Boot strap pulling….and Organizing

Paper work all the piles of paperwork. It can get a little overwhelming…ok very overwhelming. add 4 kids, your own business and life in general and you are in paperwork hell! Lately, I feel I am always looking for something and wasting what precious time I have at home with my family. I am a pile maker and am tired of paperwork!

I am thinking of how to organize better then I am at this time. Here are a few of the things that have worked.

  • We have 4 children and they have school paperwork and at the beginning of the year I make a copy of their schedules and put them in a notebook. The notebook has a tab for each child and any important papers for them gets hole punched and place in the notebook. I have it named Hunertime and it sit on my “out of control center” It was great last week when Jake and Lyndsey asked me what their new trimester schedule was and I could let them know. This idea is thanks to my dear friend Sue and it has worked well for over a year so far.
  • This is from my mom. She has a box that she starts January 1st of every year and when she gets a receipt it goes in the box and then she can find the receipt she is looking for.
  • When you get mail open it right away. Junk mail throw it out right away. Bills throw away the sent envelope and place the bill and the return envelope in your bill location… mine is a pending file.

I would love to hear what organizing system works for you! Thanks and God’s Blessings,

frugal kitchen cleaning tips

I received a wonderful note from Ann who attended the frugal class last Thursday. She wanted to let me know how well our tip on using baking soda to clean the top of the stove. Ann asked if we had any other cleaning tips and I thought today would be the day to do it.

These are the items you will find in my cleaning bucket. I love Baking soda, Vinegar, Bar keepers powder and liquid ( I buy both at the dollar store), homemade window cleaner.

Kitchen tips:

I’ll start at the sink- Bar keepers and water will make it sparkle.

-Calcium deposits around the base of the faucet , wrap a cloth around the base and pour vinegar on cloth so it is soaked let sit over night and the next morning the deposits will scrape right off.

- garbage disposal smells and needs cleaned- fill the disposal with ice run cold water and turn the disposal on the water backs up then switch to hot water and it will drain and clean away the gunk in the disposal.

- Drain smells- pour baking soda in drain and then pour some vinegar it will bubble up, a great experiment for the kids to see. let sit of about 10 minutes and flush with hot water.

- When your sprayer on the sink is running slow put the sprayer in a cup with vinegar over night and in the morning you will see the calcium deposits will be in the cup.

- Have a pan that you need to soak for a while? Rather then soak pour a little baking soda and water and it will scrub right off.

If you have any Kitchen cleaning tips let me know. God’s Blessings, Candy

Series: Homemaker “relief” 101

Just a few notes before we start:

I wanted to let you know I had 180 some more people at this site yesterday then usual. Who would have thought the words McDonald’s and Tax relief could do so much! Maybe our series should be Homemaker relief instead, just a thought.

On my other site Another Valuable Lesson I have a post called Lest ye be judged! I thought you may want to checkout. Yesterday afternoon my daughter showed me this youtube and by the evening I was seeing it everywhere and if you you haven’t seen Susan Boyle you may just like to meet her. I feel for her right away and seeing how people reacted to her from the time she arrived on stage until the standing ovation was truly amazing!

Homemaker 101/ Stay at home moms

In today’s world some do not appreciate homemakers or stay at home moms as they should. I was a stay at home mom for about 6 years and I learned a lot about how the world views them. When I was a Stay at home mom (SAHM) at the doctors office with a sick child, I was asked by the nurse filling out the paperwork occupation I said SAHM she said so you don’t work and I said right, but it bothered me. Why did I say right? It was the hardest job I had ever had. When you are a SAHM/ homemaker others feel you can do things for them like watch their children, run them to pick up their car at the repair shop or even run over to their home and close the windows because of the rain. I had many extra jobs beside my jobs.

I remember one time when an elderly lady asked me what my profession was and I said “just a mom” and she made me see “just a mom” is one of the best jobs in the world! I also realized all the stuff I had left undone while I was working. I thought while I was working I kept things up great but I didn’t. There is a certain satisfaction raising your children and keeping a home for them. I say if you are able to stay at home with your children you should do it. They grow so fast and you will wish you were home and if you can’t be a SAHM do the best you can and enjoy all you can because they will be gone before you know it.

Have a blessed day! Candy

Home Sweet Home!

What does your home say about you when a guest enters? Can the guest see your collections, your faith or what’s important to you? I posed this question to my friends at Frugal Village and you know what? No one replied, so I wonder if our homes are really home sweet home!

