Since February is the month of love, we’re publishing some of our favorite things! Not much is better than saving time, space, and sanity. So, today we are sharing some of our favorite “life hacks” for kitchen and bathroom organization.
We stuff so many appliances, utensils, dishes, and groceries into one of the smallest parts of our home. No matter the size of your kitchen, everyone could use more storage. Here are a few of our favorite fresh storage ideas for your kitchen that we found on LifeHack.org’s list of 31 Clever Ways to Organize and Clean Your Kitchen:
Hanging Rack (#7)
Pots and pans can take up much of your cabinet space if you let it. One of the best choices you can make is to invest in a hanging rack for pots, pans, and lids. You can buy an overhead rack as seen in #7, or you can find one to hang from the wall.
Cutting Board (#4)
Free up counter space by finding a cutting board that can fit over your sink. Wash, peel, and cut your veggies all in one space.
Kitchen tablet (#9)
Replace paper calendars and cookbooks or recipe boxes with a more space-efficient electronic device. If you have an extra or unused tablet lying around, you can dedicate it to the kitchen and mount it on the inside of a cabinet or above the backsplash.
Under Cabinet Hooks
Turn your tea cup or coffee mug collection into interesting kitchen décor. This Kitchn blog shows us a beautiful example of this Pretty Storage Idea here. You can learn how to install your own mug hooks by reading this guide from the San Francisco Gate.
Bathrooms can never be big enough. No matter how space-efficient that new shower, complete with a frameless glass wall to spare extra room, is it never seems like there’s enough places to put everything that needs to be stored away in there. Does it seem like you are always running out of storage space? Don’t let your vanity or linen closet overwhelm you. Get control of the mess with some of these helpful ideas for organization.
Above the Door
This may be our favorite “hack” of all. Turn unused space into a storage solution by simply installing a shelf above the inside of your door. Check it out here. This can make a great spot for towels or baskets with extra toiletries.
From ice cube trays, to drawer dividers, to paper towel holders—everyday household items can be extremely helpful in organizing your vanity. There are several awesome ideas in this Redbook article. Check out numbers 1 through 10 for all your vanity organization needs!
Our favorite vanity clearing tip is #16 on this Cosmopolitan list. Keep all those little, hard to find items like clippers, bobby pins, and tweezers organized with a magnet strip.
The linen closet can quickly become a nightmare if you do not have a practical approach to storing your towels and blankets. In this Life Storage article, they recommend 8 organizational tips for controlling the closet. Our favorites are numbers 3 and 4.
- Rolling towels instead of folding them creates more space
- Storing fitted and flat sheets inside their matching pillow cases keeps everything organized.
Keeping It Clean
We’d love to help you keep your newly organized home spick and span! But, if you aren’t even sure where to begin, we offer organizational services by professional organizers as well. Call us now at 541-601-6236 to schedule a consultation.
A DIY Deep Clean for your House often becomes necessary during the early spring due to the increased time spent inside our homes. Here are sure-fire DIY tips and recipes to get your home DIY deep cleaned.
Clean regularly using your vacuum’s upholstery attachment, or you can use warm water on a cleaning rag to restore the fabric.
Treat the occasional stain as quickly as possible with a microfiber cloth — slightly dampened, if necessary.
Mix together 1 tsp. dishwashing liquid, 1 tbs. white vinegar, 1 cup warm water and 1 tsp. baking soda in a spray bottle.
Vacuum your carpet, then wipe any stains gently with the abrasive side of a sponge. Spray the soiled area with the mixture, then gently rub and dab with the towel. You will start to see cleaning results right away.
To quickly restore wood surfaces, use this simple recipe. Squeeze the juice of one lemon into container straining the pulp and seeds then add a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of water. Tighten lid and shake until emulsified. Dab small amounts of this mixture onto a cloth and begin wiping down your furniture.
For older heirloom furniture, we recommend Howard’s Feed-N-Wax.
Since this is a natural and perishable recipe, make it fresh each time.
While wiping messes off a leather sofa is relatively simple but as the material ages, it will begin to show. This should prompt you to do something about it and source the correct tools and supplies for maintaining your leather. If you’re trying to find the best way in which to tend to your leather furniture, it’s best that you know why you should not use oil on leather and opt for an all-natural leather care product instead.
All you need to clean the surfaces of your kitchen is a good cleaning cloth and this simple, but effective all-purpose cleaner.
Use it to scrub down countertops, appliances, tables, walls and the sink.
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 5 drops essential oil of your choice
- Mix all of the ingredients in a spray bottle, shake, and get cleaning!
If you have hard water buildup, a simple mixture of white vinegar, lemon juice, and dish soap is effective at removing the grime.
