Tag Archives: cleaning

SoulShine Soap Company

SoulShine Soap Delivery
Over the past few years we have worked towards removing chemicals from our daily lives, specifically when it comes to what we put on our bodies through soaps, laundry detergents, and the like. We stopped using dryer sheets close to a decade ago, which was easy as they don’t really do anything at all aside from coat you clothes in petroleum based chemicals. The next step was to swap to a fragrance and color free detergent. Check. Then we moved to a natural based detergent. What could be even better than fragrance, color, and chemical free detergent?

How about if is was local?
As in, the same state you live in local?

I came across the perfect detergent: SoulShine Soap Company. Started as a side business on a small farm in Maine, SoulShine Soap has a wonderful selection of products. One of the newest items that they have is their powdered laundry detergent. For $18.00 you receive a bag of delicious smelling dry laundry soap in your pick of lavender, lemongrass, or orange scent. (I went with lemongrass – it smells like lemon candy. I’m in love with it!) This bag will fill up quart canning jar, plus some. As for the claim that the bag holds over 70 loads, I can attest to that! It’s been over a month since we bought our batch of detergent, we’ve run close to forty loads, and we’re only a fourth of the way through the bag! Regular laundry, dog-smell embedded sheets, cloth diapers…you name it, this stuff works on it! I have been truly amazed by how mild, yet powerful, this laundry soap is.

I’m glad to say that isn’t the only thing that we bought in our order from SoulShine. I picked up a stain stick (which even works on toddler induced blueberry stains), two different soaps, and some of their lip balm. Aside from the great quality of the products, I was also excited to find a handwritten thank you note from ordering from them, and the entire package was cushioned with cloth scraps, a fantastic idea that I might have stolen for packing some holiday gifts.

I can’t say enough about this company! They have made a customer for life here in Norridgewock.

Spring Prep Mistake #1: The Chicken Feeder

Last fall we didn’t do such a good job winterizing the chicken tractors that the girls had spent the summer in before becoming free rangers. (Since we were both working days at the time, we wanted to girls to not be locked in the coop all day, thus the chicken tractors.) With spring around the corner and broiler birds on the horizon, I decided I would start checking out the tractors and working on them little by little to prep them.

One of them is still frozen in the ground. I cleaned what shavings were left from last year, gave it a quick once over, and called it good. The larger of the two will need a bit of love. The door’s falling off and one of the boards is popping off the back, but it’s definitely fixable. I was able to prop it up on bricks to get it up off the ground as it wasn’t frozen in. Where things were wrong came next…

Apparently we left a feeder with a cup or two of food in it. As the tractor was closed up, squirrels weren’t able to take the food and empty the feeder for us. The food in the feeder had been there since about August of last year…

It was disgusting and rancid. I dunked the feeder in the stream to wash out as much as I could. Then I had what I thought would be a bright idea.

Finishing washing the rotting chicken feed out in the bathtub. Which is in our bathroom. Which is in our house. Which we still can’t open all the windows in yet because it’s not warm enough out.

Needless to say, but bathroom reeked afterwards. It smelled as though someone had decided to dump an entire pile of rotting chicken manure in the room. (By the way, I now understand why non-free-ranging chicken poo reeks.)

Thanks to the all natural shower cleaner we use, out home now smells like a giant thyme bush is growing in the bathroom.

It’s a much better smell.

Snap-Shot Cleaning: Master Bedroom

So, for the most part, this snapshot is only on “my” side of the bedroom, since it was the messiest and I try not to pester the hubby’s hobbies if I can get away with it.

Master Bedroom Before

Master Bedrrom After

While it might not look like much through the photo, the following took place during those 45 long minutes:

  • Finished folding and put away three loads of laundry
  • Placed all work clothes on hangers and into closet
  • Organized book shelf (not in photo)
  • Picked up cat toys (not in photo)
  • Picked up dog toys (not in photo)
  • Dusted my night stand, vanity, dresser, book cases, and the rocker
  • Organized nightstand
  • Organized dresser
  • Organized vanity

I probably could have been more productive with my time had it not been for Belle wanting to play ball and then the closet door practically falling off the slider.

