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

Sunday Prep : Simple Things You Can Do to Get Ready for the Week

Part of the beauty of my cleaning routine is that Sunday is a day of rest, relaxation, and family time.  I still keep up with my daily tasks –  make beds, check floors, wipe counters, clutter, and laundry, but I don’t have a specified cleaning task.  Some Sundays I use that extra time that I’m not cleaning routine-ing to do a couple things in the afternoon or evening that set us up for the week ahead.

Don’t think that you need to do all of these things, just choose one or two that you think will be benefit your next week self.

Sunday Prep : Simple Things You Can Do to Get Ready for the Week

  • Double check the calendar and/or your planner and make sure you have everything accounted for and that you know what’s coming in the upcoming week.
  • Empty dishwasher or finish washing dishes – put everything away.  I love starting the week with an emptied dishwasher and sink.
  • Clear a counter or small space – a mini declutter session sets your home up for more organization.
  • Scrub the kitchen sink – I use this recipe and method.
  • Wash and cut produce for lunches, snacks, and dinner.  This is super helpful for keeping good habits of snacking on fruits and veggies in lieu of other choices and it’s time-saving for the coming week too!
  • Catch up on laundry – empty those baskets and make sure everything’s put away.  Check out two methods here.
  • Set out clothes for Monday or for the whole week.
  • Prep a meal or two (or more) for the coming week.  Simple steps like cutting up veggies for a salad or crockpot meal or browning turkey for spaghetti can make the week run a little bit smoother.  Here’s a post with a free printable checklist perfect for meal prepping.
  • Bake something!  We make muffins, granola, and energy bites on weekends.  They’re great for breakfasts and lunches for the week ahead.
  • Finish a project – if there’s something that you need OR want to get done, just finish it up.  I find that Sunday evenings I’m rested and ready for the week and a little more ambitious.  I might work on going through photos or finish up a good book.  It doesn’t have to be housework!

What’s one thing that might help your upcoming week?

I talk a little bit about Sunday prepping in my upcoming book, Simply Clean – did you pre-order it yet?

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Just 3 Things : Episode 3

Just 3 Things is back!  Here’s the premise – in each video I’ll share 3 things – it might be a homekeeeping or cleaning tip, something that I’m enjoying eating or drinking, or it might be a question/answer from one of you.  (Have a question?  Send me an email and maybe I’ll use it in the next video 🙂 )

Just 3 THINGS MENTIONED IN THE VIDEO:

If you haven’t pre-ordered Simply Clean, don’t miss the amazing bonuses and coupons included in the download packet. Go to this post for more info!  And mark your planners for March 12-18 for the 7-Day Simply Clean Kick Start challenge 🙂


It’s hard to find a good felt tip pen that glides on paper and doesn’t bleed through. I’ve been using these Maped Graph pens in my planners and love the super fine point – 0.4mm.  I showed them in my planner – you can see my Clean Mama Planner and Clean Mama Menu Planner here.

 


Need a good wholesome muffin recipe?  These Morning Glory Muffins from King Arthur Flour are delicious and good for you too.  My kids love them!  Double the recipe and throw half in the freezer for breakfasts and lunches. I showed this dough whisk and this huge mixing bowl in the video too.


Have a question or something you want me to answer or talk about?  Leave it in the comments!

I used affiliate links in this post – please go here for my complete disclosure policy.

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Spray Bottle Sale – 2 days only!

How about a little SPRAY BOTTLE SALE?  I’ve put my glass spray bottles on sale through tomorrow – no coupon necessary! They’re 25% off (regular price is $7.99 and they’re on sale for $5.99) and better yet, if you pre-order my new book HERE you’ll find an exclusive coupon code in the bonus packet for 20% off your entire order in CLEAN MAMA HOME!  Combine and save 🙂 Hurry!  This sale ends Thursday, February 23rd at 10pm CST.

(Psst…If you haven’t shopped for awhile, you’ll love my new shipping rates and all orders ship out in 1-2 business days from my distributor AND I’m shipping to Canada now too!)

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Simply Clean – Free Cleaning Calendar for March 2017

It’s time for March’s FREE cleaning calendar!

Every year I choose a new theme for the cleaning calendar and blog and this year it’s SIMPLY CLEAN.  With my brand-new book Simply Clean  (did you pre-order it – I have some amazing pre-order bonuses available!) coming out in March, I thought it would be the perfect theme. Make 2017 your year to get a 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 feeling like you need some help with your cleaning and homekeeping and don’t know where to start, you’ll 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 workable solution for even the busiest of 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.

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 MARCH 2017 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.

QUICK TIP: Have a planner?  Simply resize the pdf when you go to print it in your printer preferences.

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

Go here to grab your FREE calendar for March 2017!

(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!)

