How To Make Ice Cream Without An Ice Cream Maker

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, don’t fret.  You can make ice cream at home without the aid of either a hand-cranked machine or an electric ice cream maker.

How?  All you need is a freezer, and a little muscle.

Here’s how to do it. This will work with any ice cream recipe.

  1. To begin the process, put a shallow stainless steel bowl in the freezer to get cold.
  2. Now, in a separate mixing bowl, combining the ingredients as stated in the recipe directions.
  3. Set the bowl (with the ingredients in it) in a larger bowl filled with ice and salt. Let chill for five to ten minutes, stirring ingredients with a whisk or spoon until mixture gets cold.
  4. Pour the cold ingredients out of the bowl you mixed them in and into the ‘frozen’ stainless steel bowl in the freezer.
  5. Put ‘frozen’ stainless steel bowl with ingredients back into freezer, then check in about 15 to 20 minutes to see if the mixture is starting to get frozen around the edges.
  6. If so, take a heavy whisk, slotted spoon, or electric hand-mixer and stir the mixture, briskly, breaking the frozen edges up and beating into the rest of the mixture.  Rapid, brisk stirring will help the ice cream get smooth and creamy.
  7. Repeat this brisk mixing every 30 minutes until the mixture becomes a solid ‘ice cream’ texture. You may need to mix the ice cream 4 to 6 times before the consistency is right. (If the mixture freezes too solid too quickly, put in the refrigerator so it softens enough to mix again; mix and put back in freezer and repeat.)
  8. Once the ice cream has set up properly, is smooth, creamy, and semi-solid, transfer it into a freezer container with a cover.  Cover and store in freezer for at least one hour before serving; longer if you like it more firm.

Making Ice Cream Without An Ice Cream Maker

Yes, it’s a little extra work and takes a bit of time, but well worth it when the end result is a creamy bowl of ice cream. Get everyone in the family involved and have them take turns mixing the mixture.

Of course if you find yourself loving this hand-made ice cream, it may be worth looking into ice cream makers. You can often find great deals of them online and at local thrift stores. Or ask around… chances are one of your friends or family members has one sitting around that they aren’t using.

The Trip To Germany

This week’s article is more of a personal blog post about our trip to Germany. I thought it would be fun to share a few pictures with you of my town, the grocery stores and a few sights around the area. I hope you’ll enjoy taking this little trip with me.

Let’s start with the town itself. It’s called Merzig and has been around since Roman times. My all-time favorite building in town is the Catholic Church below. This is where I was baptized and went to church almost every Sunday growing up. It’s just such a beautiful building. The picture was taken from the Parish Garden.

St. Peter Church - Merzig, Germany

 

Every time I go back to to visit, I learn something new about my home town. This time I was surprised to learn that the remnants of an even older church where found in what’s today the church parking lot. Sadly it wasn’t feasible to do a whole archaeological dig, but researchers were able to determine the exact location and outline of the old church and recreated an approximate outline in lighter colored stones. The project was finished just a week before I came to visit.

The Old Church

 

Right across from the church is one of my favorite houses in town. It’s a sandstone building.

houses-town

 

The town is also famous for it’s wolf park. We stopped by for a visit and were lucky enough to catch a wolf feeding. Here are a couple of pictures from the park.

wolf-park

wolves-feeding

 

And then of course there are the different little grocery stores. There’s the bakery, the butcher shop and the likes. I took a few pictures to give you an idea of what it looks like.

Let’s start with the Bakery. My mom would ride or walk to one of the local bakeries every morning and surprise us with fresh rolls and pastries for breakfast.

bakery

And what would Germany be without sausages? Here we stopped to pick up a few different types to grill.

sausages

And here they are cooking over a wood fire at my sister’s house. I love these tripod grills.

grilling-sausages

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little trip to my home town with it’s attractions, stores and typical foods. I’m sharing some of my favorite recipes in this week’s newsletter and here on the HBHW site.

Darn Good & Dang Tasty – Healthy Food Does’t Have To Taste Bad

My friend Tracy from MomsinaBlog.com put together a wonderful new cookbook full of healthy recipes that taste great. I asked her to share her thoughts and inspiration for writing the book along with some recipes with you. Enjoy and don’t forget to check out Darn Good & Dang Tasty

Oftentimes when we think of eating healthy food our brains turn to things like tasteless tuna salad on dry melba toast – or something equally as bland.

