How to Use Vacuum Cleaner Attachments – to Clean Just about Everything

 

A vacuum cleaner that works well is one life’s luxuries.  You might not feel this way if you don’t love your vacuum cleaner, but I’m here to show you how to get the most out of your vacuum cleaner so it works for you, not against you!

Over the last couple years I’ve been doing quite a bit of market research on vacuum cleaners and air quality. Through my research I’ve found that the very best vacuum cleaner you can buy is one with a HEPA filter and a bagged system.  So when my Dyson started to go, I switched to Miele.  The difference is incredible – there are so many features that I love on the Miele, the most noticeable one is not having to empty the dust bin.  I found that there was dust everywhere in this process which pretty much defeated the purpose of vacuuming.

These vacuuming tools are the ones I use the most and the ones included with most standard vacuum cleaners. Knowing what each tool can be used for will help you use your vacuum to its full potential.  If you’re in the market for a new vacuum cleaner, make sure it has some on-board attachments so you can simply grab and use them as you’re vacuuming.

Vacuum Cleaner Attachments

Crevice Tool
Oh the crevice tool, my favorite attachment – I use the crevice tool every single time I vacuum. It features a narrow nozzle that fits in tight spots and corners. It also works well along the edge of baseboards and in hard-to-reach spots like corners and vents.

Flex Crevice Tool
This is a Miele tool that’s flexible and perfect for going under appliances and getting at those spots that most vacuum cleaners can’t get to.

Upholstery Attachment
This small tool has a felted fabric surface that makes it perfect for delicate fabric surfaces like drapes, mattresses, couches, and chairs.

Turbobrush or Small Vacuum Cleaner Head
This stool has powerful suction and looks like a mini vacuum cleaner head. This attachment works well on stairs and

Dust Brush
A dust brush attachment typically has a circular brush head and is especially effective at picking up dust and particles without scratching surfaces. It works particularly well on window blinds, shelves and wooden surfaces.

Now that you have a better idea of what those common attachments are for, let’s look at just how to use your vacuum and attachments effectively on most of your household surfaces.

How to use your vacuum more efficiently

Hard floors
I vacuum all the floors in our house at least once a week (on Wednesdays) and sweep in between. I love using my Miele Canister for hard floors – it’s amazing! This is my personal preference, but I find it easier to keep all the floors cleaner that way.

Carpeting
Most carpeted surfaces will do well with just the vacuum. Areas that receive a lot of traffic such as entrances and main living spaces may need a more frequent vacuuming, but most carpeted areas can be vacuumed once a week.

Stairs
It can be difficult to maneuver a large vacuum along a stairway. I recommend using a canister vacuum or more portable vacuum. You can also your vacuum hose with a smaller handheld attachment. Use the crevice tool along the edges and corner and use the upholstery tool for the tread if you needed.

Walls and Ceilings
Use the circular dust brush attachment and start at the ceiling. You may need to add an extension to your attachment or use a step stool or small ladder in order to reach higher surfaces. Work your way down from ceiling to floor in a vertical motion as you vacuum.

Blinds
Use the dust brush attachment – close the blind slats so they lie flat and vacuum. Reverse the blinds so that the slats are lying the other way and repeat. Repeat monthly or as needed.

Upholstered Surfaces
Use the upholstery attachment on mattresses and fabric surfaces. Work in a horizontal or vertical motion from top to bottom. Use the crevice tool in the tight corners and seams. Use the dust brush on leather furniture to reduce any risk of scratching.

Mattresses
The vacuum cleaner is the best way to remove dust and dust mites from the surface of the mattress when you rotate your mattress. Make sure that the nozzle of your vacuum cleaner is clean and slowly vacuum all of the crevices. Follow up with the upholstery tool to vacuum the surface of your mattress.

Vents
The dust brush tool works fabulously in those tricky vent slats for furnace and air conditioners. Dust seems to collect here especially during seasons when the furnace or air conditioner is run more frequently.

