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

Clean Mama’s Cleaning Routine

Clean Mama's Cleaning Routine - everyday a little something

It’s obvious that I love a good cleaning routine.  Honestly the reason I love a good cleaning routine is because I love a clean and organized house.  With minutes a day and a plan, homekeeping can be enjoyable, simple, and easy to fit into your busy life and schedule.  This post is intended to sum up my cleaning routine and point you in the direction of a little (or a lot) of help to get you started.   In case you’re curious, I have been implementing this cleaning routine for nearly 15 years – as a newly married, full-time working gal, a full-time working out of the house mom, a stay-at-home mom, a traveling working in and out of the home mom, and now a work-at-home mom.  This routine is for anyone that’s busy and doesn’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning.  It may need to be tweaked for your life and schedule, but if you want to spend a couple minutes every day with a little homekeeping, the Clean Mama Cleaning Routine is for you!  Remember, it’s just ‘everyday a little something’!Daily Cleaning Tasks

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

daily cleaning tasks - clean mama

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

Weekly Cleaning Tasks

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

CM | day icons

 

Rotating Cleaning Tasks

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

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

The Clean House Cleaning Routine Instructions via Clean Mama

 

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

 

How to Make a Cleaning Planner via Clean Mama

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

 

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Quick Ways to Organize a Laundry Room

Quick Ways to Organize a Laundry Room via Clean Mama

If you do laundry daily (like me) you spend a fair amount of time in and out of your laundry room/basement/laundry closet.  It is so much easier and more enjoyable to have an organized laundry room – so for this week’s organizing task we’re going to organize the LAUNDRY ROOM.

Take a couple minutes to wipe down the exterior of your washer and dryer with your favorite cleaner to get the lint and dust off your machines.  Vacuum under and around the machines if you have the time.  Then take a peek at your space and look for ways to make this space more efficient, organized, and user-friendly.

  • Remove any non-laundry or unnecessary items.  If your laundry room has become a dumping ground for non-laundry items, put them where they belong.
  • Group cleaning supplies in a cleaning caddy or bin.  Keeping these items in a designated caddy will help to keep your space more organized.  If you can put cleaning supplies that aren’t laundry related in a different space, take the time to do that this week.
  • Create a laundry room ‘stray’ basket or container for lone socks, pocket change, and other miscellaneous items.  Just make sure that you find the real spot for these items so it doesn’t turn into a junk basket.
  • Short on storage?  Use the top of your washer and dryer for storage.  (Just keep anything breakable off your washer and dryer so the spin cycle doesn’t send anything flying.)
  • Group like items together – washing products together, stain treatment products together, softening products together, etc.  Organizing always works better when items are grouped together.
  • Take powders out of boxes and put them in clear containers for a more decorative and uniform look.
  • Add labels if you’d like – take a couple minutes to add this finishing touch to your laundry room – you might know what that white powder is, but other people using the laundry room might not.

Need a little more laundry inspiration?

FREE printable Laundry Guide

The Right Way to Do Laundry

Have a great idea for organizing a laundry room? Leave it in the comments!

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Start Here. July 2014 FREE Cleaning + Organizing Calendar

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Happy July!  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.

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. Start here.

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 July (this is free in my shop – if you’d prefer to grab it from 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. Need a little more explanation? Here’s a post on Weekly Cleaning Tasks and a post on Daily Cleaning Tasks. I’ve/we’ve covered a lot of cleaning and organizing ground – you can go here to see all the posts in this series.

FREE Cleaning + Organizing Calendar for JULY via Clean Mama

Go here to grab your FREE calendar for July 2014!

If you’re new here you might also like my new series all about homekeeping called Modern Day Homekeeping.

cmp ad - 250(If you like this calendar style, you’ll love The Simplified Life Series in my shop!)

Have you seen my book, The Organically Clean Home?  It’s the perfect companion to your homekeeping adventures!

The Organically Clean Home - Clean Mama

Follow along!

