Join my email list and get FREE ACCESS to the MSM Freebie Library, including my top printables & eBooks.

30-Day House Cleaning Challenge: Project #5 Update

During the month of April, I’m encouraging my readers to participate in a 30-Day House Cleaning Challenge (read more here, if you missed my announcement about this challenge last week). Every week day morning at 9 a.m., I’ll post the daily project and every evening around 6 p.m. EST, I’ll post an update and link-up.

It was such a good day here in Cincinnati at the Midwest Homeschool Convention! I’m loving having my family with me on this trip and it’s been amazing to get to meet so many of you. {See a picture from this morning’s session here.}

Before I left, I cleaned my bathroom… which was in great need of some cleaning. 🙂

(I really need to come up with a good solution to having a big gallon jug on the countertop that I use for my twice daily saline rinse. I welcome any suggestions or ideas you all have. I’m sure there’s a great solution, I just have yet to figure it out!)

Love this verse taped to my mirror from Ann Voskamp and Holly Gerth. Such a great reminder!

Looking in my shower, it looks like I might be a shampoo hoarder. Don’t ask why there were two empty bottles of shampoo/body wash at the bottom of our shower.

So much better!

Join in the Chatter

::Want to blog about this challenge? If you’re blogging through this challenge with me, be sure to leave your link to your direct post on linky below. Plus, if you’d like to post your daily posts to the 30-Day House Cleaning Challenge Pinterest Group, just shoot me an email (moneysavingmom @ gmail dot com) and I’ll invite you.

::Want to follow along on Twitter or Instagram? I’ll also be sharing some of my cleaning pictures on my Facebook Page, my Twitter account, and my Instagram account. I’d love to have you do the same or join in the discussion on Twitter and Instagram. Just follow hashtag #Cleanin30 to see what others are tweeting and Instagramming about this challenge!

Subscribe for free email updates from Money Saving Mom® and get my Guide to Freezer Cooking for free!


  • Blythe says:

    Ah! No link up today??

  • Thanks for sharing, Crystal! I have three bathrooms and even though I only needed to do one, I felt extra-energized and just did all three. And it’s so nice having them so squeaky clean. I am so thankful that you started this challenge. I’ve been following along, and my house has been clean all week as a result. I think the entire family has appreciated it, actually.

  • I did my windows today and just a general cleanup so we can enjoy the weekend! I’m absolutely loving the accountability that’s come with this challenge, I feel so accomplished every day!

  • Mel says:

    Saline rinse…for your eyes?

    I’m not following this challenge exactly this week because I needed to do some serious cleaning after being gone for 2 weeks and having people come over while I was away and not leave it the way that they found it. Apparently I’m the only one in my family who learned that rule. Anyway, as I’ve been working on various chores, this challenge has reminded me, and urged me, to go a little further than usual. As a result, my floors are swept AND mopped, most of my windows are washed, and I even vacuumed the corners/ceilings! For my reward, I bought a couple of pretty new throw pillows and a potted hyacinth for the living room to “spruce up for spring”. 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      Saline rinse for my sinuses… it’s made a world of difference since my ENT had me start using it!

    • Theresa says:

      My husband and I were just discussing guests not cleaning up after themselves. We are very conscious to pick up before we leave anywhere (even restaurants). My brother on the other hand may have missed this lesson from our childhood…Good thing we truly enjoy having his family over!

      • Mel says:

        I’m trying to have a better attitude, viewing it through the lens of hospitality, but when everyone wants to spend time at my house because “it’s so clean and organized and homey” then leave it a mess, that’s a challenge. It’s just…I spend a lot of time making my house “clean and organized and homey”, you know? Anyway, something to work on.

  • Diane says:

    I sadly didn’t clean today but I got some freezer cooking done at least!

  • Need A Nap2 says:

    You might be able to find a smaller bottle that you could fill from the “big jug” so a small nicer looking bottle could stay out?

    • Mama Murrey says:

      Reuse an empty glass olive oil bottle if you want something free. Buy a nice tall thin bottle if you want something pretty. Put the jug under the counter if you don’t want more stuff in your bathroom.

