3 Ways to Clean Baseboards

3 Ways To Clean Baseboards - Simple + Natural - Clean Mama

If the thought of cleaning the baseboards in your home sounds daunting and more than overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. I am always amazed by what a difference having clean baseboards makes. It is an easy task to tackle in a couple of hours if you are up to doing your whole home, or in smaller increments if you prefer going room by room. I have three great cleaning options to choose from today. Pick the one that matches what simple ingredients you have on hand or who in your home is doing the cleaning. Ready for some options?

3 Ways to Clean Baseboards - detail - Clean Mama

Baby Wipes:

 

Clean Baseboards with Baby Wipes - Clean Mama copy

Yes, this option is the least eco-friendly of the three, but it is perfect for kids and their nimble knees. I love that the amount of liquid is controlled so you won’t have an overturned bucket of water or puddles everywhere. It’s perfect for adults too as it is the quickest of three and requires no prep. This is a task that can be included on kid’s weekly chores so that dirt and dust doesn’t have as much of a chance to accumulate.

Castile Cleaner:

Wash Baseboards with Castile Soap - Clean Mama

Castile soap is the ultimate gentle detergent that is free of dyes, artificial scents and chemicals. It is available in the natural beauty aisle at many retailers or on Amazon. If you don’t happen to have any on hand, you can also substitute your favorite dish soap that you would use for hand washing dishes. This cleaner can be used on both painted and wood baseboards.

  • 4 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon castile or dish soap

Optional: 2 drops lemon or your favorite essential oil for a little extra scent boost

Mix ingredients together in a bucket. Using a barely damp microfiber cloth (my favorite!) or a well wrung out sponge, wipe as you go, rinsing the cloth or sponge frequently.

Borax Based Cleaner:

Clean Baseboards with Borax - Clean Mama

Borax is an effective, inexpensive natural mineral that works well in a number of cleaning situations, including cleaning baseboards. It can be found in the laundry or cleaning aisle of many stores. You can half the proportions of the Borax to water if you want a smaller batch.

  • 1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon Borax
  • 2-4 cups warm water

Stir to dissolve. You can use this with the traditional bucket cleaning method or decant into a spray bottle (if you put it in a spray bottle make sure you mix with warm water to fully dissolve the Borax). I like to use microfiber cloths to clean as they do a great job of getting in all those nooks and crannies and they don’t spread the dirt around, but you can also use a sponge.  Just be sure to wring until damp and not dripping. No rinsing required.

There is no need to dread or fear cleaning baseboards when armed with these simple methods and DIY cleaner options. Choose one today and look forward to sparkling trim in no time.

If you haven’t tried microfiber for cleaning?  You should!  You’ll love my Clean Mama Home Microfiber Cleaning Cloths – check them out!

Clean Mama Home Microfiber Cloths

 

More posts in this series – just click on the image to go to the post:

Nightly Sink Scrub - Clean Mama

Marble + Granite Cleaning Spray - Clean Mama

Soft Cleaning Paste - the perfect scrub - Clean Mama

All-Purpose Spray - Clean Just About Anywhere Spary - Clean Mama

The Perfect DIY Glass Cleaner - Clean Mama

DIY Cleaners Ingredient Storage - Clean Mama

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FREE Summer Cleaning Checklist

FREE Summer Cleaning Checklist - Clean Mama

Summer is here and so is my FREE summer cleaning checklist!

I like to break chores and tasks down into musts and maybes – and that’s how I approach seasonal cleaning. I might not get to everything on the list but at least I’ve gotten a couple musts out of the way first. Here’s a little explanation of my summer cleaning checklist – I hope you give it a whirl!  This is also great if you’re home for the summer (hello teachers) and looking to add a little extra cleaning to your days.

BASICS – SEASONAL CLEANING

These items are cleaning tasks that I rotate through 4 times a year or seasonally. Hence the summer cleaning checklist. Some of these items (dust, vacuum) are on my weekly cleaning checklist, so I do those on that day of the week, but I do a more thorough job. For instance, instead of just vacuuming the family room I move the furniture and vacuum under the couch. I dust all surfaces, but I also dust the corners and corners at the ceiling. If this is the only portion of the checklist that you complete, you have still done a great job. These basics will make a big difference in your home!

