In this episode, Cara sits down with homekeeping + natural cleaning expert and 3x author, Becky Rapinchuk for insight on how to gradually build a cleaning routine into your everyday life so it becomes an easy and essential habit.

Becky shares all about her story and her amazing cleaning approach including daily and weekly tasks that work for all kinds of personalities through all seasons of life. She also dives into how to find your cleaning sweet spot and how learning what "clean" means for you can help your happiness.

This episode is part 1 of 2 — tune in here for part 2

You can download this episode from Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcher, and Spotify – or listen to it below!




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what i'm loving this week

The perfect chair

I have new chairs in the studio today and they're the goldilocks of chairs: not too hard, too soft, too big, or too small.

These chairs are velvet with mid-mod legs and a slightly open back. They’re incredibly comfy, and I can also sit criss-cross in them

Please note that this space has been demo-ed but not designed so its not the final space, but here are the chairs:

I recommend these because they're a great size for additional seating in a living room, bedroom because they’re somewhat small compared to other options like recliners or club chairs, but they’re still roomy and comfy.

This style also works for glamour, bohemian, traditional, or modern decor.



stuff we just need to talk about

you can hang working hardwired light fixtures that actually light up without adding wiring in the walls

option 1: Convert the hardwired fixture to a plug-in fixture

This involves using a lamp cord with a plug on the end and hooking it up to the wires in the back of the light. It's easier than it sounds, and I have a step-by-step in my Instagram Story Highlights here.

option 2: Go cord-free and use puck lights for accent lighting

This is my friend Jessie's genius idea. She uses battery-powered puck lights and attaches them to an outlet socket adapter (with hot glue!) then screws them into the light fixture after mounting it anywhere.

Check out her full tutorial here.


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A post shared by Jessie ~ DIY & Design (@eyeinthedetail) on

next steps... 

Choose with method works best for you then go tune into episode 005 where I teach you all about lighting design including how to choose fixtures and make a lighting plan for your space.

#005: How to Nail Lighting Design: Choosing Fixtures, Planning Lighting & More

let's talk about it!

What do you think!? Any spaces you plan to add some cute lights without the cost of an electrician?

Leave a comment below or use #MakeSpacePodcast to share your response on social media (@makespacepod)


"I created my cleaning routine years ago out of necessity. I was sick of cleaning all weekend long and living with the crazy during the week. Once I started using a simple routine I realized that just a little bit every day was helping me keep things clean most of the time. Then came three kids, different work schedules, traveling for my job, running a business…..and guess what? It still worked. When I started sharing my cleaning routine online, it caught on quickly because it works in your homes too! I love sharing my routine, homekeeping tips, and ideas for keeping your home cozy and clean." — Becky, Clean Mama

get in touch

Instagram: @cleanmama //


becky's (ah-mazing) books


Clean Mama's Guide to a Healthy Home: The Simple, Room-by-Room Plan for a Natural Home


Simply Clean: The Proven Method for Keeping Your Home Organized, Clean, and Beautiful in Just 10 Minutes a Day


  The Organically Clean Home: 150 Everyday Organic Cleaning Products You Can Make Yourself--The Natural, Chemical-Free Way

let's talk about it!

podcast hotline: 720.319.7438 — Leave a voicemail!

Email Us —



...just in case you wanna read


Cara Newhart: 00:00 You're listening to the MakeSpace podcast, episode number 27

INTRO: 00:23 Welcome to make space a home design show made to inspire you to create spaces you truly feel at home in Cara Newhart. Sits down with amazingly brilliant guests for conversations that dive deeper than pin-worthy rooms to tease out the essentials of creating spaces that feed your soul and inspire your creativity from home design strategies to decor, advice to interior design tips and tricks. These conversations help you dream up a beautifully lived in home. Cara is the designer and chief creative enthusiast behind Never Skip Brunch. Her work has been featured in print publications like people style watch and Denver style magazine as an influencer. Cara has collaborated with brands like Amazon,H & M, Twitter and Thrillist. Here's your host, Cara Newhart.

Cara Newhart: 01:20 Hello and happy hump day! Actually, I hate when people say that cause then I have to think about camels. But anyways, welcome back. I'm so glad that you're here and I'm excited to bring you a special two part episode with a super amazing guest. But before we dive in, we've got some stuff to cover. So if you haven't noticed, the kind of the theme for January with the podcast is getting your stuff together from setting home goals to freshening up your spaces to cleaning and organization. So when putting together this content, I did it a little bit selfishly for me because I knew I would need an extra nudge to get out of holiday mode and get into the new year. And what better way to do it than sit down with all kinds of amazing guests to help motivate and encourage me. But I really hope that they're encouraging you each week to tackle goal setting or organization or a cleaning project.

Cara Newhart: 02:22 But I want to remind you not to get overwhelmed. And if you're feeling overwhelmed, then my tip is to just listen to each episode, take the nuggets of advice out of it that really jump out to you and are really something you can implement. And then just start doing those. And then if you want to come back to the episode mid year and revisit it or revisit it at a time when you're less overwhelmed, that is a perfect strategy just because it's January. There's nothing magic about the new year and you know, getting everything perfect. And we talk a lot about that in this episode too. But I just want to offer encouragement that while that's a theme and that's something I'm trying to implement in my life and help you guys out with, don't let it overwhelm you at all. And that's also why I broke this episode down into two parts because Becky has such good information, such good tips, so many resources, um, that you can get plugged into like so many resources, literally amazing.

Cara Newhart: 03:22 But it can be overwhelming because there's so much and you might not know where to start. So I wanted to break it down into two halves so you could listen to half of it, have a week to start doing some of the things we talk about and then dive into the second half of it and feel like you're implementing it slowly, which is something I really like about her cleaning routine cleaning system is it's designed that way too. Or you're not just going cold Turkey and tomorrow we're going to be perfect and let's dive in and check things off our list. Like it's so much more gradual and working it and weaving it into your life. So that's part of the thought process behind the two episodes. Also, the conversation was long, it was like an hour. And I know most of you for your listening on your commute or a quick 30 minutes here. So I wanted to keep each episode a little shorter so they're manageable for you. Okay. Before I forget, I just want to say for those of you that listen till the end of the episode, there's going to be a secret reward. It will be in the form of an announcement and a giveaway. And I say secret because this is not being announced on social media for a while so you will only know if you listen to the episode and you listen until the end

#OBSESSED: 04:45 [music] hashtag obsessed

Cara Newhart: 04:50 so what I am obsessed with this week is I got some new chairs in the studio today. They are actually chairs I ordered for my brunch babe space, which if you are not up to date on this, basically I am transforming my garage into a workshop slash studio space in partnership with the home Depot and it's going to be pink and yellow and feminine and cute and I built a giant pegboard wall and all kinds of other things, but I've ordered some furniture and to keep it safe while I create a lot of mess and sawdust in the garage. I have these chairs in the podcast studio and they are amazing. I just have to share them because I feel like it's the literally the perfect chair, like the Goldilocks of chairs. It's not too small, not too big, not too hard, not too soft. I'm just to give you a picture and I will definitely give you an actual picture in the show notes, but they are velvet chairs with mid century modern legs that are black and gold and then they kind of wrap around the back like a club chair and it's slightly open on the back.

Cara Newhart: 05:56 They are incredibly comfy and I can sit criss cross Apple sauce in them and have my legs in the chair, which is something that I still do. I'm still a child in that way and I need to have my legs all tucked up in the chair. What I'm really loving about these and why I wanted to share them with you, not only are they adorable and affordable, they're a great size for additional seating in like a living room or a bedroom because they are somewhat small compared to other options like recliners or club chairs. They have a smaller profile and a lower back, but they're still roomy and comfy. It's not like you have some stiff upright dining chair. So it is like a perfect medium for adding extra seating if your living room is smaller or if you need a chair in a bedroom corner and it can't be like ginormous. So I will link them in the show notes. I'm obsessed. I bought one in dusty Rose, which is like a darker Mavic pink. And then another one in there like light blush pink. And they look really good together. I like that they're different colors because I'm not really a fan of matchy matchy so they coordinate cause they're the exact same chair but different colors. Anyway, I'm obsessed and I will link it all in the show notes.

WAIT, WHAT??: 07:19 [music] wait, what?

Cara Newhart: 07:25 Okay — My wait, what for this week is, did you know you can hang working hardwired light fixtures that actually light up but without adding like the electrical box and installing wire in your walls, which is something you would need an electrician for. So there's basically two methods to do this. So the first one, which is what I did when I built my pegboard wall in the garage, and I wanted to add three like wall mounted sconce lights, but I didn't want to have to install wiring. It was going to be very expensive if I wanted them hardwired. So what I did is I bought a lamp plug cord, like just the cord with the wire attached and then you attach the two wires on the plug to the two wires in the light. And I have like an actual little mini tutorial series I did in a story bubble on Instagram.

Cara Newhart: 08:18 So I will link to that highlight if you need to see. But basically you just twist wires together, you add a wire nut and then you can also tape around it with electrical tape and it's a really easy way. You've now converted a hardwire light to a plugin light and it can hang anywhere as long as the plug can reach the outlet. And there's links for everything like um, the plug cord, you can buy it off Amazon and a box that you're going to need to screw up on your wall. It's super simple, but it lets you have really cool sconce lights. Like you could put them above a desk or on either side of your beds or really wherever you can hang them. And there's a plug and you don't have to spend hundreds or thousands on an electrician to get the look. And then the other method, which is absolutely genius, is my friend Jesse's method.

Cara Newhart: 09:06 So she instead of converting it to a plug, light is going totally cordless. And essentially what she has done is used a puck light, which if you haven't ever seen one, basically it looks like a hockey puck, but there's like a light bulb. So it's that shape and it's flat. They come in different colors and they're battery operated. So she's attached one of those two, basically the screw in and have a light bulb but not an actual light bulb. It's like a converter thing that has the same screw, but she's just hot glued a puck light to the screw in thing and then you screw that into the light to be your, basically your battery light bulb. So now there's no wires and you can hang it anywhere. So both of these hacks are super genius and we were like talking to each other and comparing notes of like which one you'd use where and basically we came down to the puck.

Cara Newhart: 09:56 Light is better if you have a space that's already very well lit and you need just for the look of it or a little bit of accent light. Like she put them over her fireplace and the rest of her house is in that room is very well lit. So she didn't need the extra light. It was more for aesthetics. But if you need actual light like I did in my workshop, I need the lights to light up to their full potential. Um, I used the wiring because that lights up brighter than the puck light. But this is all good news because you now can install those super cool sconce lights anywhere in your house. Just pick the method that works best for the space that your putting them in. And I also want to point out, if you are a recent subscriber, you might not have gone back and listened to every single episode.

Cara Newhart: 10:46 Um, some of you, which is hilarious, you guys DM me and you're like, Oh my gosh, I just found the podcast that I'm bingeing and others of you just hop on one and then go from there. Either way is fine obviously, but you might've missed episode five if you're a new listener. And episode five is all about lighting design. So I talk about choosing fixtures, how to do a lighting plan for your space, all the different things to think about when you're adding lighting to a room. Um, cause lighting can totally transform a room. And this is a really good like intro design one Oh one. So if when adding these lights, you're like, I don't know which method is best, I don't know where to put them or any of that. Go back and listen to episode five because there's some really good tips in there.

Cara Newhart: 11:32 Okay, let's dive into the first half of this amazing interview with Becky. So Becky started clean mama initially just as a blog and a way to share her cleaning routine that she developed in response to having a busy real life. Her cleaning routine is practical and can be adapted to fit any lifestyle. It stood the test of time and stuck with her through three kids, different work schedules, traveling for her job, running a business, all of that. It's still worked that GE has written three books to share her knowledge of her amazing cleaning routine as well as recipes for DIY cleaning products. And you may have seen her cleaning routine featured places like real simple, better homes and gardens, Martha Stewart living the Oprah Winfrey network. Good housekeeping and so many more. So let's jump into this interview with Becky. I cannot wait for you to hear what she has to share. So can you first start by sharing a little bit about your story and kind of how you became clean mama?

Becky Rapinchuk: 12:46 Sure. I became clean mama probably before I was a mama. Um, it's something that I, I've always enjoyed cleaning and keeping things neat and tidy and, but I also was an art teacher, so I had kind of a, um, a divide with very, very clean and the fondant and messy. And having that as my job, it really, it was great for me because every day was like a challenge for what to clean and how to clean things, how to clean up quickly, how to teach my students how to clean. And I really enjoyed, I loved it. I loved the artistic process and a mess and uh, but I also really enjoyed knowing how to clean it up quickly. So, uh, that's kind of how it started. And then as, uh, in that was like pre-internet for sure. I know there was the internet at that point, but it was pre like blogging and talking about what you're doing, that sort of a thing.

Becky Rapinchuk: 13:55 And I started a blog in 2009. And at that point that was like the wild, wild West of blogging. And I knew I wanted to talk about cleaning and I wanted to share my routine and what I was doing because I thought it was just kind of a fun way to like documented. So I'm scared. I would type out on my computer, I would type out like my schedule and check lists. And so I share, started sharing that on my, on my blog and, and then sharing level tips and how I was cleaning things and, uh, with like little teeny tiny pictures. And I mean, it was just very, very, I mean, to look back it was archaic, but it's, you know, not, um, but anyways, so I, that's how I started. And then by within a couple of months, people were asking for those, like printables of my home keeping routine and what I was doing.

Becky Rapinchuk: 15:02 And so I, this thing called Etsy had just started. So I opened up an Etsy shop and started selling my printables and that's what I called them. And I was the first person on Etsy to sell something like a how to clean checklist or the cleaning and home keeping checklists. And so that's where it kind of started and that's how things kind of snowballed. And so with the combination of sharing my tips online and then sharing my routine, that's, I mean I named clean mama when I started the blog and then it just kind of snowballed from there. So that's what, almost 11 years ago. Oh, that is. Wow. Yeah. And um, yeah, and I've been blogging ever since. I, I love it. I really enjoy sharing how I clean things because I think it's a, it's a little bit different and I found a way to clean well without spending a lot of time. And I think that that's the difference. But the dream, that's the dream. That's the difference. And uh, because I have three kids and two dogs and I understand like what a real life mess is. Yes. Yeah, it's definitely a different, um, it's just a different method. And I, while I do enjoy cleaning, I don't want to spend my day cleaning. And, um, that's what I tried to share, um, with a little bit of fun and making it cute and easy and um, something that people can join in on.

Cara Newhart: 16:49 Yeah. I really love hearing your story and I love the part where you came from like an art background because I feel like people have it in their head. At least I do that either you are one or the other, either you like or an organized clean person or you're a messy like creative person. And to know that you can have both and you can kind of move in and out of either, but like get to have both is really encouraging because that way I think we don't have to pigeonhole ourselves into some ideal of like, you know, having the perfect house and like that's just really interesting to me. And like a part of your story that stuck out cause you know, messes, mess can be fun and mess can be essential. But learning how to make messes without creating an overwhelming situation, I guess is a whole other thing.

Becky Rapinchuk: 17:36 Well and also I think that I have, the way that I approach mess or cleaning is let's just figure out how to clean it up. Like, yeah, it's fine, but now it to be put away or let's, let's see what we can do to get this cleaned up quickly and reset back to where it was. And I think that that's, uh, when like if you walk into a room and it's a messy, you're overwhelmed because you don't know where to start. So in my, in the way that I see things is I try to like decide, I usually start with the worst part of a room, like the messiest or the dirtiest and get that part done. And then I moved to the next and the next. And by doing that, it's instead of just looking at that whole overwhelming room, you break it down into smaller actionable steps and get it done rather than procrastinating and putting it off, which is easy to just, my best skill is definitely my personality. Like I will put up a laundry pile until I run out of clothes if left to my own devices. But because yeah, I know how that feels and I don't like it. I make the choice every day to wash a load of clothes and fold it and put it away because I would rather deal with that inconvenience in that day rather than a whole day of laundry at the end of the week.

Cara Newhart: 19:07 Yeah. Well that's something really interesting I kind of want to dive into is like personalities. Um, so this is some like observations and then a question, but I know that like as a person wanting to stay clean and organize does not come naturally to me. On the other hand, there's people like my sister and my three year old daughter who seemed to like tend towards organization. For example, the other day I had this huge pile of sawdust in the garage and I like brought my daughter out and I told her she could play in it and as a kid I would be like throwing it and like so excited. She immediately goes, Oh my, this is kind of messy. I need to clean this up. And she's like scooping it into the trash. And I'm like, well who is this child? That is not me. But all that to say, do you think personalities have like an impact on keeping a clean home? And if so, how have you maybe seen this play out in some of the people you've helped teach?

Becky Rapinchuk: 20:03 For sure. I mean definitely your personality is what's going to drive, how you approach cleaning in your home. And I think that if you, when I like when I look at like a group of people that are trying to figure out a routine, so let's just say there's 10 people, they're all going to have a different personality. They all come from a different background. They all have a different level of what's clean and what's dirty. So like, yes, I might have someone come into my house and I might apologize for something like, Oh there's sorry, there's dishes that need to be put away or you know, whatever. And the person that walked into the house didn't even notice them. So we all have kind of those different levels. And I think the, like if you live with other people in your home, you kind of have to take those things into consideration.

Becky Rapinchuk: 20:54 And, but if you're just trying to figure out for yourself, like where am I at, what's my personality? How can I kind of, I want to be this or I want my home to be clean. I just don't know where to start. And I think that's what most, I think most people, if you, if you boil it down, most people, no one's going to say, I love living in a pigsty or I love living in maths. It's so great. I think that you, like everyone wants at least to have clean clothes that they can put on or not be searching through the stack of laundry. Um, it's nice to use a bathroom that's clean. It's nice to have clean dishes to use. I mean there's certain things that are like, you take them for granted, but if you are overwhelmed or things are stacked up behind you, there's, you're going to have masses in certain areas of your home.

Becky Rapinchuk: 21:53 And it's always the kitchen, the bathroom and the clothes. I mean those things are always like kind of those sticking points. So I think that if you're a personality that enjoys cleaning, you're, you're going to be jazzed up about like tackling that space and getting it clean and it, you know, it feels good, whatever. But if you are someone that's overwhelmed, you're going to probably need someone to tell you like, Hey, it might be best for you to start here. Here's a great first step instead of, and, and I always like to say like a couple of things. One is if you're never late or you're never behind, like don't think of it like that because there's always mess. There's no matter what, there's always going to be a pile of something there. Someone's going to get sick. You're going to be, I mean it's always, there's always a mess.

Becky Rapinchuk: 22:52 There's always something to clean up. It's like you just have to embrace that this is life. It's, it's like that ebb and flow. Some days are messier than others. Some days you've got it all together. Some days it's all falling apart. Like it's like that for everyone. And if someone tells you that every day is equal and even they're lying, I mean it's suspicious. So suspicious. Everyone has like those kind of levels. And you have to, I think the most people that I like, if I'm were to categories like a group of people, the most, the people that I hear from that I've helped the most are people with add and ADHD. Yes. And it's because I'm saying instead of saying go clean your house, I'm saying, Hey, go make your bed. And yeah, once you're able to do that everyday for a week, why don't you check your floors? And if something needs to be, if you need to, you know, sweep a floor after you eat a meal, take care of that. You know, it's not, I'm saying do this and do that. And that's refreshing for someone that doesn't know where to clean or what to clean. And for most of us, like in this, I mean, depending on where you're at, generationally, there aren't people that are saying like, your mom might not say here, come on in and let me show you how to properly clean a bathroom.

Becky Rapinchuk: 24:21 You might not have that. And I'm not sure if that's a generational thing or, uh, like it's like it's a bathroom, just go clean it. Like I, I don't, I don't know what they attitude is for that, but I know with my kids, I have shown them at a certain age, like, this is how you clean a toilet. This is how you put it on. And showing them how to do that and then when they're old enough taking responsibility for that, it helps me out. But it's also really helpful for them because for them, they're not going to be 22 years old in an apartment that looks like a pigsty and not know how to clean a toilet and the girlfriend's coming over or something and they're like, don't know what to do. So I don't know. I think that that, um, as far as personalities, I think that you definitely, you have to kind of take a minute to say, what kind of person am I?

Becky Rapinchuk: 25:17 How is, what would work best for me? I have found that with my routine, it works in so many different stages, ages, um, walks of life, home sizes. Like it doesn't really matter who you are, where you come from, what your house sizes, how many kids you have. If you don't have kids, if you have 12 cats, I mean whatever it is, it's going to work for you because it's general and it's big picture and you're touching on everything every week. So it's going to be continually clean, um, as you kind of get into the group. But there's also room for when it all falls apart and you know, like it's, you're not having, you don't have to start over or catch up or anything like that. It's not, um, it's just, it's different. Yeah.

Cara Newhart: 26:14 I really, really like what you said also about how clean is different for everyone. And that's just something that's really interesting to me cause I feel like we all kind of just need to figure out that sweet spot of like what kind of clean makes us feel like peaceful. Cause I know like when my house feels messy and chaotic, like my mind starts to feel chaotic and like my husband and I are fighting more because the house is a wreck. Like when things are clean, life just goes more smoothly. But I, I do see that like everyone has a different area where that would be true for them. So like, you know, for me if my closets are wreck, I'm like an internally fine and like as long as the dishes and the messy like dirty, clean is clean. But for other people like my closet would drive them nuts, they would be just no inner peace at all. So that's just really interesting. How do you think you find where that is for you? Like where that balance is between like not cleaning every single hour of every day, but like knowing you know, what needs to get done for you to feel happy in your house?

Becky Rapinchuk: 27:22 Yeah, I think that the um, finding that sweet spot is important, but you've got to kind of get to like a square one. You can't get to the point where like I always recommend starting, I have five daily tasks that I talk about and share online. And those five daily tasks are really simple. It's your make your beds, check floors, wipe counters, and the wipe counters includes like dishes. So you're putting dishes in the dishwasher, washing them. Um, you're doing one load of laundry a day and then you're dealing with clutter. So those five tasks, the tasks are where I always say start with these. You can do a one a day, you can try to do all five in one day and just, you know, stay on top of those. But just by getting just a little bit of rhythm in your day and just those things that you know will get done at some point, that's really helpful.

Becky Rapinchuk: 28:19 But if I say go take care of clutter every day, you're going to be like, ah, it where it was. Start with. And so I always say like, set a timer for whatever amount of time you want to spend on it. So maybe it's a minute, maybe it's five minutes or 10 minutes. And set a timer for that amount of time and just deal with whatever your worst spot is. So maybe you've got a pile of paper that you need to sort through from 2019 maybe you have like your kid's toy room is a disaster and you need to go through some toys after the holidays. So maybe, you know, like set your timer, take care of that area and take care of those things and then you're done with it. Like don't, don't look at it like it's mean, it's never ending. We already know that it's never ending.

Becky Rapinchuk: 29:09 So there are all, there will always be constant streams of paper coming in, whether it's news or mail or whatever it is. Um, if you have kids, you've got kids papers that come home every day, it's like, it's, things will still keep coming at you, but you just know like, okay, I'm just going to deal with this every day and set my timer and do that. So you can apply that same principle for other areas. Like, if you make your bed, I always say, I mean obviously you're not going to be like, Oh, I'm going to give myself five minutes to make my bed, but I think I can just see how quickly you can make your bed because it really one or two minutes and it's going to set a tone in your bedroom and kind of set your day up for a little bit of success. As you have the made bed, you can kind of move on through your day. It's so once you get those daily tasks straightened out and you're getting into a little bit of a groove with them, you're going to start to notice the things that bother you too.

Becky Rapinchuk: 30:13 And then you're going to start to add in my weekly tasks. So those are the things like cleaning your bathrooms, dusting, vacuuming, your floors, washing your floors, washing sheets and towels. Like there wasn't those five daily tasks are we am sorry, I have weekly tasks. Those are the things that keep your home clean most of the time. So you want to have bathrooms. That's really nice. It's nice to have clean floors. So yeah. And then when you feel like you in that little bit of a groove, then you're going to be able to pick out really quickly. Okay. So for me, my mud room, when the kids leave their shoes out, like all over the floor, when they have baskets to put them in, it drives me bonkers. So that can put me in like, just kind of make me feel crabby. Just wonder from walking in the house.

Becky Rapinchuk: 31:06 It's, I mean it's ridiculous, but it's like that's something that's important to me. So that's something I want to make sure we take care of. If there are dishes on the counter I that are dirty and there is an empty dishwasher, like bad drives me nuts. So just kind of making a mental note or writing it down, like just kind of those little, maybe, I guess you could call them triggers that make you feel like a little bit uneasy or stressed. I mean, flutter is known to cause stress. It's known to give me a stressful feelings. Um, and anyone that has Keter in their house, which is everyone. Um, you know, that like that's not, that shouldn't be a surprise, but I don't really notice it in your life until you clean off his space and then you, yeah. And you feel how good it feels to go without it.

Becky Rapinchuk: 32:00 Yeah. And so you could, I always like at the, um, in January I always do a clutter challenge and I feel like just cleaning the clutter, I participate right along with everyone because I've got stuff to take care of. Like, I mean, I mean we have closets to clean out, we have things to reassess and edit and look at and it's a really good time to say, am I still using this? Do I love this? Is this something I want to hold on to any longer? Um, and maybe you kept it through last year, but now you're like, eh, I'm done with that. I'm going to donate that or I'm going to give it as a hand me down to one of my nieces or nephews or whatever it is that's, um, I think that you just kind of, you'll, you'll know once you get into a routine, you'll know where those areas are that, you know, these are the things that are really important to me. And then those are the things that you want to focus on getting done every day. So if making your bed doesn't make you feel better, it's probably going to go down to the bottom of your daily task list. But if making sure your counters are clear and clean, if that's something that's important to you, then that's something that you're going to move up to that top of your list. Yeah.

Cara Newhart: 33:22 I really love your whole cleaning philosophy in this system because it's first of all, so easy to customize depending on what you need out of it. But also just, I feel like it's really easy to get into versus like a cold Turkey starting today and we're going to be perfect. It's like you can kind of build, you know, it's like, let's look at the five tasks and then when we have a handle on that we can like add the weekly stuff in and like create a routine. But we're building instead of like diving in and drowning, which is what I do anytime there's like a system. But this question is mostly for me, but it seems like every time I try to implement a new system in a way that's not gradual, um, I ended up falling off the wagon. So what do I do kind of in your like system? When I fall behind, how do I get back? Yeah. Get my stuff together.

Becky Rapinchuk: 34:13 Yeah. No, I, um, so Friday is, I call it catch all day and it's a day to catch up. So that's built into my routine. There is not a weekly task attached to Friday. Uh, okay. So I basically say I fall behind every week too. Catch up. Now if I, um, but there's, there can also be a little bit of a reward in there. So if you don't fall behind, you have nothing to catch up on. So Friday is more of a free day. So it's, I use it that way. I think that it's kind of helpful because if I do well all week long, then I can like take a right, I can like take an actual break and you know when I'm cleaning, like I cleaned the bathrooms on Mondays and it's a 15 minute process and I have a 15 minute routine for it that I share online and it's, it should all, I have four bathrooms and I can clean them top to bottom.

Becky Rapinchuk: 35:20 I don't wash floors on Mondays. I'd save that for later in the week, but I can do that in 15 minutes. So that's something I get done right away on Mondays and get it out of the way. And I usually don't have a problem with that, but it's the other days of the week that it kind of flex a little bit and I might need to do a little catching up on Friday. But it also, it's, that's how I kind of think about it. If you have a crazy week and you're slammed all week and you don't get to anything, you just start over the next week or so. If you don't, you don't. It's all the mess will still be there. It's not like Getty that's not picking up and leaving. It's still going to be there. So you just say, okay, Monday is a new day. I'm going to do bathrooms today. You don't say, Oh, I've got to catch up from bathrooms last week.

Becky Rapinchuk: 36:11 You didn't. You just do them on the next Monday. And that's like, I think that that's really freeing because you aren't like, you shouldn't be like shaming yourself over cleaning your house. Like it's just like just clean the house. Like it's not, it shouldn't be something that conjures up like feelings of inadequacy or the same or anything like that. It's just like, yep, it was busy last week. I didn't get it done, but I'm going to do it this week and move on. So it's just cleaning. It's not, it's not anything. It makes you feel better and it improves your quality of life and um, it helps you enjoy your home a little bit more. But it's not like a life or death situation in any way, shape or form.

Cara Newhart: 37:00 So true. Which is funny cause I feel like some of us do build it up in our heads to be that when it's like totally not. Like even with knowing that life is messy and happy is way better than being perfect. There's like a lot of overwhelm around cleaning. Why do you think we get so overwhelmed? Is it like we just needed to change our mindset or we just need to like, I don't know, be more chill about it. Like it's not life for you.

Becky Rapinchuk: 37:25 Yeah, I think that there is, I mean there is a couple different factors. I think that one is just like feeling like you have to like it's all or nothing like it has to be perfect or it's not worth doing. Yeah. And I think this cleaning is that sort of a thing because like, I mean, if I'm going to clean a bathroom and I clean a bathroom, I'm not going to like wipe the front half on my counter, the whole counter. So I mostly, I don't mean it that way. I mean it like it, like we're not looking, it doesn't have to be pristine. It's your home. You live there, you're comfortable there. It's, I think that was like the Pinterest, um, and Instagram, like social media frenzy. I think that sometimes you feel like you have so much, like you're comparing yourself to that or them or, but it's like you don't ha, I don't know. I struggle with that because being online I want, I want to share my, my home, but I also don't want anyone feel inadequate or like, like I like having a clean home. My house is clean most of the time, but I don't want you to feel like if your home isn't clean, like it's not worth that. I don't know. It's like a, it's kind of a hard, I, it's a hard line because I don't want to, um, I dunno. I dunno if that makes sense. But I think that totally makes sense. Yeah. It's, people think that it's [inaudible].

Becky Rapinchuk: 39:06 Like sometimes my house is a mess and I'm not gonna necessarily always share those parts. I usually will share those things in my stories, but I don't always put it like right on my feed because I am like, you come to me for cleaning help.

Cara Newhart: 39:21 Yeah. Not to like see your mess. Like you have a mess of your own that you can go look at it. You don't need to see it.

Becky Rapinchuk: 39:26 I think that it's definitely a, um, it's just a different, a different time. And I think we're all kind of navigating what that means to live in an era where perfection is celebrated, but it's not like, that's not real life and that's not what I want. And that's not, um, like I probably would share more, but I like to have my private life with my family private. I don't want to be like, Oh, here's my daughter's room. She trashed it or you know, like yeah, those are my kids. You know, like I, I definitely, I think that

Becky Rapinchuk: 40:07 we need to say like, Hey, it's our home. We live here. This, it didn't use to be like this. I don't think that people, um, I don't think my mom felt weird about asking people into the house or inadequate or like it wasn't stage. I mean like I know that there was, it wasn't like that. Like it doesn't, and I hate that it is like that because I think that people, you're missing out on so much because you're concentrating on the wrong thing. You should be pouring love into your home and in showing up for your family rather than worrying about what's

Cara Newhart: 40:46 online. So, yeah, I don't know if that, yeah, but wait, what you said kinda reminded me of like this, like the perfectionist mindset of like, if it's not going to be perfect, why am I even going to try? But it's like, it's like the perfectionist fallacy of like, if it's not going to be great, I'm not going to do it. But like, then it's not going to even be good. Right. So just like, just do it and be okay with it not being perfect. Cause at least you know, you're finding a balance and at least you made progress. So right

Becky Rapinchuk: 41:15 in every week. Like if you can just, if it can be just a little bit better every week, like that's something to celebrate. Yeah, absolutely. Definitely. Like if you have one less basket of laundry to fall, like amen.

Cara Newhart: 41:30 Yeah. Yeah. You did it

Becky Rapinchuk: 41:32 little teeny tiny things. Like it doesn't, it's not, it's not all or nothing. And, um, but my mantra that I've shared since pretty close to the beginning is every day a little something and that's like, just do something every day. It doesn't, it's like just even if it's 10 minutes. And I think that, um, when we, I think there's so many ways that we can caught up, get caught up in things outside of our home, but still in our home, like on our phones or, I mean there's so many other distractions that it's important to say, Hey, if this is important to me to have a clean home, I might need to stop looking at other people's homes and clean mine. Yeah. Oh my gosh, that's so true. And so funny. Um, so when it comes to like carving out time, I think that's another struggle we all face.

Becky Rapinchuk: 42:29 Do you have any thoughts on like the best way to make time in your schedule to get things clean? Yeah, I do. I think that I would like, you need to decide kind of where you're at like with your schedule. And if when I was working outside of the home, I would do, like I would start a load of laundry the night before and I would either put it on timer or let it like sit in the washer and then when I got up I'd throw it in the dryer and then get ready for work, leave for work. Sometimes if I was doing while I would fold that load of laundry real quick before I left. But most of the time when I came home from work I would get dinner, started quick, fold the laundry, play with the kids and then kind of move from there.

Becky Rapinchuk: 43:15 Um, I think that that's just one thing. Like I think laundry, especially if you're working outside of the home is it's so hard. It's really hard. You gotta wait for it cause you have to wait the next day. And I don't know, it was like if you can like send names, I'll just fold laundry and watch a show or I'll get caught. Like I'll catch up on Netflix or something. Like, it's mindless, but it's also kind of like a reward for myself too because I do like to sit down and watch Netflix. Yeah. Multitasking. Yeah. Right. So it's, it's okay to do that or listen to a podcast or listen to a book, you know, whatever, whatever it is. Like give yourself something good during that annoying folding time. Yeah. I think that that's helpful. Um, now as far as like doing a routine, I think that if you're home all day and whether you work from home or you're at home with your kids, you've got to, if you are at home with your kids, you are working from home.

Becky Rapinchuk: 44:25 So like, I'm just going to say that it's a job, but, um, if you kinda set aside time during the day, like I always, I do better in the morning if I don't get things kind of in order in the morning. It's the rest of the day kind of, it's just harder for me just because I'm a morning person. I enjoy kind of getting things of those loose ends tied up, um, in the morning and kind of done. And then I can kind of move forward. But if you're more of like a, I work better like at lunchtime, fine or it like the caffeine. It kinda depends on on your personality. I think that the setting the timer and saying, okay, I'm going to clean my bathrooms. I've got 15 minutes and then get as much done as you can. If you haven't thoroughly cleaned a bathroom in months, it's not gonna you're not going to be able to clean a bathroom in 15 minutes.

Becky Rapinchuk: 45:23 But you could maybe thoroughly clean one bathroom this week, one bathroom next week, and then the next week you could clean both bathrooms. You know like you can kind of think about how you can divide that up a little bit. I've also like if you might maybe do half of it in the morning and half in the evening. So if it's, if you're leaving for work, do a couple things before you leave for work. Set your timer for 10 minutes when you get home, set it for 10 minutes and do those things and then you know, like just say I'm done. Like you, it doesn't have to be never ending. Put, you know, put a boundary on that cleaning and see how much you can get done in a short period of time. So I mean I love that. I still set timers for myself. I was with my kids this weekend. We cleaned off through, went through all of their, all three of their rooms and we set timers. Two out of the three were into it and one laid on his floor and he wanted one pace. And so he had him a lot longer but he still had to. Yeah.

Cara Newhart: 46:33 That's so funny. I like totally have to set timers cause I am time blind for sure. And so optimistic about how long things are going to take. Like I'm like, Oh I'll do it in five minutes and it's like three hours later I'm still working on it. And then like there's three hours.

Becky Rapinchuk: 46:48 Yeah. Yeah. I think, I think it's good. I think timers definitely help and they, they're helpful for kids too. They're motivating. Um, yeah. Sometimes like, like I said, like not two out of three of my kids like timers and one doesn't and so I mean that's fine. Yeah.

Cara Newhart: 47:07 Right, right. You still got to clean whether you're timed or not. No one. I like all of that. Like finding when in your schedule, like what time of day is best for you and then not being afraid to split things up is a really good tip because yeah, I just assumed that I like, I need to do it all right now but like do it throughout your day and split it up if it feels overwhelming. That's, that's really, really good.

Becky Rapinchuk: 47:28 Vacuuming takes long time washing floors. Yeah, take can take a long, long time. So you can like that. Those are really easy to split up by half of your house or by first floor and second floor and just to kind of get those down a little bit in a different way. Or you can even say I'm going to vacuum half of the house this week and half of the house next week. Okay. Like no one said, Hey, like great. Helpful too for me to vacuum weekly with three kids and two dogs. But I honestly know that there are people that that are like, I can't believe you don't vacuum your floors every single day. I vacuum multiple times a day.

Speaker 7: 48:11 [inaudible]

Becky Rapinchuk: 48:12 yeah, that's fine. I, I'm not gonna spend time vacuuming every day. Like I'll, I'll check under my kitchen table every day and make sure there aren't crumbs, but I'm not like, that's like a, like a decision of that. That's kind of going back to what your level of like where you're happy. If that is what like to happy is to make sure your house is vacuumed every day. That's your level. Mine is not there. I am not even close. Now we know that that's where that level, no you are fine with once a week and like that is like that trips your trigger. That's where you, you know like then you vacuum every week but you kind of figure out where, where your levels are as you get used to cleaning a little bit more often.

Cara Newhart: 49:05 Okay. So that wraps up the first part of my interview with Becky. I hope this gave you some really good insight into how to handle overwhelmed. Some tips for finding like your cleaning sweet spot and just some good advice to kind of reframe your mindset around cleaning. So what I want you to do in the week we have between part one and part two is hop over to Becky's website and find those five daily tasks. Start integrating those into your week. And then you can come next time. Next week we'll dive into even more topics. So next week we're going to talk about her printable library because she has a ton of amazing resources for diving deeper than the daily and weekly tasks and how to kind of declutter and organize and all kinds of different stuff. So we'll get tips for that. And then we also dive into some specific cleaning products.

Cara Newhart: 50:01 We talk about, um, products that are on the market that are probably really terrible for your family's health. What goes into that, how to make your own products and some general tips. Plus she shares her different books and which one might be right for you to start with in terms of whether you want to dive into the cleaning routine and really get that down or whether you want to really dive into making your own cleaning products because maybe you already have a routine that works for you. So either way, spend this week focusing on easing yourself into your routine, kind of learning a little bit about her routine and experimenting with how it fits into your life. And then next week we will dive deeper into some more in depth topics that will help you even more.

Cara Newhart: 50:50 Okay. And now for the secret announcement, the podcast finally has some swag in the form of the cutest enamel pins. They are adorable. It is like the MakeSpace logo sitting on a pink couch and has like MakeSpace really tiny. It is adorable. It is so cute. And three of you are going to get one before they officially launch. So here's what you do to enter, hop over to either Twitter or Instagram, whichever platform is your favorite, go to make space pod follow. And then shoot me a DM with the words pink couch party. Three winners will be randomly selected and you have until January 31st to enter. So go get on it because you get to see the pin before it's live. If you win and you get to have one of your own before anyone else. And as always, thank you for listening. I'm so glad you're here and be sure to tune in next week for the second half of this amazing interview with Becky from clean mama.

OUTRO: 52:01 Love this episode? Leave a comment on the blog post or use hashtag make space podcast to share your thoughts. If this is your first time listening in, be sure to hit that subscribe button so you can stay updated with the newest episodes. If you are a subscriber and you love the show, be sure to rate, review or screenshot and share your favorite episode on social.

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I'm Cara, the designer & diy queen behind Never Skip Brunch. I'm a color & prints obsessed DIY queen who's here to help you create a beautifully lived-in life through home design advice and chic DIY tutorials

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