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Decluttering in the Fall

Living room with Repose Grey walls

Who knew that paint would be just the thing I needed to get bit by the fall decluttering bug. Did you see and hear that I got new paint around here?

My sweet kids painted my living room and dining room for me, and I could not be more excited about it.

The walls went from dark and dreary gold color to a nice, bright grey. Sherwin Williams Repose Grey to be exact.

The process of clearing out the living room and dining room to make space for painting was just what I needed to rethink what I keep in each room and get rid of clutter.

I was in a bit of a rut with what I kept out on my shelves for decor and items I had hanging on the wall.

Continue Reading…

HOME/ Homemaking/ Organizing/ Simplifying

Every Day Home Goals Chore System

Everyday Home Goals - creating home systems that work

I’m working hard at creating systems in my home to keep life flowing efficiently and smoothly. This means pursuing organized methods that will turn everyday necessities (like having clean clothes and dishes) into habits.

A home well kept in such an efficient way that it is done on automatic….this is my goal when it comes to my home.

This is not about living perfectly, but about being mindful of how I go about my day and finding mindful systems that work so that much of the mundane but necessary part of life can be done on automatic. Mindful becoming mindless.

Some examples of this:

I empty the dishwasher every morning while my coffee is brewing. It is so much a part of my morning habit that I don’t even think about it. I make coffee every morning which means my dishwasher gets emptied every morning. Win!

I clean the shower while I am in it, and do it safely by using a homemade natural cleaner that is ok to breath in. Not just ok, but thanks to essential oils, therapeutic!

It is so easy to quickly wipe down when already in there, (no awkwardly trying to lean in and clean the shower without getting wet) and I love knowing that the oils I’m using to clean (no harmful chemicals!) are also bringing alertness as I breathe them in. A great way to start the day!

Another example? Our bed gets made the minute I get out of it, even if my Todd is still in it. Ha! Seriously, I just do the best I can with pulling the comforter up and placing pillows around him. Then he can easily fix his corner and pillows when he gets up…although most days he is up before me.

These are just 3 systems built into my day that makes a huge difference in our home staying tidy. 

The Everyday Home Goals below also work beautifully! They are great examples of more systems put into place that keep our home tidy on the daily.

Everyday Home Goals - creating home systems that work

Everyday Home Goals

MAKE BEDS — did you know the most successful people make their beds every day?

WIPE SURFACES — quick wipe bathroom sinks/counters, kitchen sink/counters, tables

CLUTTER — quick pick up and a few minutes wherever it is accumulating

ONE FULL LOAD — dishwasher & laundry; don’t stop until dishes and clothes are put away!

FLOORS –quick sweep, vacuum & spot clean

GENERAL PICKUP — be aware throughout the day. Put things back in their place.

TRASH — kitchen trash daily, bathroom and office trash weekly. My Todd takes care of this one. I am grateful.

Home goals - Creating systems for effortless homemakeing

I do quite well with most of the Everyday Home Goals. I will comment below on each of them:

Make beds — this is automatic for me. I don’t have to think about it.

Wipe surfaces — another automatic. When I get the spray cleaner in hand, I concentrate on flat surfaces and think of the surfaces that need to be wiped every day. For me, this is kitchen and bathroom sinks and counters, and my kitchen and dining room tables. I spray and wipe these areas all at one time, at least one time a day.

Clutter — oh man. This one seems neverending and right now I have way too many piles throughout my home, but I’m super motivated with Spring here! You cannot organize clutter so I will be getting rid of much of it.

One Full Load — I do a load every day of both dishes and laundry…but my downfall is the follow through with washing/drying dishes that don’t fit into the dishwasher and making sure I put away/hang up all clean clothes.

When I do the follow through, it is amazing what a difference this makes. I am prioritizing how to make this into a system that works completely for me on the daily and will update you when I get it figured out!

Floors — I do this automatically every day in my main living areas…living room, dining room and kitchen. I have wood floors and 2 area rugs so it is fast and easy. I love doing it because I love a good vacuum line and how it instantly makes the room feel clean. I also hate stepping on crumbs so that is huge motivation to get that broom out.

General pickup — I’m pretty good at this. I do it mindlessly without thinking. As I walk through a room I will straighten what needs to be (I’m forever straightening throw pillows!) and pick up items to take with me to where they belong.

I am always looking for things to upstairs that made their way downstairs, and vise versa. I rarely walk up or down the stairs without grabbing something on my way that is misplaced.