We want to eat good food that tastes good, too, ~we really do~ but the reality is that it’s not always easy to come up with a meal, especially on the fly, that isn’t full of (if you’ll forgive my language) crap.  I completely understand how you feel.  There have been many nights when I stare longingly into the fridge and/or pantry for inspiration when, finally, in defeat, I give up and order pizza or call the hubs to pick up something quick from drive thru.  As you can imagine, this leads to a bigger waistline and a smaller bank account and that’s just not good for anyone.

To help get your healthy food mojo going and give your brain some flavorful ideas, I’ve compiled a selection of recipes that are darn good for you and dang tasty to boot.

I hope these recipes give you a jump start to healthier eating with food that tastes just as good as it looks and smells.  Enjoy!

Balsamic Mushroom & Chicken (LOW GI)

Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
No-stick cooking spray
8 ounces white mushrooms, quartered
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Parsley (optional, for garnish)

Directions:

Heat skillet and spritz with cooking spray. Saute garlic and mushroom. Add and cook chicken over medium heat until no longer pink. Add chicken broth, thyme, pepper and vinegar. Simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.

 

Carrot Muffins (LOW FAT)carrot muffins

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 1/3 cups shredded carrot
2/3 cup fat free milk
2 tablespoons fat free sour cream
1/4 cup egg whites, lightly beaten

 

Directions:

Line muffin pan with papers or spritz with nonstick spray. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, oats, baking powder, and nutmeg.

In a separate bowl mix together carrots, milk, sour cream, and egg white. Blend together dry and wet ingredients. Fill each muffin cup a little over half full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.

Darn Good & Dang Tasty ebook

 

Healthy food doesn’t have to be bland and tasteless.  In fact, it can be Darn Good & Dang Tasty.

In the newest ebook from MomsInABlog.com, Tracy shows you over 100 Low Carb, Low Fat, Gluten Free, Sugar Free & Vegetarian recipes that help you get started on your way to creating a healthier you!

How To Season and Re-Season Cast Iron Cookware

The following is a small excerpt from “The Hillbilly Housewife’s Cast Iron Cookbook“. It’s the most frequent question I get about cooking with cast iron skillets. 

Over time, cast iron cookware develops a thin protective coating known as “seasoning” from the natural fats and oils associated with the cooking process. This coating fills in all the nooks and crannies inherent in the pan metal to create a smooth, uniform surface.

This seasoning is what gives cast iron cookware its wonderful non-stick quality.

Today, most new cast iron cookware comes with this protective coating or “seasoning” already on them. If the package has “pre-seasoned” printed on it, your new pan should be ready for use because the manufacturer has already completed the initial seasoning process for you.

When you buy a brand new pre-seasoned cast iron skillet, all you need to do is rinse it out in hot water and dry completely by placing on your cooktop over medium-high heat. Make sure the entire surface is dry before putting away because cast iron can and will rust if water is left sitting on its surface.

After cooking with your new cast iron skillet, wash it by hand in hot water right away. Avoid putting your skillet in the dishwasher or soaking it in water overnight due to the potential for rust.

Instead, once the pan cools to the touch, rinse it under hot water while using a dishcloth or soft-bristled nylon brush to remove cooked-on particles. Also avoid using any harsh soaps, detergents, or metal scouring pads and scrapers as these items can damage or remove the seasoning.

Cast Iron Skillet How to Re-Season Your Cast Iron Skillet

If your seasoned cast iron cookware loses its sheen for whatever reason, you may need to re-season it to get it back into tip-top shape.

If you search online for how to re-season a cast iron skillet, you may be a bit overwhelmed by all the different points of view out there regarding the best methods and types of oil to use.

For example, there is a lot of debate about what oil to use due to the different smoke points associated with each type of oil and the release of unhealthy free radicals caused by using oils with too-low smoke points. As a result, flaxseed oil is often suggested as an ideal oil to use due to its high smoke point.

According to Lodge, a leading manufacturer of cast iron cookware, the proper way to re-season their products is to start by preheating your oven to 350 – 400˚.  While it is heating, wash the pan with hot, soapy water and a stiff brush. (It’s okay to use harsher soap and a stiff brush for this because you’re not trying to protect the original seasoning at this point).

Once clean, rinse and dry completely before applying a very thin coat of melted solid vegetable shortening or other cooking oil of your choice. Place the pan upside down on the upper rack of your preheated oven, with a metal cooking sheet under it to catch any drips.

Leave pan in hot oven for at least an hour. Turn oven off and allow the skillet to cool completely while still inside the oven. Remove pan from oven and if the coating isn’t as consistent as you’d like, repeat this process until the desired sheen is achieved.

