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Homekeeping Society | January 2015 Essentials

January 2015  Homekeeping Society - Clean Mama

It’s almost the New Year (yikes!) and if you feel like you need a little extra help getting motivated, you will be thrilled with January’s HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY.  I am so excited to have so many of YOU keeping up with the everyday tasks with the help of the Homekeeping Society.  January’s monthly essentials are sweet and celebratory, perfect for all those goals and resolutions!  If you’re a member (log in here) and if you’d like to purchase 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 busy month of January – you’re going to love it!  The PERFECT start to the New Year!

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!

January 2015 Homekeeping Society2

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.

january 2015 Homekeeping Society 3

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.

January 2015  Homekeeping Society main

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
  2. COVER PAGE – with the month and the inspirational quote for the month – great for putting in your binder or homekeeping notebook
  3. HOMEKEEPING FOCUS page – every month will focus on a room or area in the home (December is living areas) – 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 (2 this month – Sunday start and Monday start)– great for those busy days (or every day!) includes schedule, to dos, notes, meal
  6. WEEKLY DOCKET– Use the weekly docket to see your whole week and schedule on a page
  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 (December is a holiday 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 2 – one insurance information page and one medical information page – 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.)

January 2015  Homekeeping Society

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.

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 January 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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Simple Organizing Systems that Work

Simple Organizing Systems that Work via Clean Mama

The 2014 Start Here series has been a huge hit.  Every week, we’ve tackled a small organizing task in our homes with the hopes of organizing our lives a little better.  As the year is nearing a close, every week in December I am highlighting an area in the home to work on.  This is a great time to finish up any missed tasks or take a couple minutes to get a specific area tidied up a bit.  This week take some time to straighten up any ORGANIZING SYSTEMS that need a little attention.  Here are some posts from this year to give you a little inspiration and help along the way.  Grab the FREE cleaning and organizing calendar for December to get you started!  Look for a BRAND NEW design for the 2015 FREE calendar and a new series!  Subscribe so you don’t miss a single post.

  • Organize your baking supplies, spices and herbs logically in order to find what you are looking for faster.
  • When is the last time you cleaned and organized your freezer? Utilize your space effectively to maximize your storage.
  • Photographs, whether paper or digital, can easily pile up and be incredibly unorganized. These methods will help you quickly make order of your pictures.
  • To keep or to toss? Sorting through memorabilia can be emotional and difficult. Implement these tips to help you go through things as painlessly as possible.
  • Create zones for your food storage to keep everything accessible and organized.
  • End the clutter trap under your bathroom sink with some simple organizational strategies.
  • Homework time can be a stressful time of searching for supplies and finding lost necessities. Create a homework station to get homework time started on the right foot.
  • Overcome the paper clutter with these 8 practical strategies to help you organize.
  • Create a simple homework caddy to contain all your school supplies and make homework time more manageable.
  • Toys chaos driving you crazy? Try this one simple tip to help toys find and keep their home.
  • Organize your purse so that it stays that way with this method.
  • DIY cleaners are not only better for your family but better on your pocketbook too. Assemble a DIY cleaner caddy to keep your supplies and ingredients at hand.
  • That space under kitchen sinks can easily become a jumble of cleaners, odds and ends and chaos. Try out these storage solutions to tidy up that space in a jiffy.
  • Do you know the secret to keeping mail off your counter? It’s not as tricky as you think!
  • Counter clutter driving you crazy? The tips will help make order of your chaos once and for all.
  • Create some craft storage that really works with minimal investment and maximum impact.
  • Eliminate your paper clutter with these simple solutions.
  • Try these tips for putting away your holiday decorations this year in an organized way.
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Easy Ways to Keep the Kitchen Clean During the Holidays

 Easy Ways to Keep the Kitchen Clean During the Holidays - Clean Mama
Love to entertain but dread the clean up?  Sick of being stuck in the kitchen while everyone is watching their favorite Christmas movies and board games?  This holiday season, use these tips to maximize the way you work in the kitchen to keep it neat and tidy.  You’ll spend less time working and more time enjoying family and friends.  Maybe you’ll even pick up a new trick or two that you can use year round!
Clean up spills right away - Clean Mama
  • Clean up messes right away.  That little spill on your stove is a lot easier to clean up right when it happens instead of waiting until the next day.