Trash — like I said above, my man does this one. I’m spoiled.

Everyday Home Goals - creating home systems that work

A Chore A Day Goals

– Bathrooms — note: you can save the floor for Thursday

– Dusting –“work quickly, top to bottom, left to right” —Clean Mama

– Vacuuming — some weeks just the middles will do, other weeks add upholstery and rugs.

Th – Floors –sweep & mop

–  Kitchen — wipe down microwave and appliances. Wipe down and sort refrigerator. Wipe stove. Shine stainless steel.

Sa – Change Sheets –nothing like fresh sheets and towels!

Su – None –just do Everyday Home Goals listed above

Note: If getting all done at once is more your style, you can take 1-2 hours of time, once a week, and do all of the above in one fell swoop.

{Homekeeping Goals Inspired by Clean Mama’s Simply Clean Book. }

Everyday Home Goals - creating home systems that work

Let’s talk about these Chore a Day Goals. I don’t know if I love them or hate them. While I have my Everyday Home Goals pretty much down, the Chore a Day goals are a different story.

My success really depends on what type of week I am having. If my week is a normal, structured week where my schedule goes according to plan, I get them done no problem.

The problem comes when the week is overbooked or unexpected life events come up. On these weeks, I end up doing it all in one day and that day is usually a Saturday, or it does not get done at all. Yuck!

Doing it all in one day is not my favorite way to spend a chunk of time on a Saturday, so I really want to figure out how to consistently do a little bit each day of the week.

I think the key to making these Chore a Day Goals into a habit is finding 15 minutes of time in each day that is consistent. I will think about that, figure it out, implement it, and get back to you on my success!

Another key to creating this habit is keeping my daily and weekly goals in a place where I see them every day, all throughout the day. This printable is the answer for me right now. It works well printed out and put on a magnet on my refrigerator.

Keep reading if you want one too!

Home Goals | Clean Home Printable

This super helpful “Keeping a Clean Home” printable checklist divides home goals into Every Day, Once a Week, Once a Month, Once a Season, and Once a Year. This checklist allows me to focus in and know exactly where I am at and what needs to be done.

Would you like to print one out for yourself too? You can get it by signing up for my email list, which is a great way to not miss a new post from New Nostalgia.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE ‘KEEPING A CLEAN HOME’ PRINTABLE HERE

I’m on a mission to continue to build more systems into my day, to make keeping a home as simple as possible. I have been very successful with what I’ve implemented so far, but systems often need tweaked and they take time to put into place and become automatic. I will continue sharing them with you as I discover what is working best for me, so make sure you get on the list!

Everyday Home Goals - creating home systems that work

{for your pinning pleasure}

What about you? What are systems working for you? What have become mindless habits for you in keeping your home? What are consistent problem areas? Got any tips for me? Please share in the comments!


You may also like:

How To Declutter When Overwhelmed

Facing Clutter in that One Dreaded Room

The Best DIY Glass/Mirror Cleaning Spray

Simple Tips Tricks and Routines to Keep Your Car Clean

5 Steps To A Clean Pantry

 

HOME/ Organizing/ Simplifying

How to Declutter When Overwhelmed

How to Declutter When Overwhelmed

I’ve gathered some tips and tricks to help you know how to declutter when overwhelmed.

If you read my post last week called Facing the Clutter in that One Dreaded Room, you know I’ve been busy decluttering around here, and honestly was quite overwhelmed when facing my own clutter. I talked about how we cleared out the study (that had become a storage room) and put all clutter in one area upstairs.

I purposefully transferred all clutter to an area where I could not close a door or drawer and ignore it. It is in our upstairs landing area, a place that I must walk through to get to my bedroom. I can’t stand seeing it every day, so I have been very motivated to chip away at the clutter.

In the process of dealing with my own clutter, have gathered some tips and tricks to help you declutter when you are feeling overwhelmed, too.

How to Declutter When Overwhelmed

 

~Just start. There is no system or checklist that is going to do the work for you. You have to just start.

 

~Don’t be an overthinker. If you think too much, you will be paralyzed and get nothing done. This is when procrastination happens. Stop analyzing and just get busy!

 

~Clear out a small space, then keep plugging away at the rest. Think progress, not perfection.

 

~Have bins/boxes and black yard waste bags all ready to grab and use.

