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I like to keep a clean, organized house. It’s a trait I inherited from my mom. In fact, I became a professional organizer because I like to organize so much. However, I have a confession to make…

Should you ever visit my house, please, please, please do not look into my laundry room. There is nothing clean or organized about it. In fact, it is a source of much pain in my house. There is so much mess in there, I have gated it off so my 2 year old cannot “enhance” the mess. The pain literally comes from the dozens of times I stub my toe each day stepping over the gate (did I mention my pantry is also in my laundry room?).

The sounds of disgust my poor husband makes as he tries to locate something in that mess are also quite painful. While the toe pain has not pushed me to change my ways in the laundry room, the sighs and cursing that follow my husband’s entrance into the room have.

So this is my new mantra: I must be ruthless.

The laundry room is the dumping ground for everything that doesn’t have a home yet – the piles of stuff that I’ll handle “later.” No more. I must be ruthless – if I can’t think of a home for something right away, it has to go. If it has been sitting in a pile in the laundry room for any amount of time without me needing it, it has to go. If I think I may need it “someday,” I’m boxing it up and putting it in the attic. If I haven’t gone up to the attic to get it down within the next year or so, it’s going.

In being ruthless, I’m realizing a dream. I’ve always wanted a mudroom in my home, and now with a 2 year old loving the outdoors, I need one. Moving several thing around in the laundry room will allow room for a bench with shoe storage right inside the back door to our home. Plus, I’ll be able to take down the gate to the laundry room, allowing my children free access to the room without fear of bodily harm.

It’s been a lot of fun being ruthless. We’re giving a lot of things away, packing things up, and returning things to where they belong. You should see the space it’s cleared up! It’s such a freeing feeling… I wish I had done this a long time ago!

I challenge you to be ruthless. Whether it’s a room in your house, a junk drawer, or even your over-crowded schedule, be ruthless with the things that do not belong there. Be ruthless with me – and be amazed at what happens!

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I am the worst ever when it comes to consistently cleaning my house. I really stink at it. I recognize that this is a deficiency and I am really trying to overcome it.

In the past, I’ve polled my friends asking them how often they do certain chores like scrub the tub, clean the toilets, wipe the baseboards, wash the hardwood, scrub the linoleum, wash their bath towels, etc. If there’s a chore for it, I’ve asked about it! I’ve tried writing a schedule and taping it to the back of my bedroom door so I can see it every day. I’ve tried assigning one day to do all the cleaning. I’ve tried pop-up reminders on my computer. I’ve tried FlyLady. Are you sensing a trend? Nothing seems to work for me!

A friend of mine said it’s because I’m a perfectionist. I think it’s laziness and no real plan of action that works for me. I look at the work that needs to be done and feel so overwhelmed by it all that I end up opting for a bowl of ice cream and some America’s Next Top Model instead.

Realizing that I need “bite size” goals that keep me working daily, don’t overwhelm me, an easy system and still gets the house clean, I think I have found the solution!

Motivated Moms is a daily chore list, already written out for the entire year. One day’s list of chores might be: Change all the kitchen towels and wash them, clean out the 3rd shelf of the refrigerator, change linens in room #2, make all the beds, dust room #1. That’s really not a lot of work! But, it builds on other chores you have already done – like cleaning out the fridge. One week, you clean the first self then another week the second shelf. Instead of spending an hour pulling out all your food and tossing the bad stuff, then washing down the insides of the fridge, you spread it out so it’s not such an overwhelming task.

With the New Year well underway, I plan on getting started on this year’s Motivated Moms chore list asap!

Good luck!

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When Febreeze put out the Scent Story player I waited a long time before I bought it. I just didn’t trust it. Then I came across a coupon for $10 off and bought one. It is WONDERFUL.

But now……..now………I’m euphoric. Yankee Candle has entered the scene. Just in time for Fall and Christmas. Get this. You’ll be so glad you did.

http://www.yankeecandle.com/cgi-bin/ycbvp/freestyle.jsp?category=%2fRetail%2fNew+Scentstories

Ok, it’s that time of the year!!

Time to purge, clean, organize and get ready to nest for the winter. Ready for those out of town guests who meander in during Thanksgiving and Christmas. This time of the year is so exciting…. I’m going to post each project as I do it to inspire and motivate! Get those rubber gloves and cleaning supplies ready. And please…… please…… get lots of trash bags. Because I KNOW you have lots of things to throw away.

1. All rugs, shower curtains, liners (if they’re not the cheap disposable), curtains and decor towels get hauled to the laundry room. Extra rinse and Snuggle, please! If you use the cheapie liners, buy replacements now.

