7 Daily Habits for a Cleaner Home

10
Dec
2015

7 Daily Habits for a Cleaner Home

#1 – Prepare Your Heart

This one may very well seem like a waste of time, however – when you can take some quiet time at the beginning of your day it will show in your attitude. Our job as caretakers in our homes can be joyful, challenging, and some days exhausting – but HE is able to refresh us IF we ask.   Do not let this one slide……be sure to take some time to get revived!

#2 – Clear Out Your Sink

Do not leave dirty dishes in your sink – especially overnight. That is the worst feeling ever to wake up to. If you have older children, help train them to clear off their own plates and place them in the dishwasher after each meal. If you wash by hand, be sure to assign the job to a member in the family to avoid the “overnight monster stacked pile.”

#3 – Wipe Down Counters

I include this in my routine under “Kitchen Tidy” in my Free Weekly Household Planner. I make every effort to clean off any surface in my kitchen, usually after each meal. It leaves space to come in and begin prepping the next meal and I do not get anxious about clutter. Such a relief!

#4 – Do a Load

I am a load (or two loads) of laundry a day person. I find that it keeps things moving through our laundry room and nearly eliminates all clutter. (This is my favorite DIY detergent too, smells amazing!!)  I have also found we need less clothing if I am rotating through the dirty clothes and washing regularly. It makes it easier for my youngest to put his clothes away as well, as it becomes a habit.

#5 – Put Shoes and Coats AWAY!

If you do not have a system in place for shoes and coats – quick, get one! Some hangers in the closet and some hooks on the door will make it handy for all ages to put their outerwear away. Also, having a bench with cubbies for shoes is helpful to keep the pile down. There is almost nothing worse than having shoes scattered around the house.

#6 – Keep It Fresh

There is something about having a house that “smells” clean that helps everyone adjust their perspective.

Years ago I would use Febreze or room sprays filled with chemicals to get that appearance of a “clean” home smell – but little did I know how incredible horrible they were for me and my family to be breathing in. Air fresheners – in aerosol, spray, solid, candle, or plug-in form – don’t remove odors, they just mask them.

Now I use a diffuser filled with a favorite essential oil, like Lavender or Purification for stubborn smells – they do not just mask odors, but rather help purify the air. I also have a small spray bottle filled with water and a few drops of essential oil that I can use to spray in my living areas too. (Ahem, also this poo-poo spray is very effective!)

#7 – 15 Minute Evening Pickup

This is not one you have to do on your own! Get everyone involved, set a timer, and put stuff away – clear the coffee table, entryway of miscellaneous after school items, dining table, and family room area. Put things back where they really belong to keep clutter down and gain a sense of “a place for everything” feeling.

Keep an Organized Home in 2015 – YES – REALLY!

8
Dec
2014

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Drum Roll…….. the 2015 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner is ready to go and you can download it for FREE!!  If you are  a subscriber to my newsletter, you’ve already gotten the notice and hopefully grabbed your copy

This is my second year using your planner and I love it! I also am currently reading The Christian Homemakers Handbook, after you had posted on it this past summer, and I love it!   Thank you!!!

LOVE the planner!! I’ve been looking forward to doing my planned “chores” each day and no longer feel like I need to do EVERYTHING EVERY DAY! I suddenly have so much more time in my day and my house is still getting taken care of Thank you so much for offering this to us for free!!

“Thank you soooo much!!! For the first time in my married life, I can open the door and invite someone into my home at any moment without being afraid of what pile of clothes I have on the bed that needed to be folded or dishes still in the sink. My 11-year-old daughter has even become a “neat freak” and will say often, “Mommy, I just can’t stand having a mess anywhere now – I just can’t function that way!” And those words from the child I used to have to beg to clean up her room – It’s proof that children really do learn what they live! Thanks again for what you do – it is truly a ministry.   

I am so incredibly thrilled to offer this planner to you all for FREE!  It does take a sizable amount of work to update it each year and also create some new pages for the Supplemental Pack to get your life even more organized.  But GOD is good and He provides what is needed to get the task done.

So how can this planner help you?

Get a Plan

Whether you print one page of the planner out a week, or print the entire contents out and put it in a binder, find a method that will work for you.  No one likes to get re-organized each week – so pick a method and go with it.  

My method is to print the year out, take it to Staples and spiral bind it for $4.  I can then write all over it and I actually  keep my previous year planner because of all the notes I’ve written on the pages.  I am also a big fan of the “just tell me what to do version” – that is my kinda gig!

 Weekly-Household-Planner-Spiral-Bound

Maybe you are a ‘print each week as you go’ so you can type in the editable fields kids gal – then do that.  Post it on the refrigerator or place it in a notebook.  I have also heard from moms that have been able to use the planner pages on their tablets – 

  • If you have a tablet, like an iPad you can use the Weekly Household planner “paperless” with any app that allows you to “write” on a PDF – for example Notability.
  • On the Kindle, you can download “Note Everything” for free and use it too!

