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4 habits of maintaining a cluttered free home

How to Maintain your cluttered free Home

cluttered free house
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Maintaining a cluttered free home is short of a miracle but with these ideas you can have the home you’ve always wanted.

You’ve followed all the advice to have a cluttered free home. All too soon, you realized that your clutter has come back.

You even ended up replacing some of the stuff you got rid of, or not everyone is pitching in to keep the house cluttered free.

Here are a few simple, quick habits that your family members can do to keep the house cluttered free.

Deal with your mail immediately

The last thing any of us wants to do after a long day at work is deal with the mail. But since it has to be done, take care of it immediately before mail piles up.

Throw ads and other junk mail directly in the trash or recycling bin.

Check your post office sometimes they have a recycling bin to put your junk mail in before it reaches the car.

Put bills and other important papers in the specified places and shred sensitive information that doesn’t need to be filed.

To make this even easier, make all your bills, banking and other statements paperless and get your name on the “no junk mail” list.

Before long, there will be very little mail to deal with at all.

Nightly pick-up routine

As you gather in the living room in the evenings, each family member always brings stuff with them. A mug, a glass, a snack plate, an iPod, a hand-held video game or homework.

Have you ever noticed how frequently that stuff stays in the living room, making it cluttered?

Set a new rule that each night before heading to bed, everyone picks up what they brought into the room that evening and put it back where it belongs.

It only takes 2 minutes to keep the clutter creep to a minimum.

Add a coat rack and baskets

As soon as the family walks in the door, they are likely to take off coats and backpacks, set down lunch boxes and briefcases, all in the entryway where they will be tripped over for the rest of the evening.

To keep this area cluttered free, add a coat rack, a basket or cubby for each person in the entryway.

Get family members used to hanging up their coats and putting the other stuff they bring home in a designated place.

It will take a little time and a few gentle reminders, but everyone will eventually appreciate the new peace that a cluttered free house exudes.

Eliminate junk drawers

This may sound undo-able, but it really isn’t. Have a place for everything, including the small items that tend to end up in a junk drawer.

Get small containers or better yet, up-cycle some with the kids, and keep these small items separated and organized in drawers.

Things like batteries, paper clips, rubber bands, twist ties, etc. all have their own place in a drawer or two.

Take a rubber band off the Sunday paper?

Put it immediately in the correct cubby hole before sitting down to enjoy the paper.

In conclusion,

  • Always deal with your mail immediately
  • Everyone helps with a nightly pick up
  • Add a coat rack and baskets in your entryway
  • Eliminate your junk drawers

If you start with these 4 habits you will well on your way to a cluttered free home.

What do you do to maintain your cluttered free home?

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Habits for maintaining a clutter free home
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What Spring Cleaning is and is not

As the weather warms up, we begin to feel motivated to do a good spring cleaning in and around our homes. As an essential part of clearing out the stuffy remnants of winter and making room for the new.

There are a few misconceptions about spring cleaning. It is important to clear those up before embarking on your mission. Here it is in a nutshell, the what it is and is not.

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It is a Fresh Start to the Year

By the time we are a few months into the year, most of us can use another fresh start. When winter begins to fade into spring. We are ready for a chance to get rid of the old and get on with the new. Spring cleaning gives us that chance to turn over a new leaf, and clean our way into a fresh mindset.

A Good Thorough Cleaning

Spring cleaning is not just your average weekly chores. It gives us a chance to turn everything over and clear out the cobwebs, literally and figuratively. Spring cleaning is a thorough change from the way we are currently living. It is a chance to get things moving back into the right direction. If our standards have slipped at any point.

Spring Cleaning Is about Organization

Spring cleaning is not just about wiping away the grease and taking a swish at the dust. It is a great time to make an extensive list to follow, both now and on smaller levels for the future.

Find ideas on the internet or in books about home organization. Add to the lists anything that is specific to you and your home so that no stone is left unturned in the process.

Not All-or-Nothing

As much as you may want to do a thorough cleaning as possible, don’t go overboard. Do your best to make your home sparkly and bright, but give yourself a break when necessary. We should strive for clean, functional homes, but they must also be livable. Do your best, and then relax with the results you acquire.

