I like this list of recipes as much for the cleaning tips as for the recipes. She even reminds me to clean some things I tend to forget…

Source: kingdomfirstmom.com via Joanna Liberty on Pinterest

 

This is a great link list that includes cleaners for every area of the house. Whatever you need to clean, you’ll probably find a great recipe for it here!

Source: re-nest.com via Joanna Liberty on Pinterest

 

I love the name of this blog, the fact that it’s written by a guy, and the cleaner recipes that he posted. I also love the labels on the spray bottles that he used – it’s so important to label homemade cleaners and this reminds me I need to include ingredients as well as the name! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked up a bottle with just the name and wondered what I put it in it. My memory is just not what it should be!

Source: macheesmo.com via Joanna Liberty on Pinterest

 

So those are my favorite cleaning recipes that I’ve found on Pinterest! I’d love to see yours too! Link me to your Pinterest cleaning boards so I can follow?

I am the Worst Housekeeper Ever

If you were to ask my first high school roommate (who I will be seeing today!!) about my cleaning habits, she would tell you that I am a hopeless slob, I’m sure. And to be honest, not that much has changed. I keep my things a little neater than I did then, but now I have 2 kids that contribute to the damage. My husband knew this going in to the marriage, but I’m sure some days he wishes I did a better job.

I’m not really sure WHY I am a lousy housekeeper, but I know that I am, so I do what I can to curb the bad habit. I have made schedules and plans, lists and charts, all in the hopes that I would one day magically wake up and find a clean house and keep it sparkling. I’ve given up all hopes of that happening.

Have you ever walked into a house that looked the same every time you were there, with things put away and clear plastic bins, and organization, oh my? Yeah – that’s not my house. I don’t even apologize for the state of my house. It doesn’t stop me (often) from inviting people over (my own social awkwardness pretty much takes care of that), because it’s part of me and I’m used to it.

I am working on it, though. Last week I’ve pored over blogs and ebooks looking for the magic pill that will keep me from wasting time playing Spider Solitaire and cleaning instead. I didn’t find an answer. I’ve even thought about giving myself points for completing tasks like I’ve seen for kids, maybe that kind of reward system would work. I’m almost 30 and still a kid at heart, right?

Clean Your Financial Picture

This week we’ve focused on cleaning, but there is more in our lives that needs to be spic and span than just the household surfaces. Finances are a big concern for us, especially as a stay-at-home mom. CareOne Debt Relief Services published this neat infographic with information about how debt relates to women with children that I thought you might be interested to see.

Debt Consolidation

One thing we all need to remember is that our example is teaching our children. Let’s clean up those financial pictures and get out of debt ASAP!

Clean the Air with House Plant Care

I love house plants. They’re beautiful, green, fresh, vibrant, some are even useful like aloe, and they clean the air inside the house. But I’ve never been a very good keeper of houseplants. Whenever I find something I’m not good at, I tend to accumulate books on the subject, so I have several books detailing the proper way to care for house plants. I like to think I learn at least a little something from my reading, so today I’d like to share with you my house plant care routine. It can’t be too bad – my plants are still alive!

Light is King

You probably know that plants need light. That’s one of those no-brainers, right? Even plants that flourish in low light need some light. I usually station my plants that need high light right in front of windows during the winter, spring and fall, and let them summer outdoors. I have a few plants that don’t need as much light, but they’re still near the windows. They just do outside in the summer.

House Plant CareHave you ever seen a plant that is leaning toward the sun? I think it’s adorable when they do that, but I don’t want them to stick that way (like when your kids make a face and you tell them it’s going to freeze…), so I do practice the turning effort. I don’t do the daily quarter turn that is recommended in some books, but I do turn them when I notice them leaning. Does it help? I like to think so, but I have no proof. Does it hurt? Doesn’t seem to hurt them.

Water with Care

I learned a new watering trick just this week. The house plants that I have now are not huge water lovers, so I only water when the soil is dry to the touch. But I did read about a new technique of watering the entire soil once a month by immersing the pots in water until it stops bubbling (doesn’t take long at all!) and then letting it drain in the sink. I started doing this routine this week and it seems to make the plants happy!

Clean Leaves

The best way to keep the air clean in your house is to use plants – but they can’t do that if they have dirty leaves. My biggest tip in house plant care is to clean the leaves of the plants. I used to do this by setting them all in the tub and letting the shower spray them off, but since I’m doing this new whole-water thing, I used the sink sprayer on low pressure to gently spray off the leaves and I wiped them carefully with a cloth. I’ve also read not to be tempted by the leaf shiners that are sold in stores – these can clog the plant’s pores on the leaves and you’re back to square 1! It’s not super easy to clean all the leaves when you’re holding a baby though, so just watch out for that one.

These are my very basic house plant care routine tips. What do you do with your plants?

Rock Your World with a Cleaning Schedule

Have you ever done the frantic 15-minute pickup when you get a call that someone important is going to be over and you rush around like a chicken with your head cut off to get your house looking reasonable again? Have you ever shoved your belongings into trash bags, grocery bags and closets just to hide the mess? Have you ever spent an entire week cleaning because your house has gone from normal to WOAH! messy? If you’ve answered yes to any of the above questions, you may want to consider trying a housecleaning schedule! It’s like a diet, but for your house!

Why Does a Cleaning Schedule Help?

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a fantastic housekeeper. I recently asked a friend how she balanced a busy work schedule, going to school for a master’s degree, and her growing family, and part of her answer included the house having a few dust bunnies. When I told my husband her answer, he started laughing. If I were any WORSE in housekeeping, the dust bunnies would probably take over the house. And then I’d have to pay them to live here, I’m sure. One thing I have found that helps is keeping a cleaning schedule. People use blogging schedules often, so I’m sure there must be others out there who could use a cleaning schedule too!

What a Cleaning Schedule Is – and Isn’t

It is…

It isn’t…

But it could be…

Other People’s Good Cleaning Schedules

Why reinvent the wheel? Check out these cleaning schedules that I’ve used or found online:

A Cleaning Schedule Can Change

One thing that I have learned over the years is that you need to be flexible. And by that, I don’t mean go to Yoga more often. The cleaning schedules that I made and loved 3 years ago just don’t cut it anymore. In fact, my schedule is changing again this week. Because of different commitments on different days, I don’t have the time to complete my regular Monday stuff anymore, so I shifted it to Sunday. It’s important to remember that it is better to change your schedule than to just not do the tasks – it will build up quickly!

What are your favorite cleaning schedules?

Parenting is Like Guerrilla Warfare

Parenting is like guerrilla warfare – we embark on small, infrequent battles independently while trying to out-think and outsmart our children. After all, if we didn’t they’d be running around in the buff coated with chocolate and candy, right? Maybe that’s just my kids, but I’m sure other parents can relate to having more problems than answers with their kids. [Read more…]