CLEAN + ORGANIZE WITH HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY – DECEMBER’S ESSENTIALS

If you’re looking for a simple way to stay on top of daily, weekly and monthly tasks in just minutes a day, Homekeeping Society is just the solution!

 

The holidays are upon us and December’s Homekeeping Society is ready for you!

A couple NEW things to share:

  • You can now purchase a one-year subscription for Homekeeping Society at a discount – yay!
  • You can login each month AND you’ll also get an email from Clean Mama with the next month’s subscription as a quick download with some exclusive tips for rocking the coming month – easy, peasy!

 

December’s Homekeeping Society subscription is up – go here to see the homepage – check it out and use the coupon code 30OFFDECEMBER for 30% off your first month of a new subscription!

If you don’t know where to start or are feeling a little defeated, I think you’ll find encouragement in the support and structure Homekeeping Society provides!  Homekeeping Society is intended to be just the gentle nudge you need making your tasks and to do’s more enjoyable with a sweet and simple format.  My favorite thing about Homekeeping Society is that each month is different, yet it all looks good together, and it’s complete with seasonal touches you’ll love!

 

Homekeeping Society is simple to use:

  • 2 EASY PRINT packets are included – simply open and print the pages in ONE step. One version features one of each and the other is set up exactly how the printed version is packaged with 4 pages of the weekly planners, etc. You’ll love how easy this is to use!  Of course, the individual pages are also included, but if you want to print everything in one easy step, you’ll love this. If you want to print back to back, just select that upon printing and print away – easy, peasy!
  • I have a Facebook Group to help you with your homekeeping – HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY – join if you’re a member of the subscription or not, it’s a special place to discuss homekeeping struggles, tips, tricks and ask questions to other members or myself.  It’s a closed group, just ask to join and I’ll add you.
  • I have Homekeeping Society available in my Etsy shop – you can only purchase one month at a time and you will NOT have access to the previous months.  Feeling non-committal? Don’t want to subscribe?  Want to use PayPal?  This is a great option but you’ll need to repurchase each month instead of it being an automatic payment and download.
  • Another great feature with Homekeeping Society is that you can also access/save/download ALL the previous month’s of HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY!  That’s well over 400 printables that you can use!

How to login:

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.  You can cancel ANYTIME right on your membership screen.  Take a peek at what I’ve created for the month of November – you’ll LOVE it!

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. 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 with routine and more or less free time, Homekeeping Society will help you keep on top of the tasks and provide a little structure.

Want to see more and get on the list? I can’t wait for you to join me!  Go here to learn more.  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!

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.  I also email your subscription to you as well – if you don’t see it, check your spam folder.

Finally! A Non-Toxic Cleaning Wipe – Ode to Clean

I’m always looking for new and different green cleaning options and I have a great one to share with you today!  For years I’ve been swapping out toxic cleaners for non-toxic ones – I’ve found that when I have a good swap I don’t miss the old favorite product.

If you’re a cleaning wipe user and you know you should be using something more eco-friendly and less toxic  meet your new favorite cleaning wipe – ODE TO CLEAN!  Ode to Clean is an all-natural cleaning wipe that uses a natural disinfectant, Bioperoxide (made entirely from plants) to safely and effectively clean any surface.  Made entirely from plants, Ode to Clean wipes take care of even the dirtiest messes with ease.

I love the dispenser – it looks so great on the counter.

If you’ve been thinking of getting rid of those toxic wipes – THIS is the product you want to swap them out for.  Why?  They work, they kill germs, and they’re safe you AND your kids to use!  Want to give them a try?  Use the coupon code ODETOCLEANMAMA10 for 10% off.

Use on yoga mats, gym bags, sports gear.

Cleans up icky, sticky messes and kills germs at the same time.

