What skills you need to become a modern homemaker

What skills you need to become a modern homemaker

Times have changed a bunch since the 1950's.  So what skills do you need to be a modern homemaker?  In this post, I share what skills you do need to be a modern homemaker.  You'll be surprised by how easy these skills are and you probably have all of them.

How To Speed Clean When You Have Too Many Distractions

It can feel impossible to clean your home without distractions.  In this post, Jenn shares her 7 speed cleaning distraction free tips with you so you can successfully speed clean your home.  Included is a free speed cleaning workbook to help you successfully speed clean your home without distractions.

Let me know if this sounds familiar?

Notifications are blowing up your phone, kids need your undivided attention, texts are coming in, and all you want to do is a quick clean up of your house.

In this post, I'm going to share 7 tips with you to help you speed clean your home without distractions.  Stay tuned until the end because I've put together an amazing bonus for you!

Now, the phone blowing up and the kids needing your undivided attention are just a few distractions that, as busy moms, we face.  Things being misplaced, noticing that something else needs attention, these are all things that come up when we are trying to clean.

Have you ever started scrubbing a toilet and then find yourself in the kid's room organizing their sock drawer?

If so, you are not alone.  This used to be an almost daily occurrence for me...

So how do you overcome the distractions?  It's not like you can take these distractions away like you can take a toy away from a child.

But you can put systems in place that will help you make sure that you aren't following every shiny object that you see.

That's exactly what I'm going to help you with, and it brings me to my first tip.

Clean when you have a clear mind 

When you are not focused or don't have a clear mind, that is when people tend to drift.  If you find yourself feeling scattered or even overwhelmed before you start cleaning you may find yourself bouncing around.

So how do you fix this?  Well, you have a few options.  Some I will be talking about later on.  But for starters, if you are feeling anxious or scattered then it is best to sit take a deep breath and know that if you are distracted it will only take you longer to complete.

The big important takeaway is to make sure you are only cleaning what's important.  Sweeping the garage or cleaning out the dryer vent probably isn't your top priority when you are wanting to speed clean your home.

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Finish one room at a time

Finishing one room at a time can seem easier said than done.  What do you do when you find something that belongs in another room?  

But you cannot expect to speed clean while you are multitasking.

My favorite thing to do is to have a basket that I bring with me room to room.  If I find something in there that doesn't belong, just throw it in and take care of it when you are in that room.  

For instance, if you are in the bathroom and someone's shoes are in there, don't walk them to that room, just throw them in the basket and wait.  This will help remove some of that distraction.

Believe me, when I find myself going from room to room zig-zagging all over the house I end up cleaning areas that I didn't plan on cleaning and it wastes time that frankly, I just don't have.

At the end of this post, I'm going to be sharing something pretty awesome that will help you with that so stay tuned for that.

Create a cleaning caddy

Believe it or not but having a cleaning caddy really helps remove distractions.  If you have everything you need to clean you will not have to leave the room you are in.  

This caddy is going to go into each room you go into.  So it is important to make sure it is stocked with everything that you need.

A cleaning caddy is something quite simple you can put together.  All you really need is a bucket, your favorite cleaning supplies, and your cleaning checklist and you've got yourself an organized cleaning caddy for you to use.

Inside the bonus I've put together for you is a cleaning caddy checklist to help you create your own cleaning caddy!

** Simple cleaning tip! **

I use an all-purpose steam cleaner to really deep clean my floors, walls (when needed), showers, and sinks I like to add a few drops of essential oils to the water so my home smells fresh and clean.

** Simple cleaning tip #2! **

Try laminating your cleaning checklist so you can use them without them getting ruined.

Now that you have cleared your mind, you're focused, you know to clean one room at a time, and you have a fully stocked cleaning caddy it's time for my next tip...

Cleaning caddy

Create a cleaning route

This by far will help you remove some of those distractions.  Sure, your cleaning route isn't going to have your keeps needing your undivided attention but it will help you stay focused.

First, let me explain what a cleaning route is.  A cleaning route is a mapped out route that you will take when you start cleaning.  This route will be efficient and help you stay on track.

