6 Ways to Use Joy Essential Oil in your Home

6 ways to use joy essential oil in your home - tipsaholic

joy header
Joy is an essential oil blend by Young Living. It combines Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Coriander, Lemon, Tangerine, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile, Palmarosa, and Rose into oil that can be used in a multitude of ways. While Joy is often used as a great mood enhancer that can give emotional balance and an uplifting feeling, this multi-functioning essential oil can also be used in many places all over the house. From the floor to the car to the laundry, a little bit of Joy essential oil can be just the right amount to spread a whole lot of goodness around. Plus, this essential oil could be a replacement for other chemical cleaning products and perfumes.  Here are six great ways that you can get the most benefit from Joy throughout your home…


1. Clean the Floors with Joy – Just add a few drops of Joy on a cotton ball and place inside the canister of your vacuum cleaner.  The floral smell will then be spread throughout the house as you clean the floors. Or sprinkle a few drops onto a rag and wipe down the hard floors in your home.


2. Add Joy to Laundry – Place a few drops on a cloth and put it in the dryer for great smelling clothes.


3. Fragrant Joy Deodorant – Mix in a small jar: 2 oz cornstarch, 1 oz baking soda, 5 drops Joy.  Apply to underarms instead of traditional deodorant.


4. Put Joy in Body Lotion – Stir a few drops into plain lotion for a joyful addition to your daily beauty regimen.


5. Use Joy as a Car Air Freshener – Place 1-2 drops of Joy on a cotton ball and place in the air vents of your car or mix with water in a spray bottle and spritz the inside of your vehicle to help put the family in a good mood.


6. Scented Stationary Spreads Joy to Others – Sprinkle Joy on note cards and letters to make a lovely scented stationary that lifts others’ spirits, too.


There are so many ways to use Joy essential oil around your home and get the benefits. If you would like to try this essential oil visit these links for more information about how to get started with essential oils or to purchase your own essential oils.


More Uses for Essential Oils:

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Ways to Use Thieves Oil                           Ways to Use Purification Oil                       DIY Bath Salts



I’m Frances. I am a mother, a wife, and a community volunteer. I work as a scientist by day and moonlight as a blogger. Making lists helps me keep everything on track. While I have a good life, there is always room for improvement. Join me as I decorate, organize, and try new things over at my blog Improvement List.

How to Clean a Bathroom Using Clorox Bleach

Cleaning the bathroom isn't always fun, but it can be easy. Here are some great tips for how to clean your bathroom using Clorox Bleach via @tipsaholic #cleaning #bathroom #bleach #clorox

How to Clean a Bathroom with Clorox Bleach

Cleaning can be fun, but sometimes when it is cleaning the bathroom it seems like a daunting chore. Even though the job might not be fun it can be easy and stress free by using Clorox Bleach products to ensure germs, mildew and messes are cleaned up. Let’s get to cleaning with our tips on how to clean a bathroom using Clorox Bleach.

Shower Curtains: Avoid mildew build up by washing shower curtains often. Vinyl and synthetic shower curtain liners can be washed in a washing machine with laundry detergent and Clorox bleach. This is a great way to avoid buying new shower curtain liners too often, yet keeps them fresh and free of mildew.

Bathroom Surfaces (Hard and Nonporous):  Use Clorox bleach to wipe down bathtubs, shower doors, tile and floors. Clorox Bleach kills mildew and mold. That kind of cleaning power will keep the bathroom disinfected and sparkling.

Cleaning the bathroom isn't always fun, but it can be easy. Here are some great tips for how to clean your bathroom using Clorox Bleach via @tipsaholic #cleaning #bathroom #bleach #clorox

Grout: Grout is one of the rough parts about tile. It gets dirty easily, but now there is a great way to keep grout looking nice and new. Grab a Clorox Bleach Gel Pen to remove those stubborn stains. Squeeze the pen and apply liberally to stains. Rub and rinse.

Sinks and Drains: Clean and disinfect sinks daily with Clorox Clean-up Cleaner plus Bleach. For drains in need of deodorizing, flush with water. Followed by pouring 3/4 cup of Clorox Bleach down the drain. To finish, flush with hot water for a couple of minutes.

Cleaning the bathroom isn't always fun, but it can be easy. Here are some great tips for how to clean your bathroom using Clorox Bleach via @tipsaholic #cleaning #bathroom #bleach #clorox

Toilets: Hate getting to close to the toilet? Try the Clorox ToiletWand to get a clean look from a distance. Throw away the mess and get a brand new cleaning head for the next cleaning. Or use Clorox Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner to freshen up the toilet after each flush. If you have time it is great to wipe the toilet with Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, Clorox Bleach or using Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner with bleach. Don’t forget to wipe the the handle daily with Clorox Disinfecting wipes.

Cleaning the bathroom isn't always fun, but it can be easy. Here are some great tips for how to clean your bathroom using Clorox Bleach via @tipsaholic #cleaning #bathroom #bleach #clorox

Tubs & Showers: Get rid of all that soap scum in the bathtub or shower by spraying surfaces with Clorox Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner until the surfaces are wet. Allow the product to work for 10 minutes. Rinse! No scrubbing necessary.

In a hurry? Use Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. They are great for a quick clean up around the entire bathroom. Use on sinks, toilets, showers, sinks and other bathroom surfaces to kill germs.

Cleaning the bathroom isn't always fun, but it can be easy. Here are some great tips for how to clean your bathroom using Clorox Bleach via @tipsaholic #cleaning #bathroom #bleach #clorox

All in one Cleaner: To simplify bathroom cleaning use Clorox Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner. It works wonders on tubs, showers, floors, faucets, etc. To use simply spray on surfaces, allow the cleaner to penetrate dirt and soap scum. Wipe with a wet sponge or cloth and rinse with water.

