The Essential Guide – Clean Bathrooms

Earlier this week I asked my Instagram followers for their homekeeping questions.  I love hearing from  YOU when you have questions!  I’ll be answering those questions over the next couple of weeks (there were a lot of them :)) but in the meantime, there were oodles of questions about cleaning bathrooms.  So I thought I’d whip up a blog post with some links to other posts that answer those questions.  You want to know everything from how to really clean a toilet, to how to clean a whirlpool tub, and how to clean a plastic/fiberglass shower or bathtub.  I’ve got your answers below – I hope it’s helpful!  And if you’re quick, you can see my Instagram stories from yesterday where I talked about cleaning with kids.

Speed Clean Your Bathrooms – this is the method I use on Mondays to clean the bathrooms from top to bottom quickly (you’ll see the secret to getting this job done quickly is NOT washing the floors because I do them on Thursdays).

3 Bathroom Cleaners to Stop Buying and Start Making – Want to save money and still have a clean bathroom minus the chemicals?  This post has my recipes for window + mirror cleaner, disinfecting cleaner, and daily shower spray.

8 Simple DIY Bathroom Cleaners + FREE Printable  – Looking for even more DIY recipes for the bathroom?  This post with free printable includes recipes for soap scum, mold + mildew, and rust and mineral deposits to name a few.

The Best Ways to Eliminate Residue, Stains, and Gunk in the Bathroom – Bathrooms can be a breeding ground for all the gunk – this post will show you how to get rid of that soap scum, stains, and other annoying residues that might be found.

The Best Way to Remove Toilet Bowl Rings – I love using a pumice stone for getting rid of those toilet bowl rings – this post shows you how I do it.  It’s easier than you might think!

Toilet Care Game Changers – I have two little boys and I can promise you that I’ve tried everything to get rid of that smell and I have truly figured it out – this post goes into detail on how to really clean a toilet and get rid of ‘that’ smell.

How to Clean a Shower + Keep it that Way – You asked – how do I clean a shower, soap scum, glass showers, fiberglass/plastic – showers are tough.  If it’s a shower that’s used regularly, it’s damp and has a fair amount of moisture that needs to fully dry on a daily basis.  If it isn’t used on a daily or weekly basis it still needs a quick wipe down to keep it clean and dust-free.  This post gives the run-down on what you need to know for that super clean shower you’re looking for.

How to Clean a Whirlpool Bathtub – They’re relaxing and lovely but they aren’t the easiest to clean mostly because they aren’t used regularly.  Use my method to clean your whirlpool tub and you’ll be happy to take that bath.

I can’t really talk about cleaning bathrooms without discussing my favorite tool for cleaning bathrooms – microfiber!  Go to this post for all you ever wanted to know about microfiber!

Have more bathroom cleaning questions or maybe you’ve found a solution that works – share it in the comments and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram too!

Simple Systems that Will Keep Your Home Clean + Organized

Small systems can work together for a big payoff in a household.  Implement one or two and you’re on your way to a clean home.  Gradually put all of these in place and you’ll soon find that these little systems are working together to help you keep your home clean and organized with very little effort.

New here?  You’ll find that some of these tasks are on my daily cleaning checklist included in my free monthly calendar here.

whole house

create zones – Think of your home like a series of little organized zones – each of these zones work together to keep you organized and efficient.  Zones can be anywhere and everywhere in your home.  If there are items that you routinely use together, put them in a container, bin, basket, or dish so you can easily access them AND so they have a home.

corral like items together in a bin or basket – This is most likely my favorite organizing trick.  Group like with like – it makes it easy to find and if you put them in a nice basket, even boxes of cereal can look cute!

plan ahead – Set aside time ahead on Sunday night to sketch out the plan for the week.  If this doesn’t work for you, just take 2-3 minutes each evening to glance at the calendar and make sure you know what’s on the docket for the next day.  No one likes surprises like a dental appointment that you forgot about! (Clean Mama Home lists + paper products can be found here – 2018/2019 planners will be available mid-August!)

use an ‘on your way up’ basket – Sick of stuff getting stashed on the steps to go up later?  Put a basket on the steps and make sure it gets emptied and put away daily.  For some reason the basket is more obvious and a better reminder then a pile of stuff. Eventually you should be able to repurpose the basket as people start putting things away after they use them, but you might like this and just keep it!

deal with clutter daily – Figure out a system to deal with clutter on a daily basis.  Mail, papers from school, toys, clothes….whether it’s a 10 minute pick up at night or a couple clutter eliminating times during the day, make it happen consistently.


shoes off at the door – I’m sure that there are people that disagree with me, but keeping shoes at the door WILL keep your floors cleaner, thus giving you less work and bringing less dirt and germs into your home.