I think many of of us are so busy we don’t have time to have guests and if one should drop by unannounced it is a kick yourself moment you didn’t get things picked up before they came. When my 4 children were small I remember many times others were stop in to a disaster. I can still remember a few times when my sister in law would stop and say “Oh, your house is clean!” like she was in shock because it didn’t happen that often.

I went to a retreat some years back and the speaker said to close our eyes and imagine.  She said “you hear a knock on the door and you answer it and it Jesus and he said I want to sit with you  and talk.” The speaker said you take Jesus in the kitchen and sit at the table. **** all I could think of was oh no, Jesus is going to see my messy kitchen**** I wonder how many times we miss opportunities because of our homes or lack of time. Mom’s that are stay at home, they are always home so it is a never ending job and Mom’s that work outside the home may let things slide more and I’ll get it tomorrow.

I know our homes aren’t who we are, but people perceive us by how they look and Randy always tells me perception is reality. This is why I am having our Series Homemaker 101. I want to really serve my family and have a clean, calm home and healthy dinners. When a guest may stop by be able to truly enjoy them and even invite them to stay for dinner.  I hope my kids will remember Home is where the heart is and think home sweet home!

Have a blessed day, Candy

Homemaker 101 / Living-Family room cleaning

I hope you all had a blessed Easter with your family. Our family had a great day with my folks and my sister and brother in law. We had a few extra friends at the table and it made  it extra special and the food was wonderful as always!

Cleaning Living Room / Family Room

The living room or family room is usually the first room your guest sees when they come to visit. With that in mind let’s start cleaning.

When I clean homes they are prepped by the client, so I can come in and get to work on the deep cleaning. Like my clients it is best to start by picking up all that doesn’t belong in the room, put away papers, books, dishes and blankets.

Like all the other rooms; Start up and work your way down; the ceiling and cobwebs, ceiling fans.

Check corners for dust and cobwebs. I had a friend tell me her mother would always say “We don’t live in a round house, so get those corners!” My mom uses a broom around all the edge of the room. I couldn’t believe all the dust and stuff between the carpet and baseboard.

Dust blinds; you can use a lightly damp cloth or a duster, and then turn to the other direction and dust the back. Pay special attention to the window sills and window corners for dust and cob webs.

I use a paint brush to dust lamp shades, clocks and sometimes the legs and slats of furniture.

Dust with a lightly damp cloth – picture frame, book shelf, entertainment center, tables, lamps all with a lift and wipe method.

Clean any vents or registers. You may have to vacuum out the register to clean them out.

Wipe TV screen, sides and cords.  TV’s and computers seem to attract dust like a magnet. You can use a used dryer sheet to wipe and attract all the dust.

Fluff pillows, vacuum all chairs. Cushions that can be rotated I flip and rotate.

Artificial plant- lay on their side spray the leaves and wipe. Let excess water leak out. Real plants may also be dusted every so often. Water them too!
Wipe all doors and knobs, switch plates and even the baseboards

Shake all rugs outside, so you don’t add more dust to the room.

Sweep and mop any entrance way.

Wood floors- I use vinegar and water in a bucket and mop. Take extra care in ringing out the mop especially on wood floors.

Stairs- I use a small hand help vacuum or sweep with a broom. Make sure you get all the woodwork with a broom sweep around the edges of room for dust. My mom taught me to use a damp washcloth to get all the edges of carpet and woodwork.

Do you have animal hair on furniture? You can handle it ways;
1.    Wear a rubber glove get it wet and wipe the hair toward you
2.    Use duct tape and pick it up that way.
3.    Use a vacuum with attachments
4.    Hair remover roller
The glove is more frugal!

Then vacuum the room and replace your rugs.


Carpet Brightener

2 Cups corn meal
1 Cup borax
Mix well, sprinkle on carpet and leave for 1 hour before you vacuum.
This is for cleaning and deodorizing.

We are making our way around the house. I have to say it does get easier once you are on a routine and if you have anything to add please share. Have a great day, Candy

Series Homemaker 101/ Bathroom cleaning

Before we start cleaning I wanted to thank Stel for sharing the Kroger triple coupon information. I went yesterday and saved $122.13 in coupons and their buy one get one meat offer. I keep looking at the receipt. I think my kids are going into overdrive with all the food they can eat, I hope there be some left after today.  On to homemaking bathroom cleaning.

Something to think about; the bathroom is the only place a guest can be alone in your home? Your guest can see exactly how clean or messy you are.  A place we can be alone too, so let’s clean the bathroom!

