Monday, July 23, 2012

Guest Post From 'The Queen of Clean'

I am so excited about tonight's post. You see, it was written by a life-long friend, Amber Miller. Amber and I grew up in the same small town and like most of the citizens of this town we are distant cousins.  Which may or may not be a result of living in a small town (don't judge).

For as long as I've known Amber she's always had just the perfect balance of organized OCD. Let's just say that her box of crayons looked the same on day 26 as it did on day one. Compared to me who had the phrase "Haley Piles" coined in my honor to describe my special flavor of clutter. I've always admired Amber not only for her ability to manage a career, family, and social life but her ability to have the kind of home that is ready for guests at a moments notice.  

Amber with her husband Ryan and beautiful children Holden and Kinsley

As a result of a recent post, Amber shared some of her tips for cleaning soap scum and it dawned on me that she is probably full of tips that we could all use! So I asked Amber if she would be interested in writing a guest post, and she was up to the task. I asked her if she could put in words what a clean home means to her--sort of the inspiration behind her sparkly clean quarters. I have to say, she nailed it.      After reading her words I am ready to tackle my "Haley Piles." I'll let Amber take it from here:

Do you flush public toilets with your foot and cringe at the thought of dirt and germs? I do and am not ashamed of having a slight panic attack when my kids announce they have to use the restroom while at our local swimming pool, shopping, or, worse yet, while at a gas station.
I am your typical full time working mother of two who loves her Route 44’s from the Sonic, rap music, sending handwritten letters, superheroes and the smell of print shops. I will never understand hoarders, Sarah Palin, slow drivers, PC’s or country music. I have several passions in life, motherhood and cleaning are my top two. I know call me crazy but cleaning is one of the few things that you can receive instant gratification on and have no regrets afterwards. Think about it…shopping is a great experience that gives you satisfaction but one typically suffers from buyer’s remorse hours or days later. Same with food, I would love nothing more than to stick my entire face into a warm peach pie and consume it all after dinner but then I’d have to face disappointing myself and my counselor at Jenny Craig the next day. So instead of turning to a cute pair of orange wedges or a moist piece of carrot cake I find comfort, peace and reward in cleaning.

I’ve genetically been blessed with this passion for cleaning as I grew up in a very clean home and vividly remember every Saturday morning drawing a piece of paper from a bowl to see what room I got to help mom clean. I hated the kitchen and prayed for the bathroom. The porcelain gods called upon me early in life and still do to this day.  I enjoy cleaning the bathroom the most. Your efforts in this room are the most visible and I tackle those yellow droplets on the toilet like a Kansas City Chief Linebacker. When I am through it smells like sweet victory. Okay, okay, maybe more like bleach and Lysol but you get my point. I then bust a move in the kitchen with my favorite household cleaner- my floor vacuum and steamer. I’m providing a picture of him as you must get one if you have hard wood floors like I do. My knees and back are no longer made for hand scrubbing floors so my steamer and I spend a few hours of quality time together every Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m.

I am a morning person, only because a sweet someone whispers “Mama it is morning time, let’s go get some chocolate milk and play,” at 6:00 a.m. each Saturday and Sunday but it truly is the best time to clean. I think for many people the hardest part is getting started but once you fall into a routine things become natural. Just close your eyes, imagine your house clean, pop in your favorite Jay-Z CD and get to work. Music is very motivating and will allow you to enjoy your time more and you can brush up on a few dance moves for your next Zumba class.

I am blessed and have a fairly large home with four bedrooms, four and a half baths, two family rooms on the main floor and recently we just finished our basement. I thought I was going to throw myself off a bridge when I was faced with yet another 1,200 square feet to clean so quickly had to come up with a revised game plan. I’m not superwoman and know my limitations but I have grown so fond of the open airy feel of cleanliness and wasn’t about to give it up. I now live by these rules that have reduced my Saturday morning cleaning sessions.
I do a little every day for fifteen minutes. I set my microwave/oven timer typically from 9:00 – 9:15 p.m. and clean. You’ll be amazed at what you can get accomplished in that short amount of time. On Monday’s I start at the entrance of my house then work around clockwise Tuesday through Friday. My other favorite tip is to challenge yourself to pick something up every time you leave a room whether it is an empty glass, dirty socks or toys- pick it up! Such a simple task and you can thank me later as you’ll quickly see its benefits. 
My final tip is to document your success. Yes, take pictures of your clean house and look at them often. It will be a reminder of what you accomplished and the hard work you’ve put into it. Here are a few photos of my clean house, minus the pair of white socks my husband just laid on our barstools. This is typical in the Miller household! 

The Summer Olympics are beginning this week so let’s make our own games and experiment with Clean Olympics 2012. Set your goals, get motivated and follow a few simple rules and by closing ceremonies you will have a stunningly clean home.
Amber Miller

Thank you, Amber!  I know that I'm motivated and ready to take on your 'Clean Olympics 2012' challenge!  Show Amber some 'comment love' and hopefully she'll be back soon with more tips on how to keep our homes clean and sparkly!


  1. Thanks, Amber! What is the brand of your favorite household cleaner? I'm ready to retire my back and knees from scrubbing my hard wood floors... And, I agree with Haley as I know this from experience: Amber is always ready for guests and always a gracious host!

    1. Kristin: I use to be an all bleach gal as I felt nothing could smell or clean as good but this past year I have really enjoyed using Mrs. Meyers because it is all natural and smells wonderful. Check them out online at I also like Simple Green and just good ole Vinegar and Water.

  2. Nice post, Amber! Gosh, I wish I had the clean and tidy gene. You are welcome to my house anytime! :) Look forward to reading more of your posts.

    1. Thank you very much Christina! Hope I inspired you a little. Have a wonderful day!

  3. Hi Amber -
    I've been in the market for a steamer for some time now. Which one do you use?


Copyright © Team Ibrahim | Blog Design by Lilipop Designs