Find Out More Homekeeping Society

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

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The Best Way to Remove Toilet Bowl Rings

If you’ve ever had toilet bowl rings and stains, you know that they seem next to impossible to remove. Toilet bowl rings are the result of hard water and mineral deposits that develop from standing water in the bowl or from the toilet not being flushed multiple times during the day. No amount of scrubbing, harsh chemical cleaners or bleach will completely remove this buildup. The solution to this is rather unexpected: PUMICE.  The same thing that you might use for callused heals works for removing toilet rings. Crazy right?

Why does it work? Pumice is a natural volcanic rock that does a superior job at removing surface stains in toilet bowls without scratching the surface. I recommend NOT using the pumice stone you’d use for your feet in the toilet – this type of pumice is a little harder and if it’s gray or black it might add a visible scratch to your toilet bowl.

Better yet, there’s a product that’s softer than a traditional pumice stone and works even better AND it has a handle so that you don’t need to stick your hand in the toilet bowl. Yay! Simply rub the pumice around the interior of your toilet bowl where the ring is and that’s it!  It couldn’t be much easier.  The Pumie is a pumice stone specifically designed to clean your toilet rings and stains.  You can use any pumice stone, but I like that this one has a handle and is designed specifically for toilet cleaning.

Here are the simple steps:

Clean your toilet the way you normally would – you’re using the pumice to remove those rings that you can’t remove with your usual toilet cleaning methods.

Use a bucket and pour water into the toilet until it manually flushes – you’ll hear a glugging sound.  This will keep the water from filling up in the tank so you can properly remove the toilet rings.

Wet your pumice stone. Rub the stone on any rings and marks.

Flush, rinse and admire that sparkling toilet!

Don’t miss the pre-order bonuses for Simply Clean!

Have questions on toilet care?  You might like these game changers!

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CLEAN + ORGANIZE WITH HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY – MARCH ESSENTIALS

If you’re looking for a simple way to stay on top of daily, weekly and monthly tasks in just minutes a day, Homekeeping Society is perfect!

I’m so excited for March and spring to be on the horizon, aren’t you? You’ll find that March’s subscription is simple and fresh.

A couple NEW things to share:

  • If you pre-order my new book, Simply Clean, you can get March’s Homekeeping Society for free!
  • You can now purchase a one-year subscription for Homekeeping Society – yay!
  • new feature: QUICK TIPS page for each month – 3+ exclusive tips just for you

March’s Homekeeping Society subscription is up – and it has a shiny new homepage – check it out and use the coupon code 30OFFMARCH for 30% off your first month of a new subscription!

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

Homekeeping Society is simple to use:

  • 2 EASY PRINT packets are included – simply open and print the pages in ONE step. One version features one of each and the other is set up exactly how the printed version is packaged with 4 pages of the weekly planners, etc. You’ll love how easy this is to use!  Of course, the individual pages are also included, but if you want to print everything in one easy step, you’ll love this. If you want to print back to back, just select that upon printing and print away – easy, peasy!
  • I have a Facebook Group to help you with your homekeeping – HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY – join if you’re a member of the subscription or not, it’s a special place to discuss homekeeping struggles, tips, tricks and ask questions to other members or myself.  It’s a closed group, just ask to join and I’ll add you.
  • I have Homekeeping Society available in my Etsy shop – you can only purchase one month at a time and you will NOT have access to the previous months.  Feeling non-committal? Don’t want to subscribe?  Want to use PayPal?  This is a great option but you’ll need to repurchase each month instead of it being an automatic payment and download.
  • Another great feature with Homekeeping Society is that you can also access/save/download ALL the previous month’s of HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY!  That’s well over 300 printables that you can use!

How to login:

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

Keeping a home clean can be both rewarding and frustrating. Sure, it’s possible to get your home clean, but to keep it that way can be the biggest challenge. Throw in the additions of busy schedules, jobs, kids, chaos, and lack of time and energy and it can feel downright defeating. 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 with routine and more or less free time, Homekeeping Society will help you keep on top of the tasks and provide a little structure.

Want to see more and get on the list? I can’t wait for you to join me!  Go here to learn more.  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!

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 MARCH 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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5 Steps to an Organized Closet + Free Printable

I’ve been decluttering and organizing our master bedroom closet this past week and made a little checklist to follow and I thought you might like to use it too.  So if you’re stuck in an decluttering or organizing rut and need a little guidance and a plan, pick a closet and follow these 5 simple steps.