have a place for shoes – Make sure you have a designated place for shoes.  It’s annoying to be tripping over a pile of shoes at the door.  Ask me how I know 😉  Whether it’s a shelf, a basket, or a closet, just find a place for the shoes.  We have a mudroom with a shoe basket for each child and we still need a daily reminder to put the shoes in the baskets.  Someday it’ll sink in!


fold towels a certain way – This is a silly little thing, but if you like a neat and tidy linen closet or cupboard, fold your towels the same way.  I like to fold them in thirds the long way and then in thirds again.  The method isn’t as important as consistency is – decide on a method and stick with it. Your closet will be organized without any additional effort.

place your sheet sets in pillow cases – Stop worrying about the perfectly folded fitted sheet!  Fold them up as neatly as you can and then slide them into the matching pillowcase.  Fold the extra fabric over and you have a neat sheet set ready to be stacked away.


clean the kitchen up after dinner –  Take the time each and every night to clean up the kitchen after dinner.  Load up the dishwasher, clear the counters, wipe down the table and counters and give your sink a little scrub.  Five to ten minutes nightly pay off many times over each and every day.

unload the dishwasher in the morning before breakfast – I use the 3 minutes (it seems longer) that the coffee is brewing to unload the dishwasher and our kids take turns unloading it too.  What is it about this task that is so annoying?  Make it a system and you’ll find that the rest of your kitchen starts to run more efficiently.  No piles of dishes on the counters because they have an empty (and clean) dishwasher to go to.

store dishes and silverware by the dishwasher – Stop what you’re doing and think about WHERE your dishes are in the kitchen. Are they right by the dishwasher and/or sink?  If they aren’t, move them there today!  This system alone is a game changer.


stop wasting time folding socks – Store socks in a basket or bin in a drawer or on a shelf and buy the same sock to keep it even easier – just toss them all in the basket and grab two and you’re all set!

make your bed every morning – Get in the habit of pulling that comforter up and putting the pillows back  Time yourself – it probably takes you less than a minute!

keep items to donate in a basket – Be ready to part with stuff and have a designated place for it to go.  Keep a basket in your closet for outgrown or unwanted items.  I keep a labeled bin in each of the kids’ closets for their outgrown clothing.  Once the bin is full it either goes in the basement for the next kid or goes to a cousin as a hand-me-down bin.

Have a favorite system to share? Tell us about it in the comments!

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

Tackle Your Spring Cleaning Checklist in Just 1 Hour + Pinterest Party

Spring Cleaning Checklist in Just 1 Hour

I’m so excited to share with you that I’ve partnered up with Scotch-Brite™ to bring you homekeeping tips and hacks this year.  Make sure you join me this Sunday, May 22nd from 5pm-7pm EST on the Scotch-Brite Pinterest page for a Homekeeping Hacks Pinterest Party complete with tips and tricks and prizes!  Hop on over to the party and enter to win one of FIVE Scotch-Brite + Clean Mama Home Gift Baskets at the bottom of this post during the party!

homekeeping hacks

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

If you’re wanting to harness a little bit of the spring cleaning bug but don’t have time or energy to do a full whole house cleaning, you can still get a lot accomplished in a short period of time.  Carve out an hour of time, grab a couple tools, and start cleaning!

1 - Gather Supplies

Grab your tools:

Set your timer for 1 hour – timing yourself will keep you on task and focused. Put away any potential distractions so you can concentrate on spring cleaning.  If music or podcasts motivate you, put on your favorite station or music before you start.

Start in the kitchen:

OVEN (2-3 minutes of active time): If you have a self-cleaning oven, start it.  This can be smelly; open a window or two to air out the smell.  Most ovens take a couple of hours to finish this process. Once it has cooled you’ll only need to spend a minute or two wiping out the residue with a damp sponge.

Wipe Out the Oven with the Sponge

MICROWAVE (2 minutes of active time): Place two cups of water in a glass bowl with a halved and squeezed lemon. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes or until the water boils for a minute or so.  Don’t open the door for at least 5 minutes, but let the steam work to dissolve any grease, drips, and grime.

4 - Microwave

COUNTERS (10 minutes of active time): While the microwave is running and the steam is working, quickly clear your kitchen counters. Wipe down kitchen counters with a Scotch-Brite® Non-Scratch Scrub Sponge and a small bucket of warm water and a teaspoon or so of dish soap. Use your sponge to wipe the counters clean.  Put items back on the counter and wipe out the microwave.

9 - Use Non-Scratch Scrub Side for Water Spots and Stuck-On Grim

REFRIGERATOR (10 minutes of active time): Quickly remove the contents of the refrigerator, tossing any expired food or old condiments.  Wipe out the refrigerator with a damp sponge.  Dry thoroughly.  Return food to refrigerator.

