Blog

DIY Dollar Tree Home Décor Ideas Roundup

Spring has sprung and, with all of the negativity right now, it is time for some good, positive and inexpensive DIY inspiration!

diy, dollar tree, home decor, accessories

How to Make a Stamped Book Stack with Dollar Store Supplies

I love books for all of the obvious reasons. But, I have a new love for many decorative ideas that they give. Click here to find out how you can have this look!

DIY Topiary Trees

Topiary trees can make almost any space look amazing, as if you’ve spent hundreds of dollars, even. Click here for a fun and easy DIY!

DIY Dollar Tree Sun Hat Wreath

This super-easy DIY craft may be the perfect front porch decor. The possibilities are absolutely endless – pick your color, your theme, etc and you don’t have to spend a fortune. Click here for the entire tutorial.

Disney Dollar Store DIY: Mickey and Minnie Jars

Inspire your little ones to be creative and organized with these very easy to make decorative storage jars. These are so cute and easy to make! Click here for the tutorial!

How to Make a Wreath for Shabby Chic Home Decor

I love shabby chic decor. Click here to see the entire tutorial on how to create this beautiful and simple shabby chic door wreath.

Dollar Tree Easter Bunny Wreath Tutorial

diy, home decor, craft, dollar tree

This is an absolutely adorable Easter bunny wreath. The supplies can be purchased at the Dollar Tree and there is a informative, easy to follow youtube tutorial on how to make this as well!

Easy Gnomes DIY

Let’s face it, garden gnomes are just the cutest and these are just downright adorable! This looks like it would be a fun project for anyone to do. Click here for the tutorial on how to create these cute garden gnomes!

How to Make a Cheap DIY Dry Erase Board in Only 5 Minutes

I need one of these in my home. The materials are very inexpensive. You can more than likely find these materials at the Dollar Tree and the best thing (at least to me) about this is that you can customize the board according to your tastes, the current time of the year, etc. Check out this very easy DIY craft that can be done in a very short period of time!

Dollar Store Walt Disney Quote Sign

Who doesn’t like a good quote every now and then? And, when it comes from the most famous mouse in the world, well it would make me feel extra special! Check out this tutorial for more on how to create this awesome sign!

Milk Glass Mason Jar DIY: Easy Spring Decor

Very easy DIY milk glass mason jar project from Sunny Sweet Days. Mason jars are probably one of the most versatile craft materials available.

Dollar Tree Floor Mat To Tote Bag Sewing Project

decor, dollar tree

I saw these floor mats just the other day in Dollar Tree and they were also available in three (I think) different colors – green, beige, light blue. If you’re handy with a needle and thread, this will be a very easy craft to create.

Make Your Own Farmhouse 3 Tier Tray Stack

thrift, store, home, decor, accessories, accents

Farmhouse decor is one of my favorite decorative styles and it seems to be popular amongst a lot of people. Click here to learn how to make this three tier stand at home!

Springtime Wall Art – Baking Pan Hack

thrift, store, home, decor, accessories, accents

This tutorial can be used with a springform baking pan that can be found at the Dollar Tree. Unless, of course, you happen to have one of your own that’s just sitting in the cabinet, begging to be used for something 🙂

Once again, credits for this roundup go to…

diy, home decor, crafts, dollar tree

To Buy or DIY Baby Picture Frames – Short Practical Guide

diy, picture frames

For the longest time, buying baby picture frames meant looking for something pink or blue. Maybe perhaps finding a theme that might in some way be related to your child. That has changed recently, as you can find just about anything you would like to have on a frame.

Buy or DIY Picture Frames?

Some people who are handy with wood, paint and other crafting tools like to make them on their own. Others like to shop, hoping to find the perfect frame. However, personalized and special frames for pictures of your children are a lot closer than you might think.

picture frames, diy

Let’s say that you want to make your own baby picture frames. All you have to do is find a plain frame in the right color. If you can’t find it anywhere, look in your local craft stores. They usually have something for just about everyone. You can then decide what you want to do with your baby picture frames. Check out your local thrift stores. Frames are usually found in many different types, shapes, sizes and colors of frames.

If you like to paint, you can add your own design if you wish. To simplify your design, you can find many great things you can simply attach to the frame with a bit of glue. You can add a theme or even your child’s name. You can do both if you wish. Let your imagination guide you.

diy, picture frames

Places to Buy Frames

If you feel you don’t have the talent or the time to make your own baby picture frames, don’t worry, there are many great ones out there now. If you look around online, you can find places that sell things you may never have imagined. Some online vendors may even customize any frame you want (usually for a nominal fee). Also, they will then mail them out to you in a secure package to minimize breakage during shipping. These can be personalized with almost anything you wish, and don’t have to cost a lot of money either.

There are also a number of arts and crafts stores located throughout the U.S.

Be Safe When Choosing Picture Frames

There is one thing you should keep in mind if you are making or buying your own baby picture frames. Even though many will go on the wall and little hands will never touch them, some are placed on nightstands or other places that are in reach.

