Showing posts with label homemaking

It's that time of year again.  I bet your house is buzzing with activity, just like mine. Thoughts of hosting out-of-town guests, throwing holiday parties, cookie exchanges, and decorating the mantle has put me in complete nesting mode!

Not surprisingly, my desire to have a clean, welcoming home intensifies in November. Call me crazy, but there is just something deeply satisfying when I step out of a just cleaned room that sparkles and smells good.

New holiday scents from Mrs. Meyers at Grove Collaborative:

#ad Holiday cleaning is easy with Mrs. Meyers #grovepartner

We are in the preliminary stages of planning our Thanksgiving day here and for me and my girls that means choosing which tablecloth and napkin set, we’ll use this year.  We all have our favorites and it really won’t matter to me which ones we choose as long as they are clean and wrinkle-free.  I love table linens and was fortunate enough to be gifted some vintage tablecloths from my Grandmother in Law and three handmade doilies from my Grandmother. 

The fact that she crocheted these doilies herself make them even more special to me, so I decided early on to bring them out only during the holidays to preserve their beauty. Sadly, there was a staining mishap the last time I had them out. I didn’t realize there was a stain until the next day, so it set in and I was afraid it may never come out until I remembered, I’m a Biz Stain Fighter Ambassador! Read on to see how you can prep your holiday linens with Biz just like I did. 

Prep your holiday table linens with Biz Stain Eliminator #BizAmbassador #ad

When you live in a house for almost a decade, you tend to accumulate a lot of stuff. Not just new stuff, either. With every home my husband and I have purchased, we’ve brought boxes from our previous home to go through later. Later is now for me!

remove odors from vintage fabrics safely and easily #sponsored

Spring cleaning continues this month at Casa Kinsman and while I feel like I’m making headway in some areas (hello recycling bins filled to the brim!), I’ve just started on closets. Oh, closet organization, how I avoid you, until now. When my friends over at Tidy Living ask if I would like to work with them on their May Madness spring cleaning sale, I happily said yes because I knew I couldn’t let my closets stay messy. With the help of two cool clothing accessories I received from today’s sponsor, I was able to organize the messiest closet in one afternoon. Here’s how I did it. 

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Tidy Living. I received information/product to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Organize your closet in an afternoon with a garment rack from  #ad

Have you ever taken a step back and looked at your home the way a stranger might view it for the first time? What do you see? Do you see a warm, clean and organized home- you know, the type of home we all strive for? Or, do you see a home that needs a bit of help with clutter control? 

Got clutter? Organizers can help! #springcleaning

During my holiday off time, I made plans to share more homemaking posts here on the blog like I used to do with my weekly chore prompts.  If you want to have a cleaner, more organized home in 2017, please visit each week for project inspiration! In an effort to go as green as possible with my cleaning, I'm continuing my partnership with Grove Collaborative so you can get a fresh start in 2017 and save on Mrs. Meyer's products too!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small percentage of sales earned on each fresh start bundle sold via my referral link. 

#ad Mrs. Meyers fresh start bundle sale

Going green is something I’ve been working on for a while, but it’s taken some time as I finish off old products and introduce new greener ones. If you’ve ever bought a brand new cleaner only to realize you have a half-used bottle hanging out in the back of your cabinet, then you know what I mean!

Fortunately, this new customer offer from Grove will help get us off to a great start. The set includes a super cute enamel cleaning caddy stocked with supplies from Grove Collaborative and Mrs. Meyer’s. It’s a chic and easy way to keep all my products organized and close at hand, whether I’m pulling it out to clean the kitchen or toting it up to the kids’ rooms. How much more excited would you be about scrubbing the stove if all your supplies were organized in something this pretty? I certainly am. 

I was thrilled to see that the caddy came with a Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap, hand soap, and the brand new hand lotion too. Mrs. Meyer’s soaps were some of the first natural products I switched to, and they’ve been a sink-side staple ever since. I always wanted a matching lotion for my Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap, and now they just released it! The lotion is wonderfully rich and smells amazing — perfect for post-dishwashing hand care! (The lemon verbena scent is my favorite, but you can’t go wrong with the honeysuckle or lavender either.)  

#ad Mrs.Meyer's fresh start bundle on sale!

The kit also comes with these Grove Collaborative walnut scrubber sponges. They’re actually made from crushed walnuts, so they’re non-scratch and non-toxic. I stashed one by the sink and one in my cleaning caddy, and I know I’ll be ordering more.

