5 Steps to Clutter-Bust and Tame the Stuff

It took me less than a week to fully unpack my house when we moved in a few months ago.  Seriously!  My secret?  I had already purged a TON of stuff the year before.  A year and a half ago we were preparing for our US RV Tour and had to go through each and every thing we owned.  Even our paper files.  That was hard!  We were downsizing like a crazy family to see what would fit in our 37 ft bunkhouse 5th wheel and what would fit in our 5 x 10 x 10 storage unit. 

I know most of you are not going to have that lifestyle choice pop up BUT I did learn quite a bit from that major purge.

5 steps to clutter bust 

Most of all, I love how much more simple life feels. 

There is less to take care of, less to clean and gives us more time as a family.  Before, I felt stressed with the visual clutter. 

Simple just feels more peaceful.

I followed 5 basic steps to clutter-bust and tame the stuff ::

1.  Empty

I went room by room, space by space. 

For example, when I worked in the bathroom, I did the cabinets together and then the drawers together. 

Completely empty the space of everything! This gives you a clean slate to work with.

 

2.  Clean

Now that it is clear you can clean the space.  Wipe it down, get rid of the dust and dirt. 

DSCN0009

 

3.  Sort

Now it’s time to deal the the stuff dumped on the floor in a pile.  Take the time to sort and downsize.  This is the time to decide how many rubber bands, shoes, tubes of toothpaste, tupperware…(you get the idea) you NEED. 

Make 3 piles : garbage, donate, keep. 

I did not completely purge my entire house at one time.  I actually went through everything twice in a year.  This allowed time to make decisions on items that I didn’t know the answer to.

 

The first time, if I could not decide right away that I wanted to get rid of it or keep it, then it went in the keep pile.

 

I found with the second purge, the decision was easier.

 

My son has cloth bins for his toys that go on the shelf.  For him, we dumped the bins and took one away.  Then we said the toys had to fit in those.  It was easier for him to make decisions on what to keep and what could go.

 

4.  Organize and Container-ize

Next, you need to organize the keep pile.  Put like items together in a way that makes sense for you.  I love using bins!  They go on sale often and are easy to store things away.  I put some of the toys in the closet to play with at special times.  I put seasonal clothes in bins.  The dollar tree has some great items as well!  I organized my entire bathroom with bins from there.

  iphone pictures 006

 

5. Reassemble

Time to put it all back.  Personally I love seeing SPACE between the stuff.  It brings me peace. lol

DSCN0001

 

Have you ever de-cluttered your entire house?  How did you do it?  Any new tips?

Here are a few of my favorite cleaning tips too!

 

marketed here ::

Family Home and Life

Someday Crafts

My Laundry System {keeping up with a family of five}

Laundry is never ending isn’t it?  As soon as I empty one basket another is getting filled up.  Especially with 5 of us.  It took me a few years to find a system that worked for us, but I’m glad I kept trying because this really helps me stay on top of it.

my laundry system for a family of five

I have 3 boys and they each have their own bedroom. 

I have a hamper in each room for dirty clothes. 

I keep two hampers in the master closet.  One is for whites. The other is for darks.

Then in the laundry room on top of the dryer I have a basket for dirty towels and cleaning cloths.

My system is really simple.  I do one load of laundry every morning.  Start to finish.  Some days I do two, but almost always it is just one. If I am going to be gone during the day, I make sure to start is before breakfast and put it in the dryer before I leave.  Then I just ‘fluff’ dry it at night to fold.

Here are a few of my secrets and how my system gets played out …

Each of my boys have only have 8 outfits.  We seriously pared down on our stuff last year due to our 6 month road trip and I don’t think I will ever go back!  However, I will say having boys may make this easier.  Also, my boys only wear sport shorts (their choice) year round…even before we moved to a warmer climate.

My two oldest boys are teenagers and do their own laundry.  { can I get a woohoo?! }  Since they have enough for a weeks wear, they do their laundry once a week.

We each only use 2 or three towels a weeks for showers.  Now someone of you use a clean one everyday and may cringe at that, but it works for us.  We hang them up so they dry completely and then they get thrown in one of my morning loads.

This system just really works for us!  The baskets are never overflowing, we have clean clothes and I don’t have the job of laundry hanging over me constantly.

I have had several people ask me what the natural laundry products are that I use.