Closet Organizing Checklist

  1. Quickly go through clothes and make a pile of clothes to donate – if you don’t love it, if it doesn’t fit, and/or if you haven’t worn it in a year, it’s probably time to lose it.  Put these clothes in a bin, box or bag to drop off at your favorite donation spot.
  2. Organize clothes in a way that YOU can maintain – group like items together (short sleeves, long sleeves, pants, jeans, dresses, etc.). I like to loosely group clothes – jeans and pants, workout wear, short sleeves, and long sleeves.  If you need to completely empty the space to see what you’re working with, do it. Keep it simple so it’s easy to work with and maintain.
  3. Remove everything else that can be removed. Wipe down all the surfaces – left to right and top to bottom. Vacuum the floors, corners, baseboards and wash the floor if it isn’t carpeted.
  4. Any new systems that can be put into place?  Socks in a basket, drawer dividers, dresser in a closet, clothes in a bin, donate basket.  A donate basket is a must for our closets – it definitely helps to keep clothing in check on a regular basis.
  5. Complete any laundry that needs to be done – wash, fold, hang and put away.  Make sure that you’ve done the laundry so you aren’t reorganizing in a couple days.  Get your system the way you want it from the start!

Tackle your closet in an afternoon or do a step a day for five days – however you break it up, you’ll find that an organized closet makes doing laundry easier and it also makes the ‘what to wear’ process simple.  If you put in the work to cull your clothes and pick just the best pieces that fit and you love and enjoy wearing, you will save time all around.

Grab your FREE printable closet organizing checklist here!

You don’t want to miss these pre-order bonuses and gifts!

Make sure you sign up for my posts too!

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Simplify with a Cleaning Routine + Free Printable

I’ve had a lot of questions about my cleaning routine recently and what’s new and different in Simply Clean (my new book coming out March 21st), so I thought I’d give you some more information and a free printable too!

So….what’s the big deal with cleaning routines? And why do I talk about mine all.the.time?

  • I want my readers (that’s you!) and myself to feel calm and not stressed about cleaning.
  • a cleaning routine takes the guesswork out of what to do and when to do it
  • housework goes on autopilot – once you form a routine it becomes a habit and a habit is just something you do – this shift makes cleaning simple(r)

There are a lot of cleaning routines out there and even more opinions telling you what you should be doing and when you should be doing it.  Here’s the thing – not everything works for everyone BUT I can attest to the fact that my method for cleaning works in more situations than most routines do.  Why?  Because I’ve tweaked my routine over time with just about every work and at-home scenario imaginable.  Working, traveling weekly for work, going from 1 to 3 kids, running a business from home, working the overnight/early morning shift…you name it, I’ve probably tried it.  New here?  Click not that cleaning routine button below for specific links to explain my daily and weekly tasks and then come on back 🙂

CLEANING ROUTINE

Long before I was ‘Clean Mama’, I was developing a workable cleaning routine for me and then me and my husband and subsequently our little family of five. I came up with the routine because all the routines people talked about didn’t feel like they accounted for life and kids and being busy.

What’s the best thing about the Simply Clean Method?  It’s simple, effective and takes minutes a day.  

The Simply Clean Method works with any schedule and I can’t wait for you to try it out in your home! I’ve been sharing my cleaning routine online since 2009 – daily, weekly, and rotating cleaning tasks.  Over the years (since pre-2000) I’ve tweaked, edited, and reworked it to what it is today.  I’m so excited to share Simply Clean with you and share all about the Simply Clean Method of cleaning.  In the book I share a lot about how I started the method, you’ll hear about my little side-cleaning business (I used to clean homes of my fellow teachers after school), and you’ll learn why my routine is the simplest way to clean any home.

BUT, if you are new here or just catching up, you might be a little bit confused about how it all works together and where in the world should you start?

Here’s a basic run-down of my cleaning routine:

Go here to grab my free printable Cleaning Routine guide

In Simply Clean, I walk you through the entire process and share the Simply Clean Method with you.  I introduce monthly focus areas and different ways to clean your home quickly and with ease. My method is simple and it’s presented in a way that can be broken down into manageable, workable steps.  I hope you feel like I’m cleaning right along with you because that’s how I want you to feel as you’re reading. This is new information that builds on what I have been talking about for years, it’s presented in a fresh, new way with new details and concepts.

The best part of the book is that it’s a neat and tidy guide to cleaning and organizing your home in the simplest way possible.

In addition to the cleaning routine, you’ll find a 7-Day Simply Clean Kickstart (pre-order now, and you can get it today!) and a 28-Day Simply Clean Challenge – cleaning can be simple, these two little chapters in the book are the best (and easiest) way to get started!

You don’t want to miss these pre-order bonuses and gifts!  I don’t know about you, but I’m always impatient when it comes to books that are not available yet, I want them now!  If that’s you too, you’ll get to read the 3rd chapter and complete the 7-Day Simply Clean Kickstart now and that way when you receive the book March 21st, you’ll be ready for the 28-Day Simply Clean Challenge.

