The Easy Guide to Keeping a Clean House

Hate cleaning? Me too! Here's an easy guide to keeping your house clean from a fellow lazy girl!

I hate cleaning.

I'd much rather pay someone else to clean my house for me, but since I'm on a budget, that isn't a possibility. I also need to put my big girl pants on and learn how to keep a clean house on my own. I didn't always hate cleaning. When I was younger I used to love cleaning the bathroom (weirdo) and folding laundry.

There are so many positive things about having a clean house. It's easier to host get-togethers, reduces stress, and is just more appealing. It's not always easy or pleasurable to keep a clean house. With these steps, it's a heck of a lot easier to keep your house looking its best.

1. Get Your Tools Together

There are some tools that you need to keep a clean house. Then there are tools that aren't mandatory but make it easier to keep a clean house. You should have both.
Here is a list of the tools that you absolutely need in your "toolkit":
Mop + bucket
All Purpose Cleaner (I make my own - you can find the recipe here)
Paper Towel

Now here's a list of the additional things I use that makes cleaning so much easier:
Microfiber cloths (I either buy the small ones or buy large ones and cut them to size)
Swiffer Sweeper (both dry and wet cloths)
Swiffer Duster
Vacuum (the pet hair remover attachment is my favorite thing about my vacuum)
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

Like I said, you don't need ALL of these things, and some of them might seem like a bit of an investment at the time. Things like the microfiber cloths just make cleaning up a lot easier than using a regular paper towel...and the Swiffer Sweeper dry cloths are a gift from the heavens when it comes to collecting dog hair.

A good thing to keep in mind is to store these cleaning products where you'll be using them. You don't need to keep the vacuum in the living room, but keep some cloths and cleaning solution under the kitchen sink, or in the bathroom. I do my makeup in my bathroom, so if I didn't keep some cleaning cloths and solution under the bathroom sink it would get pretty gross pretty fast! Keeping these tools where I need them ensures I get things cleaned IMMEDIATELY!

2. Create a Schedule

Having a cleaning routine makes keeping tidy a lot easier. Write down a schedule and put it up on the fridge so you don't forget. Soon it won't feel like such a chore and it'll just feel like something you do every day.

There are lots of posts about making a cleaning schedule that really helped me get started like this one, this one, and this one.

I know what you're going to say .... having a cleaning schedule sounds like the least fun thing ever in the history of the world. I get you, my friend, I get you. Just trust that once you start seeing how clean your house has become on a regular basis you're not going to want to let it get dirty again. You'll magically be transformed into a Monica (if you don't watch Friends you're probably confused ... and we're probably not going to get along).

For me, the most important part of my schedule is the things I have to do every day:
Wash the dishes (in reality this usually gets done every second day)
Wipe down the kitchen counters + sink
Wipe down the bathroom sink
Make my bed

Doing these things every day ensures that when it comes time to clean a whole room, it doesn't take forever. Luckily my house is pretty small so it doesn't take me long regardless.

My current cleaning schedule looks something like this:
Monday - Kitchen (I hate cleaning the kitchen, so doing it first gets it out of the way)
Tuesday - Bathroom
Wednesday - Bedroom
Thursday - Living Room + Hallway
Friday - Home Office/Spare Room

3. Declutter

Starting with a clean slate is the best way to keep your home tidy. Go through each room in your house and starting getting rid of all the stuff that you have no use for and find a place to put the stuff that's just laying around. We all have clutter - those clothes you cram in the top of your closet because you 'might want to wear them one day', those magazines you've read and don't know what to do with, notebooks + post it notes, decor that doesn't really match the rest of your house .... GET RID OF IT!

Get yourself some storage containers to hold things you want to keep but don't need right now, light seasonal decorations or extra sheets and blankets, or off season clothes.

When dealing with everyday clutter get some small storage baskets or bins to put things you're not sure where to put right away - like your purse, notebook, scarf, etc. Then, at the end of the day, put all that stuff away.

4. Make it Fun

Cleaning isn't exactly exciting. Make it more enjoyable by listening to some music or an audio book. I can't get through vacuuming the living room without taking a little dance break.

Giving yourself little rewards for cleaning is also a good idea. If I want a glass (or two) of wine on a Tuesday night I gotta give the tub a little scrub first.

