Real Life Cleaning Tips

I think it’s very helpful that we moms (and dads) give each other tips and tricks that work for us.  But sometimes I get that “June-Cleaver-Martha-Stewart gag-me-with-a-spoon” feeling when I share all the wonderful things(all three of them) that we do here at our home.

I mean, this is Real Life, right? So today, I have a few “Real Life” cleaning tips that I do around the house. If they don’t actually help you with the cleaning, they will surely help your self-esteem.  Each time you feel that you don’t measure up, just read this post, and instantly feel like “Supermom!”

First, the CLUTTER! It’s everywhere! There is a song by Hap Palmer that inspired me with the perfect idea. Click here to listen to “Stuff it in the Closet”.

2. Then, there are the TOYS! They are everywhere! Just keep a basket under the coffee table for all the stray toys you find. Collect until it gets full… and throw them out. Now, before you get concerned that the kids will not have anything to play with, let me assure you: They will find more toys hidden around the house. Toys seem to materialize from thin air around here, I swear there are little elves hidden in the closet making new toys constantly! And if the toys are not in the middle of the floor for me to trip on, the dog is stealing them and chewing them to little bits. Stop the insanity!

3. Dusting. You don’t need to haul out all the special tools for dusting. Forget the Swiffer, the feather duster (although it is kind of fun), the micro-fiber cloths, etc. We all take our socks off before we take a shower, right? Why not kill two birds with one stone? Take the newly removed sock (preferably the side that was not touching your smelly feet) and wipe the furniture. Then throw in the laundry, and voila! This especially works with white socks, because you can bleach them.

4. Cleaning out the mini-van. You will not believe how easy it is to clean out the petrified fries from last weeks Happy Meals, cracker crumbs from the two-year-old, spilled goldfish, even the juice boxes. Open the door and let your 9 month-old, 70 pound Standard Poodle dog into the van. That’s it! He will do all the work. And yes, he even eats juice boxes.

This also works for sweeping up the dinner crumbs, cleaning out the toddler’s booster seat, and pre-rinsing the dishes.

5. For all the toys left in the mini van, refer to tip #2.

I hope this helps! If these tips don’t help with the actual cleaning, maybe you’ll feel a little better about yourself. Now, when your housework leaves a lot to be desired, you can say, “Wow, at least I don’t do that!”

Do you have a Real Life cleaning tip you could share? As you can see, I need all the help I can get!

Did you like this post? Consider Subscribing to Real Life!


Other Works For Me posts:

The Safe Side Children’s Video
Organizing Toys
Homemade Tomato Sauce + A Few Tips
Harris Teeter and The Grocery Game
The Nightly Routine.

About Sarah Pinnix

I'm a mom, blogger, vlogger, libertarian. I love Jesus, and my husband, too. Social Media Strategist for a Non-Profit (All statements here are solely my own)


  1. Honestly laughing about #3!! This works well for something like the tops of shoes that have sat in the closet for months unworn and have become dusty. I have used them in this instance! 🙂


  2. Can I borrow your labradoodle? Does he eat soda cups too?


  3. Mommy Cracked says:

    LOL!! This is hysterical! I love when people are so down to earth about stuff like this.


  4. Anne Glamore says:

    Thank God my beagle-dachshund lived 18 years, at which point my oldest was 10 and my twins were 7 and they could vacuum the minivan by themselves.


  5. Sheila: It took a lot of guts to admit that, but don’t you feel cleansed!

    Marie: Yes, I rent him out for $10 an hour. He also eats outdoor fall decorations, shoes, plywood, flowers, bushes, dirty diapers and bicycles. (Yes, he ate my daughters bicycle!)

    Mommy Cracked: That’s me, I make others feel better by sharing how inept I am.

    Anne: I am eagerly awaiting the day when my kids will vacuum the van!


  6. Jeni Allen says:

    I love that song! We’ve got a closet like that – open it, toss something in, and slam the door quickly!