 

~Use black yard waste bags. You can’t see inside the bags so you won’t second guess or retrieve, and neither will your kids! I have one kid that is notorious for searching through my donate bags.

 

~Use these 3 things:

  1. Keep Box or Bin
  2. Donate Bag
  3. Trash Bag

*Notice I did not include a ‘Sell’ box. This has tripped me up too many times. I end up keeping clutter thinking I’m going to sell it, which just creates more work and does not help me embrace simplicity. No more ‘sell’ box for me. It all goes to the ‘donate’ box.

Cube Timer- Great for decluttering!

{My FAVORITE timer. Click here to buy on Amazon}

~Set timer 15, 30 or 60 minutes. You choose. When the timer goes off, go make yourself a cup of tea. Then repeat or give it another go the next day. Pace yourself.

 

~ Find trash first. Scan the area and get rid of obvious trash. When trash bag gets full, take out the trash and keep going. Only use one trash bag for trash at a time. 

 

~Start with easy decisions–the easiest being gather obvious trash. Make harder decisions, like what projects to keep and finish or what sentimental items to donate, for later. Set them aside and move on to something else.

 

~Self-talk is important. When you feel overwhelmed, change your thoughts. A ‘can-do’ attitude makes a difference!

“I can do this.” 

“I don’t have to do it all now.”

“A little bit every day will get the job done.”

“I will be amazed at what I can achieve in a short time”

“One session done quickly will add up to a finished room in time.”

“My worst room might just become my best!”

These type of thoughts will lift your spirits and help you get the job done.

 

~Those items that are hard to let go? A helpful way to think about them is, “Am I holding onto someone else’s blessing?” Just because something has value does not mean you need to hold onto it. It could bless someone else.

 

~Use the 20/20 rule. This is a great tactic I’ve read about. If you can replace it for under $20 within 20 minutes, don’t keep it just because “WHAT IF I need it in the future?” Many things that are hard to part with can be found at your local thrift store, less than 20 minutes away and less than $20. So let it go, because if you truly need it in the future (you most likely won’t) you can get it in 20/$20!

 

~Take the ‘donate’ bag right to the car when full, and replace with a new bag. Doing this with both donate bags and trash bags will keep your area clear and you will see progress quicker, which will reward and motivate you. This tip is key for me! It is so motivating to see the area I am working on getting more and more clear as I take out the bags. It is so rewarding!

 

~Go through the ‘keep’ box as it fills up. If you find duplicate items or if one item replaces another, get it right to the donate bag. Put items you want to keep into ‘like with like’ piles.

 

~Ask a friend to help. Have them be the one to put things in ‘like with like’ piles, while you move quickly and take the items from the piles to their home.

 

~Make it fun. Play music or listen to a favorite podcast.

 

~Be ok with stopping but make sure you pick it back up the following day. A little each day and you will get it done!

 


How about you?

Do you have a dreaded room that needs decluttered and that is overwhelming?

Do this tips resonate with you? If so which one?

Please share your favorite decluttering tips!

HOME/ Homemaking/ Organizing/ Simplifying

Facing the Clutter in That One Dreaded Room

Facing the Clutter in That One Dreaded Room

Don’t we all have them? That one dreaded room full of clutter? I’d like to think I’m not alone. The time has come for me to face the clutter in the one dreaded room in our home. There are a couple of little areas in my home that need my attention, (and a big garage) but for the most part, the main areas stay decluttered. These are not the ‘dreaded room’ I’m talking about.

How to Paint a Deconstructed Chevron Wall

{the home office before it became a room-sized junk drawer}

The Dreaded Room

For me, the dreaded room was our home office. I’ve posted before about this room, about how to do the deconstructed chevron paint treatment on the wall, and how I organized the desk drawers, and the office closet.  Honestly, I’m embarrassed to admit how bad it got! The organizational systems I set into place worked really well for at least a couple of years, but then… life happened.

A year-long fight with anxiety, raising 3 teenagers, a blog that became a business our budget depends on, and medications that take me on an emotional roller coaster ride every 3 months…these are the reasons that come to mind when I think of why our office became a dumping ground. Yep, these are my excuses and they are quite good ones if I do say so myself!

If you have a similar room, have grace for yourself. You are certainly not alone, and it is ok to not have any good excuse. I just like to make myself feel better by listing mine. {grin.}

The office is on the main floor of our home. Until the last 2 days, it was full. Imagine an oversized junk drawer–it was a place to stash things that do not have a home. That was what our home office became and it was driving me crazy.