What ways do you use Clorox Bleach to clean your bathroom?

Thanks to Clorox for sponsoring this post, all opinions are my own.



 Need more inspiration:
Tips-for-how-to-use-clorox-bleach-@tipsaholic-552x1000          20 Clever Ways to Recycle Bleach Bottles - tipsaholic, #bleach #crafts #recycle #green          Great Fashion Ideas to try with Bleach @tipsaholic 1small

Fast Clean Your Home – How to Get it Done!

How To Fast Clean Your Home - Tipsaholic

Follow along with Get Organized Week by clicking here or on social media with #GetOrganized. Or share your own organization tips with #GetOrganized on social media.

Whether you live in a one-bedroom apartment or four-bedroom home, keeping every surface and area clean often feels overwhelming. Life is busy enough without worrying about keeping your tub free of soap scum and kitchen floor glistening. Plus, who really wants to spend hours a day cleaning anyway? There are tons of strategies out there to help you get the job done faster. To get you started, here are five ways to fast clean your home that you can implement right now.

tipsaholic title divider - how to fast clean your home

Set a timer

If you’re trying to speed up the cleaning process, set the timer for 15 minutes and focus on one task such as dusting or one area of the house like the family room. You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish in a short amount of time. Once those 15 minutes are up, move on to the next room or task. This tip can also be a great way to motivate your kids to help out. Having an end point in sight helps reducing whining; plus, they can race each other to see who can complete the most chores the fastest.


Work top-to-bottom, left-to-right

Cleaning a room from top to bottom isn’t a cliche saying without merit. Arianne Cohen from Woman’s Day says cleaning experts recommend starting at the tallest point of the room and completing your tasks from left to right. This approach will prevent you from missing spots in the room and dirtying areas you’ve already cleaned.

cleaning from top to bottom

Keep cleaning supplies in every room

Keeping cleaning supplies in every room makes it easier to clean as you go and take care of messes as soon as they happen. This also helps break up tasks. You don’t have to set aside a specific time to clean the entire bathroom if you quickly complete a task or two as you go about your typical day.

cleaning supplies

Invest in a 50 ft extension cord

Most of us aren’t lucky enough to have a vacuum system built into our home. To prevent having to unplug the vacuum each time you move to a new room, invest in a 50 ft. extension cord. Extra tip: use your vacuum attachments to clean inside drawers and remove dust from shelves instead of setting aside a separate time to dust.

extension cord

Use microfiber cloths

Microfiber cloths leave lint and streak free results and won’t damage paint or other surfaces. One swipe across a mirror or window and you’re done. Using these cloths are also a great way to cut down on paper towel costs and be more environmentally friendly. You can purchase a 24-pack from Amazon.com for $12.99 with free shipping for Amazon Prime members. They also make great dusters without the need for any additional cleaning solutions.


microfiber cloths

image sources: cleaning supplies, extension cord


Clarissa Fidler is a 20-something trying to find her place in this world. She grew up in Seattle, attended college in Utah, and recently moved back to the Pacific Northwest after spending the last few years in Chicago obtaining her master’s degree in journalism. Clarissa spends her days working as a higher education professional helping graduate students pursue their passions. In her free time you’ll find her reading the New York Times, cuddling with her cat Harper, catching up on her favorite blogs, enjoying the outdoors, or checking out a new restaurant.  If you’d like to read more by Clarissa, check out her blog West Hawthorne Place.

How to Keep Your Kitchen Clean

How to Keep Your Kitchen Clean - Tipsaholic

 Follow along with Get Organized Week by clicking here or on social media with #GetOrganized. Or share your own organization tips with #GetOrganized on social media.

The kitchen can be one of the more difficult rooms in your home to keep clean.  A high traffic area prone to spills, grime, and grease, regular maintenance is a must. Keeping appliances and surfaces clean doesn’t mean you have to use harsh chemicals. Baking soda and vinegar provide many green living, natural options. Here are five strategies for how to keep your kitchen clean that you can start using today.

tipsaholic title divider - how to keep your kitchen clean

Prevent hard water stains

To help prevent hard water stains, make it a habit to dry up water immediately and wipe down your faucet after every use. If some hard water stains do develop, Home Guides recommends creating a solution of vinegar, water, and a splash of lemon juice to treat the stains.

prevent hard water

Wash dishes while you cook

It’s tempting to toss all your dirty dishes in the sink while you’re baking or cooking a meal. If you have a dishwasher, make sure it’s empty before you start cooking so you can load dirty items as soon as you’re done using them. If you don’t have a dishwasher, wash and put away each utensil, pan, and bowl as you go so you don’t end your cooking session with an overflowing sink and no energy to cleanup afterwards.

dish washing

Peel fruits and vegetables into a paper or plastic bag

Peeling fruits and vegetables into a plastic bag rather than the sink or cutting board makes cleanup a breeze. Real Simple has more great tips for using plastic bags as clever cleaning tools. Green living bonus–if you use a paper bag instead of plastic, you can take your scraps directly to your yard waste bin or compost pile.

peel vegetables into bags

Clean the oven with natural products

You don’t have to use harsh chemicals to achieve superior results when cleaning your oven. Stephanie from Hello Natural has a great recipe for a DIY non-toxic oven cleaner. During fall and winter when your oven sees more traffic, implementing a bi-weekly cleaning schedule will cut down on grease and grime buildup.