If this is the case for the frame you are going to buy, make sure they do not have small pieces that can come off and be a choking hazard. Therefore, sure that the paint is safe if your child were to put the frame in their mouth. Children under the age of two often explore the world with their mouth, so keep that in mind as you choose.

picture frames, diy

I certainly hope that this helps! Do you have a picture frame that you created from scratch or one that you may have rehabbed that you would like to share? We would love to see it and add it to the post.

diy, picture frames

Master These 6 Cleaning Tips If You’re Overwhelmed By Housework

These are 5, no 6 of my personal cleaning ideas, tips for getting past feeling overwhelmed, diving in and getting it done!

Imagine going away for a week on “vacation” only to come back to a messy, disorganized home.  Cleaning should be the last thing on your mind, right?  So much for relaxation!  It almost makes it seem as if it was pointless to get that massage. But, it is not necessary to let your body get tied up in knots from stress all over again.

Sad but true and I have learned a long time ago that I am somewhat of a peace-keeper and that I do not like unnecessary tension.  I have come to the conclusion that I will be carrying the majority of the cleaning load.  So, instead of getting mad about it, I choose to change the way I look at cleaning (I choose to have a positive mindshift). I am taking it as a challenge and decided to come up with ways that will make the process easier, less overwhelming and perhaps even enjoyable!

Put on some music!

First and foremost…Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, one of these must be on somewhere while I’m cleaning.  I am the same way at my full time position at my family’s restaurant – I work in the kitchen and if I don’t have music to listen to, we are all doomed!  Music is calming and soothing to the soul and it makes the time go by much faster.  When I listen to music I am also less apt to moving slower – so, go ahead and pop in Bruno Mars and get moving!

cleaning tips, cleaning ideas

Don’t dwell!

There is not a bigger time waster (at least to me) than dwelling and moaning and groaning over any one thing.  It happened and it’s unfortunate; but, you’ve got to push past it.  I realize that this may be difficult for some. I had a hard time with this as well.  But, I found that if I take it in small bites, it only becomes easier over time.

The way I see it, I can sit there and dwell over the mess that somebody made; but, it’s not going to go away unless someone does something about it.  At the moment, that someone is “you know who” and time is being wasted.

cleaning ideas, cleaning tips

Walk away (briefly)!

Sometimes you’ve just got to walk away from that HUGE pile of laundry for a few moments.  Just take a few moments to collect your thoughts, take a few deep breaths and try again (don’t forget your music!)  This step may seem counterproductive at first; but, just taking a few moments to collect your thoughts and find out what your next move is will help a lot in the long run.

cleaning, tips, ideas

Take advantage of this time to get creative!

This is probably my favorite tip!  Our closet has literally gone to hell.  It was a horrible sight and we couldn’t find anything. Somehow dirty laundry got mixed up with our clean clothes.  To make matters worse, we provided a safe haven for critters!  I decided to get rid of a lot of my stuff and I made an executive decision to get rid of some of my husband’s stuff as well – I’m sorry; but, ripped underwear is not natures legit way of providing A/C, contrary to popular belief.

Once the trash and so-forth was gone, I could figure out the best way to organize.  I made a primary goal to get as much stuff off of the ground as possible and the secondary goal to make it easier for me to store clean clothes.  Goodwill Warehouse had some old bookcases that just needed some simple and fast tightening.  I bought two of them for a grand total of $7.00 – AMAZING!!  I brought them home, tidied them up and reorganized our clothes (t-shirts, long sleeve, etc) and we live happily ever-after with our newly organized closet.  You wanna know the best part?  It has been staying neat and organized for the better part of two months now, thanks to a new cleaning schedule that I have instituted.  Be on the lookout for this one.  Mama is happy!

cleaning tips, cleaning ideas

Set attainable goals!

At the risk of sounding corny, Rome was not built in a day!  There, I said, make fun of me 🙂  But, it is so true.  One of the things that I have to keep telling myself is that I was not put on God’s green earth to be a maid – I was a housekeeper at a hotel back home in Georgia and that’s where it stops. That being said, there are times when it certainly feels that way.  But, in an effort to make things a little easier, I set goals that are attainable and realistic.  I cannot expect to go to work in the morning, come home in the early evening, play with my daughter, hang out with my husband, go on a date night, then clean the entire garage, the list goes on and on. I have to be realistic and set goals that are realistic.

cleaning, ideas, tips

Accept the Progress & Be Happy

No one is perfect, Lord knows I’m not.  But, I expect some sort of positivity, some sort of progress out of all of this.  I choose to look at it like this – I can be happy that I made progress with my home; or, I can boo hoo and continually blame others for having a messy home.  I absolutely refuse to do that!  I choose to believe that this is only a counterproductive way of thinking and getting things done.  I choose to be happy about the progress that I’ve made, no matter how small it may be.  And I choose to try again another day.