For the faucet, scrub with baking soda and an old toothbrush. It’s perfect for tackling that narrow, grimy space where the base of the faucet meets the sink. Rinse when finished.
How to Clean A Toaster (Pop Up & Toaster Oven) Via Clean My Space
Pour equal parts vinegar and water into the bowl. Insert a toothpick or another small wooden object into the vinegar-water solution. This will help keep the solution from spontaneously exploding.
Heat the bowl for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how dirty the microwave is. After letting it sit for a bit, take the bowl out. Then, take a cleaning cloth and dip it into the hot vinegar-water mixture and scrub down your microwave. The gunk will come off easily with a few swipes of the cleaning cloth.
So you want to clean your bathroom? Luckily, there are lots of things you can do to get it looking good as new! Start by pouring a cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl and let sit for a few minutes. Brush and flush. Still seeing spots? A damp pumice stone is abrasive enough to remove stains caused by mineral deposits and lime scale but gentle enough not to damage surfaces (Pumice Scouring Stick). Be sure to soak the pumice stone for 2-3 minutes before using on the toilet.
Submerge the showerhead in a plastic bag with vinegar over night. Remove it in the morning and run the water to rinse. This will help remove any mineral deposits.
Give plastic shower curtains and liners a spin in the washing machine with your regular detergent and a few old towels. These act as scrubbers to help get rid of soap scum and mildew. Toss them into the dryer on a low heat for 2 to 3 minutes then rehang.
You’d hate to invest in a beautiful new glass shower door only to make it dirty, so it’s crucial you clean this as well. For shower doors, make a paste of a few drops of distilled white vinegar to a cup of baking soda. Wet the door and then apply the mixture and let it sit for an hour. Scrub the shower door with a microfiber cloth and then rinse. The tub is less of an issue and a weekly scrubbing is usually enough. For extra shine you can add the mixture to the bath tub and let sit for 15 minutes before scrubbing clean.
Remove the vent cover and soak in warm water with dish soap. While the cover is soaking, vacuum the fan blades, nooks, and crannies. Then wipe with a damp cloth. Remove the cover from the warm water and when it’s completely dry, replace the cover on the vent.
Homemade Natural grout cleaner!
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- Combine lemon juice, baking soda, and vinegar in a spray bottle.
- Stir in water to the mixture.
- Spray solution onto tile and grout.
- Allow cleaning solution to sit for 5 minutes.
- Scrub dirt/grime away using cleaning cloth or large scrubber pad.
- After scrubbing, wash with water
Removing grout stains from the floor can make your home look like new! As one of the most high-traffic parts of the home, the bathroom floor gets a lot of use. Use the recipe referenced above to easily clean the floor grout. You could even get a steam mop to finish the job and make it sparkling clean.
To sanitize the inside of your washing machine, simply run a cycle through with white vinegar and hot water. This will also remove soap scum and mineral build up.
Empty the lint trap and wipe off fuzz with a used fabric-softener sheet.
Vacuum the inside of your lint trap area.
Wipe the interior walls of the dryer. Use a cloth dampened with dishwashing liquid and warm water. Scrub any linty residue around the trap opening with an old toothbrush, if necessary.
Using a brush attachment, vacuum the vents and wipe grates with a damp cloth.
Give your Washer and Dryer the Rub – Soak a cleaning cloth in liquid dish soap and water, and wipe the washer’s drum to remove any residue or sticky who-knows-what (your kid’s red crayon, a stray piece of gum?). If you’ve got a front loader, clean the rubber door gasket as its nooks and crannies can trap moisture.
Give your home a refreshing and invigorating new scent with this DIY air freshener.
- Grapefruit slices
- Fresh sprigs of lavender
- Whole juniper berries
The bright citrus paired with classically calming lavender and juniper make for a freshening and inviting scent, perfect to fill your entire space. It’s a great one to simmer on the stove or place in jars right at the entryway.
For more DIY air freshener ideas visit our Clean Air page on Pinterest.
If you’re needing more time in your life for other priorities, consider hiring a professional housecleaner. The time and energy saved, and the frustration avoided is well worth the investment.
If a no-hassle, no-obligation phone quote makes sense,
give us a call today at 541-601-6236.
You can also shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our latest natural house cleaning recipe:
This recipe has quickly become my number one go-to cleanser in the kitchen. The grease cutting power of this cheerfully colored concoction is amazing.
Stuck on bits of food and grime on the stove top? Spray a bit of Lemon Lift Off!, let sit for less then a minute, wipe, and done! Works great as a spot cleaner on my linoleum floor, appliances, and cabinet doors.
16 oz Spray Bottle
2 cups Lemon Vinegar
1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
Water to fill
Combine the vinegar and the rubbing alcohol first, and then fill the rest of the way with water. If you prefer a lighter solution, cut the vinegar down to 1 cup instead of 2.