I’m looking forward to stocking up on more great supplies from Grove Collaborative throughout the new year. Grove Collaborative makes creating a greener, more organized (and beautiful!) home effortless and affordable.

 Sign up and Save:

Once you sign up, Grove will ask you a few questions about your home and recommend products you’ll love from brands like Seventh Generation, Method, and Mrs. Meyer’s (don’t miss their house brand too!). They deliver everything you need right to your doorstep, on your schedule so you never run out. I’ve been a member for almost a year, and I’ve been so impressed with the quality of their products, the fabulous customer service, and how easy the whole process is. 

Right now, when you sign up for Grove and place your first order of $20 you’ll get this Fresh Start offer for free:
  • Free Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap
  • Free Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap
  • Free Mrs. Meyer’s lotion
  • Free Grove Collaborative Enamel Cleaning Caddy
  • Free Grove Collaborative Walnut Scrubber Sponges
  • Free shipping

If you’re already a Grove customer, you’ll get a free Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap with your next order when you use my link

#ad Mrs. Meyer's fresh start bundle with #freebies

Choose your favorite scent — honeysuckle, lemon verbena, or lavender — when you check out. These brand new lotions are only available at Grove, so don’t miss out on your chance to try them! The offer ends Sunday January 15, 2017 at 6pm PT and supplies are limited.

Here’s how it works:

1. Sign up for Grove Collaborative here . You will receive the Fresh Start Kit for free when you sign up!
2. Answer 4 quick questions about your home that Grove Collaborative will then use to customize your first basket -- this takes under 30 seconds!
3. Once you’ve answered the questions, you can finalize your basket of products to suit your household needs by adding or removing items.
4. To receive this offer, your order needs to be a minimum of $20. Choose the combination of products and scents you love and receive in your first box.
5. You made it! Click Finish & Pay and place your order.

Once you have submitted your Grove order, you’ll be signed up for the free 60 day VIP trial. For 60 days, you’ll save even more with free shipping, free gifts, price matching, exclusive sales and personal service. (I decided to keep the VIP membership after my trial ended, and I can say it’s well worth it! It has paid for itself in free shipping alone.)

I hope you'll take advantage of this great offer and come back each week as I help you keep on track with your homemaking in 2017. Because you can't cute clutter!

Please share in comments: Which Mrs. Meyer's scent will you choose?

Ah, Summer! How we love you. When you aren’t here we dream of your warm days and perfect star filled nights. We long for juicy peaches and messy popsicles. July is half over and we still happily look forward to summertime fun like swimming, taking road trips, picnics at the park, family cookouts, gardening, morning trips through the farmer's market and bonfires, just to name a few. The one thing we don’t plan and dream of is summer chores. Today I'm sharing 15 chores you can tackle in 15 minutes or less to help you get back to enjoying this amazing season quickly.

15 chores to tackle in 15 minutes or less

I don’t know about you, but at my house, once the kids are out of school my chore time increases. From sticky kitchen tables and counters to the ever present need to sweep up tracked in grass and dirt, I felt like I could not keep up until I made this one simple change

When I'm home, I take a break from work every 30 minutes or so and do a quick chore. Taking these mini-breaks helps me be more productive, helps increase my energy while decreasing my seat time and helps lessen my chore list when I do switch gears and stop working for the day. You’d be surprised how much you can get done in 10 - 15 minutes! 

Fold towels and stack in like sizes for a more organized linen closet

Here are 15 quick chores that I do. Feel free to copy my list to get you started.

  • Fold a load of laundry, put it away and start a new one.
  • Sweep the kitchen and mud room floor.
  • Wipe down bathroom counters and mirrors.
  • Water plants on front porch.
  • Clean out trash in car.
  • Go through mail and recycle junk mail.
  • Dead head flowers and pinch back herbs.
  • Check pantry supplies for weekly meal plan.
  • Dust a room and put away discarded items.
  • Unload dishwasher.
  • Wipe down kitchen table and chairs.
  • Clean out Frig drawers or organize shelves.
  • Clean photo frames in the hall.
  • Update coupons.
  • Wipe down glass doors.

Clean one portion of your frig weekly to keep it tidy

If you work away from home all day, you can still use this list to tackle your chores. Taking a break every 30 minutes to do something you enjoy like sipping a cool drink while reading will help you feel re-energized once you do return to your chore list. 