Baseboards
Start with the crevice tool and get in the space between the baseboard and floor or carpet. Use the dust brush attachment to run along the baseboards in a horizontal motion.  A thorough monthly vacuuming of your baseboards is ideal.

When you utilize your vacuum and its attachments as designed, you will find your cleaning tasks to be more efficient.

Both of my Miele vacuum cleaners are from Vacuum Cleaner Market.  Not every one needs 2 vacuum cleaners – but as a cleaning expert, I find it essential 😉 .  I keep the tank vacuum downstairs where we have hardwood floors and short, berber carpet and the upright lives upstairs for the plush carpet. I love that Vacuum Cleaner Market makes it so simple to see what attachments you might need and once a customer buys a Miele from VCM, they are emailed a super helpful user guide for their model.  If you’re interested in a Miele vacuum cleaner, but think it’s out of your price range, you might be surprised to learn that they have vacuums in all price ranges for any home. You can also purchase filters and bags from Vacuum Cleaner Market – they offer FREE shipping on orders over $25 and free gifts for orders over $100!
Vacuum Cleaner Market provided the Miele Cat and Dog Complete C3 Canister Vacuum   for me to test out and review – rest assured, I only review products that I love and have tested and use in my own home. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
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Summer Diffuser Blends

Summer is here! With that in mind, today I am sharing some of my favorite blends to diffuse in our home in the warmer months. You will find plenty of refreshing and invigorating blends containing citrus, herbs, mint and all sorts of summer goodness to scent your home with. 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 spearmint on hand? Substitute peppermint or another oil you have in your collection. The possibilities and combinations are endless.

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

  • 3 drops wintergreen
  • 3 drops wild orange

 

  • 3 drops wild orange
  • 1 drop spearmint
  • 2 drops bergamot

 

  • 2 drops peppermint
  • 3 drops lime
  • 1 drop spearmint

 

  • 2 drops lime
  • 2 drops lemon
  • 2 drops tea tree

 

  • 3 drops geranium
  • 3 drops lavender

 

  • 3 drops lavender
  • 2 drops lemongrass
  • 1 drop peppermint

 

  • 2 drops grapefruit
  • 2 drops lavender
  • 2 drops wild orange

 

  • 2 drops bergamot
  • 2 drops lemon
  • 1 drop lavender
  • 1 drop geranium

 

  • 3 drops eucalyptus
  • 3 drops spearmint

 

  • 2 lime
  • 2 lemon
  • 1 lavender
  • 1 rosemary

 

  • 4 drops lemon
  • 1 drop spearmint
  • 1 drop basil

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.

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DIY Peppermint Daily Shower Spray

If you deal with soap scum in the shower and/or find that weekly or bi-weekly cleaning isn’t enough to keep your shower clean, you might want to add a daily shower spray to your cleaning regimen. You can use a pre-mixed daily shower spray or make your own. I’m sharing my recipe with you today – it smells fresh and clean in the shower, keeps soap scum and mildew away, and is super easy to mix up and use.

Using a daily shower spray will keep soap scum and mildew at bay and make it easier to clean your shower.  Start with a clean shower first and then use the daily shower spray to keep scum and mildew away.

Peppermint Daily Shower Cleaner Spray

1/2 cup vodka (you can use rubbing alcohol but I find that the vodka works better in this recipe)
1 cup water
10 drops peppermint essential oil
glass spray bottle

Mix and store in a spray bottle.  Spray shower or tub daily after showering has occurred.  No rinsing necessary.  Optional: Use a squeegee at the end of your shower to remove excess water and to prevent water spots.

If you’re looking for natural ways to clean your home and a new way to clean your home, you can find similar recipes in both of my books: Simply Clean and The Organically Clean Home.