Image by Andrian Valeanu from Pixabay

Spring cleaning Isn’t Just about a Clean Home

Spring cleaning is generally focused on turning your home into a better, more organized version of its previous state. However, there are plenty other things in your life that you can focus on when you are finished.

Spend some of your time

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Start Your Day With A Little Self Care

self-care

Like any new habit, adding self-care into your life can seem kind of tricky. You probably wonder how you’ll manage to find time to do anything extra for yourself, let alone how you’ll actually remember to do these things. One of the best ways to get started is to build your activities into predictable parts of your day. In order to make something a habit, it has to happen regularly. Keep reading, and I’ll show you some tricks to making self-care a routine part of your life.

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Make It Personal

The first thing that will help you in creating your self-care rituals is to choose activities that are meaningful to you and that you enjoy. This is your practice, so you want to be sure it’s customized in order to get the most out of it. Consider making a list of things that help you to feel relaxed, peaceful, excited or happy. These activities should be able to be done in a short amount of time and easily fit into your life without special equipment or tools. At least as you begin your practice, the things you choose to do should be as simple as possible.

Fit It In

You should add your self-care rituals to the most convenient parts of your day. Choose times that are already somewhat flexible so that incorporating something new into that space will be less stressful. Many people go with morning or evening routines, right when they wake up and before going to sleep each night. Getting up fifteen minutes earlier than usual and setting aside a window during the usual night-time schedule are usually things most folks can do. However, maybe designating your daily lunch break as your self-care time might work better for you. Consider activities like writing a gratitude journal entry before bed, listening to music while having your morning coffee or going for a short walk over your lunch hour. Trial and error may be required, but find a moment to call your own every day.

Be Flexible

It’s best to come up with a routine that works for you and stick to it. Committing to a particular schedule will help you to create a habit and ensures that you get the self-care you need. However, try to cut yourself some slack. Some days are more hectic than others. You may not be able to fit in your anticipated self-care activity, and that’s okay. Tomorrow is a new day, and you can try again. Soon, you’ll find yourself wanting to take part in these rituals, and getting back on track will be easy.

Getting into the practice of regular self-care doesn’t have to be difficult. Making a few adjustments to your existing schedule can free up some space in your day. Choose things that will refresh you and that are simple in nature will make getting started a breeze.

Here are a few ideas to start your journey to self-care

  • Practice good sleep hygiene
  • Journaling
  • Hydrate throughout the day
  • 10-minute exercise daily
  • Give your self a digital detox
  • Read a book
  • Time out to breathe
  • Body scrub and bath
  • Morning Reflection

Do you have any self-care tips?

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The fastest way to clean your kitchen

the fastest way to clean your kitchen

Is there a fast way to clean your kitchen?

Yes, there is. Having your family help with clean up is the fastest way to clean the kitchen.

Give each member of your family a list so they will know what they need to do. The checklist will have the entire process outlined.

Assign a step for each family member and divide each task. Work your way together to finish.

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Many hands make light work Click To Tweet

11 Steps to clean

Gather all your supplies together

It’s always easier with the supplies close to your fingertips. You want to make sure your washrags are clean and that you haven’t run out of dish soap.

Run a sink of hot soapy water

A hot soapy sink before you start makes for a place to put the dirty dishes.

Scrape off all the dishes into the trash

Scraping off the gunk before putting the dishes into the sink makes it less nasty.

Soak dirty dishes

Soak the dishes while working on the rest of the kitchen.

While the dishes are soaking clear out the trash from the counters, floors, etc.

Worry only about the trash, most of the clutter in the kitchen will be garbage. It is always easier to clean with the trash not strewn around.

Gather all the items that don’t belong in the kitchen, put them in a basket

Find a basket or a box and put the items that do not belong in the kitchen in there, for later to put away. We are only going to worry about the kitchen.

Put away items that belong in the kitchen but not in the proper order

Next, put all the items that belong in the kitchen away.

Load the dishwasher or wash by hand

It helps to rinse off the gunk from the dishes before putting into the dishwasher. You can do this or you can finish washing the dishes that were soaking.

Wash down cabinets, counter tops, appliances, sink, etc

I never really thought about wiping down the cabinets but it only takes a couple of minutes to get the grime off every day so it’s not a bigger job later.