Get in the habit of wiping down the counters every night - Clean Mama

  • Wipe down the kitchen every night after dinner and put out a fresh dish towel.  Load up the dishwasher or wash the dishes.  You’ll enjoy coming into the kitchen the next morning without a pile of dishes waiting for you.
  • Empty the sink and dishwasher before guests arrive so you can put dirty dishes straight into the dishwasher during or after your parties and get-togethers.

Put Silverware and Serving Pieces in a Colander by the Sink for Washing - Clean Mama

  • Put a colander by the sink for dirty silverware – this is a quick trick to keeping silverware out of the sink and possibly down the drain or garbage disposal.  Once the colander is filled up, place it in the sink and rinse the silverware and wash or put in the dishwasher.
  • Before setting up for guests, put everything away and wipe down your island or that part of your counter you use to set out silver wear or food during the party. This will help make sure everything is ready to go for your party and is nice and clean to put anything down on.

Put Silverware in Mason Jars for Easy Access via Clean Mama

  • Gather silverware in a cup or pre-roll silverware in napkins to ensure that you have enough of everything and to keep it easy for your guests and family to locate that spoon.
  • Make a beverage bar so people can help themselves.  Hot cocoa, hot apple cider, and cold beverages can all be set up ahead of time to make grabbing a beverage easy for your guests.  Make sure to have a printed dishtowel or something close by in case someone spills!
  • Use a lint roller to give your dining chairs and/or furniture a quick once over to make sure your guests’ clothes don’t pick up any lint or pet hair.
  • Make ahead dishes that you can.  If you can purchase rolls, salads, and other items pre-made, do it!  It will save you prep and clean up time in the kitchen and chances are, no one will notice, or care.  Create a clean space to lay everything out while you’re setting up serving areas.
  • Use craft paper or chalkboard paper instead of tablecloths and let kids doodle on the paper.  No tablecloths to wash and a fun activity for the kiddos!
  • Make your own disinfecting holiday scented kitchen cleaner (safe on marble and granite) with 3 tablespoons rubbing alcohol, 2 cups water, 1/4 teaspoon castile soap and 1 drop each of cinnamon, lemon and clove essential oils.  (Feel free to adjust the scents or change to suit your taste.)  Spray on hard surfaces and wipe clean with a kitchen cloth.

It feels good to stay on top of the mess during the holidays and doing just a couple things to make a get together or just normal life run a little smoother is a win in my book.  A clean kitchen always feels good to me and finding a couple ways to keep it clean during the holidays is especially helpful.  A clean kitchen makes it easy to relax and enjoy family and friends without the worry of counters to clear and dishes to wash.  A clean kitchen in the midst of the messiness of the holidays is my #cleanfeelsgood moment.  Take a couple minutes of preparation and foresight and get your kitchen ready for new holiday memories to be made.  You’ll be glad you did!  If you need some great tools to get your kitchen (and house) cleaned up in a hurry, you’ll want to check out Scotch-Brite.

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This post is part of the #CleanFeelsGood Holiday Blog Hop – click on the links below to see the other bloggers’ tips for staying tidy this holiday season!  (This is a sponsored post from Scotch-Brite.  You can see my disclosure statement here.)

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How to Set Up a Filing and Budget System that Really Works

How to Set Up a Filing and Budget System that Really Works via Clean Mama

I’ve had so many requests for an update of my budget system and I finally have one for you today, just in time for the new year!  I have implemented a number of budget systems over the past few years and have lots of ideas for what works and what doesn’t.  There are a couple musts to make a budget system work and lots of ways to get to it to work for you.