DEEP CLEANING

If you’ve never done a deep or thorough cleaning and you have extra time on your hands, you’ll want to check these items off your list. If you just washed your windows last month, you probably won’t need to wash them, check your home and see if any of these tasks should be completed.

TRADITIONAL SUMMER CLEANING TASKS TO ADD IF YOU’D LIKE

Seasonal cleaning goes back generations, these tasks are ones that are generally associated with summer cleaning. If you’d like to complete them and it makes sense for you it will be time well spent. If you don’t have time and have never completed them, no need to feel bad – they are just suggestions.

Free Summer Cleaning Checklist via Clean Mama

Grab your FREE Summer Cleaning Checklist here!

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

If you like this FREE printable you’ll love my HOMEKEEPING SOCIETY and the organizing printables in my shop!  Don’t miss my FREE PRINTABLES page here on the blog.

This printable matches my Everyday Cleaning Planner, perfect for organizing your cleaning.

Want to up the cute factor in your cleaning?  Check out Clean Mama HOME!

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Simple Ideas to Organize the Family for Summer

Simple Ideas to Organize the Family for Summer - Clean Mama

Is summer in full swing in your house?  I’ve already fielded quite a few questions about organizing with kids this summer so I thought it would be a perfect time to share a couple things that work for us or things that we’re implementing right now.  With schedules calming down it’s nice to have a little structure in place and these methods successfully meet those needs.

Summer 2016 Calendar full - Clean Mama

Use a calendar – I shared this free printable of Summer 2016 at-a-glance calendar last month.  If you haven’t grabbed it yet, grab it and fill in some important items for the summer.  If you’re looking to put together a homekeeping binder this summer (a great way to get organized), I recommend my Homekeeping Foundations Kit or joining Homekeeping Society.

Clothes Close-Up via Clean Mama

 

Get the kids involved and do a quick clean of closets following this simple method for organizing and maintaining them.  I detail kids closets in the post but you can apply the techniques and steps to your own closets and drawers.

Essentials for Getting the Kids Involved In Cleaning - free printables and tips that work! - Clean Mama

Need a little direction when it comes to cleaning with kids?  I’ve written quite a bit on the subject – go here to get started with age-appropriate tasks that kids can tackle right along with you!

small summer boredom busters

Put together a boredom busting bucket or basket – perfect for rainy days, quiet time, and just relaxing.  I put this together a month or so ago and my kids have pulled it out almost every day of summer break.  It’s been a big hit!

Keep Snacks in Bins to Keep them Organized via Clean Mama

Keep healthy snacks accessible.  I keep lots of fresh fruit and veggies washed and ready for snacking but we also have some snacks at the ready in the pantry as well.  This works great for grabbing something if we’re doing an impromptu outing, going to the pool, or if the kids just need a quick bite to eat.

Put together a couple totes, bags, or bins that will simplify some of your favorite summer activities – here are our favorites:

Put Together a S'mores Caddy via Clean Mama

S’mores Caddy – My kiddos love putting our s’mores caddy together every summer, this makes for a great Saturday evening at the fire pit.

The Perfect Picnic Bag via Clean Mama

The Perfect Picnic Bag – I love having a handful of picnic-ready supplies all packed up and ready to go, it makes it so simple to get out the door!

Gather School Supplies to Make a Homework Caddy

Art + School Supply Caddy – I usually put this together before school starts but we swap out some of the supplies for summer art projects and it works great!

Toys Out - Toys Put Away via Clean Mama

 

Practice One Task to Keep Your Home Clutter Free – it’s so simple but it can feel so difficult!  Take it out, and put it away.  Keep this in mind this summer and I bet you and your family will appreciate taking that little step to put things away.  It’s so simple but so hard to keep up with unless it’s a conscious decision.

WHAT’S ON YOUR LIST?  WHAT WOULD YOU ADD TO MAKE YOUR LIFE A LITTLE EASIER THIS SUMMER?

