The Right Way to Load a Dishwasher

The Right Way to Load a Dishwasher via Clean Mama

In my house we all (except for the toddler) load and unload the dishwasher and it most definitely doesn’t look like this all the time but when it does, it’s so much easier.  So today, I’m going to share a couple tips to loading up a dishwasher that will get your dishes cleaner and make it easier to unload and put away the dishes.  Everyone’s looking for an easier and more efficient way to do things, right?   (If you don’t have a dishwasher, you might want to check out this post.)

First things first, rinse the dishes – yes, the dishwasher is designed to get all the food off the dishes, but a quick rinse ensures that the dishes won’t need to be rewashed.

Stack dishes up on the counter according to type if you aren’t ready to load the dishwasher yet (i.e. you need to unload the dishwasher).  This is a time saver when it comes to loading the dishwasher up because everything is all set to be placed together in the dishwasher.

Rinse Silverware in a Colander While Prepping Dishes for Dishwasher via Clean Mama

Use a small colander to rinse silverware and to keep contained after meal times.  No knives down the disposal and it’s easy to put the silverware in the dishwasher basket, just bring the colander over to the dishwasher and load the silverware up.

The Right Way to  Load a Dishwasher via Clean Mama

Lower Dishwasher Rack detail via LCena Mama

Keep a standard format of glasses on top and plates and bowls on the bottom.  Arranging the same glasses and plates together simplifies the putting away of the dishes – stack or group on the counter above the dishwasher and put them away.

Wash your sponges in the dishwasher nightly to keep them germ-free.  (Did you know that the kitchen sponge is the dirtiest thing/place in most homes?  Yikes!)  If you have a ‘sanitize’ cycle on your dishwasher use this every time you run the dishwasher to kill germs on dishes, sponges, etc.

Make sure that the arms aren’t blocked by a large pot or pan to ensure that the dishwasher is able to spray and get everything clean.  It’s so annoying to open the dishwasher and realize that half of the dishes were cleaned and the other half wasn’t – take a second to double check for blockages.

Get your dishwasher started out right by running the hot water in the sink so the dishwasher starts hot.  This way the water is hot from the start and can rinse and clean your dishes effectively.

The Right Way to Load a Dishwasher details  Clean Mama

This isn’t my first bossy-pants post – check out The Right Way to Vacuum and The Right Way to Do Laundry.  Want to know how to clean your dishwasher?  This post gives you a simple and natural method.

This post is part of the Modern Day Homekeeping series here on the blog – go here to see all the posts in this series.




Modern Day Homekeeping : For the Love of Laundry

Modern Day Homekeeping - Laundry Lessons - How to Find a Laundry Routine that Works via Clean Mama

Oh for the love of laundry!  Laundry seems to be a hot homekeeping topic.  I think it’s because everyone has their own system for laundry and not many people love to do the laundry because it’s such a process.

Some commonly asked questions and my answers:

  • When do you do laundry?  The key is to take at least one load of laundry from dirty to folded and put away every day.  You might think that you’re too busy to try this method but I think this method could surprise you.  Am I saying that this is the only way to do laundry?  No, but if you struggle with finding time to do all the laundry and can’t seem to get the laundry from the dryer to put away, you might want to try it.  If you work outside of the home it’s a surprisingly easy way to simplify the task.  Put a load of clothes in at night and set your machine (if you have the option) to run at 4 or 5 am.  Put those clothes in the dryer right away when you get up and fold before you leave or in the evening before bed.
  • Do you have help from other family members?   Yes.  Every one that’s able to folds and puts away their own laundry.  Teach them young!
  • Do you schedule your laundry?  I wash sheets and towels on Saturdays and the rest of the week I find the most full or urgent basket in the house and wash it every day.  You could easily choose a family member for each day of the week and fill in with sheets and towels and other household laundry.
  • Do you wash whites and colors together?  For brights I always wash anything new by itself but for my kids’ clothes I wash them on cold and toss everything together.  This is a great way to simplify the laundry process.
  • Do you make your own laundry soap?  Yes, here’s my homemade recipe.
  • How can I clean my washing machine?  I clean my washing machine with white vinegar (here’s a post on how to naturally clean any washing machine with vinegar) but it’s recommended by most appliance manufacturer’s to wash them with bleach.  Here’s how to do that.
  • Why do my clothes and towels smell musty?  It’s really important to not let clean laundry sit in the washer for long.  Put the clothes in the dryer as soon as possible.  It’s also important to clean your washing machine regularly – I recommend once a month.
  • Is there a way to simplify the laundry process?  Yes!  Doing one load of laundry every day (the ultimate laundry simplifier), use smaller baskets so your loads aren’t as overwhelming, streamline your wardrobe – less clothes = less laundry.  Include other family members in the process.  Buy all the same socks so you don’t have to sort and match socks.