  • I start up and work down. Check for cobwebs and dust the light fixtures and exhaust fan (sometimes there is dust in the light cover).
  • Pick up the rugs and wash (if you wash, hang dry so the rubber backing doesn’t start peeling) or shake outside, I like to hang mine over the fence in my backyard in the fresh air. Remove all towels and empty the garbage.
  • Take everything out of the tub. If you have shower doors, I get inside and wipe them down if there is a lot of soap residue (Once in a while I use a little lemon oil and wipe and it looks much better.) Rinse out the tub and spray on cleaner and use a cloth or sponge to scrub out and rinse. I wipe  the chrome with window cleaner or vinegar.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide in the shower tracks loosen hardened scum. When it bubbles up run a cotton ball or an old rag along the track and flushes with water.
  • Save old tooth brushes to clean those hard to reach places.
  • Rub baby oil or bath oil on the bottom of your soap dish to prevent soap from sticking to it.
  • I spray my shower curtain with bleach and keep it closed and when used the shower again. It is viola clean!

(Never mix ammonia and bleach products, they produce toxic fumes when mixed)
Or

  • Shower curtains and liners washed with a beach towel works great. I have also learned not to use the spin cycle and hang dry and you won’t have the wrinkles that don’t seem to go away for awhile.
  • If you have a tub with the jets once in awhile take 1/4 cup of cheap dishwasher (for your dishwasher, because the other will bubble over) and fill the tub over the jets (or it will spray all over) and run for about 10 minutes and clean the inside mechanism.
  • Replace all products back in tub.
  • The sink; I remove everything off the sink. Use cleaner. Wipe down counter and doors and dry. I clean toothbrush and / or soap holders. Refill liquid soap and wash bathroom cup, if you have one.
  • Clean mirrors, wipe all towel racks, Doors and knobs, switches and plug covers. **Cheap paper towels work the best on mirrors they don’t leave a residue.
  • Toilet – Spray top of tank, lid top and bottom, seat top, under then spray rim and sides to toilet. Then clean in the same order with gloves and cheap paper towels. Make sure to always wipe the front and sides I use a toothbrush around bolts occasionally.  Use toilet bowl cleaner around the bowl and scrub with brush then flush.
  • Replace towels, fold in thirds. I like when they all match.
  • Sweep floor and baseboards and mop. Pay special attention to the corners you may need to do by hand. When floor is dry replace the rugs and garbage can with a plastic bag. Wow a clean bathroom.


* When I am finished I always like to light a candle, the glimmer reflects off the clean porcelain makes my heart sing!

Have a blessed Easter and happy homemaking, Candy

If you have any cleaning tips to add please share,  candyh@dealwithitsimply.com


Series: Homemaker 101 / Baked on food!

I have talked about Help with the dishes! before and thought I would add a little more. 

Pans with baked on food.

  • I usually soak them and then they clean up nice but you need time and patience waiting. If you soak the pan before you eat usually by the time dinner is over I can wash it up right away.
  • Some buy steel wool cleaning pads that rust if you don’t have all the water out of them. I have read on Frugal Village others just buy steel wool and add dish washing soap, they are larger then the store bought brands but you also need to make sure to dry them out.
  • I like to save mesh bags from onions and garlic. I either roll them up to use or stick my wash cloth inside it for cleaning. When I am done with the mesh bag I put it on the top shelf of the dishwasher to be disinfected you can also do this with sponges when I use them.
  • Baking soda -works great! I add a little baking soda and use a wet washcloth and scrub and it doesn’t scratch my pans.
  • I have used scrubby sponges but they will scratch non stick cookware so be aware of that.
  • Today,  I tried leftover foil. I had a plate of food that I need to get rid of covered with foil and thought I would try and see if this piece of foil crumpled up would do the job. It did to my surprise and it was very easy work.

Do you have any tips about cleaning dishes? I would love to hear them.    candyh@dealwithitsimply.com

Series: Homemaker 101 / Kitchen cleaning

This week I wanted to think about being a homemaker and talk about different cleaning techniques.  I was blessed enough to have a mom that was home to teach me how to clean and now this is my profession. Sometimes though I am like the mechanic that cannot seem to get his own car fixed, but I am working on it.

I always try to say my home and not my house. When I was a kid we had a little sign that read: Home is where the heart is! My home isn’t about the house it’s about what’s inside! With that being said let’s deal with it simply homemaker 101! I will start with kitchen cleaning but this is usually where I end in my own home.

