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  1. Tuesday, January 21

    Streak-Free Window Cleaning

    Today’s post has absolutely nothing to do with food. Wait, I can bring it back to food. I know I can. Give me a second…okay, I’ve got it! Today’s “Kitchen” Tip is just what you need to get your kitchen window shiny clean so you can be a happy cook and make amazing FOOD.

    the secret to streak-free window cleaning from @janemaynard

    When Nate and I were first married we were washing our trusty old pick-up truck at his grandparents’ house. It was time to clean the windows when Grammy (of Grammy’s Orange Chicken fame) handed me a stack of newspaper when I asked for paper towels. I was like “Wha? Wha?” and she was like “Yup! Yup!” Okay, those may not be direct quotes, but you get the drift.

    So, yeah, it’s true! For streak-free window cleaning use newspaper (a.k.a. newsprint) instead of paper towels or cloth towels. It works soooo much better. It sounds crazy until you give it a try. I have a ton of plain newsprint from when we moved so I’ve been using that, but you can use regular old newspaper with the print on it. It doesn’t matter. Your hands might be dirty by the end, but your windows will be sparkly clean!

    Let’s do a comparison, shall we? Here is my front room window after cleaning it with paper towels but before the newspaper treatment.

    the secret to streak-free window cleaning from @janemaynard {before shot}

    Seriously, that’s a “clean” window. Well, I thought it was clean until the morning light came shining through the next day. I immediately grabbed some newsprint and glass cleaner and got to work. Here is the “after” shot:

    the secret to streak-free window cleaning from @janemaynard {after shot}

    There is no way I could have gotten it that clear with paper towels. I tried!

    Here’s the view through my super clean window – crisp and clear!

    the secret to streak-free window cleaning from @janemaynard

    I’ve used newsprint to clean mirrors and windows – I especially like using it for the inside of the windshield in my car. (I’m sort of a clean windshield nut.)

    So, next time you need to clean some windows, grab the glass cleaner and a bunch of newspaper. And send happy thank you vibes to Grammy McCarthy!


  2. Tuesday, January 7

    New Year’s Resolution #2: A House Cleaning Schedule {Free Printable}

    I know I claim not to be that into new year’s resolutions, but the fact I’m writing a second post about resolutions may indicate otherwise! Kinda funny. Anyway…let’s get down to business! When I wrote about my Use Less Plastic goal last week, I mentioned quickly that I was also planning to make up a cleaning schedule, and several people commented about that. I decided to make the schedule purrrty and share it with all of you, in case anyone would like to use it, too!

    4-week house cleaning schedule from @janemaynard with free printable

    I created a 4-week cleaning schedule that I can print out about once a month. Each weekday has a task associated with it, with a few extra items thrown in here and there that only need to happen on a monthly basis. I am really hoping this helps me to stay on track with cleaning as well as make it all feel a little less overwhelming. Despite all this planning I do publicly on the blog, I am not a super organized person, but having lists to check off is very motivating for me. We’ll see how it goes!

    weekly house cleaning schedule from @janemaynard including free printable with 4-week plan

    4-week house cleaning schedule from @janemaynard with free printable

    Here’s a quick outline of the cleaning plan I created:

    • I decided that dusting, cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, and changing the bed sheets and towels needed to happen on a weekly basis, so I assigned each of those items to the same day each week.
    • We have white carpet throughout the house, so I have one day dedicated to vacuuming but also included “maintenance” vacuuming in my daily to-dos at the bottom of the schedule.
    • There are a few monthly items that I spread out through the 4 weeks.

    I created a PDF of the cleaning schedule that you can download and print out for yourself. There are three pages in the PDF – page 1 is my complete plan, page 2 is my plan but generalized, and page 3 is totally blank if you want to change it all up but still want to use the pretty calendar. The grey box at the top is where you write in the month and the grey squares on the calendar are for the dates for that month. You can click the image of the plan above to access the pdf or click any of the links in this paragraph. If I realize I forgot anything and add it in, I will update the PDF file!

    As always, this blog is what is because of YOUR input and comments! Please share your own house cleaning and organization tips that you may have or ways you successfully conquer the task. I’m sure we can all benefit from the ideas!


