Blog | A Bowl Full of Lemons

One Project at a Time: 4/22/14

Welcome back to our weekly link party! Today is the day I look forward to every week. I love seeing you all share a little bit of your life with me (all of us, really). You inspire new recipes, demand more organization, bring color and crafting into homes each week and so much more. If you’ve never joined us, welcome! Today is the day we invite each of you to link your blogs to ours while we feature three favorites from last week; Toni’s pick, my pick and a link up that was amongst the most visited because of last weeks party. We only ask that you grab a button when you link up so that all of your fantastic readers will know about this party!


Toni’s Pick:


If you haven’t been introduced to the world of Orla Kiely, allow me to share Toni’s favorite link up and this marvelous product line. With an array of absolutely adorable bags, totes and pouches, you’ll be organized in no time flat.  Cherie from Live Love Latte, shared a great post demonstrating just how versatile these bags are. This is one link up you’ll want to be sure to check out.




Rachel’s Pick:


Maria, from Graceful Order, is a woman after my own heart. I’m always on the outlook for a quick and easy project to take my organization to the next level. With a quick project that anyone can do, you’ll want to check out her link up on how to organize all those grains hanging out in your pantry.


grain organization


Top Pick:


Once you click on this weeks top visited pick, you’ll understand why it was visited more times than any other link up from last week.  With simple solutions for so many organizational issues, this is a must for anyone looking to work on getting organized! Congratulations to Aimee from It’s Overflowing for a wonderful post!




I hope these link ups have encouraged you to get organizing this week. In the meantime, I invite you to grab a button and link up!


ABFOL One Project at a Time


Book Club Selection: May 2014


Earlier last week, I enjoyed a relaxing afternoon outside in my hammock, reading a book. Perfection. This time of year simply begs for outdoor living. In my opinion, there’s simply nothing better than the warm sun on bare toes, a soft breeze making a light blanket an added comfort while the birds chirp and the flowers bloom.

This time of year is perfect for a book club. If you’ve never been a part of a club before, I invite you to join us, virtually, for ours! We started the club over a year ago and as we continue to grow, the discussions only get better while the diversity of the books increases.  Some books have been well received, others not as much but that’s the great part about a book club; always pushing yourself to try new books, explore new authors and genres. With that, I’m please to announce our May book:


The Giver via A Bowl Full of Lemons May 2014 book club


You can purchase your copy of The Giver <HERE>


I hope that you all enjoyed The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert, even if wasn’t your style. I invite you to join us on Goodreads for our discussion which will take place on on 4/28 at 8pm EST. If you haven’t yet, we’d love to have you be a part of our Facebook Group where we share book ideas, engage in general discussions and much more!


The Organically Clean Home…

Do you prefer to make your own cleaners? If so, The Organically Clean Home is the perfect cleaning companion for you!!  Today is the release day and you can get your own copy for around $10.  One of my very close friends Becky (aka Clean Mama) created this fabulous reference manual for those of us who care about the products we use in our homes.  Every recipe in this book is natural and safe to use around your family.  This book is sure to be a best seller, so pick up your copy here!!  Congratulations Becky. :)


The Organically Clean Home Review via A Bowl Full of Lemons


Pictured above are some of the cleaning ingredients I use to make my own cleaners.  If you missed my “Green Cleaning Caddy” post, you can revisit it here.  I share all of the natural cleaning ingredients needed to create your own cleaners.  The list goes perfectly with The Organically Clean Home. In the mood to clean?  Here are all of the other spring cleaning posts I shared this past month, at A Bowl Full of Lemons.



Cleaning products that save money–and the planet!

Forget about chemical cleaners and pricey “green” products–all you need are a few simple kitchen staples to make your whole house sparkle! The Organically Clean Home features 150 easy-to-make recipes for cleaning products filled with all-natural ingredients you can trust (and actually pronounce!). From dishwasher detergent to antibacterial wipes, America’s favorite cleaning blogger Becky Rapinchuk guides you through the steps needed to make these everyday necessities–without spending a fortune.


Complete with simple instructions for packaging and storing your homemade cleaners, you’ll enjoy turning each room into a beautiful and toxic-free space with fresh-scented products like:

  • Lemon and clove hardwood floor cleaner
  • No-bleach laundry whitener and brightener
  • Peppermint glass and mirror wipes
  • Lavender and lemon bathroom disinfecting spray
  • Citrus foaming hand soap


With The Organically Clean Home, you’ll save hundreds of dollars every month–and have a clean, healthy home that you and your family can feel good about.


The Organically Clean Home

**This post contains an affiliate link. Thank you for your support to ABFOL & Clean Mama.

How to Naturally Clean Your Refrigerator and Freezer

How to Naturally Clean Your Refrigerator and Freezer via Clean Mama on ABFOL


Keeping your refrigerator and freezer clean isn’t easy with all the use it receives on a daily basis. Sticky shelves, crumbs, and food residue can be easily wiped up and taken care of in minutes, making cleaning your refrigerator and freezer a simple and easy 15-30 minute task.


Time-Saving Tip:


Wipe down your refrigerator weekly before you do your grocery shopping. It only takes a couple minutes and it will keep your refrigerator neat and tidy.

Just 3 Ingredients to Clean You Refrigerator and Freezer via Clean Mama


Best Tools:


My favorite refrigerator and freezer cleaning tools? Warm water, dish soap, baking soda, and a microfiber cloth. The warm water helps the soap bubble up and is perfect for dissolving any stickiness and picking up crumbs. The baking soda helps naturally deodorizes any residual stinky corners or drawers. The microfiber cloth can be rung almost dry making the wiping that much easier.


Mix up Ingredients via Clean Mama


Where to Start:

  • Mix up 1 teaspoon of dish soap (or my favorite, Dr. Bronner’s Citrus Orange castile soap), 1 teaspoon baking soda, and about 32 ounces of warm water.
  • Start by emptying your refrigerator and freezer. (Work quickly so your food stays cold or frozen.)
  • Wipe down the shelves with a well rung out microfiber cloth or dish cloth. Repeat until all shelves and drawers have been wiped clean. Rinse with a well rung out microfiber or dish cloth.  Dry if necessary.

Stainless Steel Appliances? Check out my favorite cleaning tip!


Want to do more than a quick wipe down of your refrigerator and freezer?  Here’s how to clean the dirtiest parts of your refrigerator and freezer:

1. Ice Dispenser:

The ice dispenser is also a favorite hang-out for yeast and mold. For this one, empty out all the ice and wipe down the interior of the dispenser with mild detergent or dish soap and warm water and follow it up by wiping it down with a clean damp cloth to remove any soap residue.


2. Refrigerator Meat Drawer:

While this is probably not surprising, the meat and cheese drawer in your fridge ranks as one of the germiest places in your kitchen. Remove it, wash with warm water and a mild dish soap and put it back when it’s completely dry. If you can’t remove the drawer, wash with your soapy cloth and wipe clean.