Be sure to delegate some of your chores to your kids if they are old enough and especially if they find you mid-task and tell you they are bored! I always find a task my daughters can handle. Just remember to be good to yourself and step away from work too so you can fully enjoy this special season.

Please share in comments: What is the toughest area of your home to keep clean? For me, it's the bathroom counters!
Welcome to September readers! I know for most us in the United States it still feels like the dog days of summer; but I’m ready to jump back into my regular blog schedule now that the kids are back in school. With September comes a lot of prepping for fall fun and holidays, so it’s the perfect time for me to welcome back my weekly chore prompt.

This week’s chore is a pretty easy one in both time and effort, but be warned- you may get grossed out by what I’m about to show you. 

Are Your Spatulas really Clean?

You may think your spatulas are clean once you run them through the dishwasher, or hand- wash them, I know I did until recently when I was washing a spatula by hand and noticed I was able to pull the top from the handle.

Clean spatulas: My WAHM Plan

When I got it off, this is what I saw.

Dirty Spatulas: My WAHM Plan

Gross right?

Can you imagine cooking with that? No, of course you can’t and neither could I! I grabbed up all the spatulas I’d been using and started pulling the tops off. Some weren’t as bad as others, but none of them were spotless. Time to clean them!

How to deep Clean Spatulas:

Soaking spatulas in vinegar water to clean My WAHM Plan

  • Gather Spatulas
  • In large bowl or dishpan, mix one cup water and a half cup white vinegar
  • Pull tops off spatulas and place both dirty sections in water/vinegar solution
  • Soak for 30 minutes

  • Once they're done soaking, make sure the hole in the spatula top is clean as well. If running under warm water doesn’t dislodge remaining grime, take a bamboo skewer or butter knife, wrap a paper towel around the end and gently wipe around the hole until clean. Be careful not to stretch the hole or the handle may not stay secure.
  • Rinse both parts of spatulas again
  • Allow to air dry

Deep Clean Spatulas ready to use My WAHM Plan

Once your spatula parts are completely dry, reassemble and store as usual. Now you have deep clean spatulas just in time for fall baking and cooking. 

To keep your spatulas clean in the future, be sure to hand wash them after each use and take the top off to clean. If you don’t hand wash your spatulas, simply use my soaking method at least once a week and you’ll never have gross spatulas again.

Please share in comments: Is there an organizing/homemaking topic you’d like to see me cover here on the blog? Please let me know!
Happy Friday dear readers and if you are a Mom- happy Mother’s Day to you! I hope you enjoy your special day and will have a no-cleaning Sunday! If you are a busy Mom like me, you may be half way through your spring cleaning and despair that you have so much more to do. Never fear- Linda is here!

Welcome to my Weekly Chore Prompt:

While talking with a friend over lunch recently, she remarked that she wished she had a guide to help her keep on top of both the big and the little chores she should do every week; beyond making the bed, or sweeping the floor. That gave me the wonderful idea to share a weekly chore with you here. These won’t be anything fancy, no need to print -just a quick post sharing what area of my home I’m focusing on that week. Hopefully we can get and keep our home sparkly clean and clutter free together!

baking,soda, cleaning, tips

15 chores you can tackle in 15 minutes or less

in , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Monday, June 30, 2014

Summer is such a fun season. We wait for it all year, planning and dreaming of those long, hot summer days and what we’ll do in them.

Summer Fun Activities:

swimming summer fun

  • Swimming
  • Traveling
  • Enjoying summer fruits
  • Picnics
  • BBQ’s
  • Bonfires
  • Sleepovers
  • Gardening

The one thing we don’t plan and dream of is summer chores. I don’t know about you, but at my house, once the kids are out of school my chore time increases. From sticky kitchen tables and counters to the ever-present need to sweep up tracked in grass and dirt, I felt like I could not keep up until I made this one simple change. 

Cleaning clothes

Take a Break from Work-do a quick chore:

I take a break from work every 30 minutes or so and do a quick chore. Taking these mini-breaks helps me be more productive, helps increase my energy while decreasing my seat time and helps lessen my chore list when I do switch gears and stop working for the day. You’d be surprised how much you can get done in 10 - 15 minutes! 

15 chores you can tackle in 15 minutes or less: 

Here are 15 quick chores that I do. Feel free to copy my list to get you started.