12 - Remove the Contents of Refrigerator

14 - Use the Non-Scratch Scrubbing Side for Stuck on Food

PUT OUT FRESH HAND TOWELS (30 seconds of active time): Clean hand towels will finish the look of your spring-cleaned kitchen.

Move on to the rest of the house:

DUST LAMP SHADES (3 minutes of active time): Use a Scotch-Brite™ 50% Stickier Lint Roller to quickly roll the dust up onto the lint roller.  This method is quick and it works.  Change the lint roller sheet often and quickly move from room to room.

24 - Roll Over Lampshades

VACCUM VENTS (10 minutes of active time): Getting rid of dust and dirt in vents is quintessential with spring cleaning.  Take your vacuum cleaner with the hose attachment around your home and vacuum away the dust and dirt.

Vacuum the Vents

VACUUM BASEBOARDS (10-15 minutes of active time): While you’re vacuuming vents, run your vacuum attachment over your baseboards and corners of the house, concentrating on any dust bunnies and dirt.

CLEAN MOST-TOUCHED AREAS (5 minutes of active time): Use a cotton pad with rubbing alcohol and wipe over phones, remotes, keyboards, and light switches.  Rubbing alcohol will kill any germs as well as quickly cleaning hard plastic.

Finish up:

FINAL SWEEP (5 minutes of active time): Do a final sweep of the house and pick up clutter, fluff pillows and arrange throw blankets so your home has that neat and tidy touch.

Spending just an hour on a little spring cleaning might be just what you need to get your home ready for spring.  Stop here or keep going with some more spring cleaning tasks.

Don’t forget to come back this Sunday, May 22nd from 5-7pm est for a Homekeeping Hacks Pinterest Party!

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Quick Clean : 5 Minute Fixes – FREE Printable

Do you ever feel so overwhelmed by how much you have to do that you just don’t do anything?  I’m always amazed by how little time a dreaded task actually takes if I just do it.  This free printable is inspired by the procrastinator in me, I hope you find it helpful too!  Next time you’re dreading a task, time yourself, I bet you can get it done in a fraction of the time you’re thinking it will take.

5 Minute Fixes - 50+ Simple Tasks that take 5 Minutes or Less - Clean Mama

This list of 5 minute fixes is just the thing to give you ideas of quick things that you CAN accomplish in minutes.  I organized it by room/area so you can work through a room or just choose one task – use it any way that works for you!  I even included a place for you to jot down your own 5 minute fixes.  Think of those little nagging to dos, add them to the list and the next time you have a couple minutes, get them done.

Print the 5 Minute Fixes list out, put it in your homekeeping binder, tape it on the ‘fridge, put it in your planner….use it to when you have a couple spare minutes to do a little cleaning and tidying up.  I bet you’ll be surprised at how much you can get done in under 5 minutes!

How can you use this 5 Minute Fixes list?

  • do one task every day until you’ve made it through the list
  • when you feel like you need to accomplish something, choose a task
  • bored?  choose a task 🙂

5 Minute Fixes - Simple Tasks to Do in 5 Minutes or Less - Clean Mama

Go here to download your FREE printable of 5 Minute Fixes!


Find Out More Homekeeping Society

Come Clean Challenge – Week 2 – Living Spaces

Clean Your Living Spaces in One Week - Clean Mama

This month I’m doing a Come Clean Challenge to jump start the 2016 cleaning calendar theme – Come Clean in 2016.  Each week this month I’ll have simple, link daily tasks to work on – don’t worry about getting everything done, work on a little something every day and your living spaces will be cleaner than it was at the beginning of the week. For instance, when you’re vacuuming on Wednesday (vacuuming day), you’ll see that vacuum edges and under furniture is the task for the day.  Make the challenge work for you and your schedule but don’t get discouraged by what you can’t accomplish, concentrate on what you can get done in short chunks of time.

Not sure how to incorporate cleaning your living spaces AND keeping up with other household tasks?  Here’s what I do….

Start with the daily tasks and make sure those get completed – wipe counters, check floors, one load of laundry, clutter THEN when those are completed or started, I do the weekly tasks – Monday is bathrooms day, Tuesday is dusting day, etc.  I work QUICKLY and get the task finished up in about 15 minutes.  This week I’ll be working on living spaces as I can and with the weekly tasks incorporated as much as possible.  Think of ways to maximize your time and effort by adding another task or two to what you’re already working on.

