I’m sharing my ultimate list of all the things I accomplished before I had my baby. It’s the list of what to do before you’re due!

The ULTIMATE list of everything you need to do before you're due! 100 things that you probaly never thought of before, but will be happy you did!

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was elated. Totally overjoyed. Then I got to work. Got to work figuring out what the heck I needed to do to prepare. I was looking for that huge laundry list. A laundry list of all the little things that I should get done before the baby is born. All the things, as a first time parent, I didn’t think of. Well, let me tell you folks …. that list didn’t exist. I looked and looked and looked. Yes, I found a couple ‘here’s 10 things you didn’t think to do before you’re due’ type lists. Which are awesome. Heck, I wrote one too.

But that huge master list didn’t exist. So I did what any crazy to do list obsessed person would do. I created my own.

A Couple Notes First

A. This list may seem a little nutty, I realize this. Most people don’t love to-do lists as much as I do. I really love them. Really. Some moms to be want to relax and kick back to enjoy their pregnancy. I. Don’t. Relax. Happiness to me equals a to do list.

B. You’ll notice that I break down some to-dos to very specific tasks. For example – plan birth announcements gets broken down to several steps including make list of everyone to send announcements to, obtain home addresses of everyone, research photographers online, select photographer, find announcements templates that I like on Minted.com, etc. I find that breaking down a project to the smallest task is the most effective way to ensure it gets accomplished. It also makes for a HUGE to do list.

C. Just because it’s on MY list doesn’t mean it needs to be on YOURS. We all have different things we want to accomplish before our baby is born. Think of this long list as inspiration and ideas to help you write your own list.

D. I organized this list based on rough categories, not by date. As you read through you’ll notice that some tasks are more appropriate to do when you first get pregnant, while others won’t happen until towards the end (installing car seat).

Enjoy!

100 Things to Do Before You’re Due

Dog Owners

1 Stock up on dog food, bones and toys. Prevent yourself from running errands after the baby is born. Plus, your pup will appreciate having some extra toys to entertain them while you’re extra busy!

2 Figure out what you’ll do with your dog when you’re in the hospital. Can friends or family watch your pup? Or utilize an overnight doggy daycare?

3 Teach your pup to ‘drop it’ …. for all those times she grabs the baby toys!

4 If there’s any shots that your dog is due to have in the near future get those taken care of. Since we were planning to send our dog, Reagan, to daycare once in week, I also made sure that we were up to date on any shots that the daycare required.

5 Reagan used to sit in the backseat when in the car, but since we’ll have the car seat in the backseat, Reagan gets upgraded to the front seat. We did a couple practice drives so that she was used to sitting up front before Declan was born.

6 Play crying baby noise to get Reagan used to it. This task is about as fun as it sounds.

7 Decide which rooms, if any, will be off limits to your dog and start enforcing it.

8 Deep clean house to hopefully get rid of as much dog dander as possible.

9 As silly as this sounds, practice walking your dog pushing your stroller. Reagan was pretty overwhelmed by the stroller so I’m glad we got her used to it ahead of time.

10 Find a blanket that you’ll wrap your baby in after he’s born to show your dog to smell before introducing baby and dog. Add this blanket to your hospital bag.

11 Dogs can get a little upset once the baby comes home as they’re getting less attention than usual. Joe & I decided that we would periodically allow Reagan to sleep our bed if we’re taking a nap and that Joe would spend extra time with her when he was off on his paternity leave.

Top list of 100 things that you should do before you have your baby! What to do before you're due!

Hospital / Medical  

12 Sign up for birthing classes at your hospital.

13 Find an OB Dr.

14 Do a trial run driving to the hospital so that you know how to get there (and know the best route).

15 Decide on a pediatrician.

16 Fill out hospital paperwork ahead of time (so that you don’t have to fill it out when you’re in labor).

17 Put doctors phone numbers in your phone (OB, hospital #, pediatrician).

18 Make a list of everything you’ll need in your hospital bag. Ask your new mommy friends what they found helpful. For the record, the hair dryer and straightener that I insisted on bringing with me were never used 🙂 .

19 About a month before your due date, start packing your hospital bag. Better to be ready as you never know when the baby will arrive.

20 Get some cute newborn outfits to put in your hospital bag for those first photos with your baby.

21 Decide if you’re going to donate your extra umbilical cord blood.

22 Decide if you want pain medication when in labor (epidural).

23 Make sure you have your spouse’s work phone number in case you go into labor during work hours. Yes, I’m embarrassed, I didn’t have Joe’s work phone number in my phone, only his cell phone.

24 Our health insurance open enrollment occurred one month before Declan was born. We spent some time determining which plan would be best for us after Declan was born (there were over 8 plans to choose from). Yes, once he’s born we could have researched the multiple plan options then, but I was happy we spent time figuring this out beforehand. Then when Declan was born, we just added him to that plan.

25 While we’re thinking about insurance, we made sure we knew HOW to add Declan to our insurance after he was born. This made it super easy to just log on to Joe’s account (we’re on his employer insurance) to add Declan.

26 Download an app that helps track your contractions. Wat easier than watching a clock and writing it down. Plus, these days isn’t there an app for everything?

