Quick Tip Tuesday | How to Clean Your House in Two Minutes

In a desperate attempt to maintain a home that doesn't look like an episode of Hoarders, I've implemented a daily ritual called the "Two Minute Tidy Up."

So many times I've gone to bed with socks, blocks, and Barbie's laying all over our great room floor.  Too many mornings I've lamented at the condition of my kitchen counters, certainly not eager to make breakfast in a cluttered space.

Enter our little Tidy Up Routine.


Play a song, gather the kiddos, and make a game of who can tidy up the fastest!

The concept is simple: Turn on a fun, upbeat song, clean up quickly for the duration of the music, call it good.

I like things to sound snazzy, and I figure the average pop song or Disney musical number is roughly two minutes long.  I needed a simple, fun way to get the kiddos on board with picking up at the end of the day without the moans and groans that typically involve me doing most of the work. :P

How To Save Your Sanity (aka. "Two Minute Tidy Up")
  1. Set a timer for two minutes or find an upbeat song to play.
  2. Tell the kids it's time for the Two Minute Tidy Up, and that they need to be super fast (get competitive, it's okay!)
  3. Let the kids run around picking up toys and putting them in a bin or basket to take to their room
  4. Parents take the time to pick up their own things, clean up kitchen counters, dining table, or whatever will make you feel most accomplished
  5. When the timer or song is over, stop.  You're done!  Don't keep going.  The kids can take their things to their room to be put away, and you can wrap up anything else you want to finish after they've gone to bed.

The point of the Tidy Up is to get the family to work together, for a short amount of time, and reinforce the importance of being responsible for their own things.  Sure, I still straighten and wipe up all sorts of things (eww) all day long (double eww), always reminding my kids to take care of their own dishes, put their shoes away, clean up the Play-Doh, etc.  But working together at the end of the day, and having it be a few minutes of productive fun (yes, they like it!), has been incredibly rewarding!

P.S. If two minutes isn't quite enough time, go ahead and play another song!  Make it a game and I guarantee that your kids will be into it!  Then once everything is picked up, your kids are happily panting from cleaning while having fun, then feel free to kick your feet up and enjoy an iced beverage, you Mary Poppins, you. ;)

Dude, Get On That Already: A DIY Home Project Update

When you buy or build a house, you can't help but start day dreaming of what it's going to look like once you've made it your home.  The new furniture, the special touches, family pictures on the walls.  Maybe you've got a "honey-do" list of improvements or upgrades that you want to add over time.  We built our house from the start, and I've had a running list going since before we moved in!

For me, interior design is a way of life.  It's a hobby, it's a job, it's a passion.  As much as I think I'll be happy and can relax when the list has been checked off (so satisfying!), I've come to the conclusion that I will never be done!  But that's okay!  Whether I'm plugging away at a DIY furniture project, revamping a kid's room, or researching what to plant in our yard, this sweet little home of ours is with us for the long haul, and I'm going to do my very best to enjoy the process!

Listed for your enjoyment and disbelief (it's a lot to-do's, I know), here's the latest version of our "Dude, Get On That Already" list...and for you curious folks, you can read the previous list here.

Entry / Foyer

* address shoe hatchery (they're multiplying!) in entry area
* entry table - (preferably 12" deep), white, modern, DIY?
* entryway runner - flat woven, grey trellis style
* board and batten in entry hall
* doorway case molding in foyer
* replace builder lights in foyer (mini chandeliers? star pendents?)
* hang art in foyer
* hang black mirror in foyer?

Entry Closet

* throw pillows / bench seat pillow
* add baskets / functional storage for shelves
* decide on function for shelves (gift wrapping, seasonal, etc?)
* organize / donate old coats, boots, etc.