Directions for making the vinegar can be found here:
This stuff works better than any of the store bought brands I have tried, and best of all, its inexpensive and easy to make, and does not contain harmful chemicals.
Not recommended for granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, or glass, as the lemon oil leaves faint streaks on shiny surfaces. I have not tested it on wood, caution is recommended.
Happy House Cleaning!
Natural house cleaning methods in the kitchen help ensure food preparation areas are both clean and chemical free. This post is the first in a series of natural cleaning recipes and tips focusing on the kitchen, just in time for the Holiday cooking season.
To remove strong odors from your cutting board, as well as administering some germ busting scrubby action, salt and lemons are the perfect combination.
- Simply pour on some salt, and scrub with a piece of lemon, making sure to hit all of the surfaces.
- Rinse with very hot water for good measure, and let dry.
- And finally, condition board with a layer of coconut oil, which has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, and will help keep your board from drying out and cracking over time.
- With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we hope you find our little tidbits interesting and useful, and we would love to hear about your favorite natural cleaning tips and tricks!
Enjoy other Kitchen Cleaning Tips and Recipes that we’ve pinned on our Pinterest board:
Christmas is almost upon us yet again, and these last few days will no doubt be spent by many in the bustle of last minute shopping, wrapping, cooking, and visiting with family and friends.
Bringing the spicy scent of the holidays into your home can help create an atmosphere of warmth, comfort and cheer for you, your family, and guests.
You will need:
- 3-4 Cinnamon sticks
- 2 Tbls. whole cloves
- 1 Tbls. allspice berries
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
Place all ingredients in a pot with water and simmer gently, taking care to add water as needed so the pot does not run dry. If you have a wood or gas stove for heat, this is ideal, but if not the kitchen range will do nicely for short simmer sessions. Another option is a crockpot; the very small ones are particularly nice. Make sure to remove from heat before leaving the house, whichever method you choose.
Other ingredients to try:
- Orange peel
- Ginger root
- Star anise
Another great option is to use packaged mulling spice mix and if you have a mini crock pot, even better.
Do you have a favorite recipe or idea for the holidays to share? We would love to hear from you!
Enjoy ideas we’re collecting about Natural Scents in the Home on our Pinterest Board:
All Natural Cleaning Product Recipe from The Cleaning Crew: Elisa’s Minty Multipurpose Glass & Surface Cleaner
This recipe is a the latest version of the Homemade Glass Cleaner we shared a few months ago. It has quickly become one of our favorite all natural homemade cleaning products. Easy on the environment, your health and your wallet.
Not only does it work wonders on glass and mirrors, it’s a great disinfecting all-purpose cleaner in the kitchen and bathroom and other high traffic areas in need of germ busting action. The addition of mint essential oil leaves behind a refreshing and invigorating scent, and makes cleaning more fun.
You will need:
32 oz spray bottle
If you are re-using a bottle, make sure it has been well rinsed (how to clean used bottles).
Add the following ingredients:
- 1/8 cup rubbing alcohol (70% or higher isopropyl content)
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 3 to 10 drops of mint essential oil, depending on how much minty freshness you want.
Fill the rest of the way with water, shake well.
Mark the bottle to each fill line as you add each ingredient, this will make refilling the bottle much quicker the next time. Or, simply add the recipe to the label.
We really like peppermint or spearmint essential oil, but of course you can add whatever essential oil you like.
To spread the minty goodness, spray and wipe with a dry or slightly damp cloth. Use in the kitchen on counters, sinks, appliances, and linoleum or tile floors. Use caution on wood floors, as the alcohol may dry out the wood finish over time. Use a mild solution of plain old white vinegar and water on wood floors, instead. The same thing applies to wood cabinets, or any other wood surface. Using this once in a while for spot cleaning is fine, but repeated use over time can cause the wood to dry out.
Elisa’s Minty Multipurpose may also dry out unfinished slate or stone surfaces if used to often, but we have found it to be REALLY effective at pulling off build up on these types of surfaces. We suggest using it occasionally, when you want a really good, deep clean. For daily cleaning, use a mild all purpose soap, such as Mrs. Meyers, diluted BioKleen, or vinegar and water.
For the bathroom, use on mirrors, chrome fixtures, sinks, counters, tub and shower, toilet, and linoleum or tile floors.
We do not suggest using this solution on delicately painted or lacquered surfaces, it is best on nonporous and durable surfaces. Keep in mind the drying properties of rubbing alcohol when deciding what surfaces to use this on. Feel free to post a question on our blog if you would like advice, as well!
A great big Thank You to Elisa for creating this wonderful recipe for our clients!
Happy house cleaning from all of us at The Cleaning Crew!