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 love walking into a fresh-smelling, clean home? It makes you feel energized and happy, and it makes you feel good because a clean house is inviting. So, how can we keep up with 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 a clean house can help you live healthier? A clean, less messy, or cluttered home improves sleep and 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 of stress. A 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 that my laundry room looks like a Mount Vesuvius eruption. I honestly think laundry is the worst chore, especially with a teenage boy who plays sports. I would rather clean a toilet than do laundry, but laundry is essential. My mother always told me just to fold the laundry as I pulled it out of the dryer. I never did that until one day when I realized that days’ worth of laundry was clean and piled in my room so high that I almost cried. So, I went to the store, bought everyone their 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 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 prevent unwanted guests from coming in for a midnight snack.  I have found that cleaning up some while cooking helps. Waiting for the chicken to be done baking? Quickly wipe down the counters. Or put the ingredients you used away. Remember, keep it simple.
  3. Pick-up: the living room is the main area everyone is in, besides the kitchen. If your house is like mine, both rooms are one big area. I can’t stand having “stuff” just sitting around cluttering the place. This means the third daily cleaning task is just picking up shoes, toys, or papers that don’t belong where they are. Remember, every minute counts in the day! So take 1 minute out of the day, 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 excellent way to keep the clutter away 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 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 see what people are talking about. I’m visual; I like having it drawn out and simplified. If it is too complicated, it doesn’t get done, and as you know, it just snowballs from there. It’s back to being too overwhelmed and 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 specific task instead of just a particular room or area. As you can see, I have assigned a day for each task, and then I add it to my daily plan for a specific time. For example, on Tuesdays, 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 emptying the garbage and cleaning showers, toilets, and floors. Find what works for you and stick with it. If you 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 wiping the house’s counters, do the bathroom last so you can quickly swipe the toilet handle and seat before tossing the cloth into the laundry hamper or garbage if you’re 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 them 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 am always suspicious about any product or idea I have seen! 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: I laugh at this one 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 has 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 water and 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 and then wipe down with a dry cloth. For the Instant Pot, add the 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 start a chemistry experiment in your kitchen, let’s revisit 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 damage to surfaces and you!

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

  • Combining vinegar and hydrogen peroxide creates a corrosive acid called Peracetic acid. This can cause skin, eye, and respiratory irritation and damage some household surfaces.
  • Vinegar and baking soda are two ingredients you do not want to mix. Many DIY cleaner recipes combine these two, but they counteract each other. Combining vinegar and baking soda creates water and sodium acetate, which is a waste of money. Water and sodium acetate are basically watered-down saltwater. 
The bottom line: Keep disinfectant cleaners (vinegar, hydrogen peroxide) separate from scouring agents (baking soda).
Simply use them on the same surface while cleaning, but 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 every day; this automatically cleans up the room, and seeing the bed made can make the room look put together. 
  • Only touch something once, meaning put it back in its spot once you finish it. 
  • Schedule your quiet cleaning tasks during kids’ naps, 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 each bathroom, kitchen, and laundry sink. So you can simply grab what you need instead of carrying all your cleaning supplies.
  • Yes, you guessed it! Keep it simple!!

Favorite Cleaning Products:

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Hello!

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

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