Great Room

* add cabinets / built-ins flanking fireplace
* install molding and mantel to fireplace box
* find sofa table
* paint new sofa table (driftwood? white?)
* large area rug (8'x10'? 9'x12'?)
* permanent draperies
* bamboo blinds for lower windows
* paint side tables
* paint coffee table
* hang art over built-ins
* repair and paint toy storage armoire (mint green?)
* add molding to windows (x9)

Kitchen / Dining

* paint & reupholster dining chairs (x8)
* paint dining table
* window treatment (draperies / valance)
* kitchen runner
* finish capiz chandeliers
* install Expedit buffet
* paint island
* cabinet hardware / pulls
* paint / stencil accent wall
* rug for dining area


* find narrow drop zone table
* repaint chalkboard frame
* small area rug
* bench seat pillows
* replace builder light fixture
* organize drop-zone kid baskets/mail drop/etc.

Master Bedroom

* hang white draperies
* buy / DIY king sized bed frame
* add white flokati rug
* swap dresser for living room "console"
* new fan (Home Depot)
* fresh duvet
* hang ocean waves canvas art
* replace lack side dressers (move to dressing room)
* twin lamps for bedside tables
* ottoman/bench for foot of bed
* fireplace pass through (2nd phase)

Master Bath / Dressing Room

* install runner in bathroom
* paint cabinets (white? orchid? sea glass?)
* add valance over window
* install chandelier over tub
* install shelving in water closet (spray paint brackets gold)
* add linen storage in corner (phase 1)
* built-in linen storage with pull outs (phase 2)
* frame builder mirror
* upgrade faucet
* cabinet hardware / pulls
* replace builder lights in dressing room
* add lack dressers to dressing room
* add shoe storage
* replace all old hangers

Chloƫ's Room

* paint loft bed white
* new rug (5'x8')
* assemble bed
* add curtains to bed loft section
* hang drapes
* paint Ikea table with game board (buy 2nd chair)
* paint vanity table and paint/reupholster bench
* paint princess wardrobe
* hang crystal chandelier
* create organized toy and book storage
* add window seat

Ryker's Room (move to basement?)

* new drapes
* add bamboo shade
* playful rug
* install birch Expedit
* toy storage
* new light fixture
* hang art
* install driftwood inspired plank wall
* new bed (Ikea hack?)


* paint vintage console
* paint/re-imagine coffee table to game/Lego table
* install two Billy bookcases (phase 1)
* install doors and upper extension Billy units (phase 2)
* build window seat
* diy valance for window
* daybed / sofa bed for seating and overnight guests
* colorful rug?
* chalkboard wall

Laundry Room

* hang art
* board and batten
* hang shelving (phase 1)
* install cabinets (phase 2)
* colorful runner
* fill void at entry with table and laundry basket (phase 1)
* fill void at entry with base cabinets/laundry basket storage (phase 2)

Kid's Bathroom

* hang beach / ferris wheel art
* new towels
* add bath mat/rug
* frame builder grade mirror
* cabinet hardware / pulls
* board and batten with towel hooks

Future Guest Room (Ryker's old room?)

* queen bed (previous queen mattress set & frame)
* DIY upholstered headboard
* new bedding / pillows
* nightstand(s)
* window treatment (curtains and shades)
* art
* board & batten
* patch and repaint (Repose Gray or new color?)

Future Nursery (basement)

* repaint white crib
* new mattress
* window treatment (curtains and shades)
* dresser (old Ikea birch & white?)
* repair rocking chair
* colors: orchid & coral pink? palm beach inspired?
* hang art


* heating / air estimate (HVAC)
* finish framing office/storage rooms
* kitchenette?
* drywall
* mud
* plan / blueprint kid's hideout
* install low pile carpet
* install firebox
* install faux brick wall
* install water softener
* new sofa / sectional
* TV entertainment unit
* paint vintage hutch (white with fun insert)
* hang family gallery wall

Basement Bathroom

* paint vanity
* flooring (tile? vinyl?)
* install tub / shower
* adult height toilet
* vanity lighting

