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

FREE Cleaning Calendar for July 2015

It’s almost July and that means that it’s time for July’s FREE cleaning calendar! If you’re feeling like you need some help with your cleaning and homekeeping and don’t know where to start, you’re going to love my cleaning routine and calendar. I keep daily homekeeping tasks to 15-30 minutes a day and this simple plan is how I do it!  This is a solution for busy households – give it a go, I think you’ll be surprised how a little bit every day can make a huge difference in your home.

Fresh Start Clean+Organized 2015

If you’ve been following Clean Mama for even a week, I hope you know that everyday is a chance to start over and so is every week, month, etc. I hope that you find that my cleaning routine is SIMPLE, EASY TO IMPLEMENT, and full of GRACE.

Read on, grab the FREE calendar for July and get ready to see how doing a little bit everyday really is the secret to a clean house.

Cleaning Routine Infographic - Clean Mama

Want to join in on the fun? Grab a FREE cleaning and organizing calendar for July and give it a go. Follow along for motivational posts and tips to keep up with the daily and weekly tasks. I also post daily reminders on Instagram and Facebook!

Fresh Start Calendary for July 2015 via Clean Mama

Go here to grab your FREE calendar for July 2015! Prefer it in googledocs? Go here.

(Please note: You’ll need to put the calendar in your cart and checkout – it’s still FREE – once you create an account it will save any free printables and you can come back and access them anytime. Upon checkout you’ll see the link for the free calendar AND it will also be emailed to you automatically!)

 

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

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The One Task That Will Keep Your Home Clutter-Free

The One Task That Will Keep Your Home Clutter-Free via Clean Mama

If you are new here, chances are the title of this blog post reeled you in.  If you’re a regular reader, you know that I am big on simplifying and streamlining tasks around the house.  Keep reading for some realistic action steps you can apply today to getting and keeping your home clutter-free.

If you can relate to at least one of these statements, chances are you can benefit from ONE TASK that will help you and your family keep your home clutter-free:

  • You are always trying to de-clutter.
  • You struggle with too much stuff.
  • You feel crabby when things are left out around the house.
  • You can’t find things quickly.
  • You have threatened to throw out or give away all.the.things.

Ready for the ‘secret’ task that will change everything you know about cleaning house?  That’s a little bit overboard but if you and your family put it into motion, it WILL change how your home looks, feels, and functions.

Take it out, put it away.

 

Mind blowing, right?  Not really, but it’s a simple thing that will save time and energy every single day when it is put into practice.  When you’re running from one place to another or rushing around, it’s so much easier to just leave that makeup on the counter, those toys on the floor, the dishes on the sink, etc.  Think about how much time you’d save if things where were they belonged AND think about how you’d feel if your house felt less cluttered and messy.

Makeup Out - Makeup Put Away via Clean Mama

Maybe you try really hard to put things away or maybe you remind your kids multiple times a day to put things away, but you still have that cluttered feeling.  Need some realistic and  attainable action steps that you can put into practice TODAY to try this one simple task?

Toys Out - Toys Put Away via Clean Mama

START HERE:

  • WORST CASE SCENARIO | If your home is cluttered and needs some attention immediately, grab three garbage bags and load them up with things to donate or toss.  Still cluttered?  Repeat until you can see the floor and you feel less overwhelmed with the current situation.
  • BEST CASE SCENARIO |  If you simply have a couple scattered things that need to be put away, run around and gather them up in a small laundry basket and put them in their proper places.  Enlist help from other members of your family and get it done in a hurry.
  • SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN | Grab a garbage bag and fill it up with things to toss or donate.  Fill a small laundry basket with things that need to be relocated and put them away.

 

MAINTENANCE:

  • TAKE IT OUT, PUT IT AWAY | Put this simple phrase into practice.  Think about it yourself throughout the day and really try to put things away as you take them out or bring them into the house.  Teach your kids how to put this into practice as well by enforcing the rule throughout the day.  It’s amazing what a difference it will make!
  • CLUTTER | Take care of it daily.  Every single day of the week take a couple minutes to put things away.  For kids, a nightly quick clean up is helpful for putting the habit into practice.  If you notice on my cleaning routine, CLUTTER appears daily.  That’s because it needs to be dealt with on a daily basis.
  • MAIL | Mail and paper have a way of multiplying if they aren’t dealt with routinely.  When you bring the mail in, process it.  When the kids bring home papers, process them.  Don’t let the paper pile up or it will take over your counters and kitchen table.

Mail Out - Mail Processed via Clean Mama

Take it out, put it away.

 

What do you think?  Is this simple phrase going to change your life?  Tell me what you think in the comments and tell me what tips and tricks you use to put this into practice!

The One Task That Will Keep Your Home Clutter-Free 2 via Clean Mama

If you like this post, check out this post – 6 Things I do Every Day to Keep the House Clean!

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

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Homekeeping Society | July Essentials + coupon code

July Homekeeping Society Main - Clean Mama

If you feel like you need a little help staying on top of the dailies, you will be thrilled with July’s HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY. Complete with seasonal touches, this month features a soft navy and kelly green with a summery picnic plaid design.

Not sure if Homekeeping Society is for you?  Try it out this month and use the coupon code 25JULY for 25% off your FIRST month (offer ends June 30th).