I use Shaklee brand.  They are a concentrate and last quite awhile and are cheaper (and safer!) than Tide.  I ran out before my order came and I bought an grocery store brand and my youngest son was immediately itchy.  The chemicals irritate his skin.  Plus I just like to know that I am using safe products. 

shaklee laundry

Ready to get your own? 

Email me at claireshealthyhome(at)gmail(dot)com to get my latest special!

What are your laundry woes?

Do you have a system that works?

 

 

 

springcleanmyhouse_thumb.jpg

Spring Clean My House: Get Ready!

I love spring time because the sun starts shining and flowers start popping up and it reminds me of a new start!  A new beginning and the chance to start fresh.  I like to jump on the feeling of motivation as quickly as possible (it could be gone quick!) and get started on cleaning my house.  A clean space and home is energizing and gives me a clear mind.

 

I hope you will join me on my newest challenge ::

Spring Clean My House

 

It will be Simple.

It will be Easy.

It will be Fun!

spring clean my house

 

{{ Be sure to get my Daily Cheat Sheet printable here. }} 

 

However, deep cleaning I do not do as regularly.  I would rather be playing with my kids, spending time with my hubby or you know…Starbucks and shopping.  Time to get it done and prepare the way for summer vacation with the margaritas kids.

 

Let’s get started! 

 

Here is the plan ::

::  We are starting April 8th and will be tackling one zone a week.

::  Each Monday I will post the zone and checklist for the work to be done during the week to sparklize (yes. it’s a made up word) your space.  Here are the zones we will conquer together…..

 

1. Kitchen

2. Bathroom

3. Bedrooms

4. Living/family room

 

::  Take a ton of before and after pictures to share with us on facebook, twitter, pinterest and instagram!

 

Here is the tools checklist ::

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

. duster {I use swiffer}

. microfiber cleaning cloths

. all-purpose natural cleaner {I use this one}

. safe disinfectant {I use this one}

. natural scouring cleanser {I use this one}

. paper towels

. garbage bags

. microfiber mop {I use the O’Cedar spray mist}

. small scrub brush {I use a toothbrush + OXO SoftWorks}

. broom

. vacuum

. carpet cleaner {borrow or rent if you don’t have one}

 

{{ Click HERE for a printable tools checklist }}

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

 

If you want to use the same natural cleaners I do, go here to order 🙂 

 

ShakleeButton Get Clean

Read this too!  :: How I clean natural for pennies , How to Clean Natural

 

I am so excited for this!  It’s going to be FUN!

Leave me a comment to let me know you are spring cleaning with us.

 

See ya here Monday with the Kitchen Checklist!

xoxo,

Claire

p.s. email me at claireshealthyhome(at)gmail.com to get a Claire’s Healthy Home special!   

Marketing on these blogs:

Life in a Break Down

 

My Favorite Packing Tips

Follow on Facebook for even more tips to Live.Real.Simple.

This is a repost from one of my most popular pins on Pinterest.

I leave tomorrow for my first blogging conference!  BlissDom 2013 in Grapevine, Texas.  Three days to network and take classes on writing, photography and business.  I am so excited to meet up with a few of my favorite blogger  friends and meet new ones.  As I was starting to pack last night, I remembered this post and read it again to remember my tips.  lol

*********************************************************************

I recently got back from a dreamy girls’ spa trip.  You can read about that HERE.

Four glorious days in sunny Mexico to lay by a pool with a good book. 

To make our travels easier we decided to not check in any luggage and

bring a carry-on bag.

Wait?!  What?!  ONE SMALL BAG??

Yep!  We made it happen and now I get to share with you all.

pink luggage

Here are My Favorite Packing Tips.

1.  Choose clothes that will mix and match. 

I chose neutral bottoms with more colorful and fun tops.  Same for the shoes…

white and black sandals were all I needed to match my outfits.  To decide what to bring,

I lay everything out on my bed to see how they go together.  I always seem to start with

more than I need and then narrow it down from there.

2.  Roll your clothes, instead of folding. 

Then place in suitcase starting with the largest to smallest pieces.  I had heard this

before, but this was the first time I actually did it.  I could not believe what a difference it made! 

It really did take up less space.

3.  Wear your ‘bulky’ clothes on the plane. 

Even though we were going to a sunny place, we wanted our tennis shoes so we could workout

{ok…maybe just go for a pretty walk before breakfast}.  So we wore our jeans, tennis shoes and

sweater/sweatshirt on the plane.  Saves a lot of room!