Non Toxic Oven Cleaner

Clean the dishwasher once a month

A dishwasher is responsible for cleaning dishes–so why does it need to be cleaned? Believe it or not, using a combination of vinegar and baking soda to clean your dishwasher once a month will help keep your appliance in good working order and cleaning dishes at its highest capacity. Check out The Kitchn’s great tutorial to get started.

how to clean the dishwasher



Looking for more cleaning and organizing tips? Try these:

How To Fast Clean Your Home - Tipsaholic             Top Cleaning Tips from Organization Pros via Tipsaholic              10 Home Organization Tips - Tipsaholic.com

Quick-Clean Your Home             Top Cleaning Tips                       Home Organization


Clarissa Fidler is a 20-something trying to find her place in this world. She grew up in Seattle, attended college in Utah, and recently moved back to the Pacific Northwest after spending the last few years in Chicago obtaining her master’s degree in journalism. Clarissa spends her days working as a higher education professional helping graduate students pursue their passions. In her free time you’ll find her reading the New York Times, cuddling with her cat Harper, catching up on her favorite blogs, enjoying the outdoors, or checking out a new restaurant.  If you’d like to read more by Clarissa, check out her blog West Hawthorne Place.

10 Smart Tips for Keeping a Clean Car

10 Smart Interior Car Cleaning Tips- Tipsaholic


Follow along with Get Organized Week by clicking here or on social media with #GetOrganized. Or share your own organization tips with #GetOrganized on social media.

Let’s face it, we often find ourselves spending more time in our cars than we’d like!  With commuting to our own jobs, responsibilities and activities, hauling friends, kids’ friends and stuff around town, running errands, and dropping kids at their ever-growing list of practices, school events, and extra-curriculars, it can start to feel like we LIVE in our cars!  Worse yet, it can start to LOOK like it, too.  If you’re tired of battling the clutter and losing, you’re not alone.  Take control of the car chaos once and for all with these super smart tips for keeping a clean car interior. With a bit of effort, your car will look and feel great all the time – no sweat!


1. Start with an overhaul.  Ok, so this first step is a BIT of a sweat.  But once you overcome this hurdle, it’s smooth sailing!  Before you can keep your car looking great, you have to MAKE it look great.  So take every single thing out. Empty all the small compartments, pockets, boxes, doors, nooks, crannies… everything.  Make three piles – garbage, keep in car, put away.  Once your car is completely devoid of all items, you can vacuum the floors and upholstery, dust the dashboard, console and steering wheel and make sure it looks like new.  Spray it with a fabric/air freshener to really take it up a notch.  Once it’s perfect, you can start putting items that belong in the car in their proper spots.

2. A place for everything… and everything in its place, right?  So make sure that every item you want to keep in your car has a specific spot.  When you use it, make sure you put it back exactly where it goes.  Sunglasses in the console box?  Ice scraper under the seat?  Extra gloves in the door pocket?  If you’ve got young kids who come with a lot of extra baggage, consider keeping an organizer on the back of the seat in front of them – you can fill it with wipes, diapers, pull-ups or extra undies, crayons, paper, small books, a sippy cup of water, non-perishable snacks and anything else they might need!  It doesn’t matter what you keep in the car, just make sure it has an accessible spot and that it gets replaced when you’re done with it.

3. Be a trash collector.  It’s no use denying it, you’re going to encounter trash in your car – gum wrappers, receipts, tissues – it’s inevitable.  You need a designated trash bag so that garbage doesn’t end up in every nook and cranny.  Try a small trash can located on the passenger side floor (like this plastic cereal dispenser turned trash can).  Or a bag on the back of the passenger seat.  It doesn’t matter, just be sure that it won’t tip over and that it’s within easy reach so you’ll actually use it.  If you have an SUV or van, consider placing several trash receptacles strategically throughout the car within easy reach of your passengers.  (Here’s a tutorial for a DIY car trash bag, and a link to an Etsy shop where you can buy them).

4. Daily declutter.  Once you’re home for the evening, do a super quick once-over where you are sitting.  Grab anything you can easily carry – garbage, water bottles, etc – and take it with you.  This daily spot check will keep clutter from accumulating unduly.

5. Wipe it down.  Keep some sort of wipes handy in your cup holder or console so you can quickly wipe away spills, dust or other debris.  When something leaks in your cup holder, you can take car of it immediately instead of waiting for it to congeal.  You can also wipe away dust from your dashboard and steering wheel before it builds up.  There are specific wipes for cars, like these Armor All wipes that come in a handy container.  Or you can use something like Wet Ones or baby wipes.

6. Don’t take it “to go.”  This can be a difficult change to make, and it may not work for some families, but consider a hard and fast “no eating in the car” rule.  You’ll find that most of what you vacuum up and most trash items relate to restaurant drive-thrus.  If you have to eat on the run, make sure everyone has access to trash bags and picks up after themselves, just as they would at home.

7. Try a “you bring it, you take it” rule.  It’s impossible for you to keep track of everything your kids tote along.  Backpacks, lunch boxes, jackets, bags for sports or dance, musical instruments, extra shoes, stuffed animals or blankets if they’re younger… you’ll go out of your mind trying to cart it inside.  Institute the “you bring it in, you take it out” rule, and have an appropriate consequence for when they leave their items behind (like having to vacuum out the car by themselves).  Not only will this teach your kids responsibility, it will keep you sane and your car clutter-free!

8. Just the essentials.  Create an “essentials kit” for your car with items that may be needed while you are out and about.  This can be separate from the first aid kid that should also be kept in your car – or you could keep a smaller, less obtrusive first aid kit within your essentials kit.  Some items to consider: tissues, napkins, and wipes for runny noses and spills, commonly used medications (in childproof containers), a few dollars in change, a car phone charger, dramamine in case of car sickness, a plastic bag (good for so many things, from tummy trouble to messy clothes from “accidents” to a makeshift trash bag for larger items), a scissors, Swiss army knife or leatherman, nail clippers, gum, hair ties, and safety pins.  If you’re worried about space, take a look at this kit that fits into a wipes container.

