Monday, January 30, 2006

Easy Laminate Floor Cleaning

Got laminate floors? So does Kim, one loyal Happy Slob reader, who wasn't entirely sure how to clean them. :) Ahh, Kim, I wouldn't leave you in the lurch like that! Find the easy way to clean laminate here:

I'll bet you can guess at least ONE of the secret ingredients, right?

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Easy Tips to Clean the Sink

Cleaning the kitchen sink isn't as horribly torturous as you might think. Everything BUT the kitchen sink? :) Nope, slobbos, we have to clean the sink too. Here's my easy way to do it:

* Empty it first. I know, I'm very good at stating the obvious, but YOU try cleaning the sink with gobs of macaroni clogging the works and see how far you get...

* Sprinkle it, just a little bit - BAKING SODA or your favorite powdered cleanser will work great here. Sprinkle it, use a scrubby sponge and a bit of cool water to scrub all around and then give it a good rinse with some cool water to get the powdery bits removed.

* Shine it up - Our handy VERY VINEGAR cleaner will work great for this, or use your favorite commercial window cleaner spray.

Ta dah! Look at that sink shine. I, for one, am very proud of you. :) Now, I'm quite sure we deserve a lovely cappuccino to reward ourselves!

Friday, January 27, 2006

I REALLY Don't Want to Clean Today!!

I really don't want to clean today. If it was up to me, I'd just go for a walk or settle down with that great new novel I'm reading.

But, I came on here to convince myself - sort of talking myself into doing a quick cleaning burst and a little in today's focus room. (For me, today's focus room is the main bedroom.)

So, what is my problem today? I just still don't feel great and I just don't feel like cleaning. But, in about 25 minutes or so I know I could accomplish a lot...

When YOU really don't feel like cleaning - do what I do. Put a limit on the torture (LOL Hey, some days cleaning feels a bit like medieval torture if you ask me.) USE YOUR TIMER. As soon as I'm done with this post I'm going to put 15 minutes on the timer and work like a little madwoman to do a bit of tidying up & then I'll use the timer again for 10 minutes cleaning in the bedroom.

:) Okay, it's not so come on, and do a little cleaning too! Don't worry if it's perfect - NONE of us are perfect! Just give a good try, like I'm going to do.

Okay - guess I have to go and do it now, right? :) LOL I'm outta here slobbos...(And see why I call myself the Happy Slob. I really am!)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Rubber Gloves to the Rescue (Beyond the Sink)

Rubber gloves may not be high fashion, but those little babies are handy to have around, and they're not ONLY useful for doing the dish washing. Here are some of my favorite tips to use rubber gloves:

  • In your cleaning kit, to don when dealing with the nastier cleaning jobs (toilet!!!) around the house. Keeps your hands nice and clean and makes you feel like a REAL cleaner.
  • Moisten a rubber glove and wipe across surfaces that you want to remove pet hair from. This works amazingly well! Then just ball up the hair and chuck it away, or stuff small pillows with it. (Ewwww...that sounded funny when I first thought of it but now I've gone and disgusted myself thoroughly.)
  • Put on a rubber glove and you'll be able to open stubborn jars with ease! Also works to open bottles. In fact, keep a rubber glove handy in the kitchen just for this purpose.
  • Good for smacking your husband with when he gets cheeky. Oh, okay, maybe that's just me...

And yes, feel free to draw on your rubber gloves with indelible ink, adding a funny face to the front. Who said housecleaning had to be SERIOUS? :) Have fun!


For recipes & so much more, please visit my OTHER website at

Shaving Cream to Remove Carpet Stains

Here's a tip I just remembered today and had to share with you right away - shaving cream will remove some carpet stains! Just the regular old-fashioned kind (the cheapest stuff, I find, seems to work the best for some strange reason.)

I have a number of stains on the carpet (thanks to my beautiful cats) that I'm going to work on in the next week or so, and I'm going to try a number of different carpet cleaning tricks. :) Will let you know which ones work and which ones don't! We'll call it the great Stain Experiment.

For now - I've found that shaving cream really does work. Wet the section of carpet with the stain, spray on the shaving cream/foam and use a scrub brush to work it into the carpet fibers. Then continue to spray cool water on it and dab with a cloth or paper towel until the moisture is removed.

And is it just me or does shaving cream smell WONDERFUL? That eucalyptus smell or whatever it is, is great...


Who SAYS Happy Slobs can't clean? Join laid back people who are learning to clean in only 3 easy steps.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Cleaning while Sick - Be Brave

I am sick today.

In fact, I was sick yesterday too, but today I feel about as energetic as a slug. Unfortunately, I think I look like one as well.

On days like this, I not only don't WANT to clean, but I hardly CAN clean. It's enough just to make a cup of boiling hot tea and wander back to bed, and the old energy resources are sapped.