4.  Bring and use all those ‘sample’ toiletries products you have saved. 

I keep a small stash of these for when I travel.  They meet the airline guidelines for liquid sizes and

take up less space than my big bottle stuff.  

5.  Pack a plastic bag to bring home the dirty clothes in,

but be sure to roll them too.

 

There you have it!  5 EASY steps to hopefully make packing your bag a little easier.

This trip was to a sunny place and swim suits, shorts & flip flops do not take up a lot of space.

However, this Friday I am going to a business conference and I am attempting the same thing.

One carry-on bag.  Wish me luck!

Do you have any other tips on packing?  Please share!  I am always looking to improve this.

 

claire

organizeyourschedule4.jpg

Organize your Schedule

Being a WAHM is super busy!  Sometimes I feel like I don’t have any free time to myself.  Mostly, though, I can end up feeling like I am constantly juggling to keep it all going.  All it takes is one sick child and I’ve dropped the ball.

But the worst feeling is the big G….GUILT.  Guilt for spreading myself too thin.  Guilt for telling my kids ‘just a minute’ over and over.  Guilt for not having a healthy dinner on the table every night.  Guilt for not having the house perfectly clean. 

What has worked for me is taking time every 3 months and evaluating my time and priorities.

So, first I make a list of my top 5 – 7 priorities. 

I identify what is important to me and what/who I want to spend my time on.  This might include cutting out a few things for this season.

Next I evaluate my commitments

Write down ALL activities, work, school, hobbies, kids, family, house, projects, etc.  You get the idea.

 

Third I evaluate my time.

How do I spend my day?  From the time I wake up until I go to sleep.  What do I spend my time doing?

Finally, I write it down.

Get a calendar that will work for you.   

Here is what I like to use ….

organize your schedule 1

organize your schedule 3

Mine is an 8 x 11 but you can find them smaller if you need. 

I have this one that I put everything in and we have one hanging in the kitchen too.

I color code blocks of time on the monthly calendar according to my priorities, commitments and time.

For me, it breaks down like this:

Green = work time

Blue = kids/family time

Pink = date night

Other ideas are…exercise, errands, house cleaning, etc….

This is what it looks like in my calendar.

organize your schedule 4

My calendar also has weekly pages after the month and this is where I fill in the details and tasks that need to get done.

organize your schedule 2

At this stage in my life, the kids keep me pretty busy so I have to decide to let house work go a lot and be ok with that.  It was different when they were little and we were home more.

I like to call our house ‘lived in’.  It’s not perfect and it’s not a total wreck either because we ALL help out, but you get the idea.  There are just so many hours in the day and I choose to spend my time investing in my kids, hubby and job. 

I was at a seminar once where the speaker taught the power of focus with our time.  It is so true and I find color blocking my priorities (kids, husband + work) it helps me focus and enjoy what I am doing at that time! 

It takes practice and effort BUT the pay off is awesome! 

How do you organize your schedule?  Is it similar to mine? 

Try it and leave a comment to let me know what you love about it!

claire

PS  This was also a guest post over at Livin’ The Fit Life!  Go check it out!

Join our successful Body Turnaround Challenge and Get Your Body Back!

LIMITED open enrollment coming up.  Do not miss out!

body turnaround challenge open enrollment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

messytotidy

bulletinboardrestyle.jpg

Bulletin Board Restyle

So I have this bulletin board.  Yep. It is reaaaallly lacking in personality.  I wasn’t even sure what it’s purpose was.  In this picture it’s current function was to hold my magnets and thumbtacks.  It hangs by my refrigerator in our 5th wheel and one day I decided to give it a simple, inexpensive makeover.

IMG_0552[1]

I LOVE the color green so I purchased one piece of scrapbook paper at the store for 50c.  I already had the thumb tacks and I used 2 sheets of copy paper.  Since it is right next to the refrigerator, it was the perfect spot for the menu.  I already had the laminated day of the week menu plan so I put it here.  I am in LOVE with labeling too!  lol  So seeing the word MENU in big white letters makes me smile.

bulletin board restyle 

Here is a close up of the Menu side.

IMG_0559[1]

And the other side. I keep pens and paper here so it’s easy to find. The round tin is magnetic and holds our quarters.  Gotta have those for laundry when you live on the road!

IMG_0560[1]

I love the look of it!  It feels organized and nice to look at.

IMG_0557[1]

What do you think?  Have you restyled a bulletin board? Do big letters make you smile too?

