10 Great Uses for Clorox Bleach

If you read my other blog, Remodelaholic, you will know that we got a new (to us) house recently!  It is a huge fixer upper, and this has been our first BIG remodel project with kiddos.  It is throwing a bit of a loop into our normal remodeling plans.  We’ve got TONS of dirty little people cloths, there are a lot of scary dirty things in this new house, that go way beyond soap and water and finally there is some water damage which must be taken care of.

Anyway, the other day I was hanging out in our backyard with my cute neighbor.  We had just eaten dinner on the patio, and the ants, that apparently inhabit the entire concrete slab patio (eye roll), were all swarming looking for that one speck of lettuce that had fallen on the patio… literally there was one piece of lettuce on the patio and they were going CRAZY.  I wish I loved lettuce that much, but that is beside the point.

I wanted to get rid of them, but I had nothing to use, when my neighbor suggested bleach…  I hadn’t ever tried bleach as an ant killer before so it was worth a try.  I diluted the bleach by half with some water and poured it right into the cracks they inhabited… and waited.  Guess what, the next day, they were dead and gone!!

So it got me thinking, what other great uses are there for Clorox bleach?  So I did a little research!

10 Great Uses for Clorox Bleach

*I understand bleach isn’t needed for every mess!  When disinfecting isn’t needed, bleach my not be necessary.  I don’t recommend bleach for all cleaning needs, instead this article is for opening up consideration for all the ways to use beyond the laundry room.  Also, some additional uses of Clorox Regular-Bleach can be found here.

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1. Washing Whites:

When you are washing whites, use Clorox® Regular-Bleach for white and or bleachable items only.   Pre-fill you top loader with water add bleach first,  then clothes or use the washer’s bleach dispenser.

To get your clothes to be the whitest white that they can be (and they don’t have to be part of the army to do it!) In fact, 1 cup of Clorox® Regular-Bleach whitens 2X (times) as much as bargain bleach.  Read the care labels on the garments to be washed and wash them with half a cup of bleach in the hottest water that the garment allows for.

When using bleach always avoid these fabrics or materials: wool, silk, mohair, leather and Spandex. (We know how sad you would be if you lost those neon yellow spandex pants you wear around the house when you don’t think anyone knows!)

Clorox video

2. White Slip Covers:

Since my passion is interior design, and how that relates to how a family life, I will admit I had to laugh when I read an article on my friend’s blog, about how she chose to buy white slipcovers ON PURPOSE while her kids were young.  I know right?  Sounds like a horror movie.  But actually she has a really good plan!!

Let the kids be kids, and bleach the slip covers when necessary (follow the basic principals listed above for washing whites).  Soon, your furniture will look so good everyone will think you are the mean mom on the block and be afraid to sit down…and all the other mom’s will be jealous! Sounds like it is time to makeover my living room (insert evil laugh here).

 

3. Clean Your Washing Machine:

I don’t think we would be comfortable eating in a kitchen where the cook never cleaned the sink, like ever.  Gross, can you imagine that?  No, cleaning out a sink is a regular thing.  Heck, we clean our sinks several times a day with each meal if we are cooking at home.  I do that and I am not even a clean freak.  But, I bet a lot of us neglect to think about cleaning our washing machine?  Am I right?  Gross!  I forget too, don’t feel judged!  Check out these posts for how to clean a front loader vrs how to clean a top loader machine.

And, if a thorough cleaning is not in the cards because of time, a periodic run through of a couple cups of Clorox bleach on the hottest temperature cycle (without any laundry) ought to keep your washer clean, disinfected, and smelling fresh between the more elaborate cleanings!

Tips for Public Laundromat:

If you are using a washer in a public laundromat, wash your white load with Clorox® Regular-Bleach first.  Clorox® Regular-Bleach disinfects 33% more than store brands.  You will instantly become a laundry washing, grime fighting super hero!  You’ll kill the germs in just a single wash of whites… and save the rest of your next loads from any unwanted germs!  Go you, I knew you’d grow up to be amazing!

Be sure to check out other great cleaning and laundry tips here.

 

 4. Clean Plastic Lawn Furniture:

Is your white plastic lawn furniture looking dingy? Using diluted bleach and water can also eliminate mold and mildew from your plastic lawn furniture and get it bright and white again. So, before you toss it to the curb, try washing it with some mild detergent mixed with 1/2 cup Clorox bleach in 1 gallon water. Rinse it clean with a garden hose, then air-dry in the sun!  (do not leave the bleach on for extended periods as that can cause yellowing!)

 

5. Shine White Porcelain:

Like I told you before I have a thing for interior design, and in my mind beautiful white porcelain farmhouse sinks, along with porcelain plates, bowls, and pitchers in a mix of shapes is one of the prettiest things you can display, hands down. Dirty, grimy white porcelain… not so much!

To Clean a Porcelain Sink:

  1. First scrub your sink to remove any dirt or grime.  Use a mild dish soap or dishwasher detergent and get to work.
  2. Spray a diluted bleach all over the sink.  And allow it to sit doing it’s thing for about 5 minutes, pretty soon any yellowing and general yuckiness with be gone!  Wipe down and rinse thoroughly.
  3. Now shine that sink with Bar Keepers Friend, to get it shining like the top of the Chrysler building (name that movie!)