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How to Clean a Diffuser

I have long been a fan of using essential oil diffusers in our home. If you were to drop by for a visit, chances are you would find a diffuser running somewhere. I keep one in the kitchen and family area to gently scent the air, help remove cooking odors, and set a calming mood. There is also often one in a child’s bedroom to help ward off germs, set the stage for restful sleep or remove odors. With all of the use diffusers get, it is important to keep them clean in order to keep the ultrasonic plate free of residue as well as remove any residual oil or sediment. I am sharing two methods for cleaning your diffuser, including a quick clean and a deep clean method.

As always, consult the manual or the manufacturer of your diffuser when in doubt when it comes to maintenance and cleaning.

I like to clean the diffuser when I change the oils. The quick clean method works perfectly for removing residual oil in between a monthly deep clean.  I love this diffuser – it works great and has a decor-ish look so it blends right in.

Quick Clean:

  1. Be sure to unplug your diffuser.
  2. Pour out any residual water from the rear of the diffuser, taking care to not let any buttons or the cord outlet get wet.
  3. Wipe out the interior of the water tank using a damp microfiber cloth or soft cotton cloth.
  4. Dip a Q-tip in rubbing alcohol and gently wipe the ultrasonic chip or plate that is on the bottom of the diffuser.
  5. Wipe the exterior of the diffuser down with your damp microfiber or soft cotton cloth.

Every month or so, I give our diffusers a more thorough cleaning. A deeper cleaning will keep your diffuser running more quietly and efficiently as well as remove some of the tougher buildup that can occur. You may have heard of different cleaning options, including using vinegar to tackle the buildup and scale. If you choose to use vinegar, check with the manufacturer of your diffuser first as it voids the warranty for some.

Deep Clean:

  1. Unplug your diffuser and pour out any residual water and oil that may still be in the tank.
  2. Examine the lid or top to your diffuser and remove any pieces or components that you are able to so you can thoroughly clean all the washable parts. Never submerge any pieces that contain electrical components.
  3. Combine warm water and several drops of castile soap or a gentle dish soap in a bowl. Using your cloth, clean and wipe the entire top and pieces. You can use a Q-tip or a soft brush to get at those tricky little nooks and crannies. Rinse, dry and set aside these pieces.
  4. If your diffuser has a buildup issue, use a cloth saturated in rubbing alcohol and gently rub the interior of the tank. Use a Q-tip or small brush to gently clean the ultrasonic chip or plate.
  5. You can also use several drops of lemon essential oil on your cloth to remove stubborn buildup. Lemon essential oil is great for removing sticky bits and residue.
  6. Wipe down the tank with a clean cloth one last time, put it back together and diffuse to your hearts content.

 

I use doTERRA and Plant Therapy essential oils.

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

Change the way you clean –  order my book 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.

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Clean + Organize with Homekeeping Society – July 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!

As we’re getting into the swing of summer, July’s Homekeeping Society is ready to meet you and help you on your way.

A couple fun things to share:

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

 

July’s Homekeeping Society subscription is up – go here to see the homepage – check it out and use the coupon code 30OFFJULY 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 close to 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 July – I think 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 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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Simply Clean Prize Pack Giveaway – 5 winners!

I’m so excited to be bringing this huge giveaway to you this week – a Simply Clean Prize Pack – with 5 winners!  It’s simple to enter – you can do everything in the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck – I hope you win!

5 winners –  will receive one of each of the following:
Copy of Simply Clean by Clean Mama
Glass Spray Bottle – Clean Mama Home
Set of 4  Microfiber Cleaning Cloths – Clean Mama Home
Citrus + Clove Candle – Clean Mama Home

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Organized Herb + Spice Cabinet

I reorganized the herbs and spice cabinet a couple years ago but recently did a sort and toss of any old herbs and spices, cleaned it out, and thought you might like to see it for a little inspiration.  Looking for the products I used?  Everything’s linked up below the post where it says ‘shop the post’.

Here’s how I tackled this space to completely clean and organize it.

