52 Weeks To A Simplified Home: Project 4

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It felt so good to finish decluttering the library this week. I swear the room feels bigger. Which, it should considering over the last 4 weeks I have removed 5 plastic grocery bags full of trash, and filled one box for the second hand homeschooling curriculum sale I do every year, plus 3 more boxes went to the local thrift store.

Realizing I took that much out of one room, is kind of satisfying and disgusting at the same time.  Satisfying that the room is now simplified;disgusting that it got that bad in the first place.

wardrobeAgain no staging here, oh how badly I wanted to remove those baskets full of shoes. We don’t have a front entrance closet at all so those baskets are our solution to shoes everywhere. The broom was left by the child who had sweeping this room as a chore the day before. The cardboard you see stuffed beside the wardrobe is the white science project boards I use to take my blogging pictures.

As you can see the horrible secrets of what is inside the cabinets is already leaking out into the room. That is yarn you see sneaking out of a draw there.

wardrobe openThe cabinet is full of picture albums, yarn and craft supplies.

cleaning wardrobeFirst I emptied out the entire wardrobe and then wiped it all down with our families favorite cleaner from ePantry (save $10 off your first order of $30 or more when you sign up through my referral link).

wardrobe messThe amount of stuff the wardrobe was holding was kind of overwhelming to look at.

chair of wardrobe junkYep that is right, the contents filled up the couch, the chair and a coffee table and spilled onto the floor. I must admit I just sat and stared at it for a few minutes not knowing quite where to start.

pattern binderI had forgotten all about this binder full of patterns I thought I might want to try some day. Ah the days before Pinterest.

recycle binIn the end I kept just a small handful of patterns. I kept to my promise of keeping only things for the stage of life I am currently in, not the one I might be in someday, and not the one I was once in.  I also figured pretty much any craft I want to try I can find a tutorial on Pinterest for.

trash from wardrobeI am very embarrassed to show you just how much trash came out of that wardrobe. About half of it was clothes I put in there to mend, and well……I don’t mend. I always like the idea of mending. It is thrifty, and green but I never make it a priority. The mending pile had been there so long that there was a maxi dress for my daughter that she could now wear as a shirt. SHAMEFUL.

The other half of the trash was empty plastic bags and pieces of this and that I had kept hoping to find the rest of the ..this and that. It has been years I don’t think they are showing up now and even if they do I don’t think we need them.

more stuff to give awayI also filled up about half of a box with stuff for the thrift store.

glove and hat drawerI had so much room in the drawer area of the wardrobe when I was done purging, I was able to devote a drawer to gloves, and another one to hats. This gave me room in the bookshelf I did earlier this month for my sewing box which meant I could now use the top of the wardrobe just for display items.

done wardrobe.I am very happy with the end result. My bamboo knitting needles now have their own home in one of the glass jars on the top of the wardrobe. Which I think adds the perfect homey touch.

What did you declutter this week?

3 coupons to help you declutter

I don’t know about you but the hardest part for me about decluttering is starting. Starting with a cup of coffee in one hand helps, as well as the promise of chocolate when I am done. Also although I do use reusable cleaning clothes, I also use paper towels.

$1.00 off any ONE (1) McCafe Coffee Item

$1.00 off TWO bags of M&M's Chocolate Candies

$0.50 off any one Sparkle 8 regular roll or larger

52 Weeks To A Simplified Home: Project 3

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This week I decided to tackle the long sofa table. At least that is what I am calling it. It is a table my husband made for me one year.

sofa table declutterRemember I promised no altered pictures. Oh how I wanted to at least remove my shoes from the floor and the blanket and jacket on the chair before taking this picture.

Now some of you might be eying those 2 board games and going “hey didn’t she take those to the thrift store last week?” Yes you are right they were in the thrift store pile but then a teacher friend of mine saw them in last weeks pictures and asked if she could have them for her classroom. She was in luck my husband had not dropped the stuff off at the thrift store. So after decluttering this week, they are now in my car to give to her next time I see her.

Also I don’t normally keep cleaners in the library but I had been taking pictures for my ePantry post and I just dumped them here. They are now in the bathroom cupboards. I promise :)

Now that I am done making excuses for the sad shape this area is in lets get on to decluttering.

sofa table uncoveredNow you know another secret. The table has yet to be painted even though my husband made it 7+ years ago. Which is why it has the table cloth over it.