9. Be prepared.  It’s a good idea to be prepared for any seasonal occasion that might crop up – especially when out with young kids.  Keep a car organizer like this one in the trunk or cargo area of your car with seasonal items inside.  Switch out the items with the changing weather and seasons.  For summertime, that might mean sunblock, bug spray, sunglasses, hats with brims, towels and maybe extra flip flops and swimsuits.  For cold weather, especially in snowy areas, keep extra warm clothing like socks, hats, mittens and scarves, blankets, a foldable shovel, etc.  It’s a good idea to have a section that you keep stocked with the same things year-round: non-perishable snack items in small bags, water bottles, flashlights, tire gauge, umbrella, etc.  Keep it personalized to your location and family’s needs.  For very young kids keep an extra change of seasonally appropriate clothing as well.  If you’ve got everything you could need already in your car, you’re less likely to haul around loose items that become clutter when not unpacked.  If you really want to do it right, think about trying something like this organized trunk transformation!

10. Stick to a schedule.  Set up a schedule and stick to it.  For example: Every day when you arrive home for the night, do your daily declutter/spot check.  At the end of every week, empty all the garbage cans and wipe down the interior with car wipes.  At the end of every month, vacuum out the whole car including the seats.  If you set daily, weekly and monthly cleaning goals, nothing will build up and the tasks will be more manageable.


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


Looking for more ideas to stay organized? Try these:

How to Organize Your Pantry via Tipsaholic.com               tipsaholic-6-fun-and-stylish-home-office-organization-ideas-and-tips-pinterest-pic              tipsaholic-7-steps-to-an-organized-nursery-pinterest-pic

Pantry Organization                    Office Organization                   Nursery Organization



How To Purge Your Home: 10 Easy Tips

How to Purge Your Home - Tipsaholic

Follow along with Get Organized Week by clicking here or on social media with #GetOrganized. Or share your own organization tips with #GetOrganized on social media.

Keeping your home clutter-free simplifies your life in many ways.  Hanging on to STUFF — all of the filler we accumulate over time — until it feels like our house might erupt can lead to disorganization, chaos and headaches.  When your home feels cluttered it can cause stress and anxiety, which could eventually lead to short tempers or even depression.

Keeping homes organized and purged of needless items saves you time, effort, money and emotional struggles.  You can host company on a moments notice, find important papers at the drop of a hat, avoid purchasing duplicate items because you’ve lost the first one, and feel more relaxed in general.  And it doesn’t just effect you, but your entire family.  Organizing your whole house can seem like an overwhelming task and it’s hard to know where to start.  Follow these simple tips for how to purge your home and you’ll be well on your way!


1. Repeat, “they’re just things”  

It can sometimes be hard to decide what to get rid of, especially when there’s an emotional or sentimental attachment.  If you encounter items in your home that you never use, are not your style, or are worn out or broken, do not feel obligated to keep them.  If you can’t seem to let go, try repeating a mantra like “things are not important” or “they’re just things” to help you detach the item from the event or person you truly want to remember.  Sometimes taking a picture of the item can help as then you will always have a visual reminder.

2. 3 Bin Method

You’ve likely heard of the 3 bin method before.  Once you’re ready to begin your complete purge, this is a great method to use.  Find three bins or boxes and label them “Throw Away,” “Put Away,” and “Give Away.”  As you work your way through each room, place any item that’s out of place in the appropriate box.  Be ruthless.  Obvious garbage is a no-brainer, but when you come upon an item that’s questionable ask yourself these questions: Do I need it?  Do I use it?  Do I love it?  If your answer to these questions is no, get rid of it.  If it’s broken, worn out, or missing pieces it goes in the trash.  If it’s still in working order you can donate it — don’t donate stained, torn, chipped, worn out rubbish.  It’s not fair to anyone.

3. 2 Pass System

Armed with your 3 bins, begin at the top of your home and work your way down.  Do a quick first pass of the room and separate everything that’s obviously out of place into the correct box.  On the second pass, do a more detailed work-through.  Focus on drawers, closets, and semi-hidden spaces.  Look especially for problem areas where clutter seems to congregate.  Once you’ve finished two passes of the room, take your 3 bins to the adjacent room and repeat the process.

4. Out of sight, out of mind

Once your bins are full, take care of them immediately.  Get them out of your sight and do not go back through them.  Don’t second guess your decisions.  Tie up the trash and take it outside.  Close the donate box and put it in the back of your car.  If your put away bin is full, set it aside for now and grab a new box.  Once you’re done with your home purge, get those donated items out of there ASAP.  No use keeping the boxes around to clutter things up more!

5. Everything in its place

After you’ve gone through each room, dumped the garbage outside and donated your unneeded items, it’s time to put things away.  Find a specific spot for everything in your keep box.  If there are items left, these will need to be stored for later use.  Separate these and put like items together in plastic tote bins.  Using clear bins is a great idea so you can see inside, and label them so you can always find what you need.  Make sure your family is on board.  Everyone should know where commonly used items belong and make it a steadfast rule to put things back in their places.

6. Don’t wait for eventualities

Don’t hold on to anything for a “someday.”  Your donated items should be given away immediately, not held onto for that garage sale you might have.  Don’t keep ill-fitting clothes because they may work again in the future.  If you have items from a failed hobby attempt — camping equipment, exercise equipment, video games, scrapbooking supplies etc. — don’t keep it just in case.

7. Give it away

There are tons of charitable thrift stores out there that will gladly accept your donation.  If you’d rather not drive your items over or if you have too many boxes or large items to fit in your car, many thrift stores offer pick-up services.  Look online or in a phone book and call your local thrift stores to see what services they offer.  You could also post them to your local chapter of Freecycle.  If you have big ticket items or vintage items that are good quality, make use of Craigslist.  If you’ve never sold on Craigslist before, these tips for sellers will help.

