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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.


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!


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.


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.



Summer Boredom Busters : No Screen Required

Summer Boredom Busters - No Screen Required - Clean Mama

As the school year winds down I/we get really excited for the summer.  For me, I love the relaxed mornings, trips to the pool, a little vacation time, and less structure.  I also know that we need a couple boredom busters to carry us through the summer because everyone needs a little downtime/ rest time, right?  Best thing about this list?  It doesn’t require a screen, an outlet, or a cord – hooray!  You could re-purpose this for trips, things to do with a sitter, rewards for extra chores, etc.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • grab a basket, a bucket, a bag to gather your boredom busters – look for something that you have and can reuse.
  • collect existing coloring books, workbooks, and other resources that you already have around the house that you know your kids will enjoy during the summer.
  • add some new activities – I like to keep things in a couple categories to captivate the kiddos for an hour or so.  Art, strategy, brain exercises, tactile activities, puzzles….
  • put together the bucket or basket and HIDE IT until summer – it’ll be a great surprise when the ‘I’m bored’ comments start!

small summer boredom busters

These are all items that we have, have used, or have bought for the summer – I know you and your kids or grandkids, or friends’ kids will love them.  This list is best suited for the elementary-aged crowd, but there are definitely some preschool, pre-teen and early teen crossovers here as well.

Summer Boredom Busters - Clean Mama

Kids go crazy for this fun book that contains 50 3-D models of creative and silly monsters. The pages are perforated and tabbed to make construction easier.  Papertoy Monster


Star Wars meets paper airplanes. What’s not to love?  Star Wars Folded Flyers


Step by step directions make paper airplane making easy and fun!  Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes


This book is full of various brain games and puzzles to stump and challenge all minds.  Kids Big Book of Games


This puzzle book is so fun! Various mazes, word games, visual and logic puzzles, and more will keep kids busy for hours.  Brainiest Insaniest Ultimate Puzzle Book


Fun facts and challenges encourage kids to use their brains in new ways as they learn and solve puzzles.  National Geographic Kids Brain Games


These intricate dot to dot puzzles range from 300 to 1400 dots. Intricate and challenging to encourage high level thinking skills.  Extreme Dot to Dot Animals


Great for a variety of ages and skill levels, this book is full of fun and thought provoking problems that are sure to engage and challenge.  Word Winks


Intricate color by number artwork that is ideal for building concentration and encouraging relaxation.  One for animal lovers : Color Counts: Animals


And one that would be great on a road trip : Color Counts: Travel the USA


The element of surprise in this coloring book makes it extra intriguing.  Mystery Mosaics: Book One


Who doesn’t love a good maze? The details and twist and turns in this activity book make it extra fun. Extreme Mazes


These simple but intriguing water toys are a blast from the past. Tomy Pelican Water Game


Tomy Dolphin Water Game


Encourage higher level thinking with this ingenious puzzle cube. ThinkFun Adams Cube


This gravity powered logic maze is wonderfully versatile for various ages and skill levels.  Gravity Maze


Encourage spatial thinking and logic with this addictive and challenging game. Rush Hour


Mesmerizing and challenging, this three dimensional maze is fun for any age. Perplexus Epic


And of course there needs to be one for me – The Inspired Room Coloring Book – it comes out July 1st, just in time for some lazy summer day coloring 🙂


Have any other favorites to add?  Here are a couple more posts that might help you get through the summer!

Kid-Friendly Cleaning Caddy + DIY Cleaning Spray via Clean Mama

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

How to Organize Snacks + Lunches via Clean Mama


Free Summer 2016 Calendar

Summer 2016 Free Printable Calendar - Clean Mama copy copy

I’ve had so many requests for another summer schedule (you guys loved 2015) and I’m happy to share a new one for you this summer! We’ve been working on getting the summer schedule figured out at our house and since I know that I’m not only one trying to figure out the kids’ schedules, I thought I’d share a simple way to see everyone’s classes and activities at a glance.  Use this for determining what’s enough and what’s too much or for keeping track for schedules all summer long.  I find that laying it out at a glance is the best way to see what’s going to work and what won’t work this summer.