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A Simplified Week : Toiletries

a simplified week

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

Toiletries:

  • If you have minimal time and want to do a quick and easy toiletry overhaul, start here. These simple suggestions will get you organized in no time. Via Clean Mama
  • When the  majority of your toiletries are stored in bathroom drawers, it doesn’t take long before they become jumbled and disorganized. I love this system of keeping everything in dividers and containers so that everything has it’s place. Via Pretty Well Organized
  • If you are looking to do a major purge and overhaul of your toiletries and bathroom storage space, check out this post. There are some creative solutions to storage that don’t involve a major investment and enlightening ideas on how you can do take control of your bathroom space. Via From Overwhelmed to Organized

Something to Eat:

  • This collection of 36 summer sides and salads will definitely get a workout in this house. I love a salad on warm summer evenings, not to mention there being plenty of yummy recipes for BBQ’s and get togethers. Via Two Peas and Their Pod

Something to Make:

  • Create a water garden complete with lily pads for your deck or patio. For those of us that don’t have the space or energy to add a pond to our backyard, this is a great substitute. Via What’s Ur Home Story

Something for the Kids:

  • I love this DIY Dry Erase book for kids. The concept is simple with hilarious results using copied family photos that kids can fancy up with their own twists. Via All For the Boys

Simplify:

  • Love making your own cleaners?  You have got to see some of the cutest labels I have seen out there!  Perfect for labeling, simply print out and pop them on the bottles for instant cuteness. Via The Handmade Home

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Start Here. June 2014 FREE Cleaning + Organizing Calendar

start here logo

Happy June! 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.

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. Start here.

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 June (this is free in my shop – if you’d prefer to grab it from 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. Need a little more explanation? Here’s a post on Weekly Cleaning Tasks and a post on Daily Cleaning Tasks. I’ve/we’ve covered a lot of cleaning and organizing ground – you can go here to see all the posts in this series.

If you’re new here you might also like my brand new series all about homekeeping called Modern Day Homekeeping.

Cleaning + Organizing Calendar for June 2014 via Clean Mama

Go here to grab your FREE calendar for June 2014!

cmp ad - 250(If you like this calendar style, you’ll love The Simplified Life Series in my shop!)

Have you seen my BRAND NEW book, The Organically Clean Home?  It’s the perfect companion to your homekeeping adventures!

The Organically Clean Home - Clean Mama

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Modern Day Homekeeping : 3 Secrets to a Clean House

3 Secrets to a Clean House - Modern Day Homekeeping via Clean MamaYour home is where you share life with the people you love – they are the most important thing, a clean house is not.  Don’t take cleaning too seriously – it’s one of those things that has to be done so why not figure out the best and quickest way to accomplish your tasks, right?  Start with the daily tasks and then add the weekly tasks (free printable to help is on this post).  Slowly you’ll be able to add in the bigger rotating cleaning tasks – these are cleaning tasks like washing windows and washing baseboards.  Even when you feel like you’ve got it ‘all together’ you still need a couple tricks up your sleeve (or cleaning glove) to balance real life and a little homekeeping.  I thought it would be fun to tell you a couple of my secrets to a clean house – they aren’t revolutionary or world changing but maybe they will help you in your quest for a clean home.

Secret #1 : Skip a day when you need to.

Don’t get wrapped up in the cleaning routine so much that you can’t skip dusting or cleaning the bathrooms for a week.  The dust will still be there the next week or on Friday for catch all day (a day to catch up).  The reason my cleaning routine works for me and for so many of you is that it isn’t rigid and one day isn’t dependent on the next.  NO one likes to feel defeated – just do what you can and the rest will be there tomorrow.

Secret #2 :  Know the fake outs.

People coming over or just want to give your house a 5 minute tidy up?   Have a couple quick fixes or fake outs that work to whip your house into shape in a couple minutes.  Mine are to put out clean kitchen and bathroom towels, load up the dishwasher, give the toilet a quick wipe down, clear/clean kitchen counters, dim lighting, and fluff sofa pillows.

