How To Knock Out Spring Cleaning In Less Time

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How To Knock Out Spring Cleaning In Less Time

The edge comes off the morning air, green buds peek out to say hello, and everything feels fresh and brand new.

Cliches are often cliches for good reason. Spring cleaning is one of those that just fits. This time of year urges you to roll up your sleeves and tackle some projects! Unfortunately, inspiration can turn into exhaustion if you don’t have a plan, though!

You’re busy and every moment matters! Today I’m sharing tips on how to knock out your spring cleaning in less time. This is all about working smarter and not harder by organizing and grouping time. Stick with me! At first, it might seem counterintuitive. Why waste time creating lists or spreading out cleaning over a few weeks?

Invest just a little time now for hours of benefit for years to come! You’ll be able to use these lists the entire time you stay in your current home. Plus, never again will you waste time spinning your wheels or wondering where to start. Also, it might feel like it saves time by doing all the work in just a few days, but it really doesn’t. When you work for hours on end you’re likely to get distracted and work more slowly. By spreading the work out over several days, or even several weeks, you’ll be saving tons of time in the long run. Plus, you’ll actually make it through all the tasks, not crash and burn somewhere in the middle.

First things first! Before you get started, you want to make sure you stock up with all the cleaning supplies you need.

How To Knock Out Spring Cleaning In Less Time

 

Spring Cleaning In Less Time

Check & Stock Up On Supplies

Set your timer for 10 minutes and take a peek at where you store all your cleaning supplies. Bring a pen and paper. Go through and tidy by type, noting which bottles are nearly empty or what you’re out of. Also, make note of what you already have duplicates of. My rule of thumb is to have 2 of each item so that I never have an “oh no” moment, which wastes time in an unplanned trip to the store. This is also a great time to take note of what other household essentials you are in need of–like paper products, trash bags, and plastic bags for storage.

Once the timer dings, you’re done! If it was really a mess in there, just remember that you’ll deal with it later!

Look! You just started your first spring cleaning task and didn’t even realize it.

Spring Cleaning In Less Time

Next, it’s time to head to Dollar General and stock up! Right now, they have an amazing deal where you can get Spend $15, Save $5 instantly on participating products. There’s a huge variety of cleaning supplies and household staples that are included in this deal! I always love to wait for sales like this and then stock up. Go here to check out all the details and see all the items that are included in the Spend $15, Save $5 deal! It’s running from February 18th-March 18th, so make sure you do this soon!

The key to buying cleaning supplies is to use trusted brands that do most of the work for you.

I purchased these for our house when I stocked up this time:

  • Clorox® Clean-up® Cleaner with Bleach  (So perfect for bathrooms!)
  • Clorox® Toilet Bowl Cleaner 2 ct. (For me, the throw it in and forget it until next time ones are the best! Put a reminder in your calendar for 6 weeks out.)
  • Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes (Tip: These little guys can be used for SO MUCH! Think beyond the kitchen counters with them. They’re also perfect for scrubbing grime off of baseboards and hard to reach floor corners. Don’t forget to hit up all the doorknobs, too!)
  • Pine-Sol® (This is hubby’s favorite cleaning supply ever. He just loves how it smells, and I love how it cleans our hard surface floors!)
  • Glad® Trash & Food Bags (The last thing you want is to get halfway through cleaning and realize you’re out of trash bags. Stock up now! Also, grab food storage bags while you’re at it as well! They’re located together and it makes sense to stock up at the same time.)
  • Sparkle® Paper Towels (Sometimes you just NEED to use a paper towel for a job. I always keep these on hand and they’re a must before you tackle heavy duty cleaning.)
  • Angel Soft® Bath Tissue (Another one of those items you do NOT want to run out of. While you’re deep cleaning your bathroom it’s a great idea to stock up for awhile on this.)
  • STAINMASTER® Carpet Pet Stain Remover (Our puppy Thomas + our cream colored carpet in the bedrooms makes this product a must! It’s also amazing for cleaning out those kid-related messes that are bound to happen to carpet!)
  • all® Laundry Detergent (As I’ve shared before, I absolutely love this detergent! So perfect for our entire family. Another one of those “good to stock up on to save time and money” items!)

Now it’s time to come up with a game plan!

Every house is different, so take my lists as your starting point and then customize them for your home! It is so simple to tweak a few rooms and cleaning items, and you have the perfect custom plan for your own home. I’ll take you through step-by-step, but don’t worry–I have the Master List for you to customize and print out later on!