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Free Cleaning Calendar for December 2015

It’s almost December and that means that it’s time for December’s FREE cleaning calendar!

FRESH START Free Cleaning Calendar for December - main - Clean Mama

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

Fresh Start Clean+Organized 2015

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

Cleaning Routine Infographic - Clean Mama

Want to join in on the fun? Grab a FREE cleaning and organizing calendar for December and give it a go. 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!

 

FRESH START Free Cleaning Calendar for December - Clean Mama

Go here to grab your FREE calendar for December 2015!

(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!

 2016 Everyday Calendar Close-Up - Clean Mama

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Chores and Responsibilities for the School-Aged Child + FREE Printables

Chores and Responsibilities for the School-Aged Child via Clean Mama

As a mom to three children, two elementary age and one preschool, I can firsthand testify that our home runs more smoothly when everyone pitches in. As children grow older, their ability to contribute to household tasks and chores increases as well.  If you haven’t included your children in tasks around the home or if you’re struggling to come up with age-appropriate tasks, you’ll love this post!

I recently featured a post full of all sorts of age appropriate, helpful tasks that the preschool age child can help with. Today I am featuring tasks and chores that are geared toward the elementary and up aged child. You will notice that quite a few of the tasks are similar to the preschool tasks with a twist, like not just matching socks and folding hand towels, but folding an entire load of laundry.

As you go through these tasks and determine what work for your child and household, keep in mind that there is a developmental difference between a young elementary aged child and an older child in middle school. While you may not expect your first grader to roll the garbage and recycling to the curb, it is certainly an appropriate task for a sixth grader. Pick and choose what is appropriate for your child or children and watch your home run that much more smoothly when you delegate tasks and chores.

Household Chores

  • wipe baseboards/cupboards
  • help sort laundry into whites and brights/darks
  • help start and switch laundry loads
  • help fold laundry
  • help put away clean clothes
  • clean windows with damp microfiber cloth
  • pick up toys and activities, put books in bookshelf
  • help unload groceries
  • water plants
  • take care of pets
  • gather garbage
  • take garbage and recycling to the curb
  • get mail
  • dust surfaces
  • sweep floors
  • vacuum corners and edges along baseboards
  • vacuum floors using a lightweight upright
  • clean clutter from bathroom counter
  • wipe bathroom counter with dampened microfiber cloth
  • wipe doorknobs and switch plates

Morning/Evening Chores

  • brush teeth
  • brush hair
  • wipe face with a warm, wet washcloth after eating
  • make bed- pull up comforter/duvet and flat sheet up and put pillow at the top
  • put dirty clothes and pajamas in clothes basket
  • get dressed in the morning and pajamas in the evening

Mealtime Chores

  • simple mealtime prep help
  • pour beverages
  • set table with plates, glasses, napkins and appropriate silverware
  • bring dirty dishes to sink when done eating
  • put away leftovers
  • rinse dishes before loading in to dishwasher
  • load dishwasher (remove knives and sharp utensils until age appropriate)
  • dry and put away dishes
  • wipe down table
  • sweep up crumbs using a small dustpan and broom or handheld vacuum

How about some FREE printables to make implementing responsibilities for school-aged children a little easier?  I made 2 different simple chore charts and I also put the chores and responsibilities that I listed on a free printable.  Grab the zip file with all 3 free printables here and save and print what you will use and get your child(ren) started with some simple and do-able responsibilities.

Free Chore Printables for School Aged Children via Clean Mama

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

Chores + Responsibilities for the Preschool Child via Clean Mama

Tools for Cleaning With Kids via Clean Mama

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

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

 

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

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

Clean Mama's Simple Summer Challenge via Clean Mama

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FREE Cleaning Calendar for July 2015

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

Fresh Start Clean+Organized 2015

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

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

Cleaning Routine Infographic - Clean Mama

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

Fresh Start Calendary for July 2015 via Clean Mama

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

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

 

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

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Chores and Responsibilities for the Preschool Child + FREE Printables

Chores + Responsibilities for the Preschool Child via Clean Mama

It is a question that I receive often – how do I get my kids involved in cleaning? Just what chores are appropriate for their age?  With three kids of my own, two elementary aged and one preschooler, I feel as though I have honed in on just what to expect for a variety of ages. Today I am covering the preschool age group while the older kids will be covered next week.