  1. Fold a load of laundry, put it away and start a new one.
  2. Sweep the kitchen and mudroom floor.
  3. Wipe down bathroom counters and mirrors.
  4. Water plants on the front porch.
  5. Clean out the trash in the car.
  6. Go through the mail and recycle junk mail.
  7. Deadhead flowers and pinch back herbs.
  8. Check pantry supplies for a weekly meal plan.
  9. Dust a room and put away discarded items.
  10. Unload dishwasher.
  11. Wipe down kitchen table and chairs.
  12. Clean out Frig drawers.
  13. Clean photo frames in the hall.
  14. Update coupons.
  15. Wipe down glass doors.

WAHM's Re-Energize: 

If you work away from home all day, you can still use this list to tackle your chores. Taking a break every 30 minutes to do something you enjoy like sipping a cool drink while reading will help you feel re-energized once you do return to your chore list. 

Delegate Chores:

Be sure to delegate some of your chores to your kids if they are old enough and especially if they find you mid-task and tell you they are bored! I always find a task my daughters can handle. Just remember to be good to yourself and step away from work too so you can fully enjoy this special season.

Enjoy Summer! 

Please share in comments: If you could wish away one household chore forever, what would it be? For me, it’s cleaning showers!

I helped kill the Ladies Home Journal

in , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Friday, April 25, 2014

There, I’ve said it. I’ve owned right up to the fact that even though I am a homemaker and a devout lover of magazines and print media- I never read or subscribed to the Ladies Home Journal.  Never once found myself flipping through the pages while waiting anywhere and today was my very first time visiting their website, just so I could see their cover.

Magazine cover

Ads sell magazines, pure and simple- and you can read what the Ladies Home Journal Magazine parent company Meredith said to The New York Times to fully understand the drop in numbers. But to sell ads, a magazine has to have readers. 

Looking at this cover I have to ask myself why didn't I read this magazine? 

The sad answer, in my opinion,  is the very reason the Ladies Home Journal is laying people off, stopping monthly printing and going to quarterly - it was my Grandma’s magazine.  It was proudly displayed on her highly polished coffee table; right beside the big ashtray nobody ever dared use.

My Mom got it only when somebody gifted a yearly subscription to her (usually my Grandma) and I can remember watching her flip through it while she was on the phone. She wasn’t really reading it, just looking- and as a teen, I picked up on her cues and figured that was one boring magazine- so I didn’t bother picking it up.

Even though I didn’t read the Ladies Home Journal, the reality is this is another blow to the art of Homemaking and that saddens me. I know so many women who have shared with me in confidence that they don’t know how to cook or clean or sew or “do” anything domestic and they blame their Moms. 

I’m not saying I agree with all that blame- I know most Moms need to work outside of the home. I get that.  What I am saying is our children need resources on how to be a homemaker even if that is after working 8 hours a day.  My Mom worked outside the home and still managed to instill in me the love of a clean home, a hot meal and freshly washed sheets. My Mom taught me because her Mom taught her so I teach my girls.

But what if you are one of the countless women whose Moms didn't get taught domestic skills to pass down to you? What resources do you have? What about our kids? 

Most schools don’t teach home economics anymore, most Moms work outside the home as did their Moms and maybe even their Grandma’s- so is the art of homemaking going the way of print magazines?

I hope not.

It is my hope that we Moms will get in touch with our inner domestic goddess and pass that on to our kids so they don’t grow up, move out and then blame us for not equipping them with basic life skills. 

Our kids already move easily in this digital age- why not toss them a curve ball and put a broom in their hand and teach them to properly sweep a floor? And if you are already teaching homemaking skills to your children, I say thank you!

I'll be adding more homemaking posts here on my blog to help Moms who may need another resource too, so please check back in.

I am sorry to say I won’t be subscribing to the Ladies Home Journal just to try and save it.  Now, if my favorite magazines, Better Home and Gardens and Good Housekeeping find themselves in trouble?

Count me in.

Share in comments: What magazines do you subscribe to and read in print form?
This New Year cleaning resolution tips post is brought to you by Mr. Clean as part of a Type-A Parent Community Sponsored Post.

In my recent Homemaking tips post, I shared my easy to follow Checklist tips on organizing your chores for each room of your house. Even though I have several hot spots to attend to, I was drawn back to my kitchen. Probably because it is a hub for our family and because my husband and I cook family meals almost nightly- this leads to a greasy, grimy stove top!

