7 Daily Habits for a Cleaner Home

10
Dec
2015

7 Daily Habits for a Cleaner Home

#1 – Prepare Your Heart

This one may very well seem like a waste of time, however – when you can take some quiet time at the beginning of your day it will show in your attitude. Our job as caretakers in our homes can be joyful, challenging, and some days exhausting – but HE is able to refresh us IF we ask.   Do not let this one slide……be sure to take some time to get revived!

#2 – Clear Out Your Sink

Do not leave dirty dishes in your sink – especially overnight. That is the worst feeling ever to wake up to. If you have older children, help train them to clear off their own plates and place them in the dishwasher after each meal. If you wash by hand, be sure to assign the job to a member in the family to avoid the “overnight monster stacked pile.”

#3 – Wipe Down Counters

I include this in my routine under “Kitchen Tidy” in my Free Weekly Household Planner. I make every effort to clean off any surface in my kitchen, usually after each meal. It leaves space to come in and begin prepping the next meal and I do not get anxious about clutter. Such a relief!

#4 – Do a Load

I am a load (or two loads) of laundry a day person. I find that it keeps things moving through our laundry room and nearly eliminates all clutter. (This is my favorite DIY detergent too, smells amazing!!)  I have also found we need less clothing if I am rotating through the dirty clothes and washing regularly. It makes it easier for my youngest to put his clothes away as well, as it becomes a habit.

#5 – Put Shoes and Coats AWAY!

If you do not have a system in place for shoes and coats – quick, get one! Some hangers in the closet and some hooks on the door will make it handy for all ages to put their outerwear away. Also, having a bench with cubbies for shoes is helpful to keep the pile down. There is almost nothing worse than having shoes scattered around the house.

#6 – Keep It Fresh

There is something about having a house that “smells” clean that helps everyone adjust their perspective.

Years ago I would use Febreze or room sprays filled with chemicals to get that appearance of a “clean” home smell – but little did I know how incredible horrible they were for me and my family to be breathing in. Air fresheners – in aerosol, spray, solid, candle, or plug-in form – don’t remove odors, they just mask them.

Now I use a diffuser filled with a favorite essential oil, like Lavender or Purification for stubborn smells – they do not just mask odors, but rather help purify the air. I also have a small spray bottle filled with water and a few drops of essential oil that I can use to spray in my living areas too. (Ahem, also this poo-poo spray is very effective!)

#7 – 15 Minute Evening Pickup

This is not one you have to do on your own! Get everyone involved, set a timer, and put stuff away – clear the coffee table, entryway of miscellaneous after school items, dining table, and family room area. Put things back where they really belong to keep clutter down and gain a sense of “a place for everything” feeling.

Simple Gluten Free Meal Plan

7
Dec
2015

Simple Gluten Free Meal Plan

I have been waiting to get this review out to you all to be sure this meal plan idea was as good as I had hoped – and it is!

Back in November I stumbled across the 21 Gluten Free Meals for $162 Plan from $5DollarDinners.com and wanted to give it a whirl. I was looking to really ease my shopping burden and also reduce the budget for our meals. I had also taken a great liking to freezer meals – spending a few hours on one day to prepare the meals and freeze them ahead of time so I really used my time wisely.

Here is my honest review of using the 5DollarDinners.com Gluten Free Plan from Costco.

First of all – the price for this meal plan is seriously the best ever – $2.49 for a complete list, shopping list, recipes, and preparation tips for creating and also freezing ahead the meals you can. I love the concept of getting nearly all the ingredients I needed from Costco because:

  1. They have great quality ingredients
  2. It’s one stop shopping
  3. They have a lot of organic items that you can easily use and not overspend!

If you do not need a gluten free plan there are two other menu plan options from Costco on her site. One is an Organic plan too.

Here are the recipes in the Gluten Free Plan:

  • (2) Chicken Enchilada Casserole with corn *
  • (2) Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup *
  • (2) Orange Glazed Pork Chops with mashed potatoes and veggies * (will make potatoes day of)
  • (2) Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Chicken Curry *
  • (2) Shepherd’s Pie *
  • (2) Beef Tamale Skillet Dinner with veggies
  • (2) Southwest Rice Pilaf
  • (2) Ranch Chicken and Potato Casserole with veggies *
  • (2) BBQ Chicken Street Tacos with rice and corn *
  • (2) Basil Balsamic Chicken with rice & veggies *
  • (1) Sloppy Joe Bowls (cooked and froze)*

Out of this list I was able to make-ahead and freeze in either Ziploc bags or casserole containers all the meals with an asterisk (*). I did end up preparing the Ranch Chicken Casserole dish and placing all the ingredients together in a Ziploc and then placing in a casserole dish the day I cooked for our family, but it did not turn out as well as if I had made in a casserole dish and froze. So will do that next time.

So far our favorites are the Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Chicken Curry (this is so good!), the Shepherds Pie (super easy and really yummy – my five year old had three servings!), and the Chicken Enchilada Casserole.

Here are a portion of my meals before they were popped into the freezer!

gluten free meals

My Cost Breakdown:

I totaled up what I spent for the items I needed from Costco for these meals. I added a large bag of onions from Costco, which were not on the list and spent $204 total, instead of the $162 that is advertised. Obviously that was close enough in my book, as every Costco is not going to have the exact same prices. 

I would estimate the cost of the additional ingredients needed from the grocery store or what you already may have in your pantry to be around $20.

I actually was able to get two more meals made with the items that I purchased – so instead of 21 meals I got 23 meals, plus I had leftover sweet potatoes, rice, corn tortillas, tomato sauce, chicken broth, potatoes, and frozen veggies to use elsewhere with my family. So I estimate that for 23 meals I spent $224, so that broke it down to $9.40 per meal, which feeds a family of four.

Can You Even Imagine?

