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In the minds of most, cleaning and organizing are two activities that go together. We think of a messy place and we imagine it both disorganized and dirty.
For this reason, organizers get asked over and over if we clean, too. When asked this question, I politely smile and say, “Well, I clean my house, of course!”
So, I’ll share with you some cleaning secrets now.
I do have to say that most Organizers, myself included, refuse to place items neatly organized in dirty spaces. Therefore, we do our best to clean some or engage the client in doing the cleaning, so the project ends at its best.
And I have no problem asking the client to please postpone any special cleaning project until the home is organized – for best results on the cleaning.
But here’s an irony that I can’t ignore. Some homes feel very cluttered and they are also dirty, when it is precisely the many (unused) cleaning stuff that occupies so much cabinet space. That leaves no space in the cabinet to store what should be in them. Instead, people complaint about not having storage space and have all over the house and on counters what should be inside their cabinets. (huh?)
Some just love an over-complicated life and spaces. But life should be easier and our homes simpler, so we can rest and enjoy the space.
So Many (Unused) Products!
As an Organizer, I admit I am impressed by the number of cleaning products I find in every household, especially those that need the most cleaning. There is often a plethora of products for every purpose imaginable, as well as multiples of the same products and cleaning tools.
So, let’s start simplifying the cleaning process by letting go of all those extra-specialized products and tools we would never use. Keeping it simple usually translate into less storage space taken up by all those products we don’t even recognize.
The key to simplifying the cleaning process is to use a minimum of multi-purpose products and multi-task tools. These should be simple and occupy minimal space. These should also be easy to maintain and clean to avoid additional work. We can’t expect to clean effectively using dirty tools, can we?
I usually suggest my clients a handful of multipurpose products and tools that accomplish many cleaning jobs and eliminate most of the extra work.
Let me also mention that cleaning products should preferably live in the laundry room. Those products associated with the kitchen, should be stored under the sink. There might be some heavy-duty products you need to keep to clean stuff outside the home like the car, equipment of some sort, boat, etc. Those should have a place in the garage.
What You Need
Don’t overcomplicate your life and save space in your cabinets and laundry area. Let’s eliminate all those unnecessary products and tools we never use and will never need. Then, let’s get some simple, clean, new equipment and products that get the job easily done.
The cleaning products and tools suggested here take into consideration the environment, are cost-effective, and get the job well done with a minimum of effort.
You can also research natural alternatives to chemicals currently used, especially with the recipes created with Young Living essential oils, baking soda, and vinegar.
Superior Mini Mop System – Forget the broom, dustpan, mop, pail, and cleaner altogether. This mopping system from Norwex accomplishes it all. The handle is adjustable and very comfortable to use.
Swiffer Dusters 360 Extended Handle (long handle kit plus refills)
Scotch-Brite Multi-Purpose Scrub Sponge – These are the best sponges, even for manually doing the dishes.
Gloves – Protect your hands ensuring adequate mobility and comfort.
Arm & Hammer Clean Shower Daily Shower Cleaner (1 bottle per shower or tub) – this product is truly a miracle. This is the only cleaning product you should keep in your bathroom, specifically in the shower caddy. To maintain the spa allure we always want in the bathroom, you might want want to transfer this product into a transparent or translucent un-branded spray bottle.
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Sponges (tough stains, marks on walls, even cleaning the tub w/o bleach)
- Use them to dry off cleaned areas
- Use with the multi-purpose cleaner
- Use with the mop system as alternative to the sponge
Clorox toilet wand kit (one per toilet) – Best invention ever. The kit lives in the bathroom, by the toilet. It looks great. The sponge is single-use, disposable. The sponge contains the cleaning agent. No need to deal with toilet brush or specific toilet cleaners. No need to handle the used sponge either- eject in the trash. Do not flush the sponge.
Window Cloth, BacLock® – Amethyst with Graphite trim – A couple years ago I came in contact with this product from Norwex, and what a game changer it was! This cloth really removes 99% of bacteria from surfaces with only water and what it does for glass, mirrors and even stainless steel is formidable. No need to use any cleaner, sprays, foams, creams or anything else – just water. The way it cleans surfaces, even removing fingerprints without leaving water marks will amaze you. I would buy about three or four of these cloths. Just know it should not be washed with fabric softener.
7-10 Gallon Clear Garbage Can Liners– Trash bags in sizes according to trashcans in the home (very important to always line your trashcans. To avoid ruining the look a nice-looking trashcan, use transparent bags. Pro tip: knot the rim of the bag to make it fit the border of the trashcan. Hide the excess bag between the trashcan rim and the bag rim.
OXO Good Grips Toilet Plunger with Holder – Most