Claire

 

blog facebook

blog pinterest

Sneak Peak

We have been in the process of downsizing and getting out on the road!  You can read our DREAM story to catch up.  We did make it out July 6th and are in Washington visiting family for the weekend.  I have soooo much to tell you, but time is short today.  I wanted to write a quick little update for you all though!

I have been taking a TON of pictures and a few videos, too.  Cannot wait to share it all with you.

SUBSCRIBE with your email address in the box on the right to get ALL my updates to come.  You DO NOT want to miss the start of our crazy adventure!

Here area a few ‘sneak peak’ pictures.  Enjoy!!

I am going to miss seeing my beautiful flowers in my yard.

DSCN0180

The boys were a HUGE help.  Here is Caden shredding paper for us.

DSCN0162

Connor helped with yard work.

DSCN0160

Carter and Caden sorted legos.  We only had room to bring 1/3 of them.  The rest went in storage.

DSCN0092

We are off to Idaho now. 

Subscribe with your email address to get all my posts to come!

Also, FOLLOW ON FACEBOOK to get even more updates.

Have a great day!

Claire

5 Steps to an AWESOME Garage Sale

I wrote about our family’s BIG life change HERE.  We are in the process of MAJORLY downsizing!

We just had our second garage sale this past weekend and have donated a lot to Goodwill.  Making decisions on what to take with us and what to store is exhausting, but we decided to only get a 5 x 10 storage unit, so paring down is a must.

This year we have sold over 12K of ‘stuff’!!  I know right?!  We still have one more vehicle to sell too.

5 steps to an awesome garage sale

Step 1:  Take everything out of the garage.

{Set your pride away and look like the ‘junky’ house for a day…..}

We made 3 piles on our driveway.  One to take with us, one to store & one to sell.  We had plenty to have the sale by ourselves this time, but usually we go in with other families to make it a BIG sale. 

100_4770

Step 2:  Price and put on tables to store in your garage.

I have found this to be the easiest way to set up quickly the morning of the sale.

I also got free boxes from my grocery store.

100_4773

I like to price low.  I mark a lot $1 or $2.   I take what’s leftover to Goodwill so I price to sell.  The less stuff I end up with, the better!

100_4774

Step 3:  Advertise

I put an ad on Craigslist listing our big things for sale to drive traffic and a notice on Facebook for all my local friends.  We bought sheets of posterboard in yellow at the Dollar Store and cut into fourths.  Then wrote Sale with an arrow.  Use all the same color and the same message.  The more simple the better.  When people are driving they just need an arrow to follow and the color lets them know they are following the same sale.  I don’t like to put the day and time on the signs because then I am not locked in to that.  I can open and close when I want.

DSCN0008

Step 4:  Money Table

I got $75 in cash from the bank; $45 in fives and $30 in ones.  This gave me plenty for change.  I have a card table set up at the top of my driveway to take the money.  This way they have to go through it all to get to me.  Just a way to bring your ‘customer’ in all the way to your sale. {do not leave the money unattended!  I always had one of my kids with it if I had to leave}

Step 5:  Have a FREE spot.

I had two free spots.  One at the end of the driveway and one at the top by the money table.  People LOVE this!!  When I see someone looking at one, I tell them there is another by me so they have to come through everything for sale to get to it.  This way they tend to buy something too.  The second day of the sale, I put out a lot more because it made my Goodwill pile less.  Believe me.  It will go FAST!

Those are my tips to a successful sale!  Do you do the same?  Or do you have tips to add?  Leave a comment to let us know.

Have a great day,

Claire

Subscribe to my Blog

Join our Facebook community

cleaning-schedule2.jpg

House Cleaning 101: Schedule

Welcome back to my ‘cleaning girl confessions’ part 4: schedule!

In case you missed the other 3…here ya go.

Routine

Tools

Products

I get asked a lot what my cleaning schedule looks like.  Well…if you remember, I confessed HERE my feelings about cleaning.  So the answer, for me, is whatever is easiest, fastest and works with my family at the time.

To be a little clearer, there are 2 different schedules I have used.  Both have worked for me and my family at different times.

The first cleaning schedule I have used was when my boys were little.  This worked well for me because I was at home a lot.  Especially when my 2nd son was born because he was sick all the time his first year.  I don’t think we went anywhere!  lol

It looked like this:

 

cleaning schedule1

*Of course there was the CONSTANT pick up of toys and stuff.  Not to mention the dishes.