Sweep and mop

I am really not a fan of sweeping and mopping. Definitely, you will need to sweep every day and mop once a week. It also depends how much traffic goes through your kitchen then you might want to mop more than once a week.

Take out the trash

Take out the trash every day and sometimes more. You don’t want your kitchen to have a funky smell.

Now wasn’t that easy and fast?

Think about how you will feel tomorrow if you don't do it today Click To Tweet

What do you do to clean your kitchen fast?

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Red Velvet Cake: For the Birthday Boy

Red Velvet Cake

Oh my gosh, C turned 19 and we had a birthday party for him. He wanted a Red Velvet Birthday Cake and I tried to get one ordered for him so he could have something he wanted.

 

The local grocery store does not make that kind of cake. I had to improvise so I made the cake from scratch.

It took me all day to make.  Okay, maybe not all day.
I was trying to make dinner and make the cake at the same time. So it felt like all day.

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What's so special about a Red Velvet Birthday Cake

The flavor and a whole lot of red food coloring.

What makes Red Velvet have its unique flavor?

Red Velvets unique flavor comes by less mild cocoa, also a reaction from the cocoa, vinegar, and buttermilk does give its unique a red tint.  

The girls wanted to decorate the cake. I think they did an awesome job.

I've heard that it is hard to make a red velvet cake but I didn't think so. I think what the reason why it might be hard is that you have to use a few dishes and separate some of the ingredients.

You do not put all the ingredients in the same bowl at the same time.

Let's just say my kitchen was a disaster area but it was worth it to get that cake made for my sons birthday.

Sift together the cake flour and salt.

In a separate bowl stir together the buttermilk, vanilla, baking soda, and eggs

In a separate small bowl, mix together cocoa and red food coloring.

This recipe calls for 1 1/2 fluid ounces. I only put in about 8 drops that is why it was not very liquidy enough to stir. 

Red food coloring is supposedly edible and safe but in research, it has been found to increase hyperactivity in some children.

Cream together the shortening and sugar until fluffy. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk/egg mixture until all combined.

Pour in the red mixture and beat until combined.

I Poured the batter in a casserole glass dish and used a knife to even out the surfaces.

Bake until done. Finally, it seemed forever to get to this point.

This Red Velvet Birthday Cake was moist and delicious to eat

Ingredients

Sheet cake:

Nonstick baking spray

2 1/2 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 whole eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder

1 1/2 fluid ounces red food coloring

1 cup shortening

1 3/4 cup granulated sugar

Frosting:

1 cup whole milk

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 sticks of unsalted butter

1 cup granulated sugar

optional: raspberries 

To recap 

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.   Spray a large sheet pan with nonstick baking spray.
  2.   Sift together the cake flour and salt. set aside.  In a separate bowl, stir together the buttermilk, vanilla, baking soda and eggs.  Add the vinegar and stir.  Set aside.
  3.   In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa and red food coloring. Set aside.  Cream together the shortening and sugar until fluffy.   Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk/egg mixture until combined.  Pour in the red mixture and beat until combined
  4.  Pour the batter into the cake pan.  Bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the pan for 20 minutes.
  6. Place a large cutting board on top of the cake pan, then invert the cake, allowing it to turn out onto the cutting board.  Allow the cake to cool completely before icing.

Frosting

  1. Combine the milk and flour in a saucepan over medium heat and whisk constantly until thick.  Remove from the heat and let cool.  Add vanilla once cooled.
  2. In a bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the cooled milk mixture and beat very well.  It may look separated, which means you have to keep beating until fully combined. 
  3. Ice the cake and top with raspberries.

In conclusion, I would definitely double the icing especially if you are going to ice the sides of the cake.  

What would you do differently with this cake?

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Never cleaning your microwave is hazardous to your health

microwave
microwave

Never cleaning out your microwave can cause risks to your health.  Cross-contamination of your food can lead to deadly viruses.

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There are many risks of not wiping out your microwave on a daily basis.

  1. Lurking hidden nasty bugs just waiting to contaminate your next meal.
  2. Spilled food can be a fire hazard during your next cooking session
  3. Particles from weeks before can dislodge as steam softens the old food and can cause it to drop and contaminate the new food.
  4. And don’t forget the embarrassment of when guests use your microwave.

