I tend to get headaches when I use strong chemical cleaning products, especially when I’m cleaning a small space, like my bathroom, which is why I really do favor green cleaning products under one condition: they have to work. And since it’s time for some spring cleaning around my house (actually, let’s be honest, it’s way past time for that) I’m excited to have had the chance to test out a ton of green cleaning products lately, and put together my favorites. Besides keeping the chemicals out of our home and our air, it’s nice to be able to give the...Read More
Tag: house cleaning
Testing household hacks: How to clean the 5 biggest kid messes, from Sharpie on the wall to Play-Doh in the rug
There are some facts about the world that are simply not up for debate. Like: Humans breathe air, cats sleep exclusively on favorite black sweaters, and parents will always be searching for how to clean the big messes our kids make. So I took a look at 5 of the most common kid-made cleaning problems that I deal with myself all the time, and I white-knuckled it to put all those quick-fix cleaning promises and household hacks to the test. My goal: To show you what really works, and what isn’t worth your time when it comes to cleaning kid messes. Chocolate ice cream stain...Read More
With six people living in my house, there are days when I feel like all I do is laundry. And that the baskets of dirty clothes just keep piling up. (Stop the insanity!) But there is one quick laundry tip has changed my life in a good way: My family quit using laundry baskets. Instead of tossing their dirty clothes in the baskets in their room, then spending a day lugging them up and down the stairs, sorting, and washing them, my kids now put their clothes straight in the washing machine when they change after their showers each night. After a...Read More
If you’ve got kids and pets, you know how hilarious the combination can be. That’s why there is no shortage of cute kids and pets YouTube videos that…oh, we may watch on a loop from time to time, even when our kids aren’t around. C’mon, the dog singing like a toddler! So cute! But as much as we love our human babies and our fur babies (yes, we went there), we’re not big fans of the messes they make on their own, let alone when they’re together. That’s why we’re thrilled to have rounded up these videos on behalf of...Read More
Is there anything worse than finding mouse droppings in your house? Oh, right. There is: Finding a palm-sized wolf spider in your kid’s bed. Ask me how I know. Luckily, I’ve found a company that makes all-natural pest repellent, which means you don’t have to burn your house down and move to a different country thanks to some unwelcome creature finding its way into your home. It’s called Stay Away, and it really works. Stay Away makes several different products, each crafted of all-natural, botanical, kid- and pet-safe ingredients. Whether your latest enemies are rodents, spiders, moths, ants, or beetles...Read More
Keeping a house clean when you’ve got work and kids and pets and all of the things can be a pretty ominous task if you think of it all at once. However if you can break it down, and tackle a single chore or maybe even a couple of smaller tasks when you’ve got a free 10 minutes in your day (or evening), you’ll be amazed at how much better your home can look, and how great it can make you feel. (We aren’t the only ones who experience clean counter zen, are we?) We’re thrilled to be teaming up with our newest sponsor Pyoure, a...Read More
If you’ve already watched all the Rio Olympics replays and you need a little entertainment, here’s our newest Spawned episode. On this episode on Spawned with Kristen and Liz, we tackle the topic of life with mess. How do you deal with your kids’ messy rooms? What do you keep clean and what do you let go? Do you have the yearly celebratory dusting schedule like Kristen and Liz? You can listen right now on Soundcloud or through the player below, and make sure to subscribe to Spawned on iTunes so you never miss an episode. We’ll be back every...Read More
I am a neat person. Well, as neat as a mom of four kids can be. I wasn’t always considered neat. In fact, my college roommate might read this and laugh hysterically because there was a point in time that you couldn’t even see my bed because of the piles of crap. And the sink full of dishes? Record breaking. [Top image: Eye Just Shoot on Etsy] But now there are no piles of crap. Mostly. The dishes are done before I go to bed. (Yay kids, A.K.A. free labor.) And the amount of wiping, and sweeping I do is nearly worthy of...Read More
Let’s be real: kids’ room clutter is the gift that keeps on giving. And it’s not just kids’ bedrooms that are problems — we always find the need to declutter our entryways, the kitchen, the bathroom, the garage, the area around the TV, every corner of every room…you get it. And if you live in a smaller space (hello, city living), the clutter can seem ten-fold. So we’ve been looking for some easy ways to declutter kids’ rooms, which makes for a perfect summer project, as you get a respite from all the classwork and art projects coming home each day. We spoke with Emma Gordon,...Read More
My husband has a habit of calling our household cleaning supplies “chemicals” — as in, “Where are the chemicals to clean off the kitchen table?” It kind of drives me crazy because it sounds so harsh. But, of course, he’s right. So recently, I’ve started using the new Force of Nature cleaning system which I had a chance to try, and let’s just say, I’m a new covert. Force of Nature is part science lesson (I’ll get to that later) and part all-natural cleaning solution consisting of nothing but water, salt, and vinegar that you can use anywhere in your home, on anything. Toys and...Read More
In case you missed them, here are 5 tech tips, tricks, and ideas we featured this week on Cool Mom Tech that we think are pretty awesome. 1. If you’re hitting the road for spring break, read these essential tech tips for traveling with kids. 2. Waze just added a feature that’s a big deal for anyone who spends any time in the car. 3. Our cool free app of the week is perfect for spring cleaning season. (Even if you get the kids to do the cleaning!) 4. A 15-minute trick to get your home office organized. 5. These brilliant smartphone...Read More
An honest review of Marie Kondo’s newest book, Spark Joy: Does it light a fire or lack a certain spark?