If, like me, you've come down with something nasty and are feeling miserable - take comfort. All of the cleaning efforts you've been making lately will really count now. Even if you can only force yourself to do one little cleaning burst, or even if you can't do anything at all, at least your recent cleaning will mean that your home is in a cleaner state so that you can afford to take a day or two off without having a housecleaning meltdown.

Okay, that's all for me today. Sympathy is welcomed! haha (ohhh...laughing takes more energy than I ever realized...)

Monday, January 23, 2006

A SURPRISING Cleaner to Try Today

First, we used toothbrushes to clean and scrub at small I'm recommending TOOTHPASTE to clean with!

No, I haven't lost my mind - plain old toothpaste (not the gel or fancy varieties) is a fantastic little scrubby cleaner. Keep a tube of toothpaste in your handy dandy cleaning kit to use to scrub around any small areas that are grungy. (Works great, for instance, around taps where grunge can really build up.) I also like using it in the kitchen or - surprise, surprise - in the fridge on spots that I can't get clean.

:) Give it a try and I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised! As always, if you try it, tell us all about it here...

Haven't been to the website yet? Drop by for even more fun cleaning and household tips by the HAPPY SLOB!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

A Feather Duster is Your Best Friend

I love feather dusters.

So it's true - I like to turn mine into a funny - albeit unwilling - dance partner while I boogie to the music I turn on while doing my housecleaning. It's like a really short, really skinny person with some outrageous hair (reminds me of myself on a bad hair day! ha!)

But a feather duster is more than just a funny toy to prance around with - it's a great way to get rid of that horrible, never ending dust that accumulates everywhere.

I saw in the dollar store the other day that you can get little dusters - great for kids! Kids will LOVE dusting if you give them a groovy little duster of their own to use!

And remember - just as it's not important that YOUR cleaning efforts are perfect, remember that THEIR efforts should be shown appreciation too. Don't nag at them and argue about technique - as long as they're trying to help, that's what really matters. And they'll learn as they go along... As long as everyone is TRYING to pitch in with the household chores then hey - you've won already! :) So, grab that handy duster and dust a little, dance a little - and so on. See - cleaning is not all that serious after all.

You can read ALL about Christina's quirky cleaning advice in one handy cleaning volume. Get yours TODAY at Thanks in advance for buying the book!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Code Red Cleaning (Emergency cleaning)

Now, I don't have a scary mother-in-law, in fact she's one of the downright coolest people I know. (I'll have to send her a link to this blog now!) But, if you do - or someone ELSE scary in your life just happens to be dropping in - what do you DO?

1. Breathe. It won't help anything to faint dead away. And no, it won't gain you any sympathy points with your aforementioned scary person.

2. Get everyone's help. You are NOT the maid in your home - the housecleaning duties should be shared with everyone. :) If the person or people are truly frightening, your family will be so numb as to help willingly. (Hopefully!)

3. Do the areas with impact - NOW. I call those areas that people SEE the most impact areas. It means that when you clean them it has the greatest impact. Makes sense, right? So now is not the time to clean the closet or the fridge. Clean the areas that will be SEEN.

4. Hidey holes and closets are your best friend. Right now, you need to HIDE the gunk, the junk and assorted phelunk. (That's my own word, it rhymed with unk.) A big old garbage bag or box can help - toss in anything that is cluttering up major areas like the kitchen, the living room, the bathroom...and then deal with it later, when the scaries are gone! For now, just put that box or bag (one per room is best) in a hiding spot - like the closet or basement.

P.S. For those of you who read my sad vacuum tale yesterday -- an update! It lives, the vac lives! It WAS a clog after all...silly overreacting me...
For more helpful tips on CODE RED CLEANING and Christina's entire 3-Step System, visit And yes, if you MUST tell your friends about it and gush with praise, well then I can't stop you! ;)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

My Poor Broken Vacuum

My vacuum is toast! And I'm not talking lovely whole grain toast slathered with peanut butter and gooey strawberry jam. No, my vacuum today decided that enough was enough, and instead of sucking up the dirt and gunk, it started SPITTING IT OUT! I actually yelped when that began - and I honestly can't remember the last time I probably was humorous to my cats to see.

I was quite upset. I'm not exactly a fan of vacuuming, but when I do vacuum I want the vacuum's full cooperation. And I'm sort of attached to the silly thing. I had gone with my friend, Ev, to get it about 4 or 5 years ago at Costco. I have fond memories of buying that vacuum, and it's become a dusty friend to me.

My husband says it might just be clogged up, and that tonight we'll aim to get it back to its sucky ways. I hope so -- I don't even want to THINK of buying a new one. It seems disloyal somehow. ;) And...I'm terrified to think of my husband and I trying to do anything remotely HANDY - we're both such clutzes, we might come out with a few less fingers!

