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

Six Things I Do Every Day to Keep the House Clean

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

Want to feel like your home is clean and organized and like you’ve got ‘it’ together?  First of all, it’s important to keep these things in mind:

  • Organization takes time, it won’t happen overnight.  Stop worrying about instant results, concentrate on progress.
  • Routines and consistency need to be in place.
  • Spoiler: just when you feel like everything’s done, something will upset it.  All the toys are cleaned up?  Someone will dump out that huge lego bin with a zillion pieces.  That’s just real life and it’s okay.  Roll with it and enjoy the stage that you’re in.

The good news?  You can set your home up with systems to streamline your life.  I have six simple things you can do right now to get started.  If you are trying to get into a cleaning routine (or better yet, my cleaning routine) and are just struggling with the daily stuff, clutter, and mess, stop the cleaning routine and work on these things this week and start over with the cleaning routine next week.

Make Your Bed Every Day via Clean Mama

  1. MAKE YOUR BED.
    And teach your kids to make their beds too.  Keep the bedding simple and as soon as you get up or in my case, after I’ve had a cup of coffee, make your bed.  It will instantly make your bedrooms look put together and in reality it takes under a minute to complete.
  2. TAKE IT OUT, PUT IT AWAY.
    Start working on this TODAY and enforce it with yourself and your family members.  It’s such a simple principle but it’s hard to be consistent.  I guarantee it will take you less time to put that one thing away than it will to put all the things away at the end of the day.
  3. EVERYDAY A LITTLE SOMETHING.
    This is my mantra every.single.day.  Don’t try to get it ‘all’ done in a day or every day.  Just do something each and every day and I guarantee you’ll get over the feeling of I want my house to be clean all at once.  With my simple cleaning routine you’ll find that maintaining the basics every day is really the secret to a clean and tidy home.
  4. DEAL WITH MAIL ON A DAILY BASIS.
    Figure out a system that works for you and your family but stacks of paperwork, mail, and kid papers isn’t going to make your home feel organized.  Toss any flyers or unnecessary mail at the door, open and file any bills that need to be paid, and decide on what will work for your kid papers.  In our house we toss (recycle) most worksheets and keep the special artwork and papers.Clean Sink via Clean Mama
  5. CLEAR and WIPE YOUR COUNTERS DAILY.
    It sounds so simple doesn’t it?  But in reality it takes some effort.  Start with the kitchen counters and wipe them off after meals and at the least dinner.  Then once you feel like you’ve got a handle on that task, add checking the bathroom counters to your routine.  Put that toothpaste tube away and put the toiletries back where they belong.  Give the counters and sink a quick wipe if necessary.  Step-by-Step Nightly Sink Scrub via Clean Mama
  6. WASH THE DISHES AND CLEAN YOUR SINK.
    At the end of the day, the last thing I (you too?) want to do is unload and/or load the dishwasher.  The silly thing is that this dreaded task only takes a couple minutes. Why do we always put it off?  Get in the habit of loading the dishwasher after dinner, wiping down the kitchen table, clearing and wiping the counters, and give that sink a little scrub.  When you get up the next morning you will be so glad you did!

Are you already doing these simple tasks?  What can you add into your routine this week?

Some of my favorite products are in this post (these are just links, no affiliates):

  • Murchison-Hume products are to the left of my sink.
  • I use white Fiestaware bread trays in the kitchen to keep items neat and tidy (I also have one for honey, sugar, cinnamon sugar by the coffee pot.)  I also have Fiestaware dishes and love them if you are looking for simple and attractive dishware that works well with kids.  The aqua pitcher in the window is also Fiesta.
  • The adorable green sponge holder is vintage Roseville pottery.
  • The tea towel is from Crate and Barrel.
  • The bar mop dishcloths are from Williams-Sonoma and the container that holds them is Anchor-Hocking (from Target).
  • I keep dishwasher tabs in a vintage Ball jar.
  • The little succulents in the window love vintage pottery – Red Wing is my favorite.
  • Bedding is from Pottery Barn.

