The Organically Clean Home – It’s Book Release Day!

The Organically Clean Home  via Clean Mama

Well, today’s the day!  The Organically Clean Home is officially released!  I am so excited for you to have it 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?  It comes out April 18th – TODAY!  Go get it!

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Lemon + Clove Nightly Sink Scrub

Lemon and Clove Nightly Sink Scrub via Clean Mama

It’s book release week!   Today I’m sharing one of my most-used and favorite recipes – Lemon + Clove Nightly Sink Scrub.  I use this nightly as part of my ‘cleaning up the kitchen’ routine.  (Go to this post to see my favorite products to DIY your cleaners.)

Lemon & Clove Nightly Sink Scrub via Clean Mama

You’ll love this super simple concoction for Lemon + Clove Nightly Sink Scrub from The Organically Clean Home - it smells divine and is a great way to end the mountain of dishes accomplished.  You’ll love how the recipes are organized.  Each recipe has clear (easy and quick) instructions and a lot of the recipes have other tips and tricks included as well.  Many recipes have variations so you’ll see unscented versions as well as other scent combinations to try.

Lemon & Clove Nightly Sink Scrub Ingredients via Clean Mama

Gather your simple ingredients (this recipe can easily be cut in half if you don’t want to mix up a whole batch).

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 10 drops clove essential oil
  • castile soap (or dish soap) (this is not added to the baking soda until it’s used – keep reading!)
  • container with a shaker top – I used a Ball canning jar (anniversary edition), cut cardstock for the top (instead of the metal lid and punched 4 holes with a standard hole puncher.

I keep this jar under the kitchen sink and it doubles as an air freshener/odor absorber as well – there’s another way to use it in the book too.

See how easy it is to mix up and use…

Step-by-Step Lemon & Clove Nightly Sink Scrub via Clean Mama

Are you ready to make your own cleaners?  It’s so easy!  It’ll save you loads of money and be so much better for you and your family!  What are you waiting for?  Want to see more posts on DIY Cleaners?  Go here!

Have you ordered my book, The Organically Clean Home?  It comes out April 18th – TOMORROW!  The Organically Clean Home - Clean Mama

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Maximize Your Time and Minimize the Fuss – Spring Cleaning with Clean Mama

Maximize Your Time and Minimize the Fuss - Spring Cleaning With Clean Mama

If you’ve tackled all the spring cleaning tasks on your checklist or only one or two, there’s plenty of time to continue with your spring cleaning.  I thought it would be fun to round up a few past spring cleaning posts and posts from this year to get you inspired to continue on your spring cleaning ‘adventure’.

Have you ordered my book The Organically Clean Home? It comes out April 18th – a week from today!  Get your pre-order in!

The Organically Clean Home - Clean Mama

I’m using the hashtag on Instagram #springcleaningcm for my spring cleaning tasks and you can too! Follow me here!

This post is part of a spring cleaning series – go here to see all the posts.

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Ended: Giveaway! 3 Copies of The Organically Clean Home!

Giveaway!  The Organically Clean Home via Clean Mama

UPDATE: This giveaway has ended and the winners (Diana B., Jason N., and Evelene S.)  have been notified.  My book, The Organically Clean Home‘s official release date of April 18th is just over a week away!  How about a giveaway of 3 copies of The Organically Clean Home to celebrate?  I’m so excited for you to have it and be able to use it in your own homes – I just know you’ll love it!  Over the next couple weeks I’ll be showing you some sneak peeks and sharing some of my favorite things about the book.  Amazon just added some previews to the book so you can see the table of contents, a peek at a couple of the chapters, the recipes, and the checklists.  Go here to check it out and pre-order!

This giveaway has ended and the winners have been notified.  How about a little contest?  Enter to win The Organically Clean Home in the Rafflecopter below.  The 3 winners will be posted in the Rafflecopter and notified via email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Spring Cleaning Challenge : Closets

5 Simple Steps to Clean + Organize Any Closet via Clean Mama

It’s Day 3 of the SPRING CLEANING CHALLENGE!  Are you ready to spring clean a closet (or two, or three)?  Here’s my quick and easy way to make your way through WHATEVER you have piled up in that closet.

