Cleaning & Organizing Tips

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Tips eliminating litter box smell, 7 ways to cut cat box odor #Cat, #cats, #PetTips, #LitterBox, #Pets

Our family has two cats, I LOVE my family and they all LOVE the cats, while I just “like” the cats. Since I love my family I allow these “fur balls” to live in my home.  Don’t get me wrong I am nice to them, and think they are cute and would never allow any harm to come to them.  I do however have a real issue with their hair, and the cat box being in my home.  I seem to be the only one that “smells” the litter box and I am totally paranoid that my house will smell like cats.

Here are a few tips I have found to keep litter box odor to a minimum:

1) The brand of cat litter you choose can make a world of difference.  They come in all different varieties, I have found I HATE the scented ones.  They are made to help “hide” the odor but I find I then just associate the smell  of the scented litter to a messy box even if it is clean.  So I personally prefer a scent free litter.  Plus my Mom’s vet told her that  the scented litter was causing her cat to have UTI’s (urinary tract infections) so a scent free litter might just be healthier for your cat too.

2) The brand of cat food you choose affects the smell of their urine and poop.  My husband loves to spoil his cats and buy them wet canned food, the cats LOVE it but oh my word…. it is like they pigged out at an all you can get restaurant.  As soon as the cat goes poop you can smell it throughout the whole house (yuck).   So I had to put a limit to how often the cats get wet food, due to the smell.  I also noticed that different brands of dry food make a HUGE difference in the  smell of the cats urine.  Some of them make the cats urine very STRONG…. I personally really like the Friskies brand dry food.  The cats like it, price is middle of the road and it seems to help the cats have a “mild” urine odor.

3) Scoop the box daily, or even twice a day.  As much as my kids think I am nuts, scooping the box OFTEN is huge to keeping odor down and keeping a fresh smelling box.

4) Use a box liner, we use a heavy duty black garbage bag to line the litter box.  This makes for easy changing of the litter box and also helps keep the box itself more fresh. The box is plastic and will absorb smells… so even with a liner I suggest to get a whole new box once a year.

5) Baking soda, can help cut down on odors.  I like to sprinkle it on top after scooping the box.

6) Change the litter at least once a week, with two cats at least twice a week.  Yes this is on top of scooping daily.  I know some people will put a lot of litter in and only change it every few weeks.  But I prefer to use less litter (about 2-3 inches deep) and change it more often.

7) Put the box in a well vented area.  An ideal room is one with a vent fan and a window that you can open to the outdoor.  Fresh air is your friend when…. after all most of us want a well vented bathroom.  Having your cats “bathroom” in a well vented area is ideal as well.

Bonus tip: to get the cat hair off the furniture I really like the Pledge Fabric Sweeper for Pet Hair, Empty and Reuse.

Please note this post contains my affiliate link to amazon, prices and selection are due to change at any time. 

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How to get sharpie marker off your carpet, the fastest and easiest way to get Sharpie marker off your carpet #Sharpie, #DIY, #ParentingTips

My 4 year old was playing “pirates” and they were going on a treasure hunt.  That is when he thought it would be a good idea to put an “X” where the treasure was.  Sounds cute… till I realize that “x” was made with a SHARPIE Marker on my carpet!!!!!  I have found the easiest way to get sharpie out of my carpet is with plain rubbing alcohol.  At first I just “dab” it  with a rag wet with alcohol to try and get as much out as possible without spreading the stain…. then I get my rag really wet and it scrubs out clean!

Please note this just just what works for me and my carpet, some brands of carpet might not work as well.  You might do a small test spot before you do a large area.

Other “quick tips” you might likeHow to get sharpie marker off your skin, the fastest and easiest way to get Sharpie marker off your child #Sharpie, #DIY, #ParentingTips

How to get Sharpie Marker off your skin in seconds. 

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How to get sharpie marker off your skin, the fastest and easiest way to get Sharpie marker off your child #Sharpie, #DIY, #ParentingTipsSOMEONE found the sharpie maker…. Does he look guilty? :)

All you need is:

Rubbing alcohol, a cloth and a child who found a sharpie (of course your perfect child would never do such a thing, so barrow the neighbor kid)

IF you are a parent and IF you have a sharpie marker in your house even if it is up high and hidden…. without fail ONE DAY your child WILL find it.  It is like trying to hide fresh meat from a bear, they will sniff it out, animal instincts kick in and they will grab the prize when you least expect it.  Oh and all you “non parents” or “new parents” with perfect children. Go right on ahead an judge all of us…. “if you only kept a better eye on your children, or MY child would never do such a thing “.  Well just you wait because the day will come, takes all of 3o seconds, your child finds a sharpie marker once they pop the cap off, it is like an unseen  force comes over them and the NEED to “tat” themselves out with sharpie tattoos is just to strong.