27 Inquire about circumcision process. In Seattle I learned it’s common for the OB to perform the circumcision about a week or so after the baby is born.

28 Get tdap shots. Joe and I both got ours along with my parents, as they were going to be spending a lot of time with Declan. Tdap shots can make your arm sore for a couple days and it takes a couple weeks to kick in. My doctor recommended that everyone gets a tdap by the 32nd week of pregnancy.

29 Make a list of baby medicines that are good to have on hand (email friends, google). Nothing’s worse than driving to CVS in the middle of the night for a sick baby.

30 Medical bills can be confusing. Medical bills when you’re pregnant can be overwhelming. I kept a list of every doctor appointment (big or small) and documented what occurred during the apt (Ultrasound, flu shot, etc). That way when you receive a bill, you can cross check it with your list to ensure everything looks correct (hey, hospital billing make mistakes too).

31 Download movies on your tablet to watch at the hospital. We never ended up watching the TV in our hospital room because we had enough shoes on my iPad to keep us entertained before Declan arrived.

32 Our medical bills started coming in the mail quicker than most congratulatory cards. It’s wise to have a system to track and pay for the bills as they arrive. I simply created a Google doc listing all the appointments/hospital stays/procedures along with the date and a little detail about the appointment. Then as I received bills I cross referenced with my list and marked down the date that I paid the bill.

Non Baby Related 

33 Clean out the inside of our car.

34 Get a new family room rug (our current one has SO much dog hair that just won’t get out via vacuuming).

35 Get rid of our old coffee table. It was sitting in our family room taking up space and I knew it would drive me crazy. Remember you’re going to spending a lot of time in your house. Make sure you like the space 😀.

36 Clean out fridge and freezer.

37 Stock up on stables for the home (toilet paper, paper towels, dish detergent, etc).

38 Buy gifts for any upcoming holidays, birthdays, weddings and showers. One last thing you’ll want to deal with.

39 Keep your house clean. This is an ongoing task that I tried to do every day starting three weeks prior to my due date. My rational was that I didn’t want to come home after delivering a baby to a dirty house.

40 Do laundry before it starts piling up (for the same reasons as above).

41 Pay your bills and go through mail as it arrives (for the same reason as above).

42 When I first found out I was pregnant I started nesting. And by nesting I mean some serious purging of stuff I just don’t need anymore. And there’s over 100 things we didn’t need anymore.

43 I did another home purge session in my 3rd trimester after we had most of our baby items.

The largest list of tasks to accomplish before you have your baby!

Nursery / Baby Registry 

44 Research and buy crib. We bought this one because of the extra storage at the bottom.

45 Put the crib together. Set aside a couple hours. This is NOT a one person job.

46 Order breast pump. Mine took a while to ship so it’s best to get this ordered before the baby arrives. Most insurance will cover this.

47 Once we found out the gender, I decided on the nursery theme and put together a collage of ideas.

48 Wash all baby clothes and blankets with dye free detergent before organizing and hanging up.

49 Buy baptism outfit.

50 Buy fragrance and dye free detergent. There’s detergent marketed specifically for babies, but we bought generic fragrance and dye free bottle.

51 Decide the initial sleeping arrangement for you, your spouse and baby. It’s recommended that the baby sleeps in your room at the beginning (and it makes it a heck of a lot easier for night feedings).

52 Make sure baby bed is ready to sleep in, whether that’s a crib, pack & play, bassinet or co-sleeper. We used this pack & play which I can’t recommend enough. It has a bassinet attachment for the early months and is relatively small in size so it doesn’t take up too much space.

53 Clean all the baby toys you have (we were given lots from friends and bought some second hand).

54 Test out all baby toys to make sure they’re working with new batteries. Just a warning: there will be a time (many times) that you’ll wish the batteries ran out!

55 Install car seat. Joe is WAY better at this than I am. Make sure your car is parked on a flat surface before installing. The street we live in is on a hill so we had to drive to the grocery store to install ours. Learn from our mistake: watch a YouTube video on installing a car seat before you try yourself!

56 Get blackout blinds for the nursery. (Note, we never got this accomplished before the baby was born. Another rookie mistake. So we ended up buying these temporary ones that might not be so temporary 🙂 )

57 Make clothes hanger labels for baby clothes. Both totally unnecessary and necessary at the same time. (I bought these on Etsy)

58 Organize all baby clothes by size. Make sure newborn sizes are the most easily accessible.

59 Ask friends about their favorite baby items (stroller, monitor, carrier, etc) to go on your baby registry. I relied heavily on recommendations from friends.

60 Decide where to register (we chose Amazon and Target). Both give you free gifts for registering. I’m a sucker for free 😀.

61 Create your baby registry. We registered on Amazon and Target.

62 Closer to your due date and as more items on your registry get purchased, add some additional items that you’ll need when your little one gets a little older. If you don’t have enough items on your registry you’re just asking for people to buy you stuff that you may not need.

63 Purchase thank you cards. You’ll be getting a lot of gifts 😀.

64 Also buy postage stamps (for thank you cards and baby announcements).

65 Make a list of gifts you receive and who gave them to you. I made a Google doc and shared with Joe so we could both enter the information.