3. Refrigerator Produce Drawers:

To clean your produce drawer, follow the same procedure as cleaning your meat drawer. Remove it from your fridge if possible and wash with warm water and a mild dish soap. To control odors, use a solution of baking soda and warm water: one or two tablespoons soda per quart of water. Rinse thoroughly and let it dry completely before putting it back.


4. Water Dispenser:

The spout on the water dispenser is a great place for mold and yeast to hang out. To clean the spout, you could use a small (clean) scrub brush dipped in vinegar and take care to clean both the interior and exterior of the spout. I use a clean dish cloth dipped in vinegar and wipe the spout first and then rest of the dispenser. After cleaning, run the water for a bit to get rid of any excess vinegar on the spout.


For more cleaning tips and free printables, come visit! And if you like this natural cleaning recipe you’ll LOVE my book, The Organically Clean Home!



Spring Mantle…

Quick and easy SPRING MANTLE 

Has your mantle been taken over by a big screen tv – like mine?   I was given the challenge to come up with a clever way to decorate our “spring time” mantle & Command brand products were the perfect solution.  I am working with Command during 2014, to show you clever ways to use their products.  Continue reading, to learn how you can decorate your mantle for any holiday, using Command products (even with an unsightly flat screen tv).  They are damage free and are easily removable to make room for the next season.


Here is a before shot of my mantle.  It’s in desperate need of some color and style.


A Bowl Full of Lemons Spring Mantle 1


There are only a few simple steps to creating a spring time mantle with Command products.


1.  Gather your supplies.


A Bowl Full of Lemons Spring Mantle 3


2. Decide which damage free Command products you will be using.  For our mantle, I chose the Clear Decorating Clips.  They are small and barely noticeable.


A Bowl Full of Lemons Spring Mantle 4


3.  Prepare your surface. To use Command Decorating Clips, you must wipe the area with isopropyl rubbing alcohol.  This ensures a tight bond with the clips and the surface.


A Bowl Full of Lemons Spring Mantle 5


4.  Apply the Command Decorating Clips according the package instructions.  (Remove blue liner. Press adhesive to clip. Make sure tab is accessible for future removal.  Then remove black liner.  Press clip firmly for 30 seconds & wait one hour before hanging decorations on the clips).


A Bowl Full of Lemons Spring Mantle 6


5.  Now you’re ready to hang the decorations on the clips. Command has different types of hooks for wreaths. If your wreath is heavy, you can use a stronger hook. 


A Bowl Full of Lemons Spring Mantle 9


A Bowl Full of Lemons Spring Mantle 10

6.  Finally, add your spring decorations, to fill in the remaining space on  the mantle.  


A Bowl Full of Lemons Spring Mantle 11


A Bowl Full of Lemons Spring Mantle 12


One more before shot…


A Bowl Full of Lemons Spring Mantle 2


and after shot…


A Bowl Full of Lemons Spring Mantle 13


A Bowl Full of Lemons Spring Mantle 14


Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by Command Brand. All opinions are my own & I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe my readers will enjoy. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.  Please click here for full disclaimer.


One Project at a Time: 4/15/14

Welcome back to our Tuesday link party! I’m excited to have with you join us. If this is your first time, I extend an extra special welcome to you!  Here’s how it works: Today is all about YOU. You’ve invited to link your blog to ours while we feature three link ups from last week. Toni and I each pick our favorite and then we feature one of the link ups that was amongst the most visited blogs from last week.

You’re welcome to share what’s going on in your corner of blogland; recipes and kitchen tips, gardening and green living ideas. DIY projects and home make over projects are always welcomed. The possibilities are endless. We only ask that you grab a button when you link up so your readers will can find out what the party is all about!


Toni’s Pick:


shop whole foods


As one of Toni’s favorite stores to shop, it’s no wonder this tip-filled link up from Stockpiling Moms was her favorite. Whole Foods is a fantastic stores and it’s easy to rack up your bill, but it doesn’t have to be that way thanks to  this favorite link up. You’ll definitely want to check out this post so you too, can get saving!



Rachel’s Pick:




Here’s the deal, I LOVE using what we already have. With Earth day just around the corner, this link up really caught my eye. My family strives to live a conscientious life, being good stewards of our resources and Malia, from Yesterday on Tuesday, won me over with her link up  sharing tips to reuse what you already have. I’m excited to share this with you all and to pass it along to my kids as some fun rainy day craft ideas we can do together.



Top Pick:


busy boxes


This week we extend a ‘well done’ to Crystal from My Blissful Space for her link up on ‘busy boxes’. If you have a child in your life you’ll want to check this POST out. It’s a great system for keeping the little ones busy any day of the week!




And now it’s your turn, so grab a button and link up today!

One Project at a Time Link party - ABFOL


Maximize Your Slow Cooker & (Maybe) Never Cook Again!

Raise your hand if you like coming home to cook dinner from scratch when you’re already tired and starving! (Me neither.) In the unending quest for lazy efficient meal planning (remember meal-ti-tasking?), I’m constantly trying to perfect the art of “at least it’s healthier than McDonald’s” dinner preparation.

These are my demands:

Easy. Fast. Yummy. At least a little bit healthy. Minimal prep & clean-up. Ready to eat when I wake up in the morning & when I sit down for dinner at night. Reasonable, right? ;)

Did I hire a chef? Force my hubby to quit working so he can cook for me full time? Nope. I just figured out a good meal routine with my slow cooker. If things go well, I may never have to cook dinner again!




All you need are a slow cooker, slow cooker liners, and some ridiculously easy recipes. Check it out:

The KEY is in the evening routine. At night, I dump my breakfast stuff in the slow cooker & pull out whatever meat we’ll be eating for dinner. Dump the frozen meat & a marinade in a Ziplock bag & let it marinate overnight. In the morning, eat breakfast, put in a fresh liner, and start dinner. BOOM. (You could even get fancy & have a second crock pot going with side dishes cooking!)


It is my ultimate goal to have a fridge full of Ziplocked bags with various meal prep ingredients so that every day, I can just pop something in the crock pot & come home to a delicious meal :)


When I first shared my plan with the hubs, he was skeptical. He thought that using a crock pot for all of our meals meant that he’d only get to eat soup for dinner. Once he realized that we can make roast beef or taco salad, and that we can wake up to eggs and bacon, he was totally excited. Seriously. Waking up to breakfast & coming home to dinner feels like we’re being spoiled!! (We’ve actually named our slow cooker Jeeves because it’s like having a personal butler/chef)


Here are a few of my favorite meal ideas. I don’t measure anything, but they’re fairly forgiving amounts & will hopefully provide you with a little bit of inspiration!