Following these easy tips on how to care for your cast iron cookware will help keep your pieces in great shape. A minimal investment of time and effort on your part will yield delicious meals for you and your family for years to come.

Slow Cooker Reviews

I’m a big fan of crockpot cooking. No matter how busy I get or how much running around town I’ve got to do, I know a yummy home-cooked meal will be ready when we get home.

As you know, I’ve recently written and published a Kindle cookbook of Chicken Crockpot recipes. It’s been very well received and I love reading through the emails from happy readers. I noticed that I received quite a few questions about what slow cooker I recommend. I wish I could point you to one product that’s perfect for everyone, but in reality the answer is that it depends.

crockpot CollageIt depends on the needs of your family, whether or not you need to travel with your slow cooker, your cooking habits and of course your budget. I decided to sit down and take a closer look at a few of my favorite slow cooker models and review them for you. I hope the extensive reviews of the 7 slow cookers in this short report will help you make the right purchasing decision.

Slow Cooker Reviews (PDF) 

For delicious slow cooker recipes, visit the crockpot recipe section on the Hillbilly Housewife website and take a look at Crockpot Cooking Made Simple.

Plus there is a series of crockpot cookbooks I’m publishing on Amazon as Kindle cookbooks. You can find them via my Amazon Author Page at http://www.amazon.com/Hillbilly-Housewife/e/B0093KORPW/

Earth Day Projects For The Whole Family

With Earth Day coming up on April 20th, this is the perfect time to teach your kids about little things we an do every single day to protect the planet we call home. Here are some ideas for easy earth day projects the whole family will enjoy.

Kids love being a part of efforts that they know will help to protect the earth. Not only do they like knowing that they have a respected role to play but they like the fact that their parents and other adults acknowledge their abilities and maturity enough to discuss important issues with them like the environment.

Earth Day is an opportunity to really think about the messages and actions that cities and regional governments across the country are promoting to help our environment. “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” are messages that can take on greater meaning through purposeful activities that you choose to do with your family on Earth Day. To begin with, why not gather everyone around and talk about the following questions:

What can we recycle in our household and how can we recycle these items?

How many disposable items, from diapers to plastic bags do we use as a family, and how many items can we choose to do without?

Where can we reuse items we no longer want?

Earth Day Projects For The Whole FamilyHere are some uses for existing items that might be in your household:

  •  Reuse a plastic or paper bag as a gift bag – place some decorative stickers or other decorations on it and you’ve got a replacement for wrapping paper!
  • Reuse empty food containers as storage for leftovers.
  • Decorate a can and reuse it as a pencil holder.
  • Habitat for Humanity accepts building material donations – contact your local office for this non-profit group before disposing of old building material around your home.
  • Your local Goodwill can make good use of your gently worn clothing and gently used furniture or other household items. Contact them to find out delivery options.

Suggest that your children organize an Earth Day Groceries project with their classmates and teacher. The project involves each child in the class decorating a cloth, canvas or other durable and reusable bags that can serve as great grocery bags. Once the bags are done present them to your local Grocery store as a way to promote Earth Day and the strong relationship between your local store, school and patrons in the community.

Hiking is a great family activity that can turn into a enjoyable Earth Day Activity if the purpose of the hike is to pick up garbage in your local park or trail. It’s a satisfying project that will make kids feel they are doing their part to take care of an area that gives them and their friends in the community much enjoyment – especially animals!

One of the best ways to teach our children about the impact of trash on our environment is to show them the “trash trail.” Where does the trash go after we put it out for the garbage truck? On Earth Day why not take your kids on a little journey along the “trash trail.”

The garbage workers or sanitation engineers take residential garbage usually to a transfer station that collects the community’s waste/rubbish before shipping it off to a regional solid waste facility. In many cases the garbage gets trucked to a landfill or incinerator plant. Sometimes that garbage is then burned to produce electricity – depending on the town.

Investigate if you are within traveling distance to a waste facility and ask if they do tours for schools or community members. If so, you’ll be in for an eye opening experience that will make this Earth Day one that will be an educational and fun experience for you and your family.

April Fool’s Day Treats – You Are Serving WHAT For Dinner?

April Fool’s Day is the perfect day to have fun with the meals you serve. Surprise your family on April 1st with these fun meal ideas.