First I took everything out of the table and went through each and every basket.

box for thrift storeWhen I was done I had filled an entire box with things to go to the thrift store including a few puzzles, and a tablecloth.

sofa table doneAs you can see the contents of the baskets are no longer over flowing.

sofa table top all doneOne of the reasons the top of the sofa table was so clutter was that after the Christmas stuff was put away we never brought down the things that normally sit on it. A big blank surface like that is a clutter magnet in our home, so I went into the attic and got a few things to display on it. A picture drawn by my daughter, some yard sale found pottery vases, flowers given to me by my hubby, and one of my favorite willow tree figurines.

What did you declutter this week?

If you too are decluttering your home one week at a time this year join the Snail Pacing Goal Achievers Facebook group where people are sharing their progress, cheering each other on and achieving this and other goals.

52 weeks to a simplified homefree printable plan (small)Hop on over to the first post and grab the free printable plan and join along.

A few deals to help you with your organizing and cleaning

Dayspring has their 2015 calendars and day planners 70% off. If you haven’t yet sit down and planned out your year, or created a family appointment calendar yet this is a great deal to take advantage of.

calendars on sale

Trash bags are a must when you are decluttering your home. I also use ziplock bags and containers to store bits and pieces I find while decluttering, such as drill bits that my husband is famous for leaving around. I have a box with his name on it with all my small finds in it for him to sort at his convenience.

$1.00 off any ONE package of Hefty Trash Bags
$1.00 off any two Ziploc brand bags
$1.00 off any two Ziploc brand containers

52 Weeks To A Simplified Home: Project 2

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This week I decluttered a much larger project than last week.

decluttering of large bookcaseI decided to tackle the large bookcase in the library room.

I want everyone to know I am not doing any staging with the photos for 52 weeks to a simplified home, instead I am letting you see 100% how we live. I am not kicking cords out of the photo or moving empty boxes, what you see is our families home as is.

decluttered shelf emptiedThe first thing I did was completely emptied the shelf. Normally I will do shelf by shelf but sometimes I find that I am not as brutal with getting rid of things when I do that. There is just something about looking at a pile of what came out of one area that makes you face the fact that you have TOO MUCH, and that lights your fire to let  things go.

big mess decluterSee what I mean? That one book case essentially made 90% off the mess seen in this picture. Seeing it spread out like this made me be brutal about putting things in the donation pile and the pile for the homeschooler’s second hand curriculum sale.

seven generation cleanerBefore I started piling things back on the shelves I sprayed them all down with our homes favorite all-purpose natural cleaner, (which you can try for free this week through the ePantry deal).  The upper shelves especially had a lot of dust in the corners.

I then went through each and every item.

box for saleI filled up the box that I started last week with items for the Homeschooler’s second hand curriculum sale.

stuff for second hand storeThis entire pile is now in the backseat of my husband’s truck waiting for his next day off when he will drop by the thrift store and drop it all off.

trashI also threw out a bag full of trash. Mostly old receipts and such.

shelf all doneWhen I was all done I was really happy with the results. I was able to  give my sharing book bag and several other things a new home off our floor. I also now have an empty basket to drop my purse and keys in when I come in the front door.

What did you declutter this week? Don’t forget to join the Snail Pacing Goal Achievers Facebook group, where you can share your progress on this project or any other goals you set for yourself, and receive encouragement.

52 weeks to a simplified homefree printable plan (small)Grab a plan and join in!

How Cleaners Found At ePantry Ended A Marital Dispute

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I married a great man. A man who works hard. A man who puts up with my quirks. A man who likes to clean.

The cleaner that ended a marital dispute and how you can save money on itYes that third one is right. My husband likes to clean. Sometimes this quality is really annoying like in year one of our marriage when he told me I was vacuuming all wrong and proceeded to give me a 5 minute demonstration on how to vacuum with the grain of the carpet fibers (yes I did roll my eyes).

Other times this quality  is awesome. Well actually as long as he isn’t telling me how to clean his love of cleaning is always awesome.

However right around the time I switched our home over to homemade cleaners I noticed something very odd, my husband wasn’t cleaning anymore, and the house was beginning to show it.

Then one day he came home with really stinky cleaners that I knew would trigger my migraine headaches and what followed was a huge argument during which I found out he wasn’t cleaning because he didn’t like the homemade cleaners that I had started using  and he found out  that the traditional cleaners he loves trigger my migraines.