Look at that mess! Thankfully, I know the perfect product for this job- Mr. Clean Liquid muscle!
Courtesy: Mr. Clean

Have you heard about the new gel concentrate? If you are a fan of Mr. Clean products like I am, you are going to love this one too, especially since it has 2.5 more cleaning power in every drop, so you’ll be saving money while getting your house sparkly clean.  And I love the new auto-stop cap so you use just the right amount for each chore. 

I tipped the bottle over and out came a dollop of lemon scented muscle.

Mr. Clean liquid muscle made cleaning my stove top and my stainless back splash a breeze. It rinses off quickly too so my stove was in tip top shape in no time. Just look at that reflection!

Next up will be my floors. I’ll add 1 squeeze of Mr. Clean liquid muscle to a gallon of water and mop all my floors including my Parquet Foyer because this product is safe to use on wood surfaces too.

My daughters grew up with the smell of clean lemon scented Mr. Clean so they enjoy coming home to that familiar scent. Yesterday my daughter said she wants her room smell like Mr. Clean Crisp Lemon, so she’d need my bottle!

I invite you to learn more about Mr. Clean Liquid Muscle by visiting their website and following them on Facebook and Twitter using their links below.

Share with me in comments- What’s your favorite scent for your home? I love Lemon/Citrus and clean linen scents.

MrClean_CMYKThis is a compensated post brought to you by Mr. Clean. Mr. Clean is kicking off the New Year with the launch of a new product called Mr. Clean Liquid Muscle, a new multi-purpose, multi-surface concentrated cleaning gel that delivers superior cleaning performance on and off the floor. Be sure to like Mr. Clean on Facebook and follow @RealMrClean on Twitter

Disclosure: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be a good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Helpful Homemaking – Checklist Tips

in , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Friday, January 10, 2014

Ah January, the month of “new” the month of “I will” the month of resolutions and goals and promises. Helpful organizing tips abound in January, they even made January National Organizing month, which hammers home the message that we all should be cleaning and organizing during every free minute.

But- I’m not.

Nope. I refuse to get myself all worked up this year.  

It’s the 10th and I simply refuse to feel behind as I “heart” the many free printable’s showing up in my Pinterest feed.  Everything from chores, menu planning to home organizing binders can be found and printed. I’m tempted- I mean really tempted to waste my printer ink on these prettily designed pieces of paper that in theory should make short work of my organizing dilemma’s. 

I don’t print them because I know I won’t use them. I have seen myself not use them in the past. So- here is what I use instead.

A legal size pad of plain white paper, a colorful pen and a clipboard.

That’s it.

Now the organizing magic can begin.

I walk from room to room with an Eagle eye, channeling my Moms white glove, everything neat and tidy approach to homemaking and I make my list for each room.

  • Put away lotions- check.
  • Revamp pantry- check.
  • Unmuck back hallway for the bazillionth time. Check.
  • If it is dirty, cluttered, unfiled, on the list it goes.

Only put chores on this list. No jotting down “buy new hand towels” when you are in the guest bathroom. There will be a list for that later.

Stick to what you want to get done- your chores.

Do feel free to put a family members name by certain chores. If they drug it out, they should find its home again (says every Mom on the planet).

Then- once you’ve gone through every room in your house and feel like your head is going to pop because you must be the worst housekeeper on the planet- stop! Take a breath, and choose the easiest task first. 

And. Do. It. 

Then check it off. Done! 

 Go through your list this way until you get to the real hot spots of your house. Seeing your completed tasks will make slaying your dragon easier.

I use this checklist method for any project that is multi-step, like planning a party, or revamping my flower beds.  This style of organizing my thoughts to organize my life works for me and it may very well work for you too. If you give it a try, please stop back by and let me know your thoughts.
And if you really want to get a feel for How clean (or not) your house is, go take this easy quiz on HGTV. I answered  mostly B’s- with a couple of A’s I blame completely on my Mother! You’ll understand that statement once you take the quiz.

Share with me in comments, what’s your dragon- what is the one place you wish you never had to organize again?
For me- it’s the Foyer closet! Ugh.
And let me know the outcome of the quiz too- no judging here!

Here's wishing you a happy, productive weekend. Now I'm off to buy some much needed hangers for that foyer closet of mine.

Helpful Homemaking- New uses for your Lint Roller

in , , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Friday, November 08, 2013

Picture the scene if you will- company is coming, you've cleaned the house, got changed into your company clothes and are ready to welcome guests when you notice your cat has been cleaning herself on the couch- again. It's not the cats fault, you allowed it... but company is coming! So do what I do. Break out your lint roller!

