Category Archives: Laundry

Cleaning that is Kind to the Environment


About a year ago I tried to limit my use of paper towel about the house.  I bought up a heap of white face washers and used them for cleaning in the place of paper towel.  It worked really well until my cloths became stained and ragged. I found myself less likely to reach into the kitchen cupboard to grab a cloth and more likely to use a paper towel again.

Feeling guilty, I got myself into gear and organised myself with a new set of cleaning cloths. This time I bought a HUGE bag of microfiber cloths. They will last longer than the face washers and will do a better job.  They also came in a variety of colours so that I could give each cleaning ‘zone’ a different coloured wipe.

Part of the problem with using cloths last time was the fact that they were tucked away in the cupboard.  I had the plan to keep them in a nice jar on the counter, but white clothes are only display-worthy for a month or so. These new microfiber cloths have been in use for over a month and still look new, so I repurposed a lolly jar I had in the cupboard as my cleaning cloth storage.

Environmental Cleaning

Until hubby gets the colour coding down pat, I have labelled the jars with a Sharpie…..I will no doubt have to look for a more permanent label 🙂

What environmental cleaning practises do you use?




Beyond the Nappy / Diaper Bag: The Kids’ Bag


I gave away the whole nappy bag caper quite some time ago.  I hated that thing. It was undoubtably premature, my youngest isn’t yet two and is still in nappies. It has led to some very embarrassing and annoying events like my son doing a number two, five minutes into a play date and I didn’t have a spare nappy or packet of baby wipes.  Or the time I picked up the kid’s spoon I hadn’t yet cleaned and placed it, complete with yoghurt blob, into my handbag and on top of  my favourite designer purse.

So it was these school holidays that I decided I needed to get my act together.  I assembled my outing must haves and placed them in a kid’s backpack.

Beyond the Nappy Bag: Kids' Backpack


Take a look what I put inside……

  • Nappy wallet.  This one has a built-in changemat and holds our nappies, wipes, scented bags, hand sanitiser and nappy cream

Beyond the Nappy Bag: Kids' Pack

Beyond the Nappy Bag: Kids' Pack

  • Eating out Pack.  I picked up this three sectioned pencil case on clearance at Target.  It holds my children’s cutlery, plastic straws, disposable bibs and hand sanitiser.  I often throw the stray sachets of sugar, sauce and salt in here too. You never know when they might come in handy.  The cutlery set I love to use when out is  Fuel Primary Snap Flatware. It niftily snaps together for easy and compact transport.

Beyond the Nappy Bag: Kids' Pack

  • Kiddapotomus Tiny Diner Placemat. I love this thing! I have always hated the idea of my kids eating at restaurant and food court tables.  I don’t think they are particularly clean and kids always drop their food.  This is the solution.  It is a suction-capped placemat for kids.  It is wide enough that their hands and food won’t touch the table. It has a nifty little channel to catch any spills which doubles as a holder for the mat when it is rolled up.

Beyond the Nappy Bag: Kids' Pack

Beyond the Nappy Bag: Kids' Pack

  • Enjo Little Laundry Pack. Another love of mine! This little pack will remove any spill on your clothes while you are out. It comes in a nifty little pouch with a travel sized fabric fibre and miracle cloth. A true lifesaver and means I don’t have to carry a change of clothes around in this bag.  For those too-big-to-ignore clothing problems, I keep a change of clothes in the car kit.

Beyond the Nappy Bag: Kids' Pack

  • Kids’ ID bracelets. I pop these on the kids whenever we go somewhere with big crowds. It has my mobile number on it just in case they become lost.  You can pick these up from lots of places on the net.Beyond the Nappy Bag: Packing for Kids
  • The Mommy Hook. A great little invention that helps keep all your bags together in one place.  I often use mine to attach the kids’ backpack to the shopping cart or pram

Beyond the Nappy Bag: Kids' Pack

  • Baby wipes. What would we do without baby wipes?!

Beyond the Nappy Bag: Kids' Pack

The only thing I don’t carry in here that I would ordinarily pack in a bag such as this is sunscreen and insect repellant.  As we live in a super sunny part of the world, I have found it easier to keep large pump packs of sunscreen and insect repellant in the boot of our car and use it before or after we arrive at our destination.

So hopefully, now that I have all these items corralled into one handy backpack, I can avoid those unfortunate and embarrassing parenting events.  Time will tell 😉


Safer All-Purpose Cleaner


I am quite allergic to all sorts of cleaners.  In a bid to find some safer cleaning alternatives,  I have been making some of my own cleaning solutions.  You can read about the first one I tried, Miracle Shower Cleaner here.

As an all-purpose  cleaner, I have been using  The Organised Housewife’s  concoction.  I am finding it really good.   It is easy to make and costs next to nothing.  I recommend giving it a go….

All-Purpose Cleaner


  • 2L jug
  • spray bottle
  • 4 cups hot water
  • ½ cup detergent
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 4 tsp borax
  1. Place hot water, detergent, vinegar and borax into jug, mix to combine
  2. Fill the jug to the top with water (room temp), stir
  3. Pour into spray bottle

I use this spray in the kitchen and as an all round surface cleaner throughout the house.  I have read that some people even use it to clean spots on the carpet (but make sure that your detergent doesn’t have a colour added to it).  You could also add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to give it a nice scent or antibacterial property.