I have not done this myself, and will likely experiment with this, but if you have had success please share in the comments so you might be able to help another mom out.  In addition, many have downsized the planner pages, but changing the printer settings on their printers, for example – printing two of the pages on one 8 X 11 page….if you have done that please share here too!

Give Yourself Grace

If all the tasks do not get crossed off each day – the world won’t end!  You need to be real with yourself and have realistic expectations each day {I shared a post on this last year that was very helpful} – your home is not like your friends’ home or the mom who is sharing on Facebook about how she managed to get all ten of her kids to complete the entire task list for the week in one day – you are you.

You need to realize each day is different and if you do not get it crossed off – oh well!  This is a guide – not a mandate!  I have placed tasks on the planner in a reasonable order and frequency to allow your home to stay picked up, tidy and in order, but if you miss a few things here and there – things will not fall apart.  Just pick up the next day and move on.

Delegate

You will need to gain help – in one form or another.  I shared a post about delegating more tasks in your Weekly Household Planner – this is key.  You are doing a big favor for yourself, but also one for your children if you bring the entire family into play when helping to keep your home in order.  They will earn life skills that will anchor them to be responsible adults when they leave home.

You can use color coded highlighters to delegate tasks for each child – this is one way to share in the process.  Allow your children to pick one task out of each day that they can help with and then when all the tasks are done, do something fun together – like a game, make a snack or get outside to ride bikes.  

Working together for the better good of the whole is a great family lesson to teach at home.

Quick Tips

I posted a Weekly Household Quick Tip each Monday as we ventured through the planner several years ago.  If you need some inspiration, just type Weekly Household Quick Tip in the search bar in the upper right corner and get some encouragement or find a tip for a certain task listed in the planner.  Need a natural Laundry Rinse that is  inexpensive and easy to use, how about some ideas on how to begin your quiet time routine, or cleaning the garage?  There is a lot of great information buried in these pages – just type a search word and phrase and hit go! 

If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, go HERE, go to the bottom of the page and give your email address and name to get your free copy.  If you are interested in grabbing other planning pages to create a home management notebook, you’ll want to grab the planner + supplemental pack for $6 total.  What a bargain – a year calendar and over a dozen planning pages to keep you organized – that’s less than $.50 a month.

Here is a sneak at what the Supplemental Pack contains!!  I love the new additions this year of the new menu planner, Blessings for your Home printable, Household Maintenance Log and Gifts List!

SUPPLEMENT-GRAPHIC-2015 

What is your best tip for keeping your home tidy and organized?

Six Phone Apps That Make My Life Easier

19
Jun
2014

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I thought it would be fun to share what APPS I have on my phone and why.  Normally I am a pretty minimalist kinda gal, so I am not into all the latest and greatest, especially when it comes to APPS.  But there are a few that I find help and can save you time, your sanity and make things just a bit nicer too!

YouVersion Bible APP

I have shared this one several times before, but I always have new moms stumble into my community so could not pass this one by.  YouVersion is a FREE Bible on your phone, iPad or Tablet, but honestly – it is way more than that!

You can access an entire bible in many different formats just with the touch of a finger, but you also have access to hundreds of devotionals, videos and more.  This is what I currently have for my morning quiet time. I am able to do several different devotions and it keeps track of my reading, making it very easy!

Website:  youversion.com

The Bible APP for Kids

This is a creative Bible story APP that is perfect for kids age 6-8, although my four year old loves it.  There are stories from the Bible read and activities they can do along the way.   There are stars to collect through the reading and this makes kids eager to keep reading.

Website: bible.com/kidsscreen568x568

Letter School

This is one for the kids!  Voted the best Younger Children’s APP 2013 – KAPI Award, you will see why.  It is a great handwriting APP for both numbers and letters right on your phone or iPad.  Perfect for little fingers to get the idea of how to maneuver their fingers to make letters and also fun in the process.

It is great for using while waiting for an appointment or driving in the car.  I am not a huge screen user in the car, but it does come in handy for sure – plus they are learning something useful with letters and numbers.  That I like!

iTunes:  LetterSchool

Period Tracker LITE

I admit, I am not the best at keeping track of my monthly cycle.  I know, probably lame.  But this APP I’ve been using for over a year has made it so much easier to keep track of where I am in my cycle, helps me understand any moodiness which may come on (which honestly has been really diminished with the use of Young Living’s Progessence Plus Serum) as well as quickly being able to see when my period is due to arrive, especially if I am traveling out of town.  They also have a version for $1.99 which has a few more options, but the free version is great for me.

iTunes:  Period Tracker LITE4067c5_3cff470ce0c249cf8af8763f1205a9e1.png_srz_237_445_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srz

EveryDay Spirit

My newest APP purchase and so worth $1.99!  Every Day Spirit is a collection of 180 beautiful, hand-crafted iPhone wallpapers designed to be a daily reminder of goodness, joy and light.  I love being able to change the face of my phone with a scripture or other inspirational quote.