  3. Monday, December 9

    Why I Am Head-Over-Heels In Love with My Carpet Cleaning Machines {Giveaway!}

    This giveaway is now closed, but keep reading to learn about some really great carpet cleaning tools and to find out the winner!

    holiday gifts & giveaways on thisweekfordinner.com

    Happy Monday! Time for more Gifts & Giveaways!

    Let’s talk carpet Remember my non-camo carpets? This is the them if you would like a refresher:

    white carpet | thisweekfordinner.com

    This lovely almost white carpet is in our ENTIRE HOUSE. The bathrooms are tile as well as the kitchen part of the kitchen (you know, where you cook), but the rest of the house is blanketed in snow, including the dining area where our everyday kitchen table resides.

    If I had no kids and lived alone, I think I might actually love this carpet. But, alas, this is not the case. I was pretty terrified of this carpet when we bought the house and told Nate that the very first thing we had to do before moving in was put hardwood floors in the dining area. But, then, uh, yeah. We spent all of our money on the house, so here we are. White carpet in the dining room! Woo-hoo!

    BISSELL DeepClean Premiere Carpet Cleaner Review & Giveaway | thisweekfordinner.com

    When we moved into our house, I had a BISSELL SpotBot that I received at one of my SocialLuxe Lounge parties. When I first received the SpotBot, we lived in a house with tile, so I never used it. But I can’t tell you how glad I am that I hung onto it anyway. When we moved into this house, I was really happy I had that little machine, but little did I know just how handy it would become. I use it all the time. For example, one of my kids splattered chocolate all over the floor under the kitchen table. I grabbed the SpotBot and it was NO BIG DEAL. I’m telling you, it’s a dream.

    But as much as I love my SpotBot for quick clean-ups, we have large areas of carpet that need to be cleaned fairly regularly, especially the hallway and dining room. I got in touch with BISSELL to see if they had a machine they would recommend and they kindly sent me the DeepClean Premier upright carpet cleaner.

    I don’t think I can express how delighted I was when my new carpet cleaner arrived. And it has worked GREAT. I personally love owning  my own carpet cleaner rather than needing to call and schedule cleaning with a professional carpet cleaning service. Like I mentioned, some areas of the carpet need cleaning very regularly, but other parts of the carpet do not. I love that I can do the hallway and dining room several times a year as needed. The flexibility is great and I don’t have to constantly pay for carpet cleanings.

    And that is why I am head-over-heels in love with my carpet cleaning machines.

    If you’re looking for a big ticket gift item for a clean freak, someone with white carpet and kids, someone with pets and carpet, or someone who just really likes clean carpet, I can recommend both the DeepClean Premier and the SpotBot, depending on your needs. I love them both!

    UPDATE 3/16/16: I LOVE my upright Bissell carpet cleaner and use it regularly. It does a great job cleaning the floors and I seriously love having it, especially with my light carpets. I’ve been seeing these at Costco lately. In fact, our piano teacher bought one and is equally as in love as I am. I highly recommend it! Side note: I ended up getting rid of the small spot bot because I found it to be a bit redundant. I also did a poor job cleaning out the hose the first time I used it and it got SUPER gross, so make sure you rinse the hoses with clean water after every use! If you don’t want a huge carpet cleaner, though, that Spot Bot is super handy and works great.

    Giveaway time! One of you lucky people will win a BISSELL DeepClean Premier upright carpet cleaner (retail value $199.99)!

    BISSELL DeepClean Premiere Upright Carpet Cleaner Review & Giveaway | thisweekfordinner.com

    Here is how to enter the giveaway (comments must be posted by Midnight PT on Sunday, 12/15/13. Prize must be shipped to a U.S. address):

    In addition to my giveaway, starting today BISSELL is doing 12 Days of Messes on their Facebook page, where they are highlighting 12 “classic” holiday messes, solutions for cleaning those messes, and, of course, more giveaways! Just visit their Facebook page to find out more.

    Good luck! Happy Cleaning!

    The winner of this giveaway was comment #254 Vic Herreria, who said, “My dog Diego would love this!” More power to Vic if he can get Diego to learn how to use the machine! 😉 Congrats, Vic!

     BISSELL provided me with product to review for this post. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.