Monday, June 3, 2013

My Cleaning Caddy

**Originally seen on my former blog, Organize ME!! and written for The Cherry on Top blog
Even though it feels nothing like Spring yet, I am sooo ready to open my windows and get some fresh air into my home!! Open windows are a must when I’m spring cleaning. I love making my own cleaning products, I have found a DIY recipe on Pinterest for just about any product you can imagine. But I do work full time, and I’m not going to lie, sometimes I’m just feeling too lazy to make them myself. I’d rather spend the energy I have on checking off my spring cleaning list rather than making my own cleaning solutions.
Whether I buy or make my cleaning solutions, I try to get everything I use at Dollar Tree. 99% of their cleaning supplies work just as good as the name brands, and seriously, it’s a dollar. It makes me sick to pay 3 times more at Walmart to get the same job done!!
Here’s my real secret to getting a lot of cleaning done in a short time: my cleaning caddy.

It is soooo cute, and handy!! Housework stinks, so you might as well make the most of it J I keep it stocked with everything I could need, so I don’t have to stop and search for something and get side tracked. These are my must haves:
·         “Swiffer” dusters*
·         Magic erasers*
·         Windex*
·         Coffee filters*
·         Disinfectant spray*
·         Spic n’ Span* surface cleaner
·         Carpet & upholstery cleaner
·         Rags
·         Furniture spray*
·         Canned air
·         “Electronics” cleaner**
·         Microfiber cloth
·         “Pledge”
*These products can be bought at Dollar Tree. I was so excited when I found the generic magic erasers, they are the exact same and now I don’t have to use them so sparingly!! I can use them on EVERYTHING J The “Swiffer” like dusters are a steal also!! I haven’t found a carpet & upholstery cleaner that I like very well, so I do go for the name brands on that.
**Hopefully you know that you shouldn’t use any old cleaner on your electronics, but the specialty stuff you find in the electronics department is soooo overpriced. You know what it is?! 1 part rubbing alcohol, 1 part distilled water. Put it in a spray bottle and wipe away with a microfiber cloth!!
I like to use coffee filters from Dollar Tree to clean my windows and mirrors, and I use old white socks or cut up t-shirts as cleaning rags. I also make sure to have these handy:
·         Broom
·         Mop
·         Vacuum
·         Steam cleaner
·         Carpet shampooer
·         Boxes for sorting
I always make sure I have a box for trash, items to sell, items to donate, and items that belong elsewhere. It’s best to just throw everything in the box and deal with it when the cleaning is done, or I get sidetracked and never finish the job I started with.
Only you know what tasks need to be done in your home, but check out my Spring Cleaning board on Pinterest if you don’t know where to start. Typically though, think “Start high, finish low”. Start with dusting the ceiling fan and corners, and work your way down to shampooing the carpet.
You can order my cleaning caddy in 5 different patterns from my Initials, Inc. Creative Partner, Missy Noel (click here for her shop). It’s called the “Get a Grip” and can be used for so much… a diaper changing caddy, craft caddy, clutter catcher, the list is endless!! Personalization is always free and they have so much to choose from, I’m addicted. She does home and catalog parties, so book one now to earn some free products, just be sure to tell her I referred you J
Sunday, June 2, 2013

Family Art Gallery

**Originally seen on my former blog, Organize ME!!

I am one of those mom's who wants to save everything... I have overcome that urge in some areas, like clothing, but "artwork" is another issue!!

My art "file" may look like a box full of scribbles on copy paper by a 1-3 year old, and that's exactly what they are :) Scribbles and memories of sitting at the table and seeing the proud look on Monster's face when he colors or paints me something beautiful!! 

I don't like the clutter of covering the fridge with new pictures every week, but love looking at my son's displays of creativity... I went to Pinterest for some inspiration!!

The frames are from Dollar Tree, with the glass replaced by scrapbook paper. I spray painted clips to match the frames, and hung them on the wall with Command Picture Hanging Strips, my most recent obsession!!

The "Happy Birthday" plaque was made by my amazingly crafty mom, Missy, and it was a Christmas gift. She pre-filled a tag with each family members birthday, and gave me plenty of extras.

TA-DA!! What do you think?

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DIY Planner

**Originally seen on my former blog, Organize ME!!

If any one object could describe organizing to me, it would be a planner. I have had dozens of different kinds, both printed and electronic. I like being able to customize my planner to my needs, but I also want it to be somewhat cute :) During the month of January tons of bloggers have been featuring their planners, whether it be a fancy one or homemade one (that still cost a pretty penny). I decided that I wasn't going to find anything that I LOVED, so I decided to make my own!!

