Happy Summer!!

Happy Summer!! from ASlobComesClean.com

It’s officially-but-not-officially summer!!!! Calendar schmalendar. The kids are out of school!!!! Yeehaw!!!

(Read to the end and I’ll give you a tip on how to take a picture like that!)

Anyway, if you’ve been around for the last few years here at A Slob Comes Clean, you know I now take summers “off” from this blogging job I created out of thin air back in 2009.

Blogging is my creative outlet. My kids need to be my creative outlet for the summer.

But, I can’t go completely dark for three months, so rest assured you’ll hear from me here and there. It will just be random. Unpredictable. Whenever I feel like it. (Which is exactly what I love about summer!!)

And I’ll still be on Facebook. And I’m liking Instagram a little more these days.

I have some ideas for you for the summer.

Idea #1:

Get in the water with your kids. Not sure about that? Read my practical advice for getting to the pool with your kids here.

Idea #2:

Teach your kids to clean. Even if it’s a random Tuesday morning and only happens once this summer. It’s worth it. I promise. If you feel clueless on how to go about doing that, I’ve decided that my e-book, Teaching Kids to Clean, will stay on sale for the entire summer. That way, anyone who lands upon this lovely community of supportive slobs over the summer can jump in and get to work with her own kids. No code needed. It’s $3 until Sept 1st. Go here to purchase.

You can also browse posts on this subject here. (For free!)

How to Teach Kids to Clean

Idea #2:

Read ASlobComesClean.com. I know. That’s what you’re doing right this very second.

But I mean read it backwards.

I only suggest this because it’s what people do. Y’all tell me it’s like reading a novel, and that it encourages you to see in “real time” the changes and struggles and successes and failures and re-starts and such that have happened over the past almost-six years of my deslobification process. No quick fixes around here, but real life galore.

My Get Started page will tell you how to do that for free, or if you want it in e-book form so you can read offline, you can purchase a year at a time, or the first three years are now together as a set for $25.

Read it on your road trip. Laugh out loud and/or gasp at my wow-who-would-put-that-on-the-internet before pictures. If your husband is driving, he will ask what’s so funny (or horrifying) and you can read the parts that will prove someone is worse than you. Just don’t show him pictures until you stop for gas. He needs to keep his eyes on the road.

ASlobComesClean.com in e-book form!!

And just in time, I have Year Three in e-book form (finally!).

Get Year Three by itself:Add to Cart

Click here to start with Year One.

Go big and get Years One, Two and Three together.

Add to Cart

Idea #3:

Explore things you haven’t before. Did you know I have a page with all kinds of links to my decluttering posts, both the advice ones and the before-and-after ones? Or check out my free printable cleaning checklists.

Have you ever watched my youtube videos? There are a lot of them here, or you can go over to YouTube and watch there. Here’s a playlist of my favorite ones where I play various characters trying to unload their junk on Nony.

Avoiding clutter!!! at ASlobComesClean.com

What about podcasts? All you need to do is hit the play button (the arrow) in the gray bar on these posts linked here, and you’ll hear my voice come out of your computer. Just my voice. Which means you can do the dishes or declutter while I blab on and on about doing the dishes and decluttering. It will be like I’m there with you while you’re working on your house. Except that I’ll actually be at the pool.

Idea #4:

Get my e-books. They’re instructional. 28 Days to Hope for Your Home will talk you through four weeks of developing four amazingly basic habits that will drastically change your home. Really.

Drowning in Clutter? will help you look at your clutter differently and will give you actionable strategies for getting it out of your home.

28 Days and Drowning in Clutter? are $5 each, but you can get them as a set for $8.

My e-book, Giving God the Worst of Me, is totally free. No strings attached. I ask for your email address, but even that is optional. If you’ve ever wondered about the backstory of this blog, that e-book tells it. Basically, it is my heart in e-book form.

Idea #5:

Most of all, though, I encourage you to sign up for my email list. There are two options. You can sign up to get daily emails which aren’t really daily, they just come the morning after I post something on the site.

You can also sign up for weekly emails. Those go out on Sunday (while I’m sitting in church) and have summaries of everything I posted in the previous week.

By signing up for those, you won’t miss anything that goes up over the summer! And you’ll get a free printable (exclusive for email subscribers) of four basic tasks that will keep your home out of total craziness over the summer. I call it my Surviving Summer ultra-basic checklist.

 

Photo tip: With your smart phone, take a video of your child flipping his/her hair in the water. Pause the video at the coolest part, tap your phone to remove the play button, etc. and take a screen shot of the paused video. (My friend told me this tip, I didn’t think of it myself!!) This would also work great for action shots like going off the high-dive or down the slide.