Spoiler:  I’ll be taking you through the 7-Day Simply Clean Kickstart here on the blog, on Instagram, and in my private Facebook group, Homekeeping Society (just ask to be added) the week before the book’s release so you’ll have lots of support and help as you get started!

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Get Your Pre-Order Bonuses for Simply Clean!

You guys!  I’m so excited to share the pre-order bonuses for Simply Clean with you today. First things first, I’d like to answer a couple questions I’ve heard from readers about Simply Clean and then we can chat about the fab bonuses and freebies (over $50 value for purchasing ONE book)!  And yes, if you already pre-ordered, you can still get the goods, just enter your info 🙂

What’s NEW in Simply Clean? (I get it, you want to read new things!)

If you have my first book, The Organically Clean Home, you know that the heart of the book is DIY cleaning recipes – shoot, there are over 150 of them!  Three years after writing it, I’m sharing some brand new recipes and thoughts on natural DIY cleaning in Simply Clean, but the heart of Simply Clean is my desire to share a cohesive and doable method for efficiently cleaning your home – The Simply Clean Method. In Simply Clean, I talk about how I developed the routine (spoiler: it started when I was in my early 20s and cleaning houses for coworkers) and how I’ve adapted and modified it through the years, different houses (apartments, townhomes, one and two story houses) with one, two, and three kids, pets, and a slew of different jobs and schedules. Simply Clean is designed to fit any lifestyle, home, and schedule.  It’s fresh, new and different and I can’t wait for you to read it for yourself!

What does Simply Clean include:

You’ll get started with the 7-Day Simply Clean Kickstart (you get this FREE when you pre-order so you can get started right away!) and then you’ll complete the 28-Day Simply Clean Challenge.  These two things alone will propel you to get your home cleaner than it’s ever been and you’ll be cleaning it with ease. This sets the groundwork for the Simply Clean Method and teaches you how to clean your home differently.

Throughout the book, I hold your hand and help you implement the Simply Clean Method and Routine to fit the busiest of schedules and any type or size of home. The magic comes when you learn how to layer the routine into your daily life – and yes, I’ll help you with that too!  You’ll find my rotating cleaning tasks laid out and explained and I also include monthly focus areas so you can concentrate on cleaning and organizing one room or area at a time. I can’t write a book without including step-by-step tutorials for cleaning hard-to-clean spaces, speed cleaning and organizing spaces, and of course you’ll find checklists to keep you on track, schedules that break everything down, and habit trackers.

Change the way you clean your home!

Cleaning doesn’t have to be done over a whole day, in Simply Clean, I’ll teach you how to break up your tasks and actually get more done in a shorter period of time! Want to clean your home in minutes and take back your home so it doesn’t control you?

Simply Clean is THE guide that will change the way you clean your home!

 

Here’s what you need to do to redeem your awesome bonus pack:

Just go here and PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY OF SIMPLY CLEAN TODAY in paperback, audio, or ebook from the online retailer of your choice and then enter your receipt information into the form on this page to automatically redeem ALL OF THIS:

• The 7-Day Simply Clean Kick Start (from Simply Clean)
• coupon code for 50% off all Clean Mama printables
• coupon code for 20% off all Clean Mama Home products
• One month membership (March 2017) to The Homekeeping Society
• Free Molly Suds laundry powder (70+ loads!) from ThriveMarket.com
• Over $30 worth of free products * from Grove Collaborative, including Mrs. Meyers Hand Soap and Dish Soap, a Grove Collaborative Kitchen Towel, and Grove Collaborative Walnut Scrubbers

* Grove Collaborative offer available for new customers only, to be redeemed upon sign-up at grove.co and after initial purchase of $20+.

All bonuses listed above PLUS:
• 5 autographed bookplates
• A Clean Mama Microfiber towel

All bonuses listed above PLUS:
• 10 autographed bookplates
• A Clean Mama Microfiber towel
• A one year membership to The Homekeeping Society
• A Skype or Facetime consultation with Clean Mama
• A Clean Mama Glass Spray bottle
• Simply Clean customized journal from May Designs

Offer good until March 21, 2017 or while supplies last – don’t miss out! Limit one per person and per household.  Offer limited to residents of the 50 U.S. (and D.C.), aged 18 or older. Void where prohibited by law.  For complete details, click here. 

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How to Choose a Vacuum Cleaner

Over the years I have owned and tested A LOT of vacuum cleaners. The thing about vacuum cleaners is that if you ask anyone their opinion, a.) they have one and b.) either they LOVE their vacuum cleaner or they HATE it.  So today, I’m going to save you the trouble and tell you some essential criteria for any vacuum cleaner and give you a handful of suggestions in all price ranges so you can make a more informed decision.  Because it really stinks to get a brand new vacuum cleaner and have it work great for a month and then it completely loses its suction and ability to pick anything up.  Ugh – been there, done that.

