Category Archives: Clean House

Cleaning tips/tricks and products.

Cleaning Your Dishwasher

dishwasher5So – I know it’s Easter and the cleanliness of your dishwasher is probably the last thing on your mind BUT…  I found this trick that TOTALLY works to clean/deodorize your dishwasher and I wish I had found it sooner!

Just place a dishwasher-safe dish (I used a glass measuring cup) with white vinegar on the top rack of your dishwasher and run it through a cycle on the hottest setting you can find.  The vinegar helps to remove the grime, grease, odors and crusty build-up your dishwasher accumulates over the course of time.  Then, sprinkle baking soda around the bottom of the dishwasher and run a short cycle.  The baking soda helps to deodorize and remove stains.

This leaves you with a SERIOUSLY sparkly and clean smelling dishwasher – DO IT!


Organized Cupboards

cupboardsPutting up clear plastic paper holders to hold restaurant menus or meal plans is one way to keep the clutter down and “important” information at hand.

I do a variation of this with sheet protectors for my weekly menu and child medication list (how much Tylenol to give at certain ages/weights) just so it’s right there w/o cluttering up the counter.  I also use a dry erase marker to cross off items I’ve already cooked (easily wipes off).  I think adding a menu pocket would be awesome though!

8 Aromatic Herbs that Purify Air Naturally

lavenderIf you’re in a small space and you find yourself with trouble breathing/dealing with a stink/needing fresh air – invest in a plant!  If you go with one of the 8 herbs listed in this article, you’ll find you’ve just invested in something that pulls double duty… clean air AND tasty seasoning to boot!

I just may follow my own advice – as I LOVE fresh herbs in my food.

Cleaning Down Comforters

down comforter

Who doesn’t love a fluffy, warm down comforter on a chilly winter night/morning?  But seriously, have you tried washing one of these bad boys?  No easy task!

Have I mentioned we have an almost 3 year old who’s potty training?  Did I forget to mention she loves to snuggle early in the morning?  Who sees the logical transition to me getting up at 6:30am this morning soaking wet with a wet down comforter sticking to us?

My fluffy white cloud of warm heaven was WET WET WET this morning :(  Fortunately, it was a day I could drop the kiddo off with the in-laws and bring our comforter to the Laundromat :)

Yep – that’s what I said… the Laundromat.  According to my google research and ehow that’s where you should take your down comforter if you want to clean it instead of chopping off an arm and leg dry cleaning.  And, though I recall really cheep laundromats from college the one I found in town today was … not so cheap :(  $4.50 for a single wash and $0.25/4 min in the big driers.  In total it was about $10 inclusive of soap.

On a positive note, I received some free advice from the lady working there :D

  • Toss a shoe tied in a sock or tennis balls tied in socks to help fluff the comforter while drying.
  • Remove the comforter about every 10 min. to hand fluff, making sure to get all the down fluffed out of the corners of each square.
  • If you bring it home even a little wet, make sure to fluff out each square until completely dry (letting it sit wet is what creates a mold situation… eww)

The one thing recommended by both the web and the laundromat lady: DON’T DO IT AT HOME!  Soaking wet, the down comforter may look like it’ll fit in your typical drier… but the size of the drier is not big enough to handle the comforter at it’s fully fluffed capacity and attempting to do so will most likely burn out your condenser coil due to over heating :(

Organized House – Trunk of Containment

Alrighty then!  I have succeeded in organizing one facet of our household (for which I am EXTREMELY proud): OFFICE.

Once upon a time I had one, maybe two, boxes of “office supplies” and paperwork.  This is what I THOUGHT at least… until I finally moved all my stuff into one location post-marriage.  Then, the true realization of the amount of stuff I had accumulated over the years sat there glaring at me.  I’ve gone through many different forms of “organizing” the office.  Resulting in purchases that were initially going to solve all our cluttered office problems but turned into furniture that just cluttered up our space.