Here are the MUSTS:

  • PLACE to keep, pay, and file bills – this can be in an office, a portable file cabinet, or a basket.  The location doesn’t have to be in the same place, but it can be, make it work for you.
  • TRACK your bills and payments – this can be as simple as a check register or as in-depth as a whole budget notebook.
  • ROUTINE – put budget and bill paying into your routine so it isn’t overwhelming.  I find that opening and filing bills daily and paying/tracking bills on Fridays is really helpful.

Here’s how I set up my filing and budget system – I hope it helps you get started!

Budget System via Clean Mama

I keep budget and bill paying supplies and records in my office.  I have a couple pieces of furniture and accessories that I love and I believe function really well for me, but you can choose different solutions or use what you have to accomplish the same thing.  (If you’re trying to get your budget in order the last thing you want to do is spend more money, right?)

FILING SYSTEM – here’s how I set mine up.  Depending on what you have that needs to be filed this can take minutes or days.  NOW is the time to get moving on this, it’s so much easier to start with the new year.

File Folders via Clean Mama

WALL SYSTEM – I purchased this wall system from Pottery Barn and I love it.  I have tried a couple other systems and found that this works the best for my office.  The components can be arranged to meet your needs and they get those papers that need to be dealt with in plain view.  I have 4 pockets with 4 different categories:

Wall Pocket Categories via Clean Mama

  • TO PAY – this is where I put bills that need to get paid during the CURRENT month.  I use a clothes pin to keep them all together and so I can quickly grab them when I sit down to pay bills.
  • TO FILE – these are bills and papers that need to find a home in the filing system.  I gather these for a month and then shred what can be shredded and file the rest.
  • IN PROCESS – these are bills that I might need at a moment’s notice – something for my business, important financial papers, things that are currently going on.  For instance, if you are re-financing your home you would keep all those pay stubs and other papers in this pocket until the deal is done.  Then file or shred.
  • CLEAN MAMA (BUSINESS) – I keep current contracts and other important papers here.  When I don’t need to access them anymore, they get filed.

BUDGET + BILL PAYING TRACKERS and PRINTABLES – This is my SECRET to staying on top of the bills, getting the bills paid on time, and getting rid of debt.  Having all the information handy in my homekeeping notebook is the key – I can take a peek and see if I paid the electric bill or what the balance is on an account.

Budget Worksheet and Bill and Payment Checklist via Clean Mama

Yes, I do online bill pay, but this system works in tandem with online bill paying.  I love it and my hubby does too – it’s great for accountability and all the bills, payments, and balances can be seen at a glance.  I have a few different budget kits in my shop, but I am currently using the Everyday Budget + Bill Pay Kit.  You can see all my printables in my shop here.

DESK – bill get paid and filed here.  I can do both from my chair and having everything at an arm’s reach make bill paying and filing easy and as enjoyable as possible.  This is the desk and file cabinet I have – I love the proportions and size.

Desk for Bill Paying via Clean Mama

With a PLACE to organize and pay bills, a system to TRACK bills paid, and a ROUTINE in place, you can definitely get your budget in order for 2015!  If you need some help getting your paper piles under control, you’ll appreciate this post: 8 Ways to Get a Handle on Paper Clutter.  What’s your biggest budget dilemma?

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Shop Update + SALE : Get Organized for 2015

I’ve been updating the shop and getting things ready for 2015 and thought you might like to take a peek!  Come see what’s NEW (go all the way to the bottom of the post for a little coupon code) …..

Everyday Work @ Home Kit main - Clean Mama Printables

Time Tracker and Year at a Glance - Clean Mama Printables

EVERYDAY Work@Home Kit – perfect for small business owners to get their stuff together and to get organized.  If you own your own business or work from home, this kit will help you get organized once and for all!