Happy cleaning.

Cleaning the Washing Machine


It is easy to forget that the machine that cleans for us needs to be cleaned too.  In the past I have endeavoured to clean our washing machine every 4 months or so but since I have become a mother of two, I have been slack.  Really slack.  The machine was yuck. So yuck it spit up lint and dirt all over my white duvet.

I know the duvet looks pink…I took the picture while it was hanging on the line between red sheets.

I can’t tell you how angry I was with myself.  I hate washing, but what I hate even more is re-washing things.

So before I had to rewash my duvet and put on the 3 other massive loads I had waiting, I had to stop and give my washing machine a little TLC.

To clean my machine I gave all the outside surfaces a good wipe over.  I then wiped over the inside surfaces that gather dust and soap reside like the inside of the lid and the lip of the drum.

Very dusty and dirty

I removed the detergent and fabric softener drawers and the lint catcher and gave these all a good scrub.

Don’t miss the grime that is hidden behind your detergent drawers!

Once this was done, I could virtually sit back to leave the machine to take care of its own internal cleaning.

I like to use vinegar and bicarb to clean the soap scum and nasties from my washing machine.  Not only are they a cheap alternative to commercial cleaners, I know they are safe for my family and the environment.

For my top loader, I programed it to run a normal wash and once it was filled with water I added 2 cups of vinegar and ½ cup of bi carb.

For front loaders, Stay at Home Mum suggests  you add 2 tablespoons of bicarb to the detergent drawer  while adding ½ cup of white vinegar to the drum during a normal wash.

I have put a reminder on the calendar to ensure I don’t let this job slip through the cracks. No more re-washing for me!  Ha!  Who am I kidding?

Linking up with some of these fun parties
Monday: Singing Three Little Birdies, I should be Mopping the Floor, Polly Want a Crafter?, Cherished Bliss, The Gunny Sack, Skip to my Lou, Craftomaniac, It’s so Very Cheri, Keeping it Simple, Creating Really Awesome Free Things, Alderberry Hill, Its A Blog Party, A Pinch of Joy, Making the World Cuter, Mad in CraftsSew Can Do, Sugar Bee Crafts, Tip Junkie, New Nostalgia, Ladybug Blessings,  How to Nest for Less, Watch Out Martha, Clairjustinexoxo,

Tuesday: Coastal Charm, Today’s Creative Blog, Not Just a Housewife, A Bowl Full of Lemons , DIY by Design, Funky Polkadot Giraffe, Home Stories A to Z, Hope Studios, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Organising HomelifeCarolyn’s Homework, The Blackberry Vine, The Kurtz Corner,  A Little Tipsy, Gingersnap crafts, Time Warp Wife, These Creative Juices, The Thrifty Home, Its a Very Cherry World,  Cornerstone Confessions,   Rae Gun Ramblings, Northern Cottage, Clean and Scentsible, Creatively Living , Kathe with an E, Ivy and Elephants, Romance on a Dime,   The Real Housewives of Riverton, DIY DreamerPrimp, JAQS Studio

Wednesday: Oopsey Daisy, My Girlish Whims, Uncommonly Yours, Creations by Kara, Raising Homemakers, The Thrifty Home, Twin Dragonfly Designs, A Creative Princess, Sugar and Dots, Seven Thirty Three, Fabric Bows and More, Someday Crafts, Handy Man, Crafty Woman, Trendy Treehouse, Women Living Well, We are that Family, The Mommy Club , Raising Homemakers, Sew Much Ado,t SimpleFireflies and Jellybeans, Beyond the Picket Fence, Free Pretty Things for You, DIY by Design, Bloom Designs, Mom on Timeout, We Like to learn as we GoFamily Home and Life, Savvy Southern Style, Fine Craft Guild, Embracing Change, HandyMan, Crafty Woman, Polkadots on Parade, No Minimalist Here

Thursday: House of Hepworths Delightful Order, Its a KeeperThe Frugal Girls, The 36th AvenueThrifty 101, A Glimpse Inside, Brambleberry Cottage, Bear Rabbit Bear, Michelle’s Tasty Creations and Crafty Ideas, Shabby Creek Cottage, Goings on in Texas, Happy Go LuckyRaising OrangesThe Answer is Chocolate, The Taylor House, Crafty Scrappy Happy, Imparting Grace, Made in a Day, 52 Mantels, Loving This Crazy Life, Days of Chalk and Chocolate, Confessions of an ADD Housewife

