Ten Must-Have Bathroom Hacks

Since it’s still January, and I’m still in cleaning and organizing mode, I thought I would share a few bathroom hacks that are semi-genius.  Okay, maybe not, but I’ll admit, some of them took some time to occur to me.  So I’ll save you the trouble, and just spell them out for you now in case you are like me and sometimes learn the hard way.

These are especially helpful if you have young children… or a husband.  Bathrooms are opportunities for disaster, in more ways than one.  So let’s just cut to the chase and get right to it, especially since I hate cleaning the bathroom and want to spend as little time as possible doing it.

One…do not buy a bar of soap.  Don’t. do. it.  Kids love to leave those slimy cakes in the bottom of the tub until they are a pile of mush, which then hardens and takes a chisel to pry away.  They also drip soapy trails down the sides of the tub or shower if they don’t end up on the bottom.  Solution?  Body wash in a pump.  One squirt on the washcloth, and bam!  Done!  No cakey soap scum everywhere.

(And if you are still helping wash up little ones, a cheap gardener’s kneeling pad does wonders for your knees.)

Two…pump-style shampoo and conditioner.  My kids always left shampoo bottles tipped on their side, which then leaks all over.  And they always squeezed way too much out, which then ends up all over the bottle.  So do yourself and them a favor and buy the big bottles with pumps.  They last longer with less waste and mess.

Three…mesh toy organizer.  Have you ever stepped on an army guy, dolphin, or Barbie?  Trust me, it hurts just as much in the tub or shower.  I always tell myself I’m gonna miss stepping on stuff and cleaning around tub toys someday, but I have yet to actually believe it.

Four…wipes.  Both kinds.  The ones for hind-ends and for cleaning surfaces.  Just don’t mix them up.  We had that situation once…I left out some sanitizing wipes and one of my kiddos used them on her bottom.  So make sure they know the difference, or put the sanitizing wipes safely out of reach.  (Definitely a parenting fail, that one, but she survived).  Anyway, wipes just make for quick, easy, clean-up in either situation.

Five…Colgate.  Can you say attached cap?  Mardi put me on to this one, and I must say I was wowed by her genius and a little embarrassed I hadn’t thought of it myself.  I always bought Crest, but the kids always lost the cap.  Colgate’s cap is attached.  Bingo!  Thank you Mardi!

Six…a stool.  (Get your mind out of the toilet for a minute)  If your kids are still little, make sure they can reach the sink easy.  That way washing hands is more apt to happen, and that just keeps everything more clean.

Seven…shower spray.  Seriously.  This stuff helps cut down on soap scum and hard water build-up big time.  When you do find the time to actually scrub your tub and shower, it makes the job much easier if you’ve been using this stuff all along.  You can also just spray vinegar and water, too.

Eight…speaking of vinegar, I use vinegar to clean pretty much everything in my bathroom.  I don’t dilute it much, and I end up smelling like an easter egg, but it’s so worth it.  It’s super cheap, kills germs, and I don’t worry about chemicals mixing in with bath water.

Nine…shelves.  Over the toilet.  Take advantage of this space and put up a couple of shelves to store stuff like this bathroom found on Pinterest. Shelves work better than those behind the toilet organizer thingies because you don’t have to clean around the legs of them.

And lastly, keep the toilet paper handy for goodness sake!

Save this article for later…Pin it!

bathroom cleaning hacks


A Place for Everything…

Well, hello 2018!  I can’t believe it’s already January!  I feel like the kids just started school a few weeks ago!  That’s how fast time flies when you’re having fun, I guess.  The months of September thru December are my absolute favorite time of year, so I am always sad when they have passed.  What’s better than football season, fall leaves, cozy candles, and family gatherings, and celebrating Jesus’s birth?  Certainly not cold, dreary January!  Okay, now I’m being an absolute downer.  Let me spin this into something positive.  January is good for something…cleaning and organizing!

I know, I know.  That doesn’t sound very fun, but man, does it ever feel good once the job is done.  As much as I love all of the Christmas decorations, it always feels good to remove some of the clutter.  And since my kids always do rather well in the present department, it is necessary to go through closets to purge the old and make room for the new.  Have you done that lately?  It is quite therapeutic, actually.  Every time I drop a load of donated items off, it’s like a weight has been lifted and I breathe a sigh of relief.

Piles stress me out.  Piles of mail, laundry, toys, dishes, etc.  And I bet they stress you out, too, unless you are a hoarder.  So my self-help tip of the day is to remove piles from your life.  Sounds pretty simple, but sometimes it is hard to part with things (well, not dirty dishes).  I don’t know if you have noticed, though, that it is so hard to put piles away and keep things neat when there is an excess of stuff.  For example, every time I put away clothes, I have to hunt for a hanger and stuff drawers closed.  By removing some clothes that are rarely worn, putting clothes away becomes so much easier.  Same with emptying the dishwasher.  My cupboards were overflowing with mugs and cups, and it took me twice as long to put dishes away because I had to cram them in.

I’ve noticed that my kids are also more apt to pick up after themselves if their toys and belongings all have a place and their closets are neat.  Now I’m not saying my kids don’t have a lot of stuff, but I try to have a place for everything so there are no excuses.  That makes day to day clean up pretty easy, and as a result, their bedrooms and closets are pretty neat all the time.  Disclaimer:  I am a serial nagger, so that helps, too.

Sometimes you have to get creative to find storage solutions, though.  Here are some of the ways I have created some order out of the chaos of “stuff”.

Plastic bins that slide under the bed.  These are great for seasonal clothing or miscellaneous toys.