How do you create one?

I like to start at one end of the home and finish at the other end of the home.  Now depending on how your home is laid out, you might find yourself following a loop.  

The big important thing to pay attention to is not zigzagging around the house.  Jumping from one room to the next will only waste time and if you are planning on speed cleaning the house, it will only eat up your valuable time.

Inside the bonus I have for you, you can create your own cleaning route to help you with this.

Clean when your kids are at school, napping, or sleeping

If one of your biggest complaints about cleaning is you can't clean with your kids around then maybe it's time to either clean when they're not around or have them help.

You have a few options that I'm going to go over.

Now if your kids are super young you can probably wait until they are sleep to grab 20-minutes to quickly clean up the house.

If your kids are school age then you can schedule 20 minutes during the day to do a quick speed clean.

Now if your kids are anything like mine then you might need to give them jobs.  When my kids were younger they wanted to "help" all the time.  So instead of fighting it, I decided to give in and give them "super important kid jobs" they were given jobs like cleaning the cupboard doors with baby wipes or putting papers in a paper bag for recycling.

They felt important and included and I was able to keep up with the cleaning I wanted to do.  

I created a chore chart for them.  One child loved stickers so she added a sticker to the chore chart and the other loved stamps so I had her put a stamp on the chore chart.  

After 10 stickers or stamps, they were able to pick out a treat in the Target Dollar Spot.  

They loved it.  It felt like a win-win.

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Only common areas

When I say speed clean I mean speed clean.  I don't think cleaning closets or cleaning behind the fridge is part of that.

Those areas can be dealt with at a different time and I can explain them in a different post.

Think of speed cleaning as quickly picking up before company comes for a surprise visit.  You are freshening up the house, removing clutter, spot cleaning.  

There is no need to move furniture and sweep or vacuum underneath them.

If you find yourself in a room that company wouldn't go into, don't clean that area during a speed clean.

Some of the common rooms would be the kitchen, dining room, living room, family room, main bathroom, and entryway.  

Making the speed cleaning a little easier to deal with.

Cleaning schedule/Cleaning routine

You may not know this about me but I love routines.  Routines have saved me from the overwhelm more than once.  I'm able to create a plan and then execute it without having to remember what to do next.

My kids have told me more than once that I suffer from shiny ball syndrome, and you know, they're right.  

Without a routine, I wouldn't get half of the things done that I'm able to get done.

It helps me stay accountable, on track, and if I start drifting I have something that will help pull me back to where I need to be.

So the best way to create a cleaning routine/cleaning schedule is to figure out what needs to be done.

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Since we are talking speed cleaning here it's a little simpler.  Spot cleaning common areas, picking up items that don't belong and refreshing the house so it feels like something was accomplished.

Well, you are in luck, a few times inside this post I've been referencing to a tool to help you create a system that will allow you to speed clean without being distracted.

I've put together a speed clean workbook for you.  Inside this workbook, I've included everything you need to be successful with your next speed cleaning session.  There's a checklist that includes everything that I've gone over with you today. 

A cleaning caddy checklist so you can create your own cleaning caddy, a cleaning route worksheet, a chore chart for your "super important little helpers", a cleaning routine worksheet, and I've included my 20-minute speed cleaning checklist.

All you need to do is click the button below to download your free workbook!

I would love to know in the comments below what will you be doing to help yourself with the distractions?  Are there things that you do that are listed in this post?  Let me know in the comments below.

If you are feeling inspired to speed clean your house without distractions and know of others that need this post I would love it if you shared this post with your friends!  All you have to do is click on the social icons to your left.  

Thank you so much for stopping by I hope this post has helped inspire you to find 20-minutes in your day to do a quick speed clean of your home!

Jenn

How to remove nasty stains from the carpet quick & simple

If you don't have the time to pull out the carpet shampooer or if you don't have one BUT you have carpet stains you need this post.  In this post, Jenn shares how she was able to remove a kale smoothie stain from the carpet using 2 items you probably have in your home right now.  Included is a free Quick & Simple Stain Removal Checklist.  Click through to learn more.

