Complete Kit small - Clean Mama Printables

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Laundry Day vs. Laundry Every Day – Two Methods that Really Work

Laundry Day vs. Laundry Every Day - Two Methods that Really Work via Clean Mama

Laundry is always a hot topic – either you think you have the perfect method or you are desperately looking for a better or more efficient way to tackle the mountains of clothes that need to be washed, folded, and put away.  I am always looking for the simplest and most efficient ways to tackle homekeeping and while I have a great method for doing laundry in our home, I thought I’d break down two methods that really work.  Try one or try them both – the goal is to get away from baskets of laundry in-process.

First things first….

  • Love your laundry care items.  If you are unhappy with the performance of your detergent, softener, and/or stain remover, find something that you love and enjoy using.
  • Tidy up your laundry room/area.  Eliminate anything that you don’t need, doesn’t work, etc. and clean this hard-working space.
  • Have enough, but not too many laundry baskets.  My recommendation is one per person, one for cleaning rags, one for bath towels.  The more baskets you have, the more unfolded laundry you’ll accumulate.
  • Figuring out ways to make laundry simpler is key – what will make the laundry process a little easier in your home?  A couple things I do to make things easier?  White towels throughout the house.  They’re easier to launder – I wash them on hot and with chlorine-free bleach or oxygenated bleach and NO fabric softener.   Purchase the same type and color of kids’ socks and put them in a basket in a dresser drawer, un-matched and un-folded.
  • Involve the family!  Even little ones can help with laundry.  Teach your kids how to fold and put away their clothes and with consistency and practice, they’ll learn how to manage their laundry on their own.  It’s a win-win!

Method #1 | Laundry Day

If you’d rather have all your laundry done and every laundry basket emptied out on the same day, this is the method for you.  If you get home from work at 6pm and don’t want to do anything house-related, you are probably better off doing laundry on your day off or on the weekends.  If we’ve had a particularly crazy week or if we’ve been out of town, sick, or just haven’t gotten to the laundry in a couple days, this is how I quickly work through the baskets.  Here’s the most efficient way to tackle LAUNDRY DAY:

  • Gather all the laundry in the house and put the baskets or hampers within reach of the laundry room.  Line them up in order of what’s going in the washing machine first to last.  My recommendation is to start with adult clothes – do one load of whites and one load of darks per adult.  You could also combine these clothes into two loads instead of 4.  Next in line is the kids’ laundry (one basket per child – no sorting, all of it goes in the same load on COLD).  After all the clothing has been washed, it’s time for sheets, towels, and finally cleaning rags.
  • While each loading is washing and drying, fold, hang, and put away each and every load as soon as it comes out of the dryer.  Depending on wash and drying time, this will most likely go on all day long, but it just takes minutes to fold and put away the clothing in between each load.
  • Once the laundry is done, run a cleaning cycle on the washing machine and leave the door open and walk away from the laundry room until next week.

Clean Mama Laundry Room - Clean Mama

Method #2 | Laundry Every Day

My preferred method is a do a load or two of laundry every single day.   If you are easily overwhelmed by laundry (like me!) embracing a load of laundry every day is really the way to go.  I would rather spend 10 minutes or so folding and putting away a single load every day vs. trying to do the laundry all on one day.  Again, this is my preference and here’s the most efficient way to tackle laundry EVERY DAY:

  • The key to making this process really work is to take one load of laundry from dirty to folded and put away every day.  You might think that you’re too busy to try this method but I think this method could surprise you.  Am I saying that this is the only way to do laundry?  No, but if you struggle with finding time to do all the laundry and can’t seem to get the laundry from the dryer to put away, you might want surprisingly easy way to simplify the task.
  • Start by figuring out a simple laundry schedule of what gets washed on each day of the week.  I have a flexible laundry schedule because I know that the minute I try to make something permanent it’ll get changed.  Here’s my flexible laundry schedule: M-W (kids’ clothes – each child on a day or if there’s smaller loads, I throw it all together and turn it into one load.)  Thursday-Friday I wash adult clothing – separated by whites and colors.  Saturday is sheets and towels day and I usually will launder cleaning rags at the end of laundry on Saturday and then run the washing machine’s cleaning cycle.
  • Short on time?  Put a load of clothes in at night and set your machine (if you have the option) to run at 4 or 5 am.  Put those clothes in the dryer right away when you get up and fold before you leave in the morning or in the evening before bed.