To conclude this (because I know you’re itching to get out there and clean up now and have a cleaner, more organized home) I found that these six tips actually helps me to shift my mindset.  The mindset shift allows me to dive in and get things done because I am no longer looking at cleaning and organizing as simply a chore…it’s an opportunity! I hope that this helps and if you have any questions, feel free to comment below.  Thanks and have a blessed day!

tips, ideas, cleaning

Emergency Cleaning Plan For the Busy Home

cleaning plan

My Ultimate Cleaning Plan For Those”Oh crap, I am the busiest woman in the world and the guests are coming for dinner tonight!” Moments

There are moments when I get lazy and a cleaning plan is furthest from my vocabulary.

  • with raising a four year old
  • staying on top of my family’s meds and appointments
  • caring for our geriatric dog (she swears she’s still a puppy!)
  • working at the family restaurant
  • preparing for all of the events (family and social)
  • school work!

The home still needs to be maintained, at least to where it does not look as though I have completely lost my mind. I needed a cleaning plan for those “oh crap” moments.

I thought I could consolidate all of my cleaning and organizing tasks into two, maybe three days.  Pre-hubby and pre-pumpkin (Cecilia) I was able to do that.  I could come home after working 8-9 hours and do two hours worth of cleaning – the energy was there and more so was the time.  Looking back, though I realize that I had no life and I could work miracles!

It took me a while to accept the change in routine because for over thirty years I was responsible only to myself and my dog.

But, as time went on I realized that I needed to have some sort of cleaning plan in place – a (gasp!) plan! “NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!”

cleaning plan, cleaning routine

Ah yes, the dreaded plans and schedules – I was not always so clean and organized. Only during my active duty stint and it was usually when an inspection was looming was I ever truly clean, neat and organized.

Historically speaking I was terrible at keeping any type of schedule, much less a cleaning schedule.  But, in 2009 I had to learn fast when I accepted a housekeeping job at the Hilton in my hometown (what can I say, dry job market).  I was on a very strict cleaning schedule while working there and I learned some cleaning tips from one of the best hotel supervisors I have ever laid eyes on (thanks Ms. Mary!).

I figure if I can strip down an entire guest room – sheets, towels, shower curtain, deep clean a bathroom, clean out a mini fridge, dust, polish vacuum, etc in 30 minutes (multiply this by approx. 10 rooms a day) I can take 30 minutes to pick up around my house:

Bathroom

Believe it or not I start with the bathroom, especially if there was a lot of traffic in and out lately.  This is the area where I let the chemicals do 90% of the work for me – I douse the sink and toilet with my heavy duty bathroom cleaner. Then I’ll spray down the countertop with a not so heavy bathroom cleaner (keeps from ruining the surface) and then while the cleaners are working I will move on to the next room. (2 minutes)

cleaning plan, cleaning routine

Living room

This is our daughter’s play land and also the family movie gathering place – probably where a good cleaning plan is needed most.  I start by clearing all surfaces (table tops, mantle, side tables) and spraying them with a light mist of furniture polish – we have a lot of hardwood furniture. While the furniture is “marinating” in Liquid Gold, I place any remaining toys into their cubbies – I also keep a small garbage bag with me for the occasional stray lollipop or two and anything else I may find.  From there I go back and wipe down the furniture and it looks and smells great when I’m done! (12 minutes)

Kitchen

I’m not gonna lie, I do cheat a little here.  If the sink has dishes I will not hesitate to place them in the dishwasher – by the way, i’m praying that they were rinsed!  Anyway, as the hot water is running I am placing the dishes in the dishwasher, being careful to not overlap them as, of course, this can cause HUGE disappointment later.  I’ll also place a power boost packet in there as well for any hard stuff. I’ll get my hubby to empty that later 🙂

I spray down the countertops, let the cleaner work for a few minutes while I sweep the floor.  A good chunk of my cleaning plan depends on letting the chemicals do the heavy lifting for me 🙂 Once I’m done sweeping the floor. I wipe down the countertops. By the way when sweeping anything that I find gets swept onto the carpet because I have to vacuum anyway. Then empty the trash and recycling. (5 minutes)

cleaning plan, cleaning routine

Dining room

I treat this room like I did the living room. I spray the table, buffet, other surfaces with a light mist of furniture polish (I’ve received complaints that I use too much of this stuff so I’m weaning myself down, LOL). From here I will vacuum the floor and then I will go back and wipe down the furniture.  (5 minutes)

Back to the bathroom. By the time I’m done with everything else the cleaner that I sprayed in the bathroom should be finished working for me.  I wipe down the countertops, wipe out the sink basin and tub first. The tub tends to be fairly easy to wash, as my husband is pretty good about spraying the shower when he’s done.  All that’s left is the toilet.  I learned this while working at the hotel – I wipe down the seat portion first, the tank second and then everything else.  The base tends to be the dirtiest (visually speaking that is). (5 minutes)

Holy cow, I have one (1) minute to spare – I’m keeping that minute 🙂

For me there are a few key takeaways here:

  • Most people understand that your house will not be perfect, especially if they know your life and what you’re up against.
  • I’m not looking for it to be perfect, just presentable. We have a four year old and a somewhat geriatric dog (she’s in denial, though) that has the occasional accident. Having a cleaning plan helps a lot and keeps me somewhat sane.
  • It helps to have the family involved – it’s the simple things that make the difference.  I instituted a rule for whoever used the shower last they need to spray it with the shower cleaner. Our four year old is learning to pick up after herself. This actually helps me out a lot!
  • It pays to pay particular attention to the tasks. See if there are any possible shortcuts that can be taken. Our kitchen has linoleum flooring that leads into a carpeted living room and dining room. Whatever I find while sweeping (unless it’s big) gets swept onto the carpet.  If my Shark can handle it, it’s going to handle it. Besides, I think our daughter took the dust pan out back somewhere, it’s been MIA for about three months.
  • I failed to mention that I was listening to music the entire time.  I never did like when  a room is really quiet.  Quiet rooms do not motivate me at all – but bossa nova does!  Whatever your favorite tunes are, listen to them while you’re working – it actually makes cleaning more enjoyable.
  • The time just flies by and it makes the larger tasks much easier.
  • Please note – the bedroom is not included in this listing simply because I am concentrating on the common areas (places that will be seen) of our home 🙂

I hope this cleaning plan helps!  If you’re good with multitasking then this will be a cakewalk for you.  If you have any questions, comments or if you want to share ideas, please do so below.  Have a blessed day!

cleaning plan, cleaning routine

What Are Bank Overdraft Fees & How to Get Them Waived

overdraft fees waived

Have you ever gotten so wrapped up in everyday life that you simply did not sit down for a few moments to check your bank account before you bought that thing you didn’t really need? Next thing you know you have bank fees staring back at you. Well, you’ll be happy to know that there are ways to get those bank overdraft fees waived.

First off, what are overdraft fees?

Overdraft fees are fees that are charged to you when you do not have enough money in your account to cover your purchase. Essentially, you were able to make the purchase – but, boy does it cost you! I mentioned in a previous post all of the overdraft fees that came out of my account. The gas that I purchased was actually closer to $60 ($20 + almost $40 in overdraft fees). Yikes! And don’t get me started on the coffee that I purchased right after the gas.

How much do banks typically charge?

The average amount that banks charge hovers around $34 (according to CreditKarma). Also, be aware that each transaction you make after you’ve overdrawn your account will create another overdraft charge – this can add up fast if you’re not aware of your current balance! So, if you are out shopping over the weekend and you have not checked your account, you may be in for a horrible surprise when you get your statements.

Are there banks that do not charge these fees?

I am very skeptical when it comes to “no-fee” banks and approach with caution. I do not like surprises when it comes to money and finance and you can imagine my surprise when I had all of those overdraft fees accumulate in a very short period of time.

Personally, I tend to stick with a local, brick and mortar. I would much rather be able to go and chat with a bank rep…they can’t hide behind a phone or computer 🙂 But, there are a few online banks that I am curious about and my plan for 2020 is to sign up and try out two of them. The banks that I have an eye on are:

Their websites have a lot of information on them. One of the first things that I look for is if they’re FDIC insured. If yes, then I keep reading. I plan to have just a simple savings and checking account. I’ll keep you posted on my personal experience with them.

How do I get these overdraft fees waived?

The simplest answer is to just ask! You will never know until you ask. I spoke with my bank and explained (truthfully) the situation that I was in at the time. While talking with them, I kept my bank statement nearby as well so I could point out specific overdraft charges if they asked. To my surprise they removed all of the fees for that time frame.

I think that remaining calm and explaining to them the situation helped. Also, I gave them a brief plan of action to avoid this from happening again. I did this because I wanted them to understand that I know that there’s a relationship between myself and that bank. Also, it’s a matter of trust and I did not want my reputation tarnished either.

How do I avoid overdraft fees in the future?

Be vigilant, proactive and check your account. Set aside some time during the week to physically sit down and go over your spending. Be aware of your spending. Ask yourself, “Do I have any bills due this week?” Also, be aware of when you get paid.

.

Get rid of your debit card and go strictly cash! “Gasp! Lady, are you nuts?!?!” I know, it’s tough. Debit cards make things so much easier. Personally, I still do have my debit card. But, I do have a love note on there that says, “Do you really need that latte?”

Or, ask to get rid of overdraft protection. By the way, this “protection” reminds me of the sort of protection you would get from the mob protection racket. Just sayin! Anyways, call your bank and ask the questions:

  • “Can I get overdraft protection removed from by account?”
  • “If I get overdraft protection taken off of my checking account, will I simply be denied a purchase at the grocery store?” Or…..
  • “If I’m not denied the purchase, and the transaction goes through, will I be charged for NSF (insufficient funds)?”

It pays to ask these questions!

overdraft fees waived

What Exactly is the Frugal Lifestyle?

frugal lifestyle, frugal, frugality, saving, saving money, smart money

The Frugal lifestyle

Like many things it takes discipline to live the frugal lifestyle. Frugal living has been a very popular topic especially in the last several years or so, with economic downturn, major life changes and so forth. Some of us had to make lifestyle changes in order to move forward with everyday living. Let’s take a look at what it means to be frugal, gain clarification by dispelling myths and look at how you can live the frugal lifestyle.

Continue reading “What Exactly is the Frugal Lifestyle?”

13+ Must-Have Thrift Store Home Decor Accessories

We yearn to have a beautifully decorated home. Thrift stores are the answer to many home decor woes. We may not see the need to spend thousands of dollars on redecorating; or, simply put, you may not have the funds for such a decorative feat.

Here are over thirteen amazing thrift store home decor ideas for you to consider (these are examples of what I have personally found, your local thrift store stock may differ) :

thrift, store, home, decor, accessories, accents

Baskets

Decorative baskets are a main go-to for my home. They are versatile and available in so many different styles and colors. They are also very easy to be found at your local thrift store. I especially love the look of woven baskets.

thrift, store, home, decor, accents, accessories

Mirrors

What is a home without mirrors? We always need that final look before heading to work, school, etc. After all, first impressions are lasting ones.

thrift, store, home, decor, accessories, accents

Crates

Wood crates add a nice farmhouse touch to any room. They are a great addition to your farmhouse home decor. These can also be found on sites such as Craigslist, for free sometimes!

home, decor, thrift, store, accessories, accents

Throw Rugs

Adding a throw rug to your bedroom or living room can add that extra flare or pop of color that you’ve been wanting.

thrift, store, home, decor, accessories, accents

Candles

Candles are a super classy decorative item that can fit almost anywhere.

thrift, store, home, decor, accents, accessories

Plates

Who says plates are only for eating? Plates are available in so many different colors, patterns and sometimes even different textures. You can decorate your walls, a buffet, the possibilities are endless!

thrift, store, home, decor, accessories, accents

Vases

I find vases at thrift stores all the time. They are a common item to almost any home decor repertoire. Like plates, you can find these in many different colors and textures. But, they also vary in size and material as well.

thrift, store, accessories, home, decor, accents

Faux Flowers

If you’re like me and can’t keep flowers alive to save your life, then these are a great, low-maintenance and inexpensive way to go. These are very easy to track down at local thrift stores as well – all they need is a little cleaning and a nice container.

thrift, store, home, decor, accessories, accents

Vintage Luggage

Admittedly, I don’t find these very often at thrift stores. But, when I do it is always a treat. If you are looking to go the shabby chic route of home decor, these are a must-have!

thrift, store, home, decor, accessories, accents, thrifty

Photo Frames

Photo frames are probably the most abundant thrift store home decor items listed here. Whether your looking to re-frame a family picture or a picture that you yourself painted, finding the right frame could be a fairly easy task.

thrift, store, home, decor, accessories, accents

Artwork

Still life, animals, photos of silhouette profiles, etc are a very inexpensive way to add life to some bare walls.

thrift, store, accessories, accents,home, decor

Wall Hangings

Another thrift store home decor idea is to find some really awesome wall hangings to display.

thrift, store, home, decor, accessories, accents

Tiered Display

Tiered displays are such a versatile home decor item. These can be placed in your kitchen to display fruit or they can be used to display jewelry. And, if you don’t find what you’re looking for in the thrift stores, why not get creative and build one to your liking?

accents, thrift, store, home, decor, accessories,

Vintage Books

These are very popular in shabby chic style homes. Gather about three or four vintage style books, string them together with some twine or ribbon and you’ve just added a little shabby chic flare.

thrift, store, home, decor, accessories, accents

Clocks

In a world where digital clocks are the way to go, old-style clocks still have their place in society. Add a touch of class to your home decor with a lovely vintage style clock.

thrift store, accessories, accents, home, decor

Decorative Pillows

They’re fluffy and lovely to look at. These are another item that are very easy to find in thrift stores. Usually they’re available in many different colors, patterns and materials. The only real downside is finding matching pairs…but, this is a great chance to get creative and try some mixing and matching!

thrift, store, home, decor, accessories, accents

Table Cloths

One of the first places that I like to go to in the thrift stores are the racks. I’m always looking for nice comforters. This is more than likely where you will find the table cloths, hanging up with the comforters.

thrift, store, accessories, accents, home, decor

Statuettes

Thrift stores are known for their knick knacks. But, amongst them are the statuettes and I sometimes find mixed in.

thrift, store, home, decor, accessories, accents

Decorative Boxes

I love decorative boxes! These are another item that are usually available in different colors, shapes and sizes. They can also be used in any room. There is definitely no shortage of home decor ideas as far as decorative boxes are concerned.

accessories, thrift, store, home, decor, accents

Glass Jars

Plentiful and versatile glass jars can easily be found at your local thrift stores. These are great for displaying flowers, succulents and non-floral items such as rocks and marbles…the ideas are countless!

Why You Need to Create a Budget & Stick to It

create a budget

Why The Need to Create a Budget?

The need to create a budget is greater than you can imagine! A household budget is a wonderful and I would say necessary tool to have in order gain insight as to money that comes in as well as money that goes out.  Let’s face it, we all work hard to earn a good living.  We need to be more aware of our spending, savings, etc. 

Continue reading “Why You Need to Create a Budget & Stick to It”

Top 10 Easy Ways to Save Money on Gas

save money on gas

Gas prices are a budgetary concern for those of us looking for ways to save money on gas. According to AAA prices are holding steady at approximately $2.59/gallon. Here are 10 easy ways you can start today:

Continue reading “Top 10 Easy Ways to Save Money on Gas”

50+ Easy & Time Saving Home Cleaning Ideas

Recently I posted an article entitled “Emergency Cleaning Plan For the Busy Home” Here are 50+ home cleaning ideas you can use to simplify your home cleaning routine and keep your home neat and clean.

ONE-MINUTE CHORES

Only have a minute for cleaning? No problem. This first set of tips will give you some ideas for chores that take less than a minute.

Dust One Thing
If a minute is all that you have, it only takes a minute to choose one thing and dust it. You can either use a feather duster, a dust spray and a rag, or a dust wipe. Here are some things you can dust quickly:

  • TV screens
  • Shelves
  • Blinds
  • Ceiling fans
  • Air Vents

Change Vacuum Bag
In the age of canister-style vacuums, vacuum bags do still exist!  It doesn’t take much time at all to change your vacuum bag, and it can make your vacuum run more efficiently. A good tip is to take your vacuum outside to change it so the dust from the bag doesn’t go back into the room.

Clean a Mirror
A clean mirror makes a room look cleaner. If you don’t have glass cleaner and paper towels, try vinegar and old newspaper. This is a lot less expensive and it works just as well.

Change Towels
Fresh towels make a room smell great, whether they’re in the kitchen or the bathroom. It takes less than a minute, and it freshens up the whole room.

Change Trash Bags
Even if you don’t have time to take the trash all the way out, just taking full bags out of the cans and replacing them with clean bags can help tidy up when you only have a minute.

Sort Today’s Mail
Mail can really pile up if left alone. If you take 60 seconds every day to organize that day’s mail, you’ll have a lot less clutter. Don’t be afraid to throw away junk mail.  We are lucky enough to have found this awesome desk complete with a mail sorting station.

Treat a Stain
Got an extra minute? Treat that nasty stain that you noticed last week. Here are some tips:

  • Flush stains with water.
  • Blot the stain with a dry cloth.
  • Apply a mild cleaner and let set.
  • Blot again.

Take Care of Plants
A minute is more than enough time to care for your favorite houseplants. If they need water, fill a pitcher so you can water them all faster. Take a pair of scissors with you to snip off dead vines or leaves.

Wipe Down Forgotten Areas
Grab a wet washcloth and quickly wipe down areas that might be forgotten when cleaning. Areas like:

  • Doorknobs
  • Remote controls
  • Light switches
  • Handles
  • Telephones

Sweep Entryways
Most entryways are small and take less than a minute to sweep. Grab your broom and dustpan and you’ll be finished before you begin. You can even cheat and sweep dust onto the carpet, then use the carpet-sweeper to clean it up.

Shake out a Floor Mat
Floor mats are sometimes forgotten during cleaning. If you have an extra minute, grab a mat or two and shake them out outside. This will reduce the amount of dust in your home as well as keep those mats fresh and clean.

Collect Garbage in a Room
If you don’t have time to clean a whole room but want to make it look a little bit better, clear out the garbage. Grab a trash bag or a waste paper basket and start stuffing. You’ll find that this improves the look of a room dramatically.

GOOD HABITS TO START

No doubt, one of the most important ideas to implement for a clean home. As you start developing simple house cleaning habits, you’ll notice that your work will get easier and easier. This next set of tips will give you some great ideas of good habits to start.

Delegate
Housework can be a huge job. One of the best ideas to offer is to learn to delegate if you haven’t already. Make chore charts for everyone in your house. Even small children can help pick up toys and other things. As you learn that you don’t have to do it all, housework will become much easier.

Fill the Sink
A good habit to start is filling your sink with hot soapy water every time you start to cook. This way you can “clean as you go.” As you get done with each pot or dish, wash it quickly. This makes clean-up a snap.

Spray the Oven
Time for take-out? If there’s a day when you’re not using your oven, give it a quick spray of oven cleaner and forget about it. The next day, before you turn on your oven, give it a quick wipe down. You’ll find that the baked-on stuff comes off much easier

Have a Charity Box
It’s a good idea to keep a box or bag in your front closet that you put things you don’t need anymore. This really helps get rid of clutter in your home. When the box is full, simply drop it off at your local Goodwill store.

