Our cleaning routines

Our cleaning routines

How to have a cleaner house

 

As the busy, working mother of an active rising second grader and a toddler, I often don’t have the time to clean that I need. Sometimes I look around at my house and worry about when I’m going to get everything done. In the past, I have cleaned my home on Saturdays, but then I realized my entire Saturday was being lost to cleaning! Then, we had no time to spend together as a family.

The solution? Create a cleaning routine that enabled me to do a little cleaning each night. I found a neat cleaning schedule on Little Green Notebook.

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While this routine would work pretty well for us, there is no way that we could only do laundry on Saturdays. I had to tweak this a little to make it fit our needs. I came up with this:

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Our only solution was to wash and dry clothes every day, using the timer. I wake up, throw a loud of “ironables” in the washer, and they wash while we are getting ready. We then hang these clothes up to dry before we leave the house. I then throw our “dryables” into the washer and set the timer so that the washer will start shortly before I get home. I then don’t have to worry about the dryer running with no one at home.

Washing and drying clothes every night also makes for smaller laundry loads, therefore, less to fold and iron.

This cleaning schedule also means that we can do a little cleaning each day and have a house that both feels and looks a lot cleaner. The best advice I can give you is to find an idea you like and tweak it to make it work for you.

Cleaning our house a little each night was the only way that would work for us. Plus, we have a lot more time to spend together on the weekends.

 

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21-day challenge: a whole-house purge

21-day challenge: a whole-house purge

Last week, I had spring break. While I wanted to get a lot of things accomplished, I also wanted to have some down time. I managed to get our garden plowed and some flowers planted.

I also completed a whole house purge, where I went through our home room by room and got rid of many things we no longer need or use.

I got rid of three stacks of old magazines.

Many old DVDs and CDs we no longer use.

A large pile of outgrown toys and duplicate toys.

And about five bags of trash.

To purge the house, I chose to donate anything we no longer needed or used, donate any outgrown toys or clothing, and throw away any broken or expired items.

Living with less makes me feel less stressed and more relaxed. My house feels more cozy, too.

Don’t forget to share your 21-day challenge pictures with the hashtag #21dayorganizingchallenge! Have a great day!

Simplify Saturday: Spring cleaning

Simplify Saturday: Spring cleaning

Some of us have been elbow deep in our spring cleaning routine. Because I am a teacher, spring cleaning takes me a lot longer than most. I don’t enjoy losing my whole spring break to cleaning, so I have to stretch my spring cleaning out across several Saturdays and evenings. This means my projects are on a smaller scale than most, and the bigger things get saved until summer vacation.

I came up with a 21-day challenge for those of us who work a lot, raise kids, and don’t have a ton of time to devote to spring cleaning.

This 21-day challenge breaks your spring cleaning into smaller pieces, and enables you to go through your home room by room instead of tackling your whole house all at once.

Even though it doesn’t say it on the graphic, I dust blinds, baseboards and clean behind and under furniture in each room as I cross it off the list.

Another option is to organize only a small part of each room on the list, and then repeat the challenge for 21 more days and finish the rooms. You have a lot of flexibility.

I would love for you to participate along with us and share your before and after pictures on social media. Please use the hashtag #21dayorganizingchallenge.

Happy organizing! Have a wonderful weekend.

Simplify Saturday: Simplify your cleaning routine

Simplify your cleaning
Routine

Today, I want to talk about how to simplify your cleaning routines. We used to try to clean our entire house on Saturdays, but then we quickly realized we were losing our entire day to cleaning the house, leaving us no time to do anything else. The solution? Designate certain cleaning tasks to certain days, and deep clean different parts of the house on a monthly basis.

1. Create a cleaning schedule that works for your family

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We created this cleaning schedule to help us stay on top of the cleaning duties, but also to break up each task so that it doesn’t require such a large chunk of time to complete. We simply check off each task as we complete it and do whatever is left over Friday evening before bed. We created two other cleaning schedules before we made this one, but those other schedules simply didn’t work for our needs. Don’t be afraid to adapt it as needed. If it doesn’t work for you, you won’t do it.

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3. Create cleaning zones and keep your cleaners there for easy access

We also created cleaning zones, and we keep whatever supplies are required to clean that zone in close proximity. For example, we keep a cleaning kit under the sink in both bathrooms- this kit contains a toilet brush and cleaner, antibacterial bath cleaner, daily shower cleaner, magic sponges, a small hand broom for small messes, and mirror cleaner. We have one in each bathroom. Under the kitchen sink, we have stainless steel cleaner, antibacterial cleaner, window cleaner, magic sponges, and dish detergent. Our multipurpose cleaners that serve multiple rooms (like furniture polish and floor cleaners) are in the laundry room.

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3. DELEGATE!

Don’t try to do everything yourself- even small children can do chores. Give every member of your house one chore that is their responsibility. You can even create a chore chart if your kids like having a visual.

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4. Do whatever you need to to make cleaning more enjoyable

Do whatever you can to make cleaning enjoyable for you. I do, for the most part, enjoy cleaning, but listening to music always makes it a much more enjoyable task. If music’s your thing, crank it up. If playing air guitar on your broom makes you smile, go for it. If using cleaners with a pleasant, calming scent speaks to you, make it happen. Do what works for you and don’t feel bad about it.

