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

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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’?

Cleaning and Organizing the Entryway for the Holidays + a Giveaway from The Organizing Store

Cleaning + Organizing the Entryway for the Holidays - Quick Tips You Can Use Today via Clean Mama

This post is sponsored by The Organizing Store.  I love what Deborah and Allie – the mother and daughter team behind The Organizing Store have created – if you haven’t ‘stopped’ by their shop, please do so.  I’ve met them in real life and they are even more wonderful than the shop appears. Rest assured, I only recommend products that I personally use in my own home and love.  You can see my full disclosure statement here.

The holidays are coming and now is a great time to prepare the entryway for the holidays.  Whether it’s just welcoming neighbors in for trick-or-treating or hosting a holiday with family and friends, there are a couple things you can do now to get your entryway ready for the holidays.


  • CLEAN IT UP: sweep the outside entry area first and shake out any rugs.  Then start on the inside by cleaning the rug or carpet at the door, wipe down the front door, clean windows, vacuum and wash the floor, and tidy up your coat closet if you have one.
    Organized Entryway via Clean Mama
  • ADD STORAGE: make sure you have a place to hang coats – add hangers and a coat rack if necessary.
  • CONTAIN: baskets and bins are great for storing items in a coat closet – take inventory and add baskets if necessary.
    Entryway Closet Organization via Clean Mama
  • GARMENT KIT: put together a kit for clothing and shoe care – perfect for any guest mishaps and it’s accessible for you as well.  I like to always have a couple lint rollers and sweater shavers on hand too.  Lint rollers aren’t just for clothing – I use them to dust lampshades and they work great on furniture as well.

Put Together a Basket with Fabric and Shoe Care Items via Clean Mama

  • SLIPPERS + SOCKS: have slippers and socks for guests to slip on – this will nicely ask your guests to remove shoes (without asking) and make them feel right at home at the same time.  I store this in my coat closet and pull it down when necessary before guests arrive.  (Slippers are from Target 🙂 )
    Put Out Slippers for Guests via Clean Mama

I put together a little inspiration board with some of the items I used to get my entryway ready for the holidays and a couple other items that might work in your entryway this season.

Ideas for Organizing the Entryway via Clean Mama


How about a giveaway to get your entryway ready for the holidays too?  Today The Organizing Store is giving away 6 copper wire  baskets and a Murchison-Hume Dry-Cleaning Alternative kit!  Enter in the Rafflecopter below!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Organized Family Room Home Tour – Toys

How to Organize Toys in a Family Room via Clean Mama

In my opinion, figuring out a system for containing the toys is crucial to keeping things simple and easy to put away.  Regardless of the size of your family room, you can follow these simple steps and ideas and figure out a system for storing toys in this much-used area of your home.

I have a couple ‘rules’ for toys in main living spaces and these rules seem to keep toys from taking over while still allowing for creative play and lots of fun.  I have three kids – the oldest is a girl and the younger two are boys.  Most of the toys in the family room are toys that my youngest plays with because he is home all day (not at school) and doesn’t get to play in his room unsupervised like the older two.  Teeny tiny toys stay in containers in the oldest kids’ bedrooms so they aren’t a choking hazard to the littlest one.  This system works well, hopefully it’ll give you some ideas for organizing and including toys in your living space without feeling like a toy store threw up all over your house.

Group like Toys Together to Make Clean Up Easy via Clean Mama

CONTAIN  – I use baskets to contain toys – I like the soft look they give and bonus, they conceal what’s inside the basket.  When everything’s picked up and put away the room as a whole has a neat and tidy appearance.  Look for baskets with handles to give them portability as well.

Use Baskets to Contain Toys via Clean Mama

EASY TO CLEAN UP – Separating toys into baskets or containers also makes it easy to take out one or two things at a time which in turn makes it easier to pick up and put away.  The basket can also be taken to another room or area of the house and easily picked up and put away.

Use a Bookcase to Create Your Toy Storage via Clean Mama

ADJUST AS NECESSARY – See that huge basket in the corner?  That’s full of Duplos – my youngest’s favorite toy.  Instead of having a basket of miscellaneous toys, I packed those up and put all the Duplos in one basket.  Sometimes you have to assess and re-assess the situation to determine what works for a specific stage or age or individual child.

Use Furniture to Hide the Toys via Clean Mama

HIDE FROM VIEW – I don’t know about you, but clutter makes me crabby.  Toys strewn from one corner of the house to the next is great while they’re being played with but when that time is over, I want them to be put away quickly and easily.  We use the bookcase to house most of the toys and some toys are in the TV console.  Use the storage that you have and get creative with how you store toys – it’s that simple.

Simple, Easy Tips on How to Organize Toys in a Family Room via Clean Mama

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Top Organizing Bloggers Family Room Organization

Next up?  Check out how the Top Organizing Bloggers are organizing their family rooms today!

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