pick one

Today is the day you will pick one junk drawer in your home.  Turn on some music, pull EVERYTHING out of the drawer.  Yes, I mean EVERYTHING, even if it's something you plan on leaving in that drawer take it out.  Once everything is out, spray the drawer, wipe down the drawer.  Now . . . take a deep breath . . . put back ONLY what you need in that drawer.  Put the other stuff where it should go in your home and throw everything else away.  Next up . . . another drawer.

my dusty porch

I love our house.  It's got a beautiful front porch and a cozy side porch David and I sit on every night.  But with leaf blowers, traffic (or street is a little busy), weather, kids etc it gets dusty and dirty so quick.  One of the kids chores on Sunday was to vacuum the porch.  I had them put the extension arm on the vacuum with the soft brush on the end so they didn't scratch or bang anything up.  They vacuumed every nook and cranny, up and down.  The cobwebs, the spiders, the leaves, EVERYTHING is gone.  After wiping down the window sills and front door with a damp cloth (no cleaner), my porch is sparkling like it was freshly painted yesterday. XO

no meal plan today

Instead of posting my meal plans for the upcoming week on Monday.  I'm going to post them after I cook them.  This way I can try out the recipe.  Tell you of any changes I would make, etc, etc. So my post today is an EASY recommendation.  Put your oven mitts in the washing machine.  That's it, super simple.  Just drop those crusty, dirty numbers right in the machine and get them all spiffed up.

Happy Monday, Kysa

dishwasher

I know you are tired because we are in the thick of the holiday season, but imagine how your dishwasher feels!  So let's give those hard working machines a spiff-up.

  1. Open the door and twist out the drain and filter.  Don't be intimidated by this, it was designed to be simple so you can do it at home.  So twist it out (pay attention to the way you take it out so you can easily put it back in) and clean it.
  2. Wipe down (or scrub if you need to) the door jam of the dishwasher.  Yes, get all the gunk off.
  3. Sprinkle the base of dishwasher with baking soda, put a cup full of vinegar on the top rack of the dishwasher.  Run the dishwasher on the long, hot cycle.
  4. Tada . . . your dishwasher is clean.

a few things too clean

These are a few things we clean all the time in our home.  School lunch boxes, backpacks and jackets.  All three can go in the washing machine.  Once a week, if not more I put all three in the wash on the cold cycle.  First I zip up all the zippers (this decreases the chance of them breaking), then I spray all the stains with OxiClean, let it sit for an hour or over-night and wash on the cold cycle.  Some key places to spray OxiClean on their jackets; under the wrists (where all of our children wipe their noses), the zipper especially at the bottom, the pocket zippers, and the collar.  The lunch boxes and backpacks NEVER go in the dryer, so make sure you have enough time for them to air dry before their next use.  Our jackets always go in the dryer, I add three tennis balls to get the fluff back into the jackets. In case you are curious what brand of stuff I buy.  The kids have LL Bean backpacks, Teddy's is about five years old and still works and looks great.  Their lunch boxes vary, we have all sorts of brands.  These fall apart because I wash them so much, I have just accepted it.  However, Murphy just suckered me into buying her this lunch box.  She loves it, I thought it was very expensive.  And lastly, our children wear Patagonia jackets.  Yes, they are a bit expensive, but Patagonia stands behind their clothes, so if I have any issues they will deal with it.  I think David and I will have enough jackets to have a King size comforter made for our bed by the time the twins are ten.  No go throw all those dirty lunch boxes, jackets and backpacks in the wash . . . or have one of your kids do it.

Fridge

The holiday season has begun.  How many pieces of Halloween candy did you eat?  I'm still counting.  Let's all take a minute or twenty today and clean out our refrigerators.  Grab a rag, spray cleaner and a vacuum with an adaptor for small spaces.  Start at the top shell, take everything off the shelf (check expiration dates as you go), run the vacuum along the shelf, spray it and wipe it down.  Continue with the shelves, drawers and door.  This is a great project for your kids to tackle too!

My favorite subject . . . cleaning.

The wind has really picked up in Portland, the leaves are falling everywhere, branches and leaves are all over our yard.  It's beautiful out, but our yard is a constant mess.  Yes, yes, yes of course I have the kids out there working on it . . . two weeks ago we filled 24 yard debris bags. You all know what to do with all the stuff on the ground in your yard, clean it up.  But, you also need to take a walk around the perimeter of your house and fence and cut away any branches.  I cut all shrubs, plants and trees at least a foot away from our home and fence.  This keeps any bugs away from our home and also keeps branches from hitting our house and scratching up our paint.  It doesn't take long, just get out the big pruners.  Start from one corner of your house and walk all the way around trimming ANYTHING away from your home.