2. I sprayed the shower/tub down with the new Oxyclean Soap Scum remover (let it sit for at least 10 minutes) and it’s like a new tub. (I’m not kidding). Get the crud around the drain with an old nail file and cleaning rag. Spray down the toilet and sink. Get around the base of the toilet really well. Do the Windex last on the faucets and mirrors.

3. Now’s the time to check all medications, topicals, anything that expires. Throw that stuff away! If you haven’t used that partial bottle of shampoo you bought in April, get it OUT of the house. Go through your make-up now, too. (Perfect timing because the winter shades are out, girlies).

4. Soak the soap dish, lotion dispensers, anything like that. I run mine through the dishwasher. Refill dispensers, put out new soap and just stand and admire a minute.

5. Replace toothbrushes if you haven’t lately. Soak/dishwasher the toothbrush holder if you have one.

6. De-hair combs and brushes. Soak in a warm water and clarifying shampoo solution. Rinse well with cold water and let them dry outside if you can.

7. Sweep floor really well. Then get on your hands and knees and *really* clean it. Luckily our bathrooms are small enough this isn’t a big deal. I use a wet cleaning rag and a bottle of my favorite cleaner and just hand clean the floor in small sections. Get the baseboards and in the corners really well where the dust collects and junks up.

Now! Re-hang your curtains, put your warm Snuggly rugs down, hang the shower curtains and revel in it. This is where you could also get a new air freshener to celebrate. (I love the Method Green Grass from Target for the bathrooms).

From here on out, keep a container of cleaning wipes stored in each bathroom. I use the Clorox toilet bowl cleaner contraption and keep those replacement heads in the bathroom closet. If you use the brush, keep whatever cleaner you use stored in the bathroom too. A couple of minutes a day will keep it this clean. Don’t forget to wipe out the shower/tub after you use it, or at least a few times a week. When the guests start showing up, you’ll never have to worry about the bathrooms. Because, girl, you’re done.

MICROWAVE!  And the garbage disposal.

Ever end up with old, withered, tired looking citrus in your fridge? Perk them up and get a bit of juice out of them by putting them in the microwave for 10-20 seconds.

But if that citrus is too far gone, cut it in half or in quarters and drop it down the garbage disposal.  The tough rind will take a while to mince up, helping to dislodge any other yuckies down there. With the added benefit of a pleasantly fragranced sink, that tired old piece of fruit does double duty for you.

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Over and over, I’ve been told to put my old, slightly mildewy smelling, wet kitchen sponges into the microwave to nuke the bacteria out of them.

So I tried it.

Still smells gross. But! After 30 seconds, the sponge put out enough steam to loosen the leftover crud on the top of the microwave. It was so easy to clean!

Still nuke that sponge but for a new use!

 

… but evidently not.

I’m constantly asking my friends for cleaning tips. This one just makes sense. It’s so obvious. It’s so simple. But it will change your life!

When you take your clothes out of the dryer, use the used dryer sheet to wipe down the dryer top after you empty the lint trap.

Duh!

I *hate* all the crud left on the top of the dryer when I pull the lint trap out and push it back in. I hate looking at it and I hate touching it. I used to blow real hard and kinda hope it all magically flies off the dryer and disappears into the atmosphere, spontaneously combusting and leaving no residue. The used dryer sheet is a much better way to deal with it!

Often, I feel that I got the short end of the domesticity stick as far as my training goes. My mom never really showed me how to do the basics of home management so I’ve been trying to figure it out as I go.

Last month, my mother-in-law came to visit. I was horrified at the scumminess of our tub and hurried to scrub it down. We live in an old home with the original tub so a lot of the porcelain has worn down on the tub. It’s rough and very porous. It doesn’t take long for it to look like a village of mud covered heathens have been rolling around in it.

My MIL graciously offered to scrub the tub for me.

And here’s where the magic came in…. she dumped the Comet in, scrubbed it around and then left! She said that her own mother’s tub is like mine and it’s the only way to get it really clean.

Dagnabit! It worked!

So if your tub isn’t turning out sparkley clean, scrub it down with Comet and then let it rest for an hour or so. You’ll be amazed at the difference.

I love the feeling of a clean kitchen and bathroom. I hate the smell that is left behind…Headache City!

If you have not seen the popular Method Brand at your local grocery store or Target…check out their website! They have everything from sprays and wipes to dish soap and body products at affordable prices and wonderful earthy sense, er I mean scents!

I love all of the bathroom products!!!

http://www.methodhome.com/products.php?cat=type&type=specialty∏=bathroom