Here’s a little more about Ode to Clean:

  • all natural wipes perfect for: kitchen counters, yoga mats, kid’s hands and face, mirrors, tables, floors, pacifiers, toys,bathroom surfaces, laptops, iPhones, literally any surface you can think of!
  • ZERO toxic chemicals
  • unprecedented safety, efficacy and transparency to the natural cleaning products market
  • Ode to Clean’s packaging is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also designed to be as environmentally friendly and convenient as possible
  • Created by two best friends who are a doctor and a scientist In response to cancer-causing compounds in household cleaning products, Ode to Clean’s founders created a safer process to offer consumers a better option
  • Ode to Clean wipes are safe enough to eat! (though it might not taste very good;)
  • Clorox and Lysol wipes are incredibly bad for the environment – you could drive from the earth to the moon and back 18,000 times with the petroleum used to make wipes. In contrast, by using Ode to Clean’s biodegradable compostable
  • Ode to Clean wipes get rid of the flu virus, salmonella, e.coli, norovirus

Safe to wipe hands and faces AND safe for little ones to use to help clean too!  Check out Ode to Clean – I think you’ll be as pleased as I am 🙂 These are the purest and safest wipes on the planet.

Want to give them a try?  Go to Ode to Clean and use the coupon code ODETOCLEANMAMA10 for 10% off.  (Ode to Clean is only available in the US right now.)

I received these Ode to Clean wipes to review.  I only review products that I love and have tested in my own home.  You can read my full disclosure policy here.

Avoid the Holiday Hustle : Tips to Simplify the Season

With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it is easy to get overwhelmed and wonder how in the world you are going to get it all done while enjoying the holidays. Now is the ideal time to sit down and look at what you can cross of your list ahead of time in order to reduce your stress later.

Whether you choose to do all or several of these tasks, I can guarantee that each of these tips will free up some physical and mental space in your life so you can make room for the important things. Most of these tasks are relatively easy with minimal time necessary. Tackle them on a day when you have find you have a block of time or add a task a day to your planner. Ready to make this holiday season less stressful?

Begin your menu planning, recipe gathering and grocery list making.

Set aside some time to begin your menu planning and get your grocery lists started. I like to pull out my favorite cookbooks, my trusty recipe binder and do some Pinterest browsing. This free printable is a great place to start.

Clean your oven.

With all the use that your oven will get over the holidays, starting with it clean is so helpful. While it may seem a little counterproductive to clean it before all this use, it will be much easier to clean after the holidays when you have no buildup of grime to contend with. Check out my oven cleaning guide here.

Stock up on your paper products, ziptop bags and leftover containers.

Take stock of what you have on hand and what you need. I like to start the busy season with plenty of paper products (plates, napkins etc.), parchment paper, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, ziptop bags and reusable leftover containers on hand.

Take inventory of your spices and herbs.

This goes hand in hand with your menu planning. It is no fun to find an open grocery store on Thanksgiving when you realize that you are out of that key ingredient. Here’s how I organize our spice cabinet.

Clean your appliances.

It is not as time consuming as you may think and makes such a difference. I like to save this task for week before major holidays. Make the task quicker with this guide.

Stock your freezer with baked goods.

After you have done your menu planning, look at what you can make ahead of time and freeze. I like to get a head start with homemade rolls and quick breads, cookies and other baked goods that can easily be frozen.

Stock up on wrapping paper, tape, gift bags and tissue paper.

Sales have started, grab what you need now and wrap presents as you purchase them to avoid the all at one time wrapping session.

Start on holiday cards now.

I go even easier and use Minted.com (not sponsored) for our holiday cards – we take our family pictures in October and get the holiday cards ordered.  I keep our address book on their website and have them print the addresses and return address on the cards.  It’s a little pricey, but I wait for a coupon code and find that it’s definitely worth it.

Make sure you have enough towels for your guests.

I like to double check our linen closet and make sure that I have enough hand towels, bath towels and wash cloths for all our guests. Here’s how I organized our linen closet for guests. Costco and Target are my favorite sources for inexpensive yet good quality towels.

Clean out your refrigerator and freezer.

This is a task that I like to do on a regular basis and it gets a little extra attention around the holidays. With all the extra food on hand and stocked, it is important to start with a clean and organized refrigerator and freezer. Wondering how to go about this task without getting overwhelmed?  Here’s the best and easiest way to clean them out.

Start now with a task or two and you’ll find that by simply splitting these tasks up you’re drastically reducing your holiday ‘workload’.  After all, this should be a sweet time not a stressful one!  What do you do to avoid the holiday hustle?  Tell us in the comments!

A Simple + Organized Makeup Drawer

A simple and organized makeup drawer sounds easier than it is. By grouping different makeup items together in a logical way it makes it easy to locate and even easier to put items away. Keeping makeup to the essentials is also helpful to keep things simple and easy.

