Happy April!! Last month I was invited by Hannah Thomas, from Hannah Renee Blog, to participate in a collaboration with a handful of other mama bloggers to open up and share about our experiences so far with motherhood. We received such incredible feedback that we decided to make it a monthly series that touches on a different topic pertaining to motherhood and lifestyle.
This month’s topic: Living Simply and Spring Cleaning.
So get cozy and snuggle up, because I’m sharing some insight on how our family keeps things tidy, along with how we encourage living simply. Then don’t forget to check out the other mama’s tips and tricks linked at the bottom of this post!
Do you have any routine spring cleaning that you do? How do you go about it if so? I wouldn’t necessarily say that I have a spring cleaning routine, but it definitely helps that I’m 100% in nesting mode. Since we are due in about 8 weeks with our third boy, I have had to start keeping a list of things I would like to tackle around the house before baby arrives. That way when I get my nesting urges, I can channel my energy in to a project that needs to get done, rather than doing something random like organizing socks. If there is one thing that helps me with productive cleaning, it is absolutely making lists.
What does living simply mean to you? I can be pretty OCD when it comes to storage and being organized, so I tend to declutter frequently, but it wasn’t until recently that I really started to embrace living simply. To me, that means getting rid of things that aren’t used regularly or that we don’t love. Since I’m a stay at home mom, most of my time is spent around the house, so I want to create a space for our family that always bring us joy and puts out a relaxing and comfortable vibe. And let’s face it, nothing says comfy less than clutter. This especially proves true with our kids and their toys.
About a month ago I was reading an article on how our kids are extremely overstimulated, and a lot of it had to do with the abundance of unnecessary toys and entertainment devices that they have access to. The article left me feeling inspired to purge our house of toys that didn’t encourage creativity or learning. After everything was said and done, we only ended up keeping blocks/big legos, puzzles, books, a wooden train set, craft supplies, and musical toys. We also kept their favorite things like cars, and a few riding toys. It was crazy how much less stressed I felt when I didn’t have a billion things to clean up everyday. I also noticed that the boys stayed entertained for longer periods of time. That’s when I decided anything in our lives that was simply just “stuff” had to go.
What are 5 of your go to products for your home? Organizational tools, storage, cleaners, essential oils, etc. that you can’t live without!
- Storage bins. I put everything into some kind of bin or box. I usually buy translucent bins that way I can easily see the contents inside, and then attach a chalkboard tag so that I can change the label whenever needed.
- Candles. I used to change up my candles with the seasons, but about a year ago our boys both had gotten sick. I recalled reading about how eucalyptus soothes coughs, so I decided to pop into Bath and Body Works to check out what they had. I ended up finding these eucalyptus mint wall flowers and candles and thought I would give them a shot. The minute we lit our candles, we were addicted. Now you will find me burning eucalyptus mint all year round. Interestingly enough, any time people come over they comment on how clean and comforting the house smells.
- Hand sanitizer. Kids are germ-covered creatures that touch absolutely everything, which means I’m a big fan of hand sanitizer. We have it EVERYWHERE. The boy’s rooms, the bathroom, attached to their backpacks, etc.
- OxyClean Laundry Stain Remover. I have boys, so I think it goes without saying that their clothes tend to have stains on them. Finding a stain remover that you love is definitely a motherhood staple.
- Throw blankets. I don’t know if this really counts as a product, but I have throw blankets in all of the sitting areas of our home. I’m very cold natured, so I like having blankets in arms reach when we are sitting around the house. Plus, you never know when you are going to want to curl up with a good book or relax with a Netflix binge.
How do you approach tidying? For example, do you put everything away each day/night? JD gives me such a hard time, because I’m fairly notorious for having numerous projects scattered around the house. And while we both prefer to tidy up the house before we go to bed at night, You will always find 3-4 places in the house with an unfinished project waiting to be put away.
In an ideal world, I would love to have the house “10 minutes away from guest ready.” With toddlers, that makes it a little difficult, but I’ve found by doing regular clean-outs of toys, clothes, etc. that it makes tidying go much faster. I also feel like once we finish decorating our house, more of our items will have “permanent homes” rather than just being placed somewhere.
How often do you clean your home? What are your daily tasks, weekly, bi-weekly? Truthfully, we have had a house cleaner for the last two years. Right before Emmett was born I was extremely frustrated, because it felt like the minute I finished cleaning the house I was starting all over again. Especially when your kids are on the move, it’s not as though you can tell them to sit still and not make a mess for five hours so you can get the whole house clean in one go – you have to take it a room at a time whenever you get an hour or two. I felt like my whole day was centered around changing diapers, feeding our son, and cleaning the house.
Finally JD talked me in to hiring someone to come clean our house so that I could get a break or use that time to do something that was fulfilling for me. Best decision I have ever made. She comes bi-weekly and is my personal life line. Seriously.
A few months back when JD and I were talking about where we could trim some expenses, I told him we could cut the cost of having someone clean our house – his answer was along the lines of “absolutely not.” That is how much of a game changer she is. I still vacuum, sweep and mop, and wipe down the kitchen regularly in between visits, but she does all of the deep cleaning every other week.
So what are your thoughts on living simply? And are there any particular things that you do every Spring to get your house ready for the new season? If you’re looking for further ideas, check out these ladies tips and tricks that they implement around their homes!
Hannah Renee // Amanda Krovic // Kacie Ellis // Victoria Schneider // Tanya Taylor // Carla Thompson // Kymberly Janelle // Emily Lindsey // Britt Havens
PS. If you missed our welcome post to our monthly collaboration, you can find it here: Let’s Be Honest Mamas.