Declutter by Counting to 10

Declutter by Counting to 10
When you're faced with a HUGE cleaning obstacle - such as my closet, hahaha - it gets pretty intimidating to think of tackling that disaster in one go. So, why torture yourself, I always say! If you can count to 10 (and I KNOW you can) then you can handle those larger decluttering and organizing tasks in a far easier, more relaxed way. Here's how I handle my decluttering adventures:

* As often as you can (preferably 3-5 times a week) just take a few minutes to tackle 10 items in your current decluttering adventure. I like calling it this, because it makes is sound far more exciting than it really is. So, if your closet is as messy as mine (this is MY current decluttering adventure) just take time to deal with 10 things. Some might get chucked away, others recycled, other given to charities or to friends.

* Don't have time to do 10 items? Do what you can - set a number, let's say 5 - and handle those items that day. You still did a great job! Remember, it's all about lots of little efforts = a huge accomplishment at the end.

* When you're done the current decluttering adventure, celebrate! By all means, indulge in some chocolate or something. (Send some to me while you're at it. hardy har!) Then, set your next decluttering zone and then gradually work on it as you did the last one.

* Get family involved! Remember, I like to call children and family members: "Extra Cleaning Help, Free of Charge." Hey, you feed and house them, so they ABSOLUTELY can pitch in with the cleaning and decluttering work at hand. DON'T NAG - just offer some sort of reward. You could even have a reward jar, like my MOm used to have -- when I finished a task from the job jar, I got to choose a reward! It made cleaning fun, not a huge trial.

Christina's laid back cleaning methods are all yours for the taking!
Just visit today - and tell other happy
slob pals about it too! :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Creating a Cleaning Kit - Lesson 1

Your Cleaning Kit is an essential for two main reasons:

  1. Having all your cleaning stuff in one kit makes it EASIER to clean.
  2. Having all your stuff in one place makes it FASTER to clean.

Those two reasons alone should have you realizing that YOU, my dear slobbo pal, need a cleaning kit of your very own.

Creating your very own cleaning kit is EASY. Today's lesson is all about what container to use for your cleaning kit. Basically, anything that is easy to handle and carry around with you on your housecleaning jaunts will do very nicely. It doesn't have to be fancy, by any means. My cleaning kit is a big red bucket! It's sort of a rectangular bucket, which makes it great for storing all my cleaning junk. (Come to think of it, my cleaning kit probably needs to be cleaned -- the irony of it all! ) Before that I was using an old plastic pail that had contained dishwasher detergent.

But your cleaning kit can be:

  • a heavy-duty carpenter's apron - then you just wear your kit with you as you clean!
  • a plastic storage container
  • an old garbage can (clean it out first please - haha)
  • An old bucket
  • A box
  • One funky idea is to use a 6 pack container! Just put one thing in each little section.

As you can see, all that matters is that your cleaning kit contains the stuff you need to clean all in one handy spot. What do you guys use for yours?

Learn the ins & outs of creating your cleaning kit - including the cleaning essentials to stuff inside - by visiting:

Win Our Cleaning Contest!

And it doesn't even involve much effort!

Simply send me an email (to christina at by Friday, telling me THE CLEANING CHORE YOU HATE THE MOST and WHY. I'll select the funniest email to publish here on the blog, on the website AND in the newsletter!

As a prize, I'll be giving the winner a FREE copy of "The Happy Slob's Guide to Housecleaning". We all win here! I can't wait to read your entries. So, enter now!!

Hate Ironing? Ways to never iron clothes again!

I think ironing is just a complete waste of time. I mean, our clothes are just going to get wrinkly again, right?

Well...maybe we like the LOOK of ironed clothes, but just not the annoying labour that goes into it. So, let's all share the best ways to AVOID ironing clothes and yet still have them looking unwrinkled and lovely. (Sounds like a pricey skin creme commercial, doesn't it?)

- I'm going to experiment tomorrow with this method which sounds like it should work...lightly mist the clean, wrinkled clothes with water and pop into the dryer for a few minutes. It should de-wrinkle the stuff!

That's my ANTI-IRONING idea of the day, but I can't wait to hear from the rest of you what YOU do to avoid ironing. ;)

Cleaning has never been so fun! Check out Christina's fun and helpful ebook at Need more convincing first? Check out the testimonials at:

A Fabulous Tip for Candle Lovers

Just discovered an even BETTER way to make old wax from votives easier to remove from the candle holder. Simply pour about a half inch of water into the candleholder before placing the candle inside.

When you're done with your candle, it'll easily pop right out! :) This is the best votive candle tip yet!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Wow...My Blog Has Lost Weight

Sorry for the goofy formatting, all. :) I tried to do some adjusting to my blog, and now it's long and skinny! LOL

Just a little note to let you know that I'm working to get it back to it's normal self. Thankfully I have someone who's helping me with it, so it should be back to normal tomorrow (hopefully!)