This post is part of a new series – Take a Peek.  Every month or so, I’m going to open a door, a drawer, a cupboard, or space and giving you a peek at what’s behind it.  I love looking at details and organizing strategies online and in magazines and I thought you might looking at these spaces in my home as well.  I’m going to share sources, strategies, and what works for us in the hopes of inspiring you to tackle organizing a space in your home.  Each post will have numbers to point to details in the picture with tips and tricks to inspire you to organize a space in your home.  You’ll find all the sources linked at the very bottom of the post.  I hope you enjoy it!

 

This drawer was a catch-all for miscellaneous makeup and I didn’t really think that there were any options for organization because the drawer isn’t deep but then I found these cosmetic drawer organizers – they’re only 2 inches deep and fit perfectly.

Measure twice and make sure that everything will fit – I bought a couple different configurations and played with the arrangement until I found what worked best.  You can see that there’s a little extra room on either side of the drawer and I’m okay with that.

I ended up putting everything in these drawer organizers in my bathroom drawers so I pulled everything out of the drawers, cleaned them out, got rid of anything that I don’t use anymore, was past its prime or expired.  Then I grouped and categorized everything and lived with it for a couple weeks and moved things around some more.  This organized space is that you see below is how the drawer looks about a month after I organized it.  I love having this space organized, it makes getting ready so much easier!

In case you’re curious, here’s what’s in each of the organizers.  I’ve been switching over to safe beauty products and love the results!

 

 

  1. LIP STUFF – lip gloss, lipstick, lip balm, lip scrub
  2. EYES – mascara, concealer
  3. EYES + FOUNDATION – I like buying eye makeup sets to keep eye makeup application easy
  4. POWDER – every day powder
  5. FACE WASH, SERUMS, + MASKS – I keep items that I use often but not every day here
  6. MORE POWDER – loose and bronzer
  7. DRAWER ORGANIZERS – love these, they have changed how I organize the bathroom

There you have it – one simple and organized makeup drawer!

Shop Update : NEW Stickers!

I added two new sticker sheets to Clean Mama HOME this week! There are 2 different sticker sheets – CLEANING ROUTINE and COLOR CODING. Use them on your spray bottles, calendar, planner, notepads, or cleaning planner.  (See the Clean Mama DAILY Planner up there – it’s a perfect companion for the stickers!) Come see…..

Add a little routine to your planner, calendar, homekeeping binder pages, and spray bottles.  The Cleaning Routine sticker page includes the Clean Mama Routine icons + a few more.
Use these round color coding stickers to color code by family member, activity, or simply to add little notes in your planner or on your calendar.
 The clear Clean Mama Home stickers are on clearance if you’re interested!

Cleaning Routine Stickers - Clean Mama

Shop Clean Mama Home here and the stickers here!

2x2 full cmh

3 Bathroom Cleaning Tricks You Need to Try

I am a compensated 3M-sponsored blogger, and as part of my responsibilities, I get the opportunity to evaluate 3M products. Opinions are my own and additional products used in the project were selected by me.

A clean bathroom is a happy bathroom.  With these 3 tips you’ll be able to keep your bathroom clean a little longer and enjoy a naturally disinfected space.

Keep these supplies on hand:

First things first, you need a good disinfectant.  Here’s my favorite recipe for a safe, non-toxic disinfecting spray, perfect for bathrooms.

ALL-PURPOSE CLEANING + DISINFECTING SPRAY

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vodka or rubbing alcohol (excellent germ-killing properties)
  • 15 drops of your favorite essential oils (lavender + lemon and peppermint + lemon are my favorite combos)
  • 1 1/4 cups water

Combine all ingredients and put in to a glass spray bottle.

CLEANING WATER SPOTS + MINERAL DEPOSITS

Once you have mixed up your disinfecting spray, you’re ready to take on your bathroom.  Spray surfaces and let sit 10 minutes before wiping clean.  If you have any water and mineral deposits, simply sprinkle a little baking soda over the spray and wipe with a sponge to remove the spots and build-up.

Rinse the sponge and repeat until the baking soda and spray mixture is wiped clean.  The great thing about this sponge is that it rinses cleanly, so you don’t have to worry about leftover baking soda getting stuck in the sponge. Dry and polish fixtures with a clean, soft cloth.