Preschoolers are eager helpers and it’s hard to figure out just how to best harness their enthusiasm while giving them tasks that are actually useful. Depending upon the age and maturity of your child, there is a large variety of tasks that can be expected and accomplished by this age group. With this age group, modeling is especially important. For example, show them just how to dampen a washcloth and wring it out to wipe their face and hands or how to set the table appropriately with plates in the center and silverware on the left or right side. It will probably take more than one time for them to have it up to your expectations, so have patience as they learn the proper technique.

While not every child or age can be expected to complete every task in the list below, pick ones that fit your child or children’s age and maturity as well as your needs. After deciding ones that are good fits, use the blank list included in today’s download in order to make a checklist of sorts for your family.

With a little teaching and modeling, you will be surprised at just what your child is capable of.  Every little bit of help counts!

Household Chores

• wipe baseboards/cupboards with baby wipes
• help fold laundry- match socks, fold dishcloths and hand towels
• help sort laundry into whites and brights/darks
• help put away clean clothes
• clean windows with damp microfiber cloth
• pick up toys, put books in bookshelf
• help unload groceries
• water plants
• gather garbage
• vacuum corners and edges along baseboards
• wipe bathroom counter with dampened microfiber cloth
• dust lower shelves and items
• wipe doorknobs and switch plates

Morning/Evening Chores

• brush teeth
• brush hair
• wipe face with a warm, wet washcloth after eating
• make bed- pull up comforter/duvet and put pillow at the top
• put dirty clothes and pajamas in clothes basket
• get dressed in the morning and pajamas in the evening

Mealtime Chores

• set table with plates, napkins and appropriate silverware
• bring dirty dishes to sink when done eating
• wipe down table
• sweep up crumbs using a small dustpan and broom or handheld vacuum

How about some FREE printables to make implementing responsibilities for preschoolers a little easier?  I made 3 different colors of a simple chore chart and I also put the chores and responsibilities that I listed on a free printable.  Grab the zip file with all 4 free printables here and save and print what you will use and get your preschooler started with some simple and do-able responsibilities.

Free Chore Printables for the Preschool Child via Clean Mama

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

Tools for Cleaning With Kids via Clean Mama

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

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

 

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

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

Clean Mama's Simple Summer Challenge via Clean Mama

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

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

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

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

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

Bedrooms

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

Bathrooms

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

Living Areas

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

Kitchen

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

Laundry

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

Pet Care

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

My Favorite Ways to Get Help in a Hurry

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

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

Tools for Cleaning With Kids via Clean Mama

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

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

 Clean Mama's Simple Summer Challenge via Clean Mama

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The Clean Mama Cleaning Routine FREE Printable

The Clean Mama Cleaning Routine Free Printable via Clean Mama

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

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

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

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

The Clean Mama Cleaning Routine Infographic via Clean Mama

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

The Clean Mama Cleaning Routine FREE Printable Checklist via Clean Mama

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

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

Homekeeping Foundations MAIN via Clean mama

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

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

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FREE Cleaning Calendar for May 2015

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

Fresh Start Clean+Organized 2015

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

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

Cleaning Routine Infographic - Clean Mama

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

Fresh Start Calendar for May 2015

Go here to grab your FREE calendar for May 2015!