 

Clutter Attracts Clutter

An additional problem–the office is a room that one must walk through to get to my oldest daughter, Teagan’s room. She has always been my creative-minded daughter, who sees beauty in a lot of beautiful things, and likes to keep those things. I have to say, she has become much better releasing some of those things the last couple of years.

{door to my daughters’ room, must walk through the office}

Teagan has the ability to be organized, but it is not easy for her. She loves all the things but has the smallest room in the house with the tiniest, most dis-functional closet. You literally have to step up about 2 feet to get into the tiny closet. Once inside the floor slopes and makes it hard to stand straight and reach anything. She does NOT enjoy this.

Ironically, she choose her tiny room when she was little because of this “fun” step-up and slanted closet…it made the perfect private fort! I found her a few times using it as a place to pout about her ‘annoying’ little sisters or when she got in trouble for reacting to that annoyance! I picture her all tucked into the closet with her favorite yellow fuzzy comfort blanket, and it makes me smile..she was so little!

Now it is overflowing with clothes, high heels, and past homecoming and prom dresses. My baby has grown up and needs more usable space in order to live more organized.

Prom dress

Because of her lack of space and her love for all the things, I would often find her stuff overflowing into the office area. We all know clutter attracts clutter, so I take responsibility for how easy it was for her to add to my piles with her stuff.

 

Facing the Clutter

Teagan and her Grandma came up with the brilliant idea of clearing out the office and giving Teagan the space. It made sense since the rooms flow into each other, but I was immediately resistant. I feared a few things: giving up space where I stored a lot of my stuff, facing my room-sized junk drawer (who has the time?), and fear that I would just be trading my messy clutter for Teagan’s.

The last few weeks I have softened to the idea for a few reasons. I know it would force me to declutter and get rid of stuff that has been overflowing the office and office closet. I also recognized that Teagan (being a senior) has at least a year left with us, and has been talking about living at home for her first year of college, so we might get her for 2.

Over the summer, she worked so hard, saved a ton of money and showed so much responsibility in many areas. She is such a good kid. During the school year, she studies her cute little head off and needs a calm, clutter-free, quiet place to do it, especially as she enters college. She is amazing, and could use more space…and I have the ability to give it to her!

After communicating with her about my expectations for the ‘office turned Teagan’s extended room’ area, (which really is just to keep it orderly enough for me to easily dust and vacuum it with the rest of the house once a week), I decided she could take it.

I’m ok with just shutting the door to her main bedroom, but this second room I truly want her to keep orderly. She understands this and part of our agreement is that I can take the room back if it is not appreciated and taken care of.

Teagan has all kinds of plans to update her room and create a great space for her extended room. She and her boyfriend (who is super handy and helpful in these projects, and who has already helped by clearing the room) came up with a list of things that need to be done, from taking down wallpaper and painting/updating her room, to buying a few things to make the old office space beautiful and functional for her.

 

Clear Out the Clutter

She started clearing out the office clutter–another part of our agreement. She had to help by clearing the clutter, or really just transferring it to a place where I would be forced to deal with it. I wanted her to be a part of the process of making this space her own, experience hard work, and frankly, I needed the help to get it all up the stairs!

I had her carry it all upstairs to our landing area, an area that I pass to get to my bedroom. I could not handle having it strewn all over the house, and was purposeful in choosing where to gather the clutter. A single area, and a place where I would be forced to deal with it ASAP.

She made a bazillion trips up the stairs and commented on how great a leg workout it was. Ha!

I have a post coming out very soon titled ‘How to Declutter When Overwhelmed’ which will walk one through the process of tackling overwhelming clutter. I plan on making quite a bit of progress on the transferred clutter mess using the steps in the upcoming post. One thing about me is when I finally face the clutter, it has no chance. I’m good a tackling it and getting it done!

My anxiety rises every time I pass the transferred clutter. It is jolting to come up my stairs and walk through it to get to my nice, clean, de-cluttered and peaceful bedroom. It doesn’t feel good….talk about motivating!

Sometimes all it takes is to pull clutter out of closets and drawers (or entire rooms!) and place it in a space where you have to come face to face with it. It is definitely working for me, and I have already had two 20-minute sessions of decluttering in the area. Progress! I have a lot of tips and tricks I’ve learned when decluttering over the years, so watch for my upcoming post. I may even take a before and after photo of the mess!  I will also do a follow-up post on what the old office space looks like after Teagan takes over. Sign up for my email newsletter so you won’t miss a post!


