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Category Archives for Cleaning

15 Minute Tasks for the Week

Organize and Clean

 

We've already spent one week disinfecting bedrooms; now let's make sure we finish up the bedrooms we didn't do last time.  I'll be working in the master bedroom this week.

 

Monday

Take down and wash curtains and bed linens in the bedroom(s) of your choice.

Tuesday

Clean ceiling fans in all bedrooms and knock down any cobwebs from the ceiling.

*Helpful tips for cleaning ceiling fans*

  1. Use an old pillowcase to clean the fan blades.  Just slip it over the blade, grip it tightly, and slide it back off of the blade.  The dust will be contained inside the pillowcase instead of floating around in the air.
  2. Clean the rest of the fan with a swiffer duster or a damp rag.
  3. Keep a spray bottle of water handy, and spray the air around the fan as you dust.  The mist will help the dust particles fall to the floor instead of floating around in your face and making you sneeze.  (I tried this for the first time this week, and was amazed that I had no problems with sneezing, itchy eyes, sore throat, etc. like I almost always do when I’m around dust.)

Wednesday

Mist bedroom walls with a non-toxic disinfectant.  Scrub any smudges, crayon drawings, etc. off with a rag.

Thursday 

Move bedroom furniture out from the wall.  Dust the baseboards and spray with disinfectant.  Vacuum the entire floor, including underneath of the furniture.  If you have a wood floor, sweep and spray the entire floor with disinfectant.

Friday

Spray all bedroom furniture (dressers, bed frames, etc.) with a non-toxic disinfectant and wipe down with a rag.  Empty trash cans and spray with disinfectant before replacing the liner.

Saturday

Move quickly through all bedrooms and remove any items that do not belong there.  Place them in the correct places in the house, throw away trash, and get rid of things you no longer use.

 

Non-toxic disinfectant recipe for those that asked last time:

16 oz. water

3 tbsp. liquid castile soap

30 drops tea tree oil

Mix together in a spray bottle.

 

There are many, many ways you can make a non-toxic disinfectant if you don't have these ingredients on hand.  (I order my ingredients from Vitacost since they have great prices, plus you get a $10 off $30 coupon when you create an account through my referral link. )

Other non-toxic products with disinfecting properties:

Vinegar water (50/50 ratio) (do not use on marble surfaces)

Hydrogen Peroxide (3 percent; if you want to spray it, you must use a dark spray bottle or screw the nozzle from another spray bottle directly onto the original peroxide bottle.) (Use vinegar and peroxide in conjunction with one another.)

Thieves Oil

Grapefruit seed extract

 

Do you have any favorite disinfectant recipes?  I'd love to hear about them!

 

If you want to keep up with 15 Minutes to a Clean and Organized Home or anything else that will be going on around here, then you’ll want to subscribe to email updates or follow me on Facebook so you won’t miss it!

15 Minute Tasks for the Week

Organize and Clean

Well, it's week three of 15 Minutes a Day to a Clean and Organized Home!  I hope you're starting to notice some small changes around your house.  If you're just joining us or if you've missed some days, no problem!  This program is set up so that you can just jump right in where you are.

Last week we worked on disinfecting the bedrooms, and this week we're going to focus on organizing them.  I'll be focusing specifically on my kids' rooms, but feel free to work on the master bedroom or guest room if that's what works for you.

Be thinking ahead how to best organize your bedrooms so that you can be gathering the necessary supplies.  Andrea posted a very inexpensive way to make matching organizational bins.

Monday

Head into the room with a trash bag and three boxes.  Set the timer for 15 minutes and begin a purge of the room.  Work your way around the room clockwise and go through every closet, drawer, nook, and cranny.  Throw away any trash, add anything you do not need to one box to be donated or sold.  Add anything that belongs in another room to the other box to be put away.  In the third box, place items on which you are undecided.  You may think you can't bear to part with something, but by the end of the week you may realize it's time to let it go.  (Don't focus too much on cleaning out the clothes unless you readily see something you know you need to get rid of.  We'll be spending a couple days dedicated to just clothing later on.)

 

Tuesday

Continue with another 15 minutes of purging.  If you finished one bedroom on Monday, work in another bedroom.

Wednesday

Set the timer for 15 minutes and work on organizing one closet shelf or drawer.  Place like items together in bins or baskets.  Over-the-door shoe holders work well for holding small items such as small toys, scarves and accessories, or hey, even…shoes!  If you're working in a child's room, organize the room in such a way that is easy for children to keep organized themselves.  Label dresser drawers or toy bins (use pictures if they can't read) so that children can put their items away in the correct places all by themselves.

Thursday

Work for another 15 minutes on organizing another area of the room.

Friday

You guessed it!  Another 15 minute organizing session in the bedroom!

Saturday

Take 15 minutes to wrap up loose ends in the bedroom.  If you have boxes of things that you haven't decided what to do with, now is the time to make a decision.  Decide where the items belong and put them away, or put them in your donate box.

 

How did you do last week?  Did you get those bedrooms disinfected?  It makes you feel wonderful when you walk into the room, doesn't it?