Secret #3 : Leave when it’s clean.

Now that we’re entering summer, I’ll let you in on my best secret – once the house is picked up we leave.  This may sound counter-intuitive but sometimes I don’t feel like going through the whole pick everything up again routine.  So we try to spend as much time outside and out and about as we can.  We also eat outside as much as possible – the birds love my patio and my kitchen floor stays clean.  When my oldest two were younger, we’d do stroller picnics just about every day.  They’d eat lunch in the stroller, we’d walk to a park and play, and then we’d head home just in time for naps.  Don’t get me wrong, we most definitely live in our house and I don’t invent things to keep us busy, but sometimes getting out is good!

There you have it.  My 3 secrets to a clean house.  Let’s hear your secrets!

This post is part of a series – Modern Day Homekeeping – you can see all the posts here.

Subscribe to the blog (just pop your email address in the box on the sidebar) and follow along socially!  I’ll be posting pictures and homekeeping related tips on Instagram using the hashtag #moderndayhomekeeping

 

The Clean Mama Modern Day Homekeeping Kit –  designed to help you (and me!) keep up with your home in the midst of everyday life.

The Modern Day Homekeeping Kit via Clean Mama Printables

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Modern Day Homekeeping : Daily Tasks

Modern Day Homekeeping - 4 Daily Tasks That Make Life Easier  via Clean Mama

Want to know the secret to a clean house?  It isn’t a cleaning service (that would help!) – it’s a cleaning routine.  A few simple household tasks completed every day is all it takes to formulate a cleaning routine.  I know you’re feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with the monotony that can come with cleaning or the constant cleaning and picking up that comes with a running and managing a household (along with EVERYTHING else!)  If this resonates with you and you have absolutely no idea where to start, this is where you need to be!  Take a DEEP breath and keep reading….

Every single day I complete these 4 daily tasks.  Not only do they help keep the house tidy, they make the other cleaning tasks so much easier.  Don’t compound your overwhelmed feeling with thinking that you have to start all this at once.  You certainly can, but it might be easier to start with one task for a week and add another task the next week.  Alternatively, you can set a timer for 3 minutes and complete what you can on each task for the required time (3 minutes of a quick floor check, 3 minutes to wipe down counters, 3 minutes to bust clutter, 3 minutes to fold laundry or put a load in the wash).  You’ll be amazed by how easy it is to keep up with the homekeeping when you are implementing a couple simple tasks.  (Side note: ‘making the bed’ is not on the list but it’s something that I do every day and it definitely helps a room look put together.  Not a bed maker?  Try making the bed for a week right when you get up, you’ll be surprised at how easy it really is!

CHECK FLOORS | Check the floors in your house and sweep or vacuum IF necessary.  Eating areas are hot spots to catch crumbs.  If you have pets, check the corners and under furniture as well.  Have kids?  Keep a small  dustpan in a cupboard or pantry and let them sweep up under the table after meals.  They’ll love it!

COUNTERS | Wipe kitchen counters and your table after meals and at the very least, once a day.  This ensures that the countertops are cleared off and ready for whatever.  Trust me, it takes much longer to do all the day’s dishes and cleaning up one time than it does to take care of it at that meal time.  Wiping the counters is synonymous for me with washing dishes and loading/unloading the dishwasher.  Check bathroom counters and wipe up any little messes (toothpaste on the counters, etc.) if necessary.

CLUTTER | Take 5-10 minutes a day to tackle daily clutter.  Sort through mail, pick up toys, clothes, and other odds and ends that haven’t made it back to their homes.  Have kids?  Get the rest of your family involved with a quick family clean-up before or after dinner – set the timer for 5-10 minutes and race around picking up and putting away.  You’ll be surprised by how much you can get cleaned up AND how much fun cleaning up can be.

