How To Have a Home That LOOKS Clean

 

This New Year cleaning resolution tips post is brought to you by Mr. Clean as part of a Type-A Parent Community Sponsored Post.

How to Have a Clean Home

When I was in my 20s, each January I would routinely set a  long list of resolutions.  Grand resolutions that would  each take time, dedication, and effort – lose 30lbs, read one novel a month, keep the house clean, etc.  Of course, by February, I would be overwhelmed, frustrated and over it.

Having just celebrated my 35th birthday, I like to think I’m a little older, and a little wiser too.  I’ve learned to set realistic expectations, the importance of baby steps, and the beauty in grace.

For example, those grand resolutions?  I still want to lose 30lbs, so I’m concentrating on eating healthy, rather than launching an extreme diet and exercise regimen. And I’m already down 5lbs!

Reading one novel a month?  I’m accepting that it’s simply not my season to read for pleasure.  With 5 kids at home ages 18 months to 18 years, I’m busy.  And that’s okay.  Time with them now, is more important than any literary work.

And keeping the house clean? I’ve realized that in my mind, clean equated to spotless, and I’ve learned I have to set aside that ideal for now.

Don’t get me wrong, I still want a clean house, but I realize it won’t always be spotless. You read the aforementioned part about 5 kids right?  And did I mention we also have a new puppy?  Yeah…

Border Collie Puppy

So, rather than focusing on having a spotless house, I’m focusing on having a home that’s welcoming.  One in which I won’t want to hide behind the sofa and pretend I’m not home when a friend comes over unannounced. I want a NEAT home that LOOKS CLEAN.

It all starts with the right tools – great cleaning products and a little muscle. This week I tried out a new product, Mr. Clean Liquid Muscle. I was excited to try this product because Mr. Clean is a trusted name in our home.  Their Magic Eraser has saved many walls from a colorful death by crayon.

Mr. Clean Liquid Muscle

Mr. Clean Liquid Muscle is a fantastically powerful cleaning product you can use straight from the bottle, or diluted in water for larger messes (like floors).  I love that it is a thicker formula, almost gel-like.  Plus, the cap has a smart auto-stop. These features equal less waste and easier use!

So, in an effort to honor my desire to have a welcoming home, I took my Liquid Muscle and got to work.  I’m pleased to announce it doesn’t take much to make a house look clean (even when it’s not completely!).  Here’s what works for me.

How to Have a Home That Looks Clean

Mop and Bucket

Kitchen

  • Even if you don’t have time to do the dishes right away, put them in the sink! Clutter on the counter or stove makes the kitchen look dirtier than it is.
  • Sweep and spot clean the floor.

Living Room

  • Keep a basket or bin in the room for any stray toys, etc. (Empty it out at least twice week)
  • Have a designated spot for all game controlers and TV remotes.
  • Neatly fold throw blankets, and straighten accent pillows.

Dining Room

  • Keep clutter off the table.
  • Push the chairs in straight and neat. (Takes you back to public school doesn’t it?)

Bathroom

  • Wipe down the sink, paying careful attention to the faucet.
  • Wipe down the toilet lid and rim.
  • Straighten any rugs.

Bedroom

  • Make the bed.
  • If all else fails, close the door. It’s your private room, no one needs to see it!

Did you notice a theme?  I’ve learned a lot of having a home that looks clean and inviting has to do with curbing the clutter.  What are your time saving tips for keeping your home neat and inviting?

 

MrClean_CMYKThis is a compensated post brought to you by Mr. Clean. Mr. Clean is kicking off the New Year with the launch of a new product called Mr. Clean Liquid Muscle, a new multi-purpose, multi-surface concentrated cleaning gel that delivers superior cleaning performance on and off the floor. Be sure to like Mr. Clean on Facebook and follow @RealMrClean on Twitter.

Updates, Projects and Reviews

UPDATES
I was going to begin yet another post with “sorry it’s been a month since my last post, I’ve been busy”.  But I figure, why bother?  You guys know and love me.  You know I’m busy, you are too.  This blog is my heart, not my business – so why should I apologize for that?  I know your sun doesn’t rise and set on my posts.  I know you understand why I’d much rather be enjoying this…

because, chances are you’re enjoying the same thing in your home.  And rightly so!  I am enjoying the three teens as well, but they’re not as keen on having their picture taken.

REVIEWS
In the coming weeks I have some reviews of products you don’t want to miss.  Truly, I have fallen in love with Economics for Everybody and Mimic Creme Healthy Top.  And I’m very excited to share with you about a great, family friendly, historical, dramatic-series from Colony Bay!

PROJECTS
I’ve decided to do my best to start a new posting series.  A while ago I read The Little Stuff I Leave Undone at Raising Arrows.  This post really resonated with me.  You see, we’ve lived in this new-to-us home for about one and a half years already.  And in all that time I haven’t painted one room or hung one photo.  This is our home, but it doesn’t feel homey.

I leave so many things undone, waiting until I can do it all.  Why hang the picture if I haven’t painted the wall, why paint the wall if haven’t sanded that spot, why sand that spot when we might put up new drywall…and on and on.  This has left us with stark walls and uninviting rooms.

