I am SO excited to bring back my Let’s Be Honest Mamas collaboration! We have decided, based on such wonderful feedback (thank you!!), to keep this collaboration around for awhile and we are bringing it to you monthly! I’m thrilled to be able to share in motherhood and be a resource to all of you mamas. Each month we are going to talk about a new topic, so if you have something you are wanting to know more about, or a question or anything, just drop me an email or comment below! This is going to be really fun! ;)
First off, this is us. Honestly, 90% of the time this is totally us. Noah constantly wiggling out of my arms, me with messy hair in a bun, jeans, tee, at home, in our element. Second, April is here! Can you believe it?! I really love Spring, but then again I kind of love every season. Haha. The weather is warming up, but isn’t blazing hot yet here in California. It’s the time of the year that feels most refreshing to me. Spring brings Easter, which represents rebirth and all things are new and blooming. Hope is sort of just in the air. It also brings something many of us either love or totally dread, Spring cleaning! I personally love clearing out things, lightening our load, and organizing our spaces. It energizes me. I feel new again. Spring cleaning is a seasonal thing, but for many of us, we strive to live more simply all year long. For me personally, I am aligning my home to reflect a more simple type of life. SO, as a group, we are talking all about living simply and spring cleaning this month! Don’t forget to check out everyone’s post below and leave some love there, too!
1 // Do you have any routine spring cleaning that you do? How do you go about it if so?
YES. For us, the end of Winter, the beginning of the year, and the spring blooms, means it’s time to refresh the house as well! Usually, I like to go through our things at the beginning of the year rather than waiting for the official Spring months. I have a love for organizing, so I really like to sort through our things and try to weed out all the unneeded items, old clothes, trash, and generally declutter. I don’t believe a house needs to feel like a storage unit. If we haven’t used an item for an entire season or year, it goes! We donated a ton of stuff when we moved 6 months ago, so I think we have gotten rid of most our unneeded/unwanted items already. Spring is also usually the time when we clean up our yard, get the patio refreshed and cleaned up so we can start eating outside more and enjoying the weather. This year, we are in a new house and we are just finishing up our yard so we are pretty excited to use it!
2 // What does living simply mean to you?
For us, living simply means to live with less clutter and to focus on what truly matters. I want to live a meaningful, fulfilled life and spend time with the people I love, doing things that make us happy. I do NOT want to be worrying about the house or having a million toys or always giving our kids new toys and technology. Simplifying our home and our life is something I’ve been trying to refocus on recently. It is so much more satisfying to have a fun weekend with our family than to buy something new (although I do like new things, don’t get me wrong;) Living a more simple life means finding simple activities to fill our time and enjoying the little things in life like cooking, gardening, reading, visiting a coffee shop or the library, etc. Rather than buying all the newest toys, filling our closets to the brim, or constantly being “entertained”. I want my kids to grow up with a good balance. I’m hoping to keep Noah’s toys up to date for his age and limited to our current toy basket, maybe adding one more, but definitely not overflowing in the house. Having just what we need (most times a bit extra!) feels good.
3 // What are 5 of your go to products for your home? Organizational tools, storage, cleaners, essential oils, etc. that you couldn’t live without!
First things first, baskets! I think I inherited my mom’s love for baskets because I can find a use for a basket in every room of the house. I love that they can be used as decor and as storage and organization all at once. I use baskets on shelves, the diaper station, the floor for toys and blankets, and in pantries/closets/linens. My second must have organizational item is glass jars (also these and these for the pantry!). I seriously love using jars in the pantry for dry goods, nuts, etc., in our bathroom, and as decor in the linen closet. Number three is probably the drawer inserts from Ikea! These little cloth dividers are not 100% necessary, but I love them. I use them to divide up Noah’s drawers into categories and fold everything neatly so it’s all easily accessible. I also use the drawer dividers for my intimates drawer to keep it all tidy. My fourth go to item are my multipurpose rags. They are microfiber and come in a package from Target and are designed for different surfaces, such as glass, furniture, stainless steel, etc. They are amazing and so simple, plus reusable so it’s even better for the environment. I either use them dry or with a bit of water. We love that it’s simple, natural, and toxic-free. Okay, my fifth must have for the home is our natural soap bars! I recently started buying natural soap from the local farmers market and I’m hooked. I much prefer the natural ingredients and they look and smell so pretty! We use them at every sink and as body soap, instead of store-bought bottled hand soap.
4 // How do you approach tidying? For example, do you put everything away in its place each day/night?
For us, tidying is kind of just part of our daily routine. I am pretty tidy/organized by natural and have a hard time relaxing in a messy space. Maybe it’s the perfectionist in me, but either way everything is typically put away each night. I do tend to have a small continuous pile of receipts and mail/papers on the counter, but otherwise I try to put things in there place. As far as Noah goes, we have a floor basket filled with toys (see photos!), a basket of books, and a playpen (that usually gets folded down) in our living room. Upstairs, we keep a basket of blankets in his room and then in the closet we have a small cubby of books and some toys. Our daily routine is playtime downstairs in the living room and before each naptime (or once he is in his crib) I tidy up all the toys and books. As he gets older, I’m sure it will become a routine I have him help with. After bath time, I will put away the few bath toys we have in a basket in the bathroom and I try to keep his room with everything in it’s right place, too.
5 // How often do you clean your home? What are your daily tasks, weekly, bi weekly?
I have the amazing advantage of sharing a home with my mom. (I know, it’s pretty great and I highly recommend it). My husband and I share many duties with her so it is really helpful all around. Cooking is split up amongst the three of us and cleaning is handled by my mom and I. Basically, we each take care of cleaning our own part of the house and for shared living areas we sort of trade off. I clean my bathroom from top to bottom weekly, typically Friday’s so I can relax on the weekend. I dust our bedrooms and living room and vacuum weekly, as well. We Swiffer the floors downstairs daily because we have tile floors and dogs. ;) We also clean the kitchen counters pretty much daily and the rest of the kitchen weekly or sometimes biweekly.
This post was so fun to write and is kind of making me want to clean! Haha. Hope you enjoyed it and get inspired to organize! What does living simply mean to you?! How do you deal with keeping toys under control and not having too many? Your favorite home products? Do you tidy and keep things in there place or do messes not bother you? Share your answers with me in the comments! I’d love to hear ’em!
P.S. Join me on Instagram @thehannahrenee today! I’m going to be sharing on my Insta Stories all my organizational tools, including bathroom drawers, refrigerator, pantry, dresser drawers and more! Come hang out with me & maybe get a few ideas. XO
Check out all these lovely mamas for their version of this month’s #letsbehonestmamas post!