Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Make Space, Slobbos: An Organization Tip for the Kitchen

Okay, one more post and then I'm off to make a fresh pot of coffee and get at cleaning my own bathroom. :)

While searching for the aforementioned Perfect Cleaning Kit, I found an organizational/space saving gadget that I felt we all could use. One friend has these in her kitchen, and I think it's a great way to store linens, dish cloths, even bits of paper, mail, etc. These little babies slide right onto an existing shelf and provide extra space where you might not have known you had any! And we all know that a great way to destroy clutter is to provide proper little places for things to go.

Okay all, I'm out of here! Off to tackle the bathroom - yay! (I'm trying to maintain a positive attitude, see?)

One more thing - if you still don't have your copy of the Happy Slob's Guide to Housecleaning, well, what's stopping you? :) I promise if you love the blog & site, you'll go flippy for the book.

Ah Ha! Found Some Great Cleaning Kit Containers

Ah ha, just when I SHOULD be cleaning (heheheh - see I'm not called the Happy Slob for nothing) I managed to find a couple of cute cleaning kit ideas for you guys, that I HAD to share:

Cute Mini Cleaning Kit:

Classy Cleaning Kit:

"Wheely" Good Fun Cleaning Kit (groan, I know...):

But, you're getting the picture, right? :) Cleaning kits can be whatever you want them to be!

Look What I Found For You - Some Cleaning Kit Essentials

So, as I mentioned in the previous entry, I have family coming to visit today. Therefore, keeping me from posting as often as I'd like here on the blog. Sigh, and woe is me. :(

BUT -- to keep you merrily cleaning along, I'd like to share with you some fabulous goodies to stock the coolest of cool Happy Slob Cleaning Kits. :) Remember, a well stocked Cleaning Kit is a Happy Slob's lifesaver when it comes to cleaning. It saves you your valuable time and energy. Trust me - once you use one, you'll never go back to cleaning without it.

Drum roll please...Or you can just bang your mop on the floor if you prefer...

Cleaning Kit Essential #1 -- Good Scrubby Sponges
These dear little cleaners make our cleaning far easier - these ones, which I happen to love - have one side with a scrubby bit and one side with a spongy bit. Oh right, I suppose that's why they're called Scrubby Sponges in the first place...Anyway, you'll need a few of these. AKA Scrubbies. By the way - LOOFAH SPONGES also make fabulous cleaners - and did you know that they're grown by seed, not in the sea?

This pack comes with 24 total sponges -- lots of cleaning power here!

Cleaning Kit Essential #2 -- Good Natural Liquid Soap
Good old liquid soap just doesn't get the credit it deserves. Oftentimes when a stain or cleaning job eludes you, some fabulous natural liquid soap/detergent will do the job better than anything else! This is a must have for your cleaning kit. :) I like this kind, because of the natural citrus oils that help to make cleaning a cinch too.

Cleaning Kit Essential #3 -- A Cute Container
I know, I know, I KNOW! This is vain and ridiculous, and it shouldn't REALLY matter what container we use at all. :) In theory, it doesn't. But, when you're hard at work getting your home presentable, it CAN be a pick-me-up to have your cleaning kit in a cute container that inspires you to cleaning greatness.

I can't find any appropriately cute containers to show you. :) So, if you find one - OR - if YOU have a great cleaning kit set-up, send a pic of it to me at christina @ happyslob.com and I'll post it for all and sundry to see!

Mucky, Messy & a Great Little Cleaner - Foaming Baking Soda

So, I have family coming today from Nova Scotia, and that means I'm trying to get my place looking its best. :) One addition to my To Do Cleaning List was: clean the kitchen cabinets. The exteriors that always manage to get gunky and grungy looking after time, right?

The best thing I've found yet for making this miserable job a bit more do-able is this: FOAMING Baking Soda! Sounds like some posh commercial cleaner, doesn't it? Of course, we know better.