  7. Not the Queen says:

    I miss having a dog for that exact reason. My parents replaced their old brown linoleum with light hardwood recently. My mom was grossed out by how dirty the floors really were, and couldn’t believe my sister and I used to play on them like that. She thought it was the hardwood showing off the dirt; I think it’s because the dog died. She was a cocker spaniel, and between her tongue and her ears, she kept that floor sparkling!


  8. texastanya says:

    Too funny! I love “real world” cleaning advice.


  9. I started throwing toys into a laundry basket but now I’ve run out of baskets and have nowhere to put the dirty clothes!


  10. Thanks for visiting my blog on WFMW and for these down-to-earth cleaning tips. Glad to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t take myself so seriously.

    Here’s a tip that’s working for me: put an empty ice cream bucket in the van to catch all the trash. Use a bigger bucket to catch all the toys in the van. Simple, but helps w/ van clutter.


  11. tickledpink.nicole says:

    Hilarious! The song you posted reminded me of the old Rio Diamond song “Stuff”:
    Catalogs fillin’ up the mailbox
    Home shopping on the cable box
    And www dot
    Oh there’s no escape
    Delivery truck coming up ’round the bend
    Beep, beep, beep, just backing in
    Sign here and here and here again
    ‘Cause it’s no money down no payments till
    Your whole place is cram packed filed with

    :)Gratefully, Nicole


  12. Another van tip for easy cleaning. My daughter had chickens and a turkey. She also has a van and 5 kids. When she pulled in the driveway, actually when anyone pulled in, the chickens and turkey would come running to the van and try to get in as the kids were getting out. They would find all the fries, crackers etc. in no time and have to get shooed out. Sometimes they would not even let me out of my car before they were in trying to climb over me to see if I left anything behind!


  13. oh i love it!!!lol.have a great day.


  14. Peggie, maybe I could visit your daughter one day.


  15. Audra Marie says:

    I never realized how dirty a kitchen floor could be until we were dogless. Thankfully, we have two on duty now.

    Here’s my real life tip:
    Buy a plant and put it somewhere where you can admire it. Don’t worry about watering it. This is the maintenance-free method.
    You can enjoy your plant for about a month before it turns totally brown and shrivels up. Toss it, buy another one and repeat the cycle.

    It seems to work for me. 🙂


  16. Audra! I have that method down pat! My friend who has quite a green thumb always makes fun of me.


  17. enjoyed the post. A lab is good for hoovering any and every thing. I wrote a post not too long ago about toys growing out of the carpet in my living room. You think I would be able to market and sell them… but ap[arently every house has this same magic carpet


  18. Mrs. Fussy Fussypants says:

    Yes, a dog! That’s what I need!

    Great Post!

    I gave you a big SU thumbs up!:)


  19. A. Muschette says:

    Thanks! We need the simple "real life" cleaning tips sometimes (smile).

    Here's mine:

    All-purpose household sanitizer: 1 part white vinegar, 1 part water.


  20. Man, i gotta get out there and clean out that mini-van!!! I don't think there are any fries, but the clutter is crazy!!!


  21. Hmmm…I think some people in my family already use the sock advice.

    Great Post…very funny.


  22. Every time I get my 9 month old out of his high chair I say "We should get a dog to clean up his mess!" What I end up doing is putting him down on the floor and letting him find all his thrown-over puffs. Is that bad?? 🙂


  23. Too funny! For cleaning out my car I have my kids bring ALL their crap in out of the car every few days. It still needs vacuuming but otherwise I fear they won't have anywhere to sit with all their stuff back there.


  24. Life is Good says:

    Our dog won't eat anything but dog food. We considered trying to get our money back, but he was free.
    Luckily my two nasty little boys like to scrounge for cheerios on the floor when they get hungry.


  25. Eliza Welch says:

    Such excellent information!

    I really enjoyed looking around your lovely blog and would absolutely love it if you would stop by my blog!
    Eliza's Blog



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