If you're not used to being tidy, don't feel overwhelmed by all of this! Keeping a clean house isn't my favorite thing about being an adult, but it does have its advantages! You'll get the hang out of it soon enough.

If you're interested in learning more about living a clutter free lifestyle I highly recommend reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It will give you a whole new outlook on cleaning and help you become clutter free once and for all!

What are some of your house cleaning hacks?

15 Day Check-in - 30 Day Challenge: Reading

So far I've been pretty successful at reading every day. I missed one day because I had a really bad headache and only read for about 5 minutes one night because I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore. Let's see what I've noticed since starting this Challenge.

More Strict Schedule // I'm surprised to say that this Challenge is helping me be more strict about my schedule. I tend to read in bed before falling asleep, but I've really enjoyed reading my book (The Pillars of The Earth), so I want to read more of it at once - I can't do that if I'm already exhausted and ready to sleep. The last few days I've been setting aside an hour right after dinner to read. I've always wanted to be one of those people that were committed to their day planner. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this will help me be that kind of person.

Social Gains // I've been more social since starting this Challenge 15 days ago. I've been researching new books and new genres for me to read after I'm done reading this novel, so I've been asking around to coworkers, friends, or online book forums, to see what they would recommend. Also, if I hear others chatting about a book they are reading, or have read, I chime in and ask some questions! I've been less social over the years (I can thank my anxiety for that), so it's been really nice to have an ice breaker when striking up a conversation with someone. I'm also hoping by the end of this challenge to find a book club (either locally or online), so I can keep using my love for reading as a way to concur my social anxiety.

I can't wait to see what the next 15 days of this Challenge is like!

Do you know any online book clubs? I want to know about them!

Monthly Goals October

Every month I set goals for myself that I aim to achieve. Sometimes I accomplish them and sometimes I'm not so lucky. See my goals for October!

October is my all time favorite month! I love the cooler weather, the fall trends, the colours - everything! I might be a little bias because my birthday is in October, but that's beside the point ...

Let's see how I did with my September goals.

September Goals Recap

  • Paint home office - Fail. I had other priorities this month
  • Make a cleaning schedule for the house - You know you're an adult when you're excited about a cleaning schedule
  • Put together a budget that includes savings - I spent a lot of money in September ... it was not good

  • Only eat out twice a week (once for work lunch, once for dinner date) - I'm a pro at this now and I love it. 
  • Meal prep at least two days in advance - I didn't "prep" by putting ALL of my meals together, but I had a plan for what I was going to have to eat and I put some stuff, like overnight oats, or salads for my lunch together a few days in advance. 
  • Drink 2 liters of water a day - I did horrible with this. Some days I didn't even drink half of what I wanted to.

Blog/Social Media
  • Post 5 times this month - SUCCESS!!!! It felt really good to blog more this past month. Let's hope I can keep it up.
  • Gain 100 Instagram followers - This has me really excited as well. I gained about 150 followers this past month. As of right now, I spend about 10 minutes a day liking, commenting, and following on Instagram, and I know if I spent more time doing it I could grow my following even more.
  • Update 'About Me' page - Super disappointing fail.

I think I did pretty well in terms of what I got accomplished this past month. Some things I didn't get done because my priorities changed, which happens, and you just gotta roll with it. I really enjoy doing these monthly goal posts, even if I don't end up accomplishing much. It helps me feel like I'm moving forward and makes it easier to write my to-do lists each day.

October Goals 

  • Figure out all Christmas gifts for friends and family
  • Put together a budget that includes savings
  • Go through all the "stuff" in my house and find out what I want to keep or get rid of 

  • Start doing Couch 2 5K on my brand new treadmill
  • Drink 2 liters of water a day
  • Make homemade soup in my crockpot

Blog/Social Media
  • Post 5 times this month
  • Update "About Me" page
  • Find 5 bloggers/companies I want to collaborate with in the future 
  • Brainstorm 2 weeks of post ideas 

What are your goals for this month?

30 before 30

My birthday is in a week .... MY 29TH BIRTHDAY!! I'm going to freak out. The idea of turning 30 soon is scary to me. Especially when I see how much more successful other people are that are so much younger than I am. 