Want to read more about my thoughts on laundry?   The Right Way to Do Laundry  And don’t miss my FREE laundry printable!

I’ll share some of my favorite laundry products next week!  Any laundry questions or tips you’d like to ask or share?  Leave it in the comments!

This post is part of a series – Modern Day Homekeeping – you can see all the posts here.


The Clean Mama Modern Day Homekeeping Kit –  designed to help you (and me!) keep up with your home in the midst of everyday life.

The Modern Day Homekeeping Kit via Clean Mama Printables



Modern Day Homekeeping : Laundry Guide – FREE Printable

Make Doing Laundry a Little Cuter with this FREE Printable via Clean Mama

Laundry is a personal subject – you have your own method, your favorite brand(s), and your laundry schedule.  In this Modern Day Homekeeping Series I thought it would be ‘fun’ to answer some laundry questions and help you get a handle on your laundry as well.  My best laundry tip?  Do at least a load of laundry from start to finished and put away every day.  This is the only way I can keep on top of the endless laundry situation and it keeps it from getting overwhelming for me.

Regardless of your method of doing laundry, it’s never a bad idea to make your laundry area a little cuter.  Today I’m sharing a printable Laundry Guide you can pop into an 8×10 frame, on a clipboard, or place where you’ll see it in your laundry room.  Not sure what the laundry symbol on your new shirt means?  Consult the laundry guide!

I printed mine on aqua cardstock and printed the larger size – there’s a smaller size too if you’d prefer that for a quick reference laundry guide.  (The glass soap next to the guide is my DIY recipe.)  Any laundry questions for me?  Leave them in the comments and I’ll answer them in the next post.  Happy laundry-ing!

Both FREE printable laundry guides are available here in my shop or if you’d prefer, you can grab them from googledocs (small and regular).

Free Printable Laundry Guide via Clean Mama


This post is part of a series – Modern Day Homekeeping – you can see all the posts here.

Subscribe to the blog (just pop your email address in the box on the sidebar) and follow along socially!


The Clean Mama Modern Day Homekeeping Kit –  designed to help you (and me!) keep up with your home in the midst of everyday life.

The Modern Day Homekeeping Kit via Clean Mama Printables

Modern Day Homekeeping : 3 Secrets to a Clean House

3 Secrets to a Clean House - Modern Day Homekeeping via Clean MamaYour home is where you share life with the people you love – they are the most important thing, a clean house is not.  Don’t take cleaning too seriously – it’s one of those things that has to be done so why not figure out the best and quickest way to accomplish your tasks, right?  Start with the daily tasks and then add the weekly tasks (free printable to help is on this post).  Slowly you’ll be able to add in the bigger rotating cleaning tasks – these are cleaning tasks like washing windows and washing baseboards.  Even when you feel like you’ve got it ‘all together’ you still need a couple tricks up your sleeve (or cleaning glove) to balance real life and a little homekeeping.  I thought it would be fun to tell you a couple of my secrets to a clean house – they aren’t revolutionary or world changing but maybe they will help you in your quest for a clean home.

Secret #1 : Skip a day when you need to.

Don’t get wrapped up in the cleaning routine so much that you can’t skip dusting or cleaning the bathrooms for a week.  The dust will still be there the next week or on Friday for catch all day (a day to catch up).  The reason my cleaning routine works for me and for so many of you is that it isn’t rigid and one day isn’t dependent on the next.  NO one likes to feel defeated – just do what you can and the rest will be there tomorrow.

Secret #2 :  Know the fake outs.

People coming over or just want to give your house a 5 minute tidy up?   Have a couple quick fixes or fake outs that work to whip your house into shape in a couple minutes.  Mine are to put out clean kitchen and bathroom towels, load up the dishwasher, give the toilet a quick wipe down, clear/clean kitchen counters, dim lighting, and fluff sofa pillows.

Secret #3 : Leave when it’s clean.

Now that we’re entering summer, I’ll let you in on my best secret – once the house is picked up we leave.  This may sound counter-intuitive but sometimes I don’t feel like going through the whole pick everything up again routine.  So we try to spend as much time outside and out and about as we can.  We also eat outside as much as possible – the birds love my patio and my kitchen floor stays clean.  When my oldest two were younger, we’d do stroller picnics just about every day.  They’d eat lunch in the stroller, we’d walk to a park and play, and then we’d head home just in time for naps.  Don’t get me wrong, we most definitely live in our house and I don’t invent things to keep us busy, but sometimes getting out is good!

