Adam Roche's Blog
Pretty bottles of nail polish, handfuls of eye pencils, tubes of lip colors, palettes of blushes, pots of eye color litter the bathroom vanity but the meager drawers are already full, so what to do? Short of purchasing expensive vanity organizers (or a new house with a more substantial bath and more drawers) you can tame and tidy your countertop with a few items you already have on hand.
Repurpose with purpose
Just because an item has a specific use doesn’t mean you can’t use it for your makeup. Try these on for size:
- Mason jars—Use jars of various sizes to hold brushes and pencils. Tie a ribbon around the top of the jar. If using the lid, add a circle of fabric on top of the seal-lid and slip it into the mason ring.
- Lazy Susan—If you have one of these space savers meant for spices, it’s perfect to fit your collection of lipsticks and glosses.
- On the rocks—These short glasses make wonderful organizers for mascaras, eyeliners, lip liners, and brow pencils.
- Spice racks—A tiered spice rack works great to hold your bottles of hairspray and mousse, facewash, and lotions while a wall rack fits foundation bottles and eyeshadow palettes. Hang a magnetic spice rack on the wall beside the vanity to hold all your small items neatly above the surface.
- Tins and trays—Metal tins from hot cocoa or tea are perfect for keeping cotton swabs and pads. Or use a shorter one to hold pins or hair ties. Paint the tin or wrap it with contact paper for a decorative touch. Mint tins transform into holders for baubles and bit, then stack nicely on the counter.
- Votive glass—An empty candle glass makes an excellent match holder. Create a matching set: candle holder and matching matchstick holder.
Raid the Office
Desk organizers work well for organizing smaller tubes, bottles, pencils, and brushes. A narrow version fits well on the tank lid. Transform a magnetic paperclip dispenser into the perfect holder for bobby pins. Stack powders, eyeshadow, and blush compacts vertically in a pen tray for easy access.
Borrow from the Bedroom
Many organizer items meant for the bedroom work for other places as well. Hang an over-the-door fabric or clear vinyl shoe rack in the bathroom to hold extra bottles of lotions, foundations, nail polishes—pretty much anything. Jewelry boxes can do double duty for combs, barrettes, or hairpins.
In fact, there are many ways to reuse items in your home to create order from chaos. If you still find yourself wanting your dream vanity, your local realtor can start the search for you.
Moving day is an exciting day but it’s also a lot of work and can even be a little stressful. Everything is boxed up and feels near impossible to find when you need it. Avoid scrambling through boxes to find a trash bag or paper towels.
Be prepared on moving day no matter what comes your way with a cleanup toolkit on hand.
Messes happen even on moving day. By packing a special box that is clearly labeled with these items inside you’ll be ready for anything.
Have ziplock bags on hand to wrangle up loose screws and other bits and bobs. Use a marker to write on the bag what the contents belong to. Trash bags are for the obvious: trash. No matter how much you clean out and clean up you will find you have some sort of trash on moving day. Have at least one ready and waiting.
Dustpan and brush
For messes left behind by the previous owners and any spills that may happen. Dust items before putting them away on shelves or hanging back up on walls. Wipe down windows and mirrors. Run a dusting cloth over shelves and banisters. And always have a few paper towels at the ready - just in case.
Because the bathroom will be the first to be used so have the essentials in place. Let’s be honest, these are not the things you want to dig to the bottom of a box for. Pull these out and set up the bathroom as soon as you first step into the new house.
Not necessities, but certainly nice-to-haves. Wipe down counters, doorknobs and switch plates with a disinfectant wipe. Air fresheners take care of any funky smells left behind from previous owners or from sitting vacant for a while.
Having a cleaning kit on hand and at the ready allows you to clean up as you go. You don’t want to start cleaning up after you’ve unpacked and put everything away. Do it beforehand for an easy, seamless moving experience.
Tackles messes as they come up, proactively clean as you start moving items in and avoid digging through boxes to find disinfectant wipes or a trash bag. Clearly label your box in large print and/or color code it with a bright colored packing tape. This way you’ll know exactly which box has your supplies and where it is at all times.
Make your new house your home by freshening it up before unpacking. It will feel so good to have a clean organized home from day one.
You recently moved to a new house so, good for you! You upgraded to a larger living space. The kids each have a room, and the house has a living room and a den along with a kitchen nook and a formal dining room, office and plenty of bathrooms. You're all set to start your new life of entertaining, playing and enjoying your new home. There's just one thing, you have all this new space, and now you have to clean it. Tackling housekeeping with a large house can be daunting and exhausting if you can afford a cleaning service, excellent! Do it. If not, here are some tips to making housekeeping manageable in your new home.
Little by little. Not all at once.
You might be tempted to set aside one day a week, or every other week for cleaning. Don't make the novice mistake of believing you can quickly knock out all rooms and get your house in tip-top shape all in one day. You might pull it off the first couple times, but it's exhausting and can easily lead to burning out and not cleaning at all, ever. You don't want that. Instead, inventory the rooms in your home and the chores you need to tackle to keep your home looking pristine. Then, create a schedule with a couple of tasks assigned to each day. Depending on your home size, you can create a weekly schedule or bi-weekly plan. In your planning don't forget to give yourself a day or two off each week that can be hassle and chore free.