This is how it works here, your methods may vary from mine:

1. Get out lint roller- make sure you've got a clean strip.
2. Move the cat off the couch. Pet the Cat.
3. Lint Roller the Cat. I kid you not, my cat loves this preferring it over brushing. And it works!

4. Marvel at how well the lint roller works on grooming your cat.
5. Throw away gross lint roller strip. 
6. Clean the couch, then the lamp shade of free flying cat hair with clean strip.
7. Check time. 
8. Continue chasing errant cat hairs... until...

You notice the wooden blinds behind the couch are dusty! No problem I think! I've got 5 minutes to spare, I decide to try dusting my blinds with my lint roller!

And - it works! But only on wooden blinds.  Look (don't judge!)

There you have it- two new uses for your lint roller. Do you have a unique use for lint roller too? Share in comments!

Helpful Homemaking- Garbage Disposals

in , , , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hey dear readers, I’ve been working on a much needed blog post schedule (because winging it just isn’t this planning girls style) and while I won’t be having a theme for every day of the week, I’ve decided to keep this new one: Helpful Homemaking where I will share quick and easy tips for Moms, homes, gardens, cooking, - this will be a grab bag of helpfulness. You can find some of my recent tips here and hereI will also keep a favorite around here: Wordless Wednesday! 
Before I get to my quick tip today, I’d love to ask you what would you like to see me write about here on the blog? Please take a quick minute to fill out this survey to help me plan future posts. I promise it’s quick and easy. Thanks! 

How to Disinfect and deodorize your garbage disposal and sink drains

This really is super quick and easy.

  1. Take 3 tablespoons Arm and Hammer Baking soda
  2. 1 cup ice cubes
  3. Pour ice down drain. Top with baking soda. 
  4. Turn on water (medium-low cold) and turn on garbage disposal. 
  5. Let run until the ice cubes stop making the loud noise that scares your cat or dog (about 30 seconds.) 
  6. Then run hot water down drain for about 30 seconds and done! Clean smelling drains again. This should last at least a week depending on what you are putting down the garbage disposal.

Now clean the other side of your sink by placing 2 tablespoons of baking soda down the drain and running hot water for about 30 seconds. Your drain is clean.
If you are feeling really industrious, toss another tablespoon of baking soda in your sink lightly, wet it to make a paste and scrub your sink with a non-abrasive cloth. A good paper towel will work in a pinch.

I hope you found this tip helpful. Please come back next week to read my helpful homemaking post and follow along on my Pinterest Board.

Let’s talk Laundry and Sorting

in , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Friday, October 04, 2013

As I do most every morning, I walked into my laundry room to check if I left a load of laundry in the washer overnight.  My washer was empty, the dryer wasn’t.
No big news flash there, but while I’m standing there contemplating the next load (you know, should it be darks or lights or whites) I noticed a funky odor wafting around.

Laundry rooms should smell clean and fresh, not like a sweaty sock!

 My eyes immediately go to the white’s basket. Even though it’s only half full, I start sorting. Actually, I double sort my whites. I make two piles; one is only socks and underwear, the other towels and linen. My Mama didn’t teach me to sort clothes like this and I’m betting your Mama didn’t either. But I think you'll be a white's double sorter too after you read this.

So why the double sort?

One word: Poop.

Yes! Poop!  I saw this story on ABC News a couple of years ago and it has stuck with me. According to Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona

"If you wash a load of just underwear, there will be about 100 million E. coli in the wash water, and they can be transmitted to the next load of laundry," Gerba said. “There’s about a tenth of a gram of poop in the average pair of underwear," he added. Fecal matter can carry a number of different germs, including the hepatitis A virus, norovirus, rotavirus, salmonella and E. coli.
Gross, right?
Thinking our detergent was enough to keep the germs at bay is wrong. Thinking my hot water was hot enough to kill the nasty’s was wrong too.
So here’s what I do. I wash the underwear and socks in hot water with bleach first. Then, I clean the washer with a spray of diluted bleach water and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then I wash the towels in hot water and bleach. Now I’m not spreading germs and poop and all those other gross things mentioned above.
It’s imbedded in my brain to double sort my whites and clean my washer now and I’m teaching my girls to do the same.  I know old habits die hard, but if you could visualize drying your face with a dirty sock, you will be doing the double sort too.
You’ve just read the first in my new series of homemaking tips. I will share a new tip each week. Please let me know your thoughts and what topics you’d like to see me cover in comments.