66 Using my google doc, I kept up to date on sending thank you cards by writing them weekly. I knew once the baby was born I would likely get behind writing thank yous.

67 Determine how many baby clothes you want to have of each size (newborn, 3 month, 6 month, etc). There’s no magic number. I think it’s good to get an idea of how much you want. I went a little nuts and created a spreadsheet to track how many pieces of clothing we were receiving at each size. #notnecessary

68 Sign up for Amazon Family. It’s free and you get discounted baby stuff.

69 Stock up on diapers. You’ll go through these way faster than you can imagine. We had a lot of size 1, but not as many newborn size as we heard that babies outgrow the newborn size quickly.

70 Stock up on other supplies for baby (wipes, diaper cream, baby shampoo, etc).

71 Instead of buying a sound machine I installed this app on my iPhone and iPad. We really didn’t end up needing to use sound that much for Declan to go to sleep so I was glad we didn’t end up buying a sound machine.

72 If you’re breastfeeding, make sure you’ve got the essentials: creams, breastfeeding bras, bra pads, etc. you won’t want to be running around to baby stores to pick these items up after the baby is born.

So many things to do before you're due!

Family / Visitors

73 With your spouse, decide when you want family to come visit. My parents were in town when Declan was born and Joe’s parents came a week later. We were SO grateful for the help and wished they could have stayed longer.  On the contrary some of our friends chose to wait a couple weeks or months before family visits.

74 If family will be coming shortly after your child is born, stock up on things your family members will like. Think groceries, toiletries, prepare guest room, clean the guest bathroom, etc. While your family is likely coming to help, it’s nice to have the essentials for them when they arrive.

75 If you’ll be baptizing your baby, decide who the god parents will be.

76 If family is going to be visiting with you for a while, consider asking them to get a tdap shot.

77 Work with your church to schedule baptism. Our church had a short class we needed to take ahead of time.

78 Find a fun way to tell your family that you’re pregnant. I took this opportunity to make a cute little DIY.

79 Make a list of friends and family to inform once the baby is born. I went as far as to prep an email and save as a draft with all the email addresses I wanted to send it to. Then all I needed to do was attach some photos and add Declan’s measurements and date before going hitting send.

80 Talk to your partner about when you’ll want visitors (local friends & family) after the baby is born, keeping in mind that your opinion may change drastically once the baby arrives, but it’s good to chat about it ahead of time. We ended up having a lot of our friends come visit shortly after Declan was born (mostly because we wanted some non baby adult conversation), but I’ve heard that many parents need a couple weeks to get adjusted.

Baby Announcements / Thank Yous / Photos 

81 Select a baby announcement design. I ordered this one from minted.com.

82 Ask local friends for photographer recommendations.

83 Book a photographer for newborn photos or see if your hospital has a photographer on site.

84 Find photo example ideas for your photographer. Pinterest is a great place to look for newborn photo inspiration.

85 Make a list of everyone that you want to send baby announcements to. Get a list from your spouse, your parents and your in-laws.

86 Obtain mailing addresses for everyone you want to send an announcement to.

87 If you’re thinking of taking monthly photos of your baby, come up with the photo ideas / theme. Again, Pinterest has some great inspiration.

the most detailed list of things to do before you're due!

Miscellaneous 

88 Find an app to use to track baby feeding & sleeping (We use Baby Connect and love it. We chose not to track sleep, but we track feeding and diapers.)

89 Make a list of potential baby names. Both first and middle names. We waited until we knew the gender before Joe and I made our lists.

90 Decide in baby’s name!

91 Maybe a little silly, ok a lot silly, reserve an email address for your kiddo. Email addresses go quick. Especially gmail.

92 Sign up for a moms group to attend after your baby is born. If you can’t find one by doing a quick Google search, ask you OB for recommendations.

93 Determine how much time you and your spouse are taking off of work.

94 Make a list of child care options for when you go back to work. In Seattle, most daycares have huge waitlists so it’s best to start this process early.

95 Tour daycare options. You’ll want to tour any facility that you’re considering.

96 Finalize child care.

97 Make diaper changing stations around your home. We have a three story townhouse so to prevent having to run up and down the stairs we packed diaper changing supplies in baskets and placed one on each floor.

98 Two words: freezer meals. Now I don’t typically love frozen casseroles, but post baby is no time to become a gourmet chef.

99 Put extra baby supplies in your car just in case! Think diapers, outfit change, wipes, formula.

100 Make a list of things you need to do right after the baby is born. My list included: schedule first pediatrician apt, schedule circumcision, add Declan on to our insurance, confirm photo session. All of these items depended on WHEN Declan was actually born. It was nice to have a list handy since I really wasn’t thinking about all this stuff the day he was born!

and one more just because ….

101 I wanted to remember all the little things that Declan started to do – when he first started opening his eyes, sleeping through the night, rolling over, etc.  The easiest way for us to document these things was through a shared Google Doc. I denoted each week with the dates and then list interesting things that happened that week (ex. Week 8 June 24th).

 

And that’s it! Everything I did before our son was born. I’d love to hear what you did to prepare before you’re due! List any of your to-do’s in the comments!

