Entries Tagged as 'clean'

tips for staying on top of the mess.

Posted on: Thursday, April 13, 2017

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

It’s not the dirty diapers. It’s not the crying jags. It’s not the lack of sleep (okay, it’s kind of the lack of sleep). My biggest hang up about being a mom of two little ones is the messes! Oh em gee, you guys, everyday is a struggle to stay on top of the toddler tornado. We live in a small space so if we don’t rein in the clutter and clean up after ourselves, this tiny little house can look like a disaster in 0.2 seconds.

Thankfully, Lemi Shine reached out to me again (read my first post here!) and totally inspired me to streamline my routine and give this this house a serious spring cleaning! While I am certainly no expert and could use allllll the help I can get, I have learned a thing or two about what works for me when it comes to keeping a clean house. In partnership with Lemi Shine, I’m here to share some of my top tips for staying on top of the daily mess:

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

Prioritize. My mom instilled in me one very helpful life lesson: there can be dishes in the sink, there can be a mountain of laundry on the bed, but COME HELL OR HIGH WATER, the bathroom will be spotless. There are no two ways about it. Because of this hard fast truth, I always begin my cleaning routine by grabbing Lemi Shine’s Glass + Surface Cleaner and wiping down the bathroom counters, making sure the mirrors are free of water spots, and scrubbing the toilet. I’ll also swap out the towels and make sure they are hanging evenly on the towel rack (OCD at it’s finest!). From there, I’ll work outwards and clean up other high traffic areas, including the kitchen, the living room, and the dining room.

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

Recruit help. 2.5 has been an interesting age, to say the least. One day my toddler is sweet as can be and other days she’s…not. I’m trying my hardest to channel my inner Janet Lansbury and allow Briar to have both the space and the boundaries that she craves, but man! Easier said than done. However, when we are in the midst of a difficult moment, I’ve learned that I can turn it around on a dime if I ask Briar to help me with a task — any task. In fact, she loves being a helper, whether it’s something as small as grabbing a diaper for Landon or something as big as helping me cook dinner. This usually means a task will take twice as long to get completed than if I were to just do it myself but it’s so worth it when I can see it building Briar’s self esteem and empowering her to make her own decisions. Plus, it’s nice to have extra help!

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

Thankfully I feel great about letting Briar help me clean up with Lemi Shine products since they are made of 100% natural citric acids and are free of any harsh chemicals or toxins. I’ll squirt a little bit of Everyday Cleaner on a rag and have her wipe down tables and dressers and even the floor! She takes her job very seriously.

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

This stuff works like a dream.

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

Do what you can. I often hear this Teddy Roosevelt quote echoing in my head: “do what you can with what you have where you are.” It’s a simple adage, but man, it rings so true as a working mom who also would like to have an occasional moment to myself. I feel like I’m always ten steps behind of schedule but I’m slowly learning that I CAN make things happen if I just use small pockets of time to tackle tasks. If I have fifteen minutes, I’ll throw Landon on my back like a baby sloth (thank goodness for Ergos!) and clean up a single room instead of feeling like I have to clean the WHOLE house or nothing at all.

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

I also try to multitask whenever possible, so I’ll unload the dishwasher while I wait for the oven to heat up, or I’ll wipe down the bathroom counter while I supervise bathtime. Everyone has fifteen minutes to spare so use those time slots to your advantage!

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

Create a routine. One of my favorite tips for keeping the house clean is to build non-negotiables into my everyday routine. For me, this means doing laundry and running the dishwasher every single day. I know this sounds like a lot, but I promise it’s not that hard when it becomes a habit! One of my proudest clean freak strategies is my laundry maintenance. Every night I throw a load of laundry into the washing machine and fold the load as soon as it comes out of the dryer. This way I never have a mountain of laundry to deal with AND our clothes don’t get wrinkled. Truth be told, I don’t mind folding clothes and hanging them up. There’s something about the act of making neat piles and having an organized closet that makes me feel like I have a tiny bit of control over my life. At the end of every week, I’ll run a regular cleaning cycle with Lemi Shine’s Washing Machine Cleaner to remove hard water build up and any funky odors.

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

I also have a rock solid dishwasher routine that helps to keep our tiny kitchen clean and ready for the next meal. Every night before bed, I load the dishwasher and let it run while we are sleeping. Then in the morning (or early afternoon, depending upon how insane our morning is), I’ll unload it. I also like to encourage everyone to put their dirty dishes and silverware directly into the dishwasher instead of letting them sit in the sink (unless they need to be soaked, of course). Much like my laundry routine, I also use Lemi Shine’s Dishwasher Cleaner every 1-2 weeks to keep our dishwasher in tip top shape and ensure that our dishes get squeaky clean.