8. Avoid impulse purchases

With your house newly purged and organized, avoiding impulse purchases is key to keeping it that way.  Don’t buy home decor items, items for a new hobby, housewares or toys and games unless you have a specific purpose in mind.  If there’s a designated spot for it in your home and if you love it, then buy it.  If there’s any hesitation about a purchase, walk away.  You can always go back and buy it later after you’ve had time to think and plan.

9. Buy one, toss one rule

If you do buy something new for your home, your wardrobe, your kids’ overflowing toy box, your sagging bookshelf, kitchen or what have you, make room for it.  Get rid of something similar you already have.  That way you’ll be replacing items to reflect your current tastes, style and desires instead of accumulating more and more items that will just lead to another needed purge.

10. Give it time

If you’ve got your whole house to tackle, don’t expect to accomplish it in one afternoon.  Give yourself some time.  If you try to do it all at once you’ll likely just frustrate and exhaust yourself.  Work a little at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed.  Just make sure to remove all items in your give away and throw away boxes EVERYDAY so you aren’t tempted to go back through them again.


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

Autumn Cleaning – How to Clean Your Home for Fall

It's starting to cool off. Don't let it get too cold before doing some deep cleaning. Cleaning isn't just for spring, do some Autumn Cleaning! Check out these How to Clean Your Home for Fall Tips ~ Tipsaholic.com #autumn #fall #cleaning


You’ve heard of spring cleaning. You’ve probably done some spring cleaning yourself. But a once-a-year purge and clean just isn’t quite enough to keep most homes really shining. So this year, why not treat your home to a little fall season TLC before the cold weather sets in and the holidays sneak up on you? Bring out the buckets, brooms, and sponges – it’s time for some Autumn Cleaning!


 1. Clear out the summer stuff

Toys, clothes, sports gear, lawn chairs, etc. can be packed away. It’s a big task, but storing these items over the winter while they’re not needed means they’ll still be in good shape when it comes time to use them again next summer. Use airtight, sturdy containers whenever possible to avoid dust, insects, and mice.

 2. Clean your upholstery, rugs, and carpets

Do this early in the fall and preferably on a warm day so that windows can be left open to circulate more air as things dry. Hire a service or rent or buy a machine that can do the job properly. Treat stubborn stains by hand first.


3. Start prepping your heating system

It may still be too early in the year to turn up the heat, but when that first cold morning strikes, you’ll be glad you thought ahead. Filters need to be changed and ducts may need cleaning. Start maintenance on small heating units and schedule a chimney cleaning.


4. Organize the garage

You’ll probably be storing a lot more inside the garage during the winter. Lawn mowers, bicycles, tools, and more do best when kept out of the rain, snow, and extreme temperatures. Make a space for everything and make sure you can quickly and easily reach the things you might still need to use over the winter.


5. Wash your exterior windows

Chances are they’ve been collecting cobwebs and hard water all summer. Take the time to clean them now, while temperatures are still reasonable, so that you don’t have to worry about them while trying to hang the Christmas lights in a few months!


6. Pressure wash your siding and porch

Before you give your windows a good wash, consider pressure washing (or at least spraying down) the exterior of your home to get rid of dirt, cobwebs, and insects.


7. Bring out the warm bedding

The nights are going to get cold in a hurry. Put the flannel sheets on now and fold heavier blankets at the bottom of the bed in case they are needed.


8. Consider switching out your curtains

Trading your lightweight curtains for a heavy set of drapes can help to insulate your home. You might also switch window screens for storm windows while you’re at it.


9. Check outdoor lightbulbs

You probably won’t want to be changing bulbs in freezing temperatures, so do it now! Rid your light fixtures of insects and grime at the same time.


10. Vacuum everything

We’re talking the corners of rooms, windowsills and tracks, baseboards, underneath furniture, inside the couch cushions, air vents, under the refrigerator, and more. Summer (and its bug population) can be tough on these areas of the home. And if you have pets – the odds are you’ll be cleaning up quite a bit of hair that was being shed during the warm months.


11. Clean out your pantry

The foods you enjoyed in the spring and summer will soon give way to soups and holiday goodies. Use up your summer staples and take inventory of your other basics so you have a better idea of what you’ll need to add to your stock.


12. Do a home safety check

Change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, check fire extinguishers, look for mold, and do some maintenance on your plumbing. Some areas of the home may need to be better insulated to keep pipes from freezing. Make sure there are no plumbing leaks, especially outside.


13. Take care of outdoor maintenance

Which outside chores will be more challenging in cold weather? Cleaning garbage cans, clearing rain gutters, and treating grills and outdoor furniture are all things that can be a bit more pleasant if done while the weather is still mild.


14. One last purge

Even if you had the chance to clear out some clutter and hold a yard sale earlier in the year, do one last clean sweep of your home as you put away summer clothing and sort linens. Take one more load to your local donation center and store or toss whatever else you won’t need for the next few months.


15. Everything else

Clean your indoor light fixtures, flip mattresses, reorganize closets after filling them with cold-weather clothing, clean blinds, wash walls, wipe down door knobs and switchplates, and dust chandeliers and ceiling fans. These are great things to do quarterly and the start of fall is a serves as a good reminder that it’s time to take care of them again!


If you need a few more cleaning tips to get started, try these Cleaning Tips from Organization Pros.


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 Utterly Inexperienced, 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.

Don’t stop here, read some more tips:

tipsaholic-how-to-clean-your-cleaning-supplies                 5-Step Cleaning Schedule              6 DIY Homemade Household Cleaners via Tipsaholic.com

Clean Cleaning Supplies        Create a Cleaning Schedule      DIY Household Cleaners

5 Tips That Will Keep Your Septic Tank From Ever Clogging Or Backing Up

5 Tips that will keep your septic tank from ever clogging or backing up at tipsaholic.com

tips to prevent septic tank clogging


Septic tank systems need to maintain an internal balance of bacteria and will fail if they are not handled properly. The good news though is that there’s no mystery behind what you can and can’t do with a septic tank. Here are five tips you should utilize to make sure your septic tank doesn’t clog and continues to function properly for years to come.