For a while I tried to win him over to homemade cleaners. I would give him demonstrations  how well they worked, kind of like the vacuum demonstration he gave me so many years ago which surprise, surprise backfired.

Then while walking down the aisle of the grocery store I found a solution; natural cleaners. Cleaners that don’t have the harsh fumes of traditional brands but still are ready made and sitting in the bottle whenever you need them.

That very day, my husband began cleaning again and hasn’t stopped since. Men who might be reading this let me tell you there is nothing sexier than a man who cleans.

seventh generation all purpose cleanerThe natural brand we love is Seventh Generation as they have several unscented options that clean great. Problem is, our small town isn’t exactly green friendly and sometimes the stores don’t have the natural cleaners in when we need them which is why I am glad I found ePantry.

personal note on ePantry order (2)ePantry is a subscription based company that carries an impressive line of all natural cleaners including Mrs Meyers, Method, and Seventh Generation.

ePantry’s prices are comparable with those at the grocery store, plus you get the added benefit of cleaners delivered right to your door on a regular basis. You will receive an email 7 days before your regular order ships, and you can go in and alter or cancel your order at that time, or anytime if you wish.

ePantry candle sample in boxFor me cleaners delivered to my door insure that I keep my cleaning guy well stocked. It is one less thing to think about, streamlining my to do list.

epantry banner

A $10 off a $30 Purchase, Free Shipping & A Free Full Sized Bottle Of Seventh Generation All Purpose Cleaner

This special is no longer current however, you can still get $10 off your first order of $30 or more, when you sign up for ePantry through the referral links found in this post.  Shipping on all orders is $2.99

The people of ePantry are offering my readers a special deal this week.  Until Friday January 16th at 3pm EST when you sign up to ePantry, through the links in this post you will get $10 off a $30 purchase , a free full sized bottle of my families favorite  Seventh Generation All Purpose Cleaner and free shipping.

shipment ePantryHow to get the ePantry deal

1. Sign up for ePantry (this offer is good for new members only)

2. Answer a few questions about your family.

3. Pick out $30 worth of products you want (your $10 credit will show up at checkout).  I highly suggest you do this by clicking on the option to pick the products you want out yourself instead of ePantry picking them out for you.

4. Go to checkout and proceed through all the simple steps there.

If you have any problems during the process ePantry has friendly customer reps. ready to serve you at just a click of a button. (I talked to one and she was great :) )

A Few Ways To Use Your Credit

Not sure what to order with your $10 off $30? Here are few ideas…

seventh generation cleanersFor those that prefer cleaners with either no scent or low scent ePantry carries a large line up of Seventh Generation Products a competitive price.

Mrs Meyer's foaming hand soapFor those that prefer natural cleaners with fragrance ePantry has a wide assortment of Mrs Meyer’s cleaners.

ePantry candle

If you love scented candles, ePantry’s all natural soy candles that are scented with essential oils smell AMAZING.

yes to carrotsLow on shampoo? ePantry carries Yes To Carrot products. My family uses this shampoo daily and love it.

Huzzah friend referral imageOne way to save on future orders for ePantry

Once you have tried out the service and love it,  you can share ePantry with your friends and when they sign up you will receive a $10 credit that will be applied to your future orders and they will get $10 off their first order as well. That is a win win deal!

You can share ePantry through email, Twitter or Facebook or use the referral link URL that they provide.

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52 Weeks To A Simplified Home: Project One

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This week went by really fast, and I will be honest I left my decluttering project until yesterday evening. Honestly this is one New Year’s goal I wouldn’t keep if it wasn’t for all of you that are joining along with me.

Which is why I decided to create a Facebook group for all of us. I am calling it Snail Pace Goal Achievers so that I can use it for those of you who might not be joining me for 52 Weeks To A Simplified Home but might have set a mileage goal or have decided to join along in my quest to eat better this year.  You can find and join it here.

Now for what  I decluttered this week.

bookcase beforeI decided to start in the room we call our library room. I started with the small wooden bookcase that holds the kids books. A lot of these books are too young for my children and others we could easily get at the library if needed.

books for saleI ended up with almost an entire box of books to put away until the annual homeschooler’s second hand curriculum sale I sell at each year. This might seem to go against my “worth $20 or more resell rule” as each book is only worth .50 cents to a dollar at the sale, but this whole box will bring me at least $20 and I already have the date  of the sale saved on the calendar.

book case with spaceThis is what the book case looked like when I was done. Those books on the lower shelf are the read aloud books that we loved reading to our kids so much we just can’t part with them. book shelf refilledThis is what the bookcase looks like now. I took all the books  from my “to read”  pile that I had in a different area of our home and placed them on the shelf. They all fit perfectly, which now opens up that area for something else.