To Clean Porcelain Dishes (not antiques!!!)

  1. In your kitchen sink, place the white dish you want to clean.
  2. Cover it with several paper towels and carefully saturate the paper towels with undiluted bleach.
  3. Let soak for 15 minutes to a half hour.
  4. Rinse thoroughly and the wipe dry with a clean towel.

Note: Do not try this with antiques; you can diminish their value or cause damage. Never use bleach on colored porcelain, because the color will fade.

6. Brighten Up Glass Dishware:

When washing glasswear, add a teaspoon of bleach to your soapy dishwater.  Wash like normal, be sure to rinse well, and dry with a soft towel. Watch as you put the sparkle back in your glasses!  You are a domestic goddesss!

 

7. Clean Mold and Mildew From Grout:

It is amazing what bleach can do for grout!  Mix three-quarters cup Clorox bleach with one gallon of water, and use an old tooth brush to scrub off the mildew.  You’ll be singing in the shower again in no time!

 

8. Sterilize Secondhand Items:

I am all for shopping around to get the best deal, but don’t forget, when you get something used, you REALLY don’t know where it has been. My recommendation, before jumping right in, take your used, waterproof items and soak them for 5-10 minutes in a solution containing 3/4 cup bleach, a few drops of antibacterial dish washing liquid, and 1 gallon warm water. Rinse well, then air-dry, preferably in sunlight.  Now you can feel good about loving that retro thingamajig you didn’t’ know you always wanted!  Or letting the kiddos try to eat that doll… well, not eat it but you know what I mean right?  Spit central!

 

9.Love Fresh Cut Flower’s Longer:

Easily extend the life of freshly cut flowers.  Just add one-quarter teaspoon of bleach for every quart of water used in your vase.  Awesome!

 

10. Make REALLY Cool T-shirts, Pants and Shoes:

Great Fashion Ideas to try with Bleach @tipsaholic 1

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Those are such great uses for Clorox bleach! Don’t you agree!  And when you are done with your bleach bottle, there are TONS of uses for that, be sure to check them out.

**Thank you to Clorox® Bleach for sponsoring this post.  All thoughts, opinions and stories represented in this post are my own..   Clorox provides better value over the competition—one bottle disinfects 22x more bathtubs than store brand bleach.  Clorox® Regular-Bleach packs the whitening and dirt-fighting power you demand. Plus it disinfects to kill 99.9% of germs and bacteria, which is kinda awesome.

How to Clean a Front Loader Washing Machine

Sometimes, as a mom, I feel like a laundromat.  it is like a never ending cycle of fluff and fold!  And because I am ALWAYS doing laundry I don’t always think about the washing machine itself!  However like any other machine or tool in your home there is always some maintenance and cleaning required.  But I bet a lot of us neglect to think about cleaning our washing machine?  Am I right?  Gross!  I do it too, don’t feel judged!

I thought is would be nice to have a quick tutorial on how to clean a top loader washing machine!

Clean Your Washing Machine:

How to clean a front load washer @tipsaholic #clean #washingmachine #frontload

How to Clean a Front loader Washing Machine:

  1. To begin fill your front loader washing machine with hot water on the largest load setting. This will be a laundry free load, so no sneaking dirties in that machine!
  2. Add 2 cups of vinegar to the water to get rid of odor problems and hard water or mineral buildup.  Allow the cycle to complete.
  3. Mix a bucket with a mix of 1 cup chlorine bleach and 1 gallon hot water.  Grab some good rubber gloves and a washcloth.  Wipe the interior glass door of your machine to remove any build up.
  4. Check the drainage line/filter in your machine.  Drain any excess liquid and clean the lower filter (if your machine has one)
  5. Fill the washer a second time with hot water, also on the largest load setting.
  6. Add 2 cups of bleach to the water to remove stains and disinfect the machine.  Allow the cycle to complete.
  7. To rinse any remaining residue, run a quick cycle with no additional cleaning supplies.
  8. Remove and clean the liquid soap, bleach, fabric softener dispenser.  Allow them to soak in a mixture of mild detergent and hot water for approximately 10 minutes.  Wipe away any grime with a washcloth, rinse and dry them.  Return them to your machine.
  9. Clean the rubber door seal, using the bucket of diluted bleach and washcloth from before, wipe down the seal to remove any mold and mildew.  Allow the solution to stay on the seal for approximately 5 minutes.   Wipe with a clean wet washcloth and dry with a towel.
  10. DONE!

Now guard that baby fiercely… no unclean thing will ever go near it again.  I kid, there is another load of dirty laundry waiting to be washed as we speak.  I can guarantee it, if not now, just wait 24 hours.  You cup over floweth, or is that the laundry basket I’m talking about?!

Do you need instructions for cleaning a top loading machine, here they are!

How to Clean a Top Loader Washing Machine

Sometimes, as a mom, I feel like a laundromat.  it is like a never ending cycle of fluff and fold!  And because I am ALWAYS doing laundry I don’t always think about the washing machine itself, however like any other machine or tool in your home there is always some maintenance and cleaning required.  But I bet a lot of us neglect to think about cleaning our washing machine?  Am I right?  Gross!  I do it too, don’t feel judged!