 

2015 Everyday Calendar Main - Clean Mama Printables

2015 Everyday Calendar - Clean Mama Printables

2015 EVERYDAY Calendar – simple, vertical format.  Add it to your planner or binder and keep track of all those important dates.  I use mine to map out my year for blogging and business-ing.  I put to dos in the notes section and keep track of themes and commitments.

 

Everyday Health + Fitness Kit main - Clean Mama Printables

Everyday Health + Fitness Kit full - Clean Mama Printables

EVERYDAY Health + Fitness Kit – looking for a little accountability in your health and fitness routine?  You’ll love the attractive and easy to use format of this new kit!  Make 2015 your year to get healthy!

 

Everyone loves a discount so I bundled some kits together to give you a little discount…

Everyday Complete Kit - Clean Mama Printables

EVERYDAY COMPLETE KIT

 

Everyday Resolution Kit - Clean Mama Printables

EVERYDAY RESOLUTION KIT

 

 

Clean Mama Printables Streamlined Life RESOLUTION Kit

STREAMLINED LIFE RESOLUTION KIT

Use the coupon code 25NEW2015 for 25% off your ENTIRE ORDER in my Etsy shop, CLEAN MAMA PRINTABLES – act fast, ends 12/12/14 at 10pmCST!

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Simple Tips for Organized Bedrooms & Living Spaces

 

Simple Tips for Organized Bedrooms and Living Spaces via Clean Mama

The 2014 Start Here series has been a huge hit.  Every week, we’ve tackled a small organizing task in our homes with the hopes of organizing our lives a little better.  As the year is nearing a close, every week in December I am highlighting an area in the home to work on.  This is a great time to finish up any missed tasks or take a couple minutes to get a specific area tidied up a bit.  This week take some time to straighten up any areas in your BEDROOMS AND LIVING AREAS that need a little attention.  Here are some posts from this year to give you a little inspiration and help along the way.  Grab the FREE cleaning and organizing calendar for December to get you started!  Look for a BRAND NEW design for the 2015 FREE calendar and a new series!  Subscribe so you don’t miss a single post.

  • Your entryway and mudroom can set the tone for how you feel when you walk in to your home. These three steps to a clean and organized mudroom will start you off on the right foot.
  • It’s easy for closets to become a tangled mess of clothes and disorganization. Keep everyone’s clothes organized and closets clean with these five tips.
  • No more searching for random socks and missing undies with these three organizational suggestions.
  • These four steps to an organized nightstand will keep those things you want handy at your fingertips and all the unnecessary not.
  • When is the last time you went through your books? Consider purging your books and quickly tidy up your bookshelves with these tips.

 

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How to Have a Cleaner, Healthier Home [sponsored by Home Depot]

How to Have a Cleaner, Healthier Home

Germs.  They’re everywhere and if you’ve ever experienced a round of the flu or a virus through your home you know it feels like a losing battle.  This fall I’ve felt like we’ve been living in a petri dish.  Anyone else feel the same?  Is there anything that can be done to prevent the sickness and the germs from spreading?

Clean Bathrooms via Clean Mama

Here’s what I do and encourage the family to do as well:

  • change hand towels daily or use disposable towels
  • wash hands all. the. time.
  • wipe down remotes/phones/handles
  • clean bathrooms frequently
  • replace toothbrushes
  • clean bathrooms thoroughly

When everyone’s healthy, it’s all about keeping the house clean and tidy to keep everyone healthy.  This is where a weekly cleaning routine really comes in handy.  Keep your tasks on a schedule and just do what’s next on the list.  Here are a couple of my routine cleaning tasks:

  • replace air filters as scheduled
  • vacuum frequently
  • wash bedding and bed linens weekly
  • wipe down counters daily
  • change hand towels daily
  • wash floors
  • dust weekly
  • keep the bathrooms clean

Are you’re doing all these things and still feeling like you’d like to do more?  You’ll love some of the innovative products from The Home Depot.  Today I’m sharing a couple of my favorite products perfect for keeping your home healthy and clean.