My plan is to not just declutter but to find homes for things as I go.  I am hoping  this will eliminate our embarrassing floor piles for good.

If you are wondering where I got so many books to read, well most of them come from Tyndale Rewards, Paperback Swap, yard sales and thrift stores, I don’t spend much on books.

What area of your home did you declutter this week? Share it in the comments below,  share the URL to an Instagram picture showing the before and after if you want.  Don’t forget to join the Facebook group so we can share our decluttering goal reaching journeys there as well as tips and tricks we learn that help us along the way.

52 weeks to a simplified homefree printable plan (small)Print out a plan and join along!

52 Weeks To A Simplified Home :With Free Printable Plan

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Our families clutter piles got pretty bad in 2014. I didn’t do my normal Christmas cleaning, which really helps, and I also didn’t join various bloggers in decluttering series all year long either.

52 Weeks To A Simplified Home Decluttering A Home One Inch At A Time(This might be a picture of my teenager’s room but a lot of our home looks like this, time to clean up)

When I was recently reading Ruth Soukup’s new book “Living Well Spending Less: 12 Secrets Of The Good Life” her chapter on simplifying her possessions convinced me that it really is time I gave the house a top to bottom decluttering.

Now I know most books say clear a few days, and get the whole house done. But, in my current stage of life, finding a few days to do nothing but declutter is next to impossible.

So instead I decided to break up my home into 52 areas one for each week of 2015 .

I am also making a few rules.

Rules for 52 Weeks To A Simplified Home

  •  I can work ahead if time allows, but not to the point where I let other priorities of my life slide.
  • I cannot fall behind more than 2 weeks at any given time. If I do I have to catch up right away
  • I will not save anything for reselling that  has a reselling value of under $20. All items below that price point go straight to a locally run thrift store that uses the proceeds they earn to run their soup kitchen.
  • I am setting up an area in the basement for resale items. I plan to date items with a sticky note when I place them in these boxes. I will go through them at the end of each month and any item that have been in them for longer than 4 weeks must be sold that very day, or it is off to the thrift store they go. No exceptions no matter what the value of the item.
  • I am approaching the decluttering like I am moving, if I wouldn’t want to take the effort to pack, move and unpack the item,out it goes.
  • I am going to be realistic about what I can do at this stage of life and not save things for the “hopeful” next. As in  “when the kids have graduated and I no longer need to devote hours to homeschooling,  I can sew and then I will want all these yards of fabric”.

I plan to use you my readers to hold me accountable and to humble me. By showing you my mess I hope that I won’t let things slide this bad again. I am also hoping some of you will join me so we can support each other.

Every Tuesday I will write a short 52 Weeks To Simplify Your Home, with a before and after post of my decluttering area that week, as well as tips I am learning that are helping me to simplify my home, and links to helpful resources on the topic of decluttering, organization, house cleaning, and simplifying your home.

Join me as I declutter my home one inch at a time52 Weeks To A Simplified Home Plan

Here is my list of 52 areas in my home that I will be decluttering . These 52 areas cover my entire home except for the basement and our shed. Those are my husband’s domain, and hopefully seeing me declutter will inspire him to do the same.

I divided up each room into areas. My plan is to work one room until it is 100% done and then move on to another room. I don’t plan to follow the areas in the order listed here, but pick and choose as I go to satisfy my creative spirit a bit.

Library

1. White bookcase

2. Brown bookcase

3. Black cabinet

4. Basket table

5. Shoe containers

6. All table tops

Dining Room

7. Dresser

8. China Cabinet 1

9. China Cabinet 2

10. Baskets under folding table

11. Top of folding table

12. Dresser top

13. Black side board

14. Bay window

15. Floor

Family Room

16. 1 side of white cabinet

17. other side of white cabinet

18. TV cabinet one side

19. TV cabinet other side

20 Side tables

21. Desk

22. Baskets on floor.

Kitchen

23. Upper cupboards

24. Lower cupboards

25. Cupboards on fridge wall.

Boot Room Area

26. Coat rack

27. Boot bins, and bin on floor

28. Counter top area

29. Upper cabinets

Landing Area

30. Top of stair area

31. Storage area on the way down the stairs to the basement

Upstairs storage closet

32. Black side shelves

33. Upper 1/2 of wire shelves

34. Lower 1/2 of wire shelves

35. floor area and peg wall.