It was with immense excitement that I ordered Marie Kondo’s newest book, Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up. After all, it’s been a year since I wrote about her first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, and put it to the test in my own home. Turns out, my post on whether her Konmari method of decluttering will work specifically for parents ended up being one of the most popular posts of 2015 on Cool Mom Picks. I guess “tidying” is a hot topic among us parents. Go figure. As for Marie Kondo’s Spark Joy, while the...Read More
We admit that sometimes we avoid the really fun painting and craft projects that include supplies other than the box of nice, neat, perfectly sharpened colored pencils we know will minimize cleanup time. (The glitter glue, that’s a whole other story.) But then we think, aw, the kids always have the best time painting. Maybe it’s time to get out the brushes? That’s when we toss some newspaper or a drop cloth over the table, stick an apron or giant t-shirt over the kids, and let them get messy. And you know? We’re always glad we did. The truth is, cleanup is never as awful...Read More
I fully admit that home organization is the bane of my existence. If you’re a hard-core reader of this site or a listener of the Spawned podcast then you know that while Kristen is an avid purger, I’m what I like to think of, fondly, as a Nostalgic Hoarder. It’s like not you’re going to find me one day, buried under 25-year old newspaper clippings, old coffee cans and pounds of cat hair. But I do have trouble getting rid of my kids’ early doodles (they’re so sweet!); birthday cards from every relative ever (maybe my kids will want...Read More
I like to buy natural cleaning products and supplies as much as I can. In fact, I follow my mom’s mantra and use vinegar and water only on my hardwood floors. It’s partly because I get headaches when I walk in the door and my house smells like a hospital ward, and partly because I know that breathing in a lot of harsh chemicals just isn’t good for us, so I’m always glad to discover a new company that makes eco-friendly cleaning products that actually work. Mrs. Jones’ Soapbox is one of those, and it’s a great find. Related: 2 fabulous new natural laundry products that actually work I admit I...Read More
Have your kids been slacking on their daily chores lately? Or really, have you been slacking on enforcing them? First, give yourself a break; summer just unofficially ended. Second, I’ve got help for you: download one of these cool printable chore charts for kids. They will help. I find this time of year is perfect to introduce (or reintroduce, as the case may be) daily chores and tasks, as kids are in adjustment mode. The new school year means new routines — at home, at school, and on the field. And yes, even toddlers and preschoolers can be tasked with daily...Read More
With four kids in the house, you can probably imagine the amount of cleaning and vacuuming and picking up (oh, the picking up) that needs to be done on a daily basis. That’s also why you can bet my kids each have their own list of chores. I’m a firm believer in getting kids involved from an early age because not only does is it a huge help (free labor!) but it teaches kids important lessons about responsibility. As our friend Asha from Parent Hacks says, “Frame your kids’ chores as move-out skills. No one wants a roommate who...Read More
With a houseful of kids with sensitive skin, I stick to my free and clear laundry detergents and skip the boosters, fabric softeners, and stain sticks just to be safe. But after discovering these two new natural laundry products, I’ve enjoyed clothes and towels that are softer, smell much nicer, and have fewer, if any, stains. Hooray! So I couldn’t wait to share them, should you also want some cool natural laundry detergents. From the folks at B&N Laundry, I’m loving the felted goat milk stain stick (above). Yes, I know that sounds totally bizarre, but wow, it really works well! This family-run company discovered that goat milk...Read More
With daylight savings coming up, I know I’m not the only one itching to open up windows and start spring cleaning the house from top to bottom. So I decided to try out the popular Konmari method of organization from the book by Japanese sensation Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, if a little reluctantly as a parent. All I can say is, this book has rocked my world. And soon will rock my entire house. However there are some aspects that parents should be aware of. Related: The best of the eco-friendly cleaning...Read More
11 essential cleaning tips before your holiday party. Whether you’re a neat freak or a “hide everything in the closet” kind of person.
It’s that time of year when pretty much everyone is entertaining. And yeah, we all know how to run the vacuum and wield a toilet brush (or hire someone else to do it, if you’re lucky), but as the resident Cool Mom Picks neat freak, I’ve got a few pre-holiday party cleaning tips and tricks that I’ve picked up over the years to help you get the place in even better shape. Don’t worry — they’re simple, and they’ll actually make your job easier. [Editor’s note: We like that because uh, not all of us around here are neat freaks...Read More
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