Breakfast Ideas:

Slow Cooker Peanut Butter & Jelly Oatmeal: old-fashioned or steel-cut oats, water, peanut butter, and either your favorite jelly or a few handfuls of berries


Slow Cooker Egg-a-licious Casserole: eggs or egg whites, veggies (bell peppers, frozen or fresh broccoli), lean canned ham or real bacon bits, black pepper, cheese, & salsa if desired


A few yummy recipes I’ve found online:


Slow Cooker French Toast Casserole

Blueberry Breakfast Quinoa

Dinner Ideas:

I’m sure you can find a million ideas on Pinterest (I know I have a huge collection on my board), so here’s a quick rundown of my favorite stuff: chili, tacos (you can brown ground beef right in your slow cooker), French dip, pulled pork (yummy on sandwiches, tacos, and nachos), shredded chicken, and even baked potatoes! (I love using chili on top of baked sweet potatoes — yum!)


Here’s a really easy recipe for pulled pork (add a little lime & broccoli slaw on a tortilla and you’ve got pork tacos!)


DISCLAIMER: I have read some discussion about whether it’s actually safe to put raw eggs & meat in the slow cooker. It might depend on your slow cooker’s brand, etc. I’ve done both, my whole family has done both, and we’ve all been okay. It’s up to you. If you’re nervous, you can always cook the meat before adding to the crock pot, or make the egg dishes as a regular casserole & bake them in the morning instead of letting them cook all night. Here’s a great food safety article with more info, and another good one from Real Simple.


Slow Cooker + Liner = No cooking & no clean-up! What are your favorite slow cooker recipes? Share your shortcuts in the comments below! Be sure to stop by my blog to find even more tips on how to organize in the kitchen and so much more.

Smart Money Smart Kids…

Are you a parent who has yet to teach your children about money?  Raising kids is scary and teaching them about money can be even scarier.  This concept is forgotten among most families these days.  Our kids are taught the dangers of drugs and alcohol, not to put their fingers in an electrical outlet, & to eat their veggies. But what about how to manage their money?  If the lessons about money are not learned from parents, how are they going to learn them?  I’ll tell you how –  the hard way, by making devastating and lasting mistakes that will haunt them for years to come.  Does this sound familiar to you?  I bet you’ve been down this path once or twice before.  Change your family tree by teaching your children how to manage their money.  Set them up for financial success – in the new book, Smart Money Smart Kids.


Teach your children about money via A Bowl Full of Lemons


#1 New York Times bestselling author Dave Ramsey and his beautiful daughter Rachel Cruze have come together to write a fabulous book called Smart Money Smart Kids.  Within these pages, the pair have outlined the important lessons that need to be taught to our children, before they leave the nest.

  • Working
  • Spending
  • Saving
  • Giving
  • Budgeting
  • Debt
  • Contentment
  • College


My husband and I have been “preaching” to our children about money, since we began Dave Ramseys program 5 years ago.  If you know me well, you know I LOVE Dave Ramsey. He has changed our family tree. After reading this new book, we’ve been given even more tips and learned more ways to guide our kids to become successful with their money.  We believe it’s our responsibility to teach our children right from wrong, including financial decisions.  Kids are never too young to learn, so begin right away.   I believe book has all the tools you need.   It’s up to you to decide whether or not you will use them.



Learn how to teach your children about money with Dave & Rachels new book, Smart Money Smart Kids.  The book is now available for pre-order.  If you pre-order,  you will receive all three options:  the hardcover book, audiobook, and E-book.  You will also receive a video lesson from Dave and Rachel as an immediate download (only for pre-orders).  That’s s over $50 in free extras!!  You don’t want to miss out on this awesome special.


Smart Money Smart Kids via A Bowl Full of Lemons



Twitter:  @RachelCruze and @DaveRamsey

Website: and

Facebook:   Rachel Cruze and Dave Ramsey

Read A Bowl Full of Lemons disclaimer here.

BISSELL Symphony “One Step Challenge”…

Tired of constantly pulling out the broom, dustpan, mop and bucket to clean up messes in your home?    I am too — so I decided to take the BISSELL Symphony™ “All-in-One” Vacuum & Steam Mop One Step Challenge this month (Bissell Homecare, Inc).   I was given the challenge to clean up our family’s messes with the BISSELL Symphony™ “All-in-One” Vacuum & Steam Mop (instead of dragging out all of those cleaning supplies).   Keep reading to see how it works and see my results from the one step challenge.  Im also giving away 2 of these beauties, so scroll away.


A Bowl Full of Lemons Bissell Symphony review 8



Clean a typical PB&J mess the old fashioned way and then clean the same type of mess with the BISSELL Symphony™ “All-in-One” Vacuum & Steam Mop.


A Bowl Full of Lemons Bissell Symphony review 14


A Bowl Full of Lemons Bissell Symphony review 13




A Bowl Full of Lemons Bissell Symphony review 5


The middle of the unit contains the dirt bin (super easy to empty), vacuum filter & the water tank (with easy fill opening).


A Bowl Full of Lemons Bissell Symphony review 2


Below shows the Microban Mop pad & quick release pad tray.  Each unit comes with 2 machine washable mop pads & a measurable water cup.


A Bowl Full of Lemons Bissell Symphony review 4




A Bowl Full of Lemons Bissell Symphony review 7




  • It took a few messes to retrain my brain to grab the BISSELL instead of the usual supplies, but after I got used to it, the BISSELL became my new best friend.
  • The set up only took me a few seconds.  The steam was ready in 30 seconds (nice!).
  • It’s super easy to use and clean up. It was much easier to fill & use, than the typical bucket & mop and even easier then mixing up and adding cleaners to a spray mop.
  • My floors appeared cleaner with this method of cleaning vs. a broom and mop.
  • I saved money because I didn’t need to use cleaners.
  • It’s healthier for my pets.
  • Overall, I’m happy with this product and I highly recommend it to others.


A Bowl Full of Lemons Bissell Symphony review 11



Would you like to take the BISSELL Symphony™ “All-in-One” Vacuum & Steam Mop One Step Challenge?  Enter the giveaway below, for a chance to win one of these fabulous steam vacuums & take the challenge yourself.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


2 winners will each receive one BISSELL Symphony™ “All-in-One” Vacuum & Steam Mop.



Only US resident, ages 18 and over may enter.

Must complete all Rafflecopter reqiurements.

Giveaway begins now and will end on 4/22/14 at noon.



*BISSELL Homecare, Inc sponsored this post & giveaway, however all opinions (& results) are my own & I only recommend products that I personally use and love. Please check with your flooring manufacturer before using the BISSELL Symphony™ “All-in-One” Vacuum & Steam Mop (to make sure you are able to use a steam mop on your floors).  See disclaimer for full details.

