The Loving Cedar, LLC

Simplifying Life Series

simplify life

The focus of this series is to give simple tips and tricks to help ease the hectic life. Simple living creates positive changes in places you can’t even imagine. Those small changes can make a significant impact. Is your baby between the ages of 1 minute to 100,000 minutes, and do you want to create a loving, positive atmosphere for them? Then you are in the right place! 

Simplifying Life with Quick Cleaning

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Table of Contents

Don’t you just love walking into a fresh smelling, clean home? You feel energized, happy, and it makes you feel good because a clean home is inviting. So how can we simply keep up on having a clean home without getting overwhelmed? Add small tasks to your daily routine. Keep it simple! I know, you might be getting tired of hearing me say that several times, in EVERY article, but I can’t stress it enough, it’s not only essential to keep things simple, but vital.

clean house

Did you know...?

Did you know that a clean house can help you live a healthier lifestyle? A clean home that is less messy or cluttered improves sleep, happiness, and increases energy levels. Clutter can make it difficult to focus, so your brain becomes overwhelmed and distracted.

What is quick cleaning?

As we talked before about time management (read more on time management), and creating a daily plan (read more on daily planning), adding simple cleaning tasks to each day will keep the housework under control, your house will be clean, and you don’t get so behind it takes you a month to catch up on chores. Plus, overall you feel better! Truth: You don’t want to spend all day cleaning, but a clean house feels good. It’s your home, your life, your sanctuary. Spend a few moments caring for it. Don’t schedule out your entire day to clean, instead schedule some time to pick up the toys, or wipe down the counters.

How can I feel better by having my house clean?

Well, think about it, the ongoing cycle with stress. Clean house = reduced stress, and that my friend means you are motivated and encouraged to eat better, move more, and get better sleep. Continuing the positive cycle of reducing stress improves overall health, physically and emotionally.

Ready to dive into the DAILY cleaning tasks? (Don’t worry, the list is short and simple)

  1.  Laundry: If your house is like mine, I HAVE to do at least one load a day or it will pile up so quickly my laundry room looks like a Mount Vesuvius eruption. I honestly think laundry is the worst chore, especially with a teenage boy that plays sports. I would rather clean a toilet than do laundry, but laundry is an essential. My mother always kept telling me to just fold the laundry as you pull it out of the dryer. I never did that until one day I realized when days worth of laundry was clean and piled in my room so high I almost cried. So, I went to the store, bought everyone their own laundry baskets, and folded clothes for hours. NEVER will I do that again, and yes, I listened to my mother. I now have four laundry baskets by the dryer. I fold an item and place it in the correct basket. Laundry will never end, but at least now I have it under control.
  2. Kitchen: The worst thing to wake up to is a kitchen full of dirty dishes. I try my best to get the kitchen cleaned up before bed, but sometimes it is unavoidable, so I at least get them off the counter and food thrown out or put away. This will also avoid little unwanted guests coming in for a midnight snack.  I have found that cleaning up some while cooking helps. Waiting for the chicken to be done baking? Do a quick wipe down of the counters. Or put the ingredients you used away. Remember, keeping it simple.
  3. Pick-up: the living room is the main area that everyone is in all the time, besides the kitchen. If your house is like mine, both rooms are pretty much one big area. I can’t stand having “stuff” just sitting around cluttering the place. Which means the third daily cleaning task is just picking up shoes, toys, or papers that don’t belong where they are at. Remember every minute counts in the day! So take 1 minute out of the day and grab those shoes and put them in the closet. One of my favorite things is having baskets to put things in. Grab a cute basket  to place next to the couch for blankets, or a basket for some toys. This is another great way to keep the clutter down, and the room clean and organized. Need to quickly clean up the toys from the living room because guests are arriving? Throw them in the toy basket next to the entertainment center and yay, a decluttered living room! Don’t forget the other rooms! Just put things away after you are done with them.
  4. Wipe-down: I love microfiber dishcloths, and natural, non-toxic cleaning products like Mrs. Meyers. It is so easy to just grab a towel, get it wet, spray and wipe. A daily quick run through on the counters throughout the house leaves your house smelling fresh and clean.
clean livingroom

Ok, now let’s talk about the WEEKLY musts and how to assign each room or task to a day.

If you are like me, you would prefer to look at a picture, or an example to really see what people are talking about. I’m a visual person, I like having it drawn out, and simplified for me. If it is too complicated, then it doesn’t end up getting done, and as you know, it just snowballs from there. It’s back to being too overwhelmed, stressed, and then the fatigue and wanting to hide under the covers sets in. That is not healthy, so let’s avoid all that. It is not fun either! So let me just give you an example of my week for house cleaning…

Yes, this is a different approach, because for the most part you are focusing on a certain task instead of just a certain room or area. As you can see, I have assigned a day for each task, then on that day I add it to my daily plan for a certain time. So for example, on Tuesday’s, I spend 30 minutes cleaning all three bathrooms in the house. Since I am doing bathrooms once a week, they don’t get SUPER dirty. AND since you are already wiping down the counters daily, it isn’t very time consuming. You are basically just emptying the garbage, cleaning showers, toilets, and floors. Find what works for you and stick with it. If you would prefer to focus on an area and do everything for that area instead of vacuuming the whole house in a day, then dedicate a day to the area or room instead of a task. 