Bathroom Downstairs

36. Under sink cabinets and counter

37. Tall cabinets

Upstairs Bathroom

38. Tall cabinet

39. Counter and under sink cabinet

Hallway closet

40. All shelves

Study area and hallway

41. All

Master Bedroom

42. Dresser

43. My bedside table

44. Hubby’s bedside table

45. Under bed

46. Wall down Jack’s side of the bed

47. Wall down my side of the bed

48 End of bed area

49. Half of closet

50. Other half of closet

Attic

51. Longest wing

52. Shortest wing & wing lined with shelves.

How to join along in the 52 weeks to simplify your home challengeWill you join me?

I would love to think that perhaps I am not the only one out there with a home that has become more cluttered than it should be. I would also love to think that I am not the only one that can’t declutter it all in a weekend or even a week.

If you too have too much clutter, and your daily life doesn’t allow you to tackle it all in a short amount of time, I would love to have you join me in my 52 weeks to a simplified home challenge.

Grab a notebook, pen and a cup of coffee. Spend a few minutes going from room to room looking for clutter and giving each clutter hotspot its own week. Keep the spots small so that they are doable in a small time frame each and every week.

Make your own list of rules. Keeping a few things in mind. Will you donate items or sell them? If donating them when and where? How high will you let the donation pile build before you donate it?

Make sure if you are thinking of selling things, that you have a plan of how to sell them before you begin, and set yourself a deadline to sell them. Life just might be too busy to both declutter and sell, and if it is, isn’t a decluttered home worth the money you might lose when you donate the item instead of selling it.

Don’t forget to also think of those you might be helping by donating items. Find a locally owned thrift store that donates funds to causes you agree with. This really helps me feel okay with donating over selling when I know we could put the money made by reselling to good use if I just had the time, but in my current stage of life I often don’t have the time.

Once your list is made make sure to do one more thing and join the Snail Pacing Goal Achievers Facebook group, where you can share your progress see how others are doing, and get encouragement and tips.

52 weeks to a simplified homefree printable planI made it even simpler for everyone to join by making a free printable for those of you who would rather fill in the blanks and follow my preset rules than make up your own. Download it here.

If you want to say thanks for the free printable. say it with a follow on your favorite social media site, whether it be  Facebook ,  Pinterest, or Instagram,  or have my posts delivered directly to your email box as I publish them.

Lets get on with it. Lets toss the clutter and embrace the awesome feeling of a simplified home.

Linked to Mom2Mom, Thrifty Thursdays, Frugal Fridays,

 

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My Favorite DIY Granite Countertop Cleaner

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When my husband and I were renovating out current home that we bought for just under $10,000 one of many areas that got completely gutted and redone was the kitchen.

It was so much fun designing and picking out supplies for the kitchen. I of course kept things thrifty but one area I felt would be worth the splurge would be getting a solid surface counter top.

My favorite DIY Granite Countertop cleaner that makes my counters shine

I was willing to do tile so that my husband could install it and we could save money on both supplies and labor. I first picked out a plain cream ceramic  tile, perfectly functional and inexpensive but not really what I wanted. A day later though when we were once again in the hardware store there was my dream tile, a grey  granite with white and black flecks. Best part, it was priced lower than the tile that I bought the day before that wasn’t granite,  because there wasn’t enough left for a major project.

It took me all of 10 seconds  to convince my husband to let me return yesterday’s so so tile find for that day’s amazing find.

Years later I still love it, but my husband, well he likes the granite but he hates his tile job. His skills have grown and now he hates seeing where it is a bit uneven or not quite square. I tell him stop fussing it is fine.

One thing I did notice very quickly about the granite though is that although it is hard wearing in many ways it does stain. I wanted something natural, and inexpensive to take care of those stains with. After all I didn’t want to spend as much on the cleaners over time as I did on the amazing counter tile itself. Plus a lot of cleaners trigger my headaches, not fun.