What about you?

Do you have a dreaded room or area that you need to unclutter?

Tell me all about it…it will make me feel so much better about mine!

DIY/Crafts/ FUN/DIY/ HEALTH/ HOME/ Natural Products/ Organizing

The Best DIY Glass + Mirror Cleaning Spray

The BEST DIY Glass Cleaner

This DIY Glass + Mirror Cleaning Spray is my most used DIY Cleaner. I have been using this particular recipe for a couple of weeks now and don’t know how I ever lived without it!

We own 2 glass top tables, one in the kitchen and one in the dining room. I use this spray several times a day to clean those off after use. Because of this, we go through glass cleaner quickly so I wanted a spray that not only worked but was inexpensive to make.

I also wanted a cleaner with ingredients that would not trigger my daughter’s asthma. Regular glass cleaner from the store with all of its harsh ingredients has been a major trigger for her asthma, and since I am spraying the product in my home every day all throughout the day, I want to know what is in it and that it will not make her react.

Thanks to Clean Mama and her new book, Simply Clean, I found this DIY Glass + Mirror Cleaner Spray recipe and it has already made me a very happy lady. It uses just 4 ingredients!

DIY Glass + Mirror Cleaning Spray

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 5 drops essential oil

The rubbing alcohol causes the cleaner to dry quickly, which eliminates streaks. Brilliant!

bottle of essential oil

Rocky Mountain Oils To Scent Your Glass Cleaner

The essential oil is optional in this recipe, but I highly recommend it. It is there to add scent, which is wonderful! I use Rocky Mountain Oils and their Lemon Oil is a favorite of mine to use in this glass spray… it is wonderful. It smells amazingly refreshing!

I also love peppermint as a scent for this oil. Did you know that Peppermint Oil is often used for focus & alertness? It helps awaken the senses. No wonder I love using this spray with peppermint oil, especially when I need to wake up in the morning when wiping breakfast crumbs off my glass tables. Love it!

 

DIY-Glass-Mirror-Cleaning-Spray

I bought these awesome glass spray bottles on Amazon, and I truly believe they make cleaning a little bit more fun! They had high reviews and did not disappoint. They have both spray and stream options and are very good quality. I love that they are beautiful and functional. They come 2 to a package and chalkboard labels are included!

I picked up the above cleaning caddy at Target. If you would rather order on Amazon, I am crushing over this galvanized carry-all container.  I have mine sitting out on my counter. Until I clean out under my sink to make room for my cleaning caddy, it is just fine sitting in all its glory on my counter. It sure makes it easy to grab a cleaner and get to work!

I used washi tape and a sharpie to label each bottle. It is easy to remove but has enough staying power to stay on until I’m ready to switch the labels out. The Sharpie is smear proof, which is important.

I keep my squeegee, eraser sponge and a scraper/scrub brush in the caddy along with some other DIY cleaners that I will be sharing with you in upcoming posts!

 

Keeping A Clean Home Printable

Keeping-A-Clean-Home-640px

Make sure you are subscribed so you don’t miss future posts by signing up for my email list to have new posts delivered right to your inbox!

If you sign up, you can download and print this handy “Keeping a Clean Home” printable checklist which divides tasks into Everyday, Once a Week, Once a Month, Once a Season, and Once a Year. This checklist allows me to focus in, know exactly where I am at and what needs to be done.


What about you?

Do you make your own cleaners? Have experienced the amazing-ness of essential oils yet?

If so, what brand do you use?

DIY/Crafts/ HOME/ Organizing/ Simplifying

Simple Tips Tricks and Routines To Keep Your Car Clean

Simple Tips, Tricks and Routines To Keep Your Car Clean

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Armor All, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #LessTimeMoreShine http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

We bought a new car about a year ago, and have been establishing some good routines to keep it looking (and smelling) like new. I have all kinds of simple tips, tricks and routines to share with you, from using Armor All Ultra Shine Wash & Wax wipes to keeping a lint brush in your glove compartment to pick up all those small things!

Simple Tips, Tricks and Routines To Keep Your Car Clean

As a Mom of 3 teen girls, I am in my car ALL THE TIME. Not only do I want to be a good steward of the blessing of a new car and take good care of it, but I also want to be in an environment that is clutter-free and easy to be in, where everything I need has a place.