Spring Cleaning In Less Time

Create a Master Spring Cleaning Room List

First, start off by listing out every room of your house. Don’t forget to also include any other areas that you have that aren’t really rooms, like entryways or closets. For example, this is our house:

  • Master Bedroom
  • Master Bathroom
  • Kid’s Room 1
  • Kid’s Room 2
  • Guest Bathroom
  • Living Room
  • Kitchen
  • Office
  • Front Porch
  • Back Porch
  • Hall
  • Laundry Room

Now go through the lists and brainstorm every possible thing to deep clean this room. Include odd once-a-year tasks, like cleaning jewelry or polishing silver.

Tip: Don’t get distracted by decluttering and organizing.

Especially if you’re like me, you enjoy organizing far more than you enjoy cleaning. That means that when it comes to spring cleaning, you’re far more likely to get caught up in sorting through drawers than you are scrubbing. Right now, we’re NOT going to focus on getting your house clean and decluttered! Having an organized home is vital to peace and happiness. However, it’s *not* what we’re focused on today. This is all about the cleaning in spring cleaning. So as you make your list, don’t add in tasks like sorting through drawers or getting rid of things. That is a different list and task entirely!

It’s true, though, that you can’t deep clean a messy room. My tip for this is when you start your time (more on that later) take the first few minutes to pick up *quickly*. If there are piles of things like clothes, run them to the laundry room, or if there are stacks of paper or odd items that don’t belong anywhere, gather them all up together. Put it all in one place to sort through *later*.

 

Spring Cleaning In Less Time

Create Detail Cleaning Tasks

For example:

  • Master Bedroom
    • Treat Stains
    • Vacuum Carpet (move nightstands and quilt rack to vacuum behind)
    • Detail Dust all surfaces including Fan
    • Wipe Down Blinds
    • Wipe Down Doors (don’t forget knobs!)
    • Wipe Down Baseboards
    • Clean Windows
    • Clean Jewelry
  • Master Bathroom
    • Clean Sinks & Counters
    • Scrub Soaking Tub
    • Scrub Shower
    • Wipe Down Cabinets
    • Remove & Clean Rugs
    • Wipe Down Toilet
    • Sweep Floors
    • Mop Floors (getting into all the corners)
    • Wipe Down Doors & Switch Plates
    • Clean & Dust Picture Frames
    • Wipe Down Baseboards
    • Restock Paper Goods

 

Spring Cleaning In Less Time

Customize My Template

Don’t want to start from scratch? I make it easy for you! Go Here for my entire list template! Click On File, then Hit “Make a Copy”. Rename it whatever you’d like and save it to your Drive! Now you can customize it, using all my rooms and tasks as a starting point.

Once you’re through, you can use it to stay on task online, or print it out to reference as you start your cleaning.

Schedule & Batch Time

You could take a weekend and knock out every single room and task with the help of your family, but I wouldn’t recommend that! You’ll end up exhausted. Worse than that, in a few weeks, the dirt will start to build back up and it won’t even seem like you did it.

You may have heard of batching or rotating spring cleaning, and that’s exactly what I’d suggest! Now, this will look different for everyone. Some people do well when they work for 10-15 minutes every single day in one room. Or maybe you like to work a little longer, but not as often. In this case, you might do 30 minutes on Saturday morning. I’d suggest trying both out, or some combination. The smaller chunks of time add up to big results. You’ll start fresh each time so you’re at your best and less likely to get distracted or tire out.

Now put that time into your schedule. It’s not hard to do something for 10 minutes a day, the trick is to actually DO IT. So put it on your schedule until it becomes second nature.

Again, this will take a bit of moving around until you find what works best for you. At one point, I tried to fit in my time after dinner. I quickly I found it was too hard to do it then. Often, by that point in the evening, all I wanted to do was relax and hang out with my family. Now I’ve moved it up to my lunch time break. Since I work from home, this gives me a great way to move around a little and get away from my desk mid-day, while accomplishing something. It also is much easier to knock out quickly when I’m the only one at home!

Brainstorm times that would work well for you. Maybe it’s as part of your morning routine, when your baby is napping, or right after you get home from the day.

I hope these tips will help you on your way to a Spring Cleaning Schedule that saves you time and money! Don’t forget to head to Dollar General to stock up on all these great cleaning products and household goods & save with their Spend $15, Save $5 deal!

