Monday, March 21, 2011

Happy! 9 fun tips & ideas

Happy Spring everyone! Are you ready for it? I took these photos last year in the tulip fields of Mount Vernon, Washington. Oh how I love flowers! So beautiful and happy! That said, you would probably be surprised to know Spring is actually my least favorite season. Don't get me wrong, I love fresh blooms and budding trees but I DETEST the soggy, muddy, mucky messes that also come with the season. I just wish we could completely skip the season and go straight into Summer, and that's saying alot since both my birthday and my wedding anniversary are in the Spring! It's especially soggy here in Alaska. People here call it "break-up" and they are referring to the snow melt and the ice breaking up. All those muddy footprints have spurred the beginning of spring cleaning at my house. While ramping up for my seasonal cleaning frenzy I thought I'd share some of my very best cleaning and organizational tips...

#1  Magic Erasers are your friend
    Magic Erasers (Mr Clean or store brands) are a favorite tool in my cleaning arsenal. They are the absolute best when wiping down baseboards, scrubbing the textured bottom of bathtubs, and are incredible at cleaning the steering wheel in your car. I had no idea how disgusting my steering wheel was until I used my magic eraser on it, and that's even more surprising because I do periodically clean it with Clorox wipes.
    #2 Guard your microwave 
    These are usually under $7 and I am telling you they are worth their weight in gold. When I use this food cover it eliminates having to clean my microwave and I just toss it in the dishwasher! Saves so much time and your microwave always looks great!
    #3 Get hooked on a bar
    Last June I did a post on organizing the towel bar with 'S' hooks. If you are finding towels left on the floor or draped around the bathroom, or even still wet because of overcrowding on the bar, this just might be the perfect solution for you! It has worked wonders at my house.
    #4 Cut closet clutter
    We are a very busy family but we love a clean house. Those two traits dont usually play well together, especially in our closet. Mom always told us to hang up our clothes after we wear them but it gets difficult when you are in a rush and can't find hangers, yada yada yada. I got so mad when I would go to do laundry and find out that half the clothes on the floor were actually clean. The solution to my nightmare was over-the-door hooks. I used one similiar to the one above on the back of our closet door, and told my husband we were to use it to hang all our clean clothes that we didnt have time to put on a hanger or fold into a drawer. It worked!!! When we dont have time, we use the hooks and then once we return and have a moment we put them all away.
    #5 Shower daily
    Use a daily shower cleaner. You will wonder why it took you so long to use one. I spray Method's Daily Shower Cleaner (also found at Target) on my tile once I am in the shower and then I squigee after the shower is over. I also spray it on my clear shower liner and I let it sit until my next shower. No hard water spots!!
    #6 This aint no one-liner
Don't waste all that time and energy trying to clean the shower liner or waste money on one-time disposable liners. I use my daily shower cleaner to keep my liner sparkling but when it needs a good deep clean I just throw it in the laundry. Wash it by itself on a cold or warm but NOT HOT cycle. Once it is clean you can just hang it back up to drip dry, or I like to put it in the dryer on low for just a few minutes to get extra water off and to soften it up a bit.

#7 Give your bleach a throne

Pour a 1/2 cup of chlorine bleach in your dirty toilet bowl and walk away. It will do all the cleaning and disinfecting while you are away! For stubborn stains, return and scrub with a toilet brush. I use disposable toilet brushes to keep my bathroom sanitary. Be very careful to never mix chlorine bleach with any ammonia based products and flush the bleach before using the toilet.

#8 Organize your cart
Save time putting away your groceries by putting like-things together in your shopping cart. You are getting all your canned goods on the same aisle and they are probably all going to the same shelf in your pantry so why not keep them together at the store so they are bagged together for you? Same goes with dairy, frozen goods, produce, etc. You can also do this while waiting in line or loading the conveyor belt. Baggers used to do this for you, but I can count on one hand how many times I have seen a bagger do this in the last 10 years.

#9 Disposable Seat Liners
Sorry, I couldnt come up with a clever tag line for this one. There's nothing too glamorous or humorous about it really. I have black leather seats in my car so I use a black trash bag to protect my seats from goo and gunk underneath my son's carseat. You can buy or make your own but they run about $30 and you have to clean them. I just tuck a single folded trash bag into my car's seat, my seats are black so it totally blends in, and when its dirty and just remove and toss it in the trash!

That's all I could think of right now. What about you? Surely you all have some sage cleaning advice! Let me have it!!


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