Secret to Saving Kids Artwork without Clutter

What the heck do we do with all the pictures, drawings, school projects, and little gifts from our kids? I mean, I love them all but my daughter’s love language is gifts.  So we are ALWAYS getting special pictures, drawings, or crafts from her because that’s her way of showing how she loves us.  But I’m on a journey to eliminating clutter from my life.  I want more space.  I want a chance to breathe and not feel like I’m CONSTANTLY cleaning.  Is it wrong to want a clean house AND be able to enjoy time with my kids?

I saw somewhere a picture of a triangle that showed mom’s sanity, a clean house, and happy kids on each of the points.  The meme stated, you can only choose 2, which 2 are you going to choose.  For a long time, hands down, I wanted happy kids and happy mom to be my choice.  But you know what I realized….a clean house was a HUGE contributor to my sanity.  I don’t think you have to choose between the 3. I think you CAN have a balance of all 3.

So in my quest to eliminate stuff without losing the memories (or breaking my dear daughter’s heart), I found an app called Keepy. It’s been amazing.  It has both a free and a paid version (with the amount of drawings we get, I totally bought the paid version).

You can take snapshots of your children’s drawings, crafts, projects, whatever and store them. You can have multiple kids all stored in the same account. You can store voice recordings of your child telling you about the picture or take a picture of your child holding the drawing so you can document age too. And best! You can add “Fans” so grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends can see all the magical drawings and leave messages too.

 

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It’s definitely a timeless way to preserve and capture memories without all the clutter.  And if you did want to print all of it in a book, they make it pretty seamless too with having photobook  and other photo gift options (although I haven’t tried that part yet).

If you haven’t snagged a copy of my FREE 5 Steps to Breaking Free From Clutter, you should totally do that! Breaking free from clutter has changed my life. I finally feel like I can enjoy time with my kids because I’m not spending day in and day out picking stuff up.

Natural Toilet Bowl Cleaner

This post is kind of mortifying to me! I’m literally going to show you pictures of my toilet. It makes me cringe. It’s DISGUSTING! I think part of it is with the California drought we aren’t flushing as often, part of it is that we have hard water, and from some research I think some may be rust deposits. Oh, and I guess I should probably clean it a little more frequently.

But this is it! Disgusting!

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From my research, I saw lots of variations of sort of the same recipe for toilet cleaning. This is what I used

  1. I added 1 cup of baking soda and about 3-5 drops of purification blend essential oil.
  2. I let it soak for approximately 30 minutes and then added 1 cup of vinegar.
  3. I waited roughly 30 minutes again and then used my toilet bowl cleaner.toilet (2 of 3)
  4. It came out cleaner but not like I wanted. So I added all the ingredients again and let it sit for a few hours.
  5. Then scrubbed it a little harder.

This was my final result. Not quite as clean as I would like but WAY better. I’ll probably do this a little more often to keep it cleaner and less difficult to scrub!

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How to Clean your Coffee Grinder

When my mom was in town visiting recently, she mentioned cleaning your coffee grinder using rice. So we gave it a shot.

Here is what our coffee grinder looked like before we started. september2013 (1 of 9) september2013 (2 of 9)We filled it with a little rice, let it run for a little bit.  Dumped it out and did it one more time.  Then we rinsed it out with a little water. And here is our end result.

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DIY Wood Floor Cleaner

Sorry it’s been a little while since my last post. It’s been a crazy whirlwind sort of few weeks.  We found out that we are expecting a little boy! We are very excited to add to our family and very excited that we will soon have a daughter and a new little son!   Then I caught the worst cold I’ve had in years. I’m usually up and back to work or working around the house within a day.  But this one took me out for 3 days of work and has me still lingering with congestion.  Thank goodness I have some oils that are safe to use during pregnancy.  When I was pregnant with my daughter I didn’t have that and chose not to use any over the counter meds. (A little side note, I started using protective blend essential oil on my daughter and husband when they started to feel a little cold coming on while I was sick.  Now a week later, they are both still running like a champ! Unfortunate, I don’t feel comfortable using protective blend while pregnant.  I did have it diffusing in my diffuser for the last week though.  If you have questions about why I choose not to use it during pregnancy, let me know!)

Anyway, on to my post. I have a refillable floor cleaner and have been using a variety of items trying to clean my floors.  This is what I’ve found that works the best.  I’m not absolutely in love with it as I feel it sometimes leaves streaks.  But I’m not sure if that’s my mop cleaner or the solution itself. So if any of you have suggestions or recipes you’ve tried, let me know! I’d love to give them a try.

Recipe

Roughly 16oz of water

1 tablespoon of Vinegar

3-5 drops of Essential oil (I chose Lemon for extra cleaning power)

A squirt of Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap (I added this midway through trying to further eliminate any streaking)

My before photos

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My After Photosseptember2013 (8 of 9) september2013 (9 of 9)

Did you know your bed might have bed bugs or dust mites? DIY- Mattress and Furniture Cleaner

Yesterday my daughter was throwing a bit of a tantrum.  She was in her room screaming and then all of a sudden it got quiet. Any of you parents, know that this is a BAD sign. I walked in to find her staring down as she peed on her uncovered mattress.  I’ve never had this problem before as usually she has a liner on the mattress and I take that off and wash it.  I searched the internet for ways to clean it up and ran across a lot of posts talking about bed bugs and dust mites. Eww! Apparently, cleaning your mattress should be something we do somewhat regularly.  I know that Joe and I have had a mattress for the entire time we’ve been married (7 years). Guess how many times it’s been cleaned? You guessed it! None.

I made a cleaner for my mattress by making the following recipe.

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 2-5 drops lavender oil
  • 2-5 drops eucalyptus (This one because of it’s ability to kill dust mites. See this study’s results.)
  • 2-5 drops purity blend

I added them together in a glass jar and shook until they were mixed. I used a sifter from my daughter’s play kitchen and sifted it onto her mattress.  Because I didn’t need to wash the sheets on our bed or the spare bedroom yet, I decided to use the rest on our couches and use it as a deodorizer and general cleanser.

cleaning (3 of 4)cleaning (4 of 4)I then let them sit for approximately an hour and then vacuumed them up!

It’s probably best to complete this process on your bed and furniture at least every few months or so, especially if you have pets or suffer from allergies.