I love this planner because I can print ANYTHING I want and put it in there, exactly where I want it. I chose the Martha Stewart Home Office™ with Avery™ 1" binder in the 5 1/2" by 8 1/2" size. The 3-ring style saved money because I didn't have to buy a special punch, I just use the one I already have.

The pouch was improvised... Once I had my planner complete I wanted somewhere to keep my supplies, and I had this plastic zippered envelope that I got from Staples awhile back for $1. I just 3-hole punched it, and I was set :)

It keeps my highlighters, Sharpie pen, Post-it notes, and Post-it tabs handy.

To organize my planner by section I used dividers I already had, similar to these, also by Martha Stewart.

Then I filled my planner with FREE PRINTABLES!! This part actually took the longest because I knew EXACTLY what I wanted, and I wasn't going to settle until I found it :) There are literally THOUSANDS of free printables on Pinterest, for literally anything you can think of!! Check out my Printables board on Pinterest.

The cheapest planner that I might have liked to purchase was AT LEAST $25... if I would have gotten something I LOVED it would have started around $50. That's just ridiculous to me... so here's what I spent:

I had everything around the house, and when I bought the Martha Stewart products I used a 40% off coupon on each of them. A little over $15 is a great price, and the ability to customize it perfectly (and for FREE) is priceless!!


**Originally seen on my former blog, Organize ME!!

Contrary to what my 10 year old self believed, cleaning is not simply moving stuff around. Sometimes life gets so busy, that one (or several) rooms in our house become a dumping ground, and they get out of control fast. Where do you begin?!
1.       One of these things is not like the other...
Remove everything that doesn’t belong in the room. I have a basket in my living room that I use only for this purpose. 

My first floor is pretty small, so I just go from room to room, looking for everything that belongs upstairs, and put it in my basket. If I actually go as far as putting everything away I’ll get side tracked, so I just put it at the bottom of the stairs until I’m finished cleaning.

2.       Everything that goes up, must come down…
If you really want your hard work to be EFFECTIVE, you have to start high… if you have to dust vents or corners, do that first. Then breakdown each room into smaller areas, starting with the highest “area”. Remove everything from the highest surface and dust, sanitize if necessary, polish if needed, and generally just make sure everything is neat and tidy. When I am cleaning my bookshelves, I take everything off and clean one shelf at a time, then dust each item as I put it back.

Do this until every surface has been dusted, then it’s time to vacuum. Don’t be a lazy vacuum-er!! You have to move things!! Do the furniture first, then the floors. You have to go in one direction, then in the opposite direction. Then use your hand vac or detailing attachment to get the little corners and crevices that the vacuum can’t get. My husband says he has never seen someone take so much time vacuuming, but I don’t do it every day. So if I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it right!!
3.       Get ready for your close up…
Now it’s time to make everything pretty. “Stage” the room for visitors. Now that the clutter is out, arrange the pillows, turn on your Scentsy warmer, open the curtains, and take a break!!

*my delusional dream living room*

Quick Coat Closet Organization

**Originally seen on my former blog, Organize ME!!

With winter almost officially here, one of my biggest pet peeves is coming too... coats all over the house. It really bugs me when the coats are all over the living room and dining room, even though I do it when I'm being lazy too. I REALLY wish we had a bigger entryway, or even a mudroom, but we rent a townhouse so we have to work with what we have. We have a small closet on the main level and even though it's not right by the door, it's a good place to store shoes and coats. 

It was in quite a disarray, and had become a catchall "junk closet". 

My steam cleaner, my husbands toolbag, Monster's snow cone maker, some shirts, my sewing machine, and vacuum... most of those things should really go somewhere else. So EVERYTHING came out, and it only took me about 5 min to get to this...

Yes, Lotso stays. Monster says that he has to go in timeout in the closet when he's being mean... he has a big imagination.

There really isn't anywhere else for the vacuum to go, so it stays. Yes, Monster has way too many coats, but they are all so cute :) I moved our shoes and boots out of the cluttered doorway and into the closet. I keep them in the Jumbo Eyelet Tote, it's a Clever Container product I sell. I got the small bins up on the top shelf from Walmart I think, we've had them awhile. They used to be under our entertainment center, but I like that they match the shoe tote. There is one for each member of our household, to keep gloves, hats, scarves, etc. I think I should label them, though. I have to make a return at Staples, so I will probably get these Martha Stewart Home Office™ with Avery™ Brown Kraft Labels

This little makeover was completely free, and only took a few minutes. Hopefully it will make getting bundled up easier for the whole family once the cold really hits :)

Leave a comment telling me how you organize your coats and shoes!!


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