First off, let’s talk about showers.  They are HARD to clean.  And once you have them clean, they’re spotty and dirty again.  I love this Delta Crestfield Sliding Oil-rubbed shower door.  It looks great AND it has spot guard easy-clean coating.

 

delta shower

How about this Kohler Cimarron Touchless toilet  – isn’t this a great option?  A no-touch motion sensor?  Awesome.

kohler toilet

I love the farmhouse style of this Moen Walden kitchen faucet with Microban antimicrobial protection.  It actually helps prevent the growth of damaging bacteria on the finish. The Spot Resist finish resists fingerprints and water spots to maintain the brilliance of the original finish and easily wipes clean.

moen

Next time you’re at The Home Depot, swing by their cleaning supplies – you’ll be surprised by the selection of tools and products!

 

So what do you do to keep your home healthy?  Share YOUR best tip for keeping your family healthy and your home clean!

Today’s post is sponsored by The Home Depot, rest assured, as always, I never recommend a product or company that I don’t love.  You can read my full disclosure statement here

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Simple Tips for Organizing the Kitchen

 

Simple Tips for Organizing the Kitchen via Clean Mama

Today is the LAST DAY for the huge Black Friday – Cyber Monday sale in my shop – go to this post for more info!

The 2014 Start Here series has been a huge hit.  Every week, we’ve tackled a small organizing task in our homes with the hopes of organizing our lives a little better.  As the year is nearing a close, every week in December I am highlighting an area in the home to work on.  This is a great time to finish up any missed tasks or take a couple minutes to get a specific area tidied up a bit.  This week take some time to straighten up any areas in your KITCHEN that need a little attention.  Here are some posts from this year to give you a little inspiration and help along the way.  Grab the FREE cleaning and organizing calendar for December to get you started!  Look for a BRAND NEW design for the 2015 FREE calendar and a new series!  Subscribe so you don’t miss a single post.

  • If the clutter on your counters are driving you bonkers, it’s time to implement these tips on eliminating it for good!
  • Under the sink organization can be tricky, but not when you implement these four simple concepts.
  • Get ready for a flurry of baking with these three tips on how to organize baking supplies.
  • Time to tidy up your pantry so you can actually find things! Create zones and storage to make life easier with these tips.
  • Feel like you never can find big chunks of time to organize? Take 15 minutes out of your day and organize a kitchen drawer with these easy tips.
  • Tackle that mess of a junk drawer and create some order in only 15 minutes with these helpful suggestions.
  • Organize your kitchen drawers logically to minimize disorganization and maximize function.
  • Want to know the secret to keeping mail and paper clutter off the counter and in to some sort of a system? Check out these tips out for some advice.

 

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Clean Mama Printables Black Friday Sale

Just popping in with a HUGE sale in my Etsy shop, Clean Mama Printables starting NOW through the entire weekend.  I hope you have a great Thanksgiving and are gearing up for a great weekend.  Use the code 40BLACKFRIDAY for 40% off your ENTIRE order!   Please make sure that you enter the code in the coupon code area at checkout and act fast – sale ends 12/1/14 at 7pm CST!

Have some questions about my printables and products?  Check out my FAQ page – it breaks down my 3 product lines, gives ideas for how to implement the printables, how to print and resize, and lots of other helpful tips.

Clean Mama Printables BLACK FRIDAY SALE via Clean MamaI’m beyond thankful for my readers and customers – have a wonderful weekend!  Head over to the shop and use the code 40BLACKFRIDAY for 40% off your entire order.

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Appliance Cleaning Guide

Appliance Cleaning Guide via Clean Mama

I’ve written a lot of posts about cleaning appliances and a top question from readers is how to clean appliances.  We want to know the quickest, easiest, and safest way to clean them, so today I’m rounding up all of my methods in this post.  Check it out and give your appliances a quick clean today!