One Project at a Time: 4/8/14

With Spring in full swing, you might be finding yourself busier with sports schedules, frazzled at dinner time, fighting to get DIY projects done or tend to your garden. But the fun in it all is getting to share your tips, tricks and advice on how to survive. That’s what today is for! Share your great cleaning tips, quick and easy recipes, inspiring DIY projects and so much more. Each Tuesday we shine the spotlight on all of you as we invite you to link your blogs up while we feature three posts from the previous week. We feature Toni’s pick, my pick and a link up from last week that received some of the most visits because of linking up.

If you don’t have a blog, don’t worry, you can enjoy the fun by checking out all the blogs! It’s like Pinterest, only better (in my opinion!) You’ll find all sorts of great blogs that you might never have without our party. So sit back, and enjoy! (and thanks for joining us today!!)






With Spring sport season in session, many times our eating habits can become unnecessary victims. But, that doesn’t have to happen! With Toni’s pick this week, you’ll be able to grab and go and stay healthy while staying busy. You’ll want to check out what Kara, from The Joy of Boys, has to share about making these colorful, healthy snacks.



Stacked Mail - Close up on Envelopes


Sometimes it just comes down to the basics. Mail, we all have to deal with it and if we don’t it becomes over-whelming. You might have a big problem on your hands with the clutter taking over or a slightly smaller problem with small piles here and there. No matter your situation, you’ll want to check out the great tips from Becky at Your Modern Family, and her post on how to declutter your mail





This week, the congratulations go to Kristin from The O.C.D Life. Her link up with step by step instructions for what you’ll want to keep in your binders was one of the most visited from last weeks party. Be sure to check out her full link and grab your free printables <HERE>.



And now it’s your turn to how us what has been keeping you busy. Don’t wait any longer, link up today!


ABFOL One Project at a Time


Bathroom Closet Organization

Bathroom necessities can pile up and waste much needed space. This week, I am going to show you how to get control of these items in a beautiful, stylish & organized way.  I was given an opportunity to work with Command Brand  during 2014 & I will be showing you different ways that you can use their clever products in your home.  You will see many Command posts here at A Bowl Full of Lemons over the next several months.   Keep reading to see how I used their products to clean up and organize my bathroom closet.


Bathroom Closet Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


I began my organization with the closet door.  Often times, this space is forgotten.  Using 2 Command Large Towel Hooks, I created an organized space to hang our wet towels after each shower.  It’s a functional space and works perfectly for us.


Bathroom Closet Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons  9


I created “His” & “Hers” chalkboard labels so there’s no confusion about which towel is mine.  Hanging the Command Large Towel hooks & making my own labels was super easy and it was done in no time.   Below, I will give you directions on how to replicate this idea.



1. Gather supplies.  You will need paint & a paint brush, chalkboard tags & chalk,  2 Command Large Towel Hooks, and 2 Command Picture Hanging Strips.


Bathroom Closet Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


2. Paint chalkboard tags with desired color.


Bathroom Closet Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


3.  Select your location.  Will you be hanging the towels on the back of the bathroom door or on the closet door?


Bathroom Closet Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


4. According to Command’s instructions, clean surface with isopropyl rubbing alcohol.


Bathroom Closet Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


5. Following Command product instructions, hang Command Large Towel hook on door.  First press red liner to back of hook, then press black liner to door (Hold for 10 seconds). For maximum strength, slide off hook and press firmly for 30 seconds.  Wait for 1 hour before use.


Bathroom Closet Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


The reason why I love Command products so much is because they are ideal for damage-free organizing. They don’t leave any holes or marks if I need to remove them. Also, in the bathroom, they will withstand the humidity that the shower gives.  They are great products.


Bathroom Closet Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


6. Following Command product instructions, attach picture hanging strip to chalkboard tag & secure to door.  First, press the fasteners together until they click.  Then remove one green liner and press on chalkboard tag (press firmly for 30 seconds). Grab tag at bottom and peel off surface.  Press strip for 30 seconds and wait 1 hour before mounting tag again.  Press firmly until it clicks.


Bathroom Closet Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


Bathroom Closet Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


7. Write “His” & Hers” on chalkboard labels (purchased at JoAnnes) & hang towels.


Bathroom Closet Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


Next its time to organize your bathroom products.  I used plastic shoe boxes. You can find them just about anywhere.  Label & organize your products into designated bins.


Bathroom Closet Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


Bathroom Closet Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


Finally, don’t forget about your guests.  Keep a basket tucked away for new towels & wash cloths. Nobody wants to wash with someone else’s dirty wash cloths. (Basket purchased at Target)


Bathroom Closet Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


Bathroom Closet Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


In just a small amount of time, you can create a fabulously organized bathroom closet with Command Products & organizing bins.  I am very happy with the results of this small project.  Happy Organizing!


Bathroom Closet Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


Disclaimer: I was compensated to share my Command review with you. All opinions are my own & I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe my readers will enjoy. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.  Please click here for full disclaimer.

One Project at a Time: 4/1/14

 Have you been spring cleaning? Purging and organizing? How about working on your garden and your homes curb appeal? If so, I invite you to share your hard work with us here today. As we shine the spotlight on all of you during our weekly link party, we take pleasure in featuring three link ups from last week; Toni’s pick, my pick and one of the most visited link ups from last week.

We love seeing your DIY projects, recipes in action, green living tips and everything in between. Just be sure to grab a button before you link up so you can spread the word about this fantastic party!




From the adorable chevron contact paper to dual functioning furniture, this closet office has it all. As Toni’s pick this week, the sisters from Emily Joan Designs showcase how a simple closet can become a fully functional alternative for an office. You’ll want to see how they made it all work by clicking <HERE>






She had me at hello; well, she had me from “organise’ and ‘budget’. Sheriden, from Me and My Ready Made Family, shared a fantastic post that featured two of my favorite things: organizing on a budget by using things around the house and a free printable. I’m all for spending less and making more out of what you already have laying around. You can get inspired, just like me, by clicking <HERE>.






Congratulations to Jessica from 1-2-3 Neat and Tidy on being one of most visited link ups because of her post on shoe organization. If you haven’t had the chance to check it out, you’ll want to click <HERE> and find out what her secret to keeping things neat and tidy is.




I hope these featured links have encouraged you to get up and get organizing! Now it’s your turn to show us what you’ve been working on. Grab a button and link up!

ABFOL One Project at a Time


Month at a Glance: March 2014

Month at a Glance ABFOL "May 2013"
With the completion of another month, we always enjoy looking back at all that has happened here on A Bowl Full of Lemons. This month we’ve been focused on getting out homes cleaned with our Spring cleaning series. If you missed it you can click on the following pictures to see the different posts and get started on your own Spring cleaning.

The ultimate spring cleaning caddy via A Bowl Full of Lemons

With the Ultimate cleaning kit, you’ll be ready to go with all your supplies, recipes and more organized into one neat space.

The ultimate spring cleaning plan by A Bowl Full of Lemons

A cleaning plan makes it super easy to make sure nothing gets missed and you stay focused on the task at hand!


And our contributor made sure to equip you with everything you would need to know for cleaning your mattresses.

With all the cleaning being done, it was great to see have our new book club book revealed along with the announcement of our March discussion.


Signature of all Things


And let me not forget to mention the fantastic post by another one of our contributors offering her solutions for organizing all those snacks to enjoy while cleaning or relaxing with our new book choice.




For your convenience, we gathered all this months posts and put them in one easy to find spot. You can click <HERE> to find all of March’s posts. You can also click on the “Month at a Glance” in the Blog pull down menu and pick your desired month to find all our posts from past months.


Fridge Organization…

A Month of Spring Cleaning hosted by ABFOL


Today is the last day of March & the last post in my spring cleaning series this month.  Spring cleaning isn’t complete without cleaning out the fridge.  Its easy, takes less than an hour and looks fabulous when you are done!  Keep reading to see how I transformed my “spring” fridge.


Fridge Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


The most important thing to do while “spring cleaning” your fridge is to remove all drawers and shelves.  Scrub them clean and replace.  I wash my fridge parts with mild soap and water.


Fridge Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


After I clean out the fridge, I always place Fridge Coasters on the shelves and in the drawers. They are stylish and most importantly, they absorb spills.  I replace mine about every 6 months.  Visit their website to see all of the cute colors to choose from.


logo copy


Fridge Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


Next, I place some organizing bins (purchased from TJ Maxx) in the drawers & on the shelves. I use them to keep the food organized for my kids.  They are great for snacks & school lunches.


Fridge Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


Fridge Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


Fridge Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


Take your fridge organization to a new level by labeling the containers.  I prepackage individual sized snack bags for my kids.  I realized that if I took the extra time to do this, they would go for the “healthy” snacks as opposed to the not so healthy ones.  Try it. It really works!


Fridge Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


Use open containers for fruit and veggies.


Fridge Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


Once you get home from the grocery store, wash your fruits and veggies & cut them up.  Then place them in glass containers.   Meal time will be a breeze.  (The strawberries are washed in a vinegar & water solution, to help them stay fresh longer). Soak strawberries in a large bowl of 1 cup of vinegar & 3 cups of water. Let them soak for a few minutes and then rinse thoroughly.


Fridge Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


Keep your condiments together in one bin.


Fridge Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


Finally, use containers inside of the drawers to keep the different cheeses, etc. organized.  When its time to figure out what you need at the grocery store, it only takes a quick glance in the fridge and you know what you need.


Fridge Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


Fridge Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


Fridge Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


Fridge Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


Fridge Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons


Fridge Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons



Visit A Bowl Full of Lemons post HERE to get your “Ultimate Spring Cleaning Printables Kit”, which include the 8 essential spring cleaning recipes. The kit includes the ultimate spring cleaning plan, a comprehensive spring cleaning checklist, a checklist for the kids, 2 blank checklists for you to customize your own spring cleaning, how to put together the ultimate cleaning caddy, your spring cleaning shopping checklist, notes page, and 8 essential spring cleaning recipes – all for only $8.00. It has everything you need to implement your cleaning routine this season. Missed a spring cleaning post this month?  Visit HERE to see the others.

A Bowl Full of Lemons Spring Cleaning Kit



Sponsor Shout Out: March 2014

Come one, come all and enjoy splurging on yourself or get a head start on Easter gifts, Mother’s day gifts, graduation gifts and so much more. With a variety of venues, you’re bound to find something you truly love amongst our fantastic sponsors! Without their support ABFOL wouldn’t be what it is today and so we set today aside to thank them each for their support. Take a moment, browse their websites and take full advantage of the coupon codes offered by many of them.




organized magazine

 Getting Organized Magazine

All things organized come together in Getting Organized Magazine. You can subscribe for their printed magazine, newsletter subscription, watch videos or even attend events! What more could you ask for. Visit their website today and start Getting Organized.


Website Link: Getting Organized Magazine



 The Honest Company


A dad named Christopher and a mom named Jessica found themselves utterly frustrated trying to find the perfect products for their babies and homes. They both wanted an ideal: not only effective, but unquestionably safe, eco-friendly, beautiful, convenient, and affordable – everyone should have it. They believed every baby deserved the best we can create for them. Christopher and Jessica are dreamers. But, more importantly, they are doers. You know what they say, if you want it done right, you gotta do it yourself. They tried to think of all the qualities they would want in a dream brand – savvy style, sustainability, and extraordinary service & convenience all wrapped in a passion for social goodness, tied with a bow of integrity and sprinkled with a little cheeky fun. They knew it wouldn’t be easy juggling all these demands, but as parents, they were used to multi-tasking.


So, the goal is to relieve you of a few tasks by delivering the best family essentials to your doorstep – to simplify your life and bring more delight to every day. The dream is to re-define the “family brand” and create something – with you – that’s better for all families, everywhere.

To receive $10 off on their first order just click <HERE>




Modern Expressions


“I am the mother of three amazing little girls and making jewelry is my way to relax. I started on Etsy with another shop selling decals, and both my shops seem to be the perfect combination for me. I can get creative and make custom pieces for my customers. I feel so blessed to be able to use my hobbies as a daily activity. I hope you will enjoy wearing the pieces in my shop as much as I enjoyed making them.
This month I am introducing a brand new product: Personalized hand stamped aluminum wallet cards. More durable than a letter, your loved one will carry this light but sturdy insert (the size of a credit card) in their wallet. Perfect for long distance friendships and relationships, to give words of encouragement to a child moving away for college, or to share any message you would like with a person dear to your heart.
So visit my shop and don’t hesitate to contact me with special requests. I love making unique pieces for unique customers!
Coupon code: FROMABFOL for 10% off for all ABFOL customers”




 Morganize With Me


 Morgan is the energetic and motivated, but also realistic girl, behind Morganize with Me. She specializes in Personal Organizing and Personal Training via Virtual Consulting. Her mission is to share tried and true techniques that she hopes will encourage her readers and clients as they focus on their health and homes. She believes in simplifying, prioritizing, and measuring progress one day at a time.




If you are ready to make some positive changes in your life email Morgan – – to schedule your consultation. She offers a 15% discount to all ABFOL readers. Please mention the code LEMONS on your contact form.




Follow along with her as she attempts to control the chaos…Facebook | Twitter | Instagram








The Simplified Life Everything Kit via Clean Mama Printables




Clean Mama is the best place to get homekeeping printables that REALLY work for you AND make your life easier! Clean Mama Printables specializes in original organizational documents designed to take the *WORK* out of organizing your life. WHY choose Clean Mama Printables? All printables are designed by an artist/graphic designer – that’s Becky! Who says homekeeping and organizing can’t be adorable, fun AND easily implemented into your life? Clean Mama has been featured in HGTV magazine,, and Come to the CLEAN MAMA BLOG to meet Becky: She has oodles of FREE printables, including FREE monthly cleaning schedules.


Make sure to check out her latest kits:

   The  Simplified Life Everything Kit

   The Simplified Life Resolution Kit

The Simplified Life Cleaning Kit


  Get Organized with Clean Mama Printables – use the coupon code 10THANKYOU for 10% off! Pre-order your copy of her book, The Organically Clean Home – coming out 4/18/14!









I am passionate about people living within their means and getting out of debt, but I don’t believe a cash system of budgeting has to mean tattered envelopes reinforced with packing tape or a plastic organizer that falls apart! I offer a variety of lovely and durable cash envelope system wallets with the hope that each of my customers can find  product that fits her budget, appeals to her personal taste, and functionally suits her needs. My wallets are designed and handmade by me using laminated cotton which is lightweight, CPSIA compliant, and free of BPA, PVC, and phthalates. It really is possible to live within your means with style!

 APRIL SPECIAL: 10% off purchase with the code ABFOL. (Note: Coupon codes may not be used on the purchase of Carry-It-All wallets. Everything else is fair game. :)

Join me here:

  Shop  Blog

  Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest

       Visit the esty store to see all the cute products!


Origami Owl

 Origami Owl Vintage_125x125 ad copy

With customization at its fullest, Origami Owl is the perfect gift for a mother, sister, friend, self. With just a few easy steps you can create a unique piece of jewelry that truly reflects the personality and story of the one wearing it.







Love the way candles smell but not all the risks that are involved with candles? Scentsy is a safe alternative to traditional wicked candles. Scentsy leaves your room, car, laundry and more smelling great without the risks that go with wicked candles. Scentsy warmers use a low watt light bulb to melt a food grade wax which means there are no toxic chemicals, lead, or soot left in the air. With the low watt bulb, there is no open flame to get burnt on or start fires as well the wax is not hot enough to burn. Kendra has a huge selection of warmers to match your décor and tastes as well as over 80 different fragrances to choose from. She also has bath, body, and laundry items as well as to go items like scent circles and travel tins.


 Make sure to visit Kendra’s website today and place your order!







 Alejandra Costello is a Certified Professional Organizer who shows individuals how to become more organized and productive on a daily basis by setting up systems that work for their own organizing style. Neet to get organized, but just can’t get started? Alejandra’s free video series shows you 3 e-a-s-yyyyy things to do tonight to feel more organized tomorrow morning. How’s that for starting the day off right?! You can sign up to watch the free videos here

  Feeling stuck with clutter & can’t get started? Alejandra’s video series shows you 3 e-a-s-yyyyy things to do tonight to feel more organized tomorrow morning. How’s that for starting the day off right?! You can sign up to watch the free videos here.


   Latest Videos:

 How to Organize Small Things (Part 8 of 9 Home Office Organization Series)

Social media links:
YouTube Channel


 Decals en Folie

Decals En Foile


I offer decals that can be as small as labels to organize your kitchen, and as big as 20 feet to decorate your walls. Trendy and easy-to-apply vinyl decals will help you add your own personal touch to your home decor, at affordable prices. I love custom orders and creating unique items for my customers.My store is divided into several sections: laundry room, kitchen, chalkboard, gym, wall decals, etc. Apply your adhesive decals to a clean and flat surface, and just peel them off when you are ready for something new, and it will be like it was never there. They are perfect if you like to change things around in your house, if you rent or are in military housing where your options to decorate are limited. Everything in my shop can be customized/personalized, color, font and size. So don’t wait and make your house feel like home!



   Make sure to visit her ETSY store and be sure to use her coupon codes:

  IAMBACK for free shipping for returning customers, and

  FROM ABFOL for 10% off for all ABFOL customers




Forever Organised


Shop Banner

For the latest and greatest in printables to help keep you organized, be sure to check out Forever Organised


Facebook  Pinterest


If you would like to become a sponsor and advertise your business on A Bowl Full of Lemons, visit the advertising page here.


A Fabulously Organized Desktop


They say a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, and for me, the same is true for a cluttered computer desktop. I find it really hard to concentrate on the project I am working on when my desktop is a mess and I can’t find the files I am looking for. Today I am going to share a few tips for keeping your computer desktop clear and your files organised.


Create Main Folders


The aim of the game is to clear everything from your desktop. Open up your documents folder and create some new folder categories. I went with 4 folders – Blog, Home, Work and Photos.



We are going to create folders within these, so make them as broad as possible. Try to keep these folders to a bare minimum, 2 – 6 folders is ideal.



Create Sub-Categories


Within each of your main folders, create a folder for each sub-category you need. In our home folder, I have a folder for each family member, important documents, organization, wedding and inspiration.



Some of these folders have another layer of sub-categories within them, others don’t. In my folder I have folders for books, movies, workouts and my day planner.



My daughters has a folder for birthdays, where I keep all the printables and invitations I make for her parties, and a folder for learning which has printouts and tips I have found to help teach her.



Sort, File and Purge


This is the fun part, once you have your folder set up you just need to drop each file into the right folder.



Dump everything onto your desktop, every folder, file, document. Open up your documents folder, make sure you have the trash nearby and start sorting.

Go through each file, one at a time and either sort it into a folder or toss it into the trash.



I promise it isn’t as bad as it sounds however you need to stay focused, it is really easy to get sidetracked looking through old photos or files. If you concentrate on the task, you should be able to get all your files sorted quite quickly.




When organizing photos, there is a couple of different ways you can do it. If you are a Mac user, iPhoto is great for organizing your photos. It takes the date from your camera or phone and sorts them into years, months and days.



If you are not a Mac user or need an alternative system (for backups or on a hard drive), this is the easiest way to sort your photos. Create a folder for each year you have photos for.



Within each folder create another folder for each month of the year. When naming these folders, I always put the year at the end, so I can use my computers search function to search for March without having results for March for the past 10 years.



Within the month folder, the organizing is up to you.

- You could have all your photos together, not separated further. If you take hundreds of photos each month, this is probably not the most efficient way of storing them.


- You could separate your photos by the date they were taken. I find this hard to then remember what photos were taken on which day.

- You could separate your photos by events.



I choose to separate my photos using the last method. I add folders for any events we had during each month, then divide the photos into those folders. Some months we only have one or two events, others (like December) we have lots.



I was finding that I had lots of everyday family photos left over. Sometimes I would only take one or two photos a day so they didn’t really fit into an event folder. I started making a folder for each month called Family Snaps. In this folder, I put all the photos I take of my family everyday.




I have recently started using a great feature built into Mac. In the sidebar of your documents folder, there is an option to add tags.



I renamed the tags and use them to label my folders. I have tags for each family member, blog, home, and work. When you click on one of the tags in the sidebar, it will bring up every file labeled with that color.



This is a really simple way to make searching for files much easier.



Before Pinterest, I was a bit of a hoarder of inspiration on my computer. I had lots and lots of photos, websites and links saved, however I really had no idea where they were or how to find them.



When I created my Pinterest account, I uploaded all that inspiration onto the web. Now it is really easy to find what I am looking for, I can access the photos anywhere and I no longer have an inspiration cluttered computer.


Keeping It Organized


I am often working on multiple projects at a time and was finding it hard to keep my desktop clear while doing lots of different things. I needed a way to sort my files as I create them to make it easy to distribute them into my folders when I was done.



I designed this background to help keep track of all the projects I had going on. On the right hand side, I made 3 boxes – File, Projects and Print.

The File section is for documents that I am finished with and are ready to be filed into their folders. The Projects sections is for files I am currently working on, and am not ready for them to be filed yet. The Print section is for files or documents that I need to print out.

Most days, I will have a quick look and see if I can file or delete anything to keep my desktop as clear as possible.



Today, just for A Bowl Full of Lemons readers, I have this background free for you to download. All you need to do is download it onto your computer, and set it as your desktop background.


I hope these tips help you clear that desktop clutter and hopefully also clear your mind. I would love to hear any other tips or tricks you have for organizing your computer files or for keeping a clear desktop. For more great tips, please visit me at Forever Organised!


One Project at a Time: 3/25/14

Easter projects, spring wreaths, gardening tips and home renovations; Spring is in the air and it’s in our link party! I love seeing the wonderfully colorful crafts, fresh recipes and spectacular ideas for home projects. That’s what today is all about and I invite you all to join us by sharing your latest blog posts and if you don’t have a blog, join in by checking out the link ups! There are so many inspiring ideas, it’s better than pinterest, in my opinion.

Today is the day we turn the spotlight on all of you, featuring mine and Toni’s favorite link ups as well as one of the link ups from last week that received some of the most visits from last weeks party. So if you’re a blogger, join in. If you’re a reader, join in!


Toni and Rachel’s Pick:


Victoria, from ABC Creative Learning, hit the nail on the head with her post sharing a DIY hand sanitizer recipe. Even though we may be on the tail end of cold and flu season, we’re entering into the seasons of being outdoors, at parks, on playgrounds and so much more. Germs can ruin a family vacation faster than anything and that’s why Toni and I both chose her link up as our favorite! Essential oils, DIY, natural… yup, this is one link up. you’ll want to check out.




Top Pick:


Congratulations to Paula from Beauty Through Imperfection, on being one of our link ups with some of the most clicks because of last weeks party! If you haven’t had the chance to check out her post on how to organize small spaces, you’ll want to immediately!




I hope these featured link ups have inspired you to get cleaning, organizing and DOING! It’s your turn to show us what you’ve been working on, so grab a button and link up today.


ABFOL One Project at a Time


Organizing {Adult} Snacks

Today I’m here to chat a little bit about snack time.  It’s one of those things we all learned about in Kindergarten. Sort of like nap time, sharing, being kind, show and tell…well you get the idea.  All of which are still really good things to practice, including snack time!


However, isn’t it true that we can often tend to neglect our own snacking needs? I believe there is a simple way to avoid this dilemma.  It’s all about implementing a P.O.A. (plan of attack).  A preparation for your snack attacks.  (You know the hunger pains you experience when you just need something to eat?)  I mean really, a little planning can go a long way.  Here are my three simple steps that will help you to get out of your snack rut!

Buy Snacks


As you do your weekly grocery shopping, plan to purchase (healthy) snack options for yourself.  Select a variety of things that you will look forward to munching on.  (You might need to hide these from your little ones.)  Be sure to plan ahead by buying enough to get you through until your next shopping trip.


Pack Snacks


Set aside some time each week to pack up your snacks.  Use reusable containers to store and organize your snacks. Get all of the prep work done ahead of time.  That way when your appetite calls you will have a quick answer!


Here are some examples of containers I like to use.  They help me to maintain my motto of reduce and reuse.   And they are also fantastic for keeping the serving size in check!  (Note to self, snacks should not become meals.)




Stash Snacks


The key to having your snacks when you need them, is to have them where you need them.  Stash some in your car, purse, desk drawers, fridge….wherever you will need to have quick access.


Be creative with your snack options and be sure to add variety and interest, and even a little something sweet.  (I love having a square of dark chocolate in the afternoon with some hot tea.)

Whether you are heading to the office, going to park with your kids or planning to run errands all day, it’s better to not be empty-handed in the snack department.  In fact when you choose to eat healthy snacks you can help to boost your metabolism and help to fight the urge to overeat during regular meal time.

Need a few snack ideas?

  • Nuts (all kinds)
  • Dried Fruit
  • Fresh Fruit or Veggies (prepared) – don’t forget to add any necessary dips to enhance your experience!
  • Yogurt or Cheese
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Air-popped Popcorn
  • Healthy Crackers or Chips
  • Granola or Protein Bars

Are you ready to buy, pack and stash?  And tell me, do you have a favorite snack food?


MorganWelcomeMorgan is the energetic and motivated, but also realistic girl, behind Morganize with Me. She specializes in Personal Organizing and Personal Training via Virtual Consulting. Her mission is to share tried and true techniques that she hopes will encourage her readers and clients as they focus on their health and homes. She believes in simplifying, prioritizing, and measuring progress one day at a time.

One Project at a Time: 3/18/14

Spring has sprung and I am so excited to invite you all to share your latest gardening tips, spring cleaning routines, outdoor living solutions, recipes and so much more because today is the day we shine the spotlight on you! With our link party, you all are the stars! We feature three links each week, Toni’s favorite, my favorite and a link up that was among the most visited because of this party. We invite you to join in the fun and if you don’t have a blog, don’t worry; you get to benefit from all the wonderful blogs that join us!


Toni’s Pick:

With muddy shoes, pets, kids, open windows letting dust in, the floors can take a beating. Of course, with Spring comes Spring cleaning and so it’s a pleasure to share Toni’s favorite pick from Organizing Made Fun. With all natural solutions for cleaning your carpets, you’re sure to love this post too!

Cleaning Carpet naturally


Rachel’s Pick:


I am always purging. I LOVE to toss stuff in the donate bin, the sell bin, the TRASH bin. I find it freeing. But, sometimes, I wonder if I take it too far and need to reign in my purging. I love this post by Emily from My Love For Words. She brings decluttering back to the basics with some great questions to ask yourself when deciding what to keep and what to let go.






It’s my pleasure to congratulate A Typical English Home, for her post being amongst the most visited link ups this week. If you haven’t had the chance to check it out, you’ll want to click on over and find out how to create a clutter free home!



Now it’s your turn to share what you’ve been working on lately. Grab a button and link up today!


One Project at a Time Link party - ABFOL


Book Club Selection: April 2014



Over the months, our book club has continued to grow and the books only seem to be more and more enjoyable. It’s such a neat thing to see how horizons expand and interests change as we’re exposed to new ideas, different writing styles or story lines.


We close out Winter with the reading of The In Our Stars by John Green and invite you to join us on Goodreads for our discussion which will take place on March 31st at 8pm EST. If you haven’t yet, we’d love to have you be a part of our Facebook Group where we share book ideas, engage in general discussions and much more!


Spring is officially here and as we enjoy porch sitting, swinging in the hammock or relaxing on a park bench, I invite you to join the book club with our next selection.  This month we’re reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and I’m pleased to announce that our pick for April is, The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert.


Signature of all Things


“Exquisitely researched and told at a galloping pace, this story novel soars across the globe—from London, to Peru, to Philadelphia, to Tahiti, to Amsterdam and beyond. It is written in the bold, questing spirit of that singular time. Alma Whittaker is a witness to history, as well as maker of history herself. She stands on the cusp of the modern, with one foot still in the Enlightened Age, and she is certain to be loved by readers across the world.” (source)


You can purchase your copy of The Signature of all Things <HERE>

Kids and Money: Earning and Managing a Commission



In order to learn to manage money, kids need money to manage. (Yes, I know. I have a keen sense of the obvious.) And the way in which they receive and manage that money should fit as much as possible with grown-up reality since we’re not ultimately training them to be responsible kids, but responsible adults. There’s a whole lot that can be said about kids and money, but today I want to focus on establishing the connection between work and income.

Personally, I’m not a fan of giving an allowance. An allowance is an amount or share allotted or granted. That sounds like a no-strings-attached transaction, which doesn’t really fit with communicating that pay is the result of work. It can create an expectation of  ”You owe me {insert $ amount}” regardless of any effort on the child’s part. (Did anyone else’s mind jump to that 80′s movie Better Off Dead? “I want my two dollars…”)

A commission, on the other hand, is a sum of money that is paid to an employee upon completion of a task, usually selling a certain amount of goods or services. With kids, it’s associated with the completion of assigned jobs around the home or for the family.

It is an earned amount–not a grant. It is also not an assumed amount that a child starts with and then has a little deducted if he doesn’t follow through with responsibilities. If an adult doesn’t show up for work, her boss doesn’t figure she had good intentions and just deduct a little from her wages; she doesn’t get paid at all for that day!



The method you choose to implement for your kids to earn and manage money can be as detailed or as simple as you desire. There are lots of great options in books and all over the internet–both pre-made and DIY–and some may be a better fit for your family than others, but here are what I believe are the most vital steps:



Establish a System


The type of system doesn’t matter as much as simply having one. Your children need to know what you expect, what qualifies as a commission-based chore vs. personal responsibility, how you will pay, etc.

We have four children ages 13 down to 5, and after some experimenting and tweaking over the years, these are some philosophies and established points of our system. I share them not because I believe they’re only way to operate but to help you start thinking through your own family system.

    • Our kids are fairly young, and we pay for their clothing, activities, and most of their entertainment, as it typically involves the entire family. So since they don’t have expenses, we do not pay a commission for tasks we consider matters of self-responsibility (such as picking up/putting away belongings, making their beds, and tossing their dirty clothes into the correct bins) or basic contributions as members of the family (such as unloading the dishwasher, folding laundry, cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, taking out the garbage, and a few general weekly cleaning chores). We view these kinds of tasks as ways that all of us pitch in and work as a team to keep our home a pleasant place to live. The older two (13 and 11) do a lot of the jobs listed above since they’re more capable. The younger two (7 and 5) help out in other ways such as putting away clean silverware, setting the table, wiping down the front of the dishwasher and oven doors, replenishing toilet paper in the bathrooms, changing out hand towels, and folding their own clean clothes. As our kids get older, they are assigned tasks that take a little longer and require more care. When they eventually have part-time jobs, their required contribution at home may change and even decrease in some areas, but their responsibility for personal expenses will increase.


    • We give a commission for tasks and projects that are outside of the regular daily & weekly responsibilities. For our two youngest, that might mean gathering up small sticks in the yard, cleaning the insides of windows, or organizing toy bins in the basement. Our older boys get paid for jobs such as mowing the lawn, picking up pine cones, shoveling snow, and helping with our business. Some of these paid tasks are required and performed on a set basis. Others are project-based. I always try to keep a small arsenal of commission options I can assign when a child comes to me and asks “Is there something I can do to earn money?” I like to answer yes to this, because I want to encourage that kind of initiative.


  • The amount we pay is generally based on a combination of the child’s age and the time & effort involved in the task. For example, I’ll pay my five-year-old a quarter to clean windows, and he’ll do the four tall window panes in the living room up as far as he can reach while standing on the couch and will probably miss quite a few spots. But I’ll pay my 11-year-old a dollar, have him use a small stool so that he can reach to the top, and ask him to fix obvious spots he missed. They’re both giving their best effort, but my older son is doing a more thorough job, and a dollar in his economy is about the same as a quarter in his little brother’s.



Be Consistent


This is probably the hardest one, especially since it requires having cash and change in the correct denominations. But just as an employee expects to get paid regularly and according to an agreement, our kids should be able to count on us to follow through on our end of the system.

Since I like to give commission to our little ones right away so that they can see the connection between work and pay, I keep quarters on hand for this purpose. For our older two, sometimes they get paid right away, and other times it’s on the weekend. As they get older, it’s a good idea to move kids toward a periodic pay system since that’s what they’ll experience as adults.


Allocate and Track Income & Expenditures


Are you saying that kids should budget, too? Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying! If they don’t have a plan, they’ll just spend their earnings willy-nilly. (Hmm, that sounds kind of like us adults!) It will be much more difficult for them to tell their money where to go as grown-ups if they don’t start as when they’re young.

It doesn’t have to be complicated, especially with younger kids. At this point, teach them to allocate their money to three areas: giving, saving, and spending. You can call them something different or even divide saving into short-term and long-term, but these are the most fundamental areas. Sit down as a family and decide on a percentage for each, and just as you give, save, and spend according to your monthly budget, teach your children to do the same with theirs. When they’re teenagers with part-time jobs and have expenses for which they are responsible (clothing, gas, entertainment, etc.), you can assist them in moving toward a more detailed spending plan. Guide your children at any age to set goals for each category so that they’re intentional about where their money is going.

I enjoy discussions about helping kids make the connection between work and money and modeling/teaching healthy financial habits. I would love to dialogue about this in the comments! And if you’re looking for more on budgeting, stop on by my blog, A Time for Everything.