How do you simplify cleaning in your home?

Have a wonderful weekend.

Creating rustic bathroom shelves from plumbing pipes

Creating rustic bathroom shelves from plumbing pipes

make industrial farmhouse shelves

Our bathrooms in our home are very spacious, but they’re also very boring. They are both very plain and builder-grade. We’ve recently begun to look at them to see how we might add some character without spending a lot of money on them.

organized &shelfbathshowerjust for youbathroom vanity

We do eventually plan to replace the tubs, tub surround, and flooring, but that will be a costly renovation, and it just isn’t in the budget right now. Instead, we are comparison shopping and trying to decide just what we want when the time comes.

At the present time, though, we can add just a little farmhouse character to our baths without breaking our checkbook.

We have decided to add some sort of rustic shelving, swap out that builder grade mirror for a more farmhouse-styled one, maybe paint or re-stain the vanity, and upgrade that cheap light fixture, but until we do that, we’ve opted to add some rustic shelving. These are the shelves you’ve seen on Fixer Upper, and all over Pinterest. And they’re the perfect project for adding a little industrial farmhouse to your home.

Adding rustic shelving is super easy, and not that expensive. Here’s what you’ll need to get started to make two plumbing pipe shelves.

2X10 pine board

4 3/4 in galvanized pipe nipples

4 3/4 in floor flanges

4 3/4 in pipe caps

your choice wood stain (I used Minwax Walnut)

black spray paint

microfiber cloth

sandpaper/orbital sander

I didn’t take step by step pics of the prep work, because it’s monotonous and self-explanatory. First, measure the area where you want your shelves to hang. Once you know your needed dimensions, you can cut your board to the appropriate lengths. Remember to measure twice and cut once! Next, use sandpaper, or an orbital sander to sand your boards smooth. Afterward, wipe the sawdust from your boards with a microfiber cloth.Then, apply the wood stain using a rag or brush. Allow each coat to dry at least 24 hours. Using your black spray paint, paint the galvanized pipe parts black. Allow 24 hours to dry.  For best results, use a spray paint with a primer included.

 

After your boards have dried, measure the area once more you want to hang your shelves. Use a level to make sure your boards are level, and mark the wall where you’ll screw the floor flanges. I highly recommend hanging your shelves on a stud to make them more sturdy, but if you can’t, then you’ll need to use dry wall anchors.

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After you’ve screwed the flanges to the wall, then you can assemble the pipe nipples and caps.

shelf pipe

Repeat this step for each side of your shelves. Then, you simply lay your shelf boards attop the pipes, and you’re done!

2 pipe shelves

Yes, you can totally see where I filledi n the giant holes left behind by the towel bar. They were huge and required lots and lots of spackle.

But, here’s the (mostly) finished product.

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I love how these shelves add so much rustic charm and character to our bathroom…plus, they add some much needed storage. Our vanity in this bathroom is rather small and there isn’t much counter space.

Have you made any rustic pipe shelves lately? If so, I’d love for you to show me!

Have a wonderful week.

 

5 sneaky tricks to a visibly cleaner home

5 sneaky tricks to a visibly cleaner home

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My house is NOT perfectly clean. Bloggers strive to present their best foot forward so often that we sometimes forget to show our readers real-life. The truth is, we are real people who are far from perfect…and so is my house.

As a mother of two little girls and a mother of two fur-babies, our house is definitely messy at times, and even dirty at times. Chances are, if you were to drop by unannounced, you’d likely see our house in an imperfect state. While I do try to clean weekly, there are some weeks that I cannot give our home the attention I’d like to give it.

Today I’d like to share how to make your home appear cleaner than it really is.

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1. Prioritize your high-traffic areas

If you don’t have time to clean your whole house, make sure the high-traffic, or “public” areas of your home get all the attention. Vacuum or sweep the floors in these areas, and wipe down furniture and surfaces with a microfiber cloth to catch any dust or debris. Straighten any rugs or furniture, and fluff your throw pillows.

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2. Give your kitchen some attention

Wipe down those counters, sweep those floors, but most importantly, empty your sink and wash out your sink. Sinks are often the culprit of nasty smells, and it’s true that nothing makes your house look and feel messy like a sink full of dishes.

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3. A pleasant smell goes a long way

A clean smelling house will not only make your home seem cozy and inviting, it will also make your home feel clean and refreshing. No one wants to smell trash, or worse- diapers or a litter box. Light a few candles, or use some wax burners to make your house smell amazing. My favorite candles are Capri Blue Volcano or Eden Spring candles (pictured above).

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4. Make your bed

Having your bed made instantly makes your room feel clean and organized. If you want your room to instantly feel put together and tidy, take a few minutes to make your bed. It truly makes a big difference.

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5. Declutter room-by-room

Walk through your home and declutter it, room by room. Pick up and put away any visible clutter that is sitting out, in the floor, or just otherwise not put away. Clutter makes your home seem dirty and messy, but when you take a few minutes to put it away, it makes your space seem so much cleaner and organized.

I hope you all have enjoyed these tips for making your home feel clean, even when you don’t have time to deep clean it. Next time you’re stressing out because company’s coming and your house is not in perfect, company-ready condition, remember these five tips. Not only will your house feel clean, but you’ll be less stressed and able to enjoy those visitors.

Have a wonderful weekend.