LAUNDRY | Take at least one load of laundry from start to folded and put away every day.  This process keeps the laundry piles away and ensures that clothing is sorted and put away daily.  Working mom?  No time for this?  Try using the delay button (if you have one) on your washing machine so it starts at 5am.  Put the clothes in the dryer at 6am and carry about your morning.  In the evenings when all you want to do is veg out in front of the television, add folding that one load to your repertoire.  Put the clothes away (or in a basket for the owner to put away) and repeat for the next day.  (This is mostly helpful for families or people with lots of laundry – you might find that doing laundry once or twice a week is fine for you and that’s great!  The point of this is to not let it get to the point where laundry is your nemesis.)

Ready to give it a go?  Have questions?  Ask away!  I’ll be back later this week with a little explanation of my WEEKLY cleaning tasks (and a FREE printable!) to help you get started.

This post is part of a series – Modern Day Homekeeping – you can see all the posts here.

I also have a new kit – The Clean Mama Modern Day Homekeeping Kit – in my shop designed to help you keep up with your home in the midst of everyday life.  There’s a page with my daily tasks and weekly cleaning routine.

The Modern Day Homekeeping Kit via Clean Mama Printables

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Modern Day Homekeeping – The Printable Kit

The Modern Day Homekeeping Kit via Clean Mama Printables

I am so excited to get started on this new series with all of you!  If you ever wonder if you’re the only one that struggles to keep up with it ‘all’, just go to the first post in this series and read through the comments.  Homekeeping is something that is learned and perfected and just when you think you have it mastered, something will change and it’ll all be thrown out the window.  My hope is that this series helps you start enjoying the process of homekeeping.  I am so excited to share some simple ideas and lessons with you over the next few months.  I know you’ll love it!

My mind works in graphics and checklists so it only makes sense to create a new printable kit, The Clean Mama Modern Day Homekeeping Kit, as a tool for you (and me) to simplify the process of homekeeping.  (You don’t need to purchase the kit to take full advantage of this series, it’s just a tool you might enjoy using.  I will also be giving away some additional free printables that coordinate with the kit as the series progresses.)

The Clean Mama Modern Day Homekeeping Kit…..

The Clean Mama Modern Day Homekeeping Kit via Clean Mama

If you’ve struggled with homekeeping or have it all together this simple kit and format is perfect to get your home and life in order.  The colors are dark charcoal and teal to coordinate seamlessly with a variety of planners, binders, and decor.  You’ll love the simple format and adorable homekeeping icons throughout the kit.

Simply print off the pages and get ready to tackle a little bit every day and move forward to a clean and organized home.  Homekeeping shouldn’t be difficult….all it takes is a little time, a lot of effort, and consistency.  Homekeeping consists of anything it takes to keep your home in order – cleaning, menu planning, shopping, scheduling….this kit will help you master those areas of your life.  Start with one area of your life or all areas – get ready to revolutionize your homekeeping!

The Clean Mama Modern Day Homekeeping Kit 2 via Clean Mama
THE CLEAN MAMA MODERN DAY HOMEKEEPING KIT includes (14 documents):

INTRODUCTION – simple start-up guide and instructions (1 page)
CLEANING + ORGANIZING printables (5 pages):

  • 30 Days to a Clean House/30 Days to an Organized House (use these lists together to get your home in shape in a hurry or do cleaning the first month and organizing the next)
  • The Clean House Cleaning Routine (my daily + weekly cleaning tasks)
  • The Clean House Checklist (arranged by room, create your own checklist)
  • The Organized House Checklist (arranged by room, create your own checklist)
  • Rotating Cleaning Schedule (pre-filled with suggested cleaning tasks)

MEAL PLANNING + SHOPPING printables (5 pages):

  • Grocery Shopping List (blank list broken down into 14 store section categories)
  • Recipes to Try (write down recipes to try for easy meal planning)
  • All Over Everywhere List (4 sections for multiple stores and stops)
  • On the List – (two columns – use it for work and home, projects, or shopping)
  • Shopping List + Menu Plan (keep your weekly menu and shopping list on the page to simplify meal planning)