Kitchen Cleaning 101

- Start at the sink looking up and work your way down. Always work top to bottom, The only time gravity is your friend! Then work your way around. Check for cobwebs and if there is a light above the table.
– Fill the sink with water and cleaner; I use an all purpose cleaner to wipe down the counters and the cabinets.
If you have a window above your sink this is a good time to clean it. You may have watermarks from the sink. Make sure to wipe the tops of the windows they get very dusty. Look at the light above the sink.
– Dust the blinds; close the blinds and wipe one side and rotate and wipe the other side and you will have it all dusted.
– Wipe the door frames and doors. You will be surprised all the dirty finger prints make sure to wipe the switch plates and plug covers.
– Take everything off the counter and wipe down the counter, back splash and the appliances on counter. Cabinets, handles, under the cabinets the kick guard is a cobweb magnet so make sure to wipe. Under the cabinets is where spiders and cobwebs hide, I use a duster or a small vacuum to reach them.  Like the fridge clean out cabinets when they are almost empty.
– Load up the dishwasher, nothing in the sink. When you do load up the dishwasher make sure nothing is hitting rotating washer.
Wipe down the appliances.

Microwave- I use a warm cleaning cloth if it is really dirty you can put a mug of water in it for 1 minute to cook while you are cleaning other things and it should wipe right up. Don’t forget about the vent covers  under the microwave if it is above the stove with an exhaust. once in a while I put them in the dishwasher to get the grease off of them. Leave the microwave open for a few minutes after use so you don’t trap moisture and odors in.

Electric Can opener- Unplug and use a toothbrush and hot soapy water. A pipe cleaner works great under the blade.

Stove- baking soda and water works great and run the trays through the dishwasher every so often. The front of the stove is easily wiped with window cleaner. If you have a self cleaning oven the best time to use if you have to is when it is already heated up.

Refrigerator- I wipe down with my cleaning cloth and every so often take the bottom vent cover off to clean. The ice dispenser and tray need to be cleaned. The handles on the fridge get very dirty, be sure to wipe. The top will only need wipe about once a month. Clean the fridge out when it is almost empty and save time.

Dishwasher- wipe with window cleaner or cleaning cloth. I clean the inside also with a cloth and once in a while I have to take the bottom apart and get all the food, glass and who knows what else is in it.

Garbage disposal- I clean this with ice cubes. Fill it up ice cubes and run cold water the ice scrubs it then add hot water for it to all go down. Some folks run their lemon or orange peels through it to freshen.
Remember cleaning items need to be cleaned to work efficiently!
– Wipe the table and chairs, check the feet of the chairs check for dust or animal hair it collects there.
– Wipe window sills. Check the corner of windows for cobwebs.
– You may need to wash you curtains every so often. It is best in the summer so you can hang them to dry.
- The sink I clean with Bar keepers © and a little water and an old cloth, it makes it shine.
– Shake rugs outside and sweep the floor
– Empty the garbage ** Garbage cans need to be cleaned every so often. Randy has always insisted we have a lid on our trash can so we don’t have to look at the garbage and the dog doesn’t get into it. When we first got married I hated it, but now I know he was right, shh don’t tell him!
– Mop- I just found this out and wanted to share. Ammonia works great on the grout of ceramic tile. (NEVER Mix Bleach and Ammonia, It will form a toxic gas that can kill!)

Ceramic Tile and grout cleaner:
1 C. baking Soda
1 C. ammonia
½ C. Vinegar

Put all in 1 gal. Jug then fill rest the rest of jug with warm water. Swish before completely full. Label and keep out of reach.

I know not every one cannot wash the floor by hand, but if you can once in awhile you can get all the baseboards and under the cabinet where the cobwebs and spiders hide.

A few little extra tips:

Wonderful wall cleaner
½ C. Ammonia
¼ C White Vinegar
¼ C. Washing soda (I found in the laundry section of the store)
1 Gallon of warm water
Mix well, Start at the bottom and work your way up. If dirty water runs over the soiled area it leaves streaks that are hard to clean.
– My mom always taught me to end my cleaning with the kitchen because sure enough she would find something to go in the kitchen and sure enough she was right again!
– Black shoe tread marks on the floor? Use a tennis ball rub and watch the mark disappear. I cut a tennis ball open and put it on the end of my broom so it is always handy whole sweeping.

Do you have  you any kitchen homemaking tips I missed please share.

God’s Blessings, Candy

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