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

High five to clean living!

Be sure to check out Lemi Shine’s website to learn more about their products, find stores near you that carry their products, and best of all, redeem discounts to try the products for yourself! Happy Spring Cleaning!

This post was sponsored by Lemi Shine, but all opinions, ideas, and photos are my own.

that nesting instinct, though.

Posted on: Thursday, July 10, 2014

Nesting | Ann-Marie Loves

These last few weeks definitely feel like crunch time as I try to wrap up work projects, make sure we have everything for the baby’s arrival, and most excitingly, deep clean this whole house into oblivion. The nesting instinct is NO JOKE, you guys. I wish I could bottle it up and save it for a rainy day…it’s the stuff of dreams.

Yesterday I dedicated most of the day to reorganizing the linen closet (finally found a place to store extra diapers!), the bathroom cupboards, and a few drawers in the office. I like my days to feel busy and productive, because like I mentioned before, our bedroom gets insanely hot at night and when it’s insanely hot, I turn into a bit of an insomniac. Ay papi. But don’t worry…I’m really not working THAT hard. I stop every so often to chug a glass of water, rest my super-puffy feet, and revel in baby hiccups (because my goodness if that isn’t the cutest experience of my life).

As I check off more and more items from our giant to-do list each day, the realization that a tiny little gal will be coming to live with us in a matter of weeks is blowing my mind.

P.S. Tomorrow is the last day to take advantage of my 37% off sale on e-courses and printables using the discount code: THIRTYSEVEN :)

workspace wednesday | how I organize my files.

Posted on: Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How I Organize My Files | Ann-Marie Loves

A few weeks ago when I posted about three tips for faster blogging, I received a lot of comments and e-mails asking me how exactly I keep my files organized. So today, I am sharing a brief overview of my system and why it works so well for me.

How I Organize My Files | Ann-Marie Loves

To begin with, I only keep one item on my desktop: a folder that says ALL. Within that folder are all of my files, broken down into smaller folders. Much like having too many tabs open in my browser window, I can’t stand desktop clutter. Whenever things start getting out of hand, I take a few moments to put files in their proper places and trash anything that I don’t need. The cleaner my digital workspace can be, the happier and more productive I am!

How I Organize My Files | Ann-Marie Loves

For the most part, I keep my personal photos and my blog photos separate, so within the 2013 and 2014 folders, I store all of my personal photos from each month of the respective year. Each month then gets broken down into events that I will remember by the name I assign it (i.e. Balboa Park).

How I Organize My Files | Ann-Marie Loves

Since I edit nearly all of my photos (at least, the ones that I plan on using), I always make two folders when importing files from my camera to Finder (by way of Image Capture): EDITS + ORIGINALS. Everything starts out in the ORIGINALS folder, but once it’s been edited, it gets moved the EDITS folder. Pretty self-explanatory, right? This makes the process of finding my favorite photos so much easier since I don’t have to dig through every single file in search of “that one image.” Once I’m done going through all the originals, I chuck the files that I know I will never use and back up the rest on my external hard drive every month or so.

The secret to having a system that works is to make it as fool-proof as possible. The more you can narrow down your folders (i.e. 2013 > 01 | January 2013 > Rose Bowl Flea > ORIGINALS > EDITS), the quicker you will be able to pull up any given photo at a moment’s notice. I will admit that I have not always been so organized, but now that I have this system in place, I can’t imagine ever going back!


Posted on: Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Nesting | Ann-Marie Loves

Yesterday was one of those days where everything that seemingly could go wrong, went wrong. The morning started off with a nice little reminder that we live in the heart of earthquake country. Then my appointment at the DMV to update my name on my license was rendered useless when the computer system across the state was down indefinitely. Finally, a quick stop to the tire store to repair a minor leak turned into three new tire purchases. WHOA BABY.

But strangely, I was unfazed by all of this. I mean, what can I do? There are better ways to channel my energy. Like reorganizing my closet and purging as much of my personal belongings as possible (all when I should be filing taxes, natch). I don’t know if it’s the nesting instinct kicking in early or simply the spring cleaning bug, but I have been wanting to simplify and downsize my life like nobody’s business recently. I love when I can get into the mindset of “EVERYTHING MUST GO.”