As a Mother of 4 (soon to be 5 anyday) I have been on this “sharpie self expression body art” one to many times.  My first born just got scrubbed raw with a wash cloth and soap in an effort to get it off.  I have tried all kinds of things… till one day I found the MAGIC solution.  My Uncle who sells furniture told me that if I get permanent ink on my couch to use rubbing alcohol to get it out.  WELL my child in not a sofa…. but if I can use rubbing alcohol to clean a cut I might as well try it.  Sure enough it worked like magic, couple wipes  and it is GONE. No sore arms, no scrubbing…. AMAZING!

I have found the FASTER you use the alcohol the better it works.  The longer the sharpie sits on the skin the harder it is to get off.

I hope you find this tip helpful, feel free to PIN it or share!

How to get sharpie marker off your skin, the fastest and easiest way to get Sharpie marker off your child #Sharpie, #DIY, #ParentingTips

Other “quick tips” you might like

How to make Ice Cream In A Bag

HOW TO FREEZE STRAWBERRIES ~ 5 EASY STEPS.

How to cut a whole watermelon into cubes in just a few minutes

GARDEN TIPS ~ USE MUFFIN TIN TO CREATE PERFECTLY SPACED HOLES FOR PLANTING

REPLACE A WORN OUT TRAMPOLINE SAFETY PAD WITH POOL NOODLES ~ EASY DIY

How to keep bugs out of your drink at a BBQ or picnic 

SHOE MATCHING GAME ~ HELPS KIDS GET THEIR SHOES ON THE CORRECT FOOT

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organizing legos,#legos,#springcleaning, #organizing, #organizinglegos, #legostorage, #thriftyhouseholdtips

Easy, Thrifty Lego Storage

It started out innocently enough, kids love legos, so a bucket of them seemed like the perfect gift idea.  Then they requested sets for other holidays and birthdays.  Before I knew it we had a small tote full.  So full that rummaging through them was next to impossible and playing with them was a chore instead of a creative, fun time!

organizing legos, #legos,#springcleaning, #organizing, #organizinglegos, #legostorage, #thriftyhouseholdtips

I researched different ways to store them, and while I loved some of them, they weren’t practical or thrifty!  I decided on plan b; get some empty plastic shoe boxes and let each color have it’s own box.  So far it has worked great!  All 3 of my kids have spent a couple of hours on the floor creating various masterpieces.  So much better than asking to watch tv or play a video game!

organizing legos,#legos, #springcleaning, #organizing, #organizinglegos, #legostorage, #thriftyhouseholdtips

I started with 10 boxes to be safe.  I had one for each color.  As I finished organizing them, I discovered that there weren’t enough of some of the colors to need their own box.  I ended up mixing the blue and purple and the yellow, red and orange.  Apparently we have an over abundance of grey and we may have to divide it in half (thanks to the obsession for the Star Wars sets).

organizing legos, #springcleaning, #legos,#organizing, #organizinglegos, #legostorage, #thriftyhouseholdtips

I admit that I enjoyed it at first, I have a thing for organizing and with a family haven’t been able to keep things the way I would’ve in the past.  So this gave me a chance to rekindle that obsession, hobby.  If you don’t enjoy that type of thing, or even if you do, what a great way to spend some time with your kids while you let them help divide the colors into their boxes!  Finish up by labeling your boxes so that they are easy to see which one you need.  I cut labels out of vinyl in a Lego brix font I believe I got from dafont.com.  You could easily do it in different colors of vinyl to match the color in the box, or even in the coordinating color of permanent marker.

organizing legos, #legos, #springcleaning, #organizing, #organizinglegos, #legostorage, #thriftyhouseholdtips

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clean - dirty dishwasher magnet #dishes, #magnet, #cleandishes, #dirtydishes. #kitchen, #magnet

Clean / Dirty Dishwasher Magnet

I don’t know why, in my house, we have such a hard time remembering if we ran the dishwasher or not!  Especially now that the kids are getting older and are helping more with the emptying and loading.  Fortunately it is easy to discover  if they are clean or dirty by opening it up.  My kids don’t seem to realize that all the time though and then life stands still until Mom tells them.  Anyone else have that problem?  I decided I wanted to make a clean and dirty magnet to help all of us remember.  Let’s be honest, we are busy and we can’t always keep little things straight!