Hugs to you slobbos,

Monday, January 16, 2006

Handy Organizing Tips for Spices

I love cooking! Yep, nearly as much as I love EATING. :) So, I like to try new herbs and spices and extracts as often as possible. And you know what that means - a cluttery mess of a spice cabinet to deal with. That and the frustration of not being able to find the certain spice I want when I need it.

So - I want to share with you a handy dandy tip for organizing spices. In fact, more than just one tip! You use the one that works best for you and let me know how it goes.

1. Alphabetize - If this is your style (it's honestly not mine) you can alphabetize your spices and herbs and other goodies, making it very easy to find just what you're looking for exactly when you're looking for it. I've heard this is a lovely way to go about this particular task, but it makes me feel funny - LOL - honestly it does. But if it works for you, then I think it's the most logical choice.

2. Group similar items together - THIS is my choice. I'm working on my spice cabinet/baking cupboard and am going to use storage containers to put similar items together. For instance: baking soda, salt, baking powder, corn starch could all go in one container. Or, different flours could be sorted together, or different types of sugar such as brown, white and icing sugar. If you do a lot of baking, create one big storage box with all the essentials you use the MOST often - including measuring cups, measuring spoons, etc. It'll save you a lot of time when it's time to make your faaaaaabulous cookies.

3. The clear baggies method - I LOVE this one. I just buy the envelopes of spices, and once I open them I put them in a clear baggie and keep them standing up in the spice cupboard. You can get a little box and keep them all standing like that - it's easy peasy, slobbos! If you want to take it a step further you can store them in separate boxes: let's say one for baking spices, one for herbs, one for packets of seasonings or gravy mixes, etc. Then you just grab the box you need and voila, you have the ingredients at hand.

Homemade Very Vinegar Cleaner Recipe

This is my absolute favorite cleaner, bar none. I use it everyday, and more than any other cleaner by FAR. It's simple, ridiculously cheap, and it's effective. And, if you, like many others, are trying to replace your harmful chemical cleaners with natural choices, you'll flip for this one.
(If you read this blog often, you'll know that I love natural cleaners - usually ones I can make myself!)

It's VERY VINEGAR cleaner! All you need to make it is a spray bottle to hold it in, some tap water and some white vinegar. That is all, it's really that simple.

All I do is fill the spray bottle about 1/4 full with vinegar. (You can use less - I just like that amount myself.) I fill nearly full with water and give the bottle a good shake. I like to choose a plastic spray bottle that has a fine mist setting - it's easy to clean with it that way.

I use this for SO MUCH - for cleaning the taps, faucets, sink, countertops, for cleaning in the fridge/freezer...for everyday all-purpose cleaning. And unlike commercial all purpose cleaners, it is fantastic to use on glass and mirrors - it really shines everything up beautifully.

:) Some studies have shown that vinegar effectively kills germs and mold - so it's a nice option for an everyday cleaner. But it's not that crazy antibacterial stuff that in fact might make bacteria more resistant. (Scary!)

I remember years ago that my aunt would use this in her own home AND when she cleaned other people's homes. It's a formula that a lot of pro cleaners rely on - and now it's all yours too! :) Let me know what you think of it when you try it out...

P.S. Still don't have your personal copy of Christina's FABULOUS ebook? To start cleaning the 'Happy SLob' way, you'll want to grab your own copy of the book today - at and learn why everyone is raving about it.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

9 Tips for Easier Toilet Cleaning

You knew it was coming've been putting it off. Hey, we all do that! There's nothing quite as well, HUMBLING, as cleaning the toilet. It's a great equalizer - no matter how fantastic you think you are, scrubbing the throne quickly reminds you that you're just one more humble little human.

:) But, no fear! Toilet cleaning needn't take all that long to do and it needn't be as grim as you may think. Here are my fave tips to make it easier:

1. Do it often - This seems terribly obvious, but it's SO true. If you quickly clean the toilet a few times a week (rather than once a week or less) it makes the job a whole lot less gruesome! I tend to just do a quick wipe down everyday, as part of one of my cleaning BURSTS. (For more on what on earth a cleaning burst is click here: Now I don't dread cleaning the toilet at all, because it never has a chance to get too nasty. (Ah ha, take that toilet! I'm in charge after all!)

2. Denture tabs - A handy trick to try is to dump (haha, unintended pun there folks) one or two denture tablets into the toilet to let it work wonders for you. Don't you love it when a cleaner does all the work? Then all you need to do is scrub the mess away. This can be the 1st thing you do when doing the bathroom cleaning, and then when everything else is done, just scrub with a toilet brush, wipe down the toilet and you're done.

3. Baking soda gives the bowl a good scrub. For general cleaning, I usually just sprinkle baking soda in the bowl, let it sit while I do the rest of the bathroom cleaning, and then use the toilet brush to give a quick scrub. I know I rely on baking soda an awful lot - but the stuff is AMAZING.

