cleaning

Simple Laundry Routine

LAUNDRY.  That word alone can make you cringe.  I am no stranger to laundry.  There are 6 people in our home and I swear sometimes a few more live here because of the sheer volume of clothes and towels that need to be laundered. Laundry is a fact of life so I decided to tame the laundry beast once and for all and come up with a simple and purposeful laundry routine that worked for our family.  Many of you asked what it is so I thought it was time to share!

Step by Step Guide To A Simple Laundry Routine

Step 1:  Clear the Laundry Room Clutter & Get it Ready to Do its Job

The more inviting the laundry room is, the more likely you will want to go in instead of turning the other way.  The laundry room can be a catch-all for all the things.  Start by clearing the clutter, grouping like items together and placing items that need to stay in a tote or a bin on a shelf.

You might see baskets at the top of the above picture.  They store extra toiletries and cleaning supplies.

Grab a little trashcan for lint and trash from pockets.  Add in the items you need like detergent, a drying rack, dryer balls, ironing board & iron.

To make it more inviting you might even choose to add in a rug, some art, a fake plant, and a lamp. You are going to spend lots of time in your laundry room, make it a space you want to walk into!

Step 2:  Set-up Simple Laundry Routine

Get your Family to Help

Train your family to put their laundry in a basket in the laundry room.  If you don’t have a laundry room on the same floor as your bedrooms, consider one family basket in a central location on the same floor as your bedrooms to save you the hassle of collecting all the clothes from every bedroom.

It is possible to train the tiniest family members.  We just trained our two-year-old to take his laundry to the basket.  We put it in his hands, walked him there and helped him put it in a few times and now we can give it to him in his room and he can carry it down independently.  My older kids (10, 8  and 4) can do it independently with occasional reminders.

Asking your family to help put the laundry in a central location will help you save time and energy!  Many hands make light work and it’s true with laundry too.

Do a Load of Laundry Every Single Day

I do one load of laundry every single day.  I tried doing it all in one day but seeing the visual clutter of the laundry pile every time I walked by stressed me out.  Doing one load a day normally means about 20 minutes of total time every day!

Make Doing Laundry A Daily Routine

I start a load as part of my morning rhythm.  I get ready and on my way downstairs I throw a load of laundry in the washer.  At naptime, after I get my kids down, I put the load in the dryer. I then fold the laundry in the late afternoon.  I leave the laundry piles for each family member on my bed and everyone puts their pile away as part of their bedtime routine.

You can certainly squeeze this process together so it’s done more quickly during the day.  This is the routine that has stuck for our family.

Remember, routines and rhythms might feel clunky at first but the more you just incorporate them into your practice, the more it will just become part of your daily schedule.  Keep the routine simple and it will be easy to maintain!

What about days you don’t have enough for a load of laundry?

I would say every couple of days, I don’t need to wash clothes.  So, on those days I’ll do towels or sheets.

Do you sort your clothes before washing?

We do not sort our clothes except for whites. Many of you recommend color catchers to help keep colors vibrant so I recently added that to my products.  Not sorting my clothes helps keep things simple around here.

Favorite Laundry Products

We keep it simple around here.  I use Persil laundry detergent along with Oxiclean for stain spot treating.  We just added Biz to our detergent to help with odors and stains.  Biz is great for potty-training undies and sweaty smelling clothes.  We use dryer balls in our dryer.  Of course, we have a few plastic laundry baskets as well!


So, what will your laundry schedule look like?

For most of us doing laundry is a fact of life.  However, while we were in China we sent our laundry out to be laundered and let me tell you it was worth every penny.  Not sure it would fit in our weekly spending budget at home but it was AMAZING!! #goals. Until then, I will be over here doing a load a day to keep the laundry beast away!  What about you?

 

Until next time, keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life.
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Best Cleaning Products for Housekeeping

It’s spring and for some reason, this season triggers my mind to clean all the things!  It could also be that I have been nesting as we prepare to bring our son home from China (read more about that here).  Yes, I can confirm you nest when you adopt too!  Whatever the reason I am in major cleaning mode.  I thought I would share my favorite cleaning supplies and how I use them around my house.  If you have a favorite, make sure to sound off in the comments.

SOS Clean N’ Toss Pads

These are so versatile and might just be my favorite cleaning tool.  They are perfect for cleaning grout and tile in my shower, scrubbing toothpaste out of my ceramic sinks and getting baked on food off my stainless steel pans in the kitchen.  The SOS clean n’toss comes with dish soap incorporated and are perfect for one time cleaning.  You can find them here.