Rinse Your Plate
Of all of the cleaning ideas, this is one that I remember from my childhood. This may be a small tip, but it can help in big ways. If you simply make it a habit to rinse your plate after dinner (and have all family members do the same), it will make washing them a lot easier. No one likes trying to wash dried food off dishes.

Tackle the Small Jobs
Housework can be overwhelming. Learn to break it down and tackle the smaller jobs first. As you do, each job will become easier. Also, if you clean the small messes before they get big, it’ll be a lot easier to clean up

Keep Cleaner in the Shower
A great shortcut for cleaning your tub and shower is to keep a bottle of shower cleaner handy. After you take a bath or shower, spray it down. You can take it a step further and keep a squeegee in it as well.

Fast Pick Up Before Bed
If you make it a habit to do a quick pick up before going to bed, it’ll really help. You’ll find that it’s easier to wake up and feel good about the day if even one room is clean.

Line Your Fridge
If you make it a habit to line your fridge shelves with paper towels, it’ll make it a lot easier to clean. This will work especially well in the crispers, as the paper towels will soak up any extra wetness.

Take a Trash Bag with You
As you leave the house, make it a habit to take the trash out. This is a simple tip, but why make extra trips if you don’t need to? This is also a great job to delegate to a teenager. They’re always coming and going anyway.

KITCHEN

Your kitchen gets used every day. Without maintaining small messes, you can have a big cleaning job every day. This next set of ideas will help you keep your kitchen clean and manageable

Microwave
Here’s a good shortcut to cleaning your microwave: Fill up a cup of water and put it in there on high for a few minutes. The steam from the cup will loosen any stuck-on food, and then you can just wipe it away.

Baking Soda
Baking soda has many practical cleaning uses, especially in the kitchen. Here are a few ideas:

  • Put an open box in your fridge and freezer to eliminate odors and bad tastes.
  • Sprinkle some in the bottom of your trash cans.
  • Sprinkle some down your drain and garbage disposal to eliminate odors.

Fridge
Cleaning your fridge can be a big job, but here are a few ideas to make it a bit easier:

  • Toss out any bad food.
  • Start with wiping down the top shelves and work down.
  • Baking soda and water make a great cleaner and won’t leave your fridge smelling like harsh cleanser.
  • After you wipe out the crispers, line them with paper towels for easier cleaning next time.

Washing Dishes
Washing dishes can really be overwhelming. Here are more cleaning ideas to make this grueling task a bit easier:

  • Invest in a scrubber that you can put soap in the handle. This way you can “wash as you go,” eliminating huge piles of dirty dishes.
  • Soak all dishes that have dried on food. This lets you use less elbow grease.
  • Wash in groups—silverware, glasses, bowls, plates, pots and pans.

Wipe Down
After the dishes are done and put away, don’t forget the wipe-down. This makes your kitchen have that extra clean look. When you’re wiping down, don’t forget:

  • Countertops
  • Stove
  • Sink
  • Faucets
  • Cupboard doors
  • Table
  • Chair

Sweep and Mop
The very last thing you need to clean in your kitchen is the floor. There are lots of brooms and mops on the market these days. Make sure to use a broom and mop that best fit the needs of your floor.

BATHROOM

Cleaning the bathroom is something that nobody likes to do. Unfortunately, it needs to be done, not only to make it look better, but to eliminate germs that can cause illness. Below you’ll find a few ideas to make cleaning your bathroom more effective and easier.

Toilet
Cleaning the toilet is a grueling job, but fortunately, it can be done fast. Here are a few steps to follow to get it done quickly:

  • 1st—Pour some cleaner in the bowl to soak.
  • 2nd—Wipe down the seat and outside of the bowl with an antibacterial wipe or spray cleaner.
  • 3rd—Scrub the bowl with a toilet brush.
  • 4th—Wipe down everything again with a dry cloth to make it shine.

Mirrors
Mirrors can be very tricky to clean because if you don’t have the right tools, they can look worse than before you started. Make sure you use glass cleaner (usually blue) or vinegar and use paper towels or newspaper to wipe them (not cloth as it will leave residue).

Bathtub
Bathtubs can be awkward to clean, because there are many hard-to-reach places. Here are a few things that may help:

  • Use a cleanser that will foam or bubble. This allows you to “soak” your tub or shower, even if it’s a vertical wall.
  • Shop around for a tub scrubber that fits your needs. Whether it’s a long-handled one or an extra firm one, pick a scrubber that will be easiest for you to use.
  • As mentioned earlier, spraying the tub or shower down after each use can make deep cleaning easier.

Wipe Down the Sink
Wiping down the sink and counter is easier if you first fill the sink with hot soapy water. Keep dipping your washcloth or sponge into it until everything is clean. Don’t forget to dry everything so it’ll really sparkle.