Will I be doing this again? You bet! I can re-use this $2.49 meal plan over and over again – I love that it’s simple recipes, easy shopping, and I can now tweak the recipes just a bit to exactly how my family loves them – more garlic and onions!  :-)

Don’t forget to grab your 2016 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner and Supplemental Pack which comes with a great weekly menu planner page too!

 

Here is a video where I share a bit more on my thougths

The 2016 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner

3
Dec
2015

The 2016 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner

It’s here! I know you all have been so excited to grab your copy for 2016 and begin to get organized. We changed a few things for 2016, making it much easier for you to get your FREE copy delivered immediately, as well as added a new Bill Manager printable in the Supplemental Pack.

Check out the 2016 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner NOW!

You can grab your FREE copy here. Don’t forget to grab your Supplemental Pack that is available for $7 with all the printables you could ever need to get your family organized for 2016!

The 2016 Weekly Household Planner Supplemental Pack includes handy fill-in forms, enabling you to add your information directly into the form. Just type your information, save, and print! This is a wonderful feature when you are adding lengthy information or important names and numbers!

The Weekly Household Planner Supplement includes the following digital fill-in forms:The 2016 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner Supplemental Pack

  • Master Family Planner – Keep track of the entire family’s activities on a daily/weekly basis all in one convenient place.
  • Special Occasion Calendar/Gift Planner – You’ll always be prepared for the next birthday or special occasion.
  • Holiday Gift Planner Worksheet – Keep track of your holiday shopping list and purchases and what still needs wrapped or delivered. Never forget that well-hidden gift again!
  • Babysitter Information Form – This form makes it easy to provide your sitter with all the information he or she needs so you can relax and enjoy your time away.
  • Quick Contacts – Helps you keep important emergency contacts available for easy reference when you need them in a hurry as well as frequently used numbers.
  • Family Emergency/Medical Information Form – Record your family’s medical and insurance information on this form – it will be easy to find and share with those that need it.
  • Website/App List for Kids – An easy way your kids can list the websites they want to visit, or apps or songs they want to buy. This gives you a chance to review first and make sure the content is age appropriate!
  • Website/App List for Me – A place to record websites you want to visit or apps you want to buy during your downtime.
  • Account Keeper Sheet – Keep track of online accounts, including usernames and passwords. Never get locked out of your account again!
  • Household Maintenance Log – Record when you did routine maintenance items, such as changing your furnace filter.
  • Special Occasion Reminder Chart – To help you plan card gifting for birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions.
  • Gifts Received List – For recording gifts received which also creates a log for thank-you cards you need to send.
  • Let’s Plan a Party Form – Helps you keep track of party planning details such as guest list, menu, party favors, and activities.
  • Blessings For Your Home – Because everyone needs some daily inspiration.
  • Weekly Menu Planner/Shopping List – So you arrive at the store prepared and don’t over-purchase.
  • NEW – Monthly Bill Schedule – Never miss a payment again when you record your monthly bills and payments on this new form.
  • Bible Bookmarks – Use these monthly reading bookmarks with suggested reading each day of the month, enabling you to read the entire Bible in a year.

Go grab your FREE copy now, or add the Supplemental Pack too for only $7!

 

I Answer the Big Question…

29
Oct
2015

I Answer the Big Question...

There are a couple things I wanted to share with you today – one was how much I appreciate when I receive comments on the blog and how impactful your emails are when you tell me how something I’ve shared has made a difference to you.

The other part is about the 2016 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner – and well – you’ll just have to watch!Click over to the blog to check it out!

5 Chores for Toddlers

12
Oct
2015

5 Chores for Toddlers

We talked about chores and the school age child last week, so today I wanted to back it up a bit and talk about how to get your toddler involved in the daily tasks of home care.

When toddlers see Mom and Dad working around the house, they are often eager to help. They love to try to do the same things their parents are doing. Although it may take longer to get the chores done when trying to teach a toddler how to do them, it can help them learn to enjoy housework and develop good habits that will be an asset later on.

The most important thing to remember when selecting chores for toddlers is to keep it simple. Very young children do not have the cognitive or motor skills to take on complicated tasks. But there are some things they can do that, after some practice, will be helpful to you.

Picking Up Toys

Getting your toddler to pick up after himself can be a great help. But it’s usually too much to expect him to put everything in its exact place. A better approach would be to provide a laundry basket or large box for him to simply throw all of his stuff into. Then you can take it to his room and put it where it belongs.

Refilling Toilet Paper

This is one of those tasks that can easily get forgotten, until you are the one sitting on the – ahem – toilet and find no more toilet paper under the sink. I have this task listed each week on The Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner, so why not allow your toddler to do it? Delegate it to him and you will never be without toilet paper again!

Watering Plants

Small children usually can’t resist the opportunity to water plants. This is another task that could get messy, so make sure your plants aren’t sitting on or near anything that could be easily damaged by water. It’s also smart to make sure they don’t fill the watering can over half full. This will help prevent spilling the water in transit.

Cleaning the Floors 

It may seem like an adults-only task, but floor cleaning is something that kids often enjoy. The trick is to let them use tools that they can easily manage. Cordless floor sweepers are ideal for this purpose. There are also small, working vacuum cleaners and brooms available in the toy departments of most stores. While it might be too ambitious to expect a child to sweep all of the dirt into a neat pile, he can help get the dirt out of the corners while you go behind him and sweep it all together.

Empty Trash Cans

The kitchen trash can might be a bit too big, however bathroom and bedroom trash cans are a great place for toddlers to start. You can give them a larger empty trash bag to empty cans into and then help them take it out to the large trash can outside.  

Getting your child to help with chores will help him develop a sense of responsibility. And that is something that you will be thankful for when he is older and can do more substantial housework.

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