Thieves Cleaner

This is my go-to all-purpose cleaner.  I use it for my counters, windows, mirrors, and hardwood and tile floors.  I mix 2 capfuls of thieves cleaner in a spray bottle and fill the rest with water.  Don’t let the cost deter you, it lasts a long time.  I have had the same bottle for over a year.  You cannot beat the smell and it’s all-natural!

Mr. Clean Eraser

Every mom’s best friend is the eraser.  I’ll never forget when I was pregnant with Lucy and quite sick, Vera took a purple sharpie one afternoon and made art all over the house.  Thankfully, Mr. Clean Eraser to the rescue.  I’ll grab one seasonally and just touch up all our woodwork and it’s perfect for soap scum on fiberglass showers and baths.

Baking Soda

I sprinkle baking soda in the sink, around the tub drain or on my stainless steel pans and apply some elbow grease.  It works like magic.  I also keep baking soda under my sink, in my freezer and fridge to absorb all those unwanted smells!

Microfiber cloth

This 2 cloth combo pack is all I use to wash mirrors and windows.  I also use a microfiber cloth daily on my counters along with my thieves cleaner.  You can boil them occasionally to get out added dirt but I usually wash them with free and clear detergent!  Just an FYI, for toilets or wiping up after cutting meat, I always use a paper towel paired with the Thieves cleaner.

Toothbrushes

This might be the most random tool I have in my cleaning supplies tote but it’s so useful.  Save your old toothbrushes or the extras you get at the dentist for tight spaces around the sink or tile grout.  Pair it with a little bit of baking soda to get into those hard to reach places.  Just make sure you keep it somewhere other than your toothbrush holder!

Cordless Vacuum

It’s insane how much I love my vacuum.  I asked for it for my birthday and I unashamedly admit its one of my all-time favorite gifts.  I vacuum all the time with 3 kids and it works so well.  I generally do a quick vacuum sweep after each meal to take care of crumbs.  There is a regular suction setting and a max setting.  The max setting has great suction for wooden floors.  The battery power lasts between 8-15 minutes but I do use it for most of my vacuuming needs.

Microfiber Dust Mitt

I use the dust mitt to dust everything from ceiling fans to shelves, blinds and those pesky little wooden treads on my stairs. The words of my realtor still haunt me that I would loathe dusting them, indeed I do but the dust mitt makes the process go much more quickly!  I use this one and wash it when I am finished.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

When it comes to toilet bowls, I go with a bleach toilet bowl cleaner.  Call me crazy but I just want to kill everything in there.   My favorite is the lysol brand and I usually get a two-pack, one for each floor.  I just got new toilet bowl brushes at IKEA for 99 cents, Dollar Tree has them as well.  I swap them out on occasion,

JR Watkins Dish & Hand Soap

If you have followed me for a while, you know I love JR Watkins products.  Not only is the packing just beautiful, it smells delightful too.  It also lathers great and a little bit goes a long way!  I love to wash dishes with this soap and net (and put it in the dishwasher at night to clean).

Spring Cleaning Checklist

Like I said before, this season just makes me want to clean all the things so I created a complete cleaning checklist by room.  Since deep cleaning a whole house takes some time I broke it down by room and the whole process can be completed in an hour a day for 7 days.  Join my email list and get access to this printable as well as the rest of my printable library.  Sign up to get your copy here.

Cleaning Product Organization & Storage

I am all about making things as simple as possible and the same is true when it comes for my cleaning routine and go-to products.  I put together 2 cleaning totes with all of my favorite cleaning products so it’s easy to grab and go when I need to clean.  I house one tote under my kitchen sink for main floor cleaning and the other tote in my laundry room upstairs.

Simple + Purposeful Cleaning Routine

If you have a home, cleaning just comes with the territory.  If you have to clean, you might as well use the best cleaning products!  Now, back to work to cleaning I go.  I need this house spic and span before we head off to China.  What are your go-to cleaning products?  Do you have a cleaning schedule?  I generally clean when guests are coming over so the company is a great reward after the hard work!

Favorite Cleaning Supplies –


You might also like –

Simple Art Supply Storage Solution

Best Spring Cleaning Tips

10 Steps to Clean out Your Clothes Closet

Simple Toy Organization Solution

Until next time, keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life.
Let’s Connect | Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook  | Email Subscription

 

Linking up with Lindsay – check out her blog!

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11 Best Cleaning Products for your Home

To make cleaning easier, I put together a tote with all of my favorite cleaning products so it’s easy to grab and go when I need to clean (because I never want to).  I house the main floor tote under my sink and the upstairs cleaning product tote in my laundry room.