If you're just joining us, you'll probably want to email updates or follow along on Facebook so you can keep up with each week's new tasks.

 

15 Minute Tasks for the Week

Organize and Clean

 

This week was incredibly full.  Full of unforeseen events, that is!  The older kids were sick all week, and the baby was teething, and I was doing good to even get a shower much less do any organizing or cleaning projects.  When they started feeling a little better, and I began to put the house back in order, we had last-minute overnight guests for the weekend.  So, with my head hung in shame, I have to report to you that I didn't do any of last week's assignments.

On the bright side, however,  I did do a whole lot of other deep cleaning projects.  You see, when my kids are sick, I get frantic about ridding the house of any possible germs.  I spent any free moments scrubbing their bedrooms and the bathroom floor to ceiling with disinfectant, and washing all their bed linens, curtains, and furniture.  Did it help them get better any faster?  I have no idea.  They did stay sick with runny noses and coughs all week, but they didn't get any worse than that.  I've heard plenty of stories from others in my church, and even from my Facebook friends in different states, how nasty the viruses are that are going around this year, and how long it's been taking people to recover.  Would my family have gotten to that point had I not tried to stop the germs in their tracks and boost their immune systems at the first signs of any sickness?  Maybe, maybe not.  But I didn't want to find out.

Anyway, now that I'm done rambling, I'm going to assign you some of the same tasks this week.  These are things that will need to be done at some point in the year anyway, so you might as well do them during cold and flu season!

Monday

Take down and wash curtains and bed linens in the bedroom(s) of your choice.

Tuesday

Clean ceiling fans in all bedrooms and knock down any cobwebs from the ceiling.

*Helpful tips for cleaning ceiling fans*

  1. Use an old pillowcase to clean the fan blades.  Just slip it over the blade, grip it tightly, and slide it back off of the blade.  The dust will be contained inside the pillowcase instead of floating around in the air.
  2. Clean the rest of the fan with a swiffer duster or a damp rag.
  3. Keep a spray bottle of water handy, and spray the air around the fan as you dust.  The mist will help the dust particles fall to the floor instead of floating around in your face and making you sneeze.  (I tried this for the first time this week, and was amazed that I had no problems with sneezing, itchy eyes, sore throat, etc. like I almost always do when I'm around dust.)

Wednesday

Mist bedroom walls with a non-toxic disinfectant.  Scrub any smudges, crayon drawings, etc. off with a rag.

Thursday 

Move bedroom furniture out from the wall.  Dust the baseboards and spray with disinfectant.  Vacuum the entire floor, including underneath of the furniture.  If you have a wood floor, sweep and spray the entire floor with disinfectant.

Friday

Spray all bedroom furniture (dressers, bed frames, etc.) with a non-toxic disinfectant and wipe down with a rag.  Empty trash cans and spray with disinfectant before replacing the liner.

Saturday

Move quickly through all bedrooms and remove any items that do not belong there.  Place them in the correct places in the house, throw away trash, and get rid of things you no longer use.

 

 

*I am happy to post the recipe for my homemade non-toxic disinfectant if anyone is interested.  Just leave me a comment if you would like it.

 

How did you do on last week's assignments?  Whether you got them all done or had a week like mine where it just didn't happen, I'd love to hear about it!

15 Minute Tasks for the Week

Organize and Clean

 

Well, it's time for the first week of organizing and cleaning your home in 15 minutes a day!  Set your timer for 15 minutes each day, and do your best to finish the job before the timer goes off!

 

 

Monday

Coat closet/Entryway

Purge any unnecessary articles from your coat closet and/or entryway.  Place them in a bag to donate or put them in storage for a future yard sale (only if you’re completely sure you will have a yard sale!)  Throw away any trash.  Think ahead to how you want to organize this room.  Gather your supplies and place them in the room to be used on Tuesday.  If you need to purchase any items, add them to your shopping list.

Ideas for organizing the coat closet and entryway

–          Use baskets for holding miscellaneous articles.

–          Over-the-door shoe holders also work great for gloves and scarves.

–          Use baskets, cubbies, or a shoe tilt-out to contain shoes.

–          Umbrellas can be stored in an umbrella holder or hung on hooks.

–          Hooks are also good for purses and backpacks.

–          Coats can be hung in a coat closet or on a coat rack.

Tuesday

Coat closet/Entryway

Organize the coat closet and entryway.  (If you still have supplies that you need to purchase, move on to another day and come back to this job after you have obtained the needed supplies.)  Designate places for shoes, hats, gloves, scarves, purses, coats, umbrellas, and backpacks.

 

Wednesday

            Porch

Deep clean the porch.  Sweep the porch and stairs, vacuum or beat the rug, knock down cobwebs, dust the porch light and any decorations.

 

Thursday

Living Room

Purge any items that you don’t love or use often.  Place them in a bag to donate or put them in storage for a future yard sale.  Throw away any trash.  Think ahead to how you want to organize this room.  Gather your supplies and place them in the room to be used on Friday.  If you need to purchase any items, add them to your shopping list.