 

Podcast listeners click here.

--Nony

Is an “Easier to Clean Toilet” a Real Thing?

Attention: This is NOT a sponsored post. I’m not being paid a dime to write this follow-up/reality-check-report from a post I wrote in December (which was a sponsored post). I am using an affiliate link, though.

Are Easier to Clean Toilets a Real Thing at ASlobComesClean.com

Back in December, I got a new toilet. It’s the Optum VorMax from The Home Depot.

It’s a “high-tech” toilet, and has features that are supposed to keep it cleaner. I was excited to have a shiny new toilet to replace my old and wobbly one.

But let’s be honest. Easier to clean? Is that really possible?

I did see immediate difference due the lack of a rim on the toilet. No rim means no place to get scary-nasty. I also saw how it flushes differently than other toilets and could understand how that would make a difference. If you want to see the flush in action, go see the original post about it here.

But the only way to truly know if one toilet is easier to clean than another is to use it.

Like, use it use it.

For a long time.

I’ve now had this toilet for five months, and it has been used. Like, used used.

So is it different? Is it actually easier to clean?

Yes. It really is.

While I’ve learned I don’t really love a taller potty (like some of you warned me I wouldn’t), I’ve also learned  there are quite a few features I didn’t even notice at first that really do help it stay cleaner.

As a persnickety Slob Blogger, I challenged the toilet by purposely NOT scrubbing it until I saw something that needed scrubbing. I don’t recommend this. (I know from way too much experience that bathroom cleaning is much easier if you go ahead and scrub regularly whether it “needs it” or not.)

Five months later, I still haven’t scrubbed it for anything other than “special circumstances.” I won’t describe the details of “special circumstances” but what I’m saying is that for five months, it hasn’t gotten a ring around the potty.

But let’s talk about the “easier to clean” features I didn’t even notice at first.

I didn’t notice them until, while wiping down the toilet (which I did do weeklyish over the past five months), I didn’t have to bend over and put my face scarily near the toilet to clean those wee-wee-collecting spots at the base of the toilet on each side. I also didn’t have to scrub all around the place where the seat and lid attach to the toilet itself. See these pictures?

Easy Clean Toilet at ASlobComesClean.com

They’re random day pictures.

Not that every day is that naturally free-of-pee.

But when it does need wiping down, it’s generally only the wipe-downable spots that need wiping.

Confused?

If you are an all-girl household, go read this post about making cupcakes. But if you have boys, you may know what I mean.

The thing that makes a toilet “hard to clean” isn’t what you can see, it’s what you can’t see. Or get to easily. It’s all the places where two parts meet and cause a little gap. I now realize that the ickiness on the sides of the toilet base likely comes from “liquid” getting to the hinge and dripping through the holes down the side of the toilet.

I assume. I don’t know exactly. I just know that in trying to figure out WHY this doesn’t happen with my new toilet, I noticed that the hinge is significantly different from the hinges on my other toilets.

The hinge is designed to block “stuff” from getting into the hard-to-clean places.

So it’s not that things don’t get messy, it’s just that the places that make you want to lose your mind on Bathroom Cleaning Day are protected and therefore don’t get as messy as easily.

Make sense?

Again, I’m not trying to sell you a toilet. I just know that I’m super-skeptical about anything that claims to make cleaning easier, so I’d want to know how it has worked in the long run.

I was also quite surprised in December about how many people were excited to talk about toilets, so I thought I’d continue the Potty Talk.

If you’re in the market for a new toilet, I do recommend looking for some of these features. I also recommend, as one of you commented last time, that you check your pride at the customer service counter and SIT on any toilet you’re considering purchasing to see if the height is right for you.

I did look for “easy clean toilet lids” on Amazon, but they didn’t have any pictures with the lid raised, so I couldn’t tell if the hinge design is like this one. Next time I need to replace the seat on one of our other toilets (like I did in this post), I’ll try one.

 

If it sounded sexist when I suggested girls go read about cupcakes, I’m sorry. It was the first non-toilet-kid-friendly post that came to mind. Go read about hosting water balloon fights instead.

 

Podcast listeners click here.

--Nony

Using DrinkBands to Reduce Dirty Cup Clutter (Review and Giveaway!!)

Need a solution for dirty cup clutter Review of Drink Bands at ASlobComesClean.com

NOTE: This giveaway has closed, and Brittani A. was the winner!

Summer starts in less than a week!!

Yaaayyyyyyy!!!!!!!!

Can you tell I’m excited??

Oh, how I love summer. I love pretty much everything about it, but it does present some challenges.

Swim towels everywhere? Magically disappearing flip-flops??