I am cleaning like crazy these days because today marks day 3 of our 7 room – 7 day spring cleaning challenge.  This challenge was the swift kick in the backside that I needed to tackle some often over-looked spaces in my home (base boards, blinds and vents I am looking at you).  There’s still time to join, join my email list and I will send you the free checklist.

Since I am in major cleaning mode, I thought I would share my 11 favorite, must-have, tried and true cleaning products.  These 11 products are ALL I USE!  If you have a favorite, make sure to sound off in the comments.  I love a good recommendation!

 

1 – Microfiber Dust Mitt

I use the dust mitt to dust everything from ceiling fans to shelves, blinds and the little wooden treads of my stairs.  I use this one and wash it when I am finished.

2 – Toothbrushes

Save your old toothbrushes or the extras you get at the dentist for tight spaces like around the sink or tile grout.  I wash in the dishwasher when I am done.

3 – Microfiber cloth

This 2 cloth combo pack is all I use to wash mirrors and windows.  I also use a microfiber cloth daily on my counters.  You can boil them occasionally to get out added dirt but I usually wash them with free and clear detergent!

4 – Paper Towels

For toilets or wiping up after cutting meat, I always use a paper towel paired with the thieves cleaner.

5 – Baking Soda

I sprinkle baking soda in the sink, around the tub drain or on my stainless steel pans and apply some elbow grease.  It works like magic.  I pair steel wool with it on my pans!

6 – Cordless Vacuum

It’s insane how much I love my vacuum.  I asked for it for my birthday and I unashamedly admit its one of my all-time favorite gifts.  I vacuum all the time with 3 kids and it works so well.  I kept my corded vacuum (here) but rarely use it.

7 – Vinegar

I mix 50/50 vinegar and water for my floor cleaner for both wood and tile.  It also works great if I need to use it on windows, mirrors and counters.  I love to use this mixture on my exterior windows and screens.

8 – Toilet Bowl Cleaner

I could use an all-natural product but I like to use bleach on my toilets so my favorite is the lysol brand and I usually get a two-pack, one for each floor.  I just got new toilet bowl brushes at IKEA for 99 cents, Dollar Tree has them as well.

9 – Mr Clean Eraser

Every mom’s best friend. Soap scum, permanent marker, scuffs on baseboards, they are no match for the eraser.

10 – Scrubbing Bubbles Foaming Cleaner

We have a tile shower and I have tried everything but nothing works quite like this product.  I spray it all over and it clears up mold and dirt in the grout like a pro.  I also love it on our glass shower door to fight again soap scum!  I just rinse and wipe clean!

11 – Thieves Cleaner

I mix 2 capfuls of thieves cleaner in a spray bottle and fill the rest with water.  It’s a great ant-bacterial spray for kitchens and bathrooms.  It also works great as a tile floor cleaner!  Don’t let the cost deter you, it lasts a long time.

 

Now, back to work to cleaning I go with all my favorite products.  Since, all the products are so versatile, I can easily clean in no time at all which is great since it’s not my favorite chore!  What are your go to cleaning products?  Do you have a cleaning schedule?  I generally clean when guests are coming over so company is a great reward after the hard work!  If you are cleaning like I am,  read this article for 7 more spring cleaning tips!

 

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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Linking up with Lindsay – check out her blog!

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7 Spring Cleaning Tips

It’s Spring and for some reason that elicits all sorts of internal brain sensors that we need to clean.  Why don’t we do it in the dead of winter when the weather is awful?  Anyway, a heart wants what a heart wants…spring cleaning it is.  I am linking up with Erika and Shay today so check out their blogs for more spring cleaning inspiration!
I set out to do 7 fairly quick, fairly gratifying things during the #permacloud we had (14 days of no sun people, I need sun).  It always feels good to purge, pare down and be able to know what in fact we do need to buy.  