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I left a little room on the top, bottom, and margin of the sheet if you’d like to make a little key and color code the activities/kids.  I hope this is a helpful and useful tool as you lay out the summer and make the most of the these three great months!

Summer 2016 Calendar full - Clean Mama

Go here to download the free Summer 2016 Calendar printable

It’s a FREE download, once you login and save your info, your account will save all of your printables for you and make it easy to save and keep your printables.  Don’t forget to check out the FREE PRINTABLES page too!

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

The aqua binder and notebook are both available in my Clean Mama Home shop and the pens shown are the new PaperMate Ink Joy gel pens (they’re great!).



How to Make a S’mores Caddy

Make a S'mores Caddy via Clean Mama

This summer I’ve been doing a little prep work ahead of time in planning for some of our favorite summer activities.  One of the hands-down favorites around here?  S’mores in the firepit!  Gather a couple simple ingredients and keep them on hand for an impromptu summer (or fall) bonfire, over the grill, or if you’re desperate, in the microwave.  This s’mores caddy/kit would be great to bring as a little summer party hostess gift too.

 S'mores Caddy Supplies via Clean Mama

The ingredients (add or subtract your favorites) – you’ll need the basics (graham crackers, chocolate bars, marshmallows) and if you really want to be prepared, add napkins and baby wipes so you can just grab your caddy and head outside for fun!

 Put Together a S'mores Caddy via Clean Mama

Put the ingredients in a bin or container – I keep the s’mores kit in the pantry and I’m using a bin that I can re-purpose in the pantry after s’mores season is over.

Quick Tip - Keep Grill and Firepit Supplies in a Drawer so They're Handy and Accessible via Clean Mama

 I also keep the skewers in a grill drawer by the back door/patio so they’re easy to grab on the way out the door.

What are your favorite s’mores ingredients?


The Perfect Picnic Bag

The Perfect Picnic Bag via Clean Mama

I like to plan things out and being spontaneous isn’t one of my best qualities.  But I’ve found that I can embrace spontaneity with a little planning ahead.  And guess what?  No one needs to know that the surprise picnic was easy to pull together.  In the summer it’s fun to grab sandwiches for lunch or dinner and head to a park for a little impromptu picnic.  This perfect picnic bag is how I pull it off with ease.  It’s super easy to pull together – you might even have the necessities already!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • a bag large enough to hold your supplies
  • plastic bags to tote away any garbage
  • disposable plates
  • wipes for hand and face wiping
  • silverware and napkins
  • plastic straws (if necessary)
  • bath towel to wipe down any tables or equipment
  • tablecloth for sitting on or covering a picnic table
  • large rocks (in a plastic bag) to hold down the picnic tablecloth or blanket

Picnic Bag Supplies via Clean Mama

I love having silverware ready to go – this works great for get-togethers and for this picnic tote.  If I’m doing this for a get together I’ll put the wrapped silverware in a basket at the start of the buffet line or in the middle of the table.  Easy peasy!  All you need is silverware (disposable or not), napkins, and washi tape.  Simply roll the silverware into the napkin and adhere a little washi tape to keep it together and that’s it!

Pre-Wrap Silverware via Clean Mama

Ready to make a little spontaneity in your meal planning?  My favorite part of picnic-ing (next to the quality family time, of course!)?  No kitchen mess!


Clean Mama’s Simple Summer Challenge

Clean Mama's Simple Summer Challenge via Clean Mama

Can you believe next week is the start of June?  My kids are out of school next week (yay!) and we’ve been thinking about what we want the summer to look like.  We’ve done a little brainstorming and goal setting and have come up with a reasonable schedule for the summer.  My goal for the summer?  Get bored, relax, and really enjoy the time that we’re home together.  It’s such a short window of time between now and when they’ll be setting alarms and getting ready for the first day of school again.  How can you get bored and keep up with daily tasks and be that mom that isn’t freaking out at all the toys all over the place, again?