You will need:

1 White card stock or thick paper

1 Patterned card stock or thick paper

scissors

A cup, bowl or something else round to trace

marker

brads

magnet

Hot glue gun and glue

Begin by making a large circle out of patterned paper.  Mine was 4.5 inches.  Now you will need to cut 2 circles slightly smaller then the large one.  Cut one out of the white card stock and one out of the patterned. My smaller circles were 4 inches.   On one side of the white circle write “clean” and on the other end of the same side write “dirty”.

clean  dirty dishwasher magnet, #easycrafts,#magnet,  #kitchen, #cleandishes, #dirtydishes,  #thriftycrafts, #craftideas, #kitchencrafts

Once your paper circles are cut, you will want to find the center.  This is important for it to be exact or it won’t turn correctly.  Do this with all 3 circles.  Before connecting them, you will want to take your small circle of patterned paper and cut a small window in it.  To do this, I used my white card stock and traced a small oval that was big enough for the “dirty” and “clean” label to show through.  You want to make sure it is less than half or you won’t be able to get your brad in it!

clean  dirty dishwasher magnet, #magnet, #easycrafts,  #cleandishes, #dirtydishes, #kitchen, #thriftycrafts, #craftideas, #kitchencraftsclean  dirty dishwasher magnet, #easycrafts,#magnet,   #cleandishes, #dirtydishes, #kitchen, #thriftycrafts, #craftideas, #kitchencrafts

Now, simply connect with a brad.  (you can find the simple brass brads or fasteners in the office supply section of your store).  You are almost done!  Just turn it over and hot glue a magnet onto the back of your fastener.  Let it cool and you are ready to use it!  Great to add to a gift basket of kitchen necessities for a house warming gift too.

clean  dirty dishwasher magnet, #magnet, #cleandishes, #dirtydishes, #kitchen, #thriftycrafts, #craftideas, #kitchencrafts

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Ziploc wants you to  Challenge Your Best Friend to a Closet Showdown: Your best friend is always there for you. You would trust her with your life. But would you trust her with your closet? If anyone can tell you the truth, it is her, so ask your go-to-girlfriend to help you clean out your closets—it doesn’t just have to be clothes. Work together to toss or donate whatever you are hoarding—shoes, costume jewelry, VHS collection etc.

I took the Ziploc Closet Showdown, but I did it with my 3 year old.  I feel it is so important to  help them understand how to clean and organize. You can do it for them, but then they will never learn those skills themselves.  So teach them while they are young! Knowing how to clean is a great skill to learn. 
Ziploc closet challenge, Quick tips to keeping your closet oraganized

 When I tell my kids it is time to clean their room, I normally get that look like “You are the worst mom ever” or they fall to the floor as if their life has ended and there is no reason to go on.  Yes, I know rather dramatic,  but hey when you’re three years old you also tuck your shirt into your AWESOME Rambo underwear…lol.   Today was no different when I informed my 3 year old son we were going to clean his closet, he curled up in a ball on the floor.

Ziploc closet challenge, Quick tips to keeping your closet oraganized

But the frown quickly turned into a smile when I told him that we were going to us some COOL new Ziploc products to organize his room.  Oh boy was he excited, and could hardly wait to start.  The Ziploc big bags have a photo of a bunch of balls inside the bag, he saw that and yelled, “LOOK Mom,  I can be in the Olympics, see all the balls in the bag.”  Oh to be 3 years old again, and to be so excited about every little thing and have no limits to your dreams!
Ziploc closet challenge, Quick tips to keeping your closet oraganizedWe don’t keep many toys in his room, or he will play with them at bedtime. But he does have a few things, like cars and crayons.  We decided to use the Ziploc Twist n Loc  containers.  He thought that was a blast, each car he “drove” into the container. As he put away the color crayons he said the color of each one. When he was done, he could hardly wait to put them away.

Ziploc closet challenge, Quick tips to keeping your closet oraganized

I let him pick where he wanted to put them, and he thought the red shelf would be best. I agreed that was a great choice.

Tip: In teaching your children to clean, help them learn to make choices and feel confident in those choices. Something as simple as allowing them what shelf to put toys on can empower them be able to make other choices in the future.

Ziploc closet challenge, Quick tips to keeping your closet oraganized

Next we used the Ziploc Big Bags and Flexible Totes to help package like items.  We used the Ziploc Big Bags to put all the baby blankets in one and used another one to put sleeping bags in. Were were then able to fit 4  large quilts into the Flexible Tote!  My son thought the tote was amazing cause he could use the zipper to zip it up, he keep saying “Look Mom I can help you.” I was surprised how big these bags and totes are, talk about an amazing storage solution!

So our Closet Showdown took about 30 minutes to complete.  My 3 year old and I had a great time and he can’t wait to show his big brother what a good job we did organizing their closet while he was at school.

Ziploc closet challenge, Quick tips to keeping your closet oraganized

Disclosure ~ This is a sponsored conversation with ZipLoc Brand, all options are my own.  

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