Setting Aside a Weekend for a Twenty Minute “Project”

Before Cleaning the Playroom at

I look forward to the end of Daylight Savings Time each fall because dark happens earlier.

Not that I don’t love daylight.

But when darkness falls before 6 p.m. on Sunday nights, I don’t have to worry about the state of my playroom when our church’s home group meets here.

Our playroom is really an enclosed back patio. A sunroom. A sunny sunroom that gets crazy-hot  in the Texas summers and therefore doesn’t get played in from May to August. It’s not ideal, but it’s what we have.

I successfully ignore it.

But it also has a glass door from the living room. This means when people come to our house, they see it. TOTALLY see it.


And yet . . . I still ignore it and wait impatiently for Daylight Savings Time to end so the room will disappear into darkness.

Cleaning it just feels like SUCH a big deal.

I’d been meaning to set aside a weekend to work out there. A weekend with perfect weather and lots of free time.

That would have been nice, but I decided to go ahead and work out there this past Saturday for the hour or so I had to spare. Basically, I threw away a single grocery bag full of trash and then swept.

And it went from the before picture up there, to:

After Sweeping the Playroom at

Aaaaahhh, much less embarrassing.

I even tackled the spot I’d been avoiding forever, assuming it was going to require heavy duty tools and cleaners.

Icky, Horrible, Overwhelming Cleaning Job at

There used to be a rug in that spot. A rug that got wet when the roof leaked and then basically rotted.

Ick. So gross. I threw the rug away over the summer, but the “residue” remained.

On Saturday, I looked at the spot again with eyes that had seen how Dawn dish soap is used to clean a whole lot of stuff (that I’d never have thought to clean with Dawn) at the Marine Mammal Center. I decided I’d give it a try.

Overwhelming Cleaning Task DONE at

Fifteen minutes (or less) later, the nasty, overwhelming spot was gone. Dishsoap in hot water and a stiff-bristled brush did the trick immediately.


What big-and-daunting projects have surprised you lately?

Overwhelming Cleaning Task not Overwhelming at All

This isn’t a sponsored post, but Dawn did send me two bottles of soap. I labeled that one “bathroom” so I wouldn’t accidentally use it in the kitchen!!



I’m excited to speak at this upcoming online conference! There are HUGE benefits to pre-registering. Go here for information!



How to Remove Sticky Residue (And Convince Your Family You’re Crazy)

This is a two-in-one post.

First, I’ll share the method my mother taught me for removing gum from hair and sticker residue from glass.

Spread a little peanut butter on it.

For example, these glasses I was thrilled to find at the Dollar Tree recently:

How to Remove Sticky Residue from Glass

They’re HUGE. My one complaint about the glass glasses I’ve been using for over a year now is that they’re too small. As a fanatical ice-water lover, this mama likes big ol’ glasses.

So I flipped them over and did what my own mama taught me to do. I peeled the stickers off as much as I could and then slathered them with peanut butter.

Using Peanut Butter to Remove Sticker Residue at

And that was when the bonus happened. Oh, how hilarious my family members think they are as they walk through the kitchen and make cute little comments about what Mama is up to now.


A few hours later, I wiped them off and was able to easily scratch off the rest of the paper with my fingernail. I then re-slathered more peanut butter on the rest of the sticky residue.

The next day, it was super easy to wipe off the rest of the glue. Then they went into the dishwasher:

Removing Sticker Residue at

Now my new favorite grown-up glasses are ready to fill with enough ice-water to last me an hour or so.

Glasses with Stickers Removed at

Not that I don’t have to get up more often than that, to . . . you know . . .

Do you use this trick?


Pros and Cons of Having a Housekeeper

Do you dream that a housekeeper would solve all your problems Here's a great reality-check. At

Yesterday, I shared my opinion on hiring house cleaners.

Today, I’m sharing an AWESOME email I got from one of you recently. The minute I got this email, I asked if I could share it as a guest post.

I knew all of these things to be true, but it means so much more coming from someone who is living it. Who speaks from experience.

I’m not sharing the author’s name by her request. (I totally understand since I didn’t share my own name for two years here.)


Hi Nony!

I just found you recently on iTunes and now subscribe to your blog as well. You and I are very similar in our “cleaning” styles. I relate so much to what you talk about and have struggled for MANY years (since my messy bedroom as a child). I could go on, but I’m writing this to tell you about having a housekeeper.

I am married to someone who grew up in an immaculate home and with the belief that keeping things “nice” is a moral issue, not simply a preference. (Maybe that’s an exaggeration…) We’ve always struggled with housework as a couple and it has been a constant strain on our marriage from the beginning. By the time the second baby was born it reached a fever pitch and something had to change. We got a housekeeper…

A weekly housekeeper.

Don’t all of us who struggle in this area believe that if we only had a housekeeper all our problems would be solved? I know I did! So that was two years ago and here I am reading your blog. Not to say housekeepers are useless… She still comes once a week and I LOVE her. She has improved the quality of our lives immensely, but I still struggle. I thought it may be helpful for you (and potentially your readers) to see what having a housekeeper can (and cannot) do for you.

1. She CLEANS your house, but she can’t clean if your cr*p is covering every surface and floor in your house. Which means every week I run around and yell at my kids for two hours before she comes. It never fails that I put this off until the last minute.

2. The house looks and smells amazing when she leaves. And that lasts for up to twelve hours as long as everyone is asleep for most of that time. Then by the next day, the kitchen is a disaster, the floors are covered in toys and the garbage can smells, again.

3. She does dishes, but not a full weeks dishes. You still need to wash your dishes everyday, and do your laundry and clean off the table and sweep the floor…

4. She costs money: we pay her $70 a week. There are times I think it is ridiculous to pay someone to clean our house.

5. She does not declutter.


5. Our house gets completely “company ready” every week.

6. I have the comfort of knowing that pile of dirty clothes has never been there for more than a week.

7. I haven’t cleaned a shower or bathtub in over two years AND they both are clean!!

8. When I have to run around because company is coming (which I still do), I’m done much quicker and clearing off the bathroom counter reveals a clean sink and counter rather than a disgusting mess.

9. It has improved my marriage. It is the one day a week we don’t argue about the house. (Maybe another exaggeration…)

10. The daily tasks from still come in handy and help the rest of the week run much more smoothly. Or at least I hope they will if I can actually get through a full week of doing them!


Thanks for all you do for those of us who think like you!


I love this real-life perspective. Do you have a housekeeper? Have you always dreamed that one would solve all your problems??

For the record, I think the “cons” are really just reality-checks.

Want an instructional guide to developing the habits that are necessary no matter what your situation? Check out my e-book, 28 Days to Hope for Your Home.

28 Days to Hope For Your Home 250x250

Several have asked how to find a cleaner. My best advice is to ask people you know. I hired someone to clean for a HUGE party once, and this was what I did. I was VERY surprised to find out that so many of my friends had regular cleaning people. This is the best way to find someone local, with a reference, who is hopefully trustworthy.

Another option is a service like this (which I’ve never personally used, but just happens to be an affiliate link) : Book a Home Cleaning at


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