How about using up every single drinking glass in the cabinet before 2 p.m. because we can’t remember whose is whose so everyone just grabs a new glass every time he/she is the slightest bit thirsty??

Yes. That’s a real problem in our house, especially when four of us are home all day every day.

It was easier when we used plastic cups and could designate a certain one for each person.

But I decluttered those. (Not that we haven’t collected more since then.)

I am a big fan of using glass glasses. Grown-up glass glasses. I firmly believe I can taste the difference as an ice-water connoisseur. But, as one of you commented recently on that post . . . pretty, matchy-matchy glasses present their own problem: they all look the same.

As someone who believes every single time that she’ll remember exactly where she placed her glass, but then questions herself every single time and therefore grabs a new glass every single time, it’s a real issue.

So when DrinkBands offered to sponsor a post and a giveaway, I thought it was a great time to try out their solution for this exact problem!

They sent me a set of 9 DrinkBands. They came in a cute little case, which I’m keeping to avoid having the extra ones scattered around the kitchen.

Drink Bands Review and Giveaway at ASlobComesClean.com

They look like the plastic bracelets you’ve probably seen, except they say “That’s my drink!” and come in a set with all different colors. We have bracelets, but we generally end up with six of the same color. You can purchase them individually for around 2.00 apiece or in the set like I got for 15.95. (That’s also the set you could win in the giveaway below!)

I chose the colors that were the same as our Magic Bands from our Disney trip in December. Everyone remembers that color, so it worked well for us.

I went ahead and put them on glasses in the cabinet. “Ummmm, Mom? Why are there bracelets on our glasses?” was a good reminder to explain the new system.

So how is it working so far?

It’s working well. There are two of us who are the worst use-at-least-three-different-glasses-each-day-because-we-have-no-clue-which-glass-was-ours offenders.

I’m one of them.

For me, I’ve been using the same water glass for two days now.

The same ONE water glass. This is big. I started to put it in the dishwasher and then thought, “No. I want some icewater now, and I can keep using it for another day anyway since it’s just water.”

For the woman who can go through six glasses without even thinking about it, this is really good. Like back when I had a big plastic cup I knew was mine and only mine, that little orange band at the bottom of the glass serves the same purpose.

And the kid who takes medicine more than once a day has stuck to his green banded glass instead of filling (literally) the countertop with used glasses. He actually told me he’s been consciously trying to use his designated glass. It really does make a mental difference.

One Cup instead of Three ASlobComesClean.com

Yay for that!

And they are dishwasher safe. (Though I’ll be moving the band down since there’s some dishsoap residue in the indention on the glass that’s under the band.) We’ve tested that. Not sure how they will hold up over the long term going through the dishwasher, but they did great on the three or four washes we’ve done.

Tips: Have your kids decide if they like the positioning of the band by gripping the glass before they pour something in it. Once the bands are on, they’re secure. They can be adjusted, but if you try to adjust them while there’s liquid in the glass, a mess will likely definitely happen.

They’re also good for designating water bottles in an icy cooler that can cause marker to rub off!

Edited to add: I didn’t realize that you can personalize the bands!! Have your names or nicknames put on the DrinkBands!!! They’re only 2.50 each when personalized!! How cool is that?

I love that this company is owned and operated by a family with five kids of their own! Yay for entrepreneurial families who come up with smart solutions!

Ideas for giving these as gifts:

  • for Grandma who hosts the grandkids over the summer and gets a little frazzled because she long ago outgrew the random-plastic-cups-from-random-kids’-meals stage of life.
  • for the mom who is having her third or fourth (or fifth or sixth or more) baby and who would appreciate the acknowledgment that bigger families present their own fun and unique challenges.
  • for the awesome friend who lets her home be your vacation destination and embraces the awesomeness of having LOTS of kids in the house.

Go check out this pack I got and the camo pack. The winner of the giveaway will get to choose between those two packs! Oh, and if you go ahead and purchase one of those, but then win the giveaway, you’ll get a refund!

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below sharing your biggest summer cleaning challenge.

Prize details: The winner of the giveaway will choose between a set of 9 drinkbands in various colors valued at $15.95 or the set of 5 Camo ones valued at 10.50.

Giveaway details: One winner will be randomly chosen from the comments on this post. DrinkBands.com will provide the prize and will ship it directly to the winner. Winner will be contacted via the email that is entered upon commenting (but which is not visible to the public). Once contacted, the winner will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. One entry per person. See all giveaway policies here. Comments must be left on the post itself. Emails and Facebook comments will not count. This giveaway will end at 9 p.m. Central time on June 9, 2015.

 

Podcast Listeners Click Here

--Nony
--Nony

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