Fake Hot Dogs And French Fries

Your kids will love fake hot dogs and French fries for lunch this April fools day.
Peel a banana and spread peanut butter all over it to give it the appearance of a hot dog. Serve it in a hot dog bun with some strawberry preserve drizzled over the hotdog to make it look like ketchup.

For the fries, peel some apples and cut them into sticks resembling fresh fries. Roll them in a cinnamon and sugar mixture and bake them for 8 to 10 minutes in a preheated 400 F oven. Serve with a side of strawberry preserve as fake ketchup.
What a fun lunch.

Fool everyone in the family with these fun dinner and desert ideas. They won’t believe you are actually serving cake for dinner and spaghetti for dessert.

April Fools Day Cherry Cake Or Meatloaf?

Your Family will be in for a big surprise with this meatloaf cake.
Prepare your favorite meatloaf and bake it in two 9-inch cake pans. Reduce the cooking time from what you would usually cook it since the meatloaf cake is thinner.

While the meatloaf cakes are baking, prepare some creamy mashed potatoes. Spread a layer of mashed potatoes on one of the cakes and top it with the second one. Use the remaining mashed potatoes to “frost” your cake. Cut a few cherry tomatoes in half and use them to decorate the top.

Serve Spaghetti As Desert

Since your serving cake for dinner, it only makes sense to eat spaghetti for dessert.

Put a slice of pound cake on a plate. Spoon some softened ice cream in a pastry bag with a thin round tip. Pipe the ice cream over the pound cake in a swirly motion to resemble spaghetti noodles. Freeze for about 15-20 minutes to allow the ice cream to harden back up. Top with strawberry jam as tomato sauce and a few coconut flakes to resemble Parmesan cheese.

Don’t Forget The Drinks

Meals like these deserve a fun twist on a beverage as well. Prepare some lemon Jello and pour it into glasses. Add a straw and let it set. It will look just like a glass of lemonade. You can even decorate the glass with a slice of lemon.

Have fun with these creative April Fool’s recipes this April 1st. They are sure to make your family smile. Enjoy!

 

April Fool's Day CookbookFor more fun April Fool’s Day recipes, grab a copy of my latest Kindle Cookbook “April Fool’s Day – Fool Me Once, Feed Me Twice

April Fool’s Day is a great time to let your inner jokester out. And while you were probably taught to never play with your food, you can make an exception today ;-) Here are some safe, fun food tricks to fool your family and friends including:

  • Melty Mallow Fried Egg
  • Bottoms Up Glass of Jell-o
  • Candy Hamburgers
  • Goofy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
  • Cake Con Carne
  • Celebration Mini Meal Surprise
  • Butter Cream Potato Frosting
  • Silly Strawberry Whipped Potato Frosting

http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/aprilbook

10 Easy Ways To Freshen Up Your Home Any Time

Spring is the perfect time to freshen up your home. It’s a time of change, renewal and warmer days. Once spring cleaning is done consider one of these ten easy ways to add a fresh touch to your home.

1. Open the windows

During the winter months the windows stay closed. Your indoor air becomes stale. In fact, indoor pollution is much worse during the winter months. Simply opening the windows can add a lot of energy to your home. Open the curtains to let the sunlight in too. It’ll refresh your home and your spirits.

10 Easy Ways To Freshen Up Your Home Any Time2. Use essential oils

Essential oils are great for aromatherapy and room fresheners. You can place a few drops of your favorite oil in a bowl of water. You can place a few drops on a basket of rocks. You can even use a diffuser or a room spray. Good spring scents include lavender, verbena, lemon, orange and grapefruit.

3. Burn a soy candle

If essential oils are too much effort, grab a soy candle. Soy burns without emitting toxins into the air. And they come in a wide variety of scents. You can purchase several candles and use them to accessorize too.

4. Steam the carpets

If steam cleaning your carpets wasn’t part of your spring cleaning efforts, then consider steam cleaning them. It gets rid of the stale smells left over from winter. They’re bright, soft and ready for spring. It’s a simple way to freshen up your home.

5. Flowers

Flowers lighten and brighten a whole room. And they don’t have to cost a fortune. You can grab a beautiful bouquet at your local supermarket for under ten dollars. Place them in a glass bowl, vase or pitcher for a simple touch of spring.

6. Rearrange

Moving your furniture around changes an entire room’s look and feel. It’s a simple process that takes less than thirty minutes and it can have a dramatic effect. IF you’re looking but a simple yet powerful change, this is the step to take.

7. Add new accessories

Rug, vases, pillow and throw blankets can all add a new look to your home. Look for spring colors and patterns. For example, a robin’s egg blue throw on a black couch with a few spring pillows lightens and brightens a room.