Intentionality is the only way to keep life from overtaking our car, and routines are the answer! I have found that simple routines are the best way to keep the clutter out, and the interior and exterior of the car clean and shiny!

Simple Routines To Keep Your Car Clean

Routinely take trash and items that don’t belong out of your car

This is the most crucial step to keeping a clean car. If you can’t carry all items in right when you get home, do your best to get the rest either right away or next time you leave your car. The key is making a habit of pushing pause before heading inside to see what you can grab. Remind the kids to do the same as they head out of the car. Do this every time you arrive home and things won’t pile up or get overwhelming.

Glove Compartment Cleaning Kit

The simple decision to keep trash bags in the car has truly worked wonders for me. I keep a roll of small trash bags in the glove compartment and whenever I see more trash than I can carry piling up in the car, I will grab a bag off the roll and get rid of the trash in one easy sweep!

Armor All Wash & Wax Wipes

Keep items on hand to conveniently clean

The key to keeping routines is to make them as easy as possible. Having the right items on hand is the path to efficiency.  I keep a cleaning kit in my glove box for easy grab and go clean for the interior of my car, which I will share below.

There is now grab and go clean for the EXTERIOR of your car, too! Armor All has 1, 2, 3 step system to be used anytime, anywhere. The Ultra Shine Wash & Wax Wipes and Ultra Shine Tire Sponges are NEW Armor All products – all THREE available at Walmart.

These products are pre-moistened and treated, so you literally need nothing else to clean the exterior of your car. These are the perfect go-to for making your car shine without requiring a bucket and hose. Talk about a convenient way to clean!

Rescue car once a week.

My Todd does this for me every Saturday. He brings in any items that do not belong in the car and throws away all trash. I so appreciate his faithfulness in this, and try hard during the week to bring things in to make less work for him. He often will vacuum the car out for me, too, so it is important to me that the car is empty and ready for him to do this. He also fills the gas tank. I am a spoiled girl! This weekly rescue does make a difference!

Make use of sitting time.

Use the time that you are already stuck sitting in the car. As a mom of teens, I am often sitting in my car waiting for my girls to finish soccer practice or socializing at church. Other times I find myself sitting is when I am picking them up from school, or picking one of their friends up to hang out. My girls will go in to retrieve their friend and more times than not take a few minutes to return to the car–teen girls can get distracted! Instead of getting annoyed, I try to use those moments to take a quick but purposeful glance around the car to see what needs to be rescued. This is when I make use of the tools in my clean car glove compartment kit.

Simple Tips, Tricks and Routines To Keep Your Car Clean

Tips and Tricks To Keep Your Car Clean

Keep a small duster in the glove box

It is so easy to grab and quick dust the dash and areas around the driving seat during those periods of time when you are waiting or right when you arrive home. Don’t have a small duster?  Coffee filters are great for inexpensive, lint-free dusting or wiping crumbs. I found that coffee filters are even great for wiping fingerprints off of shiny surfaces.

Use a can of compressed air for detailed cleaning.

I personally think this is super fun and satisfying way to banish dust anywhere that it has accumulated, especially in small cracks. Use a blast of air to move those trapped particles out!

Simple Tips, Tricks and Routines To Keep Your Car Clean

Use storage spaces wisely

Decide what you want to keep on hand in your car, then create a space for those items. Use the storage spaces your car comes with, and add your own containers to maximize the usefulness of these areas. I added these small square containers to the little storage space between the front seats of my car.

Notice what makes up clutter in your car, decide what to keep in your car and create a home for it. Example items I like to keep around–lip balm, hair ties, mints, spare change, pens, an extra phone charger and my favorite essential oil to put in my car essential oil diffuser.

Throw carpeted floor mats into the washing machine

I had no idea you could do this until I stumbled upon this tip on the web. They suggested using the gentle cycle and air drying. I have not tried this because my floor mats are rubber.

Throw rubber floor mats in the dishwasher

Bang debris off of your car mats then lay them over the top rack of your dishwasher. A pressure wash that requires no work from you!

Simple Tips, Tricks and Routines To Keep Your Car Clean with Wash & Wax Wipes

Armor All Wash & Wax Wipes

Armor All Wash & Wax Wipes

Use Armor All Wash & Wax Wipes to keep the EXTERIOR of your car sparkling

Armor All Ultra Shine Wash Wipes are extra large and sturdy, use to simply wipe your car clean.  I absolutely love using these wipes for the car exterior and also for the neglected areas right inside the car door seal that tend to collect dirt.