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

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

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Week 2 : Spring Clean in 30

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

spring clean in 30 via Clean Mama

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

WEEK 2

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

 

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

Day 8 Wipe Door Knobs and Doors via Clean Mama

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

Day 9 Dust Light Fixtures via Clean Mama

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

Day 10 Freshen Disposal and Drains via Clean Mama

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

Day 11 Dust Ceiling Fans via Clean Mama

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

Day 12 Clean Refrigerator and Freezer via Clean Mama

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

Day 13 Clean Oven and Microwave via Clean Mama

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

DAY 14 Clear and Clean Kitchen Counters via Clean Mama

 

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

Revisit the Spring Clean In 30 Challenge here:

 

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Practical Cleaning Routine Tips for Any Schedule

Practical Cleaning Routine Tips via Clean Mama

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

A little bit about Clean Mama’s Cleaning Routine:

I love a clean house, but when people live in a home, cleaning up is constant.  That’s where a cleaning routine is essential – simple tasks completed daily and weekly really keep the cleaning to a minimum so I can spend time with my family and not cleaning.  With minutes a day and a plan, homekeeping can be enjoyable, simple, and easy to fit into your busy life and schedule.  In case you’re curious, I have been implementing this cleaning routine for nearly 15 years – as a newly married, full-time working gal, a full-time working out of the house mom, a stay-at-home mom, a traveling working in and out of the home mom, and now a work-at-home mom with three active kiddos.  This routine is for anyone that’s busy and doesn’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning.  It may need to be tweaked for your life and schedule, but if you want to spend a couple minutes every day with a little homekeeping, the Clean Mama Cleaning Routine is for you!  Remember, it’s just ‘everyday a little something’!

Practical Suggestions for Implementing Clean Mama’s Cleaning Routine:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

 

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

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

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

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FREE Cleaning Calendar for April 2015

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

Fresh Start Clean+Organized 2015

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

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

Cleaning Routine Infographic - Clean Mama

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

Free Cleaning Calendar from Clean Mama

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

April Fresh Start Calendar + Spring Cleaning Challenge via Clean Mama

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

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

Spring Clean in 30 Challenge narrow bar

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Feeling Overwhelmed? Do One of These Simple Tasks

Feeling Overwhelmed Try one of these simple tasks via Clean MamaEver have a day (or week) where it feels like you just can’t get anything accomplished or like you’re chasing around not really getting anything done?  Everyone feels like that from time to time and some seasons feel more like that’s just how it is.  If you WANT to feel like you’re checking things off your list and getting out from under the frustration of clutter and mess, I have a couple SIMPLE things you can do today to jumpstart your productivity.

Choose one thing or do them all, either way you’ll be on your way to clearing some space and balancing your brain.  If you don’t think that making some progress and getting something (even the littlest thing) done, isn’t going to make a difference, I am here to tell you that you’ll be surprised to see what a difference these little steps will make.  These brain balancers will help you balance that mental register – the one that keeps track of all the things you have to do.  The one that looks around at all there is to do and gets frustrated with how long all these things could potentially take to complete and quits before starting.  Even the simplest and smallest to do goes a long way to getting things done.

MAKE A LIST – Quickly write down all the things that you have swirling around in your head.  Or make a menu plan for the next week (you can find the featured notepad in my shop).  Doing something that makes you FEEL productive can propel you to BEING productive.  You don’t need to do everything, but sometimes just making a list is a great way to move toward getting something done.

COUNTERS – Cluttered counters overwhelming you?  Clear one off.  Maybe it’s a bathroom counter, maybe it’s your kitchen counters, completely clear the space, wipe it clean and return only the necessities.  This 10-15 minute task will alleviate that stressed feeling you get when you see the messy counter in front of you.

LAUNDRY – Don’t worry about any unfinished laundry right now, just do ONE load of laundry from start to folded to put away.  Then do that again tomorrow and the next day and if you like the routine, add it to your daily routine.  I am someone that is easily overwhelmed by piles of laundry.  Instead of having laundry baskets loom, I started doing at least a load a day years ago and have never looked back.

SINK – Empty your kitchen sink.  Complete this simple task, wipe it clean.  This simple task helps get you to the next meal and it also just helps you feel less overwhelmed in the kitchen.  Again, a simple task that is overlooked or neglected yet can make a difference.

PAPER PILE – That paper pile or mail pile on the counter, your desk, kitchen table….take care of it.  Toss what isn’t needed, file what needs to be filed and deal with any bills or mail that need to be dealt with.