 

 

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The Ultimate Natural Cleaning Resource

The Ultimate Natural Cleaning Resource - Your Guide to DIY Cleaners, How-Tos, and Helpful Tips via Clean Mama
I’ve covered A LOT of natural cleaning topics over the last year or so, I even had a book published all about natural and organic cleaning.  Scroll down to see the categories and posts.  Make sure you pin the post for later!   Don’t miss the new FREE calendar for January!  It’ll get you in the mood for cleaning up your space!  If you like this post, check out The Ultimate Guide to Simple Organizing.
DIY CLEANING RESOURCES
DIY CLEANING PRODUCTS
CLEANING ROUTINE
HOW TO

DIY NATURAL CLEANER RECIPES

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Make a Cleaning Resolution that Sticks

Make a Cleaning Resolution that Sticks via Clean Mama

It’s almost 2015 and I am guessing you’re itching to get your house in order and cleaned up and make this the year you ‘finally’ get everything cleaned and organized.  Right?  If a cleaning/organizing/decluttering resolution hasn’t worked in the past, it probably won’t work for you again unless you approach it differently.  Here’s why:

  • No one’s perfect.
  • There probably are other people involved.
  • You work outside of the home, or inside the home, or some combination of the two.  Keeping house is hard work to combine with real life.
  • People get sick, tired, bored, busy, fill in the blank with whatever thing has kept you from completing this goal.

These are perfectly good reasons to forego a decluttered/clean/organized house.  I absolutely 100% totally get it.  But if you’re like me and a messy house makes you a little crabby, I’m here to show you how to REALLY make 2015 your year to get your act together and get your home decluttered/clean/organized.

First things first, you have to DECLUTTER.  It’s the only way you’ll get past the stuff and the noise and create a little visual peace and quiet in your home.  Decluttering is not organizing.  It’s an essential component to effective organizing, without it you won’t form any new habits, you’ll just be moving piles around.  Decluttering is a process – keep reading to see how I’m decluttering my whole house in January.

CLEAN A LITTLE BIT EVERYDAY (EVEN WHILE YOU’RE DECLUTTERING):

I am a HUGE fan of a cleaning routine (surprise, surprise).  I have developed a simple routine that lots of families follow on a daily basis.  I feel like it’s a great solution for keeping the mundane tasks of homekeeping in check.  Just a little bit everyday when you can and before long that routine becomes a habit and just second nature.  I hope that you find that my cleaning routine (go here for more detail on my routine if you’re new here) is SIMPLE, EASY TO IMPLEMENT, and full of GRACE.

HOW TO MAKE THE CLEAN MAMA CLEANING ROUTINE WORK FOR YOU:

  • Decide when you will do your daily cleaning.  Commit to making that time work in your schedule.  I rarely or never have a block of time to just clean or organize.  I have minutes here and minutes there that add up.  It’s important to make those little snippets of time count to move ahead in your homekeeping.
  • Fifteen minutes before work and fifteen minutes when you get home and you’ll be cleaning routine-ing in no time.
  • Don’t get caught up in what you didn’t get accomplished on any particular day – move on to the next day and just start there.  There is nothing perfect about living in a home for more than 5 minutes.  Embrace the imperfection and keep going.  It’s real life!
  • Stop making excuses and start.  If you have a hard time making time or if you just don’t have time, set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes/day and do what you can.  Increase your time when you are able to and keep going

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO EVERY DAY:

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.

WEEKLY CLEANING TASKS – THE GLUE TO THE CLEAN HOUSE:

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.  Saturday is when I wash all the sheets and towels – this a great way to start fresh for the next week.

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.

HOW TO KEEP IT UP PAST JANUARY:

  • Get a friend to hold you accountable and do the routine with you.
  • Use a checklist to track your progress.  (See below for a freebie for January.)
  • Don’t quit just because you skip a day or a week – keep going and realize that setbacks happen and are part of life!

Need a little jumpstart this January?  Join #clutterfree30 with me.  It’s 30 minutes a day to clutter-free home!  Follow me on Instagram @cleanmama  for daily prompts and tips for decluttering different spaces in your home.  I’ll be updating here on the weekends and I’ll be featuring favorites from Instagram that are tagged #clutterfree30.  (You can follow along even if you don’t have a smartphone – you can get an Instagram account with any computer or tablet.  Or if you don’t want to sign up, you can peek at my Instagram account without an IG account :)

clutterfree challenge

If you’re wanting to do the #clutterfree30 challenge and want a checklist, I’ve got you covered!  I combined the cleaning calendar with the challenge for a free printable, perfect to get your 2015 off to a great (fresh) start!  If you don’t want to do the challenge and just want the cleaning routine, there’s a free printable for that on the linked post.  I give away a free cleaning routine printable every month, sign up for my emails so you don’t miss it!

January 2015 Cleaning Routine + IG declutter challenge

 

I have a couple RESOLUTION KITS in my shop, perfect for getting the year in order:

 

Everyday Resolution Kit - Clean Mama Printables

EVERYDAY RESOLUTION KIT

 

Clean Mama Printables Streamlined Life RESOLUTION Kit

STREAMLINED LIFE RESOLUTION KIT

 

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Simple Tips for Organizing Bathrooms

8 Simple Tips for Organizing Bathrooms 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 areas in your BATHROOMS 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.