Tools You Need To Breastfeed

Legalese Disclosure Nonsense: I’m partnering with SimpleWishes to bring you these tips, tricks, and a great giveaway!

 

Breastfeeding *seems* like it should be simple enough. I mean, all you need is your baby and your, ahem, breasts, right?!

Well, if you’ve been looking into breastfeeding, or if you’ve tried it, you know that’s far from the truth! Although it might be more complicated than you first thought, that doesn’t mean it can’t be a wonderful and successful endeavor. Even when you purchase these tools, you still save thousands of dollars over purchasing formula. Not to mention, you’ll be giving your baby the very best possible food you can! I could go on and on about all the benefits of breastfeeding, both for you and your baby. That’s a topic for another post, though! For now, I’m going to give you the top tools to purchase ahead of time to make sure your experience goes as smoothly as possible!

Tools You Need To Breastfeed Successfully

A Great Nursing Bra – A great nursing bra will be your very best friend. You want to purchase a few that are sturdy (you’ll need to wash them often!), and also that provide easy access. When you have a hungry infant in one arm the last thing you want to do is sit for several minutes fumbling to get them to the goods! I recommend purchasing 2-3 of the top rated ones. After you try them out stock up on several of your favorite!

A Great Pumping Bra – Wait, didn’t we just cover this? Actually, you’ll want bras for nursing, and different bras for pumping! Especially if you’ll be pumping often, or continuing to breastfeed once you return to work, this is an absolute necessity. The best pumping bra is one that will allow you to pump hands free. Pumping can consume huge amounts of time, and time is so valuable as a mom with a baby! Reclaim your time with hands-free pumping!

The Simple Wishes Signature Hands Free Pumping Bra is absolutely one that you should consider purchasing. It has received rave reviews from over 6,500 fans on Amazon (Wow!!!) Click through to read all the tips, tricks, and recommendations from fellow nursing moms! Then keep on reading and don’t miss the bottom–I’m actually giving one of these amazing Pumping Bras away to one lucky reader!

An Efficient Pump – Pumps can seem like a huge expense, and it’s tempting to go for the budget-priced model. If you’ll only be pumping on rare occasions, this might be a good choice. If you plan to pump frequently, however, a great quality pump will make a huge difference. Efficient and high-quality pumps are far more comfortable, and they also pump remarkably faster. Again, do your research on Amazon and searches to find the right quality for the right price! It’s certainly worth the time and effort.

A Nursing Pillow – A wrap-around nursing pillow helps make proper positioning and comfort for you and your baby a breeze! Of course Boppy is a huge and well-known brand, but many stores carry knock-off versions that are just as nice, if not better.

A Nursing Cover – You can nurse discretely anywhere at all, as long as you have a great cover! We highly recommend investing in these–it will keep you from hiding away all the time, and also from making anyone feel uncomfortable!

The biggest thing to look for is a cover with an open neckline. Eye to eye contact is important during nursing. Also, as babies get older they don’t love the feeling of a blanket over them. An open neckline keeps them tucked away without them feeling like something’s right on their head, which will cause them to continually try to throw it off. Being able to check in on your love is essential for making sure they get the proper latch, as well! The best open neck breastfeeding covers are just wide enough to allow you a good view, while also being only open enough so that you can see down, but anyone around you cannot.

Breastfeeding Friendly Bottles – When you do a combination of bottle and breast it’s a great idea to invest in bottles that are specifically designed for breastfeeding moms. These have nipples that are more similar to your own. This helps for an easier transition for baby when you’re bottle and breastfeeding.

I hope these tools you need to breastfeed successfully will help you! Do you have one I missed? Be sure to let me know in the comments!

Now it’s time for the giveaway!!!

One Lucky Winner Will Receive a Simple Wishes Signature Hands Free Pumping Bra

Just enter using the Rafflecopter form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How To Put Together The Perfect Valentine’s Date Outfit

How To Put Together The Perfect Valentine's Date Outfit

{2/3/2018 Update}

Somehow it happens that I wrote this post a year ago?! Don’t ask me how that happened.

I just had to re-post this year to give you an update. I absolutely *love* the Nicole dress. It has held up so well and looks just like it did in these photos. I’ve gotten so many compliments on it, and it’s my go-to for any fun occasion.

If you’re still a Lularoe hold out or need a new group to join definitely check out Keli’s–she’s still going strong!