Pro Tip: When going through the house wiping counters, do the bathroom last, so you can just quickly swipe the toilet handle and seat before tossing the cloth into the laundry hamper or garbage if using cleaning wipes.

Make a daily routine, so you can maximize your time.  The biggest part of staying on top of the house is getting into the habit of putting things away after using them instead of just dropping it somewhere. Your daily quick cleaning can help with the weekly big chores, and cut cleaning times down.

Put it to the test!

Are you constantly seeing tips and hacks on cleaning with natural products? Are you ever skeptical? I know I am always suspicious about any product or idea I have seen out there! Well, I put some to the test! Yes, most worked if you scrubbed until your arm fell off. And yes, some didn’t work at all! Here are a few of my favorites that work and that I continue to use! We are trying to keep it super simple. And we can’t spend ALL day on one thing. So we need tips and hacks that work and don’t take too long!


  • Removing hard water stains: this one I laugh at because when I read it, I thought, “yeah, right!” It proved me wrong! I wish I had learned this years ago. We have years of build-up with hard water on our faucets, sinks, showers, and tubs. I have used every product, even the toxic ones that made my eyes water. Nothing worked until now! Ok, this is beyond simple; I know you will go out and try it once you read it. Take half a lemon, dip it into coarse salt, then scrub, scrub, scrub! Re-dip the lemon as you need. Rinse with water! FYI, if you have a cut on your hand, wear gloves. 
  • Cleaning your microwave or instant pot with vinegar, water, and a slice of lemon: Mix one part of water and one part of vinegar in a microwave-safe bowl. I’m not too fond of the smell of vinegar, so I add a slice of lemon.  Heat on high for 5 minutes, let cool, then wipe down with a dry cloth. For Instant Pot, add mixture and “steam” for two minutes, remove the lid, and wipe down!
  • Baking Soda uses: keep the freezer and fridge deodorized by placing an opened box of baking soda in the back. Sprinkle baking soda in fridge drawers and shelves and wipe down with a damp cloth. Sprinkle on carpet and mattresses (let sit while sheets are in the wash) before vacuuming! 
  • Cleaning hard floors: Add a cup of vinegar to two gallons of hot water, with a few squirts of lemon juice. Mop floors and let air dry (I wouldn’t use this on hardwood floors due to the acid from the vinegar and lemon, but I have found I prefer the steam mop for hardwood).
cleaning products

The Do's and Don'ts of DIY cleaners

Before you go out and start a chemistry experiment in your kitchen, let’s go back to some of the basics of natural products for a minute. Don’t worry; I will not get into all the details of acids and bases; I will keep this SUPER simple. You don’t want to combine acids and bases. They neutralize each other and create salt.

I love using natural products and avoiding toxic chemicals, but I also remember chemistry class, mixing ingredients, and watching things explode into a huge mess. 

Don’t get me wrong, natural DIY cleaners are the way to go, but there are a few things you never want to combine. Some reactions can cause opposite effects or is damaging to surfaces and you!

Let’s talk about the three main ingredients you DO want to use for cleaning but DO NOT want to combine. Vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda. 

  • Combing vinegar and hydrogen peroxide creates a corrosive acid called Peracetic acid. This can cause skin, eye, and respiratory irritation. It can also damage some household surfaces.
  • Vinegar and baking soda are two ingredients you do not want to mix. I know many DIY cleaner recipes combine these two, but they counteract each other. Combining vinegar and baking soda creates water and sodium acetate. You are wasting your money. Water and sodium acetate are basically watered down saltwater. 
Bottom line: Keep disinfectant cleaners (vinegar, hydrogen peroxide) separate from each other and from scouring agents (baking soda).
Simply use them on the same surface while cleaning, just not together. Sprinkle baking soda, scrub and rinse. Then wipe down with vinegar and lemon. 

Ready for a few extra tips?

  • Let your family help! It’s their stuff also.
  • Make your bed everyday; this automatically cleans up the room. Seeing the bed made can make the room look put together. 
  • Only touch something once, meaning put it back in its spot once you are done with it. 
  • Schedule your quiet cleaning tasks during kid’s nap times, and schedule the loud when everyone is awake.
  • Dirty handprints on walls? Use Mrs. Meyer’s multipurpose spray and dry cloth. Just spray and wipe!
  • Keep a caddy with your cleaning products under the sink in each bathroom, kitchen, and laundry. So you can simply grab what you need instead of carrying around all your cleaning supplies.
  • Yes, you guessed it! Keep it simple!!

Favorite Cleaning Products:

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I am Leah. Welcome to The Loving Cedar LLC. Here is where you will find parenting tips and tricks to help you simplify life.