There is nothing worse than to have your newly clean carpet messed up with a spill.  You don't have the time or the energy to pull out the carpet cleaner so what do you do?  In this post, I'm going to share how I was able to remove a stain from the carpet without having to pull out the carpet cleaner -- using items that you'll probably have at home.

About 7 years ago my husband and I got on the kale smoothie bandwagon.  Each morning I make the whole family a nice kale and fruit smoothie to start the day.  It allows me to know that we are all starting the day with more than a serving of fruits and veggies every morning.

The only problem is when someone spills the carpet seems ruined with a nice deep green stain.

I can just imagine what my guests think when they see those stains on the carpet.

That's why it's so important to get to the stain before it sets in.

So when my husband spilled his smoothie on the carpet this morning I needed to act quick.  The problem was I didn't have enough time to pull out the carpet shampooer and go over the stain 70 times.

I had heard of people swearing by using white vinegar and baking soda to remove stains so I thought I would try and write about it too!

First thing I did was clean the area with water and a dish rag.  I wanted to remove the excess smoothie from the carpet.

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Then I added a good amount of white vinegar to the stain.

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Then I sprinkled some baking soda over the vinegar and it instantly started bubbling.  I let it sit for 20 minutes.

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Once the 20 minutes were up, I took a damp warm cloth and wiped up all of the extra baking soda.  I took another warm damp cloth to scrub the stain.  I was surprised, I didn't have to scrub that much.  As you can see below, the stain was basically gone.

I waited a few hours to let that area dry and I vacuumed.  As you can see, no kale smoothie was visible.  This took me less hands on time then using the shampooer and the stain came out.  

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The next time you have a fresh stain I recommend using this method on them.  Stay tuned for another post because I'm going to try this on an old stain and see what type of results I see.

Now if you want to try this on any stains you have on your carpet and need a little assistance, I created a stain removal checklist to help you out.  You can download, print it out so you have it handy for any stains you need to remove.  All you need to do is click the button below to download the checklist.

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If you know of someone that might love to see this tutorial, you can share this post with them through social media or email.  All you need to do is click the share button that is located on the left hand side of this post.

I would love to know in the comments below have you tried other ways to remove stains from your carpet?  I would love to hear all about it in the comments below.

How to live frugally without feeling like you are

If you are tired of feeling like you are living frugally and want to enjoy some of the finer things in life, then you need this post.  Or maybe you want to live frugally but don't want to give certain things up.  In this post, Jenn shares 8 tips that will help you live frugally without feeling like you are.  Included is a living frugally without feeling it workbook to help you save more money.  Click through to learn more!

I'm just going to say the thing you're not supposed to say... Living frugally sucks.  It's like going on a chocolate-free diet.  You find yourself only wanting to eat chocolate.  Standing in line at Target -- yes, I need that chocolate bar.  Finishing lunch and ready to reach for the chocolate.

Living too frugally can feel the same way.  Noticing all of the warn down things in your home, seeing great deals on things that maybe you don't need but -- you're being frugal right because it's on sale!

What if there was a way you could live frugally without feeling like you are.

Now that I have your attention.  In this post, I'm going to share 8 ways you can live frugally without feeling like you are restricting yourself or going without.  I've also put together amazing bonus together for you so stay tuned!

There's something about knowing you can't do something and then just needing to do the opposite.  It's like there's an inner 15-year-old in all of us just waiting to get out and rebel.

The problem with living frugally is that we feel like we can't spend money on anything.  Or when we do we find ourselves cheaping out on things that break so quickly that it was a giant waste of money.

Over the years my husband and I have gone back and forth between a super restrictive frugal budget to a not so restrictive budget.  By going back and forth we were able to find ways that we can live frugally but also be able to enjoy things that we really do love.

If you are constantly restricting your budget, not allowing anyone to spend anything that's when the extra spending comes into play.  Your 15-year-old self-comes out to play and starts making poor money choices.

There are certain conveniences that we find that we need for ourselves.  If you are an Overwhelmed Busy Mom then there are certain things that you just can't go without.  That's why it's important to be smart about your purchases.

Which brings me to my first tip...