8. Buy a plant

Plants are an easy way to bring nature indoors. If you don’t have a green thumb consider silk plants. They offer the same look with less maintenance. However, a live plant does offer air cleaning benefits.

9. Change your art

If you have art on your walls you can freshen up your room by changing it. You can buy new items or you can simply move the art around.

10. Fresh paint

A simple coat of paint can change your home’s look and feel. If you’ve been considering painting, now is the time. You can paint an entire room. Or you might decide to paint a single wall for an accent.

Freshening up your home doesn’t have to involve a total redo. A few simple steps can wipe out the last remnants of winter and welcome spring with open arms. Paint, accessorize, and add the scents and look of spring to your home.

10 New Habits For A Clean House

Once you’ve gone through all the effort to spring clean don’t you wish your home would stay that clean? It can. With a few new habits you can keep your home sparkling clean.

1. Pick up after yourself

Much of the mess in your home is likely self inflicted. Do you set things down with a quiet promise that you’ll get to them later? Instead of adding extra work for yourself or letting the clutter accumulate, put things where they belong the first time.

2. Make your bed

It seems like such a simple thing but making your bed can set the standard for the day. And you don’t have to set hospital corners when you make your bed. You can simply straighten the covers and fluff the pillows.

10 New Habits For A Clean House3. Clean as you go

How many times do you set things down and leave them for later? For example, when you’re making something in the kitchen do you leave the mess to clean up later? Or do you clean as you go? Cleaning as you go helps you control mess. It also means you don’t have an overwhelming clean up job when you’re done.

4. Corral clutter

Many organization experts recommend a clutter coral. This is generally a box where items can be placed. Then, at the end of the day, you put those items where they belong. If you live with others or have a family this is a good job for them to tackle. Let your children and spouse put things away before they go to bed.

5. Go to bed clean

Generally there is a room in the house where clutter gathers. Spend ten minutes at the beginning or end of each day and pick up. Make it part of your day and you can wake up knowing your home is clean and clutter free.

6. Enlist help

Make your family responsible for tasks and rooms. They can spend ten minutes each night straightening a room. It’s a fast way to make sure your home stays clean and clutter free.

7. Assign a day

Give each room in your home a day for cleaning. While straightening is done every day, the deep cleaning shouldn’t need more than one time a week. And if you’re enlisting help from your family then they can each tackle a room.

8. Keep cleaning products handy

Find or buy a tote bag or bin for each room. Place the cleaners for that room in the tote. Then tuck the tote away. For example, your kitchen cleaners can be stored under your sink. Your bathroom cleaners can be stored in your linen closet and so on.

9. Make it part of the routine

Make cleaning and straightening part of your routine. Each night for example, load and run the dishwasher. Hand wash any dishes. Set the coffee pot to brew ten minutes before you wake and then go to bed. It’ll only take you ten to fifteen minutes each night and it can become part of your bedtime routine. You’ll have the joy of waking each day to a fresh pot of coffee and a clean kitchen.

10. Simplify

The less stuff you have, the less you have to clean. Look around your home and see where you can simplify your life.

These ten habits can change the way you clean your home. They save you energy. They eliminate the stress of a messy home and they help you include the entire family in the household responsibilities. Most importantly, they help you spend less time cleaning and more time on life’s more important tasks and joys.

5 Ways To Tame The Clutter In Your Home

Clutter has a way of taking over a home. If you don’t address it and create systems to keep it controlled, it can become overwhelming. It’s why there are so many organization homes and experts. Well you don’t need to watch a television show to get control. Here are five tips and strategies for taming that clutter that seems to take over our homes:

1. Sort with a four container method

The four container method helps you clean any room and eliminate clutter. Start with an easy task like a closet. Create four containers. Label them: “keep”, “toss,” “donate,” and “sell.”

If you’re not interested in having a garage sale or consignment then use a three container system and eliminate “sell.” Make sure you have a place to put everything you keep.

5 Ways To Tame The Clutter In Your Home 2. Use a three tiered system

A tiered system embraces the concept that the only thing that should be in sight are things you need often. For example, in your living room you might need to keep the television remotes handy. Other things like DVDs can be second tier items which can be in a cabinet.

First tier items should be within arm’s reach. Second tier items can be in the same room but in organized cabinets or drawers. Third tier items are items you don’t need often, like the warranty on your television or the operating instructions. These items don’t have to be in your living room. You can store them in a file cabinet in your home office or basement closet.