      • Crystal says:

        I’m thinking possibly I could make room underneath the bathroom sink for it… hmm, maybe if I rearrange stuff I can make it work. Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone!

        • Stephanie Jones says:

          Maybe a drink dispenser with a spigot? That’s what I use in our laundry room instead of ugly detergent bottles.

  • Shelly says:

    I worked on the kitchen and living room again today. It was a fast job at least since we just cleaned in those rooms on monday but they can always use a vacuum and sweep. I also cleaned all the windows on the inside. I have been cleaning the windows in each room as I have went along so I just needed to do the windows in the basement.

    I like that my house looks so nice and clean.

  • Lisa says:

    I didn’t see a linky. Here is what I did today:

    Glad the conference is going good.

  • I did my living room today. I was glad it was pretty clean and all I need to do was pick up and worry about the floor! It wasn’t even that dusty since my daughter dusts once a week as her chore and it was still looking pretty good.

  • Here is my post for today’s task:

    Besides cleaning my desk area, I also spent time outside clearing leaves and trimming my rose bushes!

  • Katie says:

    I cleaned all of our windows on the inside, plus tidied and wiped down the kitchen and our living rooms again today! I clean the bathrooms every day out of habit just because it’s one place I like having squeaky clean at all times. This challenge has been such awesome accountability– thank you so much for heading it up Crystal!

    I have loved reading everyone’s updates! Everyone is doing such a great job!

    • Trisha says:


      You have cabinets there. What if you just set the jug inside the front of one of the cabinets. Is it really any more work to just put it in there than to put it back on the counter?

      Just a thought.

      Glad you’re enjoying the conference.


      • Crystal says:

        No, I just have to make the room for it. 🙂 Our bathroom is short on storage space, so the cupboard storage space holds all the towels, wash clothes, hand towels, plus trash can, etc. I bet if I were creative I could make it work, though!

        Thanks for chiming in!

        • Stephanie says:

          Just thinking if you did a DIY project for the towels the jug could fit where the towels are currently. A peg or dowel towel rack to hang on the wall with 4 or 5 hooks. Also a straight rod or straight double rod would hold 2 towels and two hand towels. Or a nice basket with the wash clothes rolled and you can just pull one as you need it.

  • Sakura says:

    I did the living room today, I didn’t finish it up so tomorrow I’ll vacuum it and do the detail dusting that I skipped out on today. Instead I cooked a bunch of stuff and made a wonderful pie for dessert!

  • Kris says:

    I mopped the bathroom floors today with my shark steamer and put about 5 drops of eucalyptus essential oil on the top of the mop pad. The smell was wonderful as the steam came out. Made my whole house smell fantastic.

  • I finally did my bathroom today, caught the laundry up, and surface cleaned the dining room.

  • amy says:

    Crystal, I have the same shower. How do you keep it so clean? Mine is covered in soap scum. Thanks.

    • Lori says:

      I wondered the same thing. Plus, we have hard water which makes it stain. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

      • Crystal says:

        My best tip is to try Mr. Clean Erasers. Those are the only thing that successful get stubborn scum off for me.

        {If other people have great ideas, please chime in!}

        • Lana says:

          We have fiberglass tub/showers and I use a microfiber cloth on them every week. It will take a few weeks to get the scum off but after that it is just a good wipe down each week. Ours have never been cleaner than they are now just using microfiber and water.

  • Rebekah says:

    Please don’t take this the wrong way, I don’t mean it to be critical at all. I’m just wondering how this house cleaning challenge, the waking up early challenge, and some of the other month-long events you have had really fit in with your mission statement. Can you help me? The tag line of MSM reads, “Helping You to Be a Better Home Economist”, which I think is excellent. That’s why I started coming to MSM and still get the most from. However, challenges like this one are GREAT at helping me to be a better home manager, but not specifically a better home economist. Unfortunately, there are other blogs already doing the home management thing really well. Crystal and co., you folks do the home ECONOMIST thing awesomely – I say keep it up! I have gained a few tips from the comments sections of these posts on some frugal tips, but I just don’t get how waking up early and cleaning my shower are helping me to better manage my family’s finances. Maybe a blog subheader revamp is in order?