While cleaning out my craft stash again, I managed to fill up another two boxes of supplies. The bare essentials are all I need these days! If you’re looking for a large flat rate box stuffed with awesome crafting supplies, I’m your girl.

Maybe I’ll go get started on my taxes now. Right after I organize the pantry ;)

instagram auction sale.

Posted on: Thursday, January 9, 2014

Shop Ann-Marie Loves | @shopannmarieloves


Last summer, in a particularly overwhelmed-with-life kind of moment, I went on a major closet purging spree. I was ruthless. If I couldn’t control the circumstances around me, I sure as heck was going to control my wardrobe! I knew which items I gravitated towards time and time again, so those got to stay. As for everything else? They were just taking up physical and visual space in my closet, so away they went!

Well…they went as far as a giant box in the garage.

I had grand plans of squeezing in an Instagram auction-style sale before my wedding (ha!), but we all know how that turned out (2013 kicked my ass, you guys). But now that it’s a new year and I live in a new space with my new husband, I figured it was high time to start up that sale! You can shop my closet until Saturday January 11th on Instagram under the name @shopannmarieloves! xo

P.S. This whole sale was totally inspired by Elise! Girl knows how to get things DONE (:

workspace wednesday | oh geez.

Posted on: Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Remember yesterday when I said that I wished my boxes would just unpack themselves? This is why:

Ann-Marie Loves | Pasadena Place

Our office has become a dumping ground, of sorts. The place where anything that doesn’t already have a designated spot will sit in a messy pile until it finds a designated spot. I mean, no amount of Photoshop could make this place look good at the moment. But alas, I love a good design challenge. I’ve got my pins, I’ve got my Interior Styling class from Simply Grove queued up, and I’ve got my strong, curtain-rod-hanging husband on standby. Let’s go!

P.S. My good friend / bridesmaid Janelle posted a fun little recap of my wedding on her blog! Love that gal.

workspace wednesday | staying organized.

Posted on: Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ann-Marie Loves | Workspace Wednesday

A few weeks ago I came to the rather startling realization that my surroundings deeply affect the way I feel.

I’ve always known that I am happiest and most productive when I’m in an inviting, organized, appropriately-lit place, but I would often neglect my own personal space out of…sheer laziness? Self sabotage? Who knows! As a result of this realization, I have been making a conscious effort to stay on top of all my messy tendencies.

Each night, I make sure that all projects, supplies, clothes, etc are neatly stacked or put away. In fact, I’ve even gotten into the habit of cleaning and organizing as I go about my day. It really is the small acts — wrapping my headphones around a clothespin, hanging up my jacket when I get home, opening and recycling mail ASAP — that make the biggest differences over time.

Whenever I need a quick reminder of what I want my space to feel like, I listen to this song. I light a candle. I fluff up pillows. I neatly fold a blanket. I open a window. I look at one of my many home design boards. And when all else fails, I think “what would Anthro do?” Because really, is there ANY place on the planet more inspiring than Anthro?

What’s your favorite space? How do you stay organized?

workspace wednesday | so fresh + so clean.

Posted on: Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Workspace Wednesday | Ann-Marie Morris
Workspace Wednesday | Ann-Marie Morris
Workspace Wednesday | Ann-Marie Morris
Workspace Wednesday | Ann-Marie Morris
Workspace Wednesday | Ann-Marie Morris
Workspace Wednesday | Ann-Marie Morris

Last week I was so inspired by all the beautiful photos of Bri Emery’s new workspace that I decided to clean up my own. I’ll be honest. It looks like this for maybe four and a half minutes and after that…all bets are off. But that’s okay. I think it’s good to periodically move things around and reevaluate what stays on my desk and what goes. A change of scenery, not matter how small, is always a welcome thing.

sabrina soto, you’re rocking my world.

Posted on: Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Have you guys looked through the latest issue of HGTV Magazine? (A surprisingly great publication, by the way.)

There’s an article in it about Sabrina Soto’s clean-house tips and I can’t even tell you how inspiring it was to me. However, I can tell you that because of it, I am sitting in a very clean room right now. Typing on a very clean keyboard. Glancing over at my very clean shelves.

It was that good.

But then again, when is Sabrina Soto not inspiring? In case you missed it, here’s a tour of her home from an issue of Rue last year. Just look at that office…! What. That girl is something else.


workspace wednesday: changing things up.

Posted on: Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Last week I rearranged all my furniture and now it feels like a brand new space.

Now I am eager to sit at my desk each day and get work done. Amazing what a change of scenery can do!


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