Stock up when those name brands you love are on sale!

If there are certain conveniences that you just need to have to either save you time or save your sanity there is no reason why you can't go without.  That's why you should totally stock up on those items when they go on sale.

Now if you find your favorite conveniences on sale but aren't sure if it's a good deal you can definitely check to see if that price is a good deal.  Head over to PriceGrabber.com type in what you're looking for and check the deals.

For grocery deals, you will want to check out MyGroceryDeals.com type in what you are looking for and then it shows you the lowest price.

If you find a deal that is just too awesome to pass up, stock up!  Don't forget to check to see if there are coupons that you can use with those deals for an even better deal.

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Notice the cost per use.

Being frugal can be tricky.  You will want to go for the cheaper brand but is it really cheaper?  It is important to look at the cost per use to see if you are really getting a good deal.  Sure you can find something for $1 but if it only has 5 uses and then you see something that is $3 and has 20 uses you really want to be spending the $3.

I believe that there are things that cost more but do save you in the long run.  For instance, there is house brand laundry soap or dishwasher detergent that just don't clean like I want them to -- or even expect them to.  So spending a little bit more with save me time and money.  

If you splurge for a brand you know works you don't have to worry about rewashing items.  Or if you know certain brands don't take as much product as others that too will save you money.  Just make sure you are getting the best deal before you purchase.

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Subscription services

Another great way to save a little extra money is subscription services.  Places like Amazon and Target will give you extra savings when you add things to their subscription service.

The reason why I'm such a huge fan of this service is that it also saves me time.  Every 3 months I have a few big boxes show up on my doorstep.  I don't have to go to the store to buy them, I don't have to remember to put them on my list.  

I just know they are going to be delivered every 3 months.

The more you add to your service the more you save.  For Amazon, you save 5% for the first 5 items (I think) and then it goes up to 15%.  

For some extra savings there are websites that show you lists of items that are $2 and under you can add to your subscription to help boost you to that 15%. 

Check out The Mash Up Mom for her list of 20 items that are $2 or less.

Check out The Refind Mom for Subscribe and save under $5

You will also want to check out Amazons coupons for the month to help with the savings!

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Now that you're saving money on items you like what about your food.  Being frugal doesn't mean you only can eat rice and beans to survive.  I have a few tips to help you still be frugal but enjoy eating out.

But before we talk about restaurants...

Meal plan with a detailed list

This is something that I think is missed.  Sure we all talk about meal planning but we don't talk about how important it is to create a detailed list.

Your list can make or break your weekly or monthly menu.  

Why is that?

Because items are often forgotten at the grocery store.

Now the best way I have found to create a detailed list is to first create the menu.  I like to take a look at what's on sale at the store that week to help me out.  This helps me save money.

But I don't just plan for dinner.  I plan for breakfast, lunch, and snacks.

There's nothing worse than running out of food 4 days into your 7-day meal plan.  We pay so much attention to dinner that we often forget to plan for lunches, breakfast, and snacks.  So what happens is we eat out for breakfast and lunch.

Which is not being frugal and probably blowing your budget.

Once all of the meals are planned out then it's time to check the kitchen and pantry for items that are needed.  Add everything you need to your list.

Your final step is to create your master list.  I like to put this together in order of where it is in the store.  This saves me time and with my list being in order, I don't forget items.

The best way to do this is to get the store's map and then you can create your list.  You can find the store's map on their website or if you're at the store you can ask for one.

I do have a real detailed meal planning planner inside The Ultimate Busy Mom Planner to learn more about the 166-page planner you can click the button below.

Now we all know that eating in is the easiest way to save money and live frugally but sometimes we need a break from the kitchen.  So how do you live frugally and eat out at the same time?  Well, I'm glad you asked, that brings me to my next tip.

Happy hour - appetizers - kids eat free

Yes, happy hour, appetizers, kids eat free, and even splitting an entre' will save your money.  

Going to dinner during happy hour have its advantages.  The restaurant is usually less busy (that's why it's happy hour) but if you cannot do the 4-6 happy hour and 8-10 happy hour is out of the question then this might not be for you.