I also asked my Facebook Group – Homekeeping Society (not a member? just request to join!) their opinions too and asked for suggestions of vacuum cleaners that they LOVE and wholeheartedly recommend. My recommendations are based on my own experience, testing and research, recommendations from readers and Facebook group, and ratings from the retailers and Amazon.

My Vacuum cleaner musts:

  • purchase the best that you can in your budget
  • look for attachments (bonus if they are stored ON the unit) – crevice nozzle, hose, upholstery brush, dusting
  • look for a HEPA filter (High Efficiency Particulate Air) – to be rated as a HEPA filter, a filter must keep tiny particles .3 microns in size or larger at 99.97% – this means that it’s keeping most particles whereas a non-HEPA filter vacuum is blowing those particles back into the air which in turn goes right back in your home.  If you have allergy sufferers or anyone with asthma, this is most-definitely a must!
  • cord long enough that you don’t have to unplug it from room to room
  • multi-level filtration – if you don’t need/want the HEPA filter, make sure you have more than one filtration system to catch and hold dirt and dust
  • After having numerous vacuum cleaners with a canister/dirt tank, I prefer a bagged system and truth be told, it’s the main reason I switched from Dyson to Miele.  (I was sick of the dirt/dust escaping when I would empty the bin.)
  • look for a brushroll that can be turned off for vacuuming hard surface floors
  • check the weight of the vacuum cleaner and test them out – make sure it’s easy for you to maneuver

I’ve pulled together a couple favorites in 4 categories – these are vacuums that I recommend based on the above criteria in a variety of price ranges.  I hope it helps you in your search for the perfect vacuum! I’ve also added affiliate links under the image to purchase if you’re interested – the vacuums are in order of price, low to high and I’ve added a * to the ones that I have owned/tested or currently own and recommend.

Best robotic vacuums

iRobot Roomba 650  – Neato Botvac D80 Robot (Pets and Allergies)*

Best tank vacuums

BISSELL Zing Bagged Canister Vacuum – Eureka Mighty Mite Bagged w/Pet Attachments– Electrolux Ultra Flex Canister Vacuum – Miele Complete C3 Bagged Canister

Best Stick or Handheld Cordless vacuums

BISSELL Natural Sweep Dual Brush Sweeper – BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand Vacuum – Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Upright Vacuum Dyson V6 Handheld Vacuum Dyson V6 Animal Cord Free*

Best upright vacuums

Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away – Hoover Platinum Collection Lightweight Bagged Corded Upright with Canister  – Oreck LW100 Magnesium SP Bagged Upright* – Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Plus Allergy* – Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog Upright Bagged*

What do you think? What’s your criteria for a vacuum cleaner? Have a favorite to share?

I’m loving my Miele – I love that there’s no dust or debris whipped up while I’m vacuuming and I love the ease of having the attachments on-board for on the go cleaning.

It hits all of my criteria and then some (but it’s pricey).  The HEPA filter and bagged system is one of the best out there – if you’re used to buying new vacuum cleaners every couple years, it makes sense to purchase a better one that will last for years to come.

Coming March 21st –  Pre-order SIMPLY CLEAN today!

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Scent your Home Naturally : Diffuser Blends

Artificial fragrances are harmful and can be toxic – diffusing essential oils are a great way to safely scent your home.  There are oodles of ideas out there for ways to diffuse essential oils that have healing properties, but not a lot of ideas for just good smelling combinations.  So if you like a homey, fresh-smelling home and are looking for a safe and natural way to do that, you’ll love these combinations.  And if you’ve purchased essential oils and haven’t been using them or are only using them for cleaning, break out your diffuser or put a couple drops in a few cups of water and simmer gently on the stove.

If you’ve ever made a DIY cleaner, chances are you’ve added an essential oil or two to the mix.  I primarily use essential oils for cleaning and diffusing but there are oodles of other uses for them as well – but today we’re just talking about SCENT.  If you’re looking to branch out past lemon essential oil and customize the scent for your diffuser or cleaners, I have some favorite scent combinations for you.  Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what you come up with.

White Fir + Lime – I love this woodsy and fresh combination.  It’s a great wintery and clean scent.

Grapefruit + Bergamot – I’ve been diffusing this the last couple weeks – I love the fresh and warm citrusy scent.

Cinnamon + Cardamon + Ginger – If you’re a candle addict, this spicy scent will be your new favorite!

Lemon + Clove – my absolute favorite scent combination and signature scent – it’s homey, warm and inviting.

Eucalyptus + Lavender – if you like the smell of a spa, this is probably the combination they’re diffusing.

Lemon + Lime + Orange – citrusy and fresh, the lime is the perfect component to this citrus combo.