4. You don't need fancy toilet cleaners - You SO do not need fancy toilet cleaning wands and special toilet cleaning solutions if your toilet is fairly new and/or not heavily stained. :) Just the regular old Happy Slob standbys of baking soda and vinegar cleaner will do a good job of it. If you really WANT that fancy toilet cleaning wand thing-a-ma-bob, then by all means indulge. But you don't need to.

5. Shine and santize the outside - Our basic vinegar cleaner works great to clean and sanitize the outside of the toilet. Spray it down generously with vinegar spray, and then wipe down with paper towels or a clean cloth. (Remember, if you use a cloth to ONLY use it on the toilet and then throw it in the wash. I personally prefer paper towels for toilet cleaning. More on that later...)

6. Heavy duty cleaning tip - If your toilet is REALLY old and/or REALLY stained, then you may need to shut off the water so that the cleaner isn't diluted by as much water in the toilet bowl. Denture tabs left overnight in the bowl will help, as will a combination of baking soda and vinegar OR I heard one strange idea about using cola to clean the toilet. I haven't tried it - but apparently if you pour a generous amount of cola in the bowl and leave it overnight,a lot of the worst stains will be easily scrubbed away the next morning. (Please tell me if you try it and it works!)

7. Germ killers - The toilet seat is probably one place where you want to use a germ killing cleaner. I believe in vinegar spray for this too, but if you want something stronger - then by all means go for it. (For lots of cleaning recipes visit my site at ) Something like tea tree oil cleaner is a great natural germ killer.

8. Replace the toilet brush - once in a while. If yours looks like it's ready to walk away in protest, then it's likely time to replace that sucker. Let's not even THINK of the nasty germ colonies that live on there...(say it with me) EEWWWWWW!!!

9. Be careful using a cloth - use only one sponge or cloth to clean the toilet - in fact, use one for the toilet seat and anything inside the toilet and another one entirely for the exterior of the toilet. It's a bit nasty to think of spreading THOSE particular germs around to other areas of the bathroom, isn't it? For this reason, I generally use paper towels on the toilet, which I can then happily throw away. Die germies, die!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Remove Old Wax from Votive Candleholders

I adore candles. I have them ALL OVER the place, in every scent and shape and size you can possibly imagine. My personal favorite is vanilla candles or something that smells yummy like apple pie - DELISH!

I go through quite a lot of candles, and so getting the old wax from votive holders had become a bit of a problem until I did a little experimenting. Here are the two best ways I've found to remove that wax easily, so I can put a fresh candle in:

Cold Option The first is to pop the votive candle holder in the freezer for about an hour or a little longer. The entire chunk of old wax will easily pop right out. Easy as pie (do you notice how often I'm mentioning PIE today?)

Hot Option This is the one I use the most often, since it's a lot faster! I boil some water, and pour about an inch of it into a little baking dish or loaf pan. I set the votive candle holders in there and let them sit for a few minutes. Then, using a spoon or butter knife, I gently press the old wax right out. It's really simple!

Ta dah! Now you can go ahead and fill that holder with a new candle and enjoy all the lovely ambience it creates! We happy slobs definitely love candlelight - because if our housecleaning isn't UP TO PAR then it hides some of the grunge. Hehehe.

Christina's ebook" The Happy Slob's Guide to Housecleaning" is 125+ pages PACKED with the most helpful cleaning tips, all written in a fun style that will help you see the HUMOR in cleaning. Get your copy today at:

Handy Uses for Old Baby Food Jars

Now, I personally don't have any of these lying around...BUT I know a lot of people who do. :) Here are some groovy ideas on how to make good use of those cute little jars. (And yes, if you have any more ideas, definitely post it in the comments please!)

- craft uses: everything from votive candle holders to mini jars of homemade bath salts, etc. I even thought that you could punch holes in the lid, fill with a talcum powder and use it as a powder shaker!

- in the kitchen: containers for spices, snack containers for lunches

- General: Great little containers for holding small items like buttons, stamps, etc. In fact, I think a roll of stamps might fit in a baby food jar pretty nicely.

- In the office: Holds tacks, pushpins, and other little goodies.

- Air freshener: Fill with potpourri - and you can decorate the jar anyway you wish. That would be a cute little gift idea for a pal.

- Crafty: Snowglobes! If you love collecting snow globes, then you could try using an old baby food jar to make your own. Just glue a figurine or something on the lid, then fill the jar nearly full with water a little liquid glycerine to help suspend the sparkles. And yes - the sparkles! Add some craft sparkles to the water, and then glue the top shut.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Less Stress - Great Quotes to Make You Smile

My dear pal gave me a great book this week, filled with the sweetest pictures (of sleeping cats and kittens - I mean, how cute is THAT?) and some fantastic quotes. I thought I'd share a few of my favorites with you...all intended to help you feel less stressed out about the stuff that doesn't really matter.