Clean Living Spaces via Clean Mama

On the checklist for this week and a little bit of direction:

  • CLEAR ALL FLAT SURFACES – Make a quick run through your living spaces and clear all flat surfaces – remove any clutter, unnecessary items, and things that just don’t belong.  Take 15-30 minutes to evaluate what you love and want to keep and what you don’t need to keep around any longer.  Keeping surfaces clutter-free will give your home room to breathe and it makes dusting a breeze.
  • DUST CORNERS, VENTS, AND LIGHT FIXTURES  – While dusting (dusting day) incorporate dusting any edges, corners, and light fixtures.  Use a dusting wand, a duster, and/or your vacuum cleaner to make this simple and easy.  If you have glass light fixtures and they are really dusty (and you have time) you can remove them and wash in your kitchen sink with warm soapy water.
  • DEEP VACUUM – VACUUM EDGES + UNDER FURNITURE – While vacuuming (vacuuming day) take the time to use the hose attachment on your vacuum cleaner to get the edges, corners, and baseboards.  Pull out furniture if you’re able and if needed and vacuum underneath it.
  • DECLUTTER AND CLEAN STORAGE AREAS + TOYS – If you have storage in your living spaces, declutter it today.  Clear it out, clean it and only put back what you love and use.  If you have toys stored in living spaces, clear, clean and declutter it!
  • CLEAN WINDOWS AND MIRRORS – Notice smudges, fingerprints and/or dusty mirrors?  Us a microfiber cloth and give them a little spritz and keep moving.
  • CATCH UP ON ANY UNCOMPLETED TASKS – Did you run out of time or energy to complete tasks during the week?  Catch up on this day!
  • CLEAR SURFACES AND QUICK CLEAN – Get ready for the week ahead by making sure surfaces remain cleaned off and everything is tidied up.  Living spaces take a beating – have them ready for the week and chances are they’ll stay that way as the next week moves in.

 Some blog posts to inspire and give you some guidance:

Use an ‘On Your Way Up Basket’ to keep clutter away
Tips for Organizing Toys in a Family Room
How to Clean Your Vacuum Cleaner
Kid-Friendly Cleaning Caddy + DIY Cleaning Spray
Carpet Cleaning (2 Ways to DIY)
The Best Way to Wash Windows
The Right Way to Vacuum – 5 Steps You Might Be Missing

Come Clean Challenge - Clean Mama

Get your FREE Come Clean Challenge worksheet here and the cleaning calendar for January 2016 here!

Catch up on the posts here:

Come Clean Challenge – Free Printable 
Come Clean Challenge Quick Start
Week 1 – Kitchen
Week 2 – Living Spaces
Week 3 – Bathrooms
Week 4 – Bedrooms
Come Clean – Wrap Up

The excitement over Clean Mama HOME has blown me away!  Pictured below are my aqua and white bar mop towels (in stock). I’ve sold out of a couple products but rest assured everything will be fully stocked in the next couple weeks.

Clean Mama Home Bar Mop Towels

Find Out More Homekeeping Society

Come Clean Challenge Quick Start

What’s the BEST way to start a challenge?  Make some headway quickly so you’re motivated to continue.  If you’re plodding along with no obvious progress, frustration creeps in and you’ll most likely get frustrated and give up.  The Come Clean CHALLENGE is the perfect combination of let’s make some progress and the acknowledgement that life happens and no one’s perfect.  Enter the QUICK START – basically 3 days to make a lot of progress in a short period of time so you feel like continuing.

Come Clean Challenge - Quick Start

Ready?  Here’s what we’re going to do:

  • For 3 days – January 1-3 – declutter as much as you are able to in your home.  This could be taking down and putting away Christmas decorations, it could be going through kids toys, or maybe your clothing.
  • Don’t worry about how much or how little time you have to devote to these 3 days.  If you can spend at least 15 minutes a day decluttering SOMETHING you’re farther along than you were the day before.  If you’re feeling motivated to do more or maybe you’re off work and want to clean out that closet you’ve been eyeing for the last year, now’s your chance!
  • Grab some garbage bags or baskets to put your decluttered items into – have a plan for what you find otherwise you’ll simply be putting it back.
  • Set up these categories for what you find: Toss/Keep/Sell/Donate
  • Set your timer for 15-30 minutes and move quickly through your home, finding things to declutter.  The most important thing for me is to get the items OUT of the house quickly.  Put the bags in the garage or better yet, straight to your car and out the door to your favorite donation center.
  • Come back here on Monday, January 4th, ready to start cleaning the kitchen!

Need a little inspiration before getting started?

5 Reasons to Declutter
How to Declutter and Simplify Your Life


New here?  Keep reading to grab your FREE printables to get started with the Come Clean Challenge:

Come Clean 2016 - Clean Mama


  • Print off your worksheet and calendar for the month – prepare yourself and get ready to get your home clean, tidy, and organized.
  • We’ll start off with 3 days to get rid of clutter – I’ll have a post on December 31st with some quick tips to get rid of clutter in a hurry.
  • Then, each Monday in January I’ll give you a focus space for the week – you can see them on the calendar.  On that same post on Monday, I’ll give you a handful of tips and posts to refer to during the week.  Work at your own pace, do what you can and worry about progress, not completion at this point.  Each daily task corresponds with my cleaning routine so you’ll be working smarter, not harder.
  • 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 new 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.
    Come Clean Challenge - Clean Mama

Get your FREE Come Clean Challenge worksheet here and the cleaning calendar for January 2016 here!