Cedarwood + Sage – relaxing, woodsy and herbaceous, this combination is a favorite.

Isn’t this diffuser great?  It works great and has a decor-ish look so it blends right in.  What’s your favorite diffuser combination or blend?

 

I use doTERRA essential oils but also recommend NOW and Plant Therapy.

Always use caution around pets and children when using essential oils.  

Coming March 21st –  Pre-order SIMPLY CLEAN today!

simplyclean3d

Here are a couple more essential oil posts that you might enjoy!  Just click on the image to go to the post.

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Week 5 – Simply Clean Declutter Challenge

It’s the END of the Simply Clean Declutter Challenge – did you complete it or part of it?  I completed the challenge right along with you and it feels so great to get some decluttering done.  I designed this challenge to be completed anytime – you can still grab the checklist and  join in on the decluttering fun – go through the list with a task a day or do a couple mini-sessions.

I’m going to be sending out my February newsletter tomorrow with the February calendar and the declutter challenge and some other exciting stuff – if you aren’t on my subscription list, put your email in below so you don’t miss a thing….

Want to keep up with Clean Mama?  Join me here (I’m doing a great giveaway on Instagram tomorrow – 2/1):

Looking for a simpler approach to homekeeping?  Pre-order my NEW book Simply Clean!  It will change the way you clean!

Here’s what we’ve already decluttered:

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5

Here’s the end of the challenge:

 

DAY 29 – Bags + Purses: Declutter your bags and purses. This might be going through your bags and purses and getting rid of what you no longer love and use OR it might be to declutter your purse – emptying it out and getting rid of everything that doesn’t need to be in there. I only have one purse – it’s a great one and I use it year-round. Make this task work for you and your purse and bag situation.

DAY 30 – Declutter Toys: Today’s task is to declutter toys.  If you don’t have kids, declutter another area or a craft or hobby area. Work quickly (enlist the help of your child(ren) and do some quick decluttering.  Donate anything that can be donated and toss anything that’s broken.

DAY 31 – Quick Sweep Through the House: Do a quick whole house declutter. Make a quick sweep and pick up and put away any clutter or complete any uncompleted tasks.  HOORAY!

The Simply Clean Decluttering Challenge is intended as a way to encourage daily decluttering and slow and steady progress.  You’ll get what you put into it – I promise that even if you just do a little decluttering, you’ll be closer to having a decluttered home than you were before you started.  Keep going and enjoy the process!

Go here to download the FREE Declutter Challenge Checklist!

Find Out More Homekeeping Society

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

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2 Ingredients : 3 Household Uses

Baking soda is one of the most versatile ingredients for DIY cleaners.  It can be used in laundry soap, to deodorize, scrub, absorb odors, etc.  Baking soda is also used in the kitchen as an ingredient for baking, so you know it’s non-toxic to use in your home.

I love a simple and quick cleaning tip, so this one is pretty great and I know I’ve shared these recipes on the blog over the years and in my first book, The Organically Clean Home, but I haven’t shared it quite this way.  Ready?  Go grab a box of baking soda and a mason jar!

 

Here’s the premise – make one basic recipe and use it 3 ways.

Mix up one recipe with one scent and use it as your universal cleaner OR mix up a couple jars with different scents for different purposes.  It’s totally up to you and customizable – yay!

GATHER YOUR SIMPLE INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 20-30 drops essential oil – my favorite is lemon and clove but you can use any combination that you’d like!
  • container with a lid or a shaker top (I like a mason jar, this one specifically :)) – I’ve previously used a shaker top but have switched to a lid – either way works!

Then:

  • put baking soda in your container (I use a piece of parchment paper like a cone to make this mess-free)
  • add essential oils to the top of the baking soda

  • stir and combine with a kitchen knife

  • store in a cool place with a lid on the jar (or with the lid off if you need an odor absorber)

Once you have your baking soda and essential oil mixture, you’re ready to use it in your home.  Here are my 3 favorite uses:

Nightly Sink Scrub

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

SEE HOW EASY IT IS TO MIX UP AND USE…

  1. wet your sink
  2. sprinkle liberally in your sink
  3. add a squirt or two of dish or castile soap
  4. scrub with a sink-safe scrubber
  5. rinse thoroughly + dry

Mattress Freshener

If you’re spring cleaning or trying to absorb and eliminate the scent of something yucky on your mattress, you’ll need about 1/4 cup of baking soda to cover the surface of a queen or king mattress.  Go ahead and sprinkle from your jar or mix this up separately.  I recommend using a fine sieve/sifter to evenly and lightly dispense the baking powder.  Lavender essential oil makes a wonderful scent for mattress freshening.  If you need something a little more powerful you might want to combine melaleuca and lemon to purify the scent a bit more.  