Make Sure That You Don’t Put Chemicals down The Drain

Disposing of chemicals like gasoline, paint thinner, or varnish down the drain can easily destroy your septic tank’s bacterial equilibrium. If it’s disrupted, the solids inside the septic tank won’t be broken down. This will lead to your septic tank clogging and ultimately failing.

Don’t Flush Garbage

Solids are filtered out during wastewater treatment in sewage plants. That means that while it’s not a good idea to flush trash or solid matter in a house that’s connected to a city sewage line, it won’t damage anything. Septic tank systems don’t have that ability. Never flush latex gloves, cigarette butts, coffee grounds, or disposable diapers.

Make Sure You Protect the Drain Field

Your septic tank’s drain field plays a vital role in the system working since the wastewater needs to be sent someplace. Tree roots can cause the drain field to break apart and cause the water to not be properly absorbed. Never drive over the drain field. Make sure that nothing is on the drain field besides grass.

Never Ever Skip Maintenance or Septic Tank Pumping

For some people this will seem obvious, but there are some things you can put off maintenance for. Your car’s engine will not suddenly fail if you don’t have the oil changed by the recommended date. However, if you put off having your septic tank pumped there’s a very high chance your tank will end up clogged. Kamloops Septic Service has said on their site, that there are environmentally friendly chemicals and treatments that you can add to your tank that will cause a smelly mess back up in the future.

Avoid Using Large Amount of Water

A large sudden inflow of water can cause the drain field to become saturated. Since that will slow down wastewater absorption, it can ultimately result in a clog occurring. Appliances like hot tubs can cause this problem to occur. Additionally, doing things like timing showers throughout the day and staggering loads of laundry will prevent it as well.


Following these tips will go a long way towards making sure that your septic system never experiences a clog or backup. Never take risks with your septic system if you’re unsure of whether it can dispose of something or not. One mistake can easily cost you a great deal of money having the damage undone.

Find more great ideas:

Tips-for-how-to-use-clorox-bleach-@tipsaholic-552x1000           Six Household Uses for Vinegar        6 DIY Homemade Household Cleaners via Tipsaholic.com

10 Uses for Bleach                    6 Uses for Vinegar             DIY Household Cleaners


30 Kid-Approved DIY Chore Charts

30 Kid-Approved DIY Chore Charts -  via tipsaholic, #chorechart, #chores

 30 Kid-Approved DIY Chore Charts

If the word “chores” has your kids groaning, it might be time to switch up the routine!  A chore chart can be both engaging and rewarding for your child, and give them just the incentive they need to get working and stop complaining.  If you need some ideas for chore charts that you can make yourself, we’ve got you covered!  Whether you’re looking for something simple to make and easy for kids to follow, or you want something more elaborate and effective for your tweens, these 30 kid-approved DIY chore charts are sure to be a hit at your house.


Work For Hire Board, The Chic Family – This simple yet ingenious bulletin board style chore chart is perfect for your tween or even teen looking to earn some extra spending money.  If you’ve got extra chores your willing to shell out some allowance for, this board is a great way to get kids involved in making their own decisions about the work they do around the house.TheChic_work-for-hire-board


Reclaimed Wood Chores and Rewards, The Winthrop Chronicles – This chore/reward system works great for kids who are a little older, around 5-10.  Their weekly chore list is clipped to the top and they earn points, or small pebbles, as they complete things.  Pebbles are removed when they don’t do what they’re supposed to.  When the pebble jar is full, they pick a fun treat, like an ice cream outing.  It’s effective because it clearly displays expectations, has an instant consequence for behaviors and offers relevant incentive.  Plus, it’s super stylish – who wouldn’t want this hanging in their home?IMG_1080-b

Framed Magnetic Charts, A Lemon Squeezy Home – These charts look clean and bright hung on the wall and are a very easy system for kids to tackle.  The magnets are made with wooden circles and computer-printed stickers and are completely customizable.  If you’re not big into giving out an allowance for chores, or simply don’t want the visual reminder of money right by the chores, this is a great option.  It’s easy to make and easy to use, and the kids will get a kick out of moving their own magnets around.  Plus, there’s a nice list of chores kids can accomplish on their own!chore charts_thumb[1]

 Washi Tape Chore Sticks, Simply Kierste – If you’re looking for something super easy to make and use, you can’t get much more perfect than this!  Simply write the chores on a craft stick, decorate with a strip of washi tape and place in a cute jar!  Little hands will love the surprise of picking the chores out blindly.  Plus it looks cute on display and doesn’t take up any wall space!



White Board and Magnet Pictures, Vanilla Joy – If you’ve got a pre-reader who’s ready to tackle some work around the house, this is a great chore chart for you!  The chores are designated with pictures glued to wooden tokens with magnets on the back.  It’s simple to make with a small white board and a few other materials and doesn’t take up a lot of space.  Little ones will love “playing” with the magnets and moving their chores to the right side!