"There is more to life than increasing its speed."
- Monandas Gandhi

"The secret of happiness is to make others believe they are the cause of it."
- Al Batt

"Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast - you also miss the sense of where you are going and why."
- Eddie Cantor

Essential Oil of the Day - Orange Oil

Orange essential oil is a fantastic one to add to your essential oil collection, for cleaning and making fun homemade toiletries. It is reputed to make a person feel peaceful, and a general sense of happiness. (THAT always helps when you're elbow deep in sudsy water, right?)

Orange (and many other citrus oils) EO has great grease cutting action, so it's an ideal EO to use when you're cleaning any greasy surface, such as the stove or greasy kitchen cabinets. Plus, it really smells fantastic - as if you just peeled into a great, fat orange for a snack.

For all these reasons, it's a great addition to homemade cleaners. So, for a slight change on our regular VERY VINEGAR cleaner, try adding about 6-8 drops of orange essential oil. Combine all together in a small spray bottle & give the bottle a good shake every time before using.

Love the Happy Slob's Guide to Housecleaning? Then, check out my HUGE ebook, packed with all the cleaning help & homemade cleaning recipes you'll EVER need.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

But what if I don't WANT to clean today?

Ummm...well...don't! :)

Yes, I'm your goofy guide to cleaning, but I understand ALL TOO WELL that there are days when you just can't clean. Maybe you're sick, maybe your children are sick, maybe you're exhausted from the day you had. Life happens - every DAY it happens - and so there are absolutely going to be days when you can't do much more than crawl into bed and pull the covers over your head.

So, if today is one of those days, that's perfectly okay. But, when you do the 3 Step Solution most of the time it means your home is cleaner than it was before. SO, even when you have a pooey day then you won't be surrounded by so much clutter and mess. It's like pooey day insurance, if that makes any sense whatsoever! (Haha - I just wanted to say pooey day insurance, frankly.)

Repeat after me: I'm a Happy Slob, and I'm proud of it. I'm trying my best and that's what counts.

Very good! Now, don't beat yourself up over those days when life feels really tough. Just get back to the good old routine as soon as you can. And don't worry about it. The Happy Slob way of cleaning means you do your best, as often as you can, and you don't stress out the rest of the time. Bravo, dear slobbo!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Clean that Nasty Microwave (hint: involves a little lemon & a lot of steam)

For fantastic, fun cleaning ideas for fantastic, fun people, you need to visit: Bookmark it & visit as often as humanly possible.

So, I just finished doing a cleaning burst (whew! man, that's like a workout sometimes...) and while cleaning the kitchen a bit I decided THIS was the hint of the day:

Microwave Cleaning
Cleaning the microwave SEEMS really intimidating and downright nasty sometimes. All that splattered food and it's a funky, gunky disaster area to deal with. Right? Sure, but you have a powerful cleaner right now in your own kitchen. Ready for this? It's free and available right now...

Water! Good old tap water. Not glamorous, I realize, but still - when good old H2O gets hot and steamy, it is one serious cleaner. I fill a microwave-safe mug with some water and for good measure I chuck in a healthy slice of fresh LEMON if I happen to have any. Totally optional, of course, but it adds a nice dose of grease cutting action. (Hey, I sound like a dishwashing liquid commercial. Neato.) And, it doesn't hurt that it smells like lemonade, right?

Let the water come to a boil in the microwave by setting it on HIGH for 3-4 minutes. BE CAREFUL, PLEASE. I'VE HEARD SOME HORROR STORIES ABOUT LIQUIDS GETTING TOO HOT IN THE MICROWAVE & BURNING PEOPLE BADLY. I WANT ALL YOU LOVELY readers to stay good and safe, so please use caution.

Now, let the cup sit in there WITHOUT OPENING THE MICROWAVE for at least 15 minutes. That gives the steam that's accumulated LOTS of time to do it's work for you. Then, take a cloth or sponge to the mess, and you'll find that - whish whoosh - it just wipes away. The trick is to let that steam carry on with it's business without opening the microwave too quickly. :)

Lovely! Your family will be shocked when they see a shining microwave...bravo to you!

No, Really - Houseplants You Can't Kill

If you're anything like me, you're a convicted PLANT KILLER. I don't want to be, but sadly, that is exactly who I am.