IKEA drawers

IKEA drawers

I made my hubby buy a certain set of desks from IKEA because they had a matching drawer/file cart that I was “totally going to use for all our files”!  Please note:  I couldn’t even fit one file into the silly little cart.  And though it was good for random clutter and pens – it lacked even a basic helpfulness when it came to all my financial aid, bills, old medical, or misc files.   (The baby-safe latches were something we added on later, after our daughter pinched her fingers dramatically one evening.)

Then, after attending a Money Wise Woman conference with my mother, I was convinced we needed a filing cabinet for all our stuff.  I needed some way to rotate out all those very important documents!  So, we bought a file cabinet and invested the $$ in files and hanging files and everything that was going to help me stay organized… then I accidentally broke the file cabinet by neglecting to strap it to the wall (this was pre-baby).  So I ended up buying those little plastic crates as a temporary solution for the multitude of files we had strewn around the office.

This is the point where I determined 1) We had too many files 2) I am an office supply junkie and 3) We needed a REAL solution to this clutter/dis-organization issue.  So…

With the assistance of a printer/scanner bought two or three years ago, a shredder borrowed and a LOT of time; I scanned/shredded all non-essential files and kept only the ones that we needed hard copies of (ie. mortgage statements and tax information).

Now, the problem was… scaling back the office supplies I’ve collected over the years and fitting them WITH the essential files into a central location that was closed off from my kiddo.  WHAT TO DO?!?

Score one for Martha Stewart (I hate to admit that – but she was my inspiration on this one…) I decided to pair up this filing system from Martha with my dream of a little “get ready” area for the kid to create our front entryway/office space.  My hubby had a trunk from his younger days that he kindly emptied for me and files went inside one plastic crate inside the trunk.  Any office supplies I wanted to keep HAD to fit inside the trunk as well.  All other office supplies are being donated to local school districts.  And Voila! an organized, condensed and easily accessibile office space that cost us ZERO dollars since I only used what we had.

Winter Cleaning Tips

After a long and eventful holiday season it’s the new year and with that comes the dreaded “new years resolution”.  Just in case, like me, one of your resolutions is to have a clean and well-maintained home, I have compiled a checklist from all the real estate “helpful tips” and from other sources to determine the most recommended Home Maintenance tips, organized by season for your perusal and use:

Seasonal Home Care Checklist

Winter Safety Checklist

Some quick tips provided to us via our city…

  • DE-ICE YOUR WALKWAYS/DRIVEWAYS – Are you ready for snow?  Be prepared for those potentially snowy/icy days … slipping and falling can be a hazard to you, your family/friends and even those annoying door-to-door salesmen!
  • INSULATE YOUR FAUCETS – Nothing will ruin the holiday  spirit faster than a flooded house!  In freezing temperatures, take protective measures to keep your pipes from freezing.
  • FIRE EXTINGUISHERS AND SMOKE DETECTORS – This is the season of cozy fireplace fires, fragrant candles, beautiful holiday lights, and turkeys roasting in the oven.  Be prepared in the unfortunate event of a fire!  check the batteries in your smoke detectors, ensure your fire extinguishers are up to date, and make sure your family has a plan for what to do in case of a fire.
  • CHECK YOUR LIGHTS – The days are getting shorter and it is getting dark earlier.  Verify bicycle lights are in good working order, and keep flashlights and candles on hand in case of a power outage.

Homemade Swiffer Duster

Seems like today is the day for talking about cleaning… perhaps it was the latte I had at 6 tonight? I am rethinking that decision at the moment…

So!  I was cruising around Etsy when I saw these really cool Swiffer Duster things… and I thought to myself, “Self, you can totally do that!”  So, I grabbed the sewing machine and some spare fleece I had hanging around the house and went at it… low and behold… HOMEMADE SWIFFER DUSTER things!

Recommendations:  Use dry.  I tested it out using a spray duster thing and the dust got all clumpy and stayed put :(