Some restaurants have daily deals.  Maybe your favorite dinner is on sale on Thursdays so you don't have to worry about making happy hour, just plan a family dinner on the days that your meals are on sale.

Ordering appetizers can help save a ton of money too.  Appetizers aren't 3 bites anymore, they in many instances, are full on meals and they are like half the price.  You can even split the appetizer and save even more money.

My husband and I love to order a plate of nachos at our local Mexican restaurant during happy hour.  We save $3 by going early and we save even more by splitting the appetizer as our meal.  

We end up eating out for about $15.

Not bad!

If you have kids under the age of 12 (in most cases) you can find restaurants that have kids eat free on certain days.  

Again, at our local Mexican restaurant, they have kids eat free on Tuesdays and Sundays so we are literally eating out for $15 for the entire family.

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Now living frugally cannot be complete without knowing where your money is going.  Which brings me to my next group of tips...Finances...

Organize your bills and use a budget

This is so important if you are wanting to live frugally.  Set up a budget and organize your bills.  It is so easy to waste money on late fees, interest charges, and other silly fees when your bills aren't organized and you don't have a budget put together.

Inside The Ultimate Busy Mom Planner, there is a full budgeting planner included with debt trackers, debt pay off schedules and more.  If you want to take a look, click the button below.

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Track your spending, know where your money is going.

No budget is complete without knowing where your money is going.  It is important to track your spending.

Track everything that is coming and going out.  You can grab a simple piece of paper and write what you bought, when it was spent, and how much.  Then you can do the same thing for money coming in.

Again inside The Ultimate Busy Mom Planner all of that is included so you can organize your finances.

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Finally, my last tip about how to live frugally without feeling like you are is...

Negotiate your bills

We so often just pay our bills without questioning the price.  Try calling and seeing if you can negotiate the price or get a lower price.

If you have cable or satellite TV try calling about every 6 months for a better deal.

If you have medical bills, call them up when they come in and see if you can get a lower price.  Do keep in mind that they may require payment at the time of your call.  

When my oldest daughter became ill and spent some time in the hospital we had bills coming in left and right.  Mind you, we have insurance but it was all of the co-pays and the "out of network" garbage that we had to pay for.

At the bottom of one of the hospital bills read "Call us to see if you qualify for a discount."  Well, I called and guess what?  I qualified for a 25% discount.  They did require that I pay over the phone but I was totally fine with that.

So it doesn't matter what the bill is, call and see if you qualify for a discount, promotion, or anything else that will help you save a little money each month.

When you organize your bills, create a list of your bills and when the price will increase, and when it's time to call them up for a deal.

Regardless if you are or aren't living pay check to pay check it is important to live a somewhat frugal lifestyle.  You never know what the future has in store for any of us.

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Now I know that a lot of information was thrown at you.  In this post, I shared my 8 tips to help you live frugally without feeling like you are.  For your household and grocery items, I shared that you should try to stock up on items when they go on sale, notice the cost per use to make sure you are really getting the best deal, and finally utilize subscription services.

When it comes to eating, my tips were to create a meal plan with a detailed list making sure you include all of the meals.   Know that you don't just have to eat in to live frugally there are simple ways to enjoy eating out try going to happy hour, eating appetizers, or going on the days when they have deal or sale.

Probably the most important part of how to live frugally without feeling like you are is to organize your finances.  Make sure you organize your bills, create a budget, track your spending, and please try negotiating your bills when it is possible.

Since I know that was so much to take in at one time, I did put together an amazing bonus for you called the Living Frugally Without Feeling It Workbook.  Inside this workbook, I have a quick reference page that has all 8 tips for you plus action worksheet for you to use to help you take action on each of the tips I showed you today.

This workbook is free, all you have to do is click the button below to download it.

I would love to know in the comments below what tips will you be doing to help you live more frugally?  Are there tips that I didn't share that you do?  Let me know I would love to hear all about it.

If there's someone you know that would love or need this in their life you can easily share it with them by clicking on the share button located on the left.

Thank you so much for stopping by and below are a few other posts that I though you'd enjoy!