  1. LIGHTLY sprinkle over the mattress
  2. Let it sit for 30+ minutes
  3. Vacuum it up using an attachment on your vacuum cleaner ( I use an upholstery attachment but you can also use the hose attachment – clean it first and after you’ve used it!)

Need more info?  Go to this post for all my tips on cleaning and caring for your mattresses.

Carpet Freshener

If you have pets or struggle with your carpet smelling fresh or neutral, you’ll love the carpet freshener.  This is not meant to be used every time you vacuum, but anytime you need a little freshening up.  I recommend using a fine sieve/sifter to evenly and lightly dispense the baking powder on your carpet.  Use your favorite essential oil scent to give your home a signature scent – I use lemon and clove.

  1. LIGHTLY sprinkle on carpet
  2. Let sit for 15 minutes to absorb odors
  3. Vacuum up – I vacuum in both directions to make sure that I got ALL the baking powder up from the carpet and into the vacuum cleaner canister or bag

There you have it, two ingredients and three cleaning solutions – which one will you try first?

Looking for a simpler approach to homekeeping?  Pre-order my NEW book Simply Clean!  It will change the way you clean!

 

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Week 4 – Simply Clean Declutter Challenge

We’re four weeks into January and the Simply Clean Declutter Challenge – how are you doing?  I’m doing this challenge right along with you and I can tell you that it’s already making a difference in our home.  January is the perfect time for a little decluttering because you probably already feel motivated for it AND it’s the perfect time for a little fresh start.  It’s not too late to join in on the decluttering fun – start on the day that you feel like it and move ahead with us OR catch up with a couple mini-sessions.

Here’s what you need to do – choose a place or places to follow along:

  • Instagram  or Facebook – I post my cleaning routine daily in both of these places and am also posting the challenge every morning
  • my private Homekeeping Society Facebook page (just request to be added). If you need a friendly little reminder to show up in your feed so you get off your phone and get rid of something, follow along 🙂
  • off the grid?  grab the checklist (the link is below) and work away 🙂

Looking for a simpler approach to homekeeping?  Pre-order my NEW book Simply Clean!  It will change the way you clean!

Here’s what we’ve already decluttered:

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5

Here’s WEEK 4:

 

DAY 22 – Bathroom Counters:  Declutter and clean your bathroom counters. Remove what you no longer use, sort what you want to keep, and put back what you want to keep. Wipe off the counters before putting anything back.  Group like items together and put things back in a way that’s easy to keep tidy.

DAY 23 – Bathroom Drawers: Declutter and clean your bathroom drawers. You don’t have to do all your bathroom drawers, start with one and if you can do more, do more!  Remove what you no longer use, sort what you want to keep, and put back what you want to keep. Group like items together and put things back in a way that’s easy to keep tidy. I use divided drawer organizers in all of our bathroom drawers to keep them organized and easy to clean.

DAY 24 – Bathroom Cupboards:  Declutter and clean your bathroom cupboards. You don’t have to do all your bathroom cupboards, start with one and if you can do more, do more! Remove what you no longer use, sort what you want to keep, and put back what you want to keep. Group like items together and put things back in a way that’s easy to keep tidy.

DAY 25 – Bathroom Cleaning Caddy: Put together a little bathroom cleaning caddy. Put your favorite supplies in a caddy and keep it in your bathroom – perfect for speed cleaning and keeping your bathroom tidy! I keep my Clean Mama Home microfiber cloths, DIY window and disinfecting cleaners, and a scrubber in my cleaning bucket.

DAY 26 – Linens and Bedding: Declutter linens and bedding. This task will be different for different people – you might want to declutter and donate sheets that you no longer use or that have seen better days. Maybe you just want to tidy up your linen closet or storage.

DAY 27 – Bath Towels: Declutter bath towels. This task will be different for different people – you might want to declutter and donate towels that you no longer use or that have seen better days. I always keep a stack of old towels for icky clean ups, muddy puppy paws, a stand-in for rugs after playing in the snow….Or maybe you just want to tidy up your towel storage – do that today! I love using white towels to keep things fresh and clean looking.

DAY 28 – Shoes + Shoe Storage: Declutter shoes and/or shoe storage. Declutter as many shoes you can today – I keep shoes to a minimum with under ten pairs for myself and 2-3 pairs per child. Keep what you need and lose what you don’t use!

The Simply Clean Decluttering Challenge is intended as a way to encourage daily decluttering and slow and steady progress.  You’ll get what you put into it – I promise that even if you just do a little decluttering, you’ll be closer to having a decluttered home than you were before you started.  Keep going and enjoy the process!

Go here to download the FREE Declutter Challenge Checklist!