I think my worst quality is always comparing myself to others. I need to be comfortable with where I'm at in my life. My journey isn't the same as anyone else's. I also shouldn't feel "unsuccessful" because I've actually done quite well for myself. I have an Honors Bachelor of Arts degree from a good university, a Certificate from another good university, a full time job, 4 pets (no Mom, I did not get another cat .. I'm including the fish), a house, no debt besides said house - I'm doing great!

Even though I'm becoming more confident in where I am in my life, there's still some things I would love to do/experience before turning the big 3-0 next year.

1. Buy a new car ... at least new to me
2. Visit more of Canada
3. Blog full time and quit my 9-5
4. Run a 10k
5. Be in the best shape of my life
6. Create a capsule wardrobe
7. Have more than $5,000 in savings
8. Learn to knit and knit a scarf & blanket
9. Try hot yoga
10. Go on a road trip
11. Finish decorating my house
12. Read 10 books
13. Learn to cook
14. DIY my coffee table & 2 other pieces of furniture
15. Take a class just for fun
16. Go camping
17. Develop a skin care routine (cause I'm getting old, duh!)
18. Host a party
19. Wear lipstick
20. Start a YouTube channel
21. Finish writing half my novel
22. Organize my life
23. Be vegetarian for a month
24. Rebrand my blog
25. Attend a major sporting event
26. Send 5 handwritten notes/letters
27. Travel solo
28. See a sunset & sunrise
29. Become an early riser
30. Learn to swim

What's on your list?

30 Day Challenge: Reading

I've been contemplating what my next 30 Day Challenge should be for awhile. I have a few ideas stored in the vault but got really excited when this idea came to mind. 

It's time for another 30 day challenge. For the next 30 days I'm going to read every day. Want to take part with me? Use #KP30DayChallenge and show me what you're reading!

I really enjoy reading. I used to read every night before I went to bed, but now I very rarely read for pleasure. I'm excited about making reading a priority in my life again!

For this challenge, I'm going to read every day for 30 days. I'm going to write it in my calendar and make it a commitment. I'm hoping I can finish the book I'm currently reading (The Pillars of The Earth by Ken Follett), but I'm not making any promises - I'm just hoping to commit to reading again.

Reading isn't just entertaining, it's good for you too! After doing some research I've discovered the following benefits of reading.

1. Can help fight Alzheimer's disease
2. Improves your memory
3. Improves focus and concentration
4. Reduces stress
5. Increases your knowledge

.... just to name a few. If you want to learn more benefits of reading check out this article.

Take part in this challenge with me and use the hashtag #KP30DayChallenge

What's your favorite book? I'd love some reading recommendations for my next read!

The Single Girls Recipe Roundup

I've been living alone for awhile now, and according to any government document, that makes me "single". I also hate cooking. Those are two new facts you're learning about me today! 

Recipe Roundup for Single Girls

Over the years I've tried to learn how to cook (my mother would disagree) but the amount of recipes that are available for a single serving are difficult to find. Unless I want to be eating leftovers all week every week, I need to start experimenting a little with what I make.

I've collected some recipes that I typically turn to when cooking for just myself. These recipes can be easily paired down for a single serving. All the recipes are based around 3 main ingredients: Eggs, Spaghetti Squash, and Chicken

Egg Recipes

Egg Recipes

Eggs are SUPER CHEAP! When trying to stick to a budget this is so helpful. They aren't just a breakfast food either. Most of these recipes listed below I actually use for dinner. Eggs and Egg Whites are a must in my kitchen. Anytime I'm in a rush I crack some eggs in a pan, add whatever I have left in my fridge at the time and BAM - I have a beautiful omelette. 

Spaghetti Squash

spaghetti squash recipes

To my surprise, I actually like Spaghetti Squash. I didn't think it was possible, but my friend Laura was right, it tastes pretty good. It's also really simple to make. Spaghetti Squash is something that I make almost every week and then I freeze it in individual mason jars for a quick meal anytime. I don't like to freeze most foods because they never taste the same again, but since you're adding more seasonings and sauces to Spaghetti Squash after you take it out of the freezer, it makes a huge difference!

Rotisserie Chicken

Rotisserie Chicken recipes

Rotisserie Chicken is the Holy Grail for lazy girl (me) dinners! You can do so many things with Rotisserie Chicken. You don't even have to cook the damn thing, you can just buy it from your grocery store already cooked - halleluiah!! If I'm having a hectic week I can always just add some Rotisserie Chicken to my mason jar salad.