LIST MAKING printables (3 pages):

  • Important Contacts (space for 8 contacts – keep track of service providers, family and friends – space for address, phone, and email or website address)
  • Dates to Remember  (perpetual calendar to keep important dates like birthdays and anniversaries)
  • Today – Daily Planner (perfect for the busy days when you need to keep track of your day by the hour – space for schedule (6am-8pm), to do, notes, menu)

The Clean Mama Modern Day Homekeeping Kit 2 via Clean Mama

My favorite thing about printables is that you can use them in a few different ways.  You might want to keep a shopping list in your car on a clipboard for the pick-up lane at school, but I might like it washi taped to my refrigerator.  Print them out, use them up, print them again!  Try using them in a binder or planner, on a clipboard, laminated with a dry erase marker…just use them!  You’ll LOVE the versatility of these printables – get creative and enjoy them.

Use the printable kit in a variety of ways and any place that will help your modern day homekeeping via Clean Mama

Grab your Clean Mama Modern Day Homekeeping Kit – I know you’ll love it!

Subscribe to the blog (just pop your email address in the box on the sidebar) and follow along socially!  I’ll be posting pictures on Instagram using the hashtag #moderndayhomekeeping

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Getting Ready for Spring with Aprilaire

 AprilaireLogo_FGI_Process-1024x421

Disclosure: I am an Aprilaire Ambassador and this is a sponsored post from Aprilaire – I am receiving Aprilaire products and compensation in return for this post and promotion. All opinions (as always) are my own.  You can read my full disclosure statement here.

Getting Ready for Spring - 7 Musts for Spring Preparations via Clean Mama

This year I’m so ready for spring.  It’s been a long winter in the Midwest and I’m ready to have the windows open and let all that spring air in.  If you’ve been following along with my spring cleaning series you know that there are lots of things that we can be doing to prepare our homes for this season.

My musts for spring preparations?

  • clean carpets – I spot clean the carpets and this year I am having them professionally cleaned.
  • completely dust the house – top down (ceiling to floor) dust removal, including blinds, windows, doors, and trim
  • launder all bedding and rotate mattresses
  • wash throw blankets and throw pillows
  • wash or vacuum vents
  • vacuum and wash baseboards
  • get rid of allergens – dust, pollen, etc.

One thing that I am especially excited about this spring is that I have Aprilaire Whole-Home Air Purifiers on my furnaces.  So the spring cleaning task of ‘get rid of allergens’ is taken care of for me.   We’ve seen such a difference in our air quality and I’m especially excited to see how well the whole system works once the windows are opened up.  Typically when a person does spring cleaning, the intention is to get rid of dust and any remnant of winter.  Spring cleaning is especially effective for dust and allergen removal, but not every speck of dust can possibly be removed.  This is where the Aprilaire system and products come in to play – they take care of all that dust that is stirred up in spring cleaning and remove it from the air, creating a breathable home.  I love that!  When we had our kitchen under a mini-renovation, I turned the air purifier on constant clean to ensure that the adhesive smell was minimized and to keep the dust out of the air.  I cannot tell you what a difference that made – it was instantly less stinky and the dust wasn’t everywhere.  We have the air purifiers set to cycle every 30 minutes but there are settings for allergies and constant cleaning.  This is great for this time of year – constantly cleaning allergens out of my home?  Sign me up!

I can tell you that I have experienced this firsthand over the past few months – my kids have been healthier, the house hasn’t been nearly as dusty, and I can already tell that this allergy season will be much easier to tolerate.  Instead of flying around the house, dust and pollen has a place to go.  I can open my windows and not worry about pollen and allergens being trapped inside my house.  My Aprilaire Whole-Home Air Purifiers have that spring cleaning task taken care of for me.  If you have any questions about Aprilaire or the air quality in your home, I encourage you to consult a local Aprilaire Comfort Advisor and see what they suggest for your home.  You’ll be glad you did!