Somewhere on Pinterest, I am not sure where I found a pin where the blogger was using hydrogen peroxide to get stains out of her granite. I Googled it to make sure that it was indeed safe to use on granite and found that several sources said  that as long as you are using it no more than once or maximum twice a week  to give your granite a good cleaning and remove stains it is okay, otherwise you should clean your granite counter tops with simple hot water and soap.

I also found out that you should use no more than 12% strength hydrogen peroxide, any stronger and you could damage your granite.

How to use hydrogen peroxide to remove stains from your granite countertops

I bought a bottle of hydrogen peroxide for a whopping .60 cents at my local discount grocery store, placed it in a small spray bottle from the dollar store and gave it a try. It did indeed get rid  of the stains and left my granite countertops shining. I was hooked and it has been my favorite DIY granite countertop cleaner ever since.

For more cleaning tips visit my Cleaning Tips Resource Page

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How To Erase Coffee & Tea Stains From Mugs

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Today I am exposing a dirty little secret about my husband. Don’t worry I asked permission and he said he didn’t care. Probably because he sees nothing wrong with his habit and I on the other hand think it is gross.

dirty to clean in 30 seconds or less

Several years ago for my birthday my husband surprised me with 2  Starbucks mugs, one a 20 ounce vinti for me and a 16 oz grande for him. I loved them so much that later in the day we bought another pair using some Swagbucks earned gift cards I earned.

We have used those mugs almost every day since then and mine stay sparkling white while his are always full of stains from his earl grey tea. I have shown him numerous times this trick I am about to share with you and raved about how quick and simple it is and yet he just rolls his eyes and says “who cares”.

I tried explaining that a sparkling clean cup really does make the tea taste better, and he simply laughs and says “whatever”. Funny thing is usually it is me who is the messy in our relationship. You should see the man sweep and mop laminate floors. Once he is done it is so clean I can use it as a mirror!

He does wash his mug with soap and water, he just doesn’t use my quick method to remove the stains. I am guessing he knows that it bugs me so much that eventually I will just do it for him, like I know that if I don’t sweep he will because it really bugs him to walk on crumbs where as me ……not so much.

How To Remove Tea And Coffee Stains In Under 30 Seconds

How to erase tea & coffee stains from a mug in less than 30 secondsErasing these coffee & tea stains is simple and requires ingredients 99.9 % of homes have in their cupboards right now. Not that I did a formal poll or anything but I know that these ingredients are common to just about all households.

ingredients needed to remove coffee stains from mugsTo remove a minor stain all you really need is the baking soda  and some dish soap but when you (or your hubby) have let tea and coffee stains get really bad it helps to add a bit of vinegar.

  1. Take dirty mug over  to your kitchen sink
  2. Dump 1 tablespoon baking soda into bottom of mug
  3.  Add a drop or two of dish soap
  4. Add a drop of vinegar
  5.  Fill  mug half way with warm water
  6.  Scrub sides of mug with a kitchen cloth

And in less than 30 seconds your mug will be sparkling clean.

How to keep your favorite mugs sparkling cleanLooking for more tips to solve common everyday problems? Follow my Problem Solved board on Pinterest.

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A Picture From Our Week: Grass Stains Be Gone

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My son had an amazing day with friends last Saturday. One of the activities they enjoyed was playing airsoft wars. Some time during the war my son managed to get a really large grass stain on one knee of his jeans.

how to get out set in grass stainsHe waited several days to show me the grass stain, and when he did it was already so late at night, I didn’t have the energy to do something about it right then, because frankly I thought at 48 hours old the stain was probably a lost cause anyways and not worth getting my nose out of my book after a long day to try and remove it.

grass stainBy morning I was full awake and ready to attack the stain. I remembered from my mustard stain experiment how well super washing soda had worked and decided to start soaking my son’s jeans in a basin of water with about 3/4 of a cup of super washing soda mixed in.

soaking jeansThey soaked for 48 hours. Why 48 hours of soaking? Well 12 hours  would have  been long enough, but things got hectic and I forgot about them for 2 days.

When I was about to throw them in the laundry I realized there was still a small amount of grass stain left.  I rubbed some Tide in the stain and tossed it in the laundry.

I could only see a faint trace of a stain when I took them out of the wash, so I tried one more trick. It was a beautiful sunny day and I had read that drying clothes in the sun will fade grass stains. Sure enough it worked and not a trace of the grass stain is left.

no grass stains

Want to see more pictures of our week? Follow me on Instagram

Looking for cleaning tips? Follow my How To Clean Tips board on Pinterest.