A microwave that said easy-to-clean surface coating. This makes clean up so much easier with that coating on the inside. Maybe in the future, there will be a button on the microwave that all you have to do is push it and it will clean by itself. You know like the button that you can push on the oven and it does self-cleaning.

Until that happens here are some ways of cleaning the microwave easier

Put 2 tablespoons of baking soda inside a microwavable bowl with a cup of water in the microwave for 3-5 minute. The steam will make it easier to get the gunk off. Before opening the microwave let it sit for a few minutes and then use a hot pad to take the bowel out. Now let’s get started with a little bit of elbow grease and 5 minutes later a sparkling clean microwave.

  • Put the glass plate and rack in the sink to soak with hot soapy water
  • Wipe out all the crumbs
  • Sprinkle a little of the baking soda inside the microwave
  • Rinse out your rag
  • Dry surfaces with a paper towel
  • Wash and reinstall removable pieces

There are always ways to keep your microwave looking like this such as putting a paper towel over the bowl or plate that you are cooking. This keeps the microwave a lot cleaner or you can buy a microwave cover plate.  That makes it worth it so you don’t have to clean the microwave as much.

DIY Cleaner

2 Tablespoons of baking soda

1 cup water

Microwaveable bowl

Do you know of any other DIY Cleaners for the microwave?

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Plain Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

chicken enchiladas

Plain Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas is one of my favorite Recipes. I call these plain Enchiladas because I am a very picky eater. You can always make these however you want, with different toppings and salsa

Plain Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas is the easiest meal to make. This recipe takes about an hour to make. It took me two hours and that is only because I think I cooked the chicken too long. I must really like my chicken dry.

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dry chicken

I first put the chicken in the oven to bake. Then waited for the chicken to be done. I did not time the chicken and maybe I should have. Letting the chicken cool down for a few minutes makes it so you don’t burn your fingers when you start shredding the chicken with your hands.

You could always use a knife or anything else that you can think of to shred the chicken. Add the chicken to the tortillas.

 

Next comes the Enchilada sauce. I like mild but you can buy any kind of enchilada sauce. I opened the can and spilled a little bit on each section of chicken. A little bit of cheese goes on top of the chicken and the sauce. Now its time to try to fold the soft tortillas.

Is there a right or a wrong way of folding them? Probably.

enchiladas

After folding all the tortilla shells I poured the rest of the enchilada sauce on all the tortillas. You will want to pour it on every single space. If you don’t, then the tortilla will be hard after baking and you want them to be soft. They taste way better with the tortilla soft.

Cheese comes next and I put it on every square inch of the tortilla as well.

Cheesy chicken enchiladas

Put the casserole dish in the oven on 350 degrees until warm and the cheese is melted approximately

15 minutes

Recipe for Plain Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

2-3 pound Skinless Boneless Chicken Breast

28 oz. Value Size Old El Paso Red Enchilada Sauce

2 cups Shredded Cheddar Jack Cheese—You can add more or less depends on how cheesy you want it.

10 enchilada tortilla shells

In conclusion, this recipe does not have any toppings or sour cream but you can put any toppings you want on it.

Extra toppings

olives

sour cream

salsa

What other suggestions do you have to add to this recipe?

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Hot Chili Frito Casserole

Cheesy Chili

Hot Chili Frito Casserole is a great easy meal when you are short on time and really don’t want to spend time cooking. A good meal for the family. Only three ingredients

I hadn’t made this casserole in the oven before. Usually, I make it with one can of chili in a bowl with the chips and cheese and microwave. That is a fast way to make this and also if it is for one person.

Depending on how big your family is you can always add more chili or chips. I only made one layer of this but if you wanted to you could make two layers.

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Fritos

The first step is layering the bottom of the casserole dish with Frito’s. I used the whole Frito bag. You can use more or less it really is up to you.

Chili

I used 2 cans of Hormel Chili to use for the second layer. Spreading flat on top of the Fritos.

Cheesy Chili

The next layer and the best part of the whole casserole is the cheese. I used packaged shredded cheese

Next is putting the casserole dish in the oven on 350 degrees for 15 minutes. When I tasted this it was barely warm and I really like my chili hot so next time I may add the cheese after I’ cook the chili for the 15 minutes. Then put the layer of cheese until it melts or until hot.