You’ll love the EASY PRINT feature, simply open and print the pages in ONE step. This is set up exactly how the printed version is packaged with 4 pages of the weekly planners, etc. This change is designed to take the guesswork and any hassle out of the printing process. I have also included a just one of each EASY PRINT option as well. Of course, the individual pages are also included, but if you want to print everything in one easy step, you’ll be really excited about this. If you want to print back to back, just select that upon printing and print away – easy, peasy!

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

Quote for the Kitchen Sink - July Homekeeping Society - via Clean Mama

This month’s Quote for the Kitchen Sink is a great reminder from Louisa May Alcott to find beauty in the simple and humblest things – isn’t that just a sweet quote?

Keeping a home clean can be both rewarding and frustrating. Sure, it’s possible to get your home clean, but to keep it that way can be the biggest challenge. Throw in the additions of busy schedules, jobs, kids, chaos, and lack of time and energy and it can feel downright defeating many days. You’ll love the Clean Mama Cleaning Routine included in every month of Homekeeping Society – it truly takes the guesswork out of cleaning and sets it on auto-pilot.  If you struggle during the summer with a different routine and more or less free time, Homekeeping Society will help you keep on top of the tasks and provide a little structure.

Cover and Introduction Pages - July Homekeeping Society - Clean Mama

I love to provide a ‘virtual’ hand to hold and guide you through the process of cleaning, homekeeping, and creating a home you feel proud of and welcome family, neighbors, and friends into without thinking twice about the mess behind that front door. The intent of Homekeeping Society is to give you that perfect monthly intervention that is purposefully designed to get your life and home in order with ease. Each month I add different and adorable seasonal touches to keep you motivated to do the daily tasks that get boring and monotonous.

Daily Planner - July Homekeeping Society - Clean Mama

 

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 – an EASY PRINT option is also included to make printing just one step!
  2. COVER PAGE – with the month – great for putting in your binder or homekeeping notebook to keep each month separated if you choose to keep the pages from month to month
  3. HOMEKEEPING FOCUS page – every month will focus on a room or area in the home (July is the PANTRY) – 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. Print one or two and put it front and center – set some realistic goals and make plans for some fun things to do this month
  5. DAILY PLANNER PAGE – great for those busy days (or every day!) includes schedule, to dos, notes, and a space for meals
  6. WEEKLY DOCKET– Use the weekly docket to see your whole week and schedule on a page (Sunday start and Monday start are both included)
  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, cleaning and organizing suggestions
  10. SEASONAL PREPARATION PRINTABLE – a helpful seasonal prep printable is always included in the monthly subscription – perfect for placing in a binder (July is a PANTRY INVENTORY 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 a HEALTH AND BEAUTY CONTACTS printable – 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.)
  13. PLUS – access to previous month’s HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY!

Pantry Inventory - July Homekeeping Society - Clean Mama

June’s Seasonal Preparation Printable is a PANTRY INVENTORY – perfect for this month’s homekeeping focus on the pantry.

Menu Planning - July Homekeeping Society - 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 here to see all the posts and past months of Homekeeping Society!

 

Full Kit - July Homekeeping Society - Clean Mama

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 JULY and it will allow you to download the monthly essentials zip file.  If you are a member, your essentials are already in your account – yay!

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30+ Things Your Kids Can Clean : A Room-by-room Guide for the Home

30 plus things your kids can help clean - a room by room guide for the home via Clean Mama

With the onset of summer and the end of the school year, it isn’t long before both moms and kids crave a little routine and order. A looser summer schedule brings both freedom and a little extra chaos as messes tend to accumulate a little faster and are a little more rampant throughout the house.

To help offset the inevitable, I like to have my children help clean whenever and wherever possible. Even little ones can learn how to help with simple tasks that help to instill a sense of responsibility and pride. Older children benefit from routine and expectations to help the home run smoothly as well.

Whether you choose to use these room-by-room cleaning suggestions as chores or as incentives is up to you. These are some of the cleaning tasks that have been helpful and realistic in my home that I hope will inspire you to use them as a springboard for your family.

Bedrooms

  • Make bed. I use a fitted sheet on the kids’ beds paired with a washable quilt or duvet. This makes it easier for kids to simply pull up the cover and put the pillow at the top.
  • Help put away clean clothes as they are able.  Start with putting away socks and move on to other items as kids get older.
  • Put dirty clothes in laundry basket.
  • Put toys away. We try to use the rule that before a new toy or activity is taken out, the unused one needs to be put away.  We do several sweeps a day and check them before a special activity (screen time, snack time, friend time).

Bathrooms

  • Wipe down counter.  A damp and wrung out microfiber cloth with water works perfectly for cleaning up little spatters and spills. No harsh cleaners necessary.
  • Clean mirror.  A barely damp microfiber cloth is great for this task.
  • Refills empty toilet paper and tissue boxes.
  • Collect garbage.
  • Wipe down baseboards and around the perimeter of the bathroom with baby wipes.

Living Areas

  • Wipe baseboards with baby wipes.
  • Wipe light switches and door knobs.
  • Pick up toys. Check under couch and furniture for errant toys and odds and ends.

Kitchen

  • Help unload the dishwasher. Younger children can help sort silverware and older children can put away breakables, dishes and glasses.
  • Set the table.
  • Clear plates at the table, bringing dishes to sink.
  • Little ones can be taught how to use a small dustpan and broom to gather up crumbs and other little odds and ends as well as emptying it in to the garbage.
  • A handheld vacuum cleaner also works well for children to help with vacuuming up crumbs, small scraps, and kitchen floor debris.
  • Wipe the table down.
  • Help empty trash and sort recyclables.