Cold Pantry

* add shelving for food storage and extra toiletries
* install insulated door
* add more light fixtures

Exterior / Yard

* install sprinkler system, add sod to front yard
* add gravel to 3rd bay side yard for truck
* design landscape layout concept for front and back (trees, rocks, sod, bushes, veggie garden, fire pit, etc.)
* DIY glass fire pit in backyard (phase 2)
* lay patio behind 3rd bay, build pergola and add climbing vines, bistro set?
* build deck (phase 2)

You know we're going to keep adding to the list, but that's part of the fun!  Besides, what's more fun than crossing things off a list?  Nothing. The answer is, nothing. ;)

Free Glamorous Valentine's Day Printables

Whether or not you're in a committed relationship, you'll fall in love with these fancy gold foil style Valentine's Day printables!

One of my most viewed posts from 2015, I thought it would be fun to do a little "move it up" and share these awesome FREE printables again!  I just love their whimsical and glamorous style, and no matter what you're color scheme, they'll fit right in just about anywhere!  Print them as a 5x7 and set in a frame, print all four and display as a set, or print them smaller and use as Valentine cards or gift tags!

Click on the image or over here on the original post to download.

Love ya!  Mmmmm-wah!

40 Bags in 40 Days

40 Bags in 40 Days has helped thousands of people jump start their plan to declutter their houses, lighten their load, and create a more peaceful, functional home for themselves and their families.

What is 40 Bags in 40 Days?

It is a forty day period when you declutter one area per day, and commit to getting rid of at least one bag of stuff each time.

This year we officially begin March 1st!

I participated in this online event a few years ago, and I'll be honest, I didn't officially make it through the entire forty days.  I missed a few days and got behind, but I did continue to declutter until I had tossed or donated forty bags of stuff!  And I'll tell you what...it was AWESOME!

The feeling of unburdening our home from unnecessary things was as if a literal weight had been lifted from my shoulders.  I felt lighter.  My home felt lighter.  I felt accomplished and less overwhelmed by a large home with five members who had way too much.  By the end of my 40 Bags in 40 Days journey, I felt renewed and ready to tackle the big stuff (like our garage)!

It was empowering.

Having too much stuff will be a lifelong trial for me.  I've always been sentimental about my possessions, attaching memories to clothing, papers, childhood toys, and the like.  I've also always been frugal and prone to saving things "for a rainy day".  The combo has amounted to incredulous amounts of clothing for both myself and my children, more piles and boxes of school papers and magazines than I care to count, completely unorganized decor and holiday items, and frankly, a house that just isn't functional.

It's too much.  Too much wasted time trying to organize chaos, too much wasted money from buying more than I need, too much space taken up by things that we don't use, and too much stress from constantly feeling overwhelmed, trying to clean, organize, store, and maintain IT. ALL.

So, here we are again, and I'm ready for another kick in the pants!

There are a few areas of my home that I will be focusing this time around:

1. Master bedroom (drop zone for randomness and things that don't have a home)

2. Master closet (too much clothing, needs better organization)

3. Kids' clothing (need to donate extra, and store and clearly organize items for future use)

4. Make-up (I have more than I use, and still have boxes of personal care items unpacked from when we moved...three years ago!)

5. Basement (tons of boxes yet to be unpacked and sorted)

6. Large items to sell (big ticket items around the house need to be sold online or get donated)

I think the biggest impact will be to rid ourselves of all the excess clothing and sell big ticket items like rugs and furniture that we no longer like or need.

Simplifying our daily routines and creating a home that feels like "us" will be a big part of our family goals for 2017.  I was already making plans and had begun working through our decluttering process when I came across #40bagsin40days again on Instagram.  What better way to simplify my life and get through all these crazy piles than with the support of thousands of other people just like you and I who need a swift kick and lots of smiley face and thumbs up emojiis?

Whaddya say?  Are you with me?  *thumbs up, cheesy grin*