The ULTIMATE list of everything you need to do before you're due! 100 things that you probaly never thought of before, but will be happy you did!

 

 

 

 

 





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No need for any special gadgets to clean dusty lampshades. Take a look at our quick 1 minute tutorial to remove all the dust so easily!

 

I’m a cleaning machine. I LOVE cleaning. No, seriously I really do. I think it’s the control freak in me that likes to be in charge of my own cleaning. Plus I count cleaning as a workout. (don’t we all?) But I always trying to find ways to make the house cleaning process easier, better and quicker.

No need for any special gadgets to clean dusty lampshades. Take a look at our quick 1 minute tutorial to remove all the dust so easily!

Several years back we got these fun white lampshades at Target. They’ve held up surprisingly well and I love the clean look of them. I’m typically not a fan of anything white because of how hard it is to keep white clean, but lampshades are really rarely touched. But I noticed that they started getting dusty. I had no idea how to get dust off a lamp. Seriously, who cleans lampshades? Well apparently this girl needed to. Dusting with a rag didn’t really seem to do the trick and I was afraid to wash them per se.

That’s where my new favorite trick came in handy ….. a lint roller.

No need for any special gadgets to clean dusty lampshades. Take a look at our quick 1 minute tutorial to remove all the dust so easily!

We’ve been using these non stop since we brought home Reagan last year. With a puppy, even one that doesn’t shed a lot, I could continually lint roll every room in our house a a full time job. Which seems more and more likely since we given Reagan free rein of the house. (Dog owner mistake #1) When we first brought home Reagan we claimed she wouldn’t be allowed on the family room couch, then the guest bed, then the master bed. I think Reagan has more access to our home than I do.

But back to those lamp shades ….
A quick roll around the lampshade was like a miracle machine.

No need for any special gadgets to clean dusty lampshades. Take a look at our quick 1 minute tutorial to remove all the dust so easily!

Never fear white lamps again!

No need for any special gadgets to clean dusty lampshades. Take a look at our quick 1 minute tutorial to remove all the dust so easily!

 

 

 




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If you've got 5 minutes, you'll love this quick and easy solution to remove pilling from your favorite outfit. This smart DIY hack will save you big bucks!

Yes, this photo below is what a pair of my leggings used looked like. And I wore them. Alot. They’re maternity pants that were NOT cheap, but felt cheap after a couple wears. Pilling started almost immediately. But I continued to wear them … because well working from home every day, I’ve been known to wear a lot worse.

I told Joe, my husband, how frustrated I was that these expensive maternity pants were pilling after wearing them a handful of times and he laughed saying ‘I thought that was how they were supposed to look.’ #wardrobefail

If you've got 5 minutes, you'll love this quick and easy solution to remove pilling from your favorite outfit. This smart DIY hack will save you big bucks!

Happy to tell you that I was able to find a solution that didn’t involve throwing good money down the drain. Yes, it’s possible to remove pilling on your own! But as I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy, I’m kicking myself for wearing these overpriced pilled ridden pants for so long without fixing them sooner. Especially considering the fix took me all of 5 minutes. #liveandlearn

Supplies 

  • Cheap razor (the cheaper the better …. like this one)
  • Paper towel
  • Lint roller 
  • Your pilled clothing!

If you've got 5 minutes, you'll love this quick and easy solution to remove pilling from your favorite outfit. This smart DIY hack will save you big bucks!

Remove Pilling

The first thing I did was iron my pants. Although it’s not essential, I was a little nervous that shaving my pants would rip the fabric. Well, this ended up not being an issue at all, but I’m a ‘better safe than sorry’ type of gal.

Save your good razors for your legs. Seriously. Skip the fancy ones that have the moisture strips or soap bars on the side (it will actually cause more pilling than it will remove). A cheap no frills razor will be most effective. Just make sure it’s a sharp new one.

Pull the fabric taut with one hand and lightly shave one section at a time. This will prevent you from cutting through the garment.

If you've got 5 minutes, you'll love this quick and easy solution to remove pilling from your favorite outfit. This smart DIY hack will save you big bucks!

As the razor gets full (and it will quickly!), wipe it off with a paper towel. This mound of pilling was just the beginning!

If you've got 5 minutes, you'll love this quick and easy solution to remove pilling from your favorite outfit. This smart DIY hack will save you big bucks!

I found it easier to place my garmet on a hard surface whiling shaving it instead of carpet.

Now not all the pilling stuck onto the razor so I also rolled a lint roller over the paints to collect the remains.

If you've got 5 minutes, you'll love this quick and easy solution to remove pilling from your favorite outfit. This smart DIY hack will save you big bucks!

Depending on how much pilling there is, it make take you a quick minute or a little longer to get your garmet back to it’s original state. Do as I say and not as I do …. don’t wait too long to tackle this project after you see pilling on your clothes!

If you've got 5 minutes, you'll love this quick and easy solution to remove pilling from your favorite outfit. This smart DIY hack will save you big bucks!