All I do is:

  • Take a small, preferably adorable bowl from the cupboard
  • Dump in some baking soda, a Happy Slob's dearest cleaning friend! I'd say about 1/4 to 1/2 cup will do very nicely.
  • Grab your handy bottle of Very Vinegar cleaner (remember: it's just one part white vinegar to about 3 to 5 parts tap water, depending on how strong a mix you want) and pour some in!
  • The goal here is to create a foamy messy mucky paste. :) It's fun to dig your fingers around and get all the baking soda mixed up thoroughly with the Very Vinegar cleaner. Just make sure to use a big enough bowl so it doesn't end up all over the floor! (Although it would clean the floors nicely too...)
  • Use a scrubby sponge to dip in the mucky Foaming Baking Soda mixture and scrub away! The combination of the vinegar and baking soda together is a powerful cleaning team. I even used it to scrub away a few old stains on the wall that I thought were permanent residents. :)
  • Rinse away with more Very Vinegar spray or just plain water to get rid of the gritty residue.
  • Voila - gorgeous new kitchen cabinets for about a quarter! Now, that's what I call frugality!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Dee Won the Battle on Smoky Smells - Plus Added Two Tips of Her Own

Here's an email I JUST got from Dee, who had written a while ago asking for tips on how to reduce the smokey smells in a bedroom her friend had stayed in:

Washing down the walls with a solution of vinegar has helped tremendously. I have also used sprigs of lavender and rosemary, have got them everywhere, and I really do believe that I'm winning. Thank you so much for your help.


Thanks for the extra tips on the sprigs of lavender and rosemary, Dee. :) Sounds really nice - I sort of want to put up some sprigs of herbs around my place now, just because it sounds like a loooovely thing to do!
Hugs to you,

Tricky Stain Removal o' the Day: Lipstick Stains

Sure, that cherry red lipstick makes YOU look utterly divine, but when you smear it on your favorite dress, you're not loving it quite so much. What is a Happy Slob to do?

I've posted 7, no make that 8 steps that will get out stubborn lipstick stains. :) Read it at Lipstick Stain Removal 101.

Hope you get a chuckle out of number 8 -- hey, sometimes extreme situations call for extreme measures!

Oops a Little Late - Nicki's Comments on Decluttering

Here's an upbeat email from Nicki, while she was in mid-decluttering mode. :) See, decluttering doesn't have to make you cranky at all!

Hiya everyone!
I'm doing so well!
I've decluttered my kitchen, step one!
Ive decluttered my corner that was full of magazines (and i mean full!)
plus cd's, old letters,dust, dust and more dust!
My hubby is on to do the other side of the dining room before we go
away on Saturday. Whether that happens we'll see!
But i'm dead proud of myself!
How is everyone else doing?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Do We Really Need an Automatic Shower Cleaner?

I don't. :) You don't either - unless you really LOOOOOVE gadgets, in which case go crazy and get an Automatic Shower Cleaner.

For the rest of us, about 2 minutes a day (or less) during our daily shower can get and keep our shower and tub sparkling clean.

Here's my favorite tip on how to keep the shower clean, directly from my book: The Happy Slob's Guide to Housecleaning. If you don't have your own copy yet, drop by and pick up a copy. :) Your family & home will thank you.

"Every time I shower, I have about 2 minutes or so while my conditioner is doing its work. Two minutes of time that can go towards shining up the surfaces all around me. A few minutes before I'm ready to jump into the shower, I turn the shower on and spray the shower and tub down with our Very Vinegar Cleaner...Let the steam work for a couple of minutes before jumping in.

I have my shower as usual, then, while my conditioner is working, I take a special CLEANING-ONLY scrubby sponge tucked away for that purpose in my shower, and dab a bit of shampoo or bubble bath onto it. I scrub the upper part of the shower/tub one day, and the lower part the next day. The combination of the vinegar spray and the shampoo or bubble bath (which also smells fab, by the way) works wonders!"