The second step is Armor All Ultra Shine Wax Wipes, simply wipe and go. I was amazed that it only took one wax wipe for my entire car. I was also amazed at how shiny it left my car.

I will share the 3rd step —Armor All Ultra Shine Tire & Trim Shine Sponges— below, where you can see my hubcaps and tires shine! So simple. So easy! You can find all of these wipes at your local Walmart.

Use a foam brush to clean vents

Foam brushes are a great item to have handy in the glove box. They fit perfectly into the little slats of air conditioning vents. You can buy them at your local dollar store.

Trunk Organizer

Use a trunk organizer

I LOVE my trunk organizer. It has 3 compartments that hold my groceries nicely, and also a detachable cooler that I take right into the grocery store with me. It is so convenient! This organizer has a zipper pouch on the end for storing an emergency car kit, maps, and my Armor All Wash & Wax wipes.

Keep a roll of small trash bags handy

I shared this tip earlier. You could also use plastic grocery store bags, but a roll is nice and compact to fit in the glove box for a quick grab.

Have tissues on hand to wipe up small messes as they happen and for multiple uses.

I like having items in the car that can have more than one use. These are great to use if my coffee drips, to wipe my hands if I’m putting on makeup in the car (can’t beat all that natural light!) or to blow my nose during allergy season.

Armor All Wash & Wax Wipes

Shine up those tires & hubcaps

This is an area I neglected all year until I discovered Armor All Ultra Shine Tire and Trim Shine Sponges. I had no idea my hubcaps were so dirty and how easy it would be to wipe them down with these sponges. It also made my tires look brand new again.  I’ve been amazed at how my tires now seem to repel dust and dirt.

Vacuum from the top down.

Don’t forget the car ceiling! Make use of those detail attachments on your vacuum.

Use upholstery cleaner.

Along with a microfiber cloth, upholstery cleaner is great for spots on the ceiling (how do they get up there?) or on seats or even seat belts. They also can be used on a child’s car seat.

Use a toothbrush

Brush dirt and grime out of seat cracks with an old toothbrush. Use it with cleaner to get dirt that has embedded itself in the textures of your vinyl.

Use a wooden skewer.

Wooden skewers and a cloth to remove dirt from small crevices. This allows you to do your own detailed cleaning.

Keep a lint brush handy.

A roller-type sticky lint brush is a great to get crumbs from upholstery and carpets in between vacuuming. It can also be used on a child’s seat. These are fun to use! Hand them to your kids to do some cleaning for you as they hang out in the back seat!

Get those vacuum attachments out.

Use a vacuum attachment for sucking up dirt as you dust cracks and crevasses. Have the vacuum attachment in one hand, and a brush in the other, vacuuming the dust right up as you brush it out of all the nooks and crannies.

Move those seats.

Slide all your seats way forward to get all dirt and debris behind them.

Roll the window down a bit before cleaning.

This gets the very tip top edge of it clean, too.

Keep it smelling clean

I love using a car essential oil diffuser. It plugs right into the car lighter which gently heats it and sends the scent throughout the car. I store a bottle of essential oils right in my car, usually something citrus which is super uplifting and smells amazing. Hint: don’t use relaxing lavender oil in the car…you want to stay alert!

Play music while you clean

This is a must. Play your favorite tunes while you clean and keep those windows rolled down if it is nice out and let the fresh air in!

DIY Glove Compartment Car Cleaning Kit

Glove Compartment Car Cleaning Kit

Glove Compartment Car Cleaning Kit

Glove Compartment Car Cleaning Kit Items

tissues

roll of small trash bags

lint roller

foam brush

coffee filters

mini microfiber duster

old toothbrush

wooden skewer

small brushes

toothbrush

microfiber cloth

essential oils for car essential oil diffuser

——–

What about you?

Do you have routines that keep your car clean?

Would you like to purchase your own Armor All Ultra Shine Wipes? If so, shop your automotive section in Walmart and use this  $2.00 off any one (1) of the Armor All Ultra Shine Wipes coupon while supplies last!

HOME/ Organizing/ Seasonal

5 Steps To A Clean Pantry + Keep A Clean Home Free Printable

clean-pantry-pin

According to my “Keeping A Clean Home” Printable, I am due for a good seasonal pantry cleaning. It is perfect timing as the holidays are coming, so I need to see what I have and make room for the holiday cooking and baking items I need.