Laundry

  • Help sort by color (whites, brights, and darks).
  • Sort and pair up socks.
  • Help make matches with pajamas and outfits.
  • Put clothes on hangers.
  • Collect garbage in the laundry room. I have a small trash basket in the laundry room for lint, tags, etc. that the kids take care of emptying when asked.

Pet Care

  • Take care of water and food for pets.  My oldest started this routine around 5 years old.
  • ‘Help’ with brushing and bathing.
  • Gather up pet toys at the end of the day to store in basket or container.

My Favorite Ways to Get Help in a Hurry

  • Set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes and work to clean an entire area or trouble spot.
  • Chore charts work well in our house to assure that kids have a visual reminder to check off daily.
  • Use completed tasks as ‘rewards': once your clean room is cleaned up you can go play with your friends, take something else out, have screen time, etc.
  • Let kids help build a chore chart or responsibility chart. Taking ownership in the creation of the tasks will ensure a better success rate!

Here are a  couple more ideas to encourage cleaning up – click on the images to go straight to the posts.

Tools for Cleaning With Kids via Clean Mama

Simple Chore Chart and Reward System Your Kids Will Love via Clean Mama

This post is part of my SIMPLE SUMMER CHALLENGE – throughout the month I’m sharing ways to keep up with routines while having lots of fun in the process.  Go here to see the introduction post, and here to see all the posts in this series.  Make sure you’re following me on Instagram for more on this summer challenge!

 Clean Mama's Simple Summer Challenge via Clean Mama

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The Clean Mama Cleaning Routine FREE Printable

The Clean Mama Cleaning Routine Free Printable via Clean Mama

As part of the Simple Summer Challenge, I’m encouraging you to incorporate a couple simple tasks into your routine.  These tasks are my normal cleaning routine, but if you haven’t tried them or followed through, try adding them in this summer and see how it works for you.  I made a cute printable for you today that might make it a little more fun to keep on track with the tasks.

The Clean Mama Cleaning Routine is the routine that I developed years ago (before blogging was a thing) to have a consistently clean home.  Cleaning the whole house on Saturdays after working all week was not working for me.  I had to do something every day and after trying out different configurations and combinations, this simple routine was the one that worked the best in all circumstances.  I’ve used it before kids and working multiple jobs, working with kids and traveling, as a stay-at-home mom, and as a work from home mom with three kids.  With as little as 15 minutes a day, you can make it work for you too.  If you need more help figuring out how to incorporate it into a busy schedule, go to this post.

The Clean Mama Cleaning Routine Free Printable close-up in binder via Clean Mama

If you home is in shambles and you don’t know where to start, don’t think you have to get everything in tip-top shape right away.  Break it down into manageable steps.  For instance, on Monday you can try speed cleaning your bathrooms, or alternatively just clean one bathroom really well.  Still too overwhelming?  Set your timer for 10-15 minutes and do what you can in that time frame and do the same thing the next week and the next until you are able to manage your bathrooms all on the same day.  It’s not about perfection!  It’s about ‘everyday a little something’.  Just do that little something every day and you’ll be able to add to it as your house gets whipped into shape.

The Clean Mama Cleaning Routine Infographic via Clean Mama

How about a little freebie to help you get into the routine?  Print, cut in half, put it on your fridge, in your homekeeping binder, on a clipboard, or anywhere you’ll see and use it.  Simply put the month in the top and every day do the tasks and check off the circle – easy, peasy!  If you don’t get to the task, that’s what Fridays are for – catch-all day (a day to catch up)!

The Clean Mama Cleaning Routine FREE Printable Checklist via Clean Mama

GRAB THE FREE PRINTABLE HERE or if you’d prefer, in googledocs here.

The FREE printable in this post coordinates perfectly with my brand new kit!   THE HOMEKEEPING FOUNDATIONS KIT – designed to help you get your life organized with ease!  Go to this post to see more about the kit.

Homekeeping Foundations MAIN via Clean mama

Managing a home can be complicated and I wanted to take the guesswork out of it and create something that is pretty to look at and functional.  Enter THE HOMEKEEPING FOUNDATIONS KIT.  Each section is color coded, it prints off in one easy print document OR you can print individual pages.  I also included an editable/fillable version for all you that ask for that.  It’s included in the listing.  AND, I also included the pages as half size (A5).  And guess what!?  I am also offering this kit as PRINTED FOR YOU.  For an additional price, you can get the whole digital kit PLUS I’ll send you the first copy professionally printed just for you!

Clean Mama's Simple Summer Challenge via Clean MamaThis post is part of my SIMPLE SUMMER CHALLENGE – throughout the month I’m sharing ways to keep up with routines while having lots of fun in the process.  Go here to see the introduction post, and here to see all the posts in this series.  Make sure you’re following me on Instagram for more on this summer challenge!

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Clean Mama’s Favorites on The Organizing Store

I am so excited to let you know that I have a collection of my favorite things at The Organizing Store.  If you haven’t been to The Organizing Store, head on over and check them out!  I have personally met the owners, Deb and Allie and can tell you that they are just the kind of people you’re going to love shopping with.  They put the best products on their site and make it so fun to figure out what to shop for to organize your home!