Prevent Pilling

Even though this was a pretty simple little project, it’s always best to try to prevent pilling from starting in the first place:

  • Turn your garments inside out before washing and drying.
  • Liquid laundry detergent is more gentle on clothing, as is using the gentle cycle (duh)!
  • When possible, hang dry your clothes instead of using the dryer. The dryer is the big pilling culperate.
  • Make sure not to overload your washer. Cramming too many garmets in prevents the from moving around and causes damage to the surface.

May your expensive clothes continue to look EXPENSIVE and hopefully pilling never goes in style!

If you've got 5 minutes, you'll love this quick and easy solution to remove pilling from your favorite outfit. This smart DIY hack will save you big bucks!

 

 

 

 




 

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The BEST Ikea organization hacks on the web to solve all your household clutter problems! Save money with Ikea and a little DIY!

There’s been so many home projects that I want to get to before the baby is born. I had grand aspiration of organizing every nook and cranny of our home. Then reality set in and I’m having to really prioritize which projects MUST be done now and which I could live with being unfinished for a while. As you know, with so many of my organizing projects I really like to incorporate an element of DIY. Ikea is pretty much synonymous with affordable DIY hacks. I decided on the top 5 projects I want to accomplish before my due date and searched for for the best Ikea organization hacks to assist. Let’s just hope I have enough time 🙂 .

1. Framed Cork Board

No matter how much I try to tame the paper around our home, it always pops up! Instead of fighting it, I wanted a decorative way to keep it invitations, tickets, and reminders around. Beckie at Infarrantly Creative uses cork placemats (yep, those are placemats) to create her corkboard.

The BEST Ikea organization hacks on the web to solve all your household clutter problems! Save money with Ikea and a little DIY!{via}

2.  Managing Paper Clutter

Utilizing wall space is KEY if you’ve got limited space. Even if you’re overflowing on square footage, creating a wall paper storage unit is a smart way to store, organize and hide that paper clutter & mail that enters everyone’s home. Lauren at L’amour Chez Nous created this pretty wall storage nook for only $25!

The BEST Ikea organization hacks on the web to solve all your household clutter problems! Save money with Ikea and a little DIY!{via}

3. Jewelry Dishes

I’m always fearful of loosing my wedding & engagement rings, especially when I take them off near the sink. Then there’s also simply just forgetting where I placed them (THAT tends to happen a lot)! I love these little jewelry trays for an easy spot to place jewelry temporarily, whether in the kitchen, bathroom or bedroom. Marwa at Enthralling Gumption makes these adorable jewelry dishes out of Ikea coasters!

The BEST Ikea organization hacks on the web to solve all your household clutter problems! Save money with Ikea and a little DIY!{via}

4. Wrapping Paper Storage

I can’t get enough of pretty wrapping paper, which is ironic considering I’m one of those gals whow would prefer to buy a friend dinner & drinks instead of a gift that I’m not sure that they’ll use. But when I see a good deal on colorful wrapping paper, I JUMP! Needless to say my craft closet is overflowing with rolls. I love Shannon’s solution: simply use an Ikea bag holder affixed to the wall to wrangle in all the rolls of wrapping paper off the floor!

The BEST Ikea organization hacks on the web to solve all your household clutter problems! Save money with Ikea and a little DIY!{via}

5. The Craft Cart

Pulling out craft supplies for my DIY projects can sometimes cause more of a mess than it’s worth. Tara from Suburble transitioned the popular Ikea kitchen cart into a craft cart making DIY projects MUCH easier. She even DIYed the containers inside the cart. I love the idea of using a cart on wheels as opposed to storage bins stacked in my closet for commonly used craft supplies.

The BEST Ikea organization hacks on the web to solve all your household clutter problems! Save money with Ikea and a little DIY!{via}

 

 

 

 




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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Lysol®, Finish®, Woolite®, and Air Wick®. The opinions and text are all mine.

How organize the essentials in a cleaning caddy. Everyone needs one! Perfect for weekly cleaning or the big annual spring cleaning.

Hello Spring!

I’m welcoming the change of season with open arms! As the sunny days are peaking through all the rain that we’ve gotten in Seattle throughout the winter, I’m able to open the windows and let the fresh air in. As the weather gets a little warmer, I’m more motivated to come out of hibernation and tackle some spring cleaning.

Over the years I’ve tried different systems for gathering & containing all my cleaning supplies and am happiest with my most recent set up. My main goal for the cleaning caddy is to have one place to store all the cleaning supplies needed for weekly cleaning sessions. Instead of having to grab cleaning supplies from multiple locations in our home, I simply pull out the cleaning caddy from under our kitchen sink and I’m off to clean.

The caddy

How organize the essentials in a cleaning caddy. Everyone needs one! Perfect for weekly cleaning or the big annual spring cleaning.

I love that this caddy has a sturdy handle, is easy to clean and has multi sized compartments to hold a variety of supplies, all of which I purchased at Target.

The essentials

How organize the essentials in a cleaning caddy. Everyone needs one! Perfect for weekly cleaning or the big annual spring cleaning.

How organize the essentials in a cleaning caddy. Everyone needs one! Perfect for weekly cleaning or the big annual spring cleaning.

The cleaning caddy & essentials come in handy each week as I clean our home and also as I’m planning our annual spring cleaning session. A couple notes on these essentials:

  • In addition to cleaning spray, I also keep Lysol Disinfecting Wipes for a deeper clean. (When used as directed, Lysol kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria)
  • I HATE cleaning the toilet. Who actually enjoys it? So I make sure to have the strong stuff on hand. Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner for 10X Cleaning Power* removes the toughest stains in seconds.
  • I love to use glass bottles to fill up with my cleaning sprays, I use Lysol Kitchen Pro Antibacterial Cleaner. It kills 99.9% of harmful kitchen bacteria without the harsh chemical residue other cleaners leave behind.
  • As you can tell, I don’t mess around with our cleaning supplies. I go for the good stuff that I know will get the job done. While I do enjoy organizing my cleaning process, that doesn’t mean I want to spend a lot of time cleaning! Scroll down for some great deals on not only Lysol products, but other must haves for spring cleaning including Air Wick, Woolite, and Finish!

 

 

The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist

Spring cleaning can be intimidating, frustrating and oh so time consuming! It can also be tough to tackle deep cleaning the entire house in a relatively short period of time. Although I like to do smaller cleaning sessions throughout the year, I still spend two long weekends annually deep cleaning the entire home. Over the years I’ve learned new ways to streamline this process and shall I almost say ‘make it enjoyable.’

1 I use a checklist for all big projects. Spring cleaning is no exception. I find that it helps me stay focused and also ensures I complete all the cleaning that I want to do. I’ve created variations of this checklist throughout the years, whether due to moving to new homes or simply finding new areas I want cleaned. Since no home or spring cleaning is alike, I’ve provided my personal list of cleaning tasks, but also space for you to add additional tasks for each room of your home.

2 With my checklist in hand and before ANY cleaning takes place, I walk through each room of the house, taking inventory of the cleaning tasks and add to the checklist when necessary.

3 Next I review the list of tasks ahead and ensure that I’ve got all the necessary supplies. In addition to my cleaning caddy essentials, I add items such as paper towels, detergent (I love the Woolite High Efficiency Extra Dark Dual Formula), and boom / dustpan. I head out to do ONE trip to grab any additional supplies that I need. Target is my tried and true one stop shop. Scroll down for coupons & savings on all your favorite brands!

How organize the essentials in a cleaning caddy. Everyone needs one! Perfect for weekly cleaning or the big annual spring cleaning.

4 Before I jump in to cleaning, I evaluate how much time I anticipate each room taking to clean. While I never guess the exact amount of time it will take, I do like to estimate. This helps me realistically determine how much I can get done during a weekday, evening or long weekend. It also prevents me from getting frustrated half way through spring cleaning because it always seems that there’s so much left to do!

5 Once I know how long I need to plan for each room, I add cleaning time to my calendar. No it’s not the most exciting event to look forward to, but it does help me stay committed and get the cleaning accomplished. Some years I’ve tried to tackle the entire spring cleaning in a weekend. While that used to work when I lived in a smaller space, I now divide up my spring cleaning in to two weekends with some weekend nights dedicated to a couple cleaning projects (cleaning the car for example)

6 It’s so tempting for me to dive in to reorganizing the spaces while I’m cleaning, so I dedicate my spring cleaning sessions to just that: CLEANING. I do make notes of organizing projects that I identify while cleaning each room. For me, spring CLEANING is enough of a project to handle right now without going down a rabbit hole of wanting to reorganize. Plus, I always know I’ll make time for those organizing projects at a later date!

How organize the essentials in a cleaning caddy. Everyone needs one! Perfect for weekly cleaning or the big annual spring cleaning.

Before I leave you to start your spring cleaning project, I want to give you a little bit more explanation on a couple of my spring cleaning tasks on my checklist that I’ve incorporated over the years.

  • Wash pillow covers & throws – many of our decorative pillow covers are used rarely if ever. I still wash these at least once a year as dust and general dirt can get on them, even if they’re not used.
  • Clean trash / recycling bins in the garage – I grab the hose to wash down the empty bins to get rid of any trash or spills that are stuck at the bottom. Trash is dirty enough without a gross garbage bin!
  • Dust light fixtures – even if I can’t find any dust on the light fixtures, I do like to dust them as a precaution annually. While I’m no expert, high heat and dust don’t sound like a safe combination if left for a prolonged amount of time! Better safe than sorry!

Don’t forget to fill up your cleaning caddy with all the essentials at Target!

 

 

 

 




 

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Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. All opinions are mine alone. #StopPainNow #CollectiveBias

A list of essential items to pack on your next vacation to keep up your exercise routine! You'll be surprised by some of the items we ALWAYS bring with us!

Routines have always been super important to me. Call me boring or predictable, but whether at work or home, I accomplish the most when I have a consistent game plan that I follow regularly. Over the last year I’ve learned the importance of this working from home. (It’s not as easy as it looks!)

It’s been incorporated in my life from an early age growing up competitively figure skating. The lessons I’ve learned figure skating have stuck with me for years (the discipline, long hours and dedication). Unfortunately the other thing that stuck was back pain from the constant strain put on my body over the years. Long after I retired my skates, I still deal with the pain: acupuncture, physical therapy, massage … oh I’ve tried it all. In addition, I take a pain releaver regularly, Curamin® Stop Pain Now. It’s a dietary supplement with natural ingredients that truly gets to the source of the pain (instead of just temporarily masking it).

While I’m definitely no workout or health expert, I have had my share of travel over the years (for both work and fun) and have fine tuned my process for packing. My moto has always been that a little preparation goes a long way. Knowing that I want to workout during my trips, I make sure to plan accordingly.

A list of essential items to pack on your next vacation to keep up your exercise routine! You'll be surprised by some of the items we ALWAYS bring with us!1 Workout Clothes // 2 Sunglasses // 3 Curamin® Extra Strength

1 workout clothes / Since I’m already wearing my tennis shoes on my flight, I tend to dress casual. Often workout clothes is the easiest wardrobe choice for a flight. Plus, it makes it easy to workout on a wim.

2 sunglasses / As more and more of my vacations include an Airbnb instead of a hotel, I expect to be excersising outside as opposed to a hotel gym. Keeping sunglasses on hand makes a morning jog so much more enjoyable in the sunny weather!

3 Curamin® Extra Strength / I keep a bottle in my purse so I’ve always got some on hand, but also in my workout bag to take after exercising. The last thing I want is for my workout schedule to be placed on hold because of pain. Grab yours at your local health food store, or online. Curamin® is actually the #1 selling brand and is safe, effective and non-addictive which is really important to me.

A list of essential items to pack on your next vacation to keep up your exercise routine! You'll be surprised by some of the items we ALWAYS bring with us!4 sunscreen // 5 hair ties // 6 pouch // 7 extra toiletries // 8 empty laundry bag

4 sunscreen / I’d rather exercise outside during the nice weather months than inside in a gym. Since my fair skin can barely handle the limited sun that we receive in Seattle, I always have sunscreen with me on all my warm weather trips!

5 hair ties / Nothing’s worse that searching for a hair tie after you’ve gotten all ready to workout. I keep a special stash just for my workouts so that I never forget them.

6 pouch / Sometimes you can sneak in a workout when you wouldn’t expect it. That’s why I always like to have a small pouch on me to hold so many of these exercise essentials. It prevents me from having to dig through my large suitcase for what I need .

7 extra toiletries / In addition to my standard toiletries, I like to bring some extras such as face wipes and body spray that always come in handy after a quick workout.

8 extra laundry bag / After working out, throw your sweaty clothes into a separate laundry bag to keep them from mingling with your clean clothes.

A list of essential items to pack on your next vacation to keep up your exercise routine! You'll be surprised by some of the items we ALWAYS bring with us!9 water bottle // 10 snacks // 11 plastic baggies

9 water bottle / I keep a water bottle in my carry on and fill up before a flight. It also comes in handy at the hotel instead of paying the high price for the water bottle sitting in our hotel!

10 snacks / working out on an empty stomach is always a bad idea, so I carry protein bars with me if I need a little energizer before or after my workout.

11 plastic baggies / I always keep plastic bags on hand. They seem to come in handy for SO many reasons. They’re great for storing my phone during a raining outdoor workout or portioning out snacks for the trip!

A list of essential items to pack on your next vacation to keep up your exercise routine! You'll be surprised by some of the items we ALWAYS bring with us!12 athletic shoes // 13 bag for dirty shoes // 14 headphones // 15 workout bands

12 athletic shoes / A workout essential, I typically wear my shoes on the plane. It’s so much more confortable to head through the airport in flats. Plus athletic shoes are often my bigger shoes so it saves extra room in my suitcase.

13 bag for dirty shoes / Athletic shoes too easily pick up mud and dirt while outside. While on vacation the last thing I want to do is clean my shoes. Instead, I grab a couple small dog waste bags to wrap my shoes in to keep the dirt away from my clothes.

14 headphones / Some can exercise without music, but I’m not one of those people. Very little things DEmotivate me to exercise than the lack of music!

15 workout bands / I love to bring a small workout band to incprorate additional excerices to my routine. It also makes working out right in my hotel room so easy!

 

 

What are your tips for keeping your routine while traveling?

 

 

 

 




 

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This post is sponsored by World Market. All opinions are always my own!

Smart ways to use Easter decorations throughout your home for during the rest of the year, from storage solutions to entertaining and everything in between!

I LOVE decorating our house for Christmas. I’m one of those people who gets out the decorations well before Thanksgiving (I won’t reveal HOW early). So most would assume that I continue my holiday excitement for ALL the holidays. I wish I did, but sadly as the New Year starts, resolutions of removing clutter & organizing closets kick in. I then remember how much space all those holiday decorations take up.

Valentine’s day passes without even a thought of a decorations (I’m lucky if I remember to get Joe a card. Ops!). An occasion Saint Patrick’s Day decoration may make its way to our home, which realistically came from a bar. By the time, Easter rolls around, I’ve given up on holiday decorations all together …. until now.

I received a really fun challenge by World Market to find ways to utilize Easter decor all year round, meaning nothing went back in to store. Ultimately removing any excuses I could come up with to decorate for Easter.  I was SOLD! This was music to my ears, as I have NO room to store any additional off season holiday decorations, but desperately want decorate the house for Easter!

I headed over to my local World Market downtown Seattle next to Pike Place Market and picked up decorations that just caught my eye. Here’s how I use each of these during Easter and ‘The Rest of the Year’:

Apothecary jars seem to be all over the place lately. I can see why they’re so popular …. the decorating options are endless. I mean, simply fill the jar with whatever season it is and tada! Holiday decorations.

There was no way I was going to pass up coffee canisters. Hello, anything with coffee on it has my heart. Instead of getting my caffeine rush for the day, I used these as vases the brightly colored tulips that are in season.

Smart ways to use Easter decorations throughout your home for during the rest of the year, from storage solutions to entertaining and everything in between!

Smart ways to use Easter decorations throughout your home for during the rest of the year, from storage solutions to entertaining and everything in between!

Instead of just using the Apothecary jars to decorate for the next holiday (yep, I decided that was cheating), these became a pretty way to store some of our baking essentials on the counter. Clear containers are great for storing heavily used products because it’s easy to see when refills are needed.

Smart ways to use Easter decorations throughout your home for during the rest of the year, from storage solutions to entertaining and everything in between!

The coffee canisters got put to use in my craft closet storing washi tape and ribbons for easy access. A small label on the lids made these the perfect addition to my crafting cart.

Smart ways to use Easter decorations throughout your home for during the rest of the year, from storage solutions to entertaining and everything in between!

Smart ways to use Easter decorations throughout your home for during the rest of the year, from storage solutions to entertaining and everything in between!

 

The second I spotted this egg crate, I knew it was coming home with me. The clean white color looks great against colorful Easter eggs. I just love that this is a ceramic crate as opposed to the plastic ones I see so often.

Smart ways to use Easter decorations throughout your home for during the rest of the year, from storage solutions to entertaining and everything in between!

One word: APPETIZERS. Since my cooking doesn’t necessarily win everyone over, my dishware will 🙂 . Deviled eggs are such an easy dish that even this rookie can master. Don’t just save this ceramic dish for eggs though. Possibilities are endless for all you fancy cooks out there!

Smart ways to use Easter decorations throughout your home for during the rest of the year, from storage solutions to entertaining and everything in between!

 

Easter baskets are not just for kids! These make great hostess gifts for friends or family hosting Easter dinner. I stocked mine with fun, but practical gifts that I knew the host would love: an assortment of colorful cooking gadgets will create pops of soft color throughout the kitchen. (and of course some chocolate 🙂 )

Smart ways to use Easter decorations throughout your home for during the rest of the year, from storage solutions to entertaining and everything in between!
Smart ways to use Easter decorations throughout your home for during the rest of the year, from storage solutions to entertaining and everything in between!

In my house, baskets are the queen of storage (Easter baskets or otherwise). There’s ALWAYS some clutter that needs to be hidden. In. Every. Single. Room. From magazines to puppy toys, we keep our baskets full!

Smart ways to use Easter decorations throughout your home for during the rest of the year, from storage solutions to entertaining and everything in between!

Now you’ll have no excuse to skip the Easter decorations this year …. and all year round!

 

 

 

 

 




 

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If I could, I would spend my days and nights organizing & reorganizing every space in our house. Yes, that’s a little (lot) crazy and ridiculously time consuming, but it’s also EXPENSIVE! The home storage and organization has become a huge industry. While I’ll splurge on the right products that make life easier, it’s always great to be able to solve an organizing challenge affordably. And there’s not much more affordable than your local dollar store! I rounded up my favorite organizing tutorials for each room of the house using products purchased at a dollar store.

1 Closets

Wire closets can be great, but also a little challenging for certain storage needs. This quick and easy fix with transform your wire shelves creating endless storage possibilities!

Smart ways to organize your home affordably using items from the dollar store. You'll wonder why you didn't think of these before!
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2 Bathroom Drawers
Our bathroom drawers would quickly become junk drawers if it weren’t for small labeled storage containers for all our bathroom items. I love Jen’s suggestions to keep those storage containers to stay put!

>Smart ways to organize your home affordably using items from the dollar store. You'll wonder why you didn't think of these before!

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3 Refrigerator 
I do love grocery day when we have a full fridge of food options to choose from. But each time I’m at the grocery store stocking up, I think ….. ‘there’s NO way we have room for all of this.” That’s why Brittany’s plastic storage bin solution storing all like items together is so brilliant. Not only does it make finding items in the fridge a breeze, it creates so much more space!

Smart ways to organize your home affordably using items from the dollar store. You'll wonder why you didn't think of these before!

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4 Laundry Room

The laundry room can be a great storage space, if used to it’s full potential. Nikki’s laundry room tutorial shows a such clean and organized solution for storage for those open shelves. And that turquoise is such a great pop of color!

Smart ways to organize your home affordably using items from the dollar store. You'll wonder why you didn't think of these before!

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5 Pantry

Pantries can be a love / hate relationship …. love that extra space, but hate the mess that they can become! Erin shows some amazing before & after photos of her mom’s pantry storage makeover. Once Erin was done organizing, it looked like a completely different space!

Smart ways to organize your home affordably using items from the dollar store. You'll wonder why you didn't think of these before!

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