So Let’s get to it….
{one}
Why is there so much paper in the world?  I quickly took all the art down we had tacked up on the bulletin boards and moved it to the art wall in the basement or took a picture of it to save and then tossed the original.  We also have a drawer of very special things that when it gets full, we sort and make room.  I sorted through the mail stack and had the kids shred that (they love it), I sorted through my paper filer on my desk and put any papers I wanted to keep for the kids in their file boxes in the office (seen above).  
Spring Cleaning Paper Items — place all paper items in one spot and sort – save, store, toss or shred.
{two}

By spring, it’s time to dust.  I might have dusted my shelves after Christmas before replacing my normal decor and I don’t think I have dusted since so it’s the perfect time to take everything off the shelves, dust and give the shelves a new look.  I place all my decor on the dining table and do a little shuffle.  Tired and boring get a new and energized look going into spring and summer!  It’s a cheap way to freshen up your home.  
Spring Cleaning Shelves — Take everything off, dust, redecorate
{three}

Somehow my kitchen cabinets and drawers just get filled up with random stuff and it’s time to pare down.  I have the kids help me sort tupperware to make sure they all have a lid.  Tupperware is like the socks of the kitchen.  How can they lose their mate????  I store all lids in a plastic caddy.   My favorite storage containers are these glass ones.  
 I also sort my drawers and take out random things I don’t use, clean out the crumbs and dust and reorganize!  We donate what we don’t use (looking at you freebie silly straws, water bottles and restaurant cups my kids refuse to throw away).   I use the dollar store plastic trays like these.

We make room again in our cabinets so we can easily access the things we do use.  I added this lazy susan to my top corner cabinet so I can easily access all my travel cups/bottles.  It’s a game changer.  We also got rid of a ton of travel coffee mugs because we love our yetis
Spring Cleaning Kitchen — Clean out cabinets and drawers

{four} 

I asked for Scott’s help one Sunday afternoon and it was more fun because Daddy makes everything funny and wrangling little people and trying on clothes is a 2 person job!  We took all the  clothes out of the drawers and closet and wait for the pain of it — tried it all on!  I even make them try on underwear.  No one wants really tightie non-whities!  Then we sorted — donate, save for hammy downs, and toss (no one wants stained or items with holes).  
 I then create a list of items each kid needs for summer.  I am always surprised to find out they have way more than I think they have of certain things and some kids have like 1 pair of socks (how does that happen??).  I love spending my money wisely on things they need and it helps Grandma to know too #spoiled. 
Spring Cleaning Closets — Try on all clothes and sort
{five}
I shared about how I keep my purse organized and what I keep inside here.  Spring is a great time to wash all the winter gear and stow it away.  I pack it in a rubbermaid container, labeled with my favorite label maker and then store it in our basement storage room.  We also go through the shoe totes and try them all on so we know what we need for new shoes!  
I also look for great end of season sales on winter gear and stock up for next year.  Solon needs a new snow coat and snow pants.  We love Lands End for winter gear.  It’s a little more pricey but wears really well and I normally get 2 years out of it!  It’s all on sale right now :)…off to stock up!
Mudroom Spring Cleaning — Wash winter gear and go through shoe bins to see what fits

{six}
In the bedroom, we switch out our favorite flannel sheets for a more seasonable cotton set.  We rotate the mattress too because they say its good to do that.   We do this for all of our beds.  We all love flannel sheets :).  I, of course, dust and vacuum too for good measure.  
{seven}
Now, it’s finally a sunny day and you can move your spring cleaning outside.  YAY!  It’s time to put the swings back on the swing set, the roof on the playset, sweep out the garage and find a dead mouse (oh wait that was just me – we live on a cornfield but EW!).  
We also sort all the toys, throw away anything that is broken and get everything back to where it belongs.  We cultivate the garden, trim back all the dead foliage in the landscaping, put the hoses out and move our deck furniture back to the deck.  We still need to wash out our stinky garbage cans.    
Outside Spring Cleaning — Clean, Move Outdoor Items Out, and Tend to Landscaping
So we covered all the paper, redecorating the shelves, cleaning out the kitchen cabinets and cupboards, flipping the beds, stowing away winter gear and getting the outside ready for the season!  Whew…

There are a few other things still on the list that I may or may not get to — #beingreal

  • Dust the baseboards
  • Dust the wooden blinds
  • Dust the fan blades **are we sensing a trend here???
  • Wash the inside of the windows
  • Wash the outside of the windows (after planting of the field)
  • Plant the garden
  • Buy front porch plants
  • Stain the deck
What did I forget? 
Windows and tiny hands…clean windows are highly over-rated and I am a picker-upper so dusting is not at the top of my radar.  That coupled with white woodwork makes me forget ;).  What is your favorite cleaning chore?  I would say sorting, organizing and purging are mine.  I seriously was “playing” with my daughter the other day and I organized her play kitchen.  She thanked me profusely #shedidnot.  
Your turn – sound off in the comments.  Why do we clean in the spring when it’s nice out?  What’s your favorite chore?  Do you think dusting is over-rated too? Do you organize play kitchens?  
Until next time – keep on smiling and keep on, keeping on – spring cleaning – and life in general 🙂




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