Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cute Kid Ideas

With summer coming, and the hot Arizona weather I have been searching for some fun indoor or "cool" ideas and here are a few I cam across:

Homemade Play Kitchen
I love this!!! It is made from an old entertainment center.  Look at it on the family fun link below!

I'm having my husband make me a Tool/Work Bench and a BBQ (the boy version of a play kitchen), because the idea is too cute not to use!
Here on Family Fun or
here on Serving Pink Lemonade I loved the ones she found

*Some of the links above no longer here are a few others you might like:
1. gorgeous kids kitchen diy: here
2. cute kitchen made from old tv stand: here
3. kids kitchen made from old entertainment center: here

Marble Race Track:
I loved this idea! Especially since it is summer right now and there are Noodles at every store. Another easy way to keep my child busy!
Here on 
Here on Serving Pink Lemonade she explains how to make it and includes lovely pictures.

These are just the first two I came across...but I will share my other favorites as I go!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

House Cleaning Schedule

Cleaning alone can be overwhelming.  And the larger the house the more to clean.  Then there are the "chores" that don't need to be done daily or weekly but more monthly and even seasonal... I find it easier to split it up so that things don't build up and become even more work.

So on my usual day I like to clean for an hour or two each morning, to keep the cleaning up and the house tidy. So instead of a full day of cleaning I split up all the chores between 6 days of the week, and rotate in the monthly and seasonal chores as well.  Below is a basic schedule I follow...but it may require tweeking for your schedule or your house.

House Cleaning Schedule:

Make Beds (5-10 min)
Pick Up (5-10 min)
Wipe Down Bathrooms (5-10 min)
Wipe Down Kitchen (10 min. repeated throughout day)
Dishes & Sweep (after dinner)
Load/Unload Dishwasher (as needed)
Each Day Do one section of Weekly

(Assign a day of the week for each letter, leaving one day free...for you!)

     A. Dust
     B. Change Sheets
     C. Laundry
     D. Meal Preparation/Freezer Meals
     E. Scrub Kitchen (Microwave)
     F. Sat. Chores:
         -Scrub Bathrooms (shower/tub trade off)
         -Sat. Outdoor Jobs

**On Designated Day:
*Grocery Shopping
*Collect Trash and put Can of Curb

 (each "letter" below is to be combined with the Weekly chores for that day.
For example: Day A you Dust, Vacuum, & Mop AND do one of the Monthly listed chores with the "A" label below.  So either baseboards/Vacuum behind furniture and Hose vac the edges OR Wax Floors.)

     A. Baseboards/Vacuum behind furniture and Hose vacuum edges of floors.
     A. Wax Floors
     B. Windows/Mirrors/Window Sills
     B. Blinds and Drapes
     C. Straighten Closets/Pantries
     D. Rinse Trashcans
     D. Seasonal/Yearly (rotate through the List below)
     E. Refrigerator, Oven, Dishwasher
     F. Showers/Tubs
     F. Wash Cars

  • Clean Small and Large Appliances
  • Clean Carpets
  • Clean out Closets, Bedrooms
  • Scrub and Clean out Cupboard
  • Clean Drains
  • Update Food Storage
  • Update First Aid Kit
  • Update Emergency Kit

Spring Cleaning

I happen to LOVE spring cleaning, I like to do it more than just spring and I look forward to it.  It just feels so good to know it is deeply cleaned, fresh, and smelling good.  So here are a few tips to help in your spring cleaning efforts.

Overly basic but worth remembering:
-First: don't leave all your cleaning for one day. Split it up amongst the days, weeks and years. So that when you do get to your Spring Cleaning day, you can do the really deep hard stuff. Look at this Cleaning Schedule I posted here.
-Have a plan: List all the jobs you need to do, the order of which need to be done first, and make sure you have all the supplies.
-Carry a tote/bucket with commonly used supplies so you aren't running back to get forgotten items.
-Piles: I'm all about piles.  Instead of running back and forth all day, as you are working in one room or area make piles of the things that need to go upstairs, in the trash, or to their designated place.  Then when you are all done you can take care of the piles.

-Microwave: Before cleaning the microwave, microwave a small glass of water for 2-4 minutes.  This softens any spills or splatters that have built up and hardened on the walls of the microwave...makes for much faster cleaning.
-Dishwasher, run your empty dishwasher with vinegar in place of detergent.  Followed by another cycle using lemon juice. This will clean your dishwasher, remove build up, and the lemon leaves a fresh scent. I also like to finish by wiping down the door and cleaning any cracks and crevices.
-Oven after cleaning your oven, line the bottom with an oven liner, or with foil.  This catches any drips and spills in future baking and can be easily removed to keep from burning and keeping your oven clean.
-Hard Water and Mineral Deposits:  Use a strong cleaner like CLR, or SHOWER POWER.  Spray them and let them soak on the area while you clean something else.  So that they have loosed when you go to clean them.
-Use a butter knife inside a washcloth to scrape and clean out the cracks and hard build up in places like you sink faucet.
-Don't forget the back splash and the walls...these often have splatters and drips on them!

-Spoon: a spoon can easily scratch shoe scuffs off of the floor.
-Don't forget the baseboards...they get dirty! and are often forgotten.  After cleaning use a Magic Eraser or even better a little paint to touch up marks and scuffs that don't wipe off.

Clogged Drains or just Freshen Drains:
- Pour 1/2 c. baking soda & 1 c. vinegar down the drain through a funnel. The mixture will foam up considerably & unclog drain. When there's no more foam, flush drain with hot tap water. After 5 min,
flush drain again with cold water. It also deodorize drain.
-To speed up a slow drain, pour 1/2 c. salt followed by 2 c. boiling vinegar down drain. Flush with hot water, then cold water & drain will be much faster.

Washing Windows and Mirrors:
-Use newspaper instead of a rag or paper towel.  The newspaper doesn't leave streaks or dust & lint from the rag behind!

-The "ring" of minerals and water deposits that build up in a toilet can be removed using a pumice stone.
Showers and Tubs:
-As I have said before...Shower Power, it works like a charm!
-Also, use an old credit card to scrape the walls, it scratches build up and soap scum amazingly well!

-Electrical switches:Wipe down light and electrical switches.  These are rarely cleaned but collect dirt from constant contact.
-Lights: Wipe down lights.  Again rarely cleaned, but they collect lots of dust and dead bugs.

Dryer Sheet Tip

So I've been enjoying this simple tip from a friend...After you unload your dryer take the used dryer sheet and use for a quick dusting job. 

-This not only helps keep your dusting to a minimum, but dryer sheets are also famous for keeping dust it is better than dusting with a regular rag.

-And the dryer sheet has already been used so it is inexpensive and a way to reuse them!


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