Quick clean and toss:

  • Remove everything – place everything on a counter or table while you are sorting and organizing.
  • Check expiration dates and/or give them the smell test – if they don’t smell like the spice they are, they are probably too old. The general rule of thumb is about a year for herbs and spices. Some spices and spice blends may last 1-3 years – spices don’t spoil, but they lose their potency, if they have a nice strong aroma, chances are they are still good.
  • Wipe down the shelves and dry thoroughly.  I like to use a microfiber cloth for wiping down cupboards and shelves.

I find it helpful to keep olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and garlic salt out on the counter as you can see below.  This makes it easier come prep time so I don’t need to look for anything.

QUICK TIP: Keep your spices to a minimum to avoid too many spices that never get used. I like to keep the blends to a minimum too just to keep things simple.

Sort and arrange:

This step really depends on the amount of space you have and how much you have to store.  I keep my herbs on on shelf with little risers to elevate them up a bit and all my baking goods go on another shelf with turntables for easy access.  You can easily do one or the other or do both like I did.  Another idea would be to use small plastic bins with handles and pull the whole thing out when you’re needing the herbs or spices.

Sort by baking and cooking, alphabetize (if you want to) and put away.

I use canning jars for storing everything from baking soda to cupcake liners.

So tell me?  Does your spice cabinet need a little revamp?   What’s your plan to make your herb and spice cabinet work for you?

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Want to see more of my kitchen? Come see my simple + efficient kitchen tour.
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How to Clean a Slow Cooker

 

The slow cooker has become a fan favorite in the appliance world for a number of reasons. It is perfect for those busy days when you don’t have time to prep for dinner and for a number of cooking and prep shortcuts. It is a hard worker in my kitchen for good reason and gets plenty of use year round. It is inevitable, however, that sometimes food gets stuck on the bottom or splatters get baked on, making cleanup difficult. Let’s take a look at how to clean your slow cooker inside and out with no commercial cleaners and with the least amount of elbow grease required.

Note: Before we begin cleaning, I always recommend looking at your manual or checking with the manufacturer when in doubt. If you are not sure what material your slow cooker may be made from or have other questions, start here. Not sure where your manual is? A simple Google search for your model and make with the keyword ‘manual’ will lead you right to it.

Supplies:

  • white vinegar
  • castile or dish soap
  • baking soda
  • small handled scrub brush
  • optional: Bon Ami or Bar Keepers Friend

Steps to Take:

  1. Take the insert out of your slow cooker and set it aside. I like to begin by cleaning the interior of the slow cooker. Bring one cup of vinegar to boil in a glass measuring cup or small bowl and carefully place in the interior of your slow cooker. Put the lid on and allow the steam from the vinegar to gently soften some of the residue that may be in the interior while you work on the exterior.
  2. Add several drops of castile soap or dish soap to a small bowl of warm water and begin by wiping down the exterior of your slow cooker. Use a microfiber cloth or a soft cloth and submerge the cloth in the soapy water and wring until damp. Wipe the exterior from top to bottom to remove any splatters and smudges. If you have any stubborn spots that soap and water alone can’t clean, mix up a simple paste of baking soda and water to a runny toothpaste consistency and gently scrub away any remaining residue. Using clean, warm water, wipe away the baking soda mixture.
  3. Wash the insert in a sink full of warm, soapy water. Rinse and dry. If you are in need of more than a simple washing, add a tablespoon or two of baking soda to the insert and use a damp scrub brush or sponge to tackle those tougher spots.
  4. Carefully remove the vinegar from the interior and wipe down the using a clean, damp microfiber cloth or soft cloth. Avoid getting the interior overly wet and never submerge as the electrical components reside in here.
  5. Clean the lid, knobs and handles in a sink of warm, soapy water. A small scrub brush, toothbrush or a toothpick work wonders at getting those hard to reach areas as clean as can be.
  6. If your insert still has residue on it and is in need of a deeper clean, add 1/4 cup of baking soda to the insert, fill with warm water and add several drops of castile soap or dish soap. Cover and set on high for 3 to 4 hours and allow the heat, baking soda and soap to penetrate the baked on residue. Wash and dry when complete.
  7. If your insert has surface scratches, a haze or seemingly permanent stains, Bon Ami and Bar Keepers Friend are some of my favorite safe commercial cleaners for seemingly unremovable stains. It is just abrasive enough while still being safe to use on stoneware and ceramic surfaces.