I thought is would be nice to have a quick tutorial on how to clean a top loader washing machine!

Clean Your Washing Machine!

How to clean a top load washer @tipsaholic #clean #washingmachine #topload

How to Clean a Top Loader Washing Machine:

  1. Fill the washer with HOT water and add 1 quart distilled white vinegar, to break up buildup and mineral deposits.  Let agitate for about 3 minutes.  Then stop the cycle and set a timer for 1 hour, while it soaks.
  2. While the vinegar soaking, dip a scrubber sponge in the vinegar water and wipe all the nooks and crannies of your washer.  Don’t forget the knobs, lid and the exterior.  Wipe dry with a clean cloth.
  3. Clean and scrub any built in dispensers while it is soaking.
  4. Turn you cycle back on and run through a complete cycle.
  5. Again, fill the washer with HOT water. Add 1 quart of chlorine bleach to the water to disinfect and let the machine agitate for about 3 minutes, Then stop the cycle and set a timer for 1 hour, while it soaks.  Turn you cycle back on and run through a complete cycle.
  6. Run one last short cycle without any cleaners to remove any residual cleaners.
  7. Done!

Enjoy, for the five minutes that the machine can stay out of use!

Do you need instructions for cleaning a front loading machine, here they are!

15 Tips for Organizing Your Garage

15 Tips for Organizing Your Garage | Tipsaholic.com #home #organization #garage #storage #solutions #cleaning

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Most garage designs offer around 500 square feet of space. Not unlike many homeowners, you have most likely faced obstacles when it comes to keeping this large storage space under control and organized.

You may not be able to work a professional organizer into your budget, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience a garage with complete organization systems. Here are 15 tips to organize your garage from the ground up!

 

1. Create a showroom-style garage, starting with new garage flooring.

If you aren’t completely confident that you can do the installation yourself or you are too busy to complete new flooring yourself, hiring a professional is the route to go!

New innovative garage floor materials are much more maintainable than traditional concrete flooring and easier to clean.

garage-flooring-modutile

2. Use your lids!

Keep your nuts, bolts, screws and other small objects organized and within easy reach. Install plastic lids to the bottom of a shelf, then just screw the jars on and off for easy access.

hanging-jars-garage-storage-diy-n-crafts

3. Clear view makes it easy for you.

What!? You don’t have x-ray vision?! Clear labeled tubs (like those below, from Frazzled Joy) can solve your searching problem quick! Use this calculator to check your garage measurements.

clear-labeled-tubs-garage-storage-frazzled-joy

4. Stretch, hook and voila! Instant storage!

Stretch bungee cords from the floor to 2x4s attached to the wall to make a frame and store all your sports equipment!

ball-storage-100-things-2-do

5. Upcycle your gutters for garage organization!

Old gutters can be recycled into a garage storage solution! Install them up high in the garage to hold spray paint and cleaning products to keep out of reach of the kids. (Here are more tips to organize a house if you have kids.)

rain-gutter-storage-garage-retreat

6. Closed doors can keep your belongings safe and out of sight!

Custom garage companies can install floating garage cabinets that are easy to clean underneath and protect your belongings from pests and water damage. If you decide to install the cabinets yourself, remember to provide a strong anchor, so you can protect from a possible fall!

garage-cabinets-12-gauge-garage

7. Pegboards can hold a plethora of items!

Utilize a pegboard to store your hand tools on the wall and off the garage floor! You can install a single pegboard or you can get innovative and make pegboard pages for multiple storage solutions! What a great use of space! Find more cool pegboard ideas here!

pegboard-garage-storage-woodsmith-tips

8. Don’t walk under an open ladder or prop it against the wall.

A ladder propped up against a wall is not safe storage. The ladder can fall and cause injury or property damage. As an alternative way to store your ladder, suspend it on sturdy hooks that are part of a wall attachment system or hang it from your ceiling!

hanging-ladder-family-handyman

9.Off the floor and on the wall seating.

Okay, so you can’t actually sit on the wall, but you can hang up your folding chairs, lawn chairs, etc. on the wall! You most likely have extra chairs stuffed in the corner of your garage. With a magnetic strip you can attach to the wall, chairs are easy to hang up and pull down when you need them!

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10. Hang a magnetic strip.

Keep tiny items in place with a magnetic wall strip. You can hang it horizontally or vertically, depending on your storage needs.

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11. Everything has a place and there is a place for everything!

Find the exact place you want your tools and trace around the outer edges. This will help keep you and anyone working in the garage organized by reminding you where to put tools away.

traced-tool-wall-martha-stewart

12. Are you a biker? You need a bike rack!

Overhead bike racks are stylish, functional and sturdy so you can keep your bike hanging high and off the garage floor! Utilizing a bike storage rack is a fantastic way to remind yourself to hop on and cruise!
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13. Keep your chin up.

Overhead storage is another great way to make the most of your garage’s available space. Take a look at this system for attaching bins to the ceiling.