  • Bathroom counters can easily become a jumbled mess of supplies, cosmetics and odds and ends. Clear off your bathroom counters for good with these tips.
  • Clean out the clutter and disorganization under your bathroom sink with these four tips.
  • Make your bathroom drawers easy to navigate when you implement an organization system that works.
  • Clear out the clutter in your bathroom shower with some quick and easy organizing tips.
  • Bathroom toiletries have a habit of multiplying and getting out of control in a hurry. Try out these simple suggestions to bring order to your toiletries.
  • You won’t believe what a difference it makes to go through your towels and linens in order to make more room in your linen closet.
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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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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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Homekeeping Society | December 2014 Essentials

Homekeeping Society - Monthly Essentials - December 2014

First of all, your response to Homekeeping Society has blown me away!  I am so excited to have so many of YOU keeping up with the everyday tasks with the help of the Homekeeping Society.  December’s monthly essentials are ready for downloading 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 December – you’re going to love it!

Daily Planner and Weekly Docket - Homekeeping Society - December 2014 via Clean Mama

Keeping a home clean can be both rewarding and frustrating. Sure, it’s possible to get your home clean, but to keep it that way can be the biggest challenge. Throw in the additions of busy schedules, jobs, kids, chaos and lack of time and it can feel downright defeating many days. Why bother cleaning when it’s only going to be a mess again the next day!

Go here to sign up for a digital subscription or go here to sign up for the printed for you subscription.

 Homekeeping Society - Details - December 2014 via Clean Mama

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

 Checklists - Homekeeping Society - December 2014 via Clean Mama

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.

Menu Planning - Homekeeping Society - December 2014 via Clean Mama

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.

Menu Planning Close-Up - Homekeeping Society - December 2014 via Clean Mama

 

Homekeeping Society Overview - Monthly Essentials - December 2014

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.)

Homekeeping Society December 2014 Digital and Printed for You via Clean Mama

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

SOURCES – in case you’re curious:

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3 Steps to a Clean and Organized Entryway or Mudroom

3 Steps to a Clean and Organized Entryway via Clean Mama

This week’s organizing task is the ENTRYWAY (November’s cleaning and organizing calendar is here). Take a little time this week to spiff up your entryway.   Before all the winter gear comes out, or use this as the perfect time to start with a few preemptive organizing systems and get that entryway ready for the busy season ahead.

If you have an entryway or a mudroom without designated places to put coats, shoes, purses, and other gear, go into that space and remove everything that you can.  Set it aside into 4 specific piles – keep, toss, donate, re-locate.  Looking at your space, determine the best way to help your family utilize this space.  Do you need to add hooks for coats?  A basket for backpacks?  A cute dish or hook for keys?  Recently I moved all our ‘sometimes’ shoes to our bedroom closet.  This was a simple game changer in the clutter department and our mudroom has so much more space.  I’d like to encourage you to find a game changing solution in your entryway or mudroom.  Once you’ve decided on how you’re going to arrange this space to minimize your clutter, put everything back where it belongs.  If you are changing up or adding a system (like a basket or bin), make sure you explain to other family members what your expectations are for the space.

  1. CLEAN –  empty and clean the space.  Wipe down any shelves, doors, handles, baseboards, etc.  Vacuum and wash the floors.
  2. ORGANIZE – group like items with like items, keep only what you need and use, and make sure that the clutter is gone.
  3. NEW SYSTEM – if something isn’t working, change it.  Put a new system in place – it can be as simple as a stick-on hook for a backpack.  Determine what isn’t working in your entryway or mudroom and change it.

With a little time and effort this week, you can make some big changes in your entryway or mudroom.  Short on time?  Choose the biggest issue and tackle it.  Maybe you need to get the winter gear out of storage and put it in a basket or bin for easy use.  Or maybe you’ve been neglecting the floor in your mudroom – vacuum and wash it this week.

What’s your biggest struggle in keeping your entryway or mudroom organized?  Have a great tip or solution to share?

 

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Brightnest : 9 Surprising Uses for Hydrogen Peroxide

9 Surprising Uses for Hydrogen Peroxide via Clean Mama

Today I have a great guest post from BrightNest.  I love using hydrogen peroxide to clean and I know you’ll find at least one tip you can use today!  BrightNest is devoted to inspiring and empowering you to take great care of your home. From basic maintenance tasks to fun cleaning tricks, we deliver everything you need to shape up your home and simplify your life.brightnest_logo

Let’s play a word association game. When you hear “hydrogen peroxide,” what do you picture?