We’ve been blessed with a large home, I say that in profound thankfulness-not in pride.  It’s a big old brick monstrosity of which the original section was built in the late 1700s or early 1800s (I need to research).  A large addition was added in the mid 1800s and a tiny addition in the 1990s.  It was divided into multiple apartments, we’ve taken over all but one of them.  Many of the rooms are large and we call them hoity-toity names like the “den, study and library”.

But don’t envy us.  The only reason we were able to afford this grand old home is because it’s falling down around our ears.  It needs a ton of work – I would estimate at least half a million to restore it to its former glory.  And surprise, I don’t have half a million laying around.

When it comes to doing projects, my mind tells me “why start what you can’t finish”??  But my heart tells me it’s time to make this place a home.  So, even though I can’t replace our drafty old windows, or rip out the plaster walls for drywall, or replace the lovely 90s style mauve and dark green carpets – I can still make this house feel like home.  Fox and Tony are 16 – I want them to have memories of a house that felt like home.  I want to create a home they’ll want to return to and visit often once they’re grown.

It’s up to me to do what I can to accomplish that goal.  And like most things it life, it’s not the big budget renovation that will make a difference, it’s the little things.

I can hang pictures, and stencil designs, I can decorate and paint.  We might not have the budget for a remodel, but I can bless my family with a comforting, inviting space that feels like home.

So here’s my plan:

  • I will do one project a month – something, anything – to make this house feel like home.
  • I am setting a budget of $50 per month
  • The first Monday of each month I’ll share my project with you.  What I did, how I did it, how much it cost and the effect it’s had on my family.

I don’t have a lot of time and it’s a small budget – so some months may just be about hanging pictures or planting flowers.  Others may be about purchasing supplies for a larger, upcoming project.  But this is what I’ve resolved to do.  I hope you’ll join me on this journey and hold me accountable.

I want my husband and kids to have a home, not a house.

Dish Drying Mat Review and Giveaway!

I’ve recently fallen in love with a new-to-me kitchen product.

THE DISH DRYING MAT
Now, I know what you’re thinking “A dish drying mat? No thanks, I’ll use my dish towels.” I know this because I thought the same thing at first. But let me tell you something, my dishwasher is broken. I have four boys in my house who feel the need to eat continuously. At any given moment of the day I have dishes drying on my counter…and no dry dishtowels. Now I actually have a towel to dry my hands on when I need one.

The Dish Drying Mat must be filled with some type of alien-technology foam. Okay, not really. But it seems that way because it absorbs more water and dries more quickly than my dish towels. I love that! Plus the foam makes the mat very sturdy. I can dry my wine glasses and pitchers without worry of them skooching around or toppling over.

And on top of all that – it’s pretty! I love when a product is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. The Dish Drying Mat comes in a waffle pattern and lots of pretty colors to choose from. I have three mats, one each in cream, sage green and red (my favorite!).

I can hear you now. “Cheryl, my dishwasher is in perfect working order, I don’t need a Dish Drying Mat.” But you do! These mats are so versatile. You can use them for:

    • Drying produce (place your fruits and veggies on the mat to dry)

 

  • A beverage station (at your next party place self-serve drinks on the mat to soak up sticky spills)
  • A homeschool experiment mat (I’m thinking exploding volcanoes and chemistry experiments)
  • A diaper changing mat (lightweight, absorbent and folds up very small)
  • A washable piddle-pad (for your incontinent pet)
  • Padding for storing china
  • A bath mat

 

I’m sure you can think of other uses too! I’m giving away three black Dish Drying Mats. But I’m not the only one. I’ve teamed up with a group of great bloggers who are also giving away three mats, and each is giving away a different color!! Follow the rules below for a chance to win a black mat from me and click over to my friend’s blogs to enter their dish mat giveaways too!

GIVEAWAY RULES

  • You must be 18 years of age or older
  • Open to US addresses only (sorry everyone else!)
  • You must leave an email address or link to a blog with email information (for notification purposes)
  • If you tweet about this post, be sure to leave a comment stating you did so
  • Each entry must be left in an individual comment or will only count as one entry
  • Entries are unlimited

The winners will be chosen via random number generator on October 20th and will be notified via email. Winners will have 48 hours to respond with their shipping information. If they do not respond within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen.

HOW TO ENTER

  • Leave a comment sharing why you’d like to win
  • Tweet about the giveaway (each tweet must be left in a separate comment)

Not sure what to tweet? Use this: “I want to win the #dishmat giveaway from @SomewhatCrunchy!” Or make up your own. Just be sure it has #dishmat in it.

And don’t forget to visit these other fabulous blogs for more chances to win a dish mat in other colors!!!

An Oregon Cottage – Cream
Finding Joy – Sage Green
Many Little Blessings – Sage Green
A Slob Comes Clean – Coastal Blue
Spell Out Loud – Coastal Blue
Feels Like Home – Red
Raising Arrows – Red
Mama’s Learning Corner – Black
Jimmie’s Collage – Gray
Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers – Gray

FTC Disclosure: I was compensated for my time in testing this product and writing the review.

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