Room by room, or task by task? Tackle your housekeeping in the best way that works for you. If you function better and get a better sense of satisfaction from completing an entire room, then schedule a room or two each day and stick to just that room. It might work better for you to plan a specific task and apply it to the house as a whole. Start with dusting all rooms, then sweeping all floors, then vacuuming or mopping. Have one day for laundry or do a load every other day to stay on top of the dirty clothes. Whatever your preference, find a way to split up the work over a week or two weeks to keep yourself from burn out.
Hold your family members accountable.
Employ your family to help you maintain your home. Put each child in charge of keeping their own spaces clean. If they share a bathroom have them take turns cleaning it each week or have them clean together. Assign daily dish duty and laundry folding to stay on top of constant cleaning needs. Ask your partner for help in maintaining the home. Maybe they sweep, and you mop or they pick up the daily clutter and run loads of laundry while you tackle the cleaning projects.
Moving into your new house should be exciting and exhilarating. Don't let the task of maintaining your new home negatively impact enjoying your new life. If you're in very early stages of your home search talk with your real estate agent about your living space needs and about your lifestyle and available time to find the best house to suit your family without bogging, you down with housekeeping.
Dogs are a man’s best friends, but the mess they bring into your home? Not so much. Learn how you can have a clean house and a lovable pup at the end of each day. Here are ten tips below to get the best of both worlds.
1. Groom regularly. Keep less fur off your floors and furniture by brushing your dog on a regular schedule. Ideally, this would be a few times a week. Eliminate even more clean up by brushing out your pup outside when possible.
2. Sweep floors in high traffic areas with a microfiber cloth broom each day. The microfiber cloth will grab onto fur and dirt alike and can be reused. It’s also a quick and simple habit to develop and one you can easily delegate as a chore for the kids.
3. Dust often. Stay on top of fur build up by dusting a few areas of the home each night with a microfiber cloth. By just doing a room or two at a time it becomes a less overwhelming task and easier to do regularly. You can even keep a cloth stored away in each room to make the chore even simpler.
4. Vacuum furniture and drapes as well as carpeting. When you have a furry friend your vacuum is going to be working a lot harder around the house. You’ll want to vacuum drapes, furniture, and carpets frequently to stay on top of hair build up. Just as with dusting, you can do a few rooms at a time throughout the week to break up the tediousness of doing the whole house at once.
5. Lint brushes are your new best friend. You might as well fill a handbasket full of them the next time you’re at the store because you’ll never have too many. Store them where they can easily be on hand in closets, bathrooms, the mudroom and your family's’ vehicles. Where there is fur, there’s a way so be prepared to keep clothes fur free when leaving the house.
6. Take care of stains ASAP. Make cleaning up pet stains a no-brainer by putting together an easy to grab bucket filled with cleaning supplies that are made for the job. Be sure to include a pair of rubber gloves, a roll of paper towels, a microfiber cloth and your preferred cleaning solution.
And a bonus for the extra meticulous: wipe paws down with a microfiber cloth after walks. Microfiber clothes are wonderful multitaskers for household cleaners and now you can add “paw wipes” to the list. Before you let your dog run loose around the house after a walk gently wipe their paws with a dry microfiber cloth to catch any loose debris they could track inside.
We love our dogs. They are cute, funny and oh so loving. The messes that come with them, however, aren’t always so welcome. You can easily keep your home spick and span with a little preparation and a regular cleaning schedule. At the end of the day, you can admire your handiwork while curled up on the couch with your pooch.
Children. You love them with all your being. But the mess they can make of the house? Not so much. Keep reading for four tips on how to keep your home clean despite your children’s best efforts. You might even be able to get them to join in on the fun!
1. Cleanup after playtime. Build the habit of cleaning up one set of toys before moving on to the next, this not only keeps the floor from becoming littered in toys but also makes cleaning up more manageable for little ones. A large mess can easily overwhelm small children and by cleaning up along the way you make the task easier for them to participate in.
2. Have an organizational system for corralling toys that works for you and more importantly your children. Make cleanup easy by storing toys in bins and baskets that toys can easily be tossed into. Cleanup is made even easier when you give everything a designated place so there isn’t a chance for toys to end up in organizational limbo. Do a walk through of the house sweep once little ones are in bed to ensure everything has been put in its place.
3. The easiest way to keep things clean is to minimize the amount of stuff you and your children own. Of course, this is harder to implement with little ones but regular clean outs of toys helps to balance the influx of toys that come during holidays and birthdays. Include kiddos in on the process to pick out their favorites and get them excited to donate toys to other children. You can put some toys in storage and swap them out regularly throughout the year to minimize the amount kept in the home and reignite your child’s interest in them as well.
4. Create regular routines around the house to instill clean up habits in your child early on. Create designated areas around the house for play time, quiet time or even homework. This helps children adjust to focus on the task at hand as well as prevent toys from ending up all over the house. By keeping a routine time of day to do a household chore you’ll also teach little ones the importance of having work ethic around the home. You can even involve curious kiddos in the chore by buying them a child-sized broom or vacuum to “help”.
Keeping a tidy home with little ones in the house isn’t the easiest of tasks. But by minimizing the amount of stuff you own and instilling a regular clean up habits you can keep on top of messes. You can even create some fond memories and bonding time with your child by including them in on the fun. Happy cleaning!