There you have it.  My 3 secrets to a clean house.  Let’s hear your secrets!

This post is part of a series – Modern Day Homekeeping – you can see all the posts here.

Subscribe to the blog (just pop your email address in the box on the sidebar) and follow along socially!

The Clean Mama Modern Day Homekeeping Kit –  designed to help you (and me!) keep up with your home in the midst of everyday life.

The Modern Day Homekeeping Kit via Clean Mama Printables

Modern Day Homekeeping : Weekly Cleaning Routine + FREE Printable

Modern Day Homekeeping - Try this simple cleaning routine via Clean Mama

Earlier this week I suggested 4 daily tasks that will make your life easier.  Once you feel like you’ve got those into the rotation, it’s time to add weekly cleaning tasks.  (You can come up with your own cleaning routine, but for starters I’d suggest following mine and making adjustments from there. Hopefully you’ll love it and keep it as-is but you won’t hurt my feelings if you tweak it according to your schedule and week.)

Here’s the thing with a cleaning routine.  Your house will not be immaculate all at once, but it will be pretty clean most of the time.  A cleaning time takes, time, repetition, and someone to actually complete the tasks.

MONDAY | BATHROOMS  – Clean all your bathrooms.  Spray + wipe mirrors, counters, sinks, faucets, toilets, showers and tubs.  Want to see how I speed clean all 4 of my bathrooms in 15 minutes?

TUESDAY | DUST – Start at the top surfaces and dust your way down.  Use a feather duster and microfiber cloth.  I am a huge fan of microfiber and you should be too!  It makes dusting a breeze.

WEDNESDAY | VACUUM – Vacuum all the floors in your home.  Do a thorough job, getting all the corners and crevices.  Here’s the right way to vacuum – vacuuming this way keeps the vacuum in the closet in my house.  Here’s the vacuum I use for all the floors on ‘vacuum day’ and the vacuum I use in-between.

THURSDAY | WASH FLOORS – Wash all the floors in your home.  Wipe the molding if necessary.  I use this recipe on my hardwood floors and this recipe on vinyl and tile.  I also love steam mops and this one has my heart.

FRIDAY | CATCH ALL DAY – Catch up on any tasks you didn’t get a chance to complete or as a day to shop or menu plan.  If you are new to menu planning, you’ll love the shopping and menu planning sheets in The Clean Mama Modern Day Homekeeping Kit!

SATURDAY | SHEETS + TOWELS – Wash all the sheets and towels today.  Put the sheets back on beds and put towels away.  Looking for a great DIY detergent recipe?  This one is still my favorite!

SUNDAY | REST – Do the daily tasks today if necessary and take the day to relax and enjoy your day.

So now that you know the weekly tasks, it’s time to start implementing them.  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.

How about a little freebie to help you get into the routine?  Print, cut if half, put it on your fridge, in your homekeeping binder, on a clipboard, or anywhere you’ll see and use it.  Every day do the tasks and check off the circle – easy, peasy!

The Clean House Cleaning Routine Instructions via Clean Mama

FREE Printable - The Clean House Cleaning Checklist via Clean Mama

Grab the free printable here in my shop or on googledocs!  Want to pin it for later?  Here’s a link!

This post is part of a series – Modern Day Homekeeping – you can see all the posts here.

Subscribe to the blog (just pop your email address in the box on the sidebar) and follow along socially!  I’ll be posting pictures on Instagram using the hashtag #moderndayhomekeeping


The FREE printable in this post coordinates perfectly with my brand new kit!   The Clean Mama Modern Day Homekeeping Kit –  designed to help you (and me!) keep up with your home in the midst of everyday life.  There’s a page with my daily tasks and weekly cleaning routine and a 30 Days to a Clean and Organized Home checklist included.

The Modern Day Homekeeping Kit via Clean Mama Printables

Modern Day Homekeeping : Daily Tasks

Modern Day Homekeeping - 4 Daily Tasks That Make Life Easier  via Clean Mama

Want to know the secret to a clean house?  It isn’t a cleaning service (that would help!) – it’s a cleaning routine.  A few simple household tasks completed every day is all it takes to formulate a cleaning routine.  I know you’re feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with the monotony that can come with cleaning or the constant cleaning and picking up that comes with a running and managing a household (along with EVERYTHING else!)  If this resonates with you and you have absolutely no idea where to start, this is where you need to be!  Take a DEEP breath and keep reading….