Easy Chore Board, Gingersnap Crafts – This cute and easy chore board is a cinch to make, small enough to fit nearly anywhere, and super stylish to boot!  All it takes is a board or plaque, some vinyl, a strip of metal and magnetic chore circles.  Not only is it easy to make, but it’s easy to read and understand for your young kids.  The little stick figures make it that much more adorable!chores


Chore Box, Just another Day in Paradise – This “Uh-Oh” box is simply genius!  Sick of kids leaving a trail of messes in their wake?  Got some mini tornados kicking toys around the house?  Teach your kids responsibility with this cute poem stuck to the side of a rubbermaid tote.  When they leave their things out, place them in the box.  All they have to do to get an item back is pick a chore!DSC_0018


Burlap and Clothespin Chore Chart, Simply Kierste – This charming burlap chore chart is a cute way to get chores done and encourage your kids!  On one side of the clothespin there are chores printed.  When the chore is completed, flip the clothespin over to reveal praise and encouragement for a job well done!  Make a row with ribbon for each child and clip their chores on, then have them flip the clothespins themselves!  This is a great way to help them take pride in their work.burlap chore chart--finished project front copy


Baking Sheet Chore Chart, A Spotted Pony – It doesn’t take much to make these cute little magnetic charts – just a baking sheet from the dollar store, some spray paint and some magnets!  With minimal investment, you can make some to match any decor.  With the cute printed pictures on magnets, this is the perfect first chore chart for young kids who aren’t reading yet.chorechart1-300x200


Job Chart, Martha Stewart –  This sweet and simple job chart is fairly minimalist in design – so it’ll go with any kind of decor.  It’s easy to make too – All you need are magnets and a computer/printer!  The columns are headed with a photograph of each child, adding to the charm.  The chores are simply colored magnetic strips – you can color code them according to day or difficulty level.  Simply hang on the fridge and let your tweens at it!0206_kids_gtjobchart_l


Dry Erase Chore Chart, Moss Moments – This is a really easy idea to pull together.  Just make a list of chores (and possibly the daily to-do’s) leaving boxes for check marks and print it out.  Frame it with any frame that matches your decor.  Each morning, write the day at the top.  The kids can check off the items as they do them.  Why it’s great?  Ease of use and simple to make.  Also, as you think of new things that need to be done that day, you can simply write them on the glass.  It’s super customizable, can be made as fancy and colorful as you’d like, and the kids will love writing all over the glass!Sofa and jellybean jars 025


Printable Sticker Chore Chart, The Vintage Mother – You can’t get any easier than simply printing off some charts and hanging them within easy reach!  The truly fun part is putting stickers next to the chores that are completed!  Let your little ones pick which stickers they want to use and watch them turn into cleaning machines!VRW-Chore-Chart-2


Big Helper Board, Grey House Harbor – With a magnetic dry erase board and some washi tape and magnets, you can create a super cute, perfectly personalized big helper board for your kids!  Create your own magnets for kids to move to separate columns and rows for each day of the week and chore.  Make it organized and cute by making lines with washi tape.  The best part about this chore chart is that it’s completely reusable as something new once the novelty wears off – and for young kids, you know that won’t take too long!  Washi tape is removable and all the writing on the chart is in dry erase marker.  580x384xwpid2209-magnetic-dry-erase-chore-chart.jpg.pagespeed.ic.YI6bbp4jJh


Reusable Chore Card Checklists, Our Story – You can break each room in your house down by listing the chores that need to be down on one convenient, laminated card.  Assign the kids a room to clean and give them the card.  They can check off each item as they go with a dry erase marker.  Rotate the rooms among your kids so they get a chance to do everything.  This is a great system for tweens and teens who are ready for more independence with their work, but still need a bit of a reminder as they go.  They can earn points for the entire room and cash their points in for rewards.  Wipe each card down when they’re completed and store them all together on a binder clip or in a folder or envelope._DSC9941


Coloring Page Chore Chart, And We Play – Even the littlest of helpers can keep track of their chores on a handy chart.  This cute little coloring page is just the ticket for the youngest in your brood!  You can download a pre-made chore coloring page from the link, or create your own personalized one.  Every time your child completes a task that’s pictured, they get to color it in!  So break out the crayons and colored pencils because preschool aged kids are going to love cleaning up now!IMG_5150


Framed Clothespin Chore Chart, A Turtle’s Life For Me – Upcycle some of your old, unused frames into a totally usable chore chart!  By gluing clothespins down the side of the frame and adding the child’s name inside, you’ve got yourself a cute and personalized chore tracker.  Simply print out some chores, cut them into strips and laminate them.  When the chore is completed, it comes down off the clothespin and back in the envelope.  This is super easy to make and super easy to use.  Kids will love getting to “play with” the clips, but this is great for older kids or teens as well because of its simplicity.chore chart emma


Clipboard Chore Charts, The 36th Avenue – These clipboards are so super cute, you’ll want to hang them just for decoration!  They serve a useful purpose, too, though.  There are chores listed on one side and spots to check off down the other side – in dry erase vinyl!  Along the bottom, there are dry erase spots to keep track of days, so at the end of the week the kids (or you) can clip a reward card to the clipboard if they’ve gotten everything done.  This is really a great idea for young school aged children up through tweens to keep them on track, independently responsible for their work, and give them extra incentive.15554116713


Clipboard Checklists, Stacy Julian –  These checklists are simple, easy to make and very straightforward.  Clip the checklist to the clipboard and have your tween or teen check things off as they go throughout their routine.  If everything is finished at the designated time, you clip a dollar to the clipboard for them to find next time.  This is a great instant incentive for older kids who don’t need or want a lot of fuss, and still helps everyone keep track of responsibilities.  IMG_0785


Family Chore Board, Our Prairie Home – Here’s a fun and easy way to keep track of daily chores for everyone in the family – and it doesn’t take up a ton of space!  It’s a simple board with the names of the family written across and hooks above and below each name.  Chores are printed on small laminated tags.  Daily tasks are places on the top hook at the beginning of the day and each person moves them down to the bottom hook as they complete them.  You can personalize this idea as much as you want, use pictures for pre-readers, offer a point and reward system, or fancy it up as much as you want!Chore 3