Aside from snap-shot cleaning, I have done a ton of other chores today:

  • Swept the stairs, entry way,  and kitchen
  • Cleaned the cat box (this is daily)
  • Spot cleaned the entry way and kitchen floor
  • Taken care of the dishes
  • Hung two loads of wash
  • Picked up in the living room
  • Posted in this blog twice (now three times)
  • Posted in my personal blog
  • Written three responses for homework
  • Finished four rows on a knitting project

I’m hoping, before the husband gets home, to finish the following:

  • Paper work for deferment
  • Paper work for homestead exemption
  • Fold last load of laundry (in the dryer right now)
  • Vacuum living room and bedrooms
  • Change Teeny’s cage
  • Change Jacks’ cage
  • Shovel front door yard and enough of Belle’s run to make her happy
  • Make dinner
  • Begin (and possibly finish) sewing pile
  • Begin sewing project
  • Finish homework for this week

With all that needs doing and getting done, I love the fact that I’m a self motivated person. It’s hard to comprehend those that don’t put their all into keeping house. Granted, I call myself a “Wife” with a capital W for a reason! Happy cleaning, all! I’m off to finish my list.

Household Projects Binder

While hanging out on one of my regular sites, the topic of Home Management Binders was brought up again since we’re beginning a new calendar year and everyone is in a mad rush to get organized. For this household, a Home Management Binder would probably throw us into more chaos than not since I’ve been able to wonderfully keep things flowing with the calendar and organization system I have set up in the home office area of our kitchen. One area that we do need some management on is the household projects.

As anyone who owns an older house will admit to, there are always projects that need tending, budgeting, and researching. Since that list is ever growing, it’s easy for projects to get lost in the background, not to mention feel over whelmed trying to figure out how to afford it all. In order to get a handle on all this mess, I took a good chunk of time out of a Saturday afternoon to organize it all.

I armed myself with an unused binder filled with notebook paper, plain computer paper, a pen, hole puncher, hole reinforcement, and divider tabs.

I decided for the purpose of this binder that things would be color coded in order to make life easier. Each color tab was given a special meaning and then a key was created and posted on the inside of the binder.

(I tried to match the colors for the holes as well, but ran out.)

Yellow = Downstairs

Blue = Bathrooms

White = Upstairs

Green = Outdoors

Red = “Full House” (These are projects that have to do with a larger portion of the house than just one room.)

Each divider has the name of the project written on it followed by a sheet to record goals (what the project will accomplish), objectives (steps to reach the goal), and estimated costs. As we come across articles, estimates, schematics, and other pieces of information that are pertinent to certain projects, we will add those in behind the specific dividers. These projects range in scale and difficulty from painting the bathrooms to regrading close to three quarters of our basement floor.

This binder now lives in the bottom of our filing cabinet in the home office area. It’s located right where our other important binders are and will hopefully become just as much a staple resource as the others.

For those that are interested in learning more about Home Management Binders in any form, please visit the following links:

Little House in the Suburbs Home Management Notebook – Steps 1 through 7

Certified Housewife Homemaking Binder

Organized Home Printable Pages For Your Household Notebook

With the Fruit of Her Hands Household Notebooks Made Beautiful

Snap-Shot Cleaning: Kitchen

One area of any house that tends to get ridiculously cluttered and falls behind in being kept up in the kitchen. While previously in Jacks’ room I gave myself 30 minutes, I made sure that this time I gave myself a good chunk of time, 45 minutes to be exact. I broke the cleaning down into 15 minute spurts to make it more manageable and to allow myself to take photos at each quarter hour mark as a way to tell whether or not I was truly making progress. For the sake of saving space, I’ll only post the before and after pictures here.

The “before” photos are on the left, with “after”s on the right and below the “before”s.

Amount of time spent cleaning: 45 minutes

There was a lot of little things that went into cleaning the kitchen, as is always the case. I feel a little odd that the “after” photo still has a load of dishes in the rack and the tea set drying on the table, but I really didn’t feel I needed to put in yet another chunk of time into the kitchen for the day. While I might not be able to list everything I did off the top of my head, here’s what I can recall doing:

  • Washed three loads of dishes.
  • Dried two loads of dishes.
  • Washed new tea set.
  • Took care of piles that had been building on chairs.
  • Cleaned window sill and placed pumpkins closer to the window.
  • Cleaned the top of the butcher block and reorganized.
  • Compiled and reorganized recycling.
  • Cleaned larger tea kettle.
  • Washed counter tops.
  • Took care of stuff that was on the table.
  • Took care of towel used to drying Belle yesterday.
  • Took care of blocking board for knitting.
  • Took care of the left over gift wrap from the holidays.
  • Fixed Belle’s and Ashes’ bowls and fed them lunch.
  • Found a home for the returnables.
  • Washed table.
  • Removed coupons from fridge and put them in coupon book.
  • Placed new magnet calendar on the fridge.
  • Cleaned off the pile on the printer.
  • Swept the kitchen floor.

With any luck, if I spend about fifteen minutes in the kitchen each day, aside from doing dishes, I should be able to keep it tidy and possibly work on further organization.