Find Out More Homekeeping Society

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

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20 Organizing Products You’ll Actually Use

Organizing is different for everyone.  You might be a contain and label everything person, you might be a contain and label somethings person, and maybe you just prefer to use the shelves and drawers in your home and stack and stash accordingly.

I’m somewhere in between BUT I’ve found that there are a handful of organizing products that actually make our lives a little easier. Stuff stays where it’s supposed, things get put back and put away, and chaos doesn’t ensue.

I have oodles of organizing quick tips and tricks in my new book SIMPLY CLEAN that I know you’ll love – pre-order it if you haven’t!

Today I’m going to share a handful of organizing products that ARE worth the expense, have stood the test of time, and the ultimate test, a busy family. Just the good stuff folks – I strive to share just the good stuff with you all the time, but these products are just so great that I had to round them up for you! If I have a related blog post where I talked about a system or tool, I’ve also added that link so you can go there for more information. I’ve linked up almost every product at the bottom of the post – if you’re looking for something, check there first!

Bathrooms

I love using a tray for placing makeup and tools on in the bathroom – when I go to wipe down the counter I simply put the tray on the floor and spray and wipe the counter off. Bonus points, I keep makeup in that little basket and brushes and tools in the cups.

If you struggle to keep products contained under the bathroom sink, get a divided lazy Susan – you can compartmentalize your products and it keeps them organized in a smaller space. I keep lotions and deodorant in a basket on a little shelf. This keeps any extras out of the way but still accessible.

One of my favorite organizing projects of all time was when I put all of our master bedroom closet ‘stuff’ in bins and labeled them. So simple, but still well over a year later, it still looks like this. Go here for the how-to.

I use these clear acrylic divided drawer organizers in every bathroom drawer – measure your drawers and find ones that work – they are amazing tools!

I love this hack – I keep a stash of cheap (linked below) washcloths in a wire basket on the side of my sink for washing my face at night. It’s a little luxury that I enjoy.

I can’t talk about bathrooms without talking about a bathroom cleaning caddy – the BEST tool for keeping bathrooms clean most of the time. Put together your favorite bathroom cleaning supplies and keep it handy for quick clean-ups and weekly cleaning. You can find all of these products in my Clean Mama Home shop (except for the scrubber which may be coming soon 😉

Closets

Everyone’s closet has a donate basket – if something no longer fits or has seen better days, it goes in the basket and once the basket is filled up it goes to our favorite donation place or relative. This is the basket in a corner of our master closet – this is a great system!

A couple years ago we re-did our master bedroom closet and had built-ins installed – I added these laundry baskets for my husband’s socks – one basket is for white socks and the other is for dress socks. No folding, just throw them in the basket while doing laundry.  (He has a lot of socks!)

If you don’t use a hamper system for doing laundry, you might find it really helpful for cutting down on your laundry time.  This was a must for our closet (I love it!) but you can easily just use a laundry hamper with the same results. My husband’s hamper is on the left, towels are in the middle, and my laundry is on the right. When it’s time to wash the clothes I just separate them out by whites and darks and that’s it! I do wash our clothes separately about once a week and towels get washed on their own.

Kitchen

This fall we had shelves installed in our pantry and it was a game changer for organization – I love them! My favorite organizing systems in this space are the clear acrylic bins for storage – easy access for the kids and the mason jars for dry goods. I also keep shopping bags in the basket below the bottom shelf.

I use glass jars all over the house for storage and decoration but my favorite use is to store bar mop cloths in them on the counter. This helps cut down on paper towel usage and it looks cute too! I also keep a vintage Ball jar on the counter with dishwasher pods.

I love keeping dish soap, hand soap, and granite cleaning spray (get my recipe here) in a small casserole dish. So cute and all I have to do to wipe down the counters is move the dish. Easy peasy.

Paperwork and Office

I love this little caddy for keeping paperwork and daily things organized – go to the post all about 3 things every command center needs here.

I have a HUGE filing cabinet – in the top I keep our personal and business files and in the bottom I have it divided into 3 for the kids stuff. We put memorabilia, school stuff, and other things we want to keep in the filing cabinet. Keeping files cute, labeled, and organized makes it slightly more enjoyable. Here’s an oldie but goodie post all about paper clutter if you’re interested!

Kids and Toys

Milk crates – they’re the perfect size for kids toys – I like using open baskets so there’s no guessing about what’s inside.

We use felt hangers for everyone’s clothes – I get them on sale at Homegoods – they keep clothing in one place (no slipping), and I love that they take up less space and give a closet a more put together look. This is my daughter’s closet – you can see she has milk crates above her clothes for storage.

Enough with the milk crates, but if you have young kids and struggle with the constant cleaning up all.the.time, try using an on your way up basket and putting those loose items in the basket.  When the kids go upstairs, they take the basket and put away the stuff.  Everyone wins!

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