If you’re having a hard time with water spots in your shower stall – glass or fiberglass – you’ll love this trick for keeping the walls from getting that soap scum buildup.

Simply pour white vinegar into the dispenser of a dish wand and keep it in your shower.  Keep the sponge side pointing up so the vinegar doesn’t drip.

Scrub the walls with the white vinegar and rinse thoroughly.  The vinegar cuts through any soap scum and does a little cleaning as well.  Feel free to combine with a spray of the disinfecting spray or use on its own.  Rinse thoroughly.

Try one or all of these bathroom cleaning hacks this week and you’ll find you’re able to get your bathroom a little cleaner in a little less time.  Happy Cleaning!

Weekly Cleaning Tasks + a Video

 

I’ve been working on my YouTube channel little by little over the last couple of months and I am happy to bring you some instructional videos to help illustrate my cleaning routine in a new way.  Here’s what you need to do – start by subscribing to my YouTube channel here.  Then check out the video on the channel and below that details my WEEKLY cleaning tasks.  I hope it helps you understand and see how one weekly cleaning task a day can simplify your life and keep things running smoothly around your home, regardless of your busy schedule!  Coming soon:  a Monthly/Rotating Cleaning Tasks video!

If you’re looking for more information on my cleaning schedule and routine – I have so much to share with you!

I have oodles of free printables available to you here – the monthly cleaning calendar is always the first one on the page and you can find this handy free printable with my full cleaning routine in the Clean Home section.

I share my weekly cleaning routine every day on Instagram and Facebook and I post a free cleaning calendar every single month here on the blog.  Below you’ll find links to follow along – here’s to simpler homekeeping!  Wanna see my favorite cleaning supplies and tools?  Go here!

Subscribe to Clean Mama on YouTube
Follow Clean Mama on Facebook
Follow Clean Mama on Instagram
Join my Private FB group – Homekeeping Society
Check out my shop – Clean Mama Home
Want my blog posts sent as an email reminder?  Sign up in the sidebar box for those posts!

My book Simply Clean is all about starting and keeping a cleaning routine – it’s available anywhere books are sold and on Amazon here.

Simple Cleaning Routine Tips for Any Schedule

A popular question I get is HOW to fit the Clean Mama Cleaning Routine into different schedules. Here’s the thing – I created my cleaning routine years ago out of necessity. I was sick of cleaning all weekend long and living with the crazy all week long. Once I started using a simple routine I realized that just a little bit every day was helping me keep things clean most of the time. Then came three kids, different work schedules, traveling for my job, running a business…..

My cleaning routine?  It was the constant in the chaos.  I’ve tweaked it over the years and i can assure you that it will work with most schedules.  How do I know?  Because I’ve worked the routine in just about every scenario and it works!  Mondays are bathrooms day, Tuesdays are dusting day….this simple routine helps me too!  If you haven’t tried my cleaning routine or heard about it, go to my START HERE page then come on back.

This post is all about some simple tips and tricks for how to incorporate a cleaning routine into your busy schedule. 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 and stop you in your tracks. You can always find the current month’s FREE cleaning calendar at the top of my free printables page and lots of other free cleaning routine printables.

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.

This free printable explains my cleaning routine in detail – you can find it on my free printable page and here on this post.

Here are some Simple Suggestions for Implementing Clean Mama’s Cleaning Routine:

WORKING OUTSIDE 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.

IRREGULAR WORK HOURS/SCHEDULE
An irregular schedule is difficult for so many reasons.  Some irregular schedules are overnight shifts, 3 days on and 3 days off or it might even be that you work 12 hour shifts. My best advice?  A cleaning routine can be accomplished, but give yourself grace while you’re trying to figure out what works best for you.  You might need to double up tasks and tackle two or three on your days off so you don’t have to do much on the days that you are at work.  For instance, if you work on Thursdays but have Wednesday off,  do Wednesday’s task (vacuum) and Thursday’s task (wash floors) on the same day. Some weeks might be weeks where all you do are the basic daily cleaning tasks (make beds, one load of laundry, wipe counters, clutter, and check floors).  Some weeks you’ll be able to conquer the world and get everything done.  Take it all in stride and remember that something is always better than nothing.

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!

STAY AT HOME
If you are at home all day with kids or if they are at school, 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.

