Cleaning Tip 2

I’m not a big cleaner. Despite my main career being that of mother and housekeeper for over a decade, I keep it casual so I don’t have to admit that I actually do those activities all day.

That aside, I still need to wipe counters and tables and such. A couple of years ago, I noticed that necessity was quickly draining our name-brand counter cleaner. A friend of mine who cleans houses for her job gave me this tip:

Make your own cleaners.

A specific mix she gave me that is safe on most surfaces is: equal parts vinegar and dish soap in a spray bottle. I initially made it with untainted, all-natural Dawn and whatever vinegar Wal-mart had on the shelf. Most recently, I mixed the regular Dawn with …well, the same vinegar.

It’s rather sudsy, so I prefer more vinegar than dish soap. It also smells like vinegar (go figure), so you may want to add a scent if that scent bothers you. Overall, the cost difference is worth it.


Photo Credit: JESHOOTS.COM

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Cleaning Tip 1

Most of my housekeeping has the end goal of never needing to do it again in my life. I’ve got to change that philosophy because, lo and behold, every day brings more clothing and more dishes.


Part of my 12-step process has been to learn what does work with cleaning. Surely there are methods, products, tricks, etc. (besides death or a maid) that make housework easier. Right?

Cue discovering a new cleaner: Bar Keeper’s Friend.

No, I don’t have a link nor a picture. You have the internet; you search. That way you can’t blame me for being a sales-pitch blog and all that.

This is a picture of the inside of my crock pot after using the cleaner.


It’s actually a picture of the inside of my crock pot after my sister-in-law cleaned it for me. I didn’t even know she’d purchased the stuff. That is also why there is no “before” picture.

Just imagine streaks, stains, and several dubious brown spots.

The stuff seems to work so, if you have a kitchen implement or sink or whatever that’s listed on their bottle; try it. Hopefully your pan/pot/sink/child* will come out looking brand-new again.


*Do not try Bar Keeper’s Friend on your child.


©2019 Chelsea Owens

Get Those Lazy Kids Working

My kids do not like to do chores. I can’t blame them, because I’m in a similar boat.

But I’ve noticed that boat gets rather dingy and near-sinking when the entire crew gives into laziness. Whether the surly crew likes it or no, they live here. They keep eating in the mess hall, pooping on the deck, and shredding the rigging.

Now, to my credit, I’ve had my kids do work around the house since they were big enough to reach the dishwasher and not fall over. Mostly that was because they were already ‘helping’ with any cleaning I tried to do -but I ran with it.

The inspiration for today’s advice comes from an odd idea I formed at the start of this school year: that they shouldn’t have housework because they had schoolwork to worry about.

My boys still had weekend housework jobs, of course, but nothing on the weekdays.

For months I saw them come home, tell me they didn’t have homework, then laze around until computer time (also monitored and restricted, thank you very much).


We-e-e-e-e-ell, it turns out that I got terribly overwhelmed, resentful, irritated, etc. I also had no time for me, even not counting the times I snuck off to my (messy) closet to type up advice I don’t follow.

It turns out they are more than capable of doing some work after school, especially if they have to finish said work before playing.

I guess this post has two pieces of advice, then.

Let them work; it’s good for everyone.


Never underestimate the power of a video game.

You’re welcome.

Happiness at Home

I’ve read that finding happiness in life can be a matter of lowering expectations.

I haven’t got much lower I can go with that, so has anyone else got any ideas?

We Aim to Please

I am a mother of four boys. And I have a husband.

I really like boys. They’re honest, scientific, obvious, succinct, and often more fun.

Still; I hadn’t realized, when the pregnancies kept turning out to be male, how much the smell of urine would come to dominate my bathrooms.