Clean Mama on the Organizing Store

Check out my curated shop – you’ll find some of my favorite things, sure to help you get your home organized and clean in a hurry!

The Organizing Store Fave Products

If that isn’t enough excitement for one day, click on the image below to see The Ultimate Cleaning Cupboard Giveaway they have this week too!

Giveaway InstagramThis post contains affiliate links – you can go here to see my affiliate link policy.  As always, I only recommend products that I use and love.

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Week 2 : Spring Clean in 30

It’s officially spring cleaning season and A Bowl Full of Lemons and I are half way through our “Spring Clean in 30″ Challenge!  We are completing 30 cleaning tasks (each under 30 minutes) for the next 30 days and sharing daily on Instagram.  If you don’t have an Instagram account, you can find out what we’ve been cleaning each week by way of a weekly update on the blog.  If you have an Instagram account, follow us at @cleanmama and @abowlfulloflemons to see our daily tasks.  We would love for you to join the challenge and share and tag us, using the hash tag #springcleanin30.  Grab the FREE checklist here!  And go here to see all the tools I’ll be using this month as well.

spring clean in 30 via Clean Mama

Here’s an overview of what we spring cleaned this week:

WEEK 2

  • Day 8:  Wipe door knobs and doors
  • Day 9:  Dust light fixtures
  • Day 10: Freshen disposals and all drains
  • Day 11: Dust ceiling fans
  • Day 12: Clean refrigerator and freezer
  • Day 13: Clean oven and microwave
  • Day 14: Clear and clean kitchen counters

 

Day 8: Wipe door knobs and doors – use a wipe on the door knobs and this method for cleaning doors.

Day 8 Wipe Door Knobs and Doors via Clean Mama

Day 9: Dust light fixtures – I love using this filament extendable duster for light fixtures because it easily and gently cleans light fixtures.

Day 9 Dust Light Fixtures via Clean Mama

Day 10: Freshen disposals and all drains – check out this post for the simple how-to on cleaning drains and garbage disposals.

Day 10 Freshen Disposal and Drains via Clean Mama

Day 11: Dust ceiling fans – I use the fan cleaning attachment from this kit to clean my ceiling fans.  If you don’t have a fan cleaner, you can place an old pillowcase over each blade one by one and turn on the fan or wipe it clean.

Day 11 Dust Ceiling Fans via Clean Mama

Day 12: Clean refrigerator and freezer.  This task is often overlooked, but it makes a big difference!  Clean it really well (see my favorite method here) and then stay on top of the task by wiping off your shelves before you go to the grocery store.

Day 12 Clean Refrigerator and Freezer via Clean Mama

Day 13: Clean oven and microwave – I use this method for cleaning my oven.  I love that it’s safe and natural and it really works!

Day 13 Clean Oven and Microwave via Clean Mama

Day 14: Clear and clean kitchen counters and you might want to see this post on how to keep them cleared off for good!

DAY 14 Clear and Clean Kitchen Counters via Clean Mama

 

Follow along on Instagram or check back here next week for another set of cleaning tasks.  Happy Spring Cleaning!

Revisit the Spring Clean In 30 Challenge here:

 

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Practical Cleaning Routine Tips for Any Schedule

Practical Cleaning Routine Tips via Clean Mama

I talk a lot about my cleaning routine and what tasks to do on different days and how to complete those tasks, but how about specific ideas for ways to implement my cleaning routine into a variety of schedules?  Today I’m going to share some simple tips and tricks for how to incorporate a cleaning routine. Let’s not dispute whose schedule is more difficult to fit a cleaning routine into, but let’s talk about HOW to incorporate a cleaning routine because figuring out WHEN to clean can freeze up the progress.  I’ve included some helpful posts that you might like to take a peek at as you’re reading as well.  You can always find the current month’s FREE cleaning calendar at the top of my free printables page!

A little bit about Clean Mama’s Cleaning Routine:

I love a clean house, but when people live in a home, cleaning up is constant.  That’s where a cleaning routine is essential – simple tasks completed daily and weekly really keep the cleaning to a minimum so I can spend time with my family and not cleaning.  With minutes a day and a plan, homekeeping can be enjoyable, simple, and easy to fit into your busy life and schedule.  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 with three active kiddos.  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’!

Practical Suggestions for Implementing Clean Mama’s Cleaning Routine:

WORKING OUTSIDE OF THE HOME
If you work outside the home and get home late or leave early (or both!) and are exhausted and have no energy to put a cleaning routine into place, my best suggestion is to start with 5-10 minutes before you leave for work and 5-10 minutes when you get home.  Start with the daily tasks and work on completing them every day.  If the daily tasks are overwhelming, just start with one – one load of laundry from start to put away, pick up clutter, check floors, or wipe counters.  Add one every week and before you know it you’ll have built a little routine into your schedule.  Once you feel like you’ve got a good handle on daily tasks, start adding the weekly cleaning tasks – Monday is bathrooms day, Tuesday is Dusting Day, etc.  Set a timer for 5-10 minutes and do what you can in that amount of time and forget the rest.  Keep going and before long you’ll have added this step to your routine as well.  If you feel like you can add more time, and get more accomplished, increase your time to 15-20 minutes.

If you work 12 hour shifts or an unpredictable schedule, you might need to double up tasks and tackle two or three on your days off so you truly don’t have to do much on the days that you are at work.  A cleaning routine can be accomplished, but give yourself grace while you’re trying to figure out what works best for you.

