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Coach Mom Newsletter - Apr 2013

The Spring Cleaning Treasure Hunt

I’ve noticed the last few years every time that I clean out and organize a space I almost always discover at least one surprise item I didn’t remember I had or could not find.  Spring Break that proved to be true as six of us blitzed the house, clearing out clutter from rooms, closets, drawers, cabinets, and bookcases. I found everything from an extra set of iPhone earphones new in the box I had never used, to my sunglasses that I thought I had lost forever. So many hidden treasures!

The progress we made that week in our home was a personal best for the Stulls. Working a few hours for six days, we got more done than just organizing. We washed windows inside and out. We cleaned out the shed, cleaned out extra stuff from the attic, and hoed up weeds around stepping stones. We tilled the garden and planted tomato plants then mowed, trimmed the yard and fertilized. We wiped down fixtures and replaced lightbulbs and made minor home repairs. (I can see you now, feeling so bad for my children…really, we got it done and had fun along the way!) Then we wrapped up the week with a huge yard sale. It felt great to see hundreds of people carry off all the things we no longer wanted or needed, and also to raise money for my next trip to Africa.

Do you want to feel some “Spring Cleaning Love” with your family? You most likely don’t have one week to dedicate to it, but you might be surprised at what your family can accomplish in just one day if you are working together.

Tips for a successful day:

  • Break projects into manageable tasks.

  • Set a time limit goal and try to honor it.

  • When possible, work together to keep morale up and make the time go faster.

  • Get involved, especially with younger children. Work alongside them to help them complete their tasks.

  • Build in rewards along the way. (It’s amazing how even something like a “best scrubber” ribbon award made out of construction paper can delight a young helper!)

  • Plan fun activities to celebrate the progress.

  • Praise accomplishments. Remind each person of the gifts that they bring that strengthen the team.


  • It bonds you together as a family.

  • It teaches your children the value of hard work.

  • Everyone enjoys the satisfaction of a job well done.

  • Your children gain confidence in expanding their abilities.

  • You as a mom have a good attitude in those hard jobs because you are getting help!

  • You get done the things that need to get done.

Are you ready to start a treasure hunt at your house? Get your family started on organizing and you might be surprised and excited about the things you find. In the end, one of the greatest treasures is a peaceful and orderly home.

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My Top Three Spring Cleaning Items

Dawn dishwashing soap and a squeegee with sponge for window washing – Put a quarter-sized dollop of Dawn dishwashing liquid in a bucket and add hot water. Use a squeegee sponge to scrub windows, then squeegee it off. Wipe the rubber blade with a clean cloth between each swipe, then wipe the base of the window if water has pooled.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser pads to remove scuffs and dirt – With rubber gloves on to protect hands from the chemicals, wet a Mr. Clean eraser with water and wipe off scuffs from walls, cabinets, baseboards, doors, cabinets, and walls. This really works like magic! (These erasing pads are also available in most store brands, sold in the cleaning aisle.)

OxiClean powder mixed with water for tile grout cleaning  – This oxygen-based stain fighter is chlorine-free and color safe, yet gets out some of the most stubborn dirt and organic stains. I was amazed how this cleaned the grout tile in my bathroom of our 50-year-old home. It looks like new. It isn’t a quick process (I applied the cleaner and let it soak overnight), but the results were amazing and well worth it.

I also used it to clean the smoke stains off of the white stone on my fireplace. No other cleaner had even touched the smoke stain.

We also used it to clean our natural wood deck. We poured it on, let it sit for an hour, then scrubbed it off.

 For helpful information about oxygenated bleaches, see http://www.oxyboost.com/utilityPages/oxygenBleach.html.

You can buy the products mentioned above at Target, Walmart, or grocery stores.

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April Giveaway: Handy-Dandy Helpful Hal

In keeping with our feature article on    the family working together on household jobs, this month I am giving away a copy of Handy-Dandy Helpful Hal: A Book About Helpfulness. This is a clever book written in rhyming form and drives home the message of the importance of teamwork within the family. To win this book, email this newsletter to three friends and email brenna at brennastull dot com with “teamwork book” in the subject line.

Congratulations to Stephanie Tyson, winner of last month’s book giveaway, You Can Do Great Things, by Michele Steinhauser.

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Brenna's Blog

So thankful for a mom who always held steady and persevered with her strong-willed daughter. In honor of my mom's birthday...

Wringing Out my Wrongs: Things My Mom Did Right

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