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14. Get on a roll with this unique trick.

Put up a simple paper towel holder, and your bags will be where you need them every time.

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15. Get it all off the floor.

Don’t risk ruining your pristine chip flooring. Get your items off the floor with garage wall racks!

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Don’t set limits upon your garage storage. From floor to ceiling, you have plenty of options to achieve complete organization. Just get creative! Check out some more DIY ideas for the garage here.

Here are more helpful resources for organizing your garage:

 

Special thanks to Arizona Garage Design for submitting this article. 

Featured image courtesy of Arizona Garage Design

 

How to Clean Your Cleaning Supplies

How to Clean Your Cleaning Supplies | Tipsaholic.com #home #cleaning #organization #supplies

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Have you been “cleaning” your house with dirty tools? All your scrubbing will be a bit more effective once your supplies are freshened and sanitized. Use these tips to clean your cleaning supplies and get the most out of your mops, brooms, brushes, and sponges for your Saturday morning house cleaning.

 

Brooms

Sweep a broom against a rough surface outdoors to pull away the loose debris like cobwebs and hair.  Use the hose attachment on your vacuum to get the deeper dirt. Give it a rinse with hot water in a sink or tub and sanitize by soaking in a bleach solution for up to an hour.*

 

Sponges (and sponge mop heads)

Use a slightly stronger bleach solution for a quick, five-minute soak.* Sponges for dishes and kitchen counters can be washed in the dishwasher. Sponges should be allowed to air dry and should be replaced every 4-8 weeks.

 

Mop heads

Detachable mop heads can be washed in the washing machine. Use hot water and add bleach for extra sanitation. If your mop head is not detachable, rinse it with hot water and then soak it in a disinfecting solution for up to an hour.* Ring it out, then allow it to hang to air dry.

 

Toilet brushes

Use a hot water and bleach mix to soak the brush for an hour.* Allow the brush to air dry.

 

Dust cloths and cleaning rags

The easiest method for cleaning these items is typically the washing machine. Use a hot water setting to loosen oils from cleaning products and add bleach for sanitizing. It is usually best to run these items in a load on their own to avoid exposing clothing to the chemicals that rinse out of the rags.

 

Vacuum cleaners

You should refer to the owner’s manual for your vacuum for specific instructions for your model. Untangle the belt and rotating “sweeper” underneath the vacuum from time to time, as hair and strings can prevent it from spinning properly. For a vacuum filter, an old toothbrush and hot water usually does the trick. To clean hoses and brushes, remove them from the vacuum and allow them to soak (submerged) in hot water, then rinse. For a bagless vacuum, the canister can typically be soaked and cleaned in the same way. Allow all of the vacuum components to dry completely before putting them back and using the vacuum.

 

*NOTE: Ideally, disinfecting solutions using bleach use ¼ cup of bleach per gallon of water (or ½ Tablespoon per pint or 1 Tablespoon per quart). Use caution when working with bleach. Use it only in well-ventilated areas and wear rubber gloves whenever needed. Remember that bleach can discolor clothing and fabrics when solution is strong.

For an eco-friendly clean of any of your tools – use washing soda crystals in lieu of bleach. Washing soda crystals are natural and biodegradable, but be aware that you should allow for longer soaking times (4-5 hours instead of 1) with this method.

 

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at www.utterlyinexperienced.blogspot.com, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.

 

Featured image courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens.

10 FUN Toddler Chores

The earlier your child learns how to do housework, the better – and not just because it takes items off your to-do list!  Teach your kids to do chores now and it won’t be a battle to get them to clean later on in life.  Not only that, but chores can also be great teaching tools – use them to reinforce the idea of choices and consequences, rewarding hard work, and taking stewardship over belongings.  Toddler chores can teach a sense of accomplishment and pride and instill a strong work ethic that will take them far later in life.  How young should you start?  Well, here’s a list of 10 fun chores for TODDLERS!

10 Fun Chores for Toddlers!

 

10 Fun Toddler Chores via Tipsaholic

Things to remember:  Toddlers will need guidance and direction, but be sure to let them accomplish as much as they can on their own. This will help with establishing independence and self-confidence.  Avoid allowing them to use harsh and potentially harmful cleaners and detergents.  If you expect them to complete a chore on their own, make sure to keep anything they may need to accomplish the task within easy reach.  Make cleaning fun by turning on music, using a chore chart, and cleaning together.

 

1. Pick up toys and books

The easiest way to enforce this is to have him/her pick up what they are playing with before getting something else out.  You can also make this a game by playing a variation of “I Spy” – “Can you find the red car?  Where does it go?”  or “Can you pick up five red blocks?”  Picking up toys and books is easier for kids when there are clear, established spots for them.  You can find tons of great toy organization ideas in this post from Remodelaholic.

*DIY idea: Check out these chalkboard toy boxes!  They’re trendy and classy and match nearly all decor.  Plus, you can change the “labels” easily, since you only need chalk!

 

2. Help with dirty laundry

Dirty clothes are lightweight and easy for small hands to manage.  Make sure there is a distinct spot for dirty clothes – a hamper like this one is a great option for kids if you don’t have a laundry chute.  Once the dirty clothes are in the right place, your toddler can also help sort clothes by color and put them in the washing machine, under close supervision.