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.

LIMITED MOBILITY/ILLNESS
There are times in your life when your cleaning routine is the last thing you’re concerned about.  I’ve experienced a handful of instances where I couldn’t pull it together to keep up with my routine or I was told by a doctor not to lift or do any exerting (torn ankle tendon and three c-sections).  I understand that feeling of hopelessness because you know what should be done but you just can’t do it.  Each of those instances was 6-8 weeks and through them I learned how to manage the musts and let go of the rest.  My mother-in-law also had an autoimmune disease that kept her from the simplest housework tasks and I feel for you if you are suffering from a disease or disability and are looking for some practical tips to fit a routine into your schedule. Here are just a couple suggestions (I could do a whole blog post):

  1. Ask for help – family members, friends, hire help if you can.
  2. Don’t do things that lay you up for the next day – pace yourself so you don’t regret the time spent cleaning.
  3. Split tasks up – if you have 3 bathrooms and you want to clean them yourself, clean one one week on Monday, the next one the following week, and so on.
  4. Use tools that are easy to use – choose tools that feel good in your hands and that you will want to use.
  5. Go slow and keep things as simple as you can.  Add more when you’d able to but don’t overdo it!

I hope you try my routine and find a sense of calm just knowing that you don’t have to think about what to clean and when to clean it.

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

My book Simply Clean will teach you even more about my cleaning routine if you’re looking for a new way to clean.

Check out the links below – I share daily reminders on social media.  Follow what works for you:
Follow Clean Mama on Facebook
Follow Clean Mama on Instagram
Every month I give away a FREE cleaning routine calendar, find it here.
Join my Private FB group – Homekeeping Society
Follow Clean Mama on YouTube
Want my blog posts and newsletters sent straight to your inbox?  Sign up in the sidebar for those posts!

Have you seen my CLEAN MAMA HOMEKEEPING PLANNERS?  They’re available in aqua and periwinkle and the only thing of its kind available for sale anywhere.

Fall + Winter Diffuser Blends

 

Fall is here and winter is right around the corner!  With that in mind, today I am sharing some of my favorite blends to diffuse in our home in the cold and cozy months ahead. You will find plenty of spicy and herbal blends containing citrus, herbs, and spices. The beauty of diffusing essential oils is that you can easily adapt or alter the combinations to your preferences. Love lavender? Add another drop! Don’t have any wintergreen on hand? Substitute peppermint or another oil you have in your collection. The possibilities and combinations are endless. Or simply use my ideas as a springboard for your fall and winter signature home scent.

You will find that all of these combinations are a total of six to seven drops. That’s my preference and a general guideline of diffuser maufacturers, but you can certainly adapt or alter according to your likes or diffuser needs.

WINTER SPA

  • 2 drops bergamot
  • 2 drops eucalyptus
  • 2 drops lavender

HOLIDAY KITCHEN

  • 3 drops lemon
  • 3 drops rosemary
  • 1 drop vanilla

CHRISTMAS POMANDER

  • 3 drops wild orange
  • 3 drops clove

PEPPERMINT STICKS

  • 5 drops peppermint
  • 1 drop spearmint

GINGERBREAD HOUSE

  • 4 drops ginger
  • 1 drop cinnamon
  • 2 drops wild orange

A COOL WALK IN THE WOODS

  • 2 drops cedarwood
  • 2 drops white pine
  • 2 drops clary sage

AFTERNOON IN THE KITCHEN

  • 2 drops cardamom
  • 2 drops cinnamon
  • 2 drops lemon

CHAI TEA LATTE

  • 2 drops cinnamon
  • 2 drops cardamom
  • 2 drops clove

FALL AT THE FARMHOUSE

  • 2 drops frankincense
  • 2 drops cedarwood
  • 2 drops lemon

 

I love this diffuser – it blends right in to the decor with its wood-like surface. I use Plant Therapy and doTERRA essential oils.

Always use caution around pets and children when using essential oils.  

CHANGE the way you clean –  order SIMPLY CLEAN today!

Here are a couple more essential oil posts that you might enjoy!  Just click on the image to go to the post.

How to Clean Walls

I am asked at least once a week for my favorite way to wash walls, so I thought it was time to show you how I manage this daunting and potentially overwhelming task.