  1. COMPLETELY EMPTY THE CLOSET:  Yes, moving stuff around will get this task done, but I find that without completely emptying the closet out I am not able to really clean it.
  2. SORT CLOSET ITEMS INTO 4 PILES:  keep, toss, donate, relocate.  Be ruthless with your sorting – weeding out unnecessary items will make it easier to put your closet back together.
  3. CLEAN THE SPACE:  No special cleaning supplies are necessary, a microfiber cloth, cleaning rag, or paper towels are all you need to take care of the shelves and crevices.  Dampen your cleaning cloth with water or use a gentle all-purpose cleaner if necessary.   Vacuum out any crevices you can’t wipe down and finish the space by vacuuming the floor – give it an extra run through to make sure you got all the edges and corners.
  4. GROUP THE ITEMS:  Put your keep pile in front of you and group like items together.  Grouping items together in a closet keeps it looking tidy and it is so much easier to find what you need, when you need it.  The whole point of organization, right?
  5. CONTAIN:  Add boxes, bins, and baskets if necessary to contain like items and to give your closet that spring cleaned look and feel.  Look around your home and see if you have any extra containers that you can repurpose for your closets.

Simple Steps to Clean Any Closet via Clean Mama

That’s how I spring clean my closets – here are a few posts from the other bloggers in our Spring Cleaning Challenge:

Here’s a summary of the challenge…

2. Take pictures of your work and share them with your challenge co-hosts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Use #SpringClean2014 so we can comment, share, and celebrate with you! Here’s how to find us:

3. Enter to win these amazing tools to keep your organized!

 

The Spring Cleaning Challenge official rules can be found here.

 

 

 

 

Start Here. April 2014 FREE Cleaning + Organizing Calendar

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Happy Spring!  If you’ve been working through the Start Here. calendar since January, I hope you’ve met successes and made some 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. 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 April (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 getting in the mood for spring cleaning – check out my series on Spring Cleaning.

FREE Cleaning + Organizing Calendar for April via Clean Mama

Go here to grab your FREE calendar for April 2014!

My book, The Organically Clean Home, comes out April 18th!  Get your pre-order in!  (Thank you!)

The Organically Clean Home - Clean Mama

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

Follow along!

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Spring Cleaning : Washing Windows

Maximize Your Time and Minimize the Fuss - Spring Cleaning with Clean Mama

This month and next is all about spring cleaning and getting your home tidied up quickly and easily with as little fuss as possible. I hope you’ve grabbed the FREE Spring Cleaning Checklist and discovered some great tools for a spring cleaning bucket.  Today I’m sharing my favorite method for washing windows (this isn’t the first time I’ve shared this method so the pics might look familiar) and how to use the window washing tools.  This method really is the best – it’s quick, easy and will make your windows shine!

 

The Best Way to Wash Windows via Clean Mama

The first step to this process is to gather your supplies and get everything all set up.

Set Up for Washing Windows via Clean Mama

(I have all these supplies in my Amazon shop (on my sidebar) if you’d like to see them or grab them for your own windows. )

The Best Way to Wash Windows via Clean Mama

Next, you want to put 1 teaspoon of dishwasher powder in a shallow container and add warm water to the powder (so it dissolves).

Step-By-Step Method for Washing Windows via Clean Mama

Then you want to get started with your windows (one at a time).

Don't Forget to Wash Your Window Sills and Casings via Clean Mama

Finishing touches?  Here are two ways to make sure your windows are extra bright and sparkly.

 

In case you’re wondering…..

  • Q: Do I ever spray a window or two and wipe clean or do I always use this method?
  • A: I spray a window or part of a window ALL THE TIME.  This method is for seasonal window washing, when you have a house full of windows to wash and you want to move it.