    • Crystal says:

      Thanks for a great question! It would take me a book to answer… which is why I’m writing my next book, actually. More details coming soon on that! 🙂

      But to briefly answer your question: the thing that I’ve found in blogging over the last few years is that people need help with getting their life organized so that they can do life and finances on purpose. It’s hard to find time to cut your grocery bill when you are just barely surviving in the rat race of life. I want to help people not just shave some money off their grocery bill, but to completely revamp their life from the inside out so that they can restore their passion and purpose for life.

      And yes, a subheader revamp is coming… soon! 😉

      All that said, if you don’t find a challenge helpful, just skip it and read the posts on finances. Not everything here will apply to everyone and that’s totally okay. 🙂

      • Rebekah says:

        Aha! Well, that makes more sense. I’m at one of those stages of my life where these sessions aren’t practical for my family right now. I do enjoy reading them, skimming the replies, and seeing your immaculately clean house. ( : I’m looking forward to hearing more about your book: I’m all about restoring passion and His purpose for my life!

      • Sarah says:

        Well Crystal, I think you’ve hit the nail right on the head. For me, and maybe this is not the case for everyone, the key to being successful in different areas of life is to find a balance between everything. And personally, waking up early allows me to have more time to devote to my family and myself which gives me a clearer mind and drive to save more money and manage my finances better. The same with a clean house/shower or whatever. A cluttered house leads to a cluttered mind for me, and that prohibits me from being the best person that I can be and provide for my family in the most economical way.

        Doing these challenges is a way for us to become better people along with the support and encouragement of others like us. Instead of being overwhelmed by getting up early and having an entire cluttered house to clean everything is broken down into more manageable tasks and we can all see what others are going through.

        And lastly, I think it’s great to have home management and finances all tied together into one blog. I only have to go to one place!

        I truly appreciate what you are doing, Crystal. Keep it up!

      • If this were Facebook, I’d be hitting the like button here! That’s one of the biggest things I’ve learned from you, Crystal, is that all of life has to be in order – it can’t be compartmentalized.

      • Maegen says:

        This challenge has included a major war on clutter for our family.

        Among other things, I found a rather high value rebate that had expired, and my husband found a check from a friend (He sold him some sporting equipment) for more than 100.00!

        Not to mention all the things I’ve had to run out and purchase because I couldn’t find them. With the boys’ rooms clean I now have enough soccer shin guards to outfit the whole team!

        Don’t get me wrong-I’m embarrassed that things are in this state, and I’m sure we aren’t typical. Just wanted to say that there is Definitely a relationship between a clean mind, a clean house, and a clean bank account! Now that the house isn’t making me want to cry I feel like I can meal plan and clean out the coupon drawer!

      • I can’t WAIT to hear about your new book! I just want to chime in and say that I love that you do both types of posts. I am seeing real progress in my home after just one week. I am not a natural homemaker and I often feel bad that it doesn’t come easily to me. I am going to use this printable going forward. (even after the challenge is over) I am a convert in the project a day. It is working!

    • Amy says:

      Maybe the definition has changed in the 20 years (oy!) I’ve been out of school, but the Home Economics classes that we took in school included all sorts of different home management, child care, cooking, sewing (let’s not relive that experience!), and basic money management.

      Home Ec. has been nixed in many schools due to budget cuts and testing standards, but it used to be a reflection of exactly what Crystal does so well here. 🙂

      • Rose says:

        After reading these comments, I just had to look up “economist”. I’ve always thought of money first, too. Interestingly, the 1828 dictionary says “One who manages domestic or other concerns with frugality; one who expends money, time or labor judiciously, and without waste.”

        So actually being a “home economist” has a lot more to it than just finances. Anyways, I guess I’m kind of agreeing with everyone here! ; )

  • Audrey says:

    Maybe you could put your saline into a smaller, cute squeeze bottle!