If it’s a first aid kit, you’re not alone. The vast majority of us keep hydrogen peroxide in the wings for scrape and bruise duty and kinda forget it exists 99% of the time. Tragedy! Hydrogen peroxide’s anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties make it one of the most valuable $2.00 purchases you can make at the drug store.

Here are 9 of our favorite uses:

1. Remove Wine Stains

Or blood stains or pit stains or pretty much any other stains! It may not whiten as quickly as bleach, but unlike bleach, there’s very little risk of damaging fabric. To do this, combine equal parts hydrogen peroxide and mild detergent in a bowl. Sponge the mixture onto the stain and let it sit for one minute. Then, blot the solution into the stain until it’s completely absorbed, and then wash the garment as you normally would.

2. Keep Kitchen Surfaces Clean

Hydrogen peroxide comes in a brown bottle because it’s extremely light sensitive. So leave it in the original bottle! Instead of transferring the liquid to another spray bottle, simply put a nozzle on the brown bottle from the store. Hold your hydrogen peroxide bottle in one hand and bottle of vinegar bottle in the other. Mist the surface you’d like to disinfect with the hydrogen peroxide and then follow up with a mist of the vinegar. Important: Don’t combine the two liquids into one bottle – they will form a new chemical if they’re combine that doesn’t work as well.

3. Refresh Sponges

You’ve done the dishes and everything is clean – except for the nasty sponge. Steep it in a cup of hydrogen peroxide to kill any lingering bacteria. Tip: Be sure to rinse it out thoroughly afterwards.

4. Clean Your Septic Tank

One in five American homes has a septic system. If you’re one of the special few, flush an ounce of hydrogen peroxide through your system every six months to keep it in working order.

5. Remove Mold From Plants

To remove mold from houseplants, mix a pint of water with five tablespoons of 3% hydrogen peroxide or food grade peroxide. Spray your plants with the solution to remove any mildew or mold on the leaves.

6. Clean Your Toothbrush

Once a week, soak your toothbrush in a cup of hydrogen peroxide to kill germs. If you’re feeling especially icky, clean it this way after every use.

7. Disinfect Fruits and Veggies

To do away with pesticides, fill your sink with cold water and a quarter cup of hydrogen peroxide and wash your fruits and veggies.

8. Accelerate Plant Growth

To help your houseplants grow faster, soak seeds in a solution of 1 cup water and 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide before planting.

9. Brighten Your Hair

If your hair is already pretty light and and you’d like to make your hair blonder, fill a spray bottle with a 50/50 solution of hydrogen peroxide and water, and spray your wet hair with it after a shower. Over time, your locks will lighten.

Go here to see the original post on BrightNest.

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Homekeeping Gift Ideas for the Holiday Season

Homekeeping Gift Ideas for the Holiday Season via Clean Mama

The Organically Clean Home has been out for a little over 6 months, and just a year ago I was turning over the manuscript to the publisher.   Have you purchased it?  Do you love it?  How about giving it as a gift!  We’re heading into that busy holiday season and I thought I’d give you a couple ideas of ways you can use The Organically Clean Home as a gift.  Shoot, you should probably just purchase a few copies to have on hand for gifts (ha!).

I am a big fan of giving consumable gifts – gifts that get used up.  Fancy hand soaps and lotions, candles, food, spices, condiments and other items that the recipient will use and might not buy for him/herself.  No clutter left behind and a little something special for as long as it lasts.  So these cleaning-related gifts fit the bill for the consumable gift giver in me.  I have a handful of ideas, but all you really need are a couple foundation pieces and I bet you can come up with the perfect gift for your recipient too!

Disclaimer:  Cleaning products as a gift are not for everyone, but for that friend or family member that loves things like this, it’s a perfect gift.

Ingredient Ideas for Homekeeping Gifts via Clean Mama

Gather some of your favorite items to clean with and put together a unique and personal gift this holiday season!  Here are some of my recommended ideas (you’ll see links at the bottom of the post if you are interested in purchasing any of these items):

  • The Organically Clean Home (of course!)
  • caddy or container – the ones you see in my pictures are from the dollar section at Target – they were $3 and I just got them this week.
  • microfiber cloths
  • small dusting wand
  • sponges
  • dish cloths and dish towels
  • white vinegar
  • castile soap (bar and liquid)  – you can find the little travel sized castile soap in the travel section at Target.
  • spray bottles
  • essential oils
  • super washing soda
  • borax
  • epsom salts
  • small notebook (the one pictured is from Staples)
  • twine and washi tape for cute wrapping and details

Give the Gift of The Organically Clean Home this Holiday Season via Clean Mama

JUST THE BOOK – wrap with a little twine or in a dishtowel and you’ve got a fun little gift.