My book, The Organically Clean Home has 3 different recipes for cleaning and washing windows and mirrors – here’s a sneak peek at my favorite all-the-time window and mirror cleaner.

Sneak Peek Peppermint Window and Mirror Cleaner via Clean Mama

 The Organically Clean Home, comes out April 18th! Get your pre-order in!

The Organically Clean Home - Clean Mama

I’m using the hashtag on Instagram #springcleaningcm for my spring cleaning tasks and you can too! Follow me here!

This post is part of a spring cleaning series – go here to see all the posts.

 

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Spring Cleaning : Carpet Cleaning (2 Ways to DIY)

Clean Your Carpet - 2 Ways to DIY via Clean Mama

If you could only do one Spring Cleaning task, what would it be?  Having the carpets cleaned (whether it’s done by me or by a pro) is my top priority for spring cleaning.  With children, pets and those random spills and drips, our carpets can take quite a beating.  It doesn’t have to be difficult to remove stubborn spots and giving our carpets a little refresh.

How about mixing up our own carpet cleaners – one for the SPOTS and one for general, ALL OVER carpet cleaning.

I like to start by tackling the individual spots and stains first, followed by a general carpet cleaning. The first step is to mark just what needs attention and take care of a little spot treatment. Be sure to do this in the daylight hours so you don’t miss anything.  I like to walk around with little Post-It notes to mark the spots.

Use a Post-It Note to Mark Stains On Your Carpet via Clean Mama

After you have marked what needs some individual attention and spot treatment, it’s time to get out the cleaners. Really, the ingredient list doesn’t get much easier and is two things you probably already have on hand: white vinegar and baking soda.

All You Need Are 2 Ingredients to DIY Your Own Clean Carpets via Clean Mama

The key to this cleaner is to apply the two in the correct order: vinegar followed by baking soda. Pour a small amount of vinegar on the stain, followed by a sprinkle of baking soda. The vinegar works to saturate and soften up the offending mark while the baking soda does the lifting and deodorizing. Together, they bubble a little and work as a team to lift the stain to the surface. If you have a minor stain you can just leave the mixture until it dries and vacuum it up, or you can let it sit for 30 minutes or so and rub or blot up the stain with a damp cloth if if’s a little more of a stubborn stain.  Let it dry thoroughly and then vacuum. That’s it! I have found this concoction to work wonders on all sorts of stains, from pet to food and goodness-knows-what.

Step by Step Carpet Stain Removal via Clean Mama

After spot-treating and vacuuming up the residue, it’s time to freshen up your carpets with an all-over cleaner. Again, this is simple: vinegar is the only (yes, only!) ingredient besides water. You may want to check out your local big box store for an economy size jug of vinegar since you will be using a fair amount of it.  Our local Costco carries a 1.32 gallon jug of white vinegar for under four dollars. Can’t beat the price!

I have the BISSELL Pro-Cleaner steam cleaner and love it.  It works perfectly for area rugs, the stairs, and hallways, as well as tackling a room or even the whole house. If you need to get your whole home done in one day, professional carpet cleaning is always an option, but I love this cleaner and method to fluff up and deodorize our carpets. The beauty of vinegar is that it leaves no residue behind and brightens and removes light staining or discoloration like a champ. Unfortunately, a lot of commercial cleaners leave a tacky or sticky residue on carpet fibers that attract more dirt and dust and make all your hard work pointless.

Mix equal parts hot water and vinegar and pour in your carpet cleaner’s reservoir tank.  Clean your carpets as per your cleaner’s instructions. Yes, vinegar might leave a temporary pickle smell in your home but it dissipates and disappears as your carpets dry.  I can’t take credit for this concoction – it was my professional carpet cleaner that let me in on this little-known secret concoction.

It doesn’t get much easier to Spring Clean your carpets than that!  Two household ingredients are all it takes to freshen, brighten and clean your carpets.

My book, The Organically Clean Home, comes out April 18th!  To get a version of this recipe and many more amazing cleaning recipes, tips, and tricks, get your pre-order in!