This is the last of this yummy food. I forgot to show a picture of it when it was done. We were hungry and it smelled so good. You can also have a side salad and biscuits to go with this great casserole.

  • 2 cans Nalley Chili
  • Frito
  • Shredded cheese

Put in oven on 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Drop me a line if you have any ideas on how to make this even better

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/825918019141855971/

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Tips for cleaning out your messy closet

clean closet

Tips for cleaning out your messy closet

Tips for cleaning out your messy closet.  Do you have a messy closet?  I know I do.  So we are going to start by organizing the messy closet. Getting dressed in the mornings is hard enough when you can’t find anything to wear even when your closet is full of clothes.

Today we are going to learn that we do not need all these clothes.  We never wear 80% of our clothes so why do we need to hold on to them?  We don’t.

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Take everything out of the closet and sort as you go.

You will need 4 piles

  1. Keep
  2. Store
  3. Sell
  4. Donate

Examine all your clothes and try them on to see if they still fit.  I know you really want to keep clothes that you really liked from over 20 years ago but our bodies do change over time.  You have to decide if those clothes are worth to keep or not.

Clean Closet…

After you have emptied out your closet. Put your clothes that you are keeping back on the hangers and turn your hangers backward.

Now, when you wear anything put it back to normal. In 6 months anything still turned backward, you know you don’t wear. Getting dressed in the mornings will be stress-free from now on.

Clothes Hangers
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

Take care of the clothes that you have decided not to keep in your closet.   

Do not leave the items that you decide to trash or to donate, left in your house for one more second.

If you are like me, I will take care of it, but it ends up still being in the same spot a year later. It’s nice to organize but it’s even better to get it out of the house.

Where is a good place to sell clothes?

eBay

Yard Sales

ThredUp

Facebook Marketplace

Here is a list of places where you can donate your clothes…

Salvation Army

Deseret Industries

Recycle your Denim

Goodwill

American Red Cross

Vietnam Veterans of America

Dress for Sucess

Career Gears

Big Brother Big Sister Foundation

Planet Aid

Savers

Donate my Dress

Doesn’t that feel good?  One spot down, many to go….

Stay tuned for our next post…

tips for cleaning out your messy closet

 

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How to make mix match socks disappear

big pile of socks

Piles of socks, oh my

big pile of socks

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How to make piles of socks disappear?

When no one is looking throw them away. *Poof* no more sock problem.
When socks get lost what do we do? We buy more socks and the mix match socks go in a pile. Holy, stained and too small socks seem to be an issue at my house.

What about your house?

What we need to decide on is if they still fit and if they can be saved.

holy socks
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Do you need to start over? No, you don’t need to go buy more socks you need to reduce how many you need for each person.

What is an easy way of tossing out old socks?

Look through all the socks and put them in separate piles for each member of the household. Asking each member of the family what type of socks they like to wear will greatly reduce the stress of trying to second guess what to keep.

The divorce rate among my socks is astonishing Click To Tweet.

Who mates pairs anymore?

If you take a survey at a school I betcha more than half do not wear matching socks. This society has become to not care how they look. It is sad that it has become that way but your family can stop that trend. Let’s start with mating socks.

Each household is different but in my household, I start with 2 weeks worth of mates. To start out with and if that is still too many socks reduce it down to 1-weeks worth. Now doesn’t that feel wonderful not having all those loose socks?

One neat trick is, don’t wear socks at all during the summertime wear sandals or flip-flops that will drastically reduce the number of socks you need to wash.

How can we minimize your socks?

Growing up I always folded socks in a way that the socks elastic would start breaking down and be stretched out. As an adult, I learned a new way of folding them that still did not work, they were still bulky in my drawer and would take a lot of space.

I started this journey to reduce all the things I own and one thing I do own are socks. You almost can’t live without them.

I don’t know about you but my feet sweat really bad. I have to wear socks it is a must. Do I have a zillion socks? No, I don’t.

I just need to be smarter with the way I have them. I found many YouTube video on the right way of folding socks so they are not bulky or misplaced.  YouTube is a great resource.

Enjoy and be amazed at how we have dealt with them all the wrong ways.

What do you do with your mix match socks?

Are your piles of socks gone?

What are the ways you take care of your socks?