Spring Cleaning!

Truth be told, I’m not the world’s best housekeeper.  But here are some tips that will fool you into thinking I am.  Feel free to use these ideas to trick the world as well.  Bawwwhhaaa!!!

LAUNDRY TIPS

FOLDING: Here’s a really easy yet delightfully anal retentive way to fold pajamas.

PJ Folding Video

photo 3-1

My daughter thought plastic swords would help illustrate the coolness of her pajama drawer.  

PAINT THAT WON’T STAIN:  If you don’t like letting your kids go crazy with paint because you’ve seen “washable” paints fail, here’s something that will help you let them loose.  Just add some dish soap to the paint before they start using it.  The ratio varies depending on the paint that you’re starting with.  I’d start with aprox 1 part soap to 4 parts paint.  Try it out on a white rag or shirt you don’t care about until you get it right.  If it stains, add more soap.  Once you get it right, you’ll have your formula for stain-free paint forever. shirt painted and clean smTACKLE SMELLY LAUNDRY:  Until now the smell of mildew was impossible to deal with.  For those piles of swimwear that go unnoticed until it’s too late and for those loads of laundry you put in at night and then fall asleep before drying…. Unstopables will make everything smell lovely and clean.  I use this stuff in every load.  It not only prevents mildew, but fights existing horrible orders.downy-unstoppableNO MORE GOOPY DETERGENT CUPS:  When you do a load of laundry toss the entire cup of detergent into the wash.  I don’t mean the contents of the cup, I mean the actual cup.   Then when you pull your load out.  The cup will be all clean and ready to put back in the cupboard.soap cup sm

KID ART STORAGE

Managing the deluge of kid art in our house has been a challenge.  Unsuccessful attempts look something like this: photoI’m very lucky that my husband is a tidy fellow.  The down side is that his tolerance level for clutter is much lower than mine.  He’s been asking nicely for, well, maybe 5 years, that I come up with some solutions for massive amount of kid art I’m unwilling to part. So, before the stacks of doodles get big enough to kill us in our sleep, I came up with these fixes.

USE THIS PHONE APP:  Artkive app – This is one of the easiest fixes I’ve heard of.  It’s an app for your phone.  You just snap pix of the art work, write some details about the piece and archive it.  The archive can be turned into a printed book, calendar, etc. ARTKIVE APPimg-home-2-793206785de96de4ef259103a1db8014MAKE A DIGITAL BOOK: You can either make an eBook or a PDF of your kid’s work using Blurb.  This is an easy service to use and isn’t expensive – eBooks are $9.99 and PDFs are $4.99.  Once you’re done, as many people as you’d like can down load it for free.  BLURB 

ORIGINAL ART DISPLAY:  If you tape art projects to the inside of glass cabinet doors,it creates the look of frames and you can swap the work out easily. photo 3NOTE BOOK FOR DRAWINGS:  Give your kid/s and frequent visitors their own notebook to keep on-going and complete projects in.  It’s something they can manage themselves.  You can give them a new note book every year or just rotate the work out. art folders

KITCHEN TIPS

STACK OF TRASH BAGS UNDER THE TRASH:  Like most people, taking out the trash isn’t my favorite job.  To make it go a little faster, I stash a small pile of trash bags at the bottom of the can.  That way when I pull a full bag out, the new bags are right there, nice and handy. trash bagsSEAL EVERYTHING:  One night a few years ago I went into the kitchen to get some water, and there he was!!  Right there on the counter pointing and laughing at me.  The first cockroach I ever had the honor of seeing was in my very own kitchen.  This event was followed by my Uncle-in-law telling me that he’d heard that a cockroach could live off the oil in a finger print for a week!  Since then, to help ward off uninvited guests, I started sealing everything in the pantry.  EVERYTHING!!! In the process, I found this product that I love.  I have to admit, using them took a little getting used to but now I love them.  All of my bags stand up straight and orderly.  I can clearly see what I have on hand and everything seals completely.

Anylock

sealing-rods-freshness-system.htmlsealed bags2POT AND PAN STORAGE:  Here’s a good organizational idea if you happen to be remodeling. This is something my husband welded for us.  Most contractors and handymen would have the ability to make something similar. pots storageSPICE STORAGE:  We were sick of not being able to see our spices.  So we use these wooden drawer organizers on their side with a rubber band around them to put some of our spices on the inside of our cabinet door. spices

BATHROOM

HEADBAND STORAGE: Use a flower pot for headbands and hair supplies.headbands2headbands1TOOTHBRUSH STORAGE:  Just install old cups inside the cabinet door.  Lower cabinets are easier for small kids to reach than medicine cabinets.toothbrush cupsMEDICINE CABINET ORGANIZATION:  Use spice racks to organize your medicine cabinet.  I bought this one at Bed Bath and Beyond.  Spice Shelfmed cab

BABY GEAR

ORGANIZE BABY STUFF:  These type of boxes can be found in most hardware stores.  They store easily and make it super easy to find what you need even while you have a baby screaming at you. baby gear

BEDROOM

PILLOW CASE TIP: Here’s an idea from our very creative baby sitter.  This is a nice way to deal with pillow cases that are too big for your pillows.photo 1-2pillow case collagepillowcase finalHOW TO FOLD A FITTED SHEET:  Before she passed, my super awesome grandmother-in-law taught me the correct way to fold a fitted sheet.  Thank you Mamie.  You’ll always be in our hearts and linen closet.  Here’s her method:

Sheet folding video

TOY STORAGE: Labeling toy bins is a great way to keep things organized.  Picture labels are even better.  They make recognition of where stuff goes easier, especially for kids that don’t read yet and tired parents.

IMG_7510IMG_7521For Lego sets, close-able plastic boxes are the only way to go!  They keep the pieces of each set together and don’t fall apart like the boxes Legos come in.Lego storage

LIVING ROOM AND DEN

DVD STORAGE:  Though we are in the process of taking our movies digital, we will always have some DVDs to deal with.  In fact, at the moment we have about 140 DVDs.  A really good way to save space and keep DVDs organized is to use disc albums by Case Logic.DVD booksPrintAnd never fear, there’s a place on each page for DVD covers and marketing materials. inside DVD book

Shameless plug: Pictured above is one of my all time favorite movies, The King of Kong, directed by a good friend Seth Gordon.  It is a hilarious account of a battle for the world record in Donkey Kong.  If you dig quirky characters, tales of good against evil, and like to laugh, rent or buy this movie straight away.  You will not be disappointed!  King Of Kong, Fist Full Of Quarters 

BOOK STORAGE:  I’ll never limit the amount of books in our house.  However, that means I need to constantly come up with additional shelving. 1) Here’s a unique bookcase that my husband and I designed.

Shameless plug #2: You can buy this bookcase at Holme DesignsI'm not square bookcase

2) You can create very inexpensive shelves by using wooden crates or old drawers. drawer shelf no box

Shameless plug #3: The book pictured above is Learning Not to Drown, by our friend Anna Shinoda.  It’s a touching novel perfect for any teen feeling trapped by their family’s circumstances, sooooo….. pretty much all teens.  Great story of finding strength and clarity in the face of a complicated up bringing. Check it out Learning Not to Drown

BACK YARD

POOL TOY STORAGE: – I saw this product at a friend’s house and flipped over it!  Here’s where to buy these little beauties! Pool Boxespool toy storagepool toy storage2pool toy storage

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