On Day 8 of 31 Days of Living Well & Spending Zero you are simply going to get ready to clean.

This is the eighth day of my 31 Days of Living Well & Spending Zero challenge. To read all the posts in order, start with Day One or visit the Overview Page.

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Last week we spent a lot of time thinking about food–making an inventory of what we had on hand, brainstorming meal ideas, planning a meal swap, & even re-creating our favorite restaurant meals at home–all based on the underlying premise that we make bad financial decisions when we are hungry.

But there are other pitfalls that can trip us up too. We let our homes get chaotic and cluttered and dirty and then foolishly think spending money is going to fix the problem. We buy ourselves new mops or cleaners or organizers, sometimes thinking they will make the mess waiting at  home magically disappear. Sometimes we simply can’t stand the thought of being trapped in the chaos so we choose going out–and spending money–over staying in.

This week we are going tackle the chaos head on. We are going to scrub and dust and sort and purge and really, truly get our spaces CLEAN. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you live, whether you own or rent, have a professionally decorated home or a jumble of mismatched secondhand furniture:  you will like your house better–and enjoy being home more–when it is clean.

But don’t worry, we are going to take it slow. In fact today your assignment is to simply get ready to clean. We are going to do a few things today that will make your big cleaning day easier, plus give you some time to get into the “gotta clean” mindset. By tomorrow you will be raring to go, I promise. Well, okay, maybe not raring to go, per se, but at the very least, resigned to the idea. And, because I’m nice like that, I’ve even created a cute checklist to help you get ready. Now if that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is!

To help keep you organized, here is the Cleaning Prep Checklist!

{Get your Cleaning Prep Checklist here}

The first thing you have to do today is tell yourself that tomorrow, no matter what, you are going to clean your house. Repeat it to yourself all day long. Then, for extra motivation, read  Why I Make The Bed (10 Reasons I Keep my House Clean) to remind yourself of the many benefits of a clean house.

Next, clear your kitchen counters and bathroom counters. Use a laundry basket to collect all the clutter lying around the house and put as much of it away as you can. This is a great task to have your kids help with! Wash your sheets & any dirty dishes in the sink, and do any other laundry you have time for, then empty your garbage.

Finally, gather all the cleaning supplies you will need for tomorrow’s big cleaning day. If you’re all out of something, DON’T BUY IT! Try using a few of these awesome homemade substitutes instead:

These 10 items can be made into 10 awesome cleaners!

More homemade cleaning recipes:

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Have you ever found yourself spending money to avoid a messy house, or buying cleaning supplies instead of actually cleaning?

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{Go to Day 9}