  • Lisa says:

    For the saline…maybe you could buy one of those pretty glass drink dispensers (the one’s with the spout on the bottom…usually used for iced tea or lemonade at parties). There are some really nice ones out there and it might look really neat 🙂 Maybe with a nice ribbon/bow around the top?

  • So glad I found you and your blog…I need a touch (ok, a bunch) of your organization and your frugality in my life. A friend tipped your site at So glad she did! You’d be an asset to our community if you’d like to join us: Happy weekend to you!

  • db says:

    Why not pour your water into a decorative decanter or pitcher with lid? Looks far better than a jug on the counter and still remains functional and decorative at the same time.

  • Amy says:

    I do the saline rinse, too–it’s great!! I keep my water bottle in the kitchen because if I pour it directly from the bottle, it’s so cold it hurts my nose. The water is in the kitchen, so I pour the required amount in a measuring cup, zap it in the microwave for 7-10 seconds (which I think they even recommend in the directions), then take it to the bathroom, where the little bottle and saline packets are (on a shelf in a cabinet, out of the way.). It works for me, it’s more comfortable for my nose, and if you have a more space in the kitchen than the bathroom (or a corner nook or something), its really not in the way. Also, did your doctor tell you to do it twice a day? After I had sinus surgery, my ENT is the one who told me to do the saline rinse, but he specifically told me to only do once a day–he said twice was too much. But your doctor might have said differently.

    • Crystal says:

      Thank you for sharing your system for the saline rinse… very helpful to hear about someone who has it down pat! I’ve been doing the saline rinse for maybe 6 months now and still feel like I don’t have a good system for it!

      {Oh and I was at once a day, but we bumped up to twice a day for a short time because of a recent allergy flare-up. I’m heading back to the ENT in two weeks, and he’s going to re-evaluate.}

  • Crystal, your shower floor is so white! How do you keep it so clean?

    When we moved into our house, the shower floor was already stained and I’ve tried so many things to get it to look whiter…bleach, scrubbing with scouring powders, letting oxi cleaner sit on it for several hours…and it’s still ugly and looks dirty.

    Anyone have any suggestions?

    • Crystal says:

      Gratefully, it was in great shape when we moved here. My best advice? Mr. Clean Erasers. You might go through a few pads to get the thing cleaned the first time, but they have never failed me.

  • Audrey says:

    I’ve come in a bit late but I’m excited about catching up. I was actually following a friend and didn’t realize that she was following you until today. I can’t wait to have a moment to sit and look through your site more. It seems like just what I need to help cut our families budget in half over the next few months. Thanks for such a great site and for challenging us all to get our homes organized!

  • Angelia says:

    I laughed about the water for your sinus rinse cause that is always me when I go on vacation too. I love my sinus rinse. Just wondering if you have you found any good herbal things to mix in with your rinse? I have been dabbling with melaluca but I am not certain on how much or how often to use it. Thanks! 🙂

  • kelly d says:

    hey crystal, love you!!!lol love the empty bottles in the bottom of the shower, happens to me from time to time(or a lot)..with three bathrooms and seven kids everytime i clean i it that hard to throw them out…haha so glad you always keep it real!!!

  • I’ve been behind all week, but finally got caught up and had time to blog about it, too!

  • Kelly says:

    Day 6 – Our bathrooms were pretty clean since I had just cleaned them a few days ago. They just needed a quick wipe down; however, I decided to try the “Dawn & Vinegar” cleaning solution I had seen on Pinterest. It worked great – even better than the bleach-based cleaner I had used a few days ago.

  • Theresa says:

    Wow! Got so much done this weekend. I’m not sure what feels better, blowing those dust bunnies a kiss good-bye, or the empty space that is showing up from de-cluttering during this process Mmmm….I LOVE empty shelves!
    Crystal, thank you so much for this challenge, our home was in desperate need!