3. Assign labels

When organizing items, use labels. Label by category, date, or item. Use labels in your closet, refrigerator/freezer, pantry, and of course in your home office files. Make sure your family understands the labels and puts things where they belong.

4. Catch-all boxes

Create boxes or baskets for each room. Use the baskets to collect items that don’t belong in that room. For example, if you find a pair of socks or a book in the living room they can go in the basket. Each night clean out the basket and put things where they belong. This prevents clutter from accumulating.

5. Cleaning rituals

Consider creating cleaning rituals. For example, make your bed in the morning. Clean the kitchen before you go to bed. Put things away after you use them. And of course encourage others in your home to do the same. When everything has a place and that place is easily recognizable then it’s easy to make sure clutter doesn’t accumulate.

Getting rid of the clutter is only the first step. Once it is gone, create systems to keep it clean. Label storage areas. Create storage systems that make sense. Don’t buy more unless you’re willing to get rid of more. Make sure that everyone in your home is on board with your clutter elimination plan. To your clutter free success!

Clutter Elimination With The Four Container Method

Has clutter taken over your home? If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed by clutter it’s time to get rid of it. However, sometimes just looking at the clutter can make you feel anxious. It can feel like too much to tackle. Simplifying the process starts with simplifying your thoughts.

The Four Containers

The container clutter elimination method makes decluttering a manageable process. Regardless of how bad the clutter is, the container method can help you manage it.  Take a look at the four boxes you will need to get started:

  1. Clutter Elimination With The Four Container MethodKeep

The keep container will hold the items you want to keep, of course. These should be items that you use frequently. You might also keep items that have true sentimental value. An item shouldn’t be in the keep container unless you have a place to ‘keep’ it.

  1. Sell

The sell container will hold items that are in good shape and can be sold. You might host a garage sale or sell the items on eBay.

  1. Donate

The donate container holds items that are in good shape and can help others. These are the items that would take more time than they are worth to sell, but are definitely useable.

  1. Trash

The trash container is self explanatory. If you have a real problem with clutter, the trash container is often the fullest container. You might divide your trash pile into two other piles: recycle and garbage.

 

The Process

The best way to use the container clutter elimination method is to tackle one room or space at a time. For example, you might tackle a linen closet, or a bedroom. Choose the size of your container depending on the size of the job. For example, for a linen closet four laundry baskets might do the job. If you’re tackling a bedroom or family room you may need four tarps and some outdoor space.

Empty the space completely. Examine each item in the space and make an immediate decision. Keep it, toss it, donate it or sell it. Don’t linger on the decision. Trust your instincts. And don’t keep everything. That defeats the purpose.

Once you’ve gone through every item in the space you’re going to have four full containers. Hopefully, the keep container is the smallest. Take out the trash. Call the donation truck to come pick up your items. Take photos of the sell stuff or post an ad for a garage sale. And put everything away that you’re going to keep. Make sure each keep item has a good place to go. Consider labeling the spaces.

For example, if you’re cleaning out your linen closet and you keep cleaning supplies in the closet, consider getting a basket to keep your supplies in. Label it so everyone knows that’s where the cleaning supplies go.

Cleaning out clutter is easy when you use the container system. It helps you manage the clutter. It helps you get rid of the clutter. It helps you organize your home from top to bottom.

Easy Appliance Cleaning Step-by-Step

When spring cleaning you’ll want to pay special attention to your appliances. Properly cleaned and maintained appliances last longer. This saves you time, energy and money – buying new appliances can be a hassle.

However, cleaning your appliances is likely to consume most of your spring cleaning time. This is particularly true for the bigger appliances like your refrigerator and your oven. A few simple steps and tips can make the job easier.

Appliance Cleaning  in 5 Easy Steps

1. Instructions. Before you clean any appliance, find the instructions. If you don’t know where the instructions are, you can get them online. Visit the manufacturer’s website and download the instructions. Read them carefully. Most appliances have cleaning instructions. They’ll tell you what steps to take, or not to take. They’ll let you know what cleaning products are safe and how often you should clean the item.

Cleaning your appliances in 5 easy steps2. Organize your cleaners. Once you know how to clean your appliance, organize your cleaners. For example, if you’re cleaning your refrigerator you’ll need: a vacuum, interior cleaner for the shelving and drawers. You’ll also want a surface cleaner to clean the outside of your refrigerator. Gathering your supplies in advance saves you time once you’re cleaning.

