Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Home Management Binder

...or what I lovingly call my Control Journal. I originally got the idea from She helped me get my house cleaned up and a binder started to keep my home running smoothly.

My binder has several things to keep me organized. I printed pages such as calenders and phone number lists from another site called It's a wonderful site that offers many different pages. Another one that I used is I loved some of the pretty pages.
I have many sections in my Control Journal. The beginning consists of calendars. I have an eighteen month calendar page and monthly calendar pages. I keep my son's school lunch menu there as well.

I have sections for my daily and weekly routines, household cleaner recipes, weekly menu planners, finances, important family documents, phone numbers and addresses for family and friends as well as emergency numbers such as doctors and insurance companies.

I have a very special section for poems and writings that I find inspirational. I dotted everything with artwork that I have found on various websites to give it a pretty, Victorian feel. I have always loved the Victorian era for the flowers and beautiful dresses.

The sites I linked above can help you to start your own. Each family's binder is unique to their lives.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I need a snappy title for mopping, but can't think of one.

I own a Swiffer Wet Jet. I bought it a few months ago and have to say that the cleaner that came with the mop lasted a good long time, however, I don't want to continue to buy the refills. The fragrance is a little strong for me, anyway. So, I set out to refill the bottle myself.

If you try to unscrew the top from the refill bottle it doesn't want to open. Sneaky little trick from the Swiffer company to make you buy more refills. I boil some water then put it in a large cup. I put the refill bottle in the water, cap down, and let it sit for a bit. I then use pliers to open the cap. I refill it with my homemade disinfectant cleaner (minus the soap), but a 50/50 vinegar water mix would work well too. I was thinking of using a Murphy's oil solution in it next time I need to refill.

Another thing I do to save money with my Swiffer, is to make my own mopping pads. I bought microfiber cloths from my local Dollar Tree, folded them into thirds and sewed around the edges and down the center. It doesn't have to be pretty, just sturdy. Mine are long enough to fold around to the scrubber edge of the mop head. It works just as well and they are machine washable. I made myself two of them. I can use one side and flip it over to the other side to get more use from one cloth before I have to wash it.

I love my Wet Jet. The mop and bucket are a thing of the past in my house. I just can't justify paying the money and adding to the landfills to keep the mop useful.

Monday, August 3, 2009

A greener way to clean?

I'm sure, by now, everyone is aware that there are alternatives to commercial cleaning products. I just found out in January, but I am usually late for everything. lol I have asthma and was looking for a way to clean without using all of the harsh commercial cleaners. They send my bronchial tubes into spasms. Not fun for this good little housewife, not fun at all. So, what I found was some good old fashioned concoctions that not only get the job done, but don't interfere with my breathing.

Vinegar is amazing. It cleans, it disinfects, it deodorizes. Isn't that what we all look for in a good cleaning product? I know that the commercials like to boast that their cleaner does all of these things and more (if the stuff would do my laundry I might revisit buying it again) and at an economical price? Yes, maybe they do, but the effects on our health, the environment and our wallets just isn't worth it to me.

I have a couple of simple recipes for you. These recipes work in my kitchen and bath. The only commercial cleaner I use is Pledge Multi-surface. That stuff is great for dusting because I can dust my computer monitor, desk and pictures with the same cleaner and it doesn't bother my breathing.

Recipe 1

Get yourself a spray bottle and put 50% vinegar and 50% water. You can use that on anything except marble. From what I understand it can dull your marble. I haven't tried it on my endtables because I don't want to risk it.

Recipe 2

You need another spray bottle for this one.


1 cup hot water

1 cup vinegar

1/2 cup alcohol

1/2 teaspoon dish detergent

I use this in my Swiffer Wet Jet too...minus the soap as it makes the floor sticky.

These are just two recipes. I have others so keep watching. Try these out and tell me how you like them.