 Linked to Thrifty Thursdays, One Project At A Time

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Free Printable Snail Pacing Goal Sheets: And How I Plan Out My Days

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how I plan my days and weeksAs much as I love my iPod, iPad and laptop, I am not a high tech planner. I am a paper planner type of gal. I am also not much of a household binder type of gal. Oh I tried a bunch of them out there, but I always go back to two of my favorite items, my clipboard and my yellow pad.

My clipboard recently got an update a few months back when I saw someone on Pinterest  using a grid system with post it notes for their blogging goals and the wheels in my head started turning as to all the different ways I could implement such a simple system. (turns out I did not pin the pin and could not find it searching Pinterest otherwise I would share link)

After several months of tweaking I finally have a daily and weekly goal setting system that is really working for me. It is simple and plain, but it allows me to snail pace my way through out my week, without feeling overwhelmed. If you would like to give it a try, there are links to PDF files at the end of this post that you can click through and print off for your own use.

my weekly blogging to do list1. My Weekly Blogging To Do List

Either Sunday afternoon or Monday morning I sit down and write out exactly what I want to get done on the blog this coming week. The plan pretty much looks fairly similar week after week. I site down once a month with a spiral college lined notebook in hand and first brain storm posts for the entire month. Once I am done brainstorming I rough draft out all the posts in that same spiral college lined notebook.

( I am keeping track of monthly  blog stats and earnings using a sheets I found in Ruth’s free Blog Planner  over at Living Well Spending Less, that I keep in a small binder)

my daily goal list2. My Daily Goal List

On the top of my clipboard is my daily goal list, which is laminated so I can use it over and over.  Weekdays afternoons when I am done with blogging and am moving on to household chores I take time to write down 4 things on post it notes that I want to get done in my home work part of the day. On weekends I do this in the morning and the to do squares tend to be more blogging than housework based.I place each post it note in its own square and when I finish it I get great satisfaction of pulling it off and seeing white space.

I usually always have more than 4 things I want to get done, so I write the rest of the things down on what I call my brain dump sheet (more on that later).

If I get all 4 things done (which is rarely) I then go ahead and write out 4 more things on post it notes from my brain dump sheet and start working through those points.

Looking at just 4 things to do at once helps me from becoming overwhelmed. I should also note if one of the things is a large type project I might break it down further. For instance if you look at the picture above you will notice one of my goals this day was laundry, which I broke down into, washing, drying, and putting away (my kids fold). This is so I get the satisfaction of crossing off each step of the process.

The verse at the bottom of both my daily and weekly goal list sheets is one that keeps me calm when the day or week does not go at all as I planned.

my weekly goal list3. My Weekly Goal List

Under my daily goal list is my weekly goal list which is also laminated for reuse.If you are a regular reader you know that I set just 3 goals for each week, so why 4 squares? First, it is because I wanted to save work and use the same grid over again (I am a bit lazy) and second because I like using the 4th square each week to remind myself a yearly goal I am working on, such as reading a book a week, that I am trying to succeed at making a habit.

my yearly goal list4. Yearly Goal List

Under my weekly goal list is my goal list for 2014. I put this list in a sheet protector so that as the year goes by I can make notes on it or alter in on the computer and print out a new one if  I am finding a new goal is taking priority over one I set earlier in the year. For instance, on year I got injured in running so my goal of doing a full marathon that year had to be scratched an a new goal of rest and recovery took its place.

my brain dump list5. My brain dump list

The last piece of paper on my clipboard is my brain dump list. I got this idea from “How To Handle 1000 Things at Once”. Every time I think of something I have to get done I write in down here. When I am making out my 4 post it notes of things to do today I glance at it to see what things are becoming top priority. When the list becomes full I rewrite it taking off things that either got done, or just don’t seem as important as I once thought (which is a lot of the list sometimes).

Other things you might find from time to time on my clipboard are: Bills that I need to pay promptly. Forms that I have to fill out. Letters I have to answer. Children’s sports schedules that I need to get on our family calendar.

This system is not fancy but it works for me…..and that is what is most important about a planning system: IT HAS TO WORK FOR YOU.

Free PDF of My Daily And Weekly Goal Planning Sheets

Daily Goal Planning

Weekly Goal Planning

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Post update: I tweaked this system a while ago to suit my needs even better.

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