It’s a balance, a mindset, and an effective plan.

If you’re looking for a little structure, simple tips for keeping your house tidied up with a new routine, and that feeling of accomplishment that we all need, join my SIMPLE SUMMER CHALLENGE.  For the whole month of June I’ll be sharing tips for keeping things simple (and together) at home, simple ideas for the kids, and I’ll also be sharing a MESS every Monday (a drawer, cupboard, closet, and/or a room) on Instagram with a follow-up post later in the week showing my progress and completion.  Follow along and you can keep up with your routines, enjoy the summer, have fun with your family, and get a couple projects checked off your list while you’re at it.

What’s the challenge?  Will there be daily prompts and tasks?

I will be continuing to post my cleaning routine to Instagram, (following on IG is the best way to follow because it’s more interactive AND you’ll actually see the post), Facebook, and Twitter all summer long.  Following along is a great way to be gently reminded of the daily tasks or grab the FREE cleaning calendar each month, print it out and follow along on you own.  The Simple Summer Challenge is about choosing to keep things simple this summer.  For me, keeping up with a simple cleaning routine so the house doesn’t feel like it’s in a constant state of crazy will keep things simple.

By choosing simple and fun activities and keeping a little structure is the best way to keep the summer care-free.  Following along here on the blog and on Instagram you’ll see the simple summer challenge activities all through the month of June and you can choose to complete every single one or just a handful of them – I’ll be talking about ways to get the kids involved around the house with chores, simple ideas for meals, and ways to make things a little more fun while getting things done.  I hope you’ll join me!

Sound good?  Here’s what you need to do:

  • Make sure you’re following along on Instagram @cleanmama – I’m using the hashtag #simplesummerchallenge and you can too!
  • Sign up in the sidebar where it says ‘get updates’ to get my emails so you don’t miss a post or my NEW newsletter!  All of June I’ll be posting practical and intentional ways that you can keep your summer simple and sane at the same time.
  • Spread the word – share this post with the share buttons at the bottom of the post and I’ll see you back here on Monday, June 1st for the first post in the Simple Summer Challenge!

***Also coming next week….a SHOP UPDATE that you won’t want to miss!  (Another reason you NEED to subscribe in the sidebar) I can’t wait to share what’s new with you!***

Summer 2015 Schedule FREE Printable via Clean Mamamake

If you haven’t downloaded the FREE Summer Planning Calendar, go to this post to grab it.

Fresh Start Calendar for June 2015 via Clean Mama

And here’s June’s FREE Cleaning Routine Calendar too!



Summer 2015 Schedule + FREE Printable

Summer 2015 Schedule FREE Printable via Clean Mama

We’ve been working on getting the summer schedule figured out and since I am not only one trying to figure out the kids’ schedules, I thought I’d share a simple way to see everyone’s classes and activities at a glance.  Use this for determining what’s enough and what’s too much or for keeping track for schedules all summer long.  I want the summer to drag on and be relaxed and memorable and I find that laying it out at a glance is the best way to see what’s going to work and to quickly eliminate what won’t work this summer.

Summer Schedule 2015 via Clean Mama

I left a little room on the bottom of the sheet if you’d like to make a little key and color code the activities/kids.  I hope this is a helpful and useful tool as you lay out the summer and make the most of the these three great months!

Organize Your Summer with this Summer 2015 Schedule FREE Printable via Clean Mama

Go here to download the free printable in my shop – it’s a FREE download, once you login and save your info, your account will save all of your printables for you and make it easy to save and keep your printables.  You can also get it here in googledocs.