The following post might be helpful if you’re trying to find a good rhythm for your routine:

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

WORKING AT HOME
Studies show that taking breaks throughout the day can actually help you be more productive.  Choose specific times to take homekeeping breaks and throw a load of laundry into the washing machine or unload the dishwasher.  These little breaks will get your body moving and might just help you be more productive during the day.  I find it most helpful to get my homekeeping tasks out of the way early in the day so they don’t get pushed to the back burner and not completed.  Find YOUR time to clean – do you get more accomplished with little chunks of time throughout the day or do you do better by getting it all completed before you start working.  Figure out what works best for you!

Feeling Overwhelmed Try one of these simple tasks via Clean Mama
Feeling overwhelmed?  Do One of These Simple Tasks

STAY AT HOME
If you are at home all day with kids or if they are at school for part of the day, you know that the house is most likely in a constant state of flux and mess or potential mess.  ENJOY it, but if you need to have it tidied up during the day (I do!), my best suggestion is to implement times during the day when the kids tidy up their messes and you do your daily/weekly tasks.  Complete tasks during nap time or when kids are playing independently.  Building time to clean up into your schedule is the best way to find the time to clean.  If you don’t plan cleaning, you’ll get to the end of the day and realize you didn’t get anything done and feel defeated.  I find that seasonal cleaning is really helpful to get that everything’s cleaned all at once feeling.


Spring Clean in 30 FREE Printable Checklist via Clean MamaSpring Clean in 30 Challenge

GETTING KIDS INVOLVED
If you have children, get them involved in homekeeping.  It will make it easier for you to incorporate cleaning and they’ll help make the work a little lighter for you.  A couple things that work well at our house – take one activity out at a time, clean up before lunch/naps, clean up before dinner, quick clean up before bedtime.   Assign specific, age-appropriate tasks – laundry, dusting, making beds, cleaning up after themselves are all simple daily tasks that kids of all ages can complete with a little guidance.

 

Let's Clean House - 2 Free Kids Cleaning Checklists - Clean Mama Let’s Clean House – Cleaning With Kids (free printable chore cards)

Pick a Chore Jar via Clean MamaSimple Chore + Reward System (free printables)

What are your best tips for implementing a cleaning routine with your schedule?  What have you done that works?

CleanMamaEssentialKit_Instgram

Did you see the CLEAN MAMA ESSENTIALS KIT?  It’s perfect for your cleaning routine!

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Gather Your Tools | The Best Tools for Spring Cleaning

The Best Tools for Spring Cleaning via Clean Mama

If you’re ready to do some SPRING CLEANING, you’ll need to gather your tools.  I find it most effective to gather from tools I have and then assess the situation and see if I need to get anything else.  This ensures that I am ready to do a little bit of cleaning every day and stay on track to meet my goal of having the whole house spring-cleaned by the end of April in under 30 minutes a day.   Grab a container, a basket, or a cleaning caddy and collect the tools you’ll need for spring cleaning.  You can carry this from room to room with you or keep it in a mudroom or storage closet and just take out what’s needed each day.

Spring Cleaning Caddy via Clean Mama

The best tools for spring cleaning also happen to be some of my favorite cleaning tools.  I am guessing you have a few of these already and if you don’t and you don’t have the budget for anything new, make do with what you have.  Spring cleaning is mostly about dusting and vacuuming and cleaning those not-cleaned-very-often places in our homes.  If you do end up purchasing new, you’ll have great all-purpose cleaning tools to use all year long.

The Best Tools for Spring Cleaning - details -  via Clean Mama

Clean Mama’s Favorite Spring Cleaning Tools

(links go to the products – some are affiliate links – read my full disclosure here)

What else would you add?  I’ll be back in a couple days with my favorite SPRING CLEANERS – make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss a thing!

Are you cleaning along with us?  Toni from A Bowl Full of Lemons and I can’t wait to get started with you!  The #springclean30 challenge starts on April 1st!

 

Spring Clean in 30 FREE Printables Checklist via Clean Mama

Don’t forget to grab and print your FREE checklist here!

Clean Mama's Spring Cleaning Kit

Can’t wait to get started?  The Clean Mama Spring Cleaning Kit is in the shop! You can see all the products in my shop here.

Spring Clean in 30 Challenge narrow bar

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FREE Cleaning Calendar for April 2015

It’s almost April and that means that it’s time for April’s FREE cleaning calendar! If you’re feeling like you need some help with your cleaning and homekeeping and don’t know where to start, you’re going to love my cleaning routine and calendar. I keep daily homekeeping tasks to 15-30 minutes a day and this simple plan is how I do it! This is a solution for busy households – give it a go, I think you’ll be surprised how a little bit every day can make a huge difference in your home.

Fresh Start Clean+Organized 2015

If you’ve been following Clean Mama for even a week, I hope you know that everyday is a chance to start over and so is every week, month, etc. I hope that you find that my cleaning routine is SIMPLE, EASY TO IMPLEMENT, and full of GRACE.

Read on, grab the FREE calendar for April and get ready to see how doing a little bit everyday really is the secret to a clean house.  If you’re doing the Spring Clean in 30 Challenge, I also have a version with the challenge included.

Cleaning Routine Infographic - Clean Mama

Want to join in on the fun? Grab a FREE cleaning and organizing calendar for April and give it a go. Follow along for motivational posts and tips to keep up with the daily and weekly tasks. I also post daily reminders on Instagram and Facebook!