  • Did you know that this one ingredient is all it takes to clean your stainless steel appliances?
  • Help your dishwasher work as efficiently as possible with this simple method.
  • Clean your washing machine to like-new status, no matter whether it’s top or front loading. No chemicals, no bleach!
  • No need for stinky cleaners or toxic chemicals with this easy DIY oven cleaner.  Works quickly to remove baked on gunk and grime.
  • Clean out all those crumbs, drips and spills in your freezer with this simple cleaning method.
  • No need to dread cleaning out your refrigerator when it is as simple as this!
  • Quick clean your major kitchen appliances in under an hour!  Includes a free printable to get you started in a hurry.
  • Steam clean your microwave and leave behind nothing but clean with this method.  Smells great, too!
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5 Ideas for Organized Bedding

5 Ideas for Organized Bedding via Clean Mama

This week’s organizing focus is BEDDING.  You can find November’s FREE Cleaning and Organizing calendar here and December’s here.

Your challenge this week is to take a little time to sort and organize your bedding.  Regardless of your bedding storage,  take a couple minutes this week to organize the space.  Here are 5 tips for bedding storage and care to get you started.

  • Re-purpose or donate any linens or bedding that haven’t been used in the last year.  Do you really need 6 sets of sheets?  I keep one extra set for each bed and I find that this not only keeps the laundry down it also makes it easier for storage.
  • Take inventory for guests – do you have enough pillows, pillow cases, and bedding?  I figure 2 pillows per person on all of our beds and then make sure that I have extras for company as well.
  • With winter upon us, take blankets out of storage and wash if necessary.  Do you need additional blankets/quilts/comforters?  Or do you need to trim down what you have?  Now is a great time to assess the situation.
  • Use a basket or bin for overflow storage.  Contain your linens and linen closet items with a basket or two is a great way to keep the closet organized.  If your folding is a little haphazard (see above) or if you have too much stuff on your shelves, baskets are a great alternative.
  • Use a pillowcase to store your folded set of sheets.  Fold your fitted sheet into a small square, wrap your flat sheet around the fitted sheet, tuck one of your pillowcases in between the flat and fitted sheet, and then put that “package” into one of the pillowcases from the set.  This keeps the set together and looks much neater on the shelf.

What are your best bedding tips?  Share in the comments!

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Start Here. FREE December 2014 FREE Cleaning + Organizing Calendar

start here logo

Happy (almost) December! If you’ve been working through the Start Here. calendar since January I hope you’ve met successes and made some oodles of progress in your home. If you’re new here, check out the first post in this series for a little more explanation.  Look for a BRAND NEW design for the 2015 FREE calendar and a new series!  Subscribe so you don’t miss a single post.

What’s behind the success of any clean and organized home?

Consistency and follow through.

This series Start Here. is a great place to start (and finish) because without starting something, you’ll never finish anything. Don’t get bogged down in the every day messiness that is life, you have to start somewhere to get anywhere and that’s what we’re doing today. If you are completely overwhelmed or just a little overwhelmed, start with a little bit every day – set your timer for 10-15 minutes and just do what you can on the list. It’ll get a little bit easier every day and every week – just keep at it and you’ll be making progress in no time!

Ready? We all have to start somewhere – let’s Start Here.

Here’s a little infographic that explains the cleaning and organizing schedule…

Start Here.  Cleaning + Organizing Calendar Infographic via Clean Mama

Want to join in on the fun? Grab a FREE cleaning and organizing calendar for December (this is free in my shop– if you prefer Googledocs, you can go here to grab it) and give it a go. Follow along all month for motivational posts and tips to keep up with the daily and weekly tasks.

December 2014 Clean + Organized Calendar via Clean Mama

Need a little more explanation? Go to this post to see more information on my cleaning and homekeeping routine. I’ve covered a lot of cleaning and organizing ground – you can go here to see all the posts in this series.  Through December I’ll be recapping the year and giving you a little time to get your home clean and tidy in a hurry!