See, who needs special gadgets when we can take a few moments and do the job ourselves? :)

One Person Desperate for Help

I received this heart wrenching email a while ago:

"i am a housebound (although i do drive) person with kidney disease. i guess im not really housebound. but i dont really go anywhere except dialysis three days a week, and church. i need to find any tips that will help me to do some things so my husband doesnt have to do everything. i cant even do the laundry, because he wont let me do thestairs. i would like to do something,though, so he doesnt have to do everything."


:) I wish I had a name to go with your email, so this would sound more personal.

First thing - thanks so much for writing to me. I'm glad you found my website and were compelled to write an email.

The whole point of the 3 Step Solution to Cleaning is that it makes cleaning far easier, and far more accessible for just about everyone. Even if your health limits the mobility or energy you have. :)

The first thing you can do is a cleaning burst - just set the timer for a reasonable amount of time that you can spend tidying up. Just set a reasonable goal - maybe 5 minutes at first. You can work on areas that your husband will notice the most and then tell him that you're trying a reasonable new way of cleaning that works, but that won't strain you too much.

Gradually you can do maybe 7 minutes at a time, or have a goal of 10 minutes a day, broken up into 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night.

Let me know how this works for you, okay? And most importantly - just be reasonable and do what your body will allow you to do. Make this a positive goal, not something that stresses you out and adds to your burdens.

Huge warm hugs to you,


Saturday, August 26, 2006

And Finally...The Great Decluttering Challenge ENDS

How did YOU do? The Great Decluttering Challenge ended officially yesterday, but hopefully it was a heads-up and a great lesson in decluttering that you can do ALL the time.

Did you accomplish what you had hoped to? If not - pshaw! (That's me sounding completely unconcerned.) Just try again this week - set aside a little time everyday to work on those areas of your home that just AGGRAVATE you with the piles of clutter and junk that have accumulated.

To all of you - bravo for your awesome attempts. Please post any comments; as always I'd love to hear how you did.

Hugs to you,

Make Your Own Knitted Swiffer Cleaning Cloths

Oops, I'd meant to post this AGES ago, but I saw it in my inbox and remembered. Today is the day to share this amazing pattern for Homemade Swiffer Cleaning Cloths/Covers with you.

Kansas is the brilliant Slobbo who created this simple project on her blog. :) Please do check it out and save a few Swiffer cloths from an early and unnecessary death. Hey - and think what great gifts these would make!

Oh, and yes Kansas is also a Happy Slob Cleaner, she wrote this to me in her email: " I purchased your book quite sometime ago and refer to it often. My house is slowly coming together and is getting organized too!
Keep up the great work and I hope you reach your selling goal!!"

Thanks so much Kansas - especially for sharing such a great project with all of us. This is SUCH a Happy Slob sort of project to try. :)

Diversions: You Need a Treat - Pie and Candy Anyone?

You know that I treasure every single one of you Happy Slob Housecleaning readers. Therefore, I need to post something COMPLETELY off topic. :) I think you need some yummy homemade pie to reward yourself after a good bout of cleaning. Not a pastry lover? Then, try a bit of homemade gooey candy instead!

Enjoy! :) I know I will...

Dishwasher Cleaning - from the Inside Out

I know you're sitting there sipping a cup of steaming hot coffee, pondering one of the greatest mysteries of life: "Why isn't my dishwasher CLEANING like it used to?"

Oh come on, just go with me on this one! :) Did you ever think that perhaps that gunky machine needs to be cleaned from the inside out? That is specifically what needs to be done, and I have two fantastic tips on how to get that machine cleaned out from the inside -- all over on the website at Dishwasher Cleaning. Pop over immediately, and set your minds to ease!

PS> Honestly, these really do work. And hey, we Slobbos tend to rely an AWFUL lot on our dishwashers, so we should treat them with a wee bit of respect...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Keep on Keepin' On...Decluttering Warriors Take Heart

Don't get discouraged now with your decluttering challenge! :) I know that it's around this time - with only a couple of days left - that many of us get feeling a bit heartbroken about our clutterish situation.