Catch up on the posts here:

Come Clean Challenge – Free Printable 
Come Clean Challenge Quick Start
Week 1 – Kitchen
Week 2 – Living Spaces
Week 3 – Bathrooms
Week 4 – Bedrooms
Come Clean – Wrap Up

spray bottles with 3 labels - cmh

Did you catch the launch of Clean Mama HOME?  Come see!



How to Speed Clean Your Kitchen in Less than 15 Minutes + Free Printable via Clean Mama

Sick of spending your evening in the kitchen cleaning?  This is my nightly kitchen cleaning routine and the method I use any time I need to get the kitchen cleaned up in a hurry.  The secret to getting the kitchen clean in the least amount of time?   Having daily cleaning tasks and a simple cleaning routine.  Grab this month’s FREE cleaning checklist here.  And you might be interested in the 6 things I do every day to keep the house clean.  Having a simple daily cleaning routine is a huge timesaver.  Better yet, treatment it makes speed cleaning an easy and effective way to clean up.  This checklist isn’t for deep cleaning the kitchen – like washing cabinets and appliances, but it works wonderfully for keeping the kitchen clean on a daily basis.

How about a couple simple and easy speed cleaning shortcuts you can use today?  Start with number one and work your way through the process, print the free printable if you need a reference sheet.

    Keep your favorite kitchen cleaning tools and cleaners in a caddy or container under the kitchen sink so you can grab them and clean anytime.  My must-have caddy tools?  Kitchen sink scrub, scrub brush, all-purpose cleaner, disinfecting cleaner, stainless steel cleaner, microfiber cloths, bar mop towels, sponge, and dish soap.
    Setting a timer is a great way to motivate to clean quickly.  Eliminate any distractions, set a timer for 15 minutes and see how much you can get done.
    Start by collecting anything on the counters and kitchen table.  Don’t take the time to put these things away right now, but put them out of the kitchen for right now.
    Did you know that it only takes 3-4 minutes to unload a dishwasher and put the dishes away?  Don’t procrastinate on this one – just put the dishes away!  If you have dishes on the counter or sink, load them in the empty dishwasher.
    Give your sink a little scrub and get it ready for the next day – you’ll be amazed how this simple task can propel your kitchen cleanliness.
    Spray down any hard surfaces (counters, kitchen table) and wipe clean with a cloth or sponge.  Wiping down counters and cleaning sinks is on my daily routine so this is fairly simple.
    If your floors need to be swept or vacuumed, concentrate on high traffic areas, corners, and visible dirt.
    Don’t underestimate the clean look of fresh towels.  Replace your kitchen towels with clean towels as you’re making your final sweep.

And that’s it!  If you start putting this little routine into practice, your kitchen will be so much easier to keep clean – guaranteed!

Grab the FREE PRINTABLE here!

How to Speed Clean Your Kitchen in Less than 15 Minutes via Clean Mama

If you like this free printable, you’ll love my shop, Clean Mama Printables!

Everyday Complete Kit - main - Clean Mama

Check out these great speed cleaning and organizing posts – just click on the image to go to the post:

How to Speed Clean Your House in Less than 30 Minutes via Clean Mama 1

How to Speed Clean ALL Your Bathrooms in 15 Minutes via Clean Mama

How to Speed Organize Any Space via Clean Mama



Free Cleaning Calendar for November 2015

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

Free Cleaning Routine for November main via 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 November 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 November 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!


Free Cleaning Routine for November via Clean Mama

Go here to grab your FREE calendar for November 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!)

Find Out More Homekeeping Society

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

Quick Tip : On Your Way Up Basket

Quick Tip - Use An On Your Way Up Basket via Clean MamaYears ago I talked about this tip and today I’m bringing it back because it’s still working for us and I think it’s a great tip!

QUICK TIP : Use a basket (or a bag, bin, or tub) to corral items from one area to be returned later to another area.

Put Stuff In Here and Bring It Up 'On Your Way Up' via Clean Mama

We do a little clean up in the evenings before dinner – I either set a timer for the kids for 5 minutes or we’ll just have a contest to see who can pick up the most items from the lower level.  (With a preschooler that loves Duplos, this is pretty easy.)  The kids bring any items upstairs that need to be in their rooms and they check the basket on the steps to see what else needs to be returned to their proper places.