The Streamlined Life Complete Kit via Clean Mama Printables

(If you like this calendar style, you’ll love The Streamlined Life Series in my shop!)  Rumor has it that I’m going to have a HUGE Black Friday sale – another reason to subscribe!

Have you joined the HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY? It’s a monthly subscription you’ll love – check it out!

HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY BUTTON

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5 Pre-Holiday Tips to Make the Season More Enjoyable

5 Pre-Holiday Tips to Make the Season More Enjoyable via Clean Mama

Today’s post is sponsored by Bona, but my love for their hardwood floor mop is all my own!  I have the Bona Hardwood Floor Mop on my recommended cleaner page – you will love it!  You can read my full disclosure statement here – rest assured, as always, I never recommend a product that I don’t use and love. 

The holidays are upon us and if you’re anything like me you might feel a little anxious about getting everything done and ready in time.  During the busy holiday season I do a couple things before December is upon us to make our home sparkling and clean before all the festivities begin.  Starting with a clean house really helps me relax and enjoy the holidays.  Think about it – bringing out decorations and adding to what already is in the house can give your home a cluttered feeling.  Take a little time to get it sparkling and clean and then relax and enjoy the season with your family.

DECLUTTER: Go through the house and pick up anything that doesn’t belong.  Put it away, donate it, or toss it out.  Decluttering is especially helpful before the holidays start – make room decorations, gifts, and other effects of the season.  If you make this a family affair, chances are it will go a little more quickly.  Set a timer and see how quickly you can move through the house to get everything put away and decluttered in a hurry.  It’ll be more fun and you’ll definitely appreciate the effort later.

CLEAN APPLIANCES:  Depending on how much time you have, do a quick clean of your appliances.  You can be as thorough as cleaning each and every one inside and out or simply wipe the outsides down.  My must clean appliances are the refrigerator and the stove.  I start with those because the oven can always use a good cleaning and it’s nice to have a clean refrigerator before a big holiday dinner.  Empty the refrigerator and wipe down the shelves with a mixture of up 1 teaspoon of dish soap (or castile soap), 1 teaspoon baking soda, and  about 4-6 cups of warm water.  Wipe out drawers and bins and dry thoroughly.

Clean Appliances via Clean Mama

SPARKLING, CLEAN FLOORS:  Everyone loves a sparkling, clean floor.  I quickly vacuum corners and get any debris off the floor.  Then I use the Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner for a safe and residue-free sparkling clean floor.  I love how lightweight it is and how easy it is to get a great shine on my hardwood floors.  The spray nozzle has great reach and the microfiber pad ensures that it’s getting every last inch.  It’s so easy to use, the kids can even pitch in.  The Bona Hardwood Floor Mop is the perfect addition to your pre-holiday decorating routine.

Easy to Clean Floors via Clean Mama

Visit Bona to sign up for the Bonafide Fanatics mailing list and download a $3.00 off coupon! 

Sparkling Clean Floors from Bona via Clean Mama

CLEAN BATHROOMS:  Take a little time to clean up the bathrooms and stock with fresh towels, tissues, and toilet paper.  Clean the mirrors, wipe down counters and sinks, and clean the tubs and toilets.  Any expected or unexpected visitors will appreciate a clean bathroom and your family will too.  Add a seasonal towel or candle or add a couple ornaments in a pretty dish to give your bathroom a little festive touch.

Clean Bathrooms via Clean Mama

AMBIENCE:  Light a couple candles, turn on the twinkle lights, and let the magic of the season take over.  My favorite thing to do after decorating and getting ready for Christmas is to just sit back and relax and truly enjoy it with the family.  Watching holiday movies, baking cookies, and spending time together are some favorite moments of the year.

