Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Top Six Cleaning List

I have been thinking a lot lately about what things I should focus on as far as house cleaning goes. My daughter is getting to the age when we need to start thinking about preschool time being added to the daily routine but I always feel like I just don't have time for that. However, since I must make time, I have been thinking about what I can do to make sure I do enough but not so much that I leave no time for the other important pieces of my work.

As I prayed about it, I realized that while I may focus too much sometimes on keeping things clean (by clean, I mean in tip-top shape, not simply sanitary), I also can't just let things go, both because it drives me crazy but because it drives my husband crazy too. So I decided what I'm going to do is make a Top Six list of the things that must be cleaned to have a "clean house". That way if nothing else gets done, at least we can both be happy with the state that the house is in.

If you want to do this for yourself, I would encourage you to start by thinking about what things your husband always mentions about your home. For example, it could be something that he always notices when you clean it perhaps it is the floors or the bathrooms. Or it could be something that he doesn't like and makes comments about, for instance, all the toys on the living room floor or the stacks of laundry, waiting to be folded. It may take awhile to think of them but if you listen and watch what he says and does when he comes home, you will probably see pretty quickly what I'm talking about. If you are still unsure of what his pet peeves are, ask him what things he would like to have cleaned when he comes home after a day of work. Once you have his Top Three, your list is half way done.

The next part is much easier. List the Top Three things that you are always drawn to clean, or what frustrates you the most when it is messy or dirty. This is usually easier because these are the task we get upset because no one does or the ones we find ourselves compulsively doing several times a day.

I'll give you some examples of things I thought of as I was making my list. Not all of these things are on my list but they will give you a good idea of what I'm talking about.

For example, I can't stand walking into my daughters' room and seeing every book, toy and stuffed animal they have all over the floor. So I will call a time to pick up and we will whip their room in to shape together. Now my husband on the other hand would find this problem at the very bottom of his list since he does not have to wade through the muck to get in and out of their room. But to me, it's a big deal.

He is more concerned with the basics; a place to sit or dinner being ready when he arrives, things like that.

I have a friend who cleaned off the top of her frig and discovered this was one of her husband's pet peeves. You can read her post here.

Now you have every thing you need to make your own Top Six Cleaning List. So each afternoon, set aside 15-20 minutes and get those things done. The first time you do this, it may take longer to get things actually clean, but once you've done that, it should be a simple tidy of each area. You don't need to deep clean all the areas everyday, just keep them maintained. Save deep cleaning for the days you have assigned to that room or area.

Trust me, this will go a long way to keeping you sane and your hubby happy! 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Frugal Friday-Ah, the virtues of baking soda pt.2

So I told you last week I would explain why I was reading the baking soda box, and here is the fulfillment of that promise.

Confession: I have always had a hard time finding a natural deodorant that works. I have found a few with aluminum in them that work but no natural deodorant works for me even when reapplied half way through the day. So one day, I reasoned to myself that baking soda is a natural deodorizer so why not try it as a deodorant? It couldn't hurt. And to my surprise and joy, it worked! You only use maybe 1/4 to 1/2 of a tsp. for both underarms and no reapplication is necessary! I have been using it for about 3 weeks now and no troubles. If you decide to try it for yourself, let me know if it works for you!

Happy Friday to all of you!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Frugal Friday-Ah, the virtues of baking soda pt.1

Yes...I is in fact Saturday. But just because the tip is a day later than planned, doesn't mean it is not a good tip! :D

So I don't know how many of you have trouble with this but despite the fact that I clean my children's bath tub every week, I still have a nasty soap ring around it. I don't know what causes it, but it is yucky and I can't seem to get rid of it...until last week. I was reading the baking soda box (read here next Friday to see why I was reading the baking soda box) and I saw it said that you can use it to clean bathrooms. "Eureka!" I thought. I will use this to clean the soap scum. So I did and it worked! It took some elbow grease, not a big deal, but it came off in clumps. I'm so thrilled that now my children's bath tub sparkly, shiny clean! I even told a friend about it and she tried it with the same results! Hurray for baking soda and another great, frugal solution!

Friday, September 9, 2011


Frugal Friday: Cloth Diapers and Wipes

I have come to the conclusion that I blog better when I have a deadline. I'm sure I am not the only one who feels this way but I love blogging and I just don't find the time unless there is a goal in mind. So with this thought as motivation, I am starting a Frugal Friday post here. Each Friday I will post something that I have found to try to be more frugal and usually more natural too. Some of my posts maybe things I have tried, some will be things I would like to try. But I will have one each Friday, Lord willing!

So, today we are talking diapers and wipes. There has been a lot of talk about how much it costs to use cloth diapers and whether the impact on the environment is any better when you use cloth over disposables. I can't answer all those questions since I am not an expert in statistics or anything like that. I can just tell you what I know from my experience.

Using this calculator, I figured out it cost me about $1.60 a load to wash my diapers once a week. (I wash them twice, once in cold and once in hot. The first time, with cold, I add soap, borax and bac-out. The second round I use just soap and hot water.) If you add that up, it costs about $6.4 a month to wash diapers. Then you have to add the cost of the diapers. Even if I had to buy them every two years (which is crazy...) it would cost me $5 a month. So all together, that's $11.40 to cloth diaper one child every month. When you figure the best price you can find consistently to buy disposables is about $22 on Amazon, cloth diapers sound pretty good. :D (There are situations make cloth diapering difficult or next to impossible, but again that is beyond the scope of my blog today.)

So for me, cloth diapers are the way to go. I wish I could have cloth diapered all three of my little ones but I figure better late than never!

I'm getting ready to start using cloth wipes too for my son. I'll be using the Anti-fungal Baby Wipes recipe from this website to make them. I'll have to let you know how the cost plays out. Right now, I use the Seventh Generation wipes from Amazon. They are only .02 when you use the subscribe and save option, which is pretty good, I think.

Anyway, that's my tip of the day. In the next few weeks, we will be talking about natural shampoos and conditioners, laundry soaps and fabric softeners and others. If you have suggestions, please let me know!

Have a great weekend!


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