Free Cleaning Calendar from Clean Mama

Go here to grab your FREE calendar for April 2015!  If you’d prefer to download from Googledocs, go here.

April Fresh Start Calendar + Spring Cleaning Challenge via Clean Mama

If you’re doing the Spring Clean in 30 Challenge and want a combined checklist you can grab it here.

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

Spring Clean in 30 Challenge narrow bar

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Homekeeping Society | April Essentials

April 2015 Homekeeping Society main Clean Mama

Feel like you need a little help staying on top of the dailies, you will be thrilled with April’s HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY.  A big CHANGE – I’ve added an EASY PRINT feature to the downloads!  Open and print the pages in ONE step.  This is set up exactly how the printed version is packaged with 4 pages of the weekly planners, etc.  This change is designed to take the guesswork and any hassle out of the printing process.  Of course, the individual pages are also included, but if you want to print everything in one easy step, you’ll be really excited about this addition.  (Keep reading for a great coupon if you want to try out HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY!)

April’s monthly essentials are aqua and teal with adorable touches of a cute flag bunting – perfect for getting ready for spring!  If you’re a member (log in here) and if you’d like to sign up 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 month of April – you’re going to LOVE it!

Quote for the Kitchen Sink - Clean Mama's Homekeeping Society

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!

Curious about Homekeeping Society and want to try it out? I’ve got a coupon code this month for 25% off your first month – enter the code 25APRIL at checkout (coupon expires 3/31/15) and you’ll receive 25% off this month’s subscription (the regular price will resume after this month).  All payments are secure with SSL encryption.

 April 2015 Daily Monthly Pages - Homekeeping Society - 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.

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.

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.

April 2015 Homekeeping Society via Clean Mama

 

 

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 – an easy print option is also included to make printing just one step!
  2. COVER PAGE – with the month – great for putting in your binder or homekeeping notebook to keep each month separated if you choose to keep the pages from month to month
  3. HOMEKEEPING FOCUS page – every month will focus on a room or area in the home (April is Spring Cleaning) – 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 – great for those busy days (or every day!) includes schedule, to dos, notes, and a space for meals
  6. WEEKLY DOCKET– Use the weekly docket to see your whole week and schedule on a page (Sunday start and Monday start are both included)
  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 (April is a spring cleaning 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 a HOUSEHOLD FOOD INVENTORY – 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.)

Clean Mama's Homekeeping Society - April 2015

 

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.

Menu Planning - April Homekeeping Society - Clean Mama

 

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 April and it will allow you to download the monthly essentials zip file. If you are a member, your essentials are already in your account – yay!

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Spring Clean in 30 (Sneak Peek)

Spring Clean in 30 Challenge Sneak Peek

Feeling like your home needs a little spring cleaning?  I love spring cleaning and am so excited to be teaming up with Toni from A Bowl Full of Lemons to bring you a Spring Cleaning Challenge (SPRING CLEAN IN 30) on April 1st!  From now until the start of the challenge I’ll have a FREE printable calendar and cleaning plan, ideas for gearing up for spring cleaning, and simple menu plans for getting food on the table while you’re busy spring cleaning (or just busy).  Then on April 1st, the challenge will start on Instagram with daily prompts and encouragement for each simple daily task (under 30 minutes/day).  I’ll post weekly updates on the blog too, but you’ll definitely want to follow us on instagram – @cleanmama and @abowlfulloflemons . We’ll also be using the hashtag #springcleanin30 and you can too!  Haven’t signed up to be on my email list?  Go here!

Can’t wait to get started?  The Clean Mama Spring Cleaning Kit is in the shop!  You can see all the products in my shop here.

Clean Mama's Spring Cleaning Kit

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How to Get Ready for Spring Cleaning

If you’re ready to get your house cleaned up after the long winter, but don’t know where or how to start, keep reading!  I have a brand new kit in the shop – perfect for stepping up your cleaning game this spring.

The perfect companion to your spring cleaning is a plan.  Clean Mama’s Spring Cleaning Kit is complete with cleaning recipes, checklists, and a guide to help you along the way.  Here’s how I put mine together.  It’s just what I need to get ready to spring clean.

Full Kit - Clean Mama's Spring Cleaning KitStart by printing out the kit.

Spring Cleaning Kit in a Binder - Clean Mama's Spring Cleaning KitPlace any pages in your homekeeping notebook or binder that you’d like to reference.

Trim and Laminate - Clean Mama's Spring Cleaning KitTrim pages that you’d like smaller (I laminated them for extra durability).

Mini Checklists to Make Spring Cleaning Simple - Clean Mama's Spring Cleaning KitMake mini-books for referencing recipes and checklists.  This kit makes it super easy to get your checklists ready.  You can print and slip the checklists into a binder or trim them and make adorable checklists for your cleaning.

Cleaning Recipe Cards and Mini Checklists - Clean Mama's Spring Cleaning KitGather your cleaning supplies and tools.  Put your tools together in a caddy so you have everything at the ready for your spring cleaning.

Kids Cleaning Checklists - Clean Mama's Spring Cleaning KitHave kids?  Get them involved by making a mini-cleaning caddy.  Add dusting tools, microfiber cloths, a spray bottle with a non-toxic cleaner or even just plain water, and a checklist.