Ambience via Clean Mama

I find that taking a little time to spiff up the house and clean a couple key areas makes a huge difference in our home.  How about you?  Is there something you do BEFORE you launch into full holiday mode?

Visit Bona to sign up for the Bonafide Fanatics mailing list and download a $3.00 off coupon! 

After Bona via Clean Mama

A little bit about Bona Products:
-Bona Hardwood Floor cleaners are non-toxic and GREENGUARD certified.
-Won’t leave any residue behind.
-Third-party certified to be safe and effective.

 

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Make Ahead Baked Goods for the Holiday Table

Make Ahead Baked Goods for the Holiday Table via Clean Mama

I love to bake.  I also love to bake ahead and fill the freezer with yummy baked goods for the holidays.  It would most definitely be easier to purchase rolls from your local bakery or grocery store for Thanksgiving dinner, but if you made the rolls ahead of time and froze them that would fall under the ‘seasonal’ shortcut’ category.  So if you were going to bake something for the holiday table anyway, why not make it ahead and freeze it and take that shortcut.  Today I’m rounding up my favorite recipes perfect to bake ahead for holiday meals or just to make your kitchen smell like it should this time of year.  Enjoy!

Seasonal Shortcuts - Simple Ways to Save Time and Enjoy the Season via Clean Mama

This is part of a series all about seasonal shortcuts – go here to see all the posts in the series.

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3 Ways to Take the Stress Out of This Holiday Season

3 Ways to Take the Stress Out of This Holiday Season via Clean Mama

It’s that time of the year – holiday parties, family events and get-togethers, pageants and plays, and all sorts of holiday cheer.  So what’s the best way to keep it all together and make things a little easier when everything else seems to be ramping up at breaking speed?  Let’s take a little stress out of the holidays this year and find a couple ways to make life easier so we can actually enjoy this season!

PLAN AHEAD AND SAY NO:  Look for ways to cut out anything that isn’t necessary.  Plan out the the events and get-togethers and establish what is absolutely necessary and what isn’t.  Make sure your priorities are reflected in your choices – saying yes to every invitation isn’t necessary.

TAKE INVENTORY:  Need Christmas pajamas or holiday outfits?  Purchase now to avoid last minute and stressful shopping runs.  Get your shopping done as early as you can or your budget will allow so you can relax and enjoy the month.   Cut back on any unnecessary gifts, don’t try to make everything, and order or purchase holiday cards now to avoid last minute rushing.

MAKE A FAMILY LIST:  Let everyone choose an activity that’s special or important to them, put it on a list, and make sure it’s added to the calendar.  The list can be as simple as watching that favorite Christmas movie, making frosted sugar cookies, going to the tree lighting ceremony downtown, or driving around to see holiday lights.  Making these special memories a priority will ensure that December doesn’t fly by without slowing down to savor the season.

I am happy to have a cleaning routine when life gets busy – even when I can just do the basics, I know that someone can stop by and my house won’t be in shambles because I have a system in place that works in all seasons.  Best part?  Knowing that the laundry is caught up and put away – it definitely helps to keep the stress off.

What’s your best tip for simplifying the holiday season?

This post is sponsored OxiClean.  I am a 2014 ambassador for OxiClean™ Laundry Detergent .   I’ve been using the unscented, perfume and dye-free liquid laundry detergent.  I love that I can use it to pre-treat and to wash clothes with, but if I forget to pre-treat a stain, it’s probably going to come out anyway.  It’s safe on all fabrics, whites and colors and uses the power of OxiClean to get tough, dried on stains!

OxiClean Laundry Detergent

 

Available in Fresh Scent and Perfume & Dye Free (my favorite and perfect for sensitive skin and those of us that don’t like added fragrance).  I really like that OxiClean Laundry Detergent’s stain fighting abilities are meant to help moms take a load off their day.

You can read my full disclosure statement here – rest assured, as always, I never recommend a product that I don’t use and love.

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