I'm slacking . . .

Normally I get these posts out by 5:00AM, last Monday I didn't even post.  My sponsors are going to have my throat . . . kidding.  David is my sponsor, I think he'll be OK.  So it's Monday and my plan is to write about cleaning.  I am constantly cleaning.  Seven people live in our house, it get's messy and quick.  To keep things tidy, I NEVER go to bed without doing a once-over on the house.  I start from the basement and do a quick check.  Most of the time this takes twenty minutes and it also gives me a chance to check out our 100 year old house and make sure it's OK.

  1. Basement.  I make sure the pillows are straight on the couch, tv and lights are off, all toys are put away.  In the bathroom, I straighten the towels, refill the toilet paper and flush the toilet.  I check the laundry room to see if any laundry needs to be folded, taken up stairs or run through a cycle.  I glance our desk area and tidy that.
  2. Kitchen.  Run dishwasher, clean counters, empty trash, straighten bathroom, refill toilet paper and go through excess paper work.
  3. Coat closet, dining room and living room.  I start where we enter the house and see if anyone has left anything there, I hang up any coats, put away any shoes and possibly vacuum.
  4. 2nd floor.  The kids are in bed so I stay out of their room, unless I am giving them clean laundry to put away in the morning.  I empty the trash and refill toilet paper.

This may seem like it takes a lot, but it doesn't!  My kids should have left the basement clean, so I rarely pick up toys or clean out desk area.  The laundry is my job so I always have to do that.  The kitchen is generally cleaned after dinner, so this job is lite too.  The coat closet rarely has anyone's stuff, but mine and David's because everyone else puts theirs away.  And when I wake in the morning at 4:00AM my house is spotless.  Ahhhhhh.

XO

Halloween . . . time to clean up

It's time for all of us to put away the Halloween decorations that EVERYONE else was so excited to put up.  :)  While you are at it throw out the decorations you keep duct taping together every year.  It's time to move on.  Pass along the costumes you know will not fit your children next year.  Give them to a friend with younger kiddos.  Pack all that stuff up and take a peak at your Thanksgiving gear, it's about time to pull that stuff out.  Let the holidays begin . . . P.S.  You can also order that 25 foot blow-up pumpkin you have been eyeing, now it's 75% off!

XO

baseboards & moldings . . .

Here's a good family chore everyone can participate in.  Use a mild soap and a damp washcloth, and hit your house from top to bottom cleaning all the baseboards, moldings and light fixtures.  If you think your house is clean, do this job with a white washcloth and you will think again.  This will be our weekend chore . . . I can't wait!  P.S.  I am not going to clean ANY light fixtures, I will take off any glassware on our lights and run them through the dishwasher.  :) XO

hairdryer . . .

I use my hairdryer once every quarter at best.  Well that special time popped up last month.  My hairdryer needed a little TLC so I took it downstairs in the laundry room to where we keep the vacuum.  I plugged in the vacuum and sucked out all the dust and hair on the vent of the hairdryer.  My hairdryer works much better.  So ladies (and maybe gentlemen too), clean out that hairdryer. It takes 30 second, and you will be thanking yourself. XO

P.S.  Since I had the vacuum plugged in and I was in the laundry room I cleaned out the vent on our dryer too.

mattress . . . .

Tonight is the night!  Well go ahead and do that too if you want, but I was thinking about flipping and rotating your mattress.  And while you are at it, send your dust ruffle to the dry cleaner.  Yes, I said the dry cleaner.  Don't roll your eyes, when you pull that dust ruffle out of the dryer and it's wrinkled you will be coming for my head.  But, if you simply drop it off at the dry cleaner you will be thanking me. XO

I found it . . .

I cannot stand stainless steel.  I cringed when anyone bumps my dishwasher, fridge, freezer, or oven.  Basically I don't like anyone in my kitchen.  I'm not that bad, but I'm close.  I am constantly cleaning drip marks and finger prints.  None of the cleaners are easy to use, unless it's the polish and that stuff has got to be super toxic.  Until today, I have found a solution . . . THANK YOU Windex.  Purchase the Windex Multisurface Vinegar and you will rejoice with how simple it is to get your stainless steel appliances clean! Screen shot 2014-09-10 at 1.31.55 PM