The Organically Clean Home - Clean Mama

I’m using the hashtag on Instagram #springcleaningcm for my spring cleaning tasks and you can too!  Follow me here!

This post is part of a spring cleaning series – go here to see all the posts.

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How to Sort Through Items You’ve Been Hanging On To

How to Sort Through Items You've Been Hanging On to via Clean Mama

This week and next, our organizing focus for Start Here. is on storage.  Depending on your situation, this can mean sorting through a bin or a box that you’ve been putting off going through for awhile.  It could mean sorting through all the boxes in your basement.  I’m guessing it’s something in between.  For me, I have a few (okay a lot of )boxes remaining from when we moved in to our home 5 years ago.  And they’re staring at me from the basement.  Sure they aren’t hurting anyone or anything, but they’re taking up space and it’s something that just plain bugs me.  Seeing as how I haven’t ventured to get anything from these boxes I am guessing that there are quite a few things that can be donated at this point.  Maybe it’s just me?  Anyone else have stuff in storage or stashed away that you could go through in the next couple weeks?  Please tell me I’m not the only one avoiding the bins in the basement….

Here are 4 simple steps to getting through anything that you have in storage (storage can be in a closet, drawer, a box, a bin, a crawlspace, the attic, the basement):

  1. Open storage box/shelf/bin and empty completely.
  2. Sort quickly into 4 piles – relocate (bring out of storage), keep (keep in storage), toss, donate.
  3. Put everything in its place – relocate, keep, toss, or donate.
  4. If something is good enough to go back in storage, label it.  Use a label maker, masking tape, or an envelope with an index card taped to the outside to write down the items inside the box or bin.

Challenge yourself to go through a box or bin or closet this week.  We’ll be concentrating on this next week too, so you can stretch out your time or maximize it and try to go through everything that’s been in storage for too long.  Next week I’ll show you the boxes and boxes that I’ve gone through – oh-so exciting!

Tell me what you’re going to sort through this week – I’d love to hear!

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Clean Mama is on Springpad!

I’m so excited to announce that I’ve partnered with the Springpad team to you help you tackle spring cleaning!  Springpad is a popular personal organizer app used by more than 5 million people.  It’s FREE and you can use it on the web, iPhone and iPad, Android, Kindle, and Nook.

springpad notebook store

How to Use My Free Spring Deep Cleaning Notebook

Use my Spring Deep-Cleaning notebook to organize your cleaning tasks and to dos to make sure you have the supplies you need.  My customized Springpad notebook includes the following sections:

  • TASKS: View your basic and deep spring cleaning tasks, easily check off completed tasks and add your own tasks and checklists.

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  • CLEANING CADDY: Make sure you have all the essentials to get the job done right.

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  • CLEAN MAMA’S CORNER: Check out additional spring cleaning ideas, products, and tips from me.

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About Springpad

Founded in 2008 and used by more than 5 million people, Springpad is a personal organizer app that helps you manage the overload of information, projects, ideas and recommendations that you encounter daily. Springpad is available for free on iPhone and iPad, Android, Kindle, Nook and on the Web. For more information, visit www.springpad.com.

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Spring Cleaning : Assembly Line vs. Room by Room

What's the Best Way to Spring Clean?  Assembly Line vs. Room by Room via Clean Mama

What’s the best (fastest, most efficient, most effective) way to approach spring cleaning?  Should you go room by room cleaning it top to bottom?  Or is it better to take it one task at a time (wash all the baseboards, wash all the floors, vacuum all the corners, etc.) for the ultimate efficiency?  Ultimately whatever gets you to get the cleaning done is the most effective method.  No magic solution, just whatever motivates you.  My preferred method is to do spring cleaning assembly line style – wash all the baseboards, wash all the floors, dust all surfaces, wash all the windows….  But if you follow me on Instagram you saw last week that I was working on the master bedroom.  I tackled this room and didn’t move on to any other spring cleaning until it was finished.  Why?  Because I tend to save the master bedroom and bathroom until last because no one sees it, but this year I started with it and it REALLY needed to be spring cleaned.

