Clean, Smart, Simple Style

http://www.cleansmartsimplestyle.com

Clean spaces, smart living, simple projects, and stylish inspiration. All of these themes come together in this blog filled with ideas for you to love your home more, and live your life better.

Alexis is a winner of Top 25 Home Management Moms - 2013

What's your best tip for keeping your home organized during the busy holiday season?

I am a huge list maker. It's the only thing that keeps me sane during any busy time- especially during the Holidays. I'm also an extremely visual person, so seeing things written down- and sometimes color coded- gives me a great sense of what needs to be done and the best way to tackle it. Checking things off of a list is such a rewarding feeling!

I also try really hard not to overcommit. Staying on top of things around the holiday season requires time, and if you commit to more than you actually have time for, you'll find that your house of cards starts to fall very quickly! Say no to the things that don't matter and focus on what's most important.

What's your favorite store bought or homemade cleaning product?

I'm obsessed with the Caldrea and Method lines of cleaning products from Target. My idea cleaning solution smells fresh without smelling chemically- so I love to use citrus scented products, or ones that have a unique scent as many of the Caldrea ones do.

What's the most important home management skill a mom can teach her child?

I don't know that I can pick just one skill to label as most important, because I know that I learned so much from watching my mom run our household growing up. I think that a little bit of self sufficiency goes a long way once kids reach a certain age. I was always amazed by how many of my college classmates had no idea how to do simple things like laundry, ironing, and how to cook a few basic meals. There are some things that mommy can't do for you forever!

What's a great cleaning product you've discovered?

AlexisAnne

I too am addicted to the Citron Ginger Caldrea Essentials (from Target). It smells so good and works on almost any surface you could imagine. I love being able to just use one bottle of something and clean almost my entire house without having that "I just cleaned my house" chemical smell. I wrote more about it on my blog, check it out http://cleansmartsimple.blogspot.com/2011/12/my-cleaning-secrets.html
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What is your best tip for keeping the entryway clean and clutter-free?

AlexisAnne

Installing a row of hooks near my entry was by the far the best thing that I ever did to keep coats and bags off of the floor, (and it gives the stuff in my tiny entryway closet some room to breathe). But, in addition to that- the best way to keep the entryway clean is just to keep at it- I find that I just have to set aside a few minutes each day to tidy up the area and put everything back in it's proper home. I am not always the best about having a regular housekeeping routine, but I try to hit the entryway every day to keep it in check.
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What is your best tip for keeping the bathroom clean?

AlexisAnne

Finding a product that I love (that smells clean, but in a good way, not in a chemically way) has really helped motivate me to keep the bathrooms clean. Also, stash the cleaning supplies nearby so that it only takes a few seconds. I tend to clean the rest of the bathroom while my kiddos are in the tub :)
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How do you keep your children's rooms organized and clean?

AlexisAnne

For the most part, I allow my children to have rooms that are slightly more "lived in" than other areas of the home- like the living room. At the end of the day, I'd rather be able to relax in my living room toy free, and use a few minutes each evening to clean up the main areas while allowing some slack in the bedrooms. BUT, I have stared doing a pretty thorough weekly cleaning routine, where everything in the kids' rooms get straightened, sorted, and scrubbed. How do I clean my house in one day, and only once a week? http://cleansmartsimple.blogspot.com/2012/02/cleaning-routines-part-1.html http://cleansmartsimple.blogspot.com/2012/02/cleaning-routines-part-2.html
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What tips can you offer for closet organization?

AlexisAnne

Oh this is my favorite topic! My best advice is to follow these steps: Clean- Clean out the space Smart- Define a purpose for the closet Simple- Refill the closet but streamline and simplify the contents Style- Add some personal and stylish touches that you love. That's the reader's digest version anyway- for more details and to see a few spaces, pop over to my blog. It's one of my favorite things to blog about! http://cleansmartsimple.blogspot.com/2012/01/4-steps-to-closet-that-you-love.html
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How do you store your child's toys? Please include a link to a photo if you have one.

AlexisAnne

One of our main problems was kits with multiple pieces, so last year after Christmas I grabbed a bunch of decorative boxes on clearance and cleaned out a few shelves of our hallway closet for designated craft storage. It works great and looks great too!
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What's your best tip for easing the impact of holiday house guests?

AlexisAnne

Being a hostess is something that I struggle with, so last year I came up with a plan to help it all go more smoothly. Some of my tips are: Plan ahead, but not TOO far ahead Don't assume guests know where anything is Don't neglect your normal routines Be a happy and confident hostess Read my whole post and more tips on how to stress less this holiday season:
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Do you have any great tips for removing stains? Whether it's mud on carpets or blood on clothes, we want to hear your best stain-banishing tricks!

AlexisAnne

I'm a fan of Folex, haven't met a stain that it couldn't get out! I've listed a few of my other fav products in this blog post:
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How do you organize the area in your home where your kids do arts and crafts? Please share a link to a picture along with your response.

AlexisAnne

My kids LOOOOOVE arts and crafts! I have two main strategies: The first was to invest in a desk that didn't take up a ton of floor space in our main living area, and had drawers for storing everyday projects (like coloring books and crayons). The second thing that I did was makeover a portion of our hall closet to devote it entirely to craft kits. We have so much stuff that it all needs a central location to be stored. By using sturdy gift boxes that I found on clearance after Christmas, I was able to streamline the space and give it a bit of style as well. Check out the links to see our art table and our craft storage. http://www.cleansmartsimplestyle.com/2012/01/place-to-craft.html
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What helps you stay organized? Whether it's a special coupon binder, calendar app or color-coded closet, we want to know all the little tricks and products that help keep your life organized. Please share a photo if you have one.

AlexisAnne

I've been using a home binder for several years now and it really does help! I have to re-vamp my folders periodically, but the bones of it have stayed essentially the same because I use my clutter as a guide for what types of things need to be stored or kept at my finger tips
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