The next schedule I started using when the boys were school age and old enough to help and I still use it today.

I made a daily list of chores for myself and for the boys.  At this stage in life, I find that I do NOT have large blocks of time to clean.  So I needed to adjust in order to stay on {semi} on top of the house and sane.

It looks like this:

Daily {mom}:  Dishes, Laundry, wipe down shower  & general pick up

The boys load the dishes each night and I unload each morning.  I put in one load of laundry in the morning and usually sometime that evening I finish it.

Daily {boys}:  Dishes, Bathroom, Garbage, Dinner,  Sweep & Vacuum

cleaning schedule2

The boys rotate on these jobs.  They each have 2 for the week and then switch.  This keeps it ‘fair’ and gives them an opportunity to learn them all. 

This works super well for us to at least keep the household running semi-smoothly.  Sometimes ‘daily’ just does not happen.  That’s ok.  We still know what our job is for the next day.

To keep our bedrooms fairly clean, each boy has a laundry hamper in their closet for dirty clothes, a garbage can (very important for teenage boys) and my youngest has toy bins for easy pick up.  Deeper cleaning like dusting and vacuuming get done when we have time and I ask them to do it. 

I really don’t have a schedule for dusting, windows & other jobs.  Honestly, I take care of those randomly when I have time.  Over the years I have had to let go my idealistic view of how my house should look.  It brought on too much guilt!  It just does not work for our family at this life stage.

This concludes the 4 part series of House Cleaning 101.  What part did you like best? 

I would LOVE to hear about your schedule in the comments below! 

Happy Cleaning,

Claire

 

         

 

 

House Cleaning 101: What products do I use?

Hello and welcome back to my ‘home’ here!

Today I am going to share Part 3 in my House Cleaning 101 series.

house cleaning 101

Go HERE to read part 1:  My Routine

Go HERE to read part 2: My Favorite Tools

In my early cleaning business days, I used a TON of products.  Like a lot!  I had a different cleaner for everything.  Here is a picture of what I used to use and bring to a clients’ house.  I had a ton more in my cupboard too.

100_4033

As you can imagine this can be a bit costly to buy so many different products.

Then, I noticed another problem.  A serious problem! 

I was getting headaches, fatigue and just general ill feelings every time I cleaned a client’s home. 

Needless to say, it took me quite. a. while. to connect the dots and realize I was poisoning myself with these cleaners.  I really did not have much experience with any other way to clean at the time and just thought there were no other options.  So when I finally clued in to linking how I was feeling to the products I was using, I started researching.  I found out that the products in the picture above were filled with toxic chemicals like hydroxide, phenol, ammonia and formaldehyde.  Say what?!   

I looked at home made cleaners and store bought ‘natural’ cleaners.  I think I tried them all?!  Here is what I experienced:  the home made ones did NOT clean as great and as fast and easy as the toxic ones.  (In a business, I needed to look at my time and cost per hour.)  Many included vinegar and honestly, I did not like the smell nor did my clients.  Then I learned that vinegar will erode your pipes!  Can’t have that!  Sooo on to the store bought ones.  I found them to be expensive!  Plus many are not ‘natural’ like they claim.  Not good for me either. 

At this point, I was seriously thinking that I would be forced to close my business.  I did not want to feel sick any longer.  As a cancer survivor, I also realized that environmental toxins are not something I was willing to risk with me or my family.  Then one day, I found Bonnie over at House of Grace.  I am so honored to say that she is now my friend and because of her sharing her stories, I took a chance with the cleaning products from Shaklee that she was offering.  Sounds silly, but this single step changed my life!  They are inexpensive, natural and most importantly, non-toxic.

Here is a picture of the products I switched to and currently use in my own home.

100_4039

Just 3 products!  They are in concentrated formulas so these last a long time.

Basic H:  I use this on windows, glass, woodwork, countertops, floors, shower, tub.  I also use it to clean my car, get stains out of clothes, a stain remover, removing ink or crayon, wash my dog and my produce!

Scour Off:  I use this on my white sink, soap scum, oven and stove top.

Basic G:  I use this disinfectant on my toilet, countertops, door knobs, shower.  I also use it to take away athletes’ foot and in the laundry with soiled sheets.

So there you have it!

My 3 favorite products that save me time and money and my health.

What do you think?  Have you experienced poisoning from your cleaners?

Happy cleaning,

Claire

Facebook

Pinterest