Clean Mama's Spring Cleaning Kit

CLEAN MAMA’S SPRING CLEANING KIT includes 10 pages:

• Spring Cleaning Kit COVER (with cleaning icons)
• GUIDE/INSTRUCTIONS – guide to fitting spring cleaning into an already busy schedule
• ONE MONTH OF SPRING CLEANING CHECKLIST – want to tackle a little bit every day?  This full page checklist is perfect and includes my proven process for getting the cleaning done in minutes/day over the course of a month.
• MINI CLEANING CHECKLISTS (3 pages/ 9 checklists) – Supplies, Ingredients, Simple Checklist, Kitchen, Bathrooms, Bedrooms, Living Areas, Utility, and a Blank Checklist.  Perfect for spring cleaning (or anytime!)  Print and trim (print on cardstock and laminate for extra durability) or keep as a full page.
• ESSENTIAL CLEANING RECIPES – My 5 favorite DIY formulas for spring cleaning – your house will smell lemon-y fresh!
• MINI CLEANING RECIPE BOOK (2 Pages) – trim and assemble your own mini recipe book to keep on your cleaning caddy, print on cardstock and laminate for durability (as shown in images)
• KIDS CLEANING CHECKLISTS (1 page/ 3 checklists) – want to get the kids involved?  Print out the kids cleaning checklists and make a mini spring cleaning bucket and they’ll be cleaning right along with you! 

Clean Mama’s Spring Cleaning Kit is available in my shop!

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The Best Ways to Eliminate Residue, Stains, and Gunk in the Bathroom

The Best Ways to Eliminate Residue, Stains, Gunk in the Bathroom via Clean Mama

How to clean bathtubs and showers is one of the most often asked questions that I receive from my readers. As I made a list of all the questions that you asked after my What’s the Best blog post, I wasn’t surprised to see the bathroom theme continue.  Today I am focusing on bathtub cleaning and how to tackle those grimy tubs and showers as easily as possible.

Bathtubs and shower surrounds have the tendency to accumulate soap scum and stains in a hurry. Part of it is a result of soap, shampoo and body washes that you use while part of it can result from the hardness or softness of your water. Regardless, let’s take a look at a couple of cleaner options that can help make a difference. Depending upon your cleaning style and cleanser preferences, I am sharing products that you can find at your local store as well as ones that you can make yourself.

Magic Erasers:

These helpful little numbers can be ideal for a thin layer of soap scum or residue. Simply wet and scrub away. I recommend using the ones that are heavy duty over the regular ones as they tend to be a bit more durable.

Favorite Cleaners:

BON AMI:
Bon Ami products can do a great job at removing rust, residue and stains with minimal fuss and work. Both come in a can in a powder format and soft scrub liquid – I recommend the original 1886 powder as it’s the safest version.  This powder works as a gentle, mild abrasive that scrubs without damaging surfaces. Put on a pair of gloves, sprinkle it in your tub or shower and around the faucet. Dampen the surfaces as well as a sponge and scrub in a circular motion.  Rinse your tub really well when you are done in order to get all the cleaning residue off.

ECOVER:
If you prefer a soft scrub formula, Ecover has a great Cream Scrub that’s perfect for cleaning all things bathroom.  Concerned about scratching a fiberglass tub?  Use a soft, damp sponge or microfiber cloth and scrub away.

METHOD:
If the soap scum is thin and you need a spray cleaner, try the Bathroom Cleaner from Method.  It’s natural and will dissolve minor soap scum and dirt.  You’ll need to use a scrub brush to give your scum the heave-ho, but this is a great product if you prefer a spray method.

Favorite Bathroom Cleaners for Soap Scum, Residue, and Stains via Clean Mama

Make Your Own Cleaners:

Making your own cleaners isn’t rocket science, nor does it require any crazy ingredients.  Both Borax and vinegar can be found in most grocery stores.  I love making my own cleaners and being able to mix up a remedy for just about cleaning conundrum.  You can check out my book, The Organically Clean Home, all about making your own natural cleaners.

SOAP SCUM REMOVER:
Mix 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Borax with 2 cups of hot water in a spray bottle. Shake and spray surfaces thoroughly. Let it sit for up to 15 minutes and use a Magic Eraser sponge to clean. Rinse and wipe dry.

RUST REMOVER:
Saturate paper towels or rags with white vinegar and drape over fixtures. Let it sit for 15 minutes and rub with the cloth to eliminate the rust.  Rinse, and repeat if necessary.

Once you  have a clean tub or shower, it’s important to maintain it with regular cleaning. Thankfully, keeping up with it doesn’t have to be majorly time consuming. For an easy run-down on how to clean your shower and keep it that way, check out this post that covers everything you need to know.

There are certainly issues and situations where no amount of cleaning or cleaners will “fix” the problem. You may need to consider recaulking or regrouting your tub or shower when stains, mildew or mold issues persist.  If the surface of your tub or shower has been damaged or has disintegrated beyond repair, it may be time to consider replacing or having the surface reglazed.

Getting rid of those tricky stains and residues in your tub and shower doesn’t have to be a day long cleaning chore nor does it take an arsenal of cleaning supplies. Choose one of the suggested cleaners for your situation and look forward to a cleaner, fresher bathroom!

 

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The Best Way to Clean and Care for Hard Surface Floors

The Best Ways to Clean and Care for Hard Surface Floors via Clean Mama

This past week I opened up the floor for your cleaning and organizing conundrums and issues. I received a lot of great questions and am excited to share what my solutions are to many of your common cleaning and organizing annoyances are.  Keep an eye out for your question to pop up here on the blog, Facebook or Instagram in the coming weeks as I work through them with you.