On Your Way Up Basket via Clean Mama

How do the items get in the basket?  It’s basically anything that we don’t want to bring upstairs right now.  So during the day it might be a couple socks left on the floor or a toy I find in the refrigerator and it can also be if the kids don’t want to bring it up right now.  This works well for us because sometimes you just don’t want to go all the way upstairs to put one sock away.  (Yes, this sounds lazy, but I bet you feel this way too :))  Everything gets returned to its proper place at the end of the day and that’s what matters.

So tell me – do you have an ‘on your way up basket’?

6 Surfaces to Clear If Your House Feels Cluttered

6 Surfaces to Clear If Your House Feels Cluttered via Clean Mama

Clean and cleared surfaces add that breathing room that your home desperately needs.  But do you feel like everyone is talking about clutter and how we need it out of our homes right now?  I think that the key is to deal with the clutter every single day and have a plan for when it does come into the house (school papers, mail, stuff).  If you’ve seen my cleaning routine, you know that ‘clutter’ is on the daily routine because if it isn’t dealt with daily it’s going to become a problem (for me).

But what if you haven’t dealt with the clutter daily and need to start somewhere?  Try clearing a couple surfaces.  I promise you’ll feel better and like you can continue with the decluttering process.  It might just be what you need to get started. One surface at a time and within minutes you’ll start feeling like you’re making progress.

Clear Kitchen Counters via Clean Mama

KITCHEN COUNTERS  – Counters tend to be clutter collectors, but they don’t have to be!  Quickly remove any and all clutter from your kitchen counters and place it on your kitchen table.  Wipe your counters with your favorite cleaner or with a sponge and warm, soapy water.  Put away/keep/toss any clutter so that it doesn’t go back on the counters.

Wash Counters via Clean Mama

REFRIGERATOR – Have lists and reminders plastered on the front and sides?  Remove them and quickly keep or toss necessary paper and reminders.  Give it a quick wipe down concentrating on the handles and getting rid of fingerprints.  (If you have stainless steel appliances, you’ll love this trick.)

Clean Refrigerator via Clean Mama

KITCHEN SINK – A clean kitchen sink just screams tidy, don’t you think?  Take a couple minutes and empty your sink, put clean dishes away, and load up your dishwasher.  Run the dishwasher if it’s full or if you don’t have a dishwasher, wash and dry the dishes.  Once the sink is empty, give it a little squirt of dish soap and a scrub it up.  Need a little abrasive cleaning?  You can add a little baking soda to the dish soap to make an all-purpose scrub and scrub away.  Put out a clean dish towel and move on to the next surface.

Step-by-Step Nightly Sink Scrub via Clean Mama

BATHROOM COUNTERS – If you have extra time, go into your bathrooms, clear and wipe down all the counters.  If you only have a couple minutes, go into the master or main bathroom and clear the counters and wipe them down.  Put out clean hand towels to complete the cleaned up look.

Continue and Repeat in Other Bathrooms via Clean Mama

NIGHTSTAND – Begin and end the day with a relaxed space by clearing your nightstand.  Return any items that don’t belong on your nightstand to their homes.  Give your nightstand a quick dusting and return necessary items like lotion and your current reads.

Keep Books in a Basket and Small Personal Items in a Cute Dish via Clean Mama

WORK SPACE – If you have a desk or area where you pay bills, work from home, etc.  Quickly pick up any loose papers and odds and ends.  Clear the space and return items to their proper homes.

Just like that you’ve given your house a little clean reset and you’re ready for a new day!  What must-do cleaning task would you add to the list?  What are you going to do today?

A couple links you might enjoy – just click the image to go to the page…..

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

4 Simple Steps to Clear Kitchen Counters (For Good) via Clean Mama

Feeling Overwhelmed Try one of these simple tasks via Clean Mama

If you need a little help with the dailies, check out Homekeeping Society – it’s a monthly subscription designed to simplify your life!


Clean Mama’s FREE Fall Cleaning Checklist

Free Fall Cleaning Checklist Printable via Clean MamaHappy Fall!  Let’s start off with a little fall cleaning, shall we?

Summer might still be hanging around but it’s time to tidy up the outside and inside of our homes before the snow starts flying.  I usually start off with a little outside cleaning and get the planters ready for fall by adding mums and asters and a fall wreath.  Doing this in September is perfect because there’s usually a warm day or two to get out and tackle the front porch.

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 fall cleaning checklist – I hope you give it a whirl!


These items are cleaning tasks that I rotate through 4 times a year or seasonally.  Hence the fall 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 9 basics will make a big difference in your home!


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.


Fall and spring cleaning goes back generations, these tasks are ones that are generally associated with fall 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.  For what it’s worth, I won’t be cleaning any gutters this fall (nor have I ever cleaned them).

FREE Fall Cleaning Checklist via Clean Mama

Go HERE to grab your FREE Fall Cleaning Checklist!

(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!)