Today I’m going to share with you how to spring clean a room, any room in the most simple, effective way.  Don’t think that this has to be completed in a day – if you only have little spurts here and there, just complete as you can.  If a task doesn’t apply to your specific room, just skip it.  You can go here to grab my FREE spring cleaning checklist.

  1. Remove any hanging drapes, curtains, shower curtains, etc. and place in the washing machine if they are washable.  Dry on a low heat setting and remove before they are completely dry and re-hang.  This will minimize shrinkage and keep your ironing board away.
  2. Wash any pillows.
  3. Rotate/flip mattress and sofa pillows.
  4. Dust from the top down – ceilings and corners are first.  Dust walls if you need to.  Then move to dust and polish flat surfaces.  Use a lint roller to clean your lampshades.
  5. Vacuum or wash vents.
  6. Vacuum corners and baseboards.
  7. Wash baseboards.
  8. Vacuum floors.
  9. Wash floors.
  10. If you’re cleaning a bathroom, move on to clean the tub, shower, toilet, sink.

I’m using the hashtag on Instagram #springcleaningcm for my spring cleaning tasks and you can too!  Follow me here!

This post is part of a spring cleaning series – go here to see all the posts.

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The Secret to Keeping Mail Off the Counters

The Secret to Keeping Mail Off the Counters via Clean Mama

Last week’s organizing focus was on keeping your counters clear.  Seeing how popular this post was and how many emails and responses I received I am guessing that counters are a common trouble spot for a lot of you.  I’m not going to pretend that there is never a stack of mail on our counters, but I am going to let you in on my secret to keeping the mail off the counters.  Ready?  The mail is sorted immediately.  Revolutionary, right?  No, not really.  But it works!

Here’s my super simple process – I bring the mail in and sort it on the first little counter in our kitchen:

Sort Mail Right Away via Clean Mama

  • JUNK MAIL- recycle or shred
  • BILLS – toss/recycle/shred envelopes and other unnecessary inserts.  Place bills in bill paying basket.
  • MAGAZINES and CATALOGS – recycle those that I don’t want – if I want to keep them I place in my magazine basket.  Another clutter key is that if my magazine basket is full I make myself purge magazines and catalogs so there aren’t piles and piles of magazines.  I only keep what’s in the basket – everything else has to go.
  • INVITATIONS (anything that needs a response) – toss envelopes (unless I need the return address) and put in organizer on the little counter.
  • COUPONS – put in organizer on the little counter.
  • You might think that the obvious secret is to go paperless or paper light, but there is still mail on a daily basis.  I like to pay some bills with a check or at least have the paper bill and then pay online, so yes, I will always have mail.   The REAL secret is to deal with mail right away and to have a place for everything.

This process takes less than 5 minutes a day and you can start it TODAY.  So this week add keeping mail off the counters to your routine with this ‘secret’ and you’ll be well on your way to clean counters for good.

Follow along!

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Spring Cleaning : DIY Cleaning Products

Maximize Your Time and Minimize the Fuss - Spring Cleaning with Clean Mama

This month and next is all about spring cleaning and getting your home tidied up quickly and easily with as little fuss as possible.  This week I’ve shared a FREE Spring Cleaning Checklist and some great tools for a spring cleaning bucket.  Today I’m sharing a couple simple, natural ingredients to have on hand to whip up cleaners for your spring cleaning.

The Best Ingredients to DIY Your Spring Cleaning via Clean Mama

I love making my own cleaners – it’s easy, cheap, and they work!  I can mix up a little concoction for just about any cleaning conundrum with a couple simple and natural ingredients.  Today I’m sharing a couple of my favorite ingredients that I use to make cleaners specifically for spring cleaning.

Ingredients to DIY Your Spring Cleaning Products via Clean Mama

Curious about what products I use to make my spring cleaning products?  I have all of these products linked in my Amazon shop on the sidebar if you want to purchase them.