 

3. Sort/fold clean laundry

Once the laundry is clean, toddlers can have fun matching socks by color and size.  They can learn to fold small items that aren’t unwieldy, though it will take practice to master this skill!

 

4. Wipe up messes

Spills happen.  It’s inevitable.  Teach your kids to clean them right when they happen, so there will be less for everyone to take care of later.  Make sure there are rags or paper towels within easy reach and if needed have them use water to dampen them – no chemical-laden cleaners.

 

5. Dusting

While there may be some areas you’ll want your toddler to avoid (great grandma’s china on the buffet or your grandfather’s tchotchkes from “the Old World” perhaps) there are spots small hands can dust – window ledges, blinds, low shelves, their own dresser, baseboards… anything low and easy to reach, nothing too high or heavy.  For added fun, let them use old socks over their hands, like puppets!

 

6. Put away groceries

This can be just as fun as sorting socks!  They can help put like items together, carry lightweight items away where they belong, and take food storage items to their spots in the pantry or basement.  Supervise to make sure they don’t carry more than they can easily handle and keep in mind they may need direction.

 

7. Set and clear the table

Keep unbreakable plates, bowls and cups at easy reach in a low cupboard so toddlers can find them and carry them to the table without help and without worry of shattering them.  Use fun placemats, like these, that teach kids the proper way to lay the utensils.  When mealtime is over, kids can carry dishes to the sink and help put things away in the fridge.

 

8. Wipe the table off

Toddlers can help clean a dirty table with a washcloth, rag or paper towel and water.

 

9. Make the bed

This is a skill that takes a lot of practice to properly master, but a toddler can surely begin to work on it!  They can place their pillows and stuffed animals in their allotted places and pull sheets and blankets up.  Explain and show them how to pull the linens up to “meet the pillows” – and most importantly don’t worry if there are lumps and bumps or if the sheets are askew.  Practice makes perfect!

 

10. Help with pets

With guidance, a toddler can pour pet food into the dish or change the water.  They will likely enjoy helping dogs take walks or “exercising” the cat or rabbit!

10 Fun Chores for Toddlers via Tipsaholic

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

Cleaning Tips from Organization Pros

Did your spring cleaning go off without a hitch this year?  If not, join the ranks!  Not to worry: there’s still plenty of time to whip your house (and life!) into shape, any time of year!  I’m definitely not a know it all when it comes to organization, so when attempting a big job like this I like to look to the pros.  Those who make lists.  Those who create organization challenges and stick to them.  Those who know what it takes to keep a home organized!  If you like lists, need some help staying on track, and want to spiffy up your home, look below for cleaning tips from the pros!

 

Top Cleaning Tips from Organization Pros via Tipsaholic

cleaning tips from the pros via tipsaholic

1. Holiday Sparkle has a 21 Day Organization Challenge.  The list is broken down by day into areas or items that need cleaning and organization.  There’s usually a fairly heavy work-load day followed by a lighter day of work.  You can find the list and a free printable checklist here.

 

2. Good old Martha Stewart.  Who better than the homemaker extraordinaire herself to tell you how to clean your home?  On her website, she shares a “Spring Cleaning Checklist” – which is really so much more than that.  There are tips and tricks about cleaning almost everything, from ceilings to grout lines.  She lays things out in a table first in generalizations and overall tips and then breaking it down into rooms.  Find her charts here.

 

3. The girls at Homeketeers put together a 30 Day Organization Challenge.  Each day they posted a specific task to be completed along with some inspiration, photos and tips for accomplishing the task at hand.  They covered your general high clutter household areas (linen closet, front closet, fridge, pantry, etc) as well as items (toys, digital photos, jewelry) and your life (organize your Christmas!).  Plus, there are lots of printable checklists.  Worth checking out here.

 

4.  If you’d like some quick tips and a handy list of how to QUICK clean your house, you can print the “Top to Bottom Cleaning Checklist” from iMom.  This list is a clear-cut break down of how to clean each room most efficiently (i.e. from TOP to BOTTOM).  It’s basically a cheat sheet for cleaning, so none of us will fail.  You can find the easy to handle list here.

 

5. Over on Country Chic Cottage, you can find a handy guide called “30 Minutes a Week to a Cleaner Home.”  The general idea is that each week you DEEP clean something that desperately needs it – i.e. the things you don’t generally do weekly.  There’s a printable list that breaks the cleaning and organizing down into manageable chunks by week.  It might take 52 weeks to complete the whole thing, but when you work in 30 minute increments it’s not so overwhelming!  Print out the list here.

 

6. You also don’t want to miss the “Thrifty Tips for Spring Cleaning and Organizing” on Remodelaholic.  There are great ideas for several DIY cleaners and super frugal storage and organization DIY’s.  See the list here. 

 

Happy Cleaning!