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4 Steps to an Organized Nightstand

4 Steps to An Organized Nightstand via Clean Mama

This week’s organizing focus is the NIGHTSTAND.  If you haven’t grabbed May’s FREE cleaning and organizing calendar yet, you can go here to grab it.

Your challenge this week is to take 15 minutes to tidy up your nightstand.  Put the books where they belong, dust off the surface, clean off your lamp and lampshade (a lint roller works great for this!), and decide if there’s a better way to keep and store your must-have nightstand items.

Keep Books in a Basket and Small Personal Items in a Cute Dish via Clean Mama

4 Ideas for Nightstand Organization:

  • Keep a book or two on your nightstand – only your current reads are necessary.  A small basket might help to keep the items where you want them.
  • Put hand lotion, lip balm, etc. in a cute container to corral these items and to keep it neat and tidy.
  • Use a drawer organizer in your drawer(s) to contain any other items.
  • If you keep your phone on your nightstand as far away from your head as possible because of possible radiation.

(Basket and dish are from Target and Bread & Wine is a favorite book from Shauna Niequist.)

What’s your best nightstand organization tip?  Share in the comments!

And of course, grab my book – it’ll look great on your nightstand!

The Organically Clean Home - Clean Mama

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Start Here. May 2014 FREE Cleaning + Organizing Calendar

start here logo

Happy May! 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.

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. Start here.

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 May (this is free in my shop – if you’d prefer to grab it from 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. Need a little more explanation? Here’s a post on Weekly Cleaning Tasks and a post on Daily Cleaning Tasks. I’ve/we’ve covered a lot of cleaning and organizing ground – you can go here to see all the posts in this series.

FREE Cleaning + Organizing Calendar for May 2014 via Clean Mama

Go here to grab your FREE calendar for May 2014!

Want to make 2014 the year that you cleaned and organized everything? Me too!

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(If you like this calendar style, you’ll love The Simplified Life Series in my shop!)

Have you seen my BRAND NEW book, The Organically Clean Home?  It’s the perfect companion to your homekeeping adventures!

The Organically Clean Home - Clean Mama

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An App You Need : The BrightNest App

Today I’m sharing a really great (FREE!) iPhone app that I think you’ll love!  The app is from the clever team at BrightNest (one of my favorite websites) and it brings together all the things about you and your home in one easy to manage app that makes your life a little bit simpler.  I’ve been really enjoying using it and I just know you’ll love it!

(Android user?  The BrightNest Android App will be available this summer 2014!  If you would like to be added to the wait list, please email info@brightnest.com with your email information. You will be personally notified once the app has been released.)

Here’s what’s new in the BrightNest app:BrightNest app2

•   INTERACTIVE HOME QUIZ – It’s like an OkCupid quiz for your home. Each time you answer a question, it matches you with witty, relevant content customized to you and your life.

•   CUSTOM TASKS – So you can schedule what’s on your brain. When it’s time to get the job done, you’ll get an automatic reminder.

•   NEW, BEAUTIFUL LAYOUT -  It’s gorgeous, functional, and customized to YOU, just like a home.

•   1000s OF NEW TIPS + TRICKS – We’ve published thousands of simple tips for the home, with a major focus on cleaning tricks everyone can use for spring cleaning.

BrightNest app3

Plus, all the usefulness of the BrightNest site:

•   SAVE YOUR FAVORITE DIYs – Save your favorite projects and reference the materials list when you’re shopping for supplies

•   HELP WITH HOME GOALS - Want a greener home? Trying to save money for that back deck? The app provides content based on the goals you select and the unique features of your home.

BrightNest app1

Go here to download the NEW BrightNest App!