Recently, other Happy Slob ( newsletter subscribers shared their best secrets of finding a houseplant that even the brownest-thumbed Slobbo cannot kill. Here, then, are our highly scientific findings:

2. Bamboo Plants - You place the bamboo stalks in a container, surround them with rocks to immobilize them and keep the rocks covered with water. How simple is that! (Thanks to Cheri)
3. Spider Plants - Christina, a houseplant that I've found to be tough to kill is the spider plant (sometimes called an airplane plant). I have ignored this plant for weeks on end, then nearly drowned it, had it in the sunlight and also in a room with poor lighting. It just seems to appreciate whatever attention I show it. Of course, it thrives best when it gets the best conditions, but you might want to give it a try. It's very forgiving. Good luck in your quest.
4. ZZ Plants - At first I thought it was a throwback plant to that hairy 80's rock group, but no. Here's what Joanne had to say: "I love gardening and having houseplants all around my home, but... I can kill just about anything. My daughter gave me a ZZ plant she bought at Walmart one year ago. You only need to water it once a month. And mine has not only survived, it is getting bigger! The actual name is Zamioculcas zamiifolia. But you can do a search on ZZ plant and it will pull up a lot of sites. They go for $10.00 at Walmart. Good luck green thumbing."

So...if you try any of these plants and have success, please post here about it! I know I, for one, need all the help I can get when it comes to keeping plants ALIVE.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Homemade Lavender Spray

Okay, so I've already admitted that I love lavender. So, the first way (and really, one of my all-time favorite ways) to use this luscious stuff is to make your own easy peasy Lavender Spray. You can use it to mist on linens (that sounds fancy huh? I just call mine sheets. lol) or your pillows before going to sleep. Or keep a bottle in the bathroom and use it as a natural air freshener.

All you need is:

1 cup distilled water (it's best to use distilled; if not, you can use tap water)
8-10 drops of good quality lavender essential oil (find it online - eBay has tons of great suppliers at a really reasonable cost. Or craft shops and soapmaking supply shops also have it, it'll probably just cost a bit more.)

So, this is where it gets hard. NOT!! Pour into a small spray bottle with a fine mist setting, and be sure to label it so you don't end up using it to mist the plants or something. Give the mixture a good shake before using - and voila!! You have just made a bottle of lavender spray that would likely cost you $12 in posh shops!

Kitchen Cleaning

Why Do You Call Yourself a "Happy Slob"?

I get asked this question a fair bit, so I'm going to answer it right here and now! Along with a few others...

Why do you call yourself a happy slob?
Why not? Oh okay, that's not a very helpful answer. It's because I TEND naturally to be just that - ask my Mom, she lived with my messy room as I was growing up. But, as I grew up (Hahahaha) I realized that I didn't want to be a little pig anymore. Well, as far as chocolate went, sure, but not my surroundings so much. So I taught myself little tricks to make cleaning faster and easier, so I could just get on with what I really loved to do - live!

Why did you call your cleaning site
I came up with the quirky name: "The Happy Slob's Guide to Housecleaning" one day, when I was trying to figure out a title for my book. Once that title popped into my head, it was there to stay. It made me laugh, and it made cleaning seem FUN, and not like such a scary proposition. So, it may seem strange to call a cleaning website happyslob, but I dig it. :)

What is the 3 Step Solution you talk about?
Ah ha! Think of it as the key to the Happy Slob mentality. It's as easy as:
  1. Cleaning Bursts: intense 'bursts' of cleaning. You budget the time you can afford, set it on a timer and get to work. Concentrate your efforts on the impact areas in your home - the places people see the most. (I generally DON'T include my focus room in the cleaning burst, by the way.)
  2. Focus Room Cleaning: Each day, one area gets a little more attention - that's your focus room. Again, spend the time you can spend. Don't stress - just do what you can, to the best of your ability, and then relax. :)
  3. Weekly Clean-for-All: Once a week, get your family/roomies/willing friends to help out with some of the bigger jobs. Maybe it's the laundry or the floor washing (I hate that!)

Start with cleaning bursts - you'll be shocked how doing even 5 or 10 minutes a day will add up. Start with one a day and work up to two a day if you need to - one in the morning and one before bed. If, like me, you live in a small place, you'll likely be fine with just one a day.

Where can I buy your book? For now, it's only available on my website at And thanks for asking, you groovy Happy Slob you.

Why are you so gung-ho about natural cleaners? I just think they're easier to work with, are healthier for us and the environment...oh, and did I mention that they're CHEAP as dirt? Baking soda and vinegar are two basics I use a lot, and I have a slightly strange obssession with lavender. But, if you really love the cleaners you're using, keep using them. Just give the natural stuff a try - you might be very pleasantly surprised.

Are you some strange clean freak? Oh, how I wish I were! I still force myself to do the cleaning bursts, focus room cleaning & clean-for-all. Some days I do a lot and think I'm great. Other days, I'm not as energetic, and I might be lucky to do one cleaning burst. Life happens! I just want people to relize that cleaning is not all or nothing - you can get a lot accomplished with a bunch of little efforts. This cleaning guide is written BY and written FOR laid back people (aka Slobbos) who'd rather be doing stuff besides cleaning.