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

 

Feature images via Martha Stewart and Holiday Sparkle

How to Bathe Your Pet

How to Bathe Your Pet - Tipsaholic.com

 

Pets do not usually need frequent bathing – the natural oils in their skin, shedding, a good diet, and their instinctual grooming habits keep them clean and their skin and hair healthy. However, our furry family members sometimes need a bit of extra help. There are times when an excess of hair and unpleasant smells can be a bit overwhelming and a good scrub is the only thing that will make snuggling on the couch tolerable again! Follow these tips when giving your dogs, cats, bunnies, and other furry friends a good bath.

 

1. Try to make a bath a calm experience, if not a pleasant one.

Some pets love the water. Some pets don’t. For those who don’t appreciate the  whole soggy business, take extra steps to make bath time a bit more soothing. Make sure all of your bathing supplies and a dry towel are within reach. Water temperatures should be comfortably warm or perhaps cooler on a hot day. Consider having a few treats ready to give your pet throughout the bath. Talk quietly and use your pet’s name frequently for reassurance. Consider placing a rubber mat in your tub to keep your pet from slipping. Ask for help from a friend if you think you might have a hard time keeping your pet safely in the tub.

 

2. Follow a routine like the one you have when you bathe yourself.

Do what you already know how to do. Use warm water to get your pet wet down to the skin so that they are ready for shampooing. If they can tolerate a “sprayer” like a detachable shower head or garden hose, this may be the easiest way to go. Put the sprayer on a gentle setting. Alternatively, you may use a bucket to dip fresh water and gently dump it over your pet’s back. Use an appropriate amount of shampoo based on your pet’s size and length of hair, then softly scrub it into the hair and skin. Avoid sensitive areas around the face (nose, ears, eyes, and mouth) and be gentle when scrubbing other sensitive body parts. If needed, use a damp rag (no soap) to clean your pet’s face. Rinse thoroughly using warm water so that leftover soap doesn’t irritate the skin.

 

3. Keep your pet in a warm environment until they can dry fully.

Once she has been rinsed, wrap your pet up in a towel and begin drying. Remember that it is natural for many pets to shake when wet, and unless you plan on preventing this, you may want to keep them in a warm, open area that can stand a bit of a shower! Some pets can tolerate a blow dryer. If you do use one, keep it on a warm (not hot) setting and hold the dryer about ten inches away from your pet. This may also be a good time for gentle brushing, especially for long-haired pets. Never let a wet pet out in cold temperatures, as wet skin and hair make it hard to keep warm.

 

More tips for how, when, and where to wash your pets:

  • Always allow your pet to remain upright in the bath – don’t force an animal, particularly a rabbit, onto its back, as this is a very vulnerable position and can trigger defensive stress.
  • Healthy pets can be washed as frequently as once a month. Bathing your pet more often than this tends to dry out their hair and skin. If your pet needs special skin care, consult a veterinarian or professional groomer.
  • A very smelly pet may require more than one shampooing. You may also try a vinegar rinse: use one cup of vinegar in one gallon of water and pour it over your pet from the neck down. Rub it into your pet’s hair and skin and dry your pet as you normally would without rinsing the vinegar mixture out of his hair.
  • Pet shampoos of all kinds can be found at your local pet store or found online, such as this organic shampoo on Amazon. Avoid using human shampoos, as these tend to dry out pet skin too much and often have added scents and chemicals that are not good for animals. The exception among human shampoos is unscented baby shampoo, which can be used on many dogs and cats. Dawn dish soap (original variety) has often been suggested as a flea-killing shampoo option for pets.
  • Always be aware of your pet’s individual needs. Some pets have allergies to ingredients in popular pet shampoos (oatmeal can be a challenge for many dogs). If at any time you feel your pet’s safety is compromised, rinse your pet thoroughly, stop the bath, and consult a veterinarian.

 

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at www.utterlyinexperienced.blogspot.com, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.

5 Tips for a Successful Yard Sale

5 Tips for a Successful Yard Sale | Tipsaholic.com #cleaning #home #organization #yardsale

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Each summer, yard sales become popular and everyone crowds driveways and yards to get great deals on second-hand items. Have you ever had a yard sale? What can you do to ensure that it runs smoothly?

 

Advertise

The best advertisement is signs. Great big signs with just “Yard Sale” and a large arrow. Pointing your customers in the right direction is always better than just putting your address on the sign and hoping they know how to get there.

 

Take Time to Prep

The more organized you are, the less hectic it will be the morning of your garage sale. You want to make sure that you have everything set up before people arrive so you can focus on answering questions and collecting money. Have everything you need near the door or ready to go in the garage. Boxes sorted by categories along with any supplies you’ll need like price stickers or tags.

 

Have Change

This is something a lot of people don’t think about when preparing for a yard sale. You don’t want to turn away customers because you don’t have enough change. I recommend at least $50 in change, that means mostly $1′s and $5′s.

 

Have Help

Running a yard sale on your own can be really stressful, especially if you have a lot of stuff. It’s hard to run inside to go to the bathroom or try to talk to and collect money from several customers at once. Ask a friend or two if they have some stuff they’d like to sell too and that way you’ll have some help in case things get busy or you need a break to get a drink or some food.

 

Have FUN!

Yard sales are fun and you can make a good amount of money all while cleaning out the clutter. Interact with your customers, make them feel comfortable, and enjoy yourself.