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How to Purge Your Book Collection

How to Purge Your Book Collection and Quickly Tidy Up Your Bookshelves via Clean Mama

This week’s organizing focus is BOOKS.  If you haven’t grabbed April’s FREE cleaning and organizing calendar yet, head on over to this post for a little more explanation (and May’s calendar will be up soon).

Your challenge this week is to take 15 minutes to do a little book inventory.  Super simple task – walk around your house, straighten up any books on bookshelves, dust off the tops (on Tuesday, because it’s dusting day), and purge any books that you no longer need or want and are just taking up space.

Here are my 5 favorite book organizing tips:

  • Store books at the edge of your bookcases or shelves to keep the dusting to a minimum.
  • Keep kids’ board books in baskets – take out one at a time or the whole basket.  This keeps clean up a little easier.
  • Take inventory regularly and give away books to a friend or neighbor, sell or donate anything else.  A box of books in the basement doesn’t do anyone any good (or at least that’s the conclusion I’ve come to).
  • Make a bookcase more interesting by alternating stacking books and storing books upright.  Add decorative and seasonal items to add a little more interest to your bookcase.
  • Arrange books by spine color to pretty-up your book collection.

But how do you know what books to keep?

  • If it’s a book that you will use or do use, can pass down to a child, or has sentimental or monetary value and you still want it – keep it.
  • If it’s tattered, torn, and isn’t used anymore and you can’t think of when you might use it – toss it.
  • If it’s taking up space and cluttering up your life – donate it.
  • Not sure?  Put it in a box in your basement and if you don’t come back to it in 6 months – it can go.

What’s your best book sorting and organizing tip?  Share in the comments!

And of course, grab my book – it’ll be in your cleaning caddy and off your shelves, for sure!

The Organically Clean Home - Clean Mama

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A Simplified Week : Cleaning Caddy

a simplified week

As part of Start Here. I post a weekly recap with a couple ideas (mostly simple and easy to implement) for the week’s focus and a few ideas from the web that I’ve enjoyed over the week.

Around the Web:

Cleaning Caddy:

  • Making your own cleaners isn’t as daunting as you might think. With some simple ingredients, you can put together a natural cleaning caddy that is safe, effective and smells good, too. Via Clean Mama
  • If you are feeling the itch for a DIY project, check out this cleaning caddy. I am loving the attached paper towel roll holder. Via Ana White

Something to Eat:

  • If you are in the mood for a fresh, light salad, this one fits the bill. It features homemade cornbread and tex-mex flavors layered to make for one tasty meal. It’s fantastic and perfect for a crowd. Via Mel’s Kitchen

Something to Make:

  • I am loving this round-up of photo display alternatives. There are all sorts of inexpensive, creative ideas to get you inspired. Via It’s Always Autumn

Something for the Kids:

  • I loved sitting with my mom as a child and learning how to sew. These 10 projects look like perfect summer projects to work on together with my kids. Via Babble

Simplify:

  • It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the thousands of apps that are out there. This is a great collection of fun apps that are new to me. I especially love the time management one, 30/30, that helps break down your day in to 30 minute increments. Via Pure Wow

 

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The Organically Clean Home

The Organically Clean Home  via Clean Mama

I am so excited for you to have The Organically Clean Home  in your homes – I hope it puts a little fun in your cleaning routine and equips you to make your own powerhouse cleaners at home.

The Organically Clean Home Details via Clean Mama

THANK YOU for buying it, sharing it with your friend or sister, recommending it, and using it!  If you Instagram, take a picture of the book or a cleaning recipe you’ve made and tag me @cleanmama and use the hashtag #theorganicallycleanhome so I can see it!  Or feel free to tag me on any other social media with a picture as well – I’d love to see it in your home!

Here are a couple ideas and cleaning recipes I’ve shared from the book:

I’m collecting reviews and recipes that I’ve shared from The Organically Clean Home on a pinboard – go here to see what other people are saying!

Happy Cleaning!  xo, Becky

The Organically Clean Home - Clean Mama

Have you ordered my book, The Organically Clean Home?   Go get it!

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