Crates!  These crates in my son’s room look neat and industrial with the caster’s added to the bottom, and they also create affordable storage for books, video games, etc.

diy crate storage

diy crate storage

If you have a common hallway or landing outside of the bedrooms, these cube shelves are great!  Hallways and stairway landings are great places to utilize for extra space.  We have some that sit right outside the bedrooms at the top of the stairs, and whatever books and toys don’t fit neatly in our rooms go in them.  They are accessible, but neat.  And if you don’t like looking at the “stuff” as you walk by, you can always use cubes or cover them with a cute curtain.

landing storage solutions

Keeping it real here…don’t mind the empty picture frames, sideways photos, and Christmas décor.  Trust me, it looked a lot worse a few days ago!

Art supply organizer.  I did a post about this last year, and you can read it here.  This definitely keeps the art supply clutter as organized as possible.

Carts are also great for bedrooms, too.  They keep things easily accessible, but look cute at the same time.  This one from Michaels is my favorite, and it comes in a bunch of colors.


So go through those drawers and closets and cupboards.  Get rid of stuff that is collecting dust.  Find places to neatly store the things you keep.  Nag your kids daily (if you are me).  Enjoy a clean and organized house!  Now that is good for the soul!  And it’s cheaper than therapy!

What are some of your best organizing tips?  I would love to hear them!



Housekeeping Like Alice

I hate to clean, but I love a clean house.  Ah, the irony of it all…..I spend a lot of time on Pinterest looking at cleaning tips and hacks.  I’ll do anything for motivation!  It’s quite intimidating in my family because my Mom and mother-in-law are immaculate, my sister Megan too.  I mean, it looks like no one lives there.  How do they do it?  It’s not just that I don’t enjoy cleaning, but I’m not good at routines and keeping them.  If I lived alone, I think I would keep a tidy home (for the most part).  My darling husband and four cherubs are total slobs.  I am constantly overwhelmed and drowning in laundry.

Growing up, I loved the TV show “The Brady Bunch.”  It was the 80’s, so they were re-runs, but it didn’t matter.  My favorite character was Alice.  She made everything look so easy:  cooking, cleaning, helping out with the kids.  Carol’s life looked pretty fun, going grocery shopping in that awesome station wagon.  Wearing all those far out 70’s clothes.  But even then I wondered why the Bradys had Alice as a live-in housekeeper.  The kids were in school and Carol didn’t work outside the home!  Being a mother of course is never easy (oh how I know that now!), but how much easier to have a housekeeper.  I am a stay-at-home mom, but I would love to have a “Alice!”  Just like Ann B. Davis, older and not overly attractive…….

Back to reality.  I’ve read several cleaning books and subscribed to Flylady.  Apparently those things only work if you implement what you learn.  Imagine that.  But, I came across Dana K. White, the creator of “A Slob Comes Clean.”  I saw her book How to Manage Your Home without Losing Your Mind on Amazon.com and ordered it.  I listened to several of her podcasts (while cleaning my kitchen) and she was so inspirational and funny!  The time I spent cleaning went by so quickly because I was entertained.  Though I’ve only started her book, I already love it.  Thanks to Dana K. White, I have new hope!  She talks about her “deslobification” process, making me laugh along the way.  I love her concepts like “dirty dishes math” and “5 minute pickup.”  If you feel like a hamster on a wheel, always cleaning and never getting ahead, this book is for you.  Check out her podcasts and YouTube channel too.  The best part is that you’ll clean while you listen.  Happy Cleaning!

Organizing Art Supplies

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What is it about January that makes a girl want to organize? Once I have my Christmas decorations down, it seems like I get slightly obsessed with organizing and wanting my house to be neat and tidy. For starters, I have to find places to put all of those new toys and presents my kids get for Christmas. Which means I usually have to clean out their closets to make room for the new stuff. That’s always such a challenge for me…trying to figure out the most logical place to store things. I want to keep toys accessible, yet I don’t want to have to see them!

Same with the art supplies. I want my little darlings to be able to create all kinds of masterpieces, but I also want them to be able to put their supplies away in an orderly way so that they know how to find what they are looking for the next time. I used to keep their crayons and coloring books in a low cupboard in my kitchen when they were little and didn’t use a whole lot of different art products. But the cupboard got so messy and was hard to find anything they were looking for without pulling everything out.

Then I saw all of those awesome closets converted to little offices on Pinterest and it sparked an idea. I didn’t want to give up the whole closet, but I definitely could clear some room to store the art supplies. This closet is by our front door, which no one ever really uses, so it only held coats we didn’t wear much and some other junk. I still keep the coats in it, but made room below for an awesome art cart and some stackable bins. Now my kids can pull the cart down the hall to the kitchen table and have easy access to whatever they need, since everything is somewhat organized by drawer. Our cart holds, crayons, pencils, markers, play dough, stamps, paint, stickers, blank paper, foamies, googly eyes, pom poms, pipe cleaners, and other wonderful treasures. Stuff is easy to find, easy to keep neat, and best of all…easy to put away and out of sight! If you were really organized, you could label the drawers, but that’s pushing it for me. The other bins contain Beados, perler beads, and miscellaneous craft kits. This has really worked well for us, and if you can find a little extra room in one of your closets, it is so worth it!


I bought my cart at Joann.com, but I have seen other carts that are similar that may work better for younger kids. The drawers are rather delicate for small hands, but my 7 year old does fine with them. Ikea makes the Raskog Utility cart that looks sturdy and is pretty too. Just make sure you check the dimensions first to make sure it will work with your closet. Hope this inspires you to tackle that art clutter!


How do you organize your art supplies?  Let me know!