 

Author: Aileen is a wife, entrepreneur, and animal lover. She lives in a small California town with her husband and a handful of pets, where she spends her days designing blogs and running her online boutique. You can find more at Life by Aileen where she talks about chasing dreams and her attempts at a simpler life.

 

Featured image courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens.

Top 8 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Home

Top 8 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Home - Tipsaholic.com

 

Dan Hechtkopf and Reid Heidenry of South Beach Investment Realty are experts in home remodeling and cleaning. To help you get your humble abode in tip-top shape, here are their top eight tips for spring cleaning your home!

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1. Take Care of Stainless Steel

Use a light mist of wax-based aerosol spray once or twice a week. Don’t put on too much — you don’t want to soak the surface and make it greasy. Wipe the mist with a clean, lint-free cloth, and never use oils to keep away fingerprints — lint will stick to the oil.

2. Organize Closets

Organizing your closet is the first step to organizing the rest of your home. Get rid of unused clothes and accessories, and organize the rest by how you get dressed in the morning and by color.

3. Removing Stains/Odors

Blot up as much of the smelly mess as you can right away. While you’re blotting the upholstery, put a plastic liner or a garbage bag between the cushion and the fabric so you don’t push the contaminant into the cushion. Then flush with cold water as best you can. Blot and flush again.

4. Creating a Different Mood

You can make a fast, easy change with bedding, towels, and table linens to create a different mood. Switch things out seasonally, or for a special event, or whenever you want to play with a certain color or pattern.

5. Taking Care of Your Tiles

You can also mix baking soda and water for a homemade cleaner: Pour 1/2 cup baking soda into 2 gallons water and mix very well. Then apply the liquid with a string mop or sponge mop.

6. Reorganize Bookshelves

Sort books by size and subject. Remove and discard any ripped dust jackets (unless you think they might have value). Line books, some vertically, some horizontally, in a rhythmic pattern. This will relieve the monotony of rows.

7. Taking Care of Hard Wood Floors

The keys to keeping your wood floors looking new are to avoid over sanding, use trivets or saucers under plants to avoid water damage, use furniture protectors to avoid scratches, and damp-mop once a week with a mild soap like Murphy Oil Soap.

8. Make Sure You Clean Right

Make sure you clean your house completely. Polish silver, wash windows, wipe down the light bulbs in your lamps, wipe down the walls. Everything will gleam and glisten. The effect will be cathartic and make you feel like you have accomplished something.

feature image via Dish, Dish

9 Great Spring Projects with a Purpose

9 Great Spring Projects with a Purpose

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When things start warming up and signs of spring abound, the last of your “cabin fever” can be resolved with a few spring projects in preparation for longer days ahead. Get a head start on spring cleaning, gardening, and organized summer fun with these spring projects that also serve a practical purpose!

9 spring projects with a purpose - Tipsaholic.com

1. Car Kit

Get your car ready for the busy traveling season ahead with this easy car kit from iHeartOrganizing! Build your kit to suit your family’s individual needs with first-aid items, traveling games, and snacks.

2. Planter Boxes

There’s no better way to dress up your porch this spring than with a set of these fabulous planter boxes. Paint them your favorite color and fill them with your choice of flowers, ferns, and mosses.

3. Natural Cleaners

Whether you’re dreading spring cleaning or totally excited for it, you’ll love this set of printables from Clean Mama that will help you make your own natural cleaners and decide where to use them. Ditch your hazardous chemicals for household naturals like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon and deep clean like you never have before.

4. Produce Bag

It won’t be long before your local farmer’s markets open up again, and you can be ready to bring fresh fruits and vegetables home to your table with this useful produce bag that makes a great up-cycle of an old t-shirt!

5. Cleaning Toolbox

Spring cleaning is made more efficient with this great cleaning toolbox! Avoid all the scrambling under kitchen sinks and running around each time you clean a new room by keeping all your tools in one great DIY kit

6. Cushion Covers

You’re going to want to be ready for all the great backyard get-togethers this season, and a patio furniture update is perfect for giving yourself a classy new garden-party look. Fashion a few of these cushion covers with your favorite outdoor fabrics.

7.One-Board Birdhouse

The birds are back! Take some time to do a little bird watching this spring and try your hand at this super-simple (and cheap!) one-board birdhouse from Birds and Blooms.

8. Hanging Garden Lights

The days are getting longer and those quiet evenings spent relaxing in the yard are becoming more of a reality. Make those nights even more magical with these hanging garden lights to add a bit of sparkle!

9. Foot-Washing Station

Spring can be a messy time of year when the earth is still damp and muddy or you’re spending time in the garden. Keep your indoor floors a little cleaner by creating one of these clever foot-washing stations outside your back door.

9 Great Spring Projects with a Purpose - Tipsaholic.com

 

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at www.utterlyinexperienced.blogspot.com, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.

Spring Cleaning: DIY & Time Saving Tips

Believe it or not, today is the first day of spring! As the snow melts and warmer temperatures arrive, now is the perfect time to get a jump start on your spring cleaning. Check out these great DIY and time saving tips from About.com.