Looking for more laundry and cleaning routine posts?  I have some great posts in the archives, here are a few you might enjoy…

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

6 Things I Do Every Day to Keep the House Clean

Clean Mama's Cleaning Routine - everyday a little something

All about the Clean Mama Cleaning Routine

How to Naturally Clean Any Washing Machine via Clean Mama

How to naturally clean your washing machine

DIY homemade laundry detergent - Clean Mama

My recipe for Homemade Laundry Detergent

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How to Get Ready for Spring Cleaning

If you’re ready to get your house cleaned up after the long winter, but don’t know where or how to start, keep reading!  I have a brand new kit in the shop – perfect for stepping up your cleaning game this spring.

The perfect companion to your spring cleaning is a plan.  Clean Mama’s Spring Cleaning Kit is complete with cleaning recipes, checklists, and a guide to help you along the way.  Here’s how I put mine together.  It’s just what I need to get ready to spring clean.

Full Kit - Clean Mama's Spring Cleaning KitStart by printing out the kit.

Spring Cleaning Kit in a Binder - Clean Mama's Spring Cleaning KitPlace any pages in your homekeeping notebook or binder that you’d like to reference.

Trim and Laminate - Clean Mama's Spring Cleaning KitTrim pages that you’d like smaller (I laminated them for extra durability).

Mini Checklists to Make Spring Cleaning Simple - Clean Mama's Spring Cleaning KitMake mini-books for referencing recipes and checklists.  This kit makes it super easy to get your checklists ready.  You can print and slip the checklists into a binder or trim them and make adorable checklists for your cleaning.

Cleaning Recipe Cards and Mini Checklists - Clean Mama's Spring Cleaning KitGather your cleaning supplies and tools.  Put your tools together in a caddy so you have everything at the ready for your spring cleaning.

Kids Cleaning Checklists - Clean Mama's Spring Cleaning KitHave kids?  Get them involved by making a mini-cleaning caddy.  Add dusting tools, microfiber cloths, a spray bottle with a non-toxic cleaner or even just plain water, and a checklist.

Clean Mama's Spring Cleaning Kit

CLEAN MAMA’S SPRING CLEANING KIT includes 10 pages:

• Spring Cleaning Kit COVER (with cleaning icons)
• GUIDE/INSTRUCTIONS – guide to fitting spring cleaning into an already busy schedule
• ONE MONTH OF SPRING CLEANING CHECKLIST – want to tackle a little bit every day?  This full page checklist is perfect and includes my proven process for getting the cleaning done in minutes/day over the course of a month.
• MINI CLEANING CHECKLISTS (3 pages/ 9 checklists) – Supplies, Ingredients, Simple Checklist, Kitchen, Bathrooms, Bedrooms, Living Areas, Utility, and a Blank Checklist.  Perfect for spring cleaning (or anytime!)  Print and trim (print on cardstock and laminate for extra durability) or keep as a full page.
• ESSENTIAL CLEANING RECIPES – My 5 favorite DIY formulas for spring cleaning – your house will smell lemon-y fresh!
• MINI CLEANING RECIPE BOOK (2 Pages) – trim and assemble your own mini recipe book to keep on your cleaning caddy, print on cardstock and laminate for durability (as shown in images)
• KIDS CLEANING CHECKLISTS (1 page/ 3 checklists) – want to get the kids involved?  Print out the kids cleaning checklists and make a mini spring cleaning bucket and they’ll be cleaning right along with you! 

Clean Mama’s Spring Cleaning Kit is available in my shop!

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