Original Post:

Can you believe that Valentine’s Day is coming up so quickly?! Crazy!!!

So how do you celebrate the day? Some couples love to go All Out with a big, fancy, romantic meal and date.

Others prefer a nice but family-friendly celebration that’s fun but not-too-fancy. (We did this for years when hubby was in the military and there were no babysitters around)

Still others prefer to just stay at home, order-in or cook together, and snuggle on the couch watching their new favorite show.

No matter how you choose to celebrate your love, I’ve got your look covered this year with these 3 adorable looks that are *perfect* no matter how you’re celebrating! Want to know my *secret weapon*?? It’s totally  Keli Jennings’ LuLaRoe Group!

Amazing LuLaRoe Outfit

Now, odds are you HAVE heard of LuLaRoe (if you haven’t yet…ummm..welcome back to the internet because I assume you’ve been gone a long time?)

If you have heard of this company it’s very likely you fall into one of two groups.  The first group is already Lula-obsessed and wants to join All.The.Groups and Buy.All.The.Things.

The second group (which I was a member of until *very* recently) has looked longingly at the beautiful and bright pieces from afar but has held out with all determination. You see, I knew that once I tried them I’d be in love, and it just wasn’t the right time.

Amazing LuLaRoe Consultant

If you’re in that second group, as I was, I have to tell ya, girl, there is no better time to fall in love than Valentine’s Day. So come on in, join the craze, and the fun! 😉

I’d love to have you in Keli’s LuLaRoe Group along with me! She’s also on Instagram so be sure to follow her over there as well! We met each other when we were both Coastie Wives and stationed in North Carolina. Sadly, we were only able to get together a few times, but since then we’ve stayed online buddies and kept in touch through both our our many moves! Her hubby is still in the Coast Guard and she is a busy work from home mamma just like me!

She was SO sweet to send me these pieces to try out and to style together. With just 4 pieces you can put together these three completely different and totally versatile looks! ((Pssstt….be sure to read aaalll the way to the bottom as she’s *also* so sweet she’s giving out an amazing prize that you can win!))

Date Night At Home

Look #1 Comfy Date Night At Home  — perfect for a night of Netflix marathoning, video gaming together, board games, cook outs, or roasting s’mores on your fire pit!

Since I didn’t have tons of experience with this brand when I heard LuLaRoe I thought Leggings. I love leggings, or at least, I always loved the concept of them! (feel as comfy as wearing jammies but look totally cute and on trend, yes please!)

I’d never really found super comfy ones previously, though. When all my friends started raving about how amazingly comfy and soft the LuLaRoe leggings are (they’re nicknamed Butter Leggings), I knew I wanted to add them to my closet! Some of my favorites are the super unique, amazing, and wild patterns that they have. For my very first pair, however, I wanted to go with some that I can wear aaalll the time with nearly all my clothes. So, of course, this gorgeous slate blue pair was just the thing. #allthebluethings

Date Night At Home

If you’ve never tried on a pair before, one thing to know about these leggings is that they really are leggings–not jeggings. I’d describe them as really thick, but super comfy tights that do feel soft as butter and comfy enough to sleep in. So you absolutely, positively need a long, loose shirt to cover up with, at *least* down past, ahem, what my mom-in-love calls your “hineybow”.

Good news, LuLaRoe actually sells those, too! This is the Classic shirt and it’s just perfect because it can completely be dressed up or down according to whatever you’re doing. You’ll see I used it for both my most casual *and* my most fancy outfits–so awesome!

This outfit and look are just aaalll about the comfy! The leggings are all that they claim to be, and the shirt is super soft and flowy and comfy, too!

Oh–and meet our newest kitty addition! I’m quickly becoming a crazy cat lady as we recently adopted a kitty to be friends with Sylvanus! This is Arwen and she is the sweetest cat you’ll ever meet! She will sit and meow at me if I don’t give her a thorough snuggle session every few hours, it’s hilarious!

u part wig

Here’s Sylvanus! She’s gotten SO FAT it’s hilarious! It’s amazing to see how much she’s grown since she found us as that itty bitty kitty that was the size of Amber’s hand! And she’s just as crazy as ever. It wasn’t planned but our kitties look uncannily alike! You can tell them apart by Sylvanuse’s pretty white dipped paws and chest, and she’s about twice the size of Arwen!  They made the perfect props for this shoot! 😉

Paired with big, comfy boots this look is great for any at-home date night! For a final touch, you’ll want to add just a bit of fancy to this look. It is a date, after all! So I topped it off with two long faux pearl necklaces, fun drop earrings, and a pretty bracelet. I did my hair in half up twists and did my makeup in my everyday way. No need to be fussy with this look, just let your every day pretty that your hubby fell in love with shine through!