Chore Tags, A Pretty Life – This system works really well for keeping track of those extra chores that pile up.  The tags are magnetic, so you can keep them on the fridge or a magnet board.  Each tag has an extra chore and a price.  The kids get to pick with chores they want to do, and when finished, move the chore to their designated hook (Which could be magnetic or not, your choice.)  At the end of the week, just pull the tags from the hook, count up all the prices listed, pay the allowance, and move the tags back to the fridge.  Voila!  This will work best with older kids and teens who know the value of a dollar!Chores1


Ice Cream Cone Chart, Child Made – Little kids will love this colorful, fun, ice cream themed chore chart!  Every part of the ice cream cone is sewn separately and has a magnet on the back.  Start your child with the empty cone.  Each scoop of ice cream has a chore listed on the back.  When they complete a chore, they get to add the scoop to their cone!  They’re going to flip over making ice cream cones every day and will race to clean to see who can build their cone higher!ice_cream_19


Folder Chore Charts, Moritz Line Designs – These couldn’t be easier (or cheaper!) to make and are exceptionally easy to use.  The days of the week are listed across the inside pockets and the daily chore check list is stapled under each day.  A dollar bill is placed in the pocket above each day.  The kids check things off the list and when the whole list for the day is completed, move the money to the envelope on the front of the folder.  It’s instant gratification, teaches the value of earning and saving, and places the responsibility and consequences for chores on the kids.  This is a great motivational chore “chart” for older kids and tweens!chorechart_inside


Photo Chore Chart, A Mom’s Take – This chart turns chores into a game!  Everything is magnetic and can go on a magnet board or on the fridge.  The chart itself is simply “before” photographs of each chore in a grid, all of them taken before the chore was completed – so messy shelves, unmade bed, etc.  The kid’s look at the photos and when a chore is complete, find the matching “after” photo – obviously taken when the chores are completed and therefore clean – in the container or envelope.  They place this photo OVER the the messy photo.  When all the photos are clean, the kids are done!  What a fun way to show them what to do and engage them by turning work into a game!DSCF2194-750x499


Clothespin Chore Tracker, The Wid Kids – A super easy chart to make, and a fun way to keep kids on track all throughout the day.  Simply make a single row of chores for your child (you can write them, draw them or print them out, then put them on poster board for durability) with your child’s name at the beginning of the row.  Start the clothespin on their name at the beginning of the day and have them move it along as they complete each task.DSC_0619


Post-It Note Chore Chart, Tatertots and Jello – Brilliant!  This chart uses post-it notes with chores printed on, color-coded for each child!  Every chore has 7 checkboxes for the week.  Every day, the kids check off the chores that are complete.  When they’re totally checked, they place them in the post-it folder.  There’s even a “for hire” category with bigger chores printed and a dollar amount if the kids want to do bonus work.  What’s great about this system is that it’s so easy to alter.  Add chores, take them away, switch them around, whatever!  Tweens and teens will like the trendy, fun colors, and mom will like all the work getting done!post-it-note-chore-chart-system-at-tatertts-and-jello


Magnetic Photo Chart, My Sister’s Suitcase – Use all those photos you take with your phone throughout the day!  Create chore photos with your smartphone and add text with various photo editing apps.  Print them out on magnetic sheets and make magnet board separated into columns and the name of each child at the top.  Put a small box or envelope under the columns.  Place the chores with the appropriate child, and have them move the photos into the box once they are completed.  Simple enough for preschoolers, fun enough for older kids!kids-chore-chart-DIY


Responsibility Station, Organizing Junkie – This station has absolutely everything you could want in a chore chart.  There’s a checklist for daily chores, a bucket of chore sticks for extra chores or  responsibilities, a pay check tear pad where the kids tally up how much they make per day and total it at the end of the week, and even zipper pouches separated into spend it, save it and give it.  This system is a little more detailed as far as understanding and using it, but it also reinforces lots of great lessons – math, addition, percentages, charity, responsibility, among others.  School-aged kids would love watching their “pay check” add up over the week!responsibility-station-2


Magnetic Flip Chart, Miss Information – With very little effort and supplies, you can make a cute chart for your fridge that your preschooler will get really excited about!  Just use some poster board or heavy card stock and fold it in half.  On the top, write, draw or print out pictures of chores all across.  On the bottom half, simply cut up to the fold – making the strips you cut as wide as the chores on top.  Glue magnets on top and bottom.  When your kids complete the chores, they flip the bottom up to the top to reveal a secret message!  Just write “all done,” “good job,” etc. on each flap.  Kids will love flipping the paper, and encouraged by all the positive reinforcement!flip chart


Job Chart Slider, Spoonful – It may look a little complicated at first, but this job chart slider is actually pretty easy to make!  You just need paper, cardboard, wooden skewers, straws and glue!  In no time you’ll craft up something the little kids will absolutely love to use!  List the charts down the first column (you can even divide them into daily and weekly) and on the top write “to do” on one side and “done” on the other.  The kids slide the straws from “to do” to “done” – it’s like a game!make-a-job-chart-craft-photo-420x420-FF0911CREAT_A11

Wheel of Responsibility, How Does She – This chore wheel will take virtually no time and effort to make and will save you from lots of arguments!  All you need is sturdy card stock, a brad and a pen.  Just make concentric circles of colored paper or card stock and divide them up – each tier is for something specific to your own family, with the top or center tier being the names of family members.  You can rotate the wheel whenever you see fit, though weekly makes the most sense.  This is fun for young kids, but great as they get older too since it’s a simple and indisputable visual of who does what.IMG_2008


From dry erase to magnetic, flip charts, spinners, sliders, stickers and clips, simple checklists to photos and pictures, this list has it all!  There’s a chore chart here for everyone – whatever your needs!


Featured image via And We Play.

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

Check out these other great kid friendly ideas:

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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.




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

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

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

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.


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.


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.


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!


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.)


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!


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!


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!


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!


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.


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.


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!

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.


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.


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!



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


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.



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.