First off, I have to ask: Does anyone wash walls anymore?

Historically speaking, wall washing was a big part of the spring cleaning routine mostly because homes were heated with wood and/or oil furnaces and there was a build up on the walls.  In modern homes this task isn’t quite as necessary BUT it is something that I have on my list.  I use a rotating cleaning checklist (you can find it on my free cleaning calendar here and in the monthly subscription to Homekeeping Society here).  I use the phrase ‘spot clean walls’ because I am not washing all the walls from the floor to the ceiling but I am hitting the high traffic areas and checking for handprints, fingerprints, footprints, and other smudges and smears that tend to appear every once in a while.  I dust corners and walls as part of my cleaning rotation, this helps keep the walls clean as well as keep the dust down in the house.  Once I’ve dusted the corners and edges I check the walls for anything that can be wiped clean.

 

QUICK TIP:  I use FLAT paint throughout our home (you can see all our paint colors here) for a couple reasons but the main one is that I love how it washes up.  I also keep a small container of extra paint to do quick touch ups with a small roller when necessary.  The flat paint allows for a seamless blending of paint whereas I find that when doing paint touch ups with eggshell or semi-gloss the touch-up shows so I need to redo a wall instead of a quick touch up.

My favorite tools:

DUST THE WALLS

I start with a long-handled soft bristled wall brush.  I love the one pictured because it has soft bristles that won’t scratch surfaces but grab and hold on to dust really well.  (You can find links to my favorite tools here.) You can easily use a broom for this task (just make sure it’s CLEAN) or you can put an old t-shirt on the bristles of a broom and achieve a similar tool.

WASH THE WALLS

Depending on what degree of wall washing needs to be done, you can choose one of the following wall-washing solutions.  Once you’ve mixed up your solution, place towels on the floor if you’re doing a full wall washing and grab either a clean towel, a white sponge (so color won’t transfer to the walls), and/or a microfiber cloth.

If you’re just dealing with general dirt on the walls you can just do a quick wipe in a small 1-2 foot section – wipe from top to bottom and left to right.  If your walls are really dirty and you’re doing a full room washing, you’ll want to move from the bottom up and left to right so you aren’t getting dirty drips on your walls.

Mix up one of these simple solutions to dissolve any dirt on the walls:

Basic Wall Washing Solution

  • half gallon warm water
  • 1-2 drops castile or dish soap

Deeper Clean Wall Washing Solution

  • half gallon warm water
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar

Make sure you’re using a barely damp cloth, towel or sponge and that you are drying as you go as well.  Once you’re done with one small section, move on to the next.  If you feel extra motivated you can also take this time to wash your baseboards too.  Here’s a post detailing how to wash baseboards.

How about you – do you wash walls?  Any tips and tricks to share?

 

 

Simply Clean – November’s Free Cleaning Calendar

It’s time for November’s FREE cleaning calendar!

Every year I choose a new theme for the cleaning calendar and blog and this year it’s SIMPLY CLEAN.  With my new book Simply Clean, I thought it would be the perfect theme. Make 2017 your year (it’s NOT too late!) to get a cleaning routine in order, find some new and workable solutions for organizing, hold yourself accountable, and get your home in a routine that work for you and your family.

 

 

If you’re feeling like you need some help with your cleaning and homekeeping and don’t know where to start, you’ll 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 workable solution for even the busiest of 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.

If you’ve been following Clean Mama for even a week, you know that every day 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 NOVEMBER 2017 and get ready to see how doing a little bit everyday really is the secret to a clean house.

Here’s an infographic that explains my cleaning routine:

Weekly and daily tasks are detailed at the top, rotating cleaning tasks are on the bottom of the calendar with a little checklist. How you use the calendar is up to you – put it on a clipboard, in your planner, on your refrigerator.  Use checkmarks, draw lines through tasks or simply keep it up as a reminder.

QUICK TIP: Have a planner?  Simply resize the pdf when you go to print it in your printer preferences.

Want to join in on the fun? Grab a FREE cleaning and organizing calendar for November and join me!  Follow along (subscribe in the sidebar) for motivational posts and tips to keep up with the daily and weekly tasks. I also post daily reminders on Instagram and Facebook and have a private Facebook group too called Homekeeping Society (just ask to join and I’ll add you) – it’s great for support and to meet others that are following along with my cleaning routine.