Every single day I complete these 4 daily tasks.  Not only do they help keep the house tidy, they make the other cleaning tasks so much easier.  Don’t compound your overwhelmed feeling with thinking that you have to start all this at once.  You certainly can, but it might be easier to start with one task for a week and add another task the next week.  Alternatively, you can set a timer for 3 minutes and complete what you can on each task for the required time (3 minutes of a quick floor check, 3 minutes to wipe down counters, 3 minutes to bust clutter, 3 minutes to fold laundry or put a load in the wash).  You’ll be amazed by how easy it is to keep up with the homekeeping when you are implementing a couple simple tasks.  (Side note: ‘making the bed’ is not on the list but it’s something that I do every day and it definitely helps a room look put together.  Not a bed maker?  Try making the bed for a week right when you get up, you’ll be surprised at how easy it really is!

CHECK FLOORS | Check the floors in your house and sweep or vacuum IF necessary.  Eating areas are hot spots to catch crumbs.  If you have pets, check the corners and under furniture as well.  Have kids?  Keep a small  dustpan in a cupboard or pantry and let them sweep up under the table after meals.  They’ll love it!

COUNTERS | Wipe kitchen counters and your table after meals and at the very least, once a day.  This ensures that the countertops are cleared off and ready for whatever.  Trust me, it takes much longer to do all the day’s dishes and cleaning up one time than it does to take care of it at that meal time.  Wiping the counters is synonymous for me with washing dishes and loading/unloading the dishwasher.  Check bathroom counters and wipe up any little messes (toothpaste on the counters, etc.) if necessary.

CLUTTER | Take 5-10 minutes a day to tackle daily clutter.  Sort through mail, pick up toys, clothes, and other odds and ends that haven’t made it back to their homes.  Have kids?  Get the rest of your family involved with a quick family clean-up before or after dinner – set the timer for 5-10 minutes and race around picking up and putting away.  You’ll be surprised by how much you can get cleaned up AND how much fun cleaning up can be.

LAUNDRY | Take at least one load of laundry from start to folded and put away every day.  This process keeps the laundry piles away and ensures that clothing is sorted and put away daily.  Working mom?  No time for this?  Try using the delay button (if you have one) on your washing machine so it starts at 5am.  Put the clothes in the dryer at 6am and carry about your morning.  In the evenings when all you want to do is veg out in front of the television, add folding that one load to your repertoire.  Put the clothes away (or in a basket for the owner to put away) and repeat for the next day.  (This is mostly helpful for families or people with lots of laundry – you might find that doing laundry once or twice a week is fine for you and that’s great!  The point of this is to not let it get to the point where laundry is your nemesis.)

Ready to give it a go?  Have questions?  Ask away!  I’ll be back later this week with a little explanation of my WEEKLY cleaning tasks (and a FREE printable!) to help you get started.

This post is part of a series – Modern Day Homekeeping – you can see all the posts here.

I also have a new kit – The Clean Mama Modern Day Homekeeping Kit – in my shop designed to help you keep up with your home in the midst of everyday life.  There’s a page with my daily tasks and weekly cleaning routine.

The Modern Day Homekeeping Kit via Clean Mama Printables


Modern Day Homekeeping – The Printable Kit

The Modern Day Homekeeping Kit via Clean Mama Printables

I am so excited to get started on this new series with all of you!  If you ever wonder if you”re the only one that struggles to keep up with it “all”, sick just go to the first post in this series and read through the comments.  Homekeeping is something that is learned and perfected and just when you think you have it mastered, viagra something will change and it”ll all be thrown out the window.  My hope is that this series helps you start enjoying the process of homekeeping.  I am so excited to share some simple ideas and lessons with you over the next few months.  I know you”ll love it!

My mind works in graphics and checklists so it only makes sense to create a new printable kit, buy The Clean Mama Modern Day Homekeeping Kit, as a tool for you (and me) to simplify the process of homekeeping.  (You don”t need to purchase the kit to take full advantage of this series, it”s just a tool you might enjoy using.  I will also be giving away some additional free printables that coordinate with the kit as the series progresses.)

The Clean Mama Modern Day Homekeeping Kit…..

The Clean Mama Modern Day Homekeeping Kit via Clean Mama

If you’ve struggled with homekeeping or have it all together this simple kit and format is perfect to get your home and life in order.  The colors are dark charcoal and teal to coordinate seamlessly with a variety of planners, binders, and decor.  You”ll love the simple format and adorable homekeeping icons throughout the kit.