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


FREE Summer Cleaning Checklist

Happy (official) summer!  If you want to tackle a little (or a lot of) cleaning during the next few months, find this summer cleaning checklist is a reference.  Print it out and put it somewhere where you’ll see it and be reminded of your list and you can work on it when it works for you.  It’s divided up into 3 sections – do one section or all three – any way you look at it you’re making progress and getting your home ready to welcome summer.

FREE Summer Cleaning Checklist via Clean Mama

Go here to grab this FREE printable in my shop or go here to grab it in googledocs.

4 Free Seasonal Cleaning Checklists via Clean Mama

 If you like this checklist, you might want to grab the free fall cleaning checklist, free winter cleaning checklist, and the free spring cleaning checklist.

cmp ad - 250If you like this free printable  you’ll love my shop!



Summer Fun-o-Rama {Inspiration}

This week is all about coming up with some great ideas for a fun summer.  Want to enter the Summer Fun-o-Rama and/or the Easy Breezy Summer contest?  Go to this post to see how to create your own pinboards full of summer inspiration (and two chances to win some great prizes)!


Here are some of my FAVORITES from my Summer Fun-o-Rama pinboard – you can follow me on Pinterest here.

27 DIY Garden Markers via Housing a Forest

Solar S’mores via Spoonful

Scientific Scavenger Hunt via Imagine Childhood

Fairy Garden via burgh baby

So, have you found some Summer Fun-o-Rama ideas this week?  {You can go here to see all the posts in this series.}  What’s the first fun thing you’re going to do this summer?


Summer Menu Planning

Want to keep menu planning simple these last few weeks before summer is over?
Keep the planning simple by choosing something that you can make just about every night.   I’ve been making a big salad and protein all summer long and it’s been great – easy, healthy, summer-y.
choose a couple good salad dressings – these are our favorites right now
stock up on lots of fresh veggies and a good lettuce mix
little tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, and baby swiss – are what’s in this salad, but I use and keep on hand these yummy salad fixings:
sundried tomatoes, garbanzo, black, and kidney beans, kalamata and black olives, cranberries, blue, feta, and colby jack cheeses, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, apples, cranberries, broccoli…..
find some simple proteins to prepare – grilled chicken (with this marinade) and fish have been my go-tos
(the picture is frozen mahi-mahi from Costco – sauteed in a pan with a little butter, salt, pepper, and shallots)
put it all on a plate and it’s dinner
What’s for dessert?  I try to keep a big bowl of cut up fruit in the fridge this summer, so that is what’s for dessert!
(tip: add a sprinkle of sugar to fresh fruit to keep it tastier for a little longer)
Looking for a comprehensive AND cute way to plan your meals?  Check out my


Easy Refrigerator Storage

Do you ‘containerize’ your refrigerator?  Here’s a simple way to contain fruit in your fruit drawer – use a bowl.  I took a melamine bowl (that I already had) and placed my lemons and limes in it for a simple solution to the rolling fruit.
Quick summer drink addition – check, easy marinades – check, looks cute – check.


Summer Fun Container

We’re going to do this again this summer, so I thought I’d re-post for old times sake…..

My preschooler and I have been talking about different things we want to do this summer.  I wanted to turn our list into a visual representation of what we want the summer to look like.  Preschoolers love to see accomplishment and have things to look forward to – at least mine do!  I came up with this idea as a way to “choose” activities for the summer.  Most activities are free, some cost a little bit, but the idea is to have a bucket of ideas – and to do every single one before Labor Day.  Some will be used as a reward and others will go into the “What are we going to do today?” category.  Here’s how we made our Summer Fun Container.
 I typed out a summer fun list:
Cut each event into strips:
We covered another Trader Joe’s coffee container with summery scrapbook paper, glue, stickers, and paper ribbon.
We used border stickers to cover the fronts and backs of clothespins.
We put the clothespins in the container with the strips of paper.
We’ll choose activities between Memorial Day and Labor Day and hopefully at the end of the summer, our Summer Fun Container will look like this:
Have you started making plans for the summer?


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