But, if you've even STARTED this Decluttering Challenge, then I for one am HUGELY proud of you! Set aside as much time as you can today and make some progress. Not only will it make your space look clearer and more serene - but it will make YOU feel better too.

Have you ever noticed that a newly decluttered space - whether that space be the under-sink cabinet or a long-ignored linens closet - makes you feel less weighed down? Too much junk and clutter all around us makes us feel less in control, more stressed.

So remember that with every single little item you DECLUTTER and deal with, you're adding to your own peace of mind. :)

Now - off you go! Set that timer for the time you can afford - 5, 10, 15 minutes or a bit longer if you can. And stay firmly on task. READY? :) Go declutter!

A Humane Way to Deter Mice

"JMZ" sent me this wonderful email - a humane way to deter mice from your home:

I found out from someone else, that using baking soda will deter mice. I heard about this over a year ago. We had mice coming in thru my daughters closet, (found a dead mouse in front of her closet 1 day). I set traps in there, and my husband sealed off all the holes he found that they may be coming in thru, and we were still getting mice. Since sprinkling baking soda in her closet we have not had any mice, or signs of mice in her room. Great for daughter and I since we are both terrified of mice. This is the cheapest, non-toxic, humane, most effective way to keep mice out of our home.

A great thought from Alexis - 'Dust Bunnies Don't Bite'

A cute email from Alexis that I just had to share!
Hey Alexis - your 'dust bunnies don't bite' quote is a classic! :)
We slobbos tend to love natural cleaning stuff, but thanks for sharing the Lysol tip too!

I just found your "Happy Slob" website. I like it.
I am a total slob, hate housework and avoid
anything to do with it if at all possible.
(The way I look at it, dust bunnies don't bite,
don't eat much and make better pets than
their four-footed namesakes)

Yes, on to the point. I found that "Lysol" brand
spray also kills mold and prevents it from coming
back. (Also makes room smell good)

Hope this can be of some use to you.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

4 More Days of THRILLING Decluttering Action

You heard correctly - we still have 4 more days (including today) of decluttering action to get our homes looking clutter-free. Or at least a bit more serene.

How is your DECLUTTERING ZONE looking? Mine is looking a wee bit better - it was in worse shape than even I had anticipated. :) But I'll get that foolish closet clean and decluttered and nicely organized, even if it might take me two weeks to do it.

Thanks to those of you who are participating. What has been the biggest difference by undertaking this latest DECLUTTERING CHALLENGE? Has your family noticed? And, do you get your family involved in helping to declutter? Share your tips with all of us!

Removing Wax from Votive Candleholders

An oldie but a goodie - this fantastic page on our website teaches you 2 ways to remove wax from votive holders. Great for candle junkies like myself. :) Hey, it adds atmosphere and helps hide dirt!

Removing Cigarette Smoke Odors - Help for a Reader

Hi Christina,

You've probably had this question before, but I can't find anything about it, so perhaps you have a good remedy for cigarette odour. I have a guest staying with me who smokes in the bedroom (I feel I can't ask her to stop as she's old and very sensitive and hasn't been here for 26 years), and when she goes I'll need to get rid of the foul smell. Apart from washing all the linen, I can't do the mattress, is there anything else I could use.

Many thanks,


Hi Dee,

:) Thankfully, it's not quite as difficult as you might imagine to get rid of the smokey smells once your friend has left. Here are some of my favorite ways to get rid of smoke (and other nasty) odors:

  • Leave out a bowl of vinegar - We are all huge fans of vinegar, but did you know that one of its uses is also as an effective air cleaner/purifier? It helps to suck out nasty odors from the air. Just leave a small bowl of it in the room that your friend was in.
  • Open all the windows - Sure, it's obvious, but used in conjunction with some of these other odor-removing tips, nothing works better than good old fresh air.
  • Wash down the walls with...you guessed it! Our Very Vinegar cleaner is great at washing down the residue of smoke left behind on your walls. Just about 1 part vinegar to 4-5 parts water in a bucket should work great. Use a sponge to sponge down the walls and you won't need to rinse after either.
  • Other odor suckers: Bowls of baking soda or charcoal briquettes left out will also naturally suck nasty smoke odors from the air. You'll be surprised how well this works.
  • Wash down surfaces and linens: Any linens or surfaces will also need to be cleaned right away to get rid of the odors.
  • Fight fire with...nicer odors - A little spritz of your favorite perfume or essential oil blend around the room AND a little spritz on light bulbs in the room will help fight the scent with nicer scents.
  • Suck up odors from the carpet - Plain baking soda, or a little baking soda mixed with your favorite essential oils sprinkled on the carpet will naturally absorb odors. Sprinkle this mixture on the carpets and let sit for about 20 mins before vacuuming the baking soda, dirt, and stinky scents away.

I think this multi-pronged attack should really help, Dee! :) Let us all know which of these techniques works the best.



Sunday, August 20, 2006

It's Sunday...and WE're a Bunch of Decluttering Fools

You got it - it's Day 3 of Our Decluttering Challenge. So - how is your decluttering going so far? Have you gotten as far as you'd hoped? Have you set aside 15 minutes or more every day to get that nasty DECLUTTERING ZONE free of junk and clutter?

If not - you still have time to join in! As soon as you've finished reading this message, go put on your trusty timer for 15 minutes (more if you can) and then get to work! You still have until this Friday to get your DECLUTTERING ZONE looking fabulous.

Or...if you HAVE been faithfully decluttering bit-by-bit over the past couple of days - I for one am very proud of you! BE sure to post and tell us how it's going. :)


Wow, over 60,000 visitors to my website!

:) I had to share this exciting news - there have been over 60K visitors to my website at HappySlob.com. 60,000!! Can you believe it? Maybe you can, but I sure can't. I'm going to be adding lots of new, motivational info so that all of us can keep working on our cleaning goals.

I love to hear from you - and I love sharing your tips with everyone too. You can email me anytime at christina @ happyslob.com

Start a Blinds Cleaning Business - Niche Business Ideas

Yes, you just might find yourself loving cleaning so much (shocking, I know!) that you could even do it for a profit. :) I just posted a great article by Chris Navi entitled: Start a Blind Cleaning Business. It's a great niche market for cleaning business owners.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Another Great Decluttering Challenge Begins - Are YOU Ready?

Dear slobbo pals,

Okay, this new decluttering challenge is one where I want as many Happy Slob cleaners as possible to get involved! I want to hear your stories, your challenges, and definitely - your success stories when all is said and done.

I want you to choose an area that you will successfully DECLUTTER in one week. Starting today, Friday August 18, 2006. Meaning that one week from today, I want you to email me or come and post on the blog what you have gotten accomplished.

What area should you choose?
This is entirely up to you. :) I can't see into your homes - BUT - you and your family and friends sure can. And I'll bet that right now a room, closet or storage area has already popped into your head and you just KNOW that there's one spot in your home that needs attention the most. Choose an area that is seen the most, and that will have the greatest impace once it's been successfully decluttered.

Every Day on This Blog...
I'll do my part by posting tips and hints and motivational quips here on the blog. Feel free to post as many comments as you like! The more we all get involved and encourage one another, the more likely we'll get this thing done. :) And then we can be terribly proud of our accomplishments.

Today's Decluttering Challenge Du Jour...
Is quite simple really:

  1. Choose the Decluttering ZONE YOU will be working on
  2. Set out bags or boxes for the following categories: KEEP, GIVE AWAY, RECYCLE, TRASH IT
  3. Set the timer for 15 minutes and begin working. (If you have more time to spend, definitely set that timer for longer!)
  4. Stay focused - keep on the task at hand. :) Make every minute of your decluttering count. In the end, you'll see great results if you do.