DIY Cleaning Gift Kit via Clean Mama

DIY CLEANING GIFT – mix up your favorite recipe and give it away with the ingredients you used to make it.

Great Ideas for Hostess Gift via Clean Mama

ULTIMATE CLEANING GIFT – put together your favorites tools and products in your price range.  Give a handful of ingredients that are needed to make some of your favorite recipes.  Put in a cute caddy or container and you have the perfect hostess gift or other holiday or birthday gift.  If you have a friend that enjoys homekeeping, this might be just the gift to give.

Ideas for Cleaning Gift Basket via Clean Mama

Most of these items can be found on my Amazon favorites page.  If you’re interested in the essential oils that I use in all my recipes and around my home, you can go hereGo here to see more DIY cleaning recipes and ideas.

Have another idea for incorporating The Organically Clean Home in a gift?  Share in the comments!

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$100 Casabella Shop Credit + Floor Cleaning Survey

$100 Casabella Shop Credit via Clean Mama

via

Today I have an awesome giveaway for you all from my FAVORITE cleaning tools and products company, Casabella.  If you haven’t noticed already, I use a lot of Casabella products in my home – they’re attractive, come in great colors, and better than all that, they really work!  Today, Casabella is giving one lucky reader a $100 credit for Casabella – yay!  First we’d love you to complete a 1 minute (or less) survey about floor cleaning tools.  Casabella wants to know what’s missing from your floor cleaning method.  So fill out the survey and sign up to win in the Rafflecopter below.  Good luck!  (Giveaway ends next 10/27/14 at 8am CST)

Casabella is a design-driven company committed to creating quality cleaning products for every room of the home.  We strive to inspire our customers with unique and problems solving products that get the job done right.  We’ve been designing cleaning products for more than 25 years and have collected many fans and followers along the way.  We appreciate your loyalty through the years and we would love to hear from you! 

CORE Flex MicroF Duster

via

Casabella wants to know: Whether you love to clean or have to clean, what could we do to make floor cleaning easier for you?

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow Casabella!

This post and giveaway is sponsored by Casabella. 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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8 DIY Bathroom Cleaner Recipes

8 DIY Bathroom Cleaner Recipes via Clean Mama

I love making and using DIY natural cleaners (heck, I wrote a book about them!) so today I thought it would be fun to round up some natural bathroom cleaners that you”ll love!  These recipes cover disinfecting, mirrors, toilets, grout, and more – get ready to scrub up your bathrooms with homemade cleaners!

  1. Skip the nasty fumes and reach for this daily shower cleaner and spray. Simply spray, scrub and rinse for a sparkling clean shower. Via Money Saving Mom
  2. Stubborn tub stains can be a beast to remove. Check out these four options (two of which are homemade cleaners) that can help rid your tub of stains. Via View Along the Way
  3. Make your own homemade soft scrub for when you need an extra boost of scrubbing power in your bathroom. Via Live Renewed
  4. Make your own homemade grout cleaner to conquer those tricky stains and tight spaces. Via At the Picket Fence
  5. Keep colds, flu and illnesses at bay with this DIY antibacterial hand soap. Scent with your favorite essential oils for your bathroom hand washing. Via One Good Thing
  6. Get rid of splatters and sprays with this naturally scented peppermint glass and mirror cleaner. Via Clean Mama
  7. Make your own naturally disinfecting toilet bowl cleaner with three simple ingredients. Even better, it’s effective and inexpensive! Via Growing Up Herbal
  8. Did you know you can make your own natural bathroom antibacterial cleaner?  So much safer and less toxic than the commercial options, plus it smells wonderful! Lavender and Lemon Disinfectant via a Clean Mama

Go here for a FREE DIY Cleaning Recipe List printable!  This post rounds up 8 DIY Kitchen Cleaners too!

If you like these DIY cleaning recipes, you’ll love my DIY Cleaners pinboard!

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Start Here. FREE October 2014 FREE Cleaning + Organizing Calendar

start here logo

Happy (almost) October! 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. 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 October (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.

October 2014 Cleaning and Organizing 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.

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!)

If you aren’t already receiving posts via email, you’ll want to sign up– something very exciting is coming!

 

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