Look #2 Date Night Out — Perfect for going to the movies, a sit-down restaurant with a kids menu, or around town to play tourist.

Out of all 3 looks, this is the look that feels most like ME. Lately, I’ve been wearing dresses, styling my hair, and doing my makeup complete with contouring and all the shadow even just for an everyday occasion. Not *every* day mind you, #aintnobodygottimeforthat , but I try to do it pretty frequently. When I feel like I look my best, it just brightens my mood and as a result, it makes everyone in our families day better!

Plus, did you know that dresses are MAD COMFY???? For real!!! I’ve actually gotten to the point where if I want a “comfy” day I find myself reaching for one of my dresses OVER a pair of jeans–true story!

This dress is the Nicole dress from LuLaRoe. I know, I know–it was MEANT to be. And honestly, I’m pretty sure they had ME in mind when they made this.

(Just kidding! It was actually named after the founder’s *daughter* who helped get the company started almost on accident! The Story Behind The Company is SO inspirational, so be sure to go watch that!!)

I seriously adore this dress. It really is like it was made for my body type!!! I’m smaller chested with a bigger booty and for some reason the fat I have decided to migrate to my upper arms once I hit 30.

Now, I’m not complaining! I’m just letting you know–these clothes are made for REAL people who are REALLY moms and have mom bodies! I certainly have one! They are cut in such a way that they flatter all your gorgeous points while being so forgiving with the parts that are maaayyybbee just a lil more full or lumpy than your high school self had.

The half length sleeves, fitted bodice, and flowy skirt to just below knee length are a dream for me!

It’s stunning and comfy and makes me *feel* beautiful. And isn’t that what *really* matters. When you FEEL pretty you exude that, and that’s what people focus in on and see!

Oh, and it’s totally twirable, too. One of the tests Amber loves to do with dresses is to see “if it twirls”. Well, I know from careful testing 😉 that this dress totally twirls *and* it also makes for some epic curtsies!

Trust me, your hubby (or boyfriend) is going to L O V E this look!

Look #3 Total Glam for a Fancy Date — perfect for going to see a play or orchestra, a restaurant with white tablecloths, or if you just want to watch your man’s jaw drop when he sees you!

Isn’t it crazy how you can take the same Classic top from couch to five star worthy with just a few changes?! When I saw this *gorgeous* Cassie skirt I was in love. I believe my exact (facebook) words were “THIS ONE!!! PLEASE!!” As you can see it has this epic and beautiful detailing, and the color is one that I’ve been obsessing over for awhile now. Even when it goes off-trend I will still wear it because it’s so pretty.

I’m so superly in love with it!!! I wasn’t sure which Classic T I wanted to pair it with, so I let Keli pick one out for me. I’m usually soooo matchy-matchy that I wouldn’t have thought to pair these two together, but the result is simply perfection! She can put together the perfect look for you, too!

For a super fancy night out I paired these pieces with high heeled boots, big curls in a half up style, and plenty of bling!

Go all out on your makeup, too! This is the time to break out your favorite Youtube makeup tutorial (if you don’t have one yet just go on there and search for one, there are tons and I’ve learned sooo much through watching them! Amazing makeup tricks for the win!). For this look, I went for bright, pretty eyes and a bold lip.

Absolutely stunning enough to be worn on your fanciest date (short of needing a formal) this outfit is oh-so-comfy too! The skirt is also very easy to pull up or down, so you can keep it the length you need. I have a very short torso, so it rode high on me when I kept it knee length, but these days I prefer the top to my bottom pieces a little higher, anyways (remember that 2 kiddos and after 30 years old bod I mentioned earlier)? This is another pairing that perfectly flatters beautifully real mommy bodies!

So there you go! 3 Totally different looks for any celebration you have planned! And, of course, these don’t have to be Valentine’s Day looks only!!! These are the perfect solution for any date, or life scenario, ranging from working from home (top) to church (either look 2 or 3!).

Want to know the best part? One reader will win their very own gorgeous Cassie skirt! So don’t forget to Join Keli’s VIP LuLaRoe Facebook Group and Follow Keli on Instagram then enter below to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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