Spring Cleaning: DIY & Time Saving Tips - Tipsaholic.com

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How to Create a 5-Step Cleaning and Maintenance Schedule

5-Step Cleaning and Maintenance Schedule - Tipsaholic.com

 

Don’t you hate it when you look down at your oven and realize that you haven’t cleaned out the area underneath it for an embarrassingly long time? Or when you glance at your baseboards and become awestruck at the amount of dust on them? If you’re nodding your head in agreement, you might benefit from a cleaning and maintenance schedule that helps you remember to tackle certain tasks that don’t need to be done on a weekly basis, but they still need to get done.

5-step cleaning schedule - Tipsaholic.com

1. Take inventory of your home’s cleaning and maintenance needs.

Grab a pen and notebook or your iPad and walk into every room of your home. List out all the things that need to be done. Leave out your weekly cleaning tasks; you don’t want to clutter up your cleaning and maintenance schedule with routine cleaning that you already know to do.

2. Get some more cleaning and maintenance ideas from the pros.

Some aspects of our home are often overlooked when we think about cleaning and maintenance, such as the hot water heater. Look over Martha Stewart’s cleaning checklists and the handy maintenance checklists at Apartment Therapy and Lifehacker. Add tasks that apply to you to your list.

3. Divide your list into categories: biweekly, monthly, seasonal, biannual, and annual.

These categories will help you fill out your cleaning and maintenance schedule. And if you do an annual spring cleaning blitz, you might want to create a separate category for that.

4. Add all of your cleaning and maintenance tasks to a calendar.

If you’re like me and you prefer to write (and cross off) your tasks on paper with a nice pen, purchase a separate calendar for all of your cleaning and maintenance chores. You could hang up a simple calendar in your pantry or linen closet or get a pretty planner. However, if you prefer to use technology, you could add tasks to a calendar application, such as iCal or Google Calendar. Go to this article and find a few links to electronic calendars that already have some home maintenance tasks scheduled for you. You can add them and then adjust it to your preferences. So easy! There are also several apps that you can download on your smart phone or tablet. Remember The Milk is a popular app that comes highly recommended, since it will remind you of tasks that you haven’t done yet, even if the date has already come and gone.

5. Test out your new cleaning and maintenance schedule.

Finally, it’s time to actually clean and maintain your home! Follow the calendar as best as you can and test out the timing of your tasks. As you go, adjust your calendar as much as you can — maybe you’re cleaning out the refrigerator too many times, so you change it from biweekly to monthly, for instance — and by 2015, you’ll have a complete cleaning and maintenance schedule that is perfectly suited to your needs and your home! I’m so inspired right now that I’m going to start my own cleaning and maintenance schedule right now. For some more cleaning inspiration, read how to clean a kitchen in 20 minutes or less daily and how to make 6 homemade household cleaners.

 

“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.” Please check out my blog What the Vita!

DIY Household Cleaners — 3 Ingredients, 6 Cleaning Jobs

6 DIY Homemade Household Cleaners via Tipsaholic.com

There seems to be a unique cleaning product for just about everything these days: countertops, bathrooms, floors, carpets, furniture – you name it, you can find a special cleaner for it. But do we really need all those fancy cleaners? Making your own DIY household cleaners with ingredients you already have on hand will not only save  money but also keep all those chemicals with unpronounceable names out of your home. (featured image via Southern Living)

6 DIY Homemade Household Cleaners via Tipsaholic

 

Use Vinegar

1) All-Purpose Cleaning Spray: Add 1/3 cup white vinegar to a large spray bottle and fill the rest of the way with water.  Use it to clean countertops and bathroom surfaces. You can even use it on hardwood floors!

2) Liquid Fabric Softener: Add 1/4 cup herbal-infused vinegar (e.g., lavender vinegar) to the fabric softener dispenser on your washing machine and top it up with water.

 

Use Baking Soda

3) Powdered Cleanser: Sprinkle surfaces with a little baking soda and rub into a paste with a fairly damp cloth, then wipe off with another damp cloth. The mild abrasive of the baking soda is a great cleaner and is even safe on natural stone surfaces.

4) Carpet Freshner: Sprinkle alittle baking soda on carpets, let it sit a few minutes and then vacuum. The baking soda absorbs odor and leaves your carpets smelling fresh.

 

Use Lemon Juice

5) Stain remover: For stains on cutting boards or laminate countertops, half a fresh lemon and squeeze the juice on the stain. Use the lemon half to scrub at the stain until it’s gone. For tougher stains, let the juice sit for a few minutes: the acidity of the lemon juice will eventually remove the stain.

6) Window cleaner: To a spray bottle, add a few tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice and several cups of water or club soda, plus a teaspoon of cornstarch. Shake it up and spray your way to a streak-free, chemical-free shine!

Julianne Puckett is the creator of Yankee Kitchen Ninja, a blog about what she calls “stealthy homemaking” — healthy recipes that are quick and easy to prepare, DIY gardening tips and the occasional craft project. A designer, writer and former suburban-dwelling IT professional, she lives in rural Vermont, where she struggles to balance the siren call of her inner farmer with her love of cute shoes and cocktails.