So, are you going to do a little fall cleaning this year?

How to Make a Cleaning Planner via Clean Mama

This printable is great in a cleaning planner – see how I made mine here!

If you like these printables, you’ll love my shop – Clean Mama Printables!

Need a little help getting in the mood for fall?  Here’s a post you’ll love!
8 Simple and Easy Fall Favorites via Clean Mama

How to Clean a Gas Cooktop

How to Clean a Gas Cooktop via Clean Mama

We’ve all been there. You turn your back on the stove for a moment and before you know it, that pot of oatmeal has bubbled over the top or the tomato sauce has managed to spatter over the entire surface.

Gas Cooktop BEFORE via Clean Mama

Regardless of whether your gas stovetop is covered in the remnants of last night’s dinner or just needs a good cleaning, today’s post is for you. There is no need for harsh chemicals or stinky concoctions – just a little elbow grease and a common kitchen ingredient or two. Let’s get started!

Simple Tools to Clean a Gas Cooktop:

  • warm water
  • dish soap
  • baking soda
  • kosher salt
  • bar mop cloths or dish cloths
  • dish towels

How to Clean a Gas Cooktop:

Begin by removing the grates on your stove and placing them in an empty sink. If possible, remove the knobs and the burner covers as well.

Remove Grates and Accessories via Clean Mama

Fill a bowl or container with warm water and a squirt of dish soap. Place the knobs and burner covers in the bowl and allow them to soak while you tackle the cooktop and grates.

Soak Accessories in Warm Soapy Water via Clean Mama

Dampen a soft cloth (I use bar mop cloths) with warm water and a touch of dish soap. Thoroughly wipe the entire surface of the cooktop using a circular motion. Avoid using too much water as you don’t want any water to sneak down in to the mechanisms of the stove or gas outlets.

Use a Damp Cloth to Wipe Clean via Clean Mama

After wiping down the surface with the water and soapy solution, rinse and wring out the cleaning cloth thoroughly. Wipe down the entire surface once more to catch any errant crumbs and soap residue.  Dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.

Scrub and Rinse Grates via Clean Mama

Ready to tackle the grates? For me, this is where the need for more than soap and water kicks in. Food that has sat and baked on requires the help of a little extra cleaning powerhouse: baking soda. Baking soda is perfectly suited for this job as it is a mild, safe abrasive that is both economical and effective. Sprinkle a little directly on to the damp grates and scrub using your wrung out cleaning cloth with a bit of soap.

Use Baking Soda to Remove Tough Stains via Clean mama

If you have some stubborn baked on bits that need some extra oomph, add a dash of salt to the mix. Sprinkle a little salt on to the grate as it sits in your sink and use the same damp cloth and dash of soap to scrub away those more challenging spots. The salt is just a bit more abrasive, but is still gentle enough to not damage your grates.

Let Thoroughly Dry via Clean Mama

After you have scrubbed off all the residue, give the grates a good rinse, wipe them down with a warm, damp cloth and dry. I like to lay out a large towel and lay the grates on them to dry until I put them back on the stove.

Remove Knobs via Clean Mama

The final cleaning step is to take care of the knobs and burner covers. The knobs won’t likely need much for cleaning other than a simple wipe down and rinse. Dry them and put them on the towel along with the grates. If your burner covers are in need of more than just soap and water to clean, you can follow the same procedure as you did with the grates. Enlist the help of baking soda or salt as needed. Thoroughly dry when they are clean to your satisfaction.

AFTER Gas Cooktop via Clean Mama

Make sure everything is thoroughly dry and reassemble. Stand back and enjoy that clean and shiny stovetop!

How to Clean a Gas Cooktop - Simple, Step-by-Step Directions via Clean Mama

Clean Mama’s Home Reset – Day 3

Clean Mama's Home Reset Challenge DAY 3 via Clean Mama

Welcome back to Clean Mama’s Home Reset – day 3! How did you do on day 2? Ready for day 3?  Are you ready to take back your home and feel great about it? This mini-challenge is designed for you (and me) to concentrate on those clutter collecting areas and spaces that tend to get neglected or put off. We’re completing the Home Reset tasks while continuing on with the Clean Mama Cleaning Routine – this will ensure forward progress and we’ll get ahead at the same time. Did you print off your FREE printable guide? If you didn’t, go here first.

Ready? Let’s get started!

Weekly Task for today:

Every Wednesday is VACUUMING DAY – first things first, vacuum your home. Work quickly, vacuuming from the 2nd floor (if you have one), start in the bedrooms, vacuum any steps, and finish on the lower level.  Vacuum edges if you have time, if you don’t, just vacuum the rooms.  I also vacuum hard floors too (tile, hardwood, vinyl).  Set your timer for 15-30 minutes and see if you can whip through your home in that amount of time. If you need to add a couple minutes, go ahead and do that if you have the time, but don’t spend much more than 30 minutes so you have time for the other tasks today.