3. Plan around it. With many appliances you’ll need to let the cleaners set before you can return to the job. Oven cleaning is a classic example. If you have a self cleaning oven then it generally takes one to two hours.

If you’re defrosting the freezer that can take a few hours too. Use this time to your advantage. Plan for it. While your freezer is defrosting you can focus on cleaning the inside of your refrigerator. While your oven is cleaning you can clean out your pantry.

4. Clean inside and out. Remember that appliance cleaning isn’t just about how it looks on the outside. Clean the inside, back, front and bottom too. Pull your oven out from the wall if you can and vacuum underneath. Spring cleaning means leaving no crack or crevice untouched.

5. Create a checklist. Before you begin to clean your appliances consider making a checklist. The checklist can help you maximize your time. It’ll also help you make sure you take care of everything. You can create your own checklist or you can download them online.

Cleaning your appliances can be a big job. However, with a little preparation and a good plan you can minimize the time and effort it takes. Properly maintained appliances last longer and work better. It’s well worth your time to clean them well.

Kitchen Spring Cleaning Tips and a Checklist

Kitchen spring cleaning can be an overwhelming job. Basics like cleaning the oven are pretty simple. However, when you add washing out the cabinets and vacuuming behind the refrigerator it can be an all day job.

This handy checklist will help you get started. The tips will help you take care of the job in less than two hours.

Kitchen Cleaning Checklist:

  • Spring cleaning tips and checklist for your kitchen.Dust ceiling fan
  • Dust tops of cabinets if they don’t reach the ceiling
  • Dust corners of walls
  • Dust top of refrigerator
  • Launder curtains or dust window treatments
  • Dust any knick knacks, counter top appliances and pictures on display
  • Wash walls and switch plates with mild detergent
  • Wash cabinet fronts
  • Clean oven. If using a self cleaning oven, spray and set.
  • Vacuum behind the appliances
  • Vacuum the area rugs or toss in washing machine
  • Mop floors
  • Wash windows and appliance fronts
  • Scour the top of the oven/stovetop
  • Clean the inside of your refrigerator (Toss any old food. Remove one shelf/drawer at a time and wash down with mild detergent)
  • Clean inside small appliances ex, toaster and microwave
  • Wipe down shelves and inside the cabinets
  • Drawer by drawer, remove items and wipe down. Replace items and organize as you go
  • Wash the counter tops, sink and faucets
  • Clean out and organize your pantry. Wipe down shelves as you go. Label to keep items organized and easily identified.

 

Kitchen Spring Cleaning Tips:

  1. Group like tasks. For example, when you have your bucket of mild detergent and damp cloth, wash walls, outside of all cabinets and shelves.
  2. Gather all of your supplies before you begin cleaning. Make sure you have everything you need so you don’t have to stop.
  3. Get a label maker. It’s great for identifying areas in your cupboards or labeling jars of pantry items.
  4. Make it fun. Listen to music. Open the windows and let in the fresh air. Use cleaners that you like and smell great.
  5. Use natural cleaners. Eco friendly cleaners won’t irritate your head, lungs and sinus cavities. You’ll feel better during and after your cleaning adventure. Additionally, they smell great. Choose a scent that makes you feel good.
  6. Reward yourself for a job well done. Go out to eat (so you don’t mess up your clean kitchen) or prepare your favorite meal.
  7. Pay attention to the clock. Consider giving yourself a specific amount of time to get the job done. This will help you work efficiently.

Spring cleaning your kitchen doesn’t have to overwhelm. Create a checklist and make sure you have everything you need before you start. Make it fun and spring cleaning can be something you look forward.

 

Bedroom Spring Cleaning Tips and a Checklist

When you think about spring cleaning you probably imagine the big jobs. You think about cleaning the kitchen. Maybe you visualize the closets or your basement. Perhaps the garage is on your list.

Most people don’t think about their bedroom. However, you spend a lot of time in your bedroom. A clean bedroom means better sleep. It means a cleaner home. And the good news is, it’s one of the easier rooms to spring clean.

Tips and A Checklist for Spring Cleaning Your BedroomHere’s a quick checklist and some expert tips to help you get started.