Reader's Question: How to Remove Nail Polish from Clothing

Just wondering if you know how to remove finger nail polish from a cotton shirt. I have looked at several of your newsletters and I don't see anything.

Thanks much,

Hi Debbie,

Don't you just HATE when stuff like this happens? :) It's called life. (And being a supreme-o clutz-o myself, I know all about these kinds of mishaps.) But don't worry - you CAN remove nail polish from clothing, and it's not even as hard as you might think.

Here's your best bet at removing this nasty clothing stain:

- Blot the stain with acetone nail polish remover - yes, it does need to contain acetone. Check to make sure your nail polish remover isn't the type that is acetone free. Dab at the stain with an acetone soaked cotton ball, and then gently dab at the stain with a soft cloth or paper towels.

- Soak the stain with a gentle laundry detergent mixture: 1 heaping tablespoon of your favorite laundry detergent (either powdered or liquid form is fine) in 1 cup of lukewarm water. Use this mixture to sponge onto the garment and then use cool water to rinse.

- Put into the washing machine, and let the garment run through a regular load.

Please let me know if these tips have helped!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Happy Slob's Absence

Hi all,

Just a brief note to let you know I'll be back with a newsletter and plenty of new blog postings in the next couple of days. :) I've had my cousin here to stay with me, and we've been busy visiting and doing touristy things - and therefore I haven't had a whole lot of computer time.

Be prepared for all sorts of fantastic motivational things when I get back.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

So, You Say You Don't Have time for a Cleaning Burst?

Hey, I know better than anyone that life is hectic and crazy and overwhelming. So, what is a happy slob to do? Cleaning bursts, of course! Cleaning bursts help get a whole lot of cleaning done in the minimum amount of time.

Even only 5 minutes set on your handy dandy timer (which should be in your cleaning kit all the time - or just use the timer on your stove) and get to cleaning the IMPACT AREAS - those areas that you & others see the most often.

:) Get into this habit of CLEANING BURSTS and you'll absolutely shock yourself with how much cleaner your place will be!

PS. You need to learn to DELEGATE CLEANING TASKS to your family. You're not the paid help - so everyone needs to pitch in!

Clean out that Nasty Sofa, Slobbos!

Hey everyone,

:) In preparing for my cousin's visit, my husband and I did a task that we (obviously) don't do often enough - clean out the sofa. I mean, take those old cushions off and go to town with the vacuum to really clean out all the nasty accumulations of dirt that setles in all the crevices.

Needless to say - the couch (which is admittedly very ugly and on it's last legs ANYWAY) does look and feel a lot better. :) And I was oddly proud to see that vacuum cannister fill up with dirt.

So - today's special challenge for you is to attack the sofa with the vacuum cleaner. Remember to put on some fun, danceable music to make your cleaning tasks easier.

Have fun!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Surefire Way to Get Out Blood Stains from Carpet or Fabric

One simple ingredient will do an amazingly good job: hydrogen peroxide. Just pour it on, and watch it start to disappear!

Cleaning Cutting Boards (Chopping; Household Tips)

Another fabulous use for vinegar? Use it to clean your wooden and plastic chopping boards! Use it plain to disinfect. For boards with deep grooves, let the cutting board sit in a small amount of plain vinegar in the sink for about 5 minutes, and then scrub and rinse with plenty of clean, fresh water. :)

All of Our Favorite Vinegar Cleaning Uses

Cleaning with Microfiber Cloths - Cleaning Tips (Household)

I'm a big believer in microfiber cleaning cloths. Not only are they very effective at cleaning (especially dusting - and many swear by them as the best dishcloths ever) BUT - these are a must-have if you have a family member with allergies or asthma. You don't need to use any additional cleaners - just these cloths and a bit of water and you can get practically any surface sparkling clean.

:) A great option for Happy Slob Housecleaning fans!

P.S. These are also far safer for your pets and family - no chemicals means no chance of ingesting something downright frightening!