Daily Tasks for Today:

Every day I complete these 4 simple tasks – complete them when it makes sense for you and your schedule – set a timer for 10-15 minutes if you need to, don’t get hung up on these tasks, they get easier as you follow my routine:

  • check floors
  • clean counters
  • clutter
  • laundry

Home Reset Task:

Once your home is quickly dusted and you’ve started a load of laundry or swept under the kitchen table, it’s time tackle today’s task to DECLUTTER COATS/ENTRYWAY/CLOSET.  You can choose ONE of these tasks or ALL THREE – choose what you know you can complete today.  Here are your simple steps:

Entryway via Clean Mama

  • Set a timer for 15-30 minutes (whatever you have) and choose your spot to declutter. You can choose to simply declutter coats or to completely empty and declutter an entryway or closet.  Consider the time you have and the space you want to tackle today.  I chose to tackle our entryway closet – you can see the box for the organizer in the bottom of the closet.  That’s been there for over a month waiting for me to use it 🙂  Here’s my before:
    Closet BEFORE via Clean Mama


  • Quickly clear the space.
    Empty Space via Clean Mama
  • Make 4 piles: keep, toss, relocate, donate.

Toss and Donate Pile via Clean Mama

  • Wipe down any surfaces and vacuum if necessary.
  • Put away any items that were in the keep pile, toss what can be tossed, relocate what can be relocated, and put the donate items in a bin or bag for a trip to your favorite local donation center.
  • Arrange items in a way that makes sense for your family and admire your space!  Here’s my after – only 25 minutes later!   I still have some ideas for the game storage and I want to work this space a little more, but what a difference!  I put hats, mittens, gloves, scarves and snowpants in the hanging organizer – so much better than everything jumbled in a bag.
    AFTER via Clean Mama'

Clean Mama’s Home Reset – Introduction
Clean Mama’s Home Reset FREE Printable Guide
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5

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Clean Mama’s Home Reset – Day 2

Clean Mama's Home Reset Challenge - DAY TWO

Welcome back to Clean Mama’s Home Reset – day 2!  How did you do on day 1?  Ready for day 2?  I am working a day ahead on the daily challenge so I have pictures to post for you, but getting just one extra task a day completed feels great!  Are you ready to take back your home and feel great about it?  This mini-challenge is designed for you (and me) to concentrate on those clutter collecting areas and spaces that tend to get neglected or put off.  We’re completing the Home Reset tasks while continuing on with the Clean Mama Cleaning Routine – this will ensure forward progress and we’ll get ahead at the same time.  Did you print off your FREE printable guide?  If you didn’t, go here first.

Ready?  Let’s get started!

Weekly Task for today:

Every Tuesday is DUSTING DAY – first things first, dust your home.  Work quickly, dusting from top to bottom – set your timer for 15 minutes and see if you can whip through your home in that amount of time.  If you need to add a couple minutes, go ahead and do that if you have the time, but don’t spend much more than 15 or 20 minutes so you have time for the other tasks today.

Daily Tasks for Today:

Every day I complete these 4 simple tasks (go to this post for more explanation) – complete them when it makes sense for you and your schedule – set a timer for 10-15 minutes if you need to, don’t get hung up on these tasks, they get easier as you follow my routine:

  • check floors
  • clean counters
  • clutter
  • laundry

Home Reset Task:

Once your home is quickly dusted and you’ve started a load of laundry or swept under the kitchen table, it’s time tackle today’s task to DECLUTTER THE KITCHEN COUNTERS .  Here are your simple steps:

  • Set a timer for 15-30 minutes (whatever you have) and choose your spot to declutter.  You can choose to completely clear all the kitchen counters to declutter or if you only have a couple minutes, choose the most cluttered spot like your kitchen island or small counter on the way into the kitchen.  Here is my before – not too bad, but the counters need a good washing.
    Clear Counters via Clean Mama
  • Quickly clear the counter(s).
  • Make 4 piles:  keep, toss, relocate, donate.
  • Use warm soapy water and a sponge and wipe down the counters and dry with a clean, dry cloth.  I use this technique for washing the counters – fill a small container (this is a vintage planter) with warm soapy water, scrub with a soft sponge and dry.Wash Counters via Clean Mama
  • Put away any items that were in the keep in the kitchen pile, toss what can be tossed, relocate what can be relocated, and put the donate items in a bin or bag for a trip to your favorite local donation center.
  • Arrange items in a way that makes sense for your family and admire your clean counters!
    Clean Counters via Clean Mama

Clean Mama’s Home Reset – Introduction
Clean Mama’s Home Reset FREE Printable Guide
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5

Sign up so you don’t miss a post!

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