With the occasional deep cleaning as needed, your trusty slow cooker will continue to serve you and your family well in the midst of busy days.

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Have an Instant Pot or Electric Pressure Cooker?  Check out this post!
There are affiliate links in this post – go here to see my full disclosure policy.
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Slam Dunk Summer Tips: Routines, Tips and Tricks to Ease Summertime Transitions

Summer break is creeping up on us. Having kiddos home with downtime, activities and a looser structure to the day can take some adjustment for all parties. With that in mind, I am always on the hunt for shortcuts, tips and ideas that make the transition to having kids at home easier. Peruse all these ideas and tried and tested tips that we have implemented with success in our home. Make this summer your best one yet!

 

Summer Schedule Printable

Daily Checklist for Kids

Teach Your Kids How to Do Laundry

Boredom Buster Activity Kits for Kids

Quick Sanity Saver Tips for Moms

Organizing Snacks and Lunches to Encourage Independence

Summer Boredom Busters – No Screen Time Required

Organizing Art Supplies in a Caddy

Mealtime Cutlery Caddy

Cleaning with Kids and Printable Chore Cards

30+ Things Kids Can Clean

Put Together a Kids Cleaning Caddy

Preschool Cleaning Tasks

School Age Cleaning Tasks

Simple Chore and Reward System

New here? Get on the list!

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How to Speed Clean Your Bathrooms

Is there anyone that actually enjoys cleaning bathrooms?  I clean them on Mondays to get them out of the way and clean for the new week.  It’s my ‘eat the frog first’ task.  If you follow along with my cleaning routine, on Mondays you clean bathrooms right along with me in your home. I also post daily reminders on Instagram and Facebook. This isn’t the first time I’ve shared my bathroom speed cleaning method but for those of you that may be new or haven’t tried it yet (what are you waiting for? ;)) here’s an updated post of my routine.

It doesn’t matter if you have 1 bathroom or 6, this method is the easiest and quickest way to get them all clean in a hurry. Even better?  This isn’t fake cleaning or touching up – it’s complete and thorough cleaning.

What’s the trick?  You’ll notice that I am not sweeping, vacuuming, or washing the floors. This is part of the time-saving magic of this approach. I vacuum all the floors on Wednesdays and wash all the floors on Thursday, so there’s no need to vacuum or wash them on Mondays.  If this is your first time trying this routine and you want to have all your bathrooms cleaned at once, feel free to clean the floors but it will take longer than 10-15 minutes. Another key component to a quick and easy bathroom cleaning session is that I do a quick counter check every day as part of my cleaning routine and that keeps the cleaning time down on Mondays as well.

Go here to see more about the Clean Mama Cleaning Routine.  You’ll find this method and so many more cleaning tips and tricks in my book, Simply Clean.

Gather your supplies and tools – this is what you’ll need :

  • bucket or caddy to carry supplies from bathroom to bathroom
  • microfiber cloths (alternatively you can use paper towels or cleaning wipes, I prefer microfiber) – 1 for all the mirrors, one for each toilet, one for each sink, and a couple extras for tubs and showers
  • glass and mirror cleaner – you can find my recipe here or purchase the glass spray bottle and label pictured here
  • all -purpose disinfecting/bathroom cleaner – you can find my recipe here or purchase the glass spray bottle and label pictured here
  • scrubbing powder or soft cleaning paste – I use my nightly sink scrub – I use my spray cleaner or castile soap and scrub what needs to be scrubbed
  • toilet cleaner (I use this Scotch-Brite disposable/flushable toilet cleaning system because toilet brushes gross me out)
  • empty container for dirty cloths or paper towels

Clear off your counters and sinks and get started.