INBOX –  If you’re at work or at home and have a couple minutes and feel stuck, try zeroing out your email inbox.  Use files in your email program to separate emails that you still need and get them out of your inbox.  I create a file for any company or business or bill and just put those emails in that corresponding box.  That way if I need to locate the email in the future I just search by the company name and can easily locate any pertinent information.

There you have it, six small things that you can do (one, some, or all) right now, today that will add up to big steps in your productivity.

If you like this post, you might like these related posts – just click on the image to go to the post:

Clean Mama's Cleaning Routine - everyday a little something

Laundry Day vs. Laundry Every Day - Two Methods that Really Work via Clean Mama

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

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Clean Mama’s Cleaning Routine

Clean Mama's Cleaning Routine - everyday a little something

It’s obvious that I love a good cleaning routine.  Honestly the reason I love a good cleaning routine is because I love a clean and organized house.  With minutes a day and a plan, homekeeping can be enjoyable, simple, and easy to fit into your busy life and schedule.  This post is intended to sum up my cleaning routine and point you in the direction of a little (or a lot) of help to get you started.   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.  This routine is for anyone that’s busy and doesn’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning.  It may need to be tweaked for your life and schedule, but if you want to spend a couple minutes every day with a little homekeeping, the Clean Mama Cleaning Routine is for you!  Remember, it’s just ‘everyday a little something’!Daily Cleaning Tasks

Every single day I accomplish a handful of daily tasks – chances are you do too.  These daily tasks are little things that get done on a daily basis and take minutes but staying on top of them keeps the clutter and visual chaos away.  On my daily list are the following tasks:

daily cleaning tasks - clean mama

Daily tasks for your household may vary, but these are the main tasks that get checked off my list every.single.day.  These simple tasks have a couple hidden tasks involved too – checking floors sometimes means a quick sweep under the kitchen table, other days it may include getting out the vacuum cleaner.  Clutter refers to taking care of any clutter or the act of decluttering.  This includes things like making beds, opening and dealing with mail, sorting out homework, etc.  Laundry gets done every day.  I am easily distracted and hate laundry – so I do at least a load every day from start to finish.  It’s a great system – try it!  Wipe counters is clearing counters, loading/unloading the dishwasher, checking bathroom counters, etc.  Want more information?  You can read more specifically about my daily cleaning routine here.

Weekly Cleaning Tasks

Every day of the week I tackle a larger cleaning task.  Monday is bathrooms day, Tuesday is dusting day, etc.  Each task builds on the next and the system itself flows nicely through the week.  Friday is catch all day – a day of grace to catch up on anything that didn’t get accomplished during the week or to work on paperwork, bills, etc.  Instagrammer?  I post daily cleaning task reminders and lots of homekeeping tips – follow me here.  I also post reminders of these cleaning tasks on Facebook each day – if you want my reminders to pop up in your feed follow me hereGo here to get more details on what’s involved in my weekly cleaning tasks and go here to see my favorite products for each cleaning task.

CM | day icons

 

Rotating Cleaning Tasks

I also assign a handful of rotating cleaning tasks to each month – these tasks I complete on Fridays OR as I’m cleaning during the week.  For instance if I’m dusting (on a Tuesday) I will dust the light fixtures for the month at that same time.  (You can see the rotating cleaning tasks for each month on the free monthly calendars referenced below or in any cleaning product in my shop.)  If you are just starting with a cleaning routine, you can easily leave the rotating cleaning tasks out and just do the daily and weekly tasks for a month or two until you want to add in the rotating tasks.

Here’s a FREE printable daily and weekly checklist (The Clean House Cleaning Routine) you might like too – it’s from my Modern Day Homekeeping series.

The Clean House Cleaning Routine Instructions via Clean Mama

 

Every month I have a FREE cleaning and organizing calendar here on the blog – you can go here to get October’s calendar  and hop over to the sidebar to sign up for my posts in your inbox so you never miss a free calendar!

 

How to Make a Cleaning Planner via Clean Mama

If you want a very detailed and customizable cleaning plan – check out my post on how to make a cleaning planner and check out the Everyday Cleaning Planner in my shop!

 

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