 

Go here to grab your FREE calendar for November 2017!

(Please note: I’ve added the free cleaning calendar to my updated FREE printables page, simply grab, download and print.)

 

If you love this format, check out Homekeeping Society – it’s the perfect way to turn that overwhelmed feeling into one of accomplishment.  You’ll see how simple it can be to keep up with all that goes into keeping a home when you don’t have to think about what needs to be done.

Find Out More Homekeeping Society

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

How to Make a Reed Diffuser

If you were to drop in to my home at any time, chances are that you would find a diffuser humming away or a candle burning. It is not a secret that I love creating ambience through scent and am a bit of a candle and essential oil junkie. While I love both candles and a diffuser, there are times where I appreciate a subtle and constant scent that requires no turning on or lighting. Plug ins and air fresheners that contain artificial scents tend to give me a headache and smell unappealing to me which is just one of the reasons why I use natural options.

Enter my new favorite: a reed diffuser

Reed diffusers are not a new concept. In fact, you have probably seen them at gift shops, in a friend’s home or in the candle aisle at Target or Walmart.  I’ve seen them priced anywhere from $8-50 – going the DIY route is definitely more economical and you know exactly what is in the liquid – nothing artificial.  They are unobtrusive and decorative while providing just a touch of scent to any room. I love the ability to choose my own scent and vessel and the fact that they are surprisingly simple and inexpensive to make. I am already thinking ahead to Christmas and hostess gifts and imagining how cute these would be tucked in a bag with several essential oils ready to go.

Supplies – find the links at the bottom of this post:

  • clean glass bottle – look for a small vase with a narrow neck around the house – here’s what I used.
  • 5 to 7 diffuser reeds
  • 1/4 cup light carrier oil. I like using almond oil, but fractionated coconut and apricot can be used as well.
  • 1 tablespoon of vodka. You can also use rubbing alcohol but just keep in mind that the scent may be affected by the stronger rubbing alcohol odor.
  • 20-30 drops of essential oil – this can be one scent my suggestion is to custom blend your favorite scent.  I also have some ideas for you at the bottom of the post too.

Directions:

  1. Add all of the ingredients into a liquid measuring cup and stir to combine.
  2. Pour the mixture in to your bottle or container using a funnel and put the reeds in. Let the reeds sit for an hour or so to fully absorb and then flip them over.
  3. You can turn the reeds over every week or when the scent in the air starts to dissipate. I also do this when I am expecting company to just freshen up the air. Be sure to use fresh reeds with each combination you create.

Just a word of caution, if you have small children and/or pets, keep the reed diffuser out of their reach.  This solution would do a number on your floors or fabrics 😉

Looking for some scent combination ideas? Just click on the image to see some of my favorites:

 

 

 

 

Daily Cleaning Tasks + a Video

I’ve been working on my YouTube channel little by little over the last couple of months and I am happy to bring you some instructional videos to help illustrate my cleaning routine in a new way.  Here’s what you need to do – start by subscribing to my YouTube channel here.  Then check out the video on the channel and below that details my DAILY cleaning tasks.  I hope it helps you understand and see how these 5 simple daily tasks can simplify your life and keep things running smoothly around your home, regardless of your busy schedule!  Coming soon:  Weekly AND Monthly/Rotating Cleaning Tasks videos!

If you’re looking for more information on my cleaning schedule and routine – I have so much to share with you!

I have oodles of free printables available to you here – the monthly cleaning calendar is always the first one on the page and you can find this handy free printable with my full cleaning routine in the Clean Home section.

I share my weekly cleaning routine every day on Instagram and Facebook and I post a free cleaning calendar every single month here on the blog.  Below you’ll find links to follow along – here’s to simpler homekeeping!

Subscribe to Clean Mama on YouTube
Follow Clean Mama on Facebook
Follow Clean Mama on Instagram
Join my Private FB group – Homekeeping Society
Check out my shop – Clean Mama Home
Want my blog posts sent as an email reminder?  Sign up in the sidebar box for those posts!

My book Simply Clean is all about starting and keeping a cleaning routine – it’s available anywhere books are sold and on Amazon here.