I will have people all up in my kitchen, opening cupboards and helping me prepare—talk about motivating! I love having a full kitchen during the holidays, but I don’t want to cringe when someone opens my pantry or cabinets! I know you feel me.

It will also be very helpful to know exactly what I have in my pantry when I am holiday menu planning, and really just meal planning in general. I get so frustrated when I buy an item just to come home and discover I already have it. Wasted time, space and money!

Speaking of money, having an organized pantry really does help save money. Not only will you buy fewer duplicates, but if you make sure all foods are in containers or airtight, they will last longer and you will have less waste. We definitely are better at eating up the food we already have when we can clearly see what is there, which keeps us from grabbing food on the go or wanting to order food in. All big-time money savers.

Last summer I made and shared with you this super helpful “Keeping a Clean Home” printable checklist. It divides tasks into Every Day, Once a Week, Once a Month, Once a Season, and Once a Year. This checklist allows me to focus in, know exactly where I am at and what needs to be done.

The chart is keeping me on track and I’m slowly working through it. I’m pretty good at the Daily, Weekly, & Monthly lists. It’s the Seasonal and Yearly lists that I really need to zero in on, which I have actually been doing! The list is on my refrigerator and I have about half of those Seasonal and Yearly items crossed off.

Would you like to print one out for yourself too?

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE ‘KEEPING A CLEAN HOME’ PRINTABLE HERE

Clean pantry canned goods

5 Steps To A Clean Pantry

1. Remove Everything From Your Pantry

This will allow you to see what you are working with, what needs to go and clear your pantry for a good clean wipe down. This step is always entertaining, as I find all kinds of items that I didn’t know I had! I get inspired and a bit giddy about all of the possibilities of fun food I can make with the treasures I find.

2. Sort and Toss

Go through the items, start putting ‘like’ items together, then toss, toss, toss! Say goodbye to old, expired items. Don’t be afraid to get rid of items you won’t use, even if they are not expired. Donate them if you don’t want to throw them out. Use a critical eye and don’t keep anything you won’t use.

This is a good time to get rid of spices that are older than a year and bulk items that you have no idea when they expire or when you purchased them.

drawer organization for a clean pantry

3. Categorize

Think “like with like.”  Use the way a grocery store organizes their food as a guide to organize yours. Decide if you want to create stations, like a baking station, breakfast station or snack station. I personally always have a nuts and seeds station and an ‘oatmeal toppings’ station, as these are foods I eat every day and it is convenient to have them all gathered together in a specific area.

paper towels to clean cans for a clean pantry

4. Clean

Cleaning will be a breeze with all your items out of the way. I used my DIY All-Purpose Lemon cleaner and paper towels from Viva to unleash clean in my pantry. I like using Viva Vantage because it has a scrubby texture like a terry-cloth, that is great for cleaning anything that is stuck on shelves and cabinets. They are so strong and durable that you can actually wring them out and reuse them several times! I used Viva Vantage to wipe the bottoms of my food containers and jars before placing them back in the pantry.

viva-paper-towel-clean-pantry

As you can see in the picture below, Viva not only sells textured Viva Vantage towels, but also  Viva towels which have a signature soft and smooth texture, almost like an undershirt material. They are amazingly absorbent and won’t leave any residue behind. I like to use these to dry my jars and dust the tops of cans. I also use these to dry my shelves completely before returning items.

Viva-paper-towels-smooth-textured

DIY All-Purpose Lemon Cleaner

1/2 c white vinegar | juice of one lemon | 2 c water

Stir to combine. Put in spray bottle.

DIY-cleaner-lemon

Use the dusting vacuum attachment to get all hard-to-reach crumbs from the corners and any that fell to the floor. Now is the time to be thorough, since this is a seasonal cleaning.

5. Return Items

This is the most fun and satisfying part. Put your organized, wiped and grouped items back. Keep beauty in mind as you are arranging them on the shelves. If you use storage containers, keep them similar in color. My favorite storage containers are mason jars. I love being able to see what is inside and they look so darn cute. I also have a few favorite containers to corral smaller items. Keep it simple, keep it beautiful, and label only if it is your ‘thing.’

clean pantry before and after

clean pantry before and after 2

Now your pantry is clean and ready for the holidays. Hopefully, you have created extra room to hold all of those holiday groceries and store holiday leftovers.

How often do you clean out your pantry?

Are you having holiday guests this year?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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