Cleaning the Coffeemaker

Well, the obvious tip for today (as I sit happily sipping some fantastic java) was how to clean the coffeemaker out! We have hard water here, and so I find that I clean out the coffeemaker about once every two weeks or so. It helps the coffee taste a lot fresher, and it's good for the coffeemaker too. (Or so my coffeemaker keeps telling me...hardy har)

ONE of your best cleaning pals as a HAPPY SLOB is...vinegar! Just plain old white vinegar. I usually buy it in large 4-liter jugs, because it's cheap that way and I really do use a lot of the stuff. (You'll see that this, baking soda and lavender are some of my cleaning obssessions...)

How to clean the coffeemaker: I run the coffeemaker with just vinegar, through one cycle. Pour the vinegar out and then run through with fresh cold water AT LEAST 3 times, or else you might have some OH SO YUMMY vinegar flavor lingering in your coffee the next time you brew a pot. (Tall Vinegar Latte, anyone?)

Once you're finished doing that, use a cloth or paper towel to give the inside of the coffeepot a good wipe out. You'll be surprised by how much the vinegar and steam work together to make cleaning EASY. :) And isn't that what we happy slobs love most? I'll answer that for you - yes, indeed.

You can give the outside of the coffeemaker a wipe down too, with our handy dandy homemade Very Vinegar spray, an all-purpose cleaning spray that is fantastic in all sorts of ways. THAT will be a post for another day...

Enjoy your fantastic cup of coffee, slobbos!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Changing the kitty litter...

Got your attention, did I?

Now, let's be perfectly honest...if, like me, you're a cat owner, you know the 'joy' of kitty litter box changing. Oh glory, oh glamour...yeah, something like that.

Here are a few tips to make this nasty (yet unavoidable) little task a bit easier:

  1. Do it daily. Much easier to cope with when it's not so, urm, full of goop. Goop=poop, as you're likely well aware.
  2. Use clumping litter. Yep, it's a cat owner's best friend, that lovely clumping litter! Makes litter box changing a breeze.
  3. Baking soda, baby! If you read the Happy Slob newsletter, you know how much I LOOOOVE baking soda for all things cleaning. But it also works like powdery little sponges that soak up the nasty funk. Just a bit of a sprinkle after the litter is clean will help absorb odors.
  4. Sweep around the box. My kitties, at least (I have 2) seem to think that if there's a little spilt litter around the box that it's suddenly a green light for them to do their business wherever there's a little grit on the floor! Sweep around the box often to remind them that nope, their stuff is only to be deposited IN the box, not in the entire vicinity.

Have more tips to share? Please do! Or, if you have a brand preference of cat litter, etc, etc. Share your secrets...

What housecleaning chores do YOU hate the most?

For me, the cleaning chores I DESPISE are:
  • mopping the floor - probably partly because I'm half blind without my glasses on and can't see if I've managed to actually mop anything up.
  • Laundry - likely because it's a shared coin laundry here in our apartment building, and I have a deathly fear of people searching through my stuff.
  • scrubbing the tub - probably because I'm lazy :)

Okay fess up slobbos - what do YOU GUYS hate? Then we'll figure out some ways to work around it and actually stop procrastinating for once. (for instance, I get my husband to do the floor mopping and it works out very nicely! hehehe)

Welcome Happy Slobs, one and all!

Hello, and welcome to the Happy Slob's Guide to Housecleaning! I'm pretty excited about having a REAL blog, compared to my sad little non-technical attempt on my site at I can hear you laughing from here...

That being said, this blog will help all the "happy slobs" (basically anyone who'd rather be doing stuff OTHER than cleaning) out there learn how to clean a bit more, so that the mess and junk doesn't take over your life. :) It's a laid back way to clean, and nothing very fussy. But it actually works!

I'll be sharing tips, ideas, cleaning formulas, and all sorts of other goodies. Anything to do with keeping your home tidier, or just generally more homey - and yep - we'll likely discuss it here. Bear with me as I learn how to be a real blogger...and thanks so much for dropping by!

The EASIEST Houseplant Ever (wink, wink)

I got a fantastic email from one newsletter reader, who sent in the greatest houseplant tip ever. I actually sat looking at my computer screen laughing as I read it. It is cute, and darn it, she's RIGHT!

The best houseplant ever is:
A SILK plant!

Nedra wrote: "silk ones. They are beautiful, you don't have to water or feed them, and they come in so many varieties. I have even tied little silk flowers onto my real plants that didn't bloom fast enough to suit me. Just use the little wire thing from bread wrappers. Hope this helps. "

It does indeed help. :) I admit to already owning one...and my husband bought me a REAL plant, some generic tropical type, and I'm happy to note that it's been 2 weeks with no plant death yet! If it dies, I'll likely stick with the fakes.

Sunday, January 08, 2006