Friday: The Shabby Nest, Chic on a Shoestring Decorating, At the Picket Fence, Whipperberry, French Country Cottage, Thirty Handmade Days, Creation Corner, Finding Fabulous, Stuff and Nonsense, Fingerprints on the Fridge Naptime Crafters, While He Was Napping, My Romantic Home, Bacon Time With the Hungry, Hungry Hippo, Kitchen Fun With My Three Sons, Remodelaholic, Happy Hour Projects, Simply Designing, Simply Sweet Home, Tidy MomYoung and Crafty, Serenity Now , Life as Mom, At the Picket Fence, Tatertots and Jello, Craft Junkie Too, A Little Knick Knack, Blissful and Domestic, Maiden D’Shade, Petites Passions, Bubbly Nature Creations, Here Comes the Sun, Liz Marie Blog, THe Grant Life, Craftionary, Redoux Interior, Common Ground, Just Us Four, Delicate Construction, AKA Designs, Family Ever After,

Saturday:  Be Different Act Normal, The Girl Creative , Funky Junk Interiors , A Vision to Remember, Positively Splendid , Its Overflowing, Natasha in Oz, Shaken Together, Homemaker in Heels, Addicted to Decorating

Sunday: A Rosie Sweet Home, I Heart Naptime, Under the Table Dreaming, DIY Showoff, Nifty Thrift Things, Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, Homemaker on a Dime, DIY Home Sweet HomeCherished Treasures, My 1929 Charmer

Reviving Little Boy’s Clothes


Growing up in a family of girls didn’t really prepare me to be the Mum of boys.  As my eldest is getting bigger, the differences between girls and boys are glaringly, and at times, frustratingly obvious. 

At the moment my 3-year-old seems to be skillfully wearing out the knees in all his long pants.  With all his climbing and scooting around on the carpet playing with toys, most of his pants are near perfect except for the holes in the knees. I don’t recall ever doing that as a kid.

Thankfully, the cold weather is leaving us here in Brisbane so I didn’t have to face replacing his winter wardrobe.  However, I could not bare to throw out these almost  perfect pants because of a few holes. 

So, out with the sewing machine, a couple of quick hems and his long pants have become shorts. 

So with a little effort I have saved on his summer wardrobe budget as I don’t have to buy as many shorts.  I also don’t feel wasteful, throwing out so many pairs of pants.

DIY Laundry Art


While we wait for our cabinet-maker to slot our laundry upgrade into his busy schedule, I have been itching to start making some art for the walls.  Tired of waiting I just did it yesterday.

Previously, this hung above the counter.

While they don’t look too bad in this photo, they were becoming a little tatty.  They were also too big.  As we are getting new cabinets, the wall space will be significantly reduced, meaning smaller artwork was needed.

I picked up a few plain white frames, some seaside patterned cardstock and cardboard letter cutouts from a craft store, in the hope of making some simple, clean-looking art.

I have written about my love for typography in my kitchen wall art post, so I thought I could easily feed this love by slotting more into the laundry.

After painting the cardboard letters a dark teal colour to match the seaside pattern, I stuck the cardstock in the frame.  When the letters were dry, using a hot glue gun I arranged the letters to spell out, ‘Wash, Rinse, Repeat’  and stuck them in the bottom right corner of each frame.

Even though they will move when the cabinets are hung, and they are positioned a little too high for my liking, I had to hang these already. 

I like that they look neat and clean while being really, really simple to make. I hope I can show you these in their proper home (and my new laundry too) before too long.

Spending Money Leads to Spending More Money


I rushed off this morning to buy these lovely metal laundry containers….


I have admired these for ages but have not been able to really justify spending money on something I didn’t really need.

Well today at Aldi these were about half the price they regularly sell for so I thought what the hell.

I brought them home all pleased with myself. I checked out my colour choice against my benchtop and I went from pleased to happy. I looked around my laundry and I went from happy to excited. How much nicer could I make my laundry room with just a few more changes and additions? Inspiration has struck!

I’m yet to tell hubby about my plans for a laundry revamp. No doubt he will read this post on his way home on the bus. I can picture it now…eyes rolling….deep sighs….and a thought bubble popping out the top of his head reading, “Jade spending money leads to spending more money.”

Hurry home Darl…I want to show you my ideas.

Free Printable – Days of the Week Clothes Tags

Free Printable – Days of the Week Clothes Tags

Having a newborn makes leaving the house on time, and without stress, difficult.  One of the things I tripped up on was clothing.  I have never been one to do ironing or choose an outfit in advance and this has meant many a morning running frantically between cupboards and the laundry to prepare outfits for the me and the kids.

In the last few months I have endeavoured to iron all the kids clothes in advance and hang coordinated outfits in their cupboards ready to go.  Ever the teacher, I looked for a way to  turn this organisational task into a learning experience for my 3-year-old.   He is very interested in the days of the week so I created clothes tags that had his name and the days of the week printed on them.

After my ironing on a Monday I choose the boys’ outfits for the week and slip on a tag.

Every morning I see if Master O knows what day it is and we find the appropriate tag and outfit.  He is already beginning to recognise the written words.

 The whole process has sped up the morning routine and I am loving having one less thing to worry about come time to leave the house.


If you would like a digital copy of these clothes tags which you can then customise for your family, here is what you do…..

1. Either ‘like’ There Was a Crooked House on Facebook or subscribe to updates via email on the blog’s sidebar

2. Drop a quick email to to say you have done this and I will send you a return email with the free printable attached. Easy!