 

 

Quick DIY Floor Cleaner (for any floor surface)

Sometimes you need a quick floor cleaning solution and you don’t want to drag out your mop and bucket.  I like having a spray bottle with cleaner ready to clean up small or large messes that need it.  BONUS:  it’s ridiculously simple, yet effective.  This is time-saving and helpful when it comes to little kitchen messes or quick clean ups before guests arrive.  Did someone spill a glass of milk or walk in with muddy shoes?  No need to haul out the mop and bucket, simply spray this SUPER simple solution on the mess and wipe up.  No rinsing required.

New here? I’ve written a lot about DIY cleaners here on the blog and in my 2 books – Simply Clean and The Organically Clean Home.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:

  • choose either castile soap or Sal Suds (both of the solutions I’m referencing are made by Dr. Bronner’s, but there are other brands of castile soap) – you’ll need 1-2 drops of the soap or cleaning concentrate (adjust as necessary – you want a little bit of bubbles, but you won’t be rinsing it, so you aren’t looking for a ’soapy’ solution).

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 16 oz. spray bottle (here’s my favorite glass spray bottle)
  • 1-2 drops of Sal Suds or castile soap
  • 3-5 drops essential oils if you’d like a little scent – some of my favorites are lemon + clove for the castile and pine + lemon for the Sal Suds (it has a pine-y scent already)
  • my favorite application is with a spray bottle and microfiber cloth but you can also spray and use a microfiber mop or spray mop (you can see my favorites here) or pour the solution into a small bucket and wipe up with a microfiber or cleaning cloth

Once you’ve cleaned up your little or big mess, move on to more important things!  Did you know that I have a floor cleaning recipe label pack in Clean Mama Home?  Check it out here.

Clean + Organize with Homekeeping Society – November’s Essentials

If you’re looking for a simple way to stay on top of daily, weekly and monthly tasks in just minutes a day, Homekeeping Society is just the solution!

Fall is here and the holidays are upon us and November’s Homekeeping Society is ready for you!

A couple fun things to share:

  • You can now purchase a one-year subscription for Homekeeping Society at a discount – yay!
  • new feature: QUICK TIPS page for each month – 2-3 exclusive tips just for you

November’s Homekeeping Society subscription is up – go here to see the homepage – check it out and use the coupon code 30OFFNOVEMBER for 30% off your first month of a new subscription!

If you don’t know where to start or are feeling a little defeated, I think you’ll find encouragement in the support and structure Homekeeping Society provides!  Homekeeping Society is intended to be just the gentle nudge you need making your tasks and to do’s more enjoyable with a sweet and simple format.  My favorite thing about Homekeeping Society is that each month is different, yet it all looks good together, and it’s complete with seasonal touches you’ll love!

Homekeeping Society is simple to use:

  • 2 EASY PRINT packets are included – simply open and print the pages in ONE step. One version features one of each and the other is set up exactly how the printed version is packaged with 4 pages of the weekly planners, etc. You’ll love how easy this is to use!  Of course, the individual pages are also included, but if you want to print everything in one easy step, you’ll love this. If you want to print back to back, just select that upon printing and print away – easy, peasy!
  • I have a Facebook Group to help you with your homekeeping – HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY – join if you’re a member of the subscription or not, it’s a special place to discuss homekeeping struggles, tips, tricks and ask questions to other members or myself.  It’s a closed group, just ask to join and I’ll add you.
  • I have Homekeeping Society available in my Etsy shop – you can only purchase one month at a time and you will NOT have access to the previous months.  Feeling non-committal? Don’t want to subscribe?  Want to use PayPal?  This is a great option but you’ll need to repurchase each month instead of it being an automatic payment and download.
  • Another great feature with Homekeeping Society is that you can also access/save/download ALL the previous month’s of HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY!  That’s well over 400 printables that you can use!

How to login:

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.  You can cancel ANYTIME right on your membership screen.  Take a peek at what I’ve created for the month of November – you’ll LOVE it!

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. 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 with routine and more or less free time, Homekeeping Society will help you keep on top of the tasks and provide a little structure.

 

Want to see more and get on the list? I can’t wait for you to join me!  Go here to learn more.  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!

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 NOVEMBER and it will allow you to download the monthly essentials zip file. Starting this month, I’m also emailing your subscription to you as well – if you don’t see it, check your spam folder.

Overwhelmed? Find success in your homekeeping with my latest book, Simply Clean! Dismiss