You can choose from Kindness, Gratitude, Joy, Faith, Love, Prayers, Peace and more.   Funny enough, the shot from their site is exactly the first one I chose for my phone!   It’s $1.99, but in my opinion, well worth the Joy it will put in my day when I glance at my phone sixteen trillion times!

Website:  Everyday Spirit

Pro HDR

I learned about this APP from my friend Myra {My Blessed Life}  while we were in Hawaii together.  She kept taking stunning sunset photos and when I asked her how, she spilled the beans!  She was using this APP.  I am not a blogger who does a lot of photography, but lately it has come in handy to have an APP that really takes great photos – food, family, outdoor shots, sunsets, beach scenes and more.

I love it and so does my hubby who also downloaded it.  If you are looking for an APP to help you take higher quality photos, this is the one!

iTunes:  Pro HDR

Now go download Pro HDR and take some fabulous summer photos!! 

No Martyr Moms Allowed

12
May
2014

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I asked a few weeks ago in my bi-monthly newsletter (if you do not get it, you can subscribe here!)  what you needed help conquering in your daily life – and many of you responded with pleas!

So every few weeks I will be responding to some of those questions with some tips from my own personal experience.

Today I will be sharing my suggestions to this questions I got from Elena:

The thing I really struggle with is delegating chores/tasks to my kids, and asking my husband for help.  I end up trying to do it all, which of course I can’t, so I crash and burn, hold my resentment in and feel like a martyr.  Not good!  
I am sure we can all relate  – I am the worst at asking for help, but you know….I am also the only one to blame when I do not.  Here are some tips to help you conquer this tricky issue.
 
You can’t do it all
 
Realize that it is totally okay and logically that you cannot run every aspect of your home on your own.  Period!  I think we often feel like we have to have our hands in every aspect of running our home and it doesn’t always work the best like that.  Giving yourself permission – it’s a good thing to let go.  The Weekly Household Planner is a great place to jump off to assigning small tasks to others, you can highlight tasks by color for different people, which many moms have found super helpful!
 
Small Tasks
 
Take baby steps in doling out tasks to others in your home.  If the dinner hour is overwhelming and you find yourself blowing your top because too much is going on and expected of you, then assign something to someone else.  Table setting, clean-up, a “mommy’s helper” for each night in the kitchen, or even give a night over to your older child or spouse.  It is okay – and likely will be the best thing you can do – giving up that responsibility.
 
Start Young
 
The younger you start to pass tasks and jobs onto your children, the better it is for everyone.  It becomes habit and an expectation, rather than as the years go by you decide to “ask” them to help out.  Everyone lives in your home so everyone should help with it’s running.  A home will not run smoothly or in harmony when one person is doing it all.
 
Do Not Nag
 
When you set up expectations for help around the home, whether it is with your kids or spouse, set up the expectation and also the consequence.  Perhaps it means if certain tasks are not completed the family won’t be able to play a game in the evening.  Having a chore system in your home is critical to success.  I wrote a few posts on tips with chores if you need more help in this area.  If you need more help, I share some extra tips on home management here too.
 
Enjoy
 
Learn to enjoy the benefits of having other help out.  I struggle with pride issues with regard to feeling like I have to do everything in my home in addition to thinking that everyone else should be able to read my mind, which logically is ridiculous.  So I have to really pray and remember that I am human and so is everyone else.

Grab a copy of Become a Frugalista – Money-Saving Secrets for the Frugal Family Manager – Monday – May 12th and Tuesday – May 13th for only $.99!

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Weekly Household Quick Tip

20
May
2013


Tackling tasks in the Weekly Household Planner:

Delegating

Now, there is not a task in the planner that sates “delegate” but today I will share with you how critical it is for a mom to share household tasks.  Face it, we can not do it all and if you think you can be the super-woman-mom type, you will quickly exhaust yourself and feel failure festering.

I have all types of moms use my weekly household planner and they tweak it to fit their needs.  For example, a Stay at home mom may be able to accomplish all the tasks one week because her schedule is a bit more open, she has no outside appointments, a rather slow social calendar that week, etc – and she is effective at getting those who are in the home to help cooperate.

A mom who works outside the home as well as performs all the regular tasks caring for her home, will most likely have to cross some tasks off that just aren’t that important.  I encourage you to do this at the beginning of the week, just as soon as you’ve turned that page for a new week.  We all need to be realistic!

A single mom – well……you probably really need to evaluate your time at the beginning of the week and determine what is critical for that week.  Who can help you manage some tasks?  So, some tasks that maybe could get skipped this week could be:  organize the pantry, clean out your purse, wiping baseboards, decluttering drawers – those types of tasks.  When your time is stretched in many directions  you have to be smart with where you decide to spend it.

As summer is fast approaching I encourage you to give a few more tasks to your children to share in the household responsibilities – that old saying, “work before play” can be truly lived out this summer.  Develop a routine that has some tasks completed first thing in the morning so that you can enjoy the day.  You are really doing your kids a big favor by allowing them to participate in the keeping of your home, these are life skills that they carry out into the real world.

What tasks are you giving your kids this week?

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