Ideas for organizing the living room:

– Use baskets to store like items together

– An ottoman or trunk is great for out-of-sight storage

– A pretty magazine rack keeps magazines and books from getting strewn about the room

 

Friday

Living Room

Organize the living room.  (If you still have supplies that you need to purchase, either work on Saturday's job or finish another job from earlier in the week that you didn't quite complete in 15 minutes.  Come back to this job after you have obtained the needed supplies.)  Place like items together into bins or baskets.  Store little used items out of sight in a trunk or cabinet.  Place books and magazines into a magazine rack.

 

Saturday

Living Room

Vacuum or sweep underneath the living room furniture.  Move furniture away from the wall if possible; otherwise reach under the best you can.

 

I'll be back next Monday with pictures of my progress!  If you're joining in, feel free to take your own photos and post them on our Facebook page!

Anti-Procrastination Challenge: Shiny Faucets

Anti-Procrastination Challenge

 

I saw on Pinterest forever ago that if you rub waxed paper over your faucets it will keep the faucets from getting those ugly water spots on them.

Source: inthiscrazylife-bethany.blogspot.com via MaryEllen on Pinterest

I cannot tell you how many times I have wiped down my sinks and faucets and thought, I really should try that waxed paper thing.  Instead of just going and getting the waxed paper and trying, I just think it every time.  Why do I procrastinate about everything?!!!

Anyway, so today I finally decided to go do it, and lo and behold, I had no waxed paper.

I tried checking the internet to see if there was anything else I could use, and I found something that said to use rubbing alcohol.

Here is my bathroom faucet immediately after cleaning it with alcohol:

(By the way, it is incredibly hard to take a good picture of a shiny faucet in a dimly lit bathroom.  You'll just have to use your imagination, okay?)

shiny faucet

 

Then, I purposely splashed water all over the faucet.  Most of it was repelled by the alcohol and ran right off.

shiny faucet

Here's what it looked like after it dried.  I think it looks just as good as when I first cleaned it with the alcohol.

shiny faucet

 

Time will tell how long I can go before I need to re-treat it with alcohol, but I can't imagine the waxed paper trick lasts forever either.

 

 

It's time for you to take your turn in this challenge!  Go shiny up those faucets!  If anybody tries the waxed paper method, I'd love to hear how it works for you.  Or, if you have any other ingenius ideas for keeping your faucets shiny, I'd love to hear about those too!

 

If you’re just joining the Anti-Procrastination challenge, you may want to subscribe to email updates or follow me on Facebook to receive each new challenge!

 

How to Help Yourself Work More Efficiently

Anti-Procrastination Challenge

 

Do you ever use psychology on yourself to help you work more efficiently?  I do all the time.

For instance, yesterday I worked really hard and got a lot done.  That was easily proved by looking at my to-do list and taking note of all the things that had been checked off.  But at the end of the day I was discouraged.  I felt like the house was a mess and I got nothing done.

This morning I knew I had to think through what it was that was discouraging me and come up with a remedy for it.  If I'm discouraged I do not work well.  I feel like my house is a hopeless case and wonder why I should even bother trying to clean it up.

In reality, it's never as bad as it feels like it is.

I have to use psychology on myself to encourage myself not to give up.  If I give up things really will get bad and it will be an absolute nightmare to catch up.

I have two choices when I'm starting to feel discouraged about the housework.

1. Start with the easiest things first (like I do on Mondays.)  When I do the quick and easy things first (like putting things where they belong as opposed to deep cleaning the bathroom), I can see immediate results and I realize things really weren't as bad as they looked.  I am then encouraged enough to finish up the rest of the housework.

-OR-

2. Get the hardest thing over with right away.  This was what needed to happen today.  I really needed to clean out the refrigerator, to be exact.  I thought about the reason I was discouraged at the end of the day yesterday and realized that although I had gotten a lot of cleaning done, I hadn't accomplished the one thing that was really bothering me.  Knowing how icky the inside of my refrigerator was was messing with my head.  It was making me feel like everything was dirty.  So I broke my rule about getting the dishes done first and started in on the fridge first thing this morning.

As soon as it was done I immediately felt better.  My mind became clear enough to see that the rest of the cleaning could easily be finished up.

 

fridge

Don't worry about the weird container in the back.  The fridge leaks water and we have to keep a container in there to catch it.

 

What is holding you back from being more productive?  Do you need to do something that will help you see some quick results?  Or do you need to dig in and work on something that's been hanging over your head and discouraging you?

Our emotions affect our productivity more than we realize.  There are no rules that says a house must be cleaned in a certain order.  If you are struggling and feel like you are never going to get it all done, try to figure out what will help you feel better. (Sorry, chocolate doesn't count!)  Take the time to identify what is dragging you down emotionally and work with yourself, not against yourself.

If you’re just joining the Anti-Procrastination challenge, you may want to subscribe to email updates or follow me on Facebook to receive each new challenge!

 

This post is linked to Time Warp Wife, Above Rubies, Thankful Homemaker, and Growing Home.
https://sheilawraygregoire.thinkific.com/pages/affiliates?fbclid=IwAR0aCpdRU-J7BcKePidq1qlLwEjIjILJSIvHrlE4ToV9zCDqPvMXnt-VLjo