Start with the mirrors – spray and wipe clean. I use a glass and mirror microfiber for lint and streak-free mirrors. Keep this cloth handy and reuse in each bathroom.

Next, move on to your sink, toilet, and bathtub or shower (if you don’t use a tub or shower regularly, you don’t need to clean it weekly) and quickly spray with your disinfecting cleaner.

I use non-toxic disinfecting cleaners – they work just as well and aren’t harmful to you or your family.  You can see my favorite cleaners here too.

Use your preferred toilet cleaner and brush and do a quick clean of your toilet. Then REPEAT these steps in each bathroom. Once you’ve done that, go back to the first bathroom:

Wipe the sink, wipe the toilet, and wipe the tub or shower – take care to use a separate cloth or paper towel for the each toilet, sink, and bathtub/shower to avoid cross-contamination. Don’t forget to get the base of your toilets too – I wipe these last.

Place dirty cloths in a container and move on to wiping down the next bathroom and the next until you have wiped down each bathroom.

Put out fresh, clean towels and that’s it!

What do you think? Are you up for a little bathroom speed cleaning?

Looking for the BEST microfiber cloths?  You’ll LOVE Clean Mama Home microfiber!

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Daily Checklist for Kids + Free Printable

With summer upon us we’re updating our household chores and expectations around the house.  At the beginning of the school year I tried something different with my older kids (upper elementary) and I am happy to say that it was really effective and a great way to gently remind them of their responsibilities.  You can see the post from last September on Instagram here.

Summer calls for a different structure and list – want to see what my kids are up to this summer?

You can make one of these for your kids (or yourself) – it’s super easy.  This is more of a reference list than an actual checklist.  I’ve found that by simply having it in clear view in their bedrooms with the combination of asking if they’ve made it through their list, is so simple, easy and habit forming.  You can use the one that my kids are using or create one just for your kids.

What you’ll need:

  • list – typed or written
  • laminator (if you’d like)
  • paper trimmer or scissors
  • clip to hang

Here’s the list my kids and I came up with – they understand each task and know HOW to complete it.  I’ve also included ‘now what activities’ on the list.  These are open-ended things like reading, drawing, writing a letter to a family member, working in a workbook, doing something nice for someone else, etc.  You can have these ideas posted somewhere or just talk about them.

Steps to Take:

  1. print your list (grab the one that my kids are using for free here)
  2. trim to size
  3. laminate if you’d like
  4. hang with a clip, on the refrigerator, or on a bulletin board

Simple, effective, and oh-so helpful for ending the nagging and reminding.

If you’re looking for ideas on what kids CAN do for chores and responsibilities at different ages, check out these posts:

Chores and Responsibilities for the Preschool Child

Chores and Responsibilities for the School-Aged Child

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There are affiliate links in this post – go here to see my full disclosure policy.
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What’s On My Book Stack : Summertime Reads

Summertime is the perfect time to relax and recharge and read a good book or two.  I’ve gathered a handful of books that I’m going to work my way through this summer.  A few beach-y books, two simple parenting books, and handful of resource books.  I find that a little learning, organizing, and relaxing is the perfect combination for a relaxing but still productive summer.

Here’s what’s on my book stack:

Beachy and Relaxing Books

Relax + Recharge

Parenting Books

I’ve already started reading these 2 books and am LOVING them – very inspirational.  I love simple living and strategies, especially with our kids.

Business/Productivity Books

What’s on your book stack this summer?  Do you read more in the summer?  I love the slower days and pace and find that reading is just the perfect way to fill in the spaces.

Looking for a great book to inspire some summertime cleaning and organizing or maybe a new cleaning routine? My newest book, SIMPLY CLEAN came out in March 2017 – it will definitely change the way you clean!

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There are affiliate links in this post – go here to see my full disclosure policy.