  • Borax
  • Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • Baking Soda
  • Spray Bottles
  • Bar Castile Soap
  • Baking Soda Sprinkle (baking soda and essential oils – I use this ALL the time for a sink scrub and a carpet and mattress freshener – you can see the original post here)
  • Essential Oils
  • Distilled White Vinegar
  • Liquid Castile Soap – Citrus is my favorite!

I’ll be sharing more recipes to DIY your spring cleaning products this month, but if you can’t wait, you can also see this round-up of cleaning recipe printables and this round-up of cleaning recipes and labels.

I’m using the hashtag on Instagram #springcleaningcm for my spring cleaning tasks and you can too! Follow me here!

This post is part of a spring cleaning series – go here to see all the posts.

My book, The Organically Clean Home, comes out April 18th!  Get your pre-order in!

The Organically Clean Home - Clean Mama

 

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FREE Spring Cleaning Checklist

Maximize Your Time and Minimize the Fuss - Spring Cleaning with Clean Mama

I’m a big fan of spring cleaning in March.  Why?  I like to get it out of the way early so when the weather gets nice (we live in the midwest, so it takes a while) we can head outside and enjoy the much-awaited spring weather.  This year I’ll be doing the majority of my spring cleaning in March and finishing up in Mid-April.  If you want to follow along and get some spring cleaning done around your home too, start with this FREE Spring Cleaning Checklist.  Print it out and put it somewhere where you’ll see it and be reminded of your list and you can work on it when it works for you.  It’s divided up into 3 sections – do one section or all three – any way you look at it you’re making progress and getting your home ready to welcome spring.  (If you’re new here, you might want to grab March’s FREE cleaning calendar too – you’ll see a lot of the spring cleaning tasks in the rotating cleaning section.)

FREE Spring Cleaning Checklist via Clean Mama

Go here to grab this FREE printable in my shop or go here to grab it in googledocs.

 If you like this checklist, you might want to grab the free fall cleaning checklist and free winter cleaning checklist that match this free spring cleaning checklist.

Fall + Winter Cleaning Checklists via Clean Mama

 

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(If you like this free printable  you’ll love my shop!  The printables pictured is from The Simplified Life Cleaning Kit – perfect for getting your cleaning in order!)

I’m using the hashtag on Instagram #springcleaningcm for my spring cleaning tasks and you can too!  Follow me here!

This post is part of a spring cleaning series – go here to see all the posts.

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Spring Cleaning with Clean Mama

Maximize Your Time and Minimize the Fuss - Spring Cleaning with Clean Mama

Ready for a little (or a lot) of SPRING CLEANING?  How about a simple and do-able approach to spring cleaning?  Little by little we’ll be tackling the spring cleaning through March and April.  Every spring cleaning tip will have at least two approaches to get it completed – one if you have a little time and one if you have a lot of time.  You’ll be maximizing your time and minimizing the fuss – how’s that for a clean and tidy home?

Spring Cleaning with Clean Mama will start with a great spring cleaning checklist tomorrow (for FREE!) and then we’ll work our way through it with great how-tos, DIY cleaning recipes, and tutorials.  Don’t worry, Start Here. will still be going on simultaneously and those tasks will be easily incorporated into the spring cleaning.  You’ll notice that the rotating cleaning tasks are all on the spring cleaning checklist.  Haven’t snagged your FREE March cleaning checklist?  Go to this post to grab it.

Ready?  Pin this post to remind yourself and get ready for some Spring Cleaning with Clean Mama – I can’t wait!  And if you haven’t signed up for my posts in your inbox (see the sign up box on the sidebar) you should totally do that.  Can’t wait for tomorrow?  Go to my spring cleaning pinboard to see some spring cleaning goodness.

I’m using the hashtag on Instagram #springcleaningcm for my spring cleaning tasks and you can too!  Follow me here!

This post is part of a spring cleaning series – go here to see all the posts.

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