  •  Clean ceiling fan.
  • Using your vacuum cleaner extension, vacuum corners of the room from the ceiling down.
  •  Dust all furniture.
  • Dust lamps and bulbs. Be careful to not get cleaner on light bulbs. It’ll make them burn out more quickly.
  • Use a soft cloth and furniture polish on all bedroom furniture.
  • Remove curtains and wash according to instructions. If you have blinds or shutters, dust/wash with a damp cloth
  • Vacuum floor. If you have a steam cleaner, steam clean the carpets.
  • If you have hardwood or tile flooring, sweep then mop the floors.
  • Change your linens. Spring is the perfect time to put on lighter linens. Replace the flannel with a light weight cotton. Change the bedspread to a lighter, more spring like color or texture.
  • Flip your mattress. Vacuum your mattress.
  • Clean under your bed. Move it and vacuum underneath it too.
  • Clean your windows and mirrors.
  • Open your windows and clean the tracks.
  • Using your vacuum cleaner attachment, vacuum heating vents/radiators.
  • With a clean damp cloth and a bucket of soapy water, wash any marks off of your walls.
  • Clean out your drawers/closet. Using the four container method clean out your closet. This is a quick process if you do it twice a year. The four container method is as follows: Keep, sell, donate, trash. If you haven’t worn something in a year or more it needs to go.
  • Dust your shoes if they’re not tucked away in storage containers.

Spring Cleaning Tips for the Bedroom

  1. 1. Group like tasks. For example, when you’re dusting, dust everything. When vacuuming, vacuum everything from ceiling to floor.
  2. 2. Clean your closet last.
  3. 3. Make it fun. Listen to music. Open the curtains and/or windows to let the light and fresh air in. Reward yourself for a job well done.
  4. 4. Set a time limit. Give yourself an hour to accomplish your bedroom spring cleaning.
  5. 5. Gather your tools and cleaners in advance. This saves you time.

Your bedroom is a great place to start your spring cleaning. It doesn’t take long. It’s fairly easy and you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something. It’ll help you get in the cleaning mood and ready to tackle the rest of your home.

Spring Cleaning Tips And Checklist – Bathroom

There’s so much to clean in a bathroom, most of it being rather heavy-duty.  Spring cleaning might seem like a bigger job than you can handle. It’s true that there is a lot to clean for such a small space, but with a few tips and a handy checklist, you can spring clean your bathroom in less time than you might think.

Let start with some expert tips that will help you clean your bathroom quickly and easily:

Tip 1 – Use green cleaners

Because bathrooms are enclosed spaces you’re more vulnerable to the fumes from traditional cleaners. Using green cleaners, and turning on the ventilation fan, will help reduce irritation. It’s also better for the environment.

It's time for spring cleaningTip 2 – Make cleaning fun by playing music

Music helps pass the time and the acoustics in your bathroom will make you sound great if you choose to sing along. Choose upbeat music that gets you moving.

Tip 3 – Group similar tasks and similar cleansers

For example, if you have the mirror cleaner out clean the glass shower door and windows at the same time. If you’re cleaning the sink then clean the tub, too. They use the same cleanser and cleaning tools.

Tip 4 – Gather your supplies before you start cleaning

It just makes sense to keep all your supplies and equipment handy and within reach.  Plan ahead so you won’t have to take a break to hunt for what you need.

Tip 5 – Use a toothbrush

Bigger isn’t always better. There are times and places in the bathroom that require a small brush. An old toothbrush works perfectly for cleaning the grout in your shower and around your bathroom sink and faucet.

Tip 6 – Sort the items from cabinets last

You may want to sort after you’ve sprayed or sprinkled your bathtub/shower cleanser on. Letting the cleanser sit for a few minutes often makes the soap residue easier to scrub off. It’s a good time to sort your medicines and other bathroom clutter from the cabinets.

Tip 7 – Work toward the toilet

If you’re going to be using the same sponge, brush, or cloth to clean your shower, sink, and toilet, save the toilet for last. This way you won’t cross contaminate, nor will you have to stop and rinse so often.

Here is a checklist to keep you on track when you clean your bathroom:

Bathroom Spring Cleaning Checklist

□ Dust the ceiling corners, then any knickknacks and artwork

□ Dust or vacuum heating and exhaust vents

□ Remove shower curtains, towels, bath mats, and draperies. Launder according to directions

□ Scrub the shower, tub, sinks, and toilet, and sinks. Don’t forget to wash the outside of the toilet

□ Clean the shower door if you have one

□ Clean the mirrors and windows

□ Empty the medicine cabinets and under sink cabinets. Wipe down the inside.

□ Sweep and mop the bathroom floor. Vacuum if it is carpeted

□ Clean the trash can inside and out.

□ Wash the walls.

□ Sort all stuff removed from cabinets, throw out expired medicine, and return what you keep.