  • L says:

    Love the comments on the jug for your saline rinse. My husband has serious allergies and asthma. You should see above our refrigerator, which is not the best place for my liking, but it is convenient for him. And a house has to function for everyone in it! Pills, nasal rinse, inhalers…all neatly (sort of) put in a white plastic bin. Gotta love allergies 🙂

  • Marie says:

    Can I ask what the quote says. I can’t read it.
    I didn’t have a lot of time because my husband and I were getting to go away Friday to Sat. to a B&B. I chose to refresh the kitchen counters and vacuum the living room. My windows are desperate for cleaning but I knew I didn’t even have time to tackle it. But it felt awesome leaving with a clean kitchen and living room!

    • Elisabeth Gordon says:

      “Prayer first: prayer before anything else or there isn’t anything else”
      Now I have a question: is that handwritten or computer generated? It looks so perfect!

  • Julie says:

    We also do the saline rinse here – and I also hated having the jug on the counter. We are saving all our extra money to pay off our mortgage so I didn’t have any extra play money right now to buy something cute to use, so I made my own. I used an empty orange juice container. One of the cute plastic ones that the lid screws on- like a carafe. I just soaked the label off and now it sits on the counter as less of an eye sore. Hope that helps!

  • Kathy says:

    Crystal, hope to join you and others on the challenge, though I’m just tuning in. My bathrooms are all done with the help of my daughter and a friend. Well, except for some redecorating in my grandson / company one ( read toy story shower curtain and accessories )! I am unable to do the physical cleaning much so I put in fresh rugs and towels and made Big Eddie’s rigatoni ( courtesy of Gooseberry Patch Christmas 2012 cookbook). This lasagne like casserole exceeded my expectations. Anyway cleaning as a group and having dinner together was great fun. Perhaps some other readers might want to pair up with someone and work on each others houses together. And about that jug. I hate to say it but I just use regular tap water for mine and have had no problems. But what about under the sink?

  • michelle says:

    If your quote or Bible verse is on card stock, you could punch a small hole in it and hang it by a small suction cup with a metal hook. I got a pack of several at Joann’s craft store near the magnets for about $2. They are what you might hang a child’s sun catcher craft with.

  • KimH says:

    Could you put your saline solution in one of those pretty pump jars meant for liquid soaps? You could just pick it up, give it a little zush around, and squirt a pump or two out into whatever you use to dispense your solution into…
    It would hold enough for at least a week I think (a 2 cup container), look pretty, & you wouldnt have to worry about filling it up too often.

    • Crystal says:

      Unfortunately, it takes about two cups of water per use… so that’s why the gallon jug is there! I go through it quickly! 🙂

      • Rosie says:

        Crystal, We use the saline as well ( we put 1/4 tsp of morton’s salt) in one of those thin water bottles (like a rubber maid) ours is green with a pop top, and it doesn’t take up as much surface space as a gallon jug, and we leave it in the shower, and do it in the shower as we shower (add the water ahead of time into the jug with the bottle ) It might take up less space than on your counter and it’s easier to do in the shower. It sits on a ledge….we also travel with it (empty the jug, measure out the salt and put it in a snack bag and stuff it into the bag when you travel, add it and the water in your hotel, dump rinse and repeat, if that makes sense)…

        -Rosie (Aka a fellow allergy sufferer)

  • Allison says:

    I know this is really off topic but I just saw the picture of the bathroom sink don’t you just love the netti pot! (well technically not pot I can’t think of the name) my husband introduced me while I was preg. with our daughter. By the way LOVE your blog!

  • Denise says:

    Looks great! I love how clutter-free your home is…I’m sure it makes for easier clean-up. I hope to work towards that during this challenge!

    Also, you asked for suggestions for your gallon jug? Would one of those pretty glass drink dispensers work? I’ve seen them at Home Goods, but I’m sure they have them at many places. Something like this, maybe?

    $20 at Bed, Bath, and Beyond…not bad!

    Denise 🙂

Money Saving Mom® Comment Policy

We love comments from readers, so chime in with your thoughts below! We do our best to keep this blog upbeat and encouraging, so please keep your comments cordial and kind. Read more information on our comment policy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *