Modern*Simplicity

Creating a Life Free From Chaos

5 Simple Shortcuts to a Cleaner Home

5 Simple Shortcuts to a Cleaner Home

After all the buzz and excitement of Christmas, January feels like the perfect time to wipe the slate clean. I’m craving a calm, clutter-free home with lots of space to cook a healthy meal and unroll my yoga mat. 

That said, I also don’t want to put a ton of effort into cleaning. I’ve pulled together five shortcuts I use to help create a healthy, clean home while keeping it as effortless and affordable as possible. Check out these tips and look for a special offer from my friends at Grove Collaborative at the end.

Stay organized

When you don’t have to dig around for a bottle of cleaner, it’s much easier to stay on top of day-to-day cleaning tasks. I use a cute caddy from Grove to keep my most-used supplies readily accessible. The caddy is big enough to hold a few bottles of cleaner, gloves, and microfiber cloths — yet compact enough that I don’t feel like I’m lugging it around the house. I love the clean white look, but they also have a bunch of new ones in different colors! 

Use things up

It’s so easy to forget what’s already in my cabinets and buy something new instead. I realized that I may have a “cleaner hoarding” problem when I filled two baskets with new bottles when I cleaned out the pantry. This year, I’m trying to use up all those half-empty bottles of bathroom scrubs and glass cleaner tucked all over the house. Not only does that take care of responsibly using up what I’ve got, but it also helps eliminate the clutter of bottles under the sink! One product I always use to the last drop is Mrs. Meyer’s all-purpose spray. It stays on my Grove order every month so I never have to worry about running out. 

Upgrade to better versions of everyday products

Let’s face it — cleaning isn’t really fun, and it’s even less fun when you’re coughing and stripping your skin using traditional cleaners full of nasty chemicals. As I finish up any old products, I make sure to replace them with earth-friendly alternatives that are better for my family and for the planet. Using fresh cleaners with natural scents makes the whole process feel a bit more like rewarding routines instead of dreaded chores. I also love picking out new scents from Mrs. Meyers and Method — new scents keeps the cleaning happy!

5 Simple Shortcuts to a Cleaner Home

Use less plastic

Whether that means storing leftovers in glass containers instead of disposable bags or refilling my hand soap bottles, I’m always on the lookout for ways to eliminate single-use plastic in our home. I love that I can order refills of my favorite soaps and cleaners through Grove so I can reuse my dispensers instead of tossing them out. I also love the way their gorgeous glass bottles look on the counter.

Stick to a budget

Between laundry detergent, dish soap, toothpaste, and paper products, household supplies can get expensive. One thing that’s helping me stick to my budget is using Grove for all of my cleaning products. Ordering my supplies online forces me to think carefully about what I need, instead of randomly throwing cleaners in my cart as I hurry through the grocery store. The prices at Grove are usually lower than my grocery store anyway, and as a VIP I get free shipping, free gifts, price matching, and lots of sales. 

Grove hand-selects the best eco-friendly products and delivers them (carbon offset) right to my doorstep, on my schedule. I get helpful reminders when it’s time to reorder, so that’s one less thing I have to think about. And they don’t just have cleaning products either — they also have a huge selection of skincare products, health care items, and pet products! 

If you want to give Grove a try, check out this fun offer. Right now, when you place your first order of $20, you’ll receive a free Mrs. Meyer’s trio + caddy + walnut scrubber sponges to help you kickstart your freshly updated cleaning routine. 

Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up for Grove Collaborative here. You will receive a Mrs. Meyer’s trio (hand soap, dish soap, all-purpose spray) + caddy + walnut scrubber sponges for FREE when you sign up!
  2. To receive this offer, your order needs to be a minimum of $20. Choose the combination of products and scents you love and receive your first box within a few days. 
  3. That’s it! Click Finish & Pay to place your order. 

Bonus tip: If you spend $39, you’ll get a beautiful stoneware tray for free! It’s perfect for corralling dish soap and a sponge to keep your countertops tidy. I love the tidy look it gives my sink space.

Already a Grove customer? Get a free set of Grove walnut scrubber sponges with your next order! 

This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small percentage from sales made using affiliate links. Thanks so much!

20 Simple Stocking Stuffers to Add a Little Hygge to Your Holiday

20 Simple Stocking Stuffers to Add a Little Hygge to Your HolidayThe clock is ticking down to Christmas, and you may be thinking about last-minute gift ideas or stocking stuffers to round out your holiday gifts. It’s also cold outside, which means we’re all ready to hunker down at home for a cozy winter. To me, that sounds like we should work on our hygge just a bit.

Hygge is that feeling you get when you come home and leave all the world’s craziness outside. Click To Tweet

Hygge (pronounced hue-ga) is the Danish concept of happy, cozy living — it’s been quite trendy for the past few years, but has endured for decades in Europe. Hygge can be roughly translated as “coziness” in English but it is so much more than just that. Hygge is that feeling you get when you come home and leave all the world’s craziness outside. It’s when you’re curled up with a soft blanket, completely engrossed in a good book. Hygge is when you’re surrounded by friends and family, just looking to sit back, relax, and fellowship together. Hygge is that feeling of coziness, togetherness, and peace.

Hygge is when you’re surrounded by friends and family, just looking to sit back, relax, and fellowship together. Hygge is that feeling of coziness, togetherness, and peace. Click To Tweet

A home filled with hygge is wonderful all year round, but there’s something about winter, particularly Christmas, that makes it the gold standard of coziness. Hygge is all about appreciating the simple things in life, and there are a few easy gifts you can give loved ones to help them conjure up that coziness in their home too.

  1. Hot tea or gourmet coffee. You could even include a teapot or French press.
  2. Decadent hot cocoa mixes, maybe with a pack of marshmallows.
  3. A fantastic mug for drinking that tea, coffee, and cocoa.
  4. A coffee mug cozy to keep your drink warm and your hands from a scalding mug.
  5. Homemade or high-quality jams and jellies.
  6. Home-baked bread to devour those jams and jellies with.
  7. Shower steamers to transform the shower into a place of relaxation and rejuvenation.
  8. Bundles of eucalyptus to hang on the shower head for an amazing aroma that lasts all winter.
  9. Delicious smelling soaps, maybe even with a fluffy washcloth.
  10. Bubble bath or bath salts for warm, relaxing baths.
  11. An amazing candle in a cozy scent. Fragrant wax melts and a warmer are wonderful too.
  12. Fairy lights to hang around the room to add a touch of magic.
  13. Pocket notebooks for jotting down ideas, dreams, and favorite quotes.
  14. A fantastic pen to make those notes a pleasure to write.
  15. A new book and pretty bookmark.
  16. A board game or card game to share with friends and family.
  17. A plush blanket to cuddle under for reading or watching movies.
  18. Fluffy socks — because it’s not cozy having cold feet!
  19. A little box of decadent chocolates — because chocolate.
  20. An adult coloring book and a set of color pencils.

Hygge is all about appreciating the simple things in life, and there are a few easy gifts you can give loved ones to help them conjure up that coziness in their home too. Click To Tweet

20 Simple Stocking Stuffers to Add a Little Hygge to Your Holiday

Simple Hospitality When You Have Holiday Guests

Simple Hospitality When You Have Holiday GuestsAre you having guests for the holidays? The month of December tends to be a busy time of hosting friends and family for holiday parties, cookie swaps, and family gatherings. If you’re the host, that can be stressful, particularly if you have perfectionist tendencies like me! While it’s natural to want your home to be as welcoming and comfortable to guests as possible, you’ll make them anxious if you spend all your time fussing over your home and your guests. Here are a few easy ways to be a five-star host while also keeping your sanity in check.

Be Prepared

Stock up on some easy entertaining supplies for unplanned or last-minute guests. Tidy up your guest room, keep the bathroom clean and stocked, and fill your pantry with easy appetizers like chips and salsa, crackers and summer sausage, hot cocoa and ciders. There are also some yummy snacks and treats that can be kept in your freezer and heated up as needed for drop-in guests. During the holidays, I also keep a frozen lasagna on hand — you never know when you’ll need an easy dinner to feed a houseful!

While it’s natural to want your home to be welcoming and comfortable to guests, you’ll make them anxious if you spend all your time fussing over your home and your guests. Keep it simple. Click To Tweet

Keep It Simple

Instead of hosting a big, expensive party, try inviting friends over for cider and cookies. People get partied out pretty quickly over the holidays, and a laid-back evening can be a welcome treat during the busy Christmas season. Potlucks are an easy way to host a dinner party while keeping you from working in the kitchen all night.

Christmas Simplicity Tip: Tidy your guest room, clean and stock the bathroom, and fill your pantry with easy appetizers like crackers and summer sausage or hot cocoa and ciders. You'll be ready to host guests at a moment's notice! Click To Tweet

Meal Plan

If you’re having guests during the holidays, preplan breakfasts, lunches, and dinners and shop in advance so you’ll have all your groceries on hand. This is a great list to keep in your holiday notebook for reference next year. I like knowing exactly what we’re doing for each meal so I don’t get anxious trying to come up with dinner at the last minute.

Say Yes

When friends and family offer to bring a dish to your party or holiday meal, say yes. To simplify even more, pre-plan the meal as a potluck and invite guests to share a favorite food. This works especially well when the host provides the main dish and drinks, and guests bring appetizers, side dishes, and desserts. A few years ago, I was a control freak when it came to my menus, and I didn’t want anyone to bring something that might “conflict” with the plan (terrible, I know!) Now, I’m all about simplicity, so I am thrilled when someone offers up a dish. Saves me some work and I get to enjoy someone else’s cooking!

When friends and family offer to bring a dish to your party or holiday meal, say yes! Keep your gatherings simple to avoid stress! Click To Tweet

Keep Your Expectations Realistic

Don’t set expectations too high. If you’re hosting a party, remember it’s just a party. It’s supposed to be fun, not perfect. You won’t be the worst host in history, but you’re not Martha Stewart either. Stop stressing and have fun.

Simply Christmas by Sandy Kreps

For more ideas for an easygoing holiday, check out my book, Simply Christmas, with 101 ways to simplify the holidays. 

Simple Hospitality When You Have Holiday Guests