LIVING ROOM

The living room is usually the first thing that visitors see when they come to your home. It’s also the room that can get the messiest. This next set of cleaning ideas will help you keep your living room clean and inviting.

Pick Up
First do a quick pick up. Here are some important points:

  • Put everything in its place (remotes controls, magazines, etc.).
  • Throw trash in the trash can.
  • Put things that don’t belong into laundry baskets, so they’re easier to put away later.

Dust
As mentioned earlier, dusting doesn’t take very long, but it can really help make your living room look great. Here’s a list of things not to forget:

  • Blinds
  • Air Vents
  • TV screens
  • Shelves
  • Ceiling fans

Vacuum
Vacuuming really finishes a clean room. Use your vacuum attachments to make sure you get the hard to reach places. Don’t forget:

  • Couch cushions
  • Room edges
  • Under the couch
  • Curtains
  • Window sills

BEDROOM

You spend almost half of your life in your bedroom, so keeping it clean is important. Here are some cleaning ideas to keep your bedroom looking great:

Make the Bed
Making the bed will make any room cleaner. It doesn’t take very long, and it really pulls the room together. It helps to have a thick, lightweight comforter that can easily be thrown on without a lot of smoothing or tucking. Pillows really make a bed look good as well.

Put Away Clothes
Put away all clothes. Whether they need to be folded and put in a dresser, hung up, or put in the dirty clothes hamper, managing clothes is very important.

Clean off Dresser
Your dresser top can get cluttered very quickly. Make it a habit to clear it off every time you clean your room, and it will get easier each time. It’s also a good idea to wipe down your dresser with a damp cloth.

GENERAL SHORTCUTS (You’re almost there!)

This last set of tips will give you additional shortcuts for cleaning the house. Some of them are hardly conventional, but sometimes you just must get creative—especially when you’re in a hurry.

Fast Window Cleaning
Got a big window that needs to be cleaned super quick? Try only pulling the blinds up halfway, and only cleaning the bottom half of the window. As stated earlier, vinegar and newspaper work well in a pinch.

Carpet Sweeping
It helps to have a carpet sweeper or a cordless hand vacuum handy. This way you don’t need to drag the big vacuum out every time your floor needs a quick clean-up.

Pet Hair
Pet hair can be hard to control, especially on furniture. Here are a couple of ideas for fast clean up:

  • Ball up an old pair of pantyhose and rub them all over your furniture—they’re great at picking up pet hair.
  • Buy a cheap lint roller (the kind with sticky tape) and roll it over the furniture

Do the Towel Shuffle
Who would have thought a house-cleaning tip would mean doing a dance? If your floor needs a good mopping but you don’t have time, simply wet two towels, put one under each foot, and “shuffle” them across the room. You’ll find this quite effective as well as fun.

Cleaner Alternatives
Out of cleaners? Here are some things that you can use to clean instead of store-bought cleaners:

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon juice

Laundry Baskets
Laundry baskets aren’t just for laundry anymore. You can get them at almost any dollar store, and they can really speed up housework. Here are some ideas:

  • When cleaning a room, put all the things that don’t belong in that room in a basket. Then put the baskets in the rooms that they go in.
  • Use a basket to carry dishes from the dining area to the sink.
  • Use baskets to separate magazines.
  • Give each household member a basket. When cleaning, line up the basket in the room you’re cleaning and put belongings in corresponding baskets. Have each family member put away the things in their basket.

Decorative Baskets
Decorative baskets are a great way to hide clutter. Take a trip to your local dollar store and invest in some fancy baskets of all sizes. Use them to organize. Here are some things you can use them for:

  • Mail
  • Magazines
  • Couch pillows
  • Remotes

Go Paper
Don’t be afraid to use paper plates and plastic utensils. This reduces the clean-up time to almost nothing. You can even dress up paper plates with wicker holders, and utensils with colorful ribbon

Spray Dust Mop
No time for a full mopping? Try giving your floor a good spraying with your favorite cleaner, then go over it with a mop. Depending on the cleaner, you may need to then spray your floor again with just water, and mop again to remove any residue.

Music
Of all of the cleaning ideas listed this is my absolute favorite! Every grueling task is easier when music is involved. Find yourself some good music to clean to, and you’ll find that time goes by much faster. In no time, the CD is over, and your house is clean. 

Good Smells
A clean house may be the first thing people see as they come to visit, but what are they smelling? An inviting smell in your home is just as important as keeping it clean. Here are some things you can use:

  • Spray air fresheners
  • Candles
  • Plug-in air fresheners
  • Scented pine cones
  • Scented oil lamps
  • Potpourri

Make Plans
Housework is a lot less overwhelming if you have a plan. If you divide chores up into specific time blocks, or even days, they will be a lot easier to tackle. Don’t forget to make fun chore charts for the kids.

Know When to Quit
With housework, there will always be something else to clean and organize. It’s important to know when to quit. When wiping down a cupboard door, resist the temptation to pull everything out of that cupboard and reorganize; save that for another day.

cleaning ideas