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Let’s Do Laundry – Simple Tips to Teach Kids

Laundry can be all-encompassing, overwhelming, and time consuming.  Over the years I’ve developed lots of shortcuts and easier ways to make it through the piles.  Today I’m going to share the method that I teach my kiddos to help them learn to do their laundry with the hope that it might help you teach your kids too.

If you’re new here you might want to check out my laundry routine – I do at least one load of laundry daily and I’ve found that it’s a huge time saver.

A couple things to point out first:

  • Each of my kids have their own laundry basket that stays in their bedroom closet. I find that this really helps because there isn’t any sorting to see whose clothes are whose.  One basket, one kid, easy peasy 🙂
  • No sorting through the clothes and separating whites from colors – new outfits go straight into the wash by themselves on COLD to set the color.  My oldest is 11 and we’ve been doing this since then and guess what?  No white t-shirts have been dyed pink or light blue 😉  I do separate my husband my clothes because we have enough whites and darks for two loads.
  • I wash the kids clothes on COLD and rinse on COLD and I use this laundry powder and white vinegar for softener (this also helps keep clothes colorfast) and wool dryer balls to keep the static away.

Let’s Do Laundry – Simple Tips to Teach Kids

 

Here’s the process we use for sorting, folding, hanging and putting clothes away.  My littlest one will help me as I fold and hang his clothes by putting away undies, socks, and folded clothes.  Having your littles a part of the laundry process is a really easy way to inactively teach them how to do their own clothes. Now, my older two are old enough to manage the process, they already know what to do and just need some guidance.  It’s a win-win!

Start with taking the clothes out of the laundry basket – as you take them out separate them out into piles – socks, undies, shirts that are hung up, pants, shorts, skirts, etc.  Lay them out on a clean floor, bed, or table.

Once they’re all separated out, start by hanging up your shirts.  We use this method – I mentioned it on Instagram:

  1. Grab your hangers – have them all facing the same way (it’s easier to quickly hang the clothes this way)
  2. Put a hanger on the first item on top of the stack
  3. Fold the hanger over so it’s still on the stack but not hung up
  4. Keep going until everything in the stack is on a hanger
  5. Hang up the stack

Fold pants, jeans, t-shirts and anything else that needs to be folded.

Once you have everything folded or hung, put it away!  That’s it – a method to help tame the madness that is laundry!

Here’s one of my favorite kid laundry tips – straight from my book Simply Clean – have you grabbed your copy?

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Yay for Summer – SALE!

This weekend officially kicks off summer – how about a BIG sale to celebrate?  Come see what’s new in Clean Mama Home and use the coupon code YAYFORSUMMER for FREE SHIPPING on any orders $75+ and/or use the coupon code 15OFF for 15% off your entire order.  Need printables?  Use the coupon 40OFF for 40% off your entire order in Clean Mama Printables.

Let’s celebrate summer!  Hurry, sale ends Monday, May 29th at 9pm CST

microfiber cloths galore!

gray microfiber dusting mitt | use on counters, appliances, electronics, autos

super soft + extra large microfiber cleaning cloths | set of 3 – I am obsessed with these!

weekly cleaning checklist sticky notes | 50 pages

aqua striped kitchen towels | set of 2

Love making lists?  Me too!  I now have 5 notepads to choose from – including a new Notes notepad

petite bar mop cloths | set of 6

light gray striped dish towels  | set of 2

white ribbed kitchen towel | classic and multi-purpose

Come see what’s new in Clean Mama Home and use the coupon code YAYFORSUMMER for FREE SHIPPING on any orders $75+ and/or use the coupon code 15OFF for 15% off your entire order.  Need printables?  Use the coupon 40OFF for 40% off your entire order in Clean Mama Printables.

Sale ends Monday, May 29th at 9pm CST

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Simply Clean – FREE Cleaning Calendar for June

It’s time for June’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 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.

 

The response to my new book, Simply Clean  has been amazing – did you get your copy?

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 JUNE 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 June 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 June 2017!

(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!)

Find Out More Homekeeping Society

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

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