 

Today’s questions and answers focus on FLOORS, more specifically on how to clean hardwood, laminate, tile and grout.  Before I clean the floors, I always start by vacuuming to get rid of crumbs and dirt. If you have pets or a lot of dust, you may want to follow up with a quick sweep using a microfiber based floor duster.  If you follow my cleaning routine, Wednesdays are Vacuuming Day and Thursdays are Floor Washing Day.

Favorite Floor Tools via Clean Mama1 /2 /3 /4

HARDWOOD FLOORS:

 

Before using any cleaner, make sure that your hardwood floors are sealed.  How to clean your wood floors is not always dependent on the kind of wood but rather the finish that is on them. If you aren’t sure what sort of finish is on your floors, check with the manufacturer.  I prefer to use a refillable or microfiber mop versus a steam mop on my hardwood floors. While many people love the ease of a steam mop, my personal preference is to play it safe and use a more gentle, and less moisture approach with the refillable mop.  Alternatively, a damp microfiber mop works – just use a spray floor cleaner and spray and wipe you go.

 

UNFINISHED OR BAMBOO FLOORS:

If you have unfinished, waxed, or bamboo hardwood floors, the best approach is to use a barely damp (with water) microfiber mop pad.  Always check with your manufacturer’s instructions first.

 

STREAKS AND RESIDUE:

A couple helpful tips for streaks and residue on floors…if you are using a microfiber pad, dampen it before starting and rinse often while washing the floors.  If you have streaks with a steam mop and rinsing the mop head frequently doesn’t solve the problem, you might need to use distilled water (purchase by the gallon at your local grocery or drug store).  If you have hard water the minerals in your water may be contributing to streaking and residue on your floors due to the minerals in your water.

 

FAVORITE CLEANERS:

When it comes to just what brand or formulation of floor cleaner I prefer, I like to give a range of options and solutions. Some people love making their own cleaners while others prefer the pre-mixed, ready to go options.  I only recommend products that are non-toxic and safe to use around people and pets, but these are all products that I use and love.
If you are looking for the most economical and green choice, then making your own cleaner is the way to go. Here is my tried and true recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 gallon of warm water
  • 2-3 drops essential oils (I love lemon or lemon and clove for my hardwood floors)

I mix this up using the same ratio in my refillable floor mop:

  • 3 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 16 ounces of warm water
  • 1-2 drops essential oils (I love lemon or lemon and clove for my hardwood floors
If you prefer the convenience of pre-made cleaners, there are many options to choose from. My favorite brands for performance and safe ingredients are Murchinson-Hume, Bona, and Honest. All of these are ready to use – simply use the spray and mop method or pour into your refillable mop and clean away. Babyganics also makes a great floor cleaner concentrate that is unscented and easy to dilute – you can use it in a bucket and a refillable spray mop and it’s even compatible with carpet cleaners (see the links below).  If you like a mop and bucket for washing floors (not my preference), you might like a spin mop.  The one that’s pictured in the main photo is this one.
Favorite Hard Surface Floor Cleaners via Clean Mama
1 /2 /3 /4

LAMINATE FLOORS:

One of the biggest complaints I hear about laminate floor cleaners is that all the commercial cleaners leave behind a sticky residue that attracts dirt and dust. My all time favorite laminate floor cleaner is a simple DIY cleaner using every day ingredients. Try out this recipe for an effective, economical solution to cleaning your laminate floors. Again, I prefer using a refillable mop for ease, but this solution can be mixed up and put into a spray bottle as well.  The vinegar cleans and the rubbing alcohol aids in the drying and adds a sanitizing component.  The combination is great for getting those floors perfectly clean.  Laminate and water are not a good combination so you’ll want to use this in a spray format in lieu of a mop and bucket.

 

Mix equal parts of:
  • white vinegar
  • rubbing alcohol
  • water
I like to add several drops of peppermint essential oil for a invigorating and fresh scent. I mix up five ounces of each of three ingredients with 3-5 drops of essential oil to fill an average size spray bottle or to pour into a refillable mop.

 

DEEP CLEANING TILE AND GROUT:

It doesn’t take long before grout in between tile can show dirt and wear especially when it is in high traffic zones like kitchens, entryways and mudrooms. There are several different approaches that you can take to deep clean both your tile and grout. A favorite tried and true method that takes a little more elbow grease is a combination of cream of tartar and water. Mix up a paste using these two ingredients that is the consistency of runny toothpaste. Using an old toothbrush or a thin grout brush, dip the brush in and scrub away at the grout. The cream of tartar is a natural ‘bleach’ that should help lift the stains out gently but effectively. Check your local dollar store for an inexpensive container rather than paying full price for a little one at the grocery store.
For effective tile and grout cleaning, I love using my portable steam cleaner. Homeright makes a great model that comes with a lot of attachments so you can use the machine for more than just tile. The small nozzle attachment combines with the power of steam cleaning works wonderfully on tile and grout especially. Try it on your floor, bathroom or wherever you have tile and grout issues.  Homeright has a multi-purpose steam mop that has attachments that cleans grout and tile really well.

 

I hope this helps clear up some questions and gives you some ideas of methods and products that work!  I can’t wait to continue the What’s the Best… series!
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