Simply print off the pages and get ready to tackle a little bit every day and move forward to a clean and organized home.  Homekeeping shouldn’t be difficult….all it takes is a little time, a lot of effort, and consistency.  Homekeeping consists of anything it takes to keep your home in order – cleaning, menu planning, shopping, scheduling….this kit will help you master those areas of your life.  Start with one area of your life or all areas – get ready to revolutionize your homekeeping!

The Clean Mama Modern Day Homekeeping Kit 2 via Clean Mama

INTRODUCTION – simple start-up guide and instructions (1 page)
CLEANING ORGANIZING printables (5 pages):

  • 30 Days to a Clean House/30 Days to an Organized House (use these lists together to get your home in shape in a hurry or do cleaning the first month and organizing the next)
  • The Clean House Cleaning Routine (my daily weekly cleaning tasks)
  • The Clean House Checklist (arranged by room, create your own checklist)
  • The Organized House Checklist (arranged by room, create your own checklist)
  • Rotating Cleaning Schedule (pre-filled with suggested cleaning tasks)

MEAL PLANNING SHOPPING printables (5 pages):

  • Grocery Shopping List (blank list broken down into 14 store section categories)
  • Recipes to Try (write down recipes to try for easy meal planning)
  • All Over Everywhere List (4 sections for casino online multiple stores and stops)
  • On the List – (two columns – use it for work and home, projects, or shopping)
  • Shopping List Menu Plan (keep your weekly menu and shopping list on the page to simplify meal planning)

LIST MAKING printables (3 pages):

  • Important Contacts (space for 8 contacts – keep track of service providers, family and friends – space for address, phone, and email or website address)
  • Dates to Remember  (perpetual calendar to keep important dates like birthdays and anniversaries)
  • Today – Daily Planner (perfect for the busy days when you need to keep track of your day by the hour – space for schedule (6am-8pm), to do, notes, menu)

The Clean Mama Modern Day Homekeeping Kit 2 via Clean Mama

My favorite thing about printables is that you can use them in a few different ways.  You might want to keep a shopping list in your car on a clipboard for the pick-up lane at school, but I might like it washi taped to my refrigerator.  Print them out, use them up, print them again!  Try using them in a binder or planner, on a clipboard, laminated with a dry erase marker…just use them!  You”ll LOVE the versatility of these printables – get creative and enjoy them.

Use the printable kit in a variety of ways and any place that will help your modern day homekeeping via Clean Mama

Grab your Clean Mama Modern Day Homekeeping Kit – I know you”ll love it!

Subscribe to the blog (just pop your email address in the box on the sidebar) and follow along socially!  I’ll be posting pictures on Instagram using the hashtag #moderndayhomekeeping


New Series : Modern Day Homekeeping

Modern Day Homekeeping - Keep Up With Your Home in the Midst of Everyday Life via Clean Mama

I’ve been working behind the scenes on a couple new (and exciting) products for my shop – doing a little re-focus, simplifying product lines and adding something completely different.  One of the new products is all about homekeeping.  For me, homekeeping is a favorite topic and activity for me.  I absolutely love the process of cleaning and organizing and managing a home.  I know that not everyone loves/likes it as much as I do (or at all) and so I’ve developed a series that will guide you through the process of homekeeping in the midst of everyday life.  Sounds like what you need?  I hear from so, so many of you about how much you struggle to get it ‘all’ done.  I never have it all done but there are some tricks and ideas that I use to simplify the process and I know that you’ll just love them!

If you’re a mom (or not), if you work in your home or outside your home, have one kid or twelve, I have real, practical ideas for keeping your home tidy, getting food on the table, and most importantly, having time to savor and enjoy your family and the things you really want to accomplish.  I’m so excited to experience this series with you as you discover how easy it can be to keep up with the everyday stuff in the midst of a busy life.  Stay tuned – the series will launch with the new product in the shop and we’ll go from there.  Excited?  Me too!  (Just so you know….I’m not a fan of teaser posts but I thought that this series needed a little preface so you could get your heart ready to do a little homekeeping.)  Wednesdays will be the day of this series on Clean Mama – I’m expecting it to last (at least) through the summer.

Have an area of homekeeping that you struggle with?  Leave a comment!  I’d love to be able to tailor this series to what you REALLY need!

Subscribe to the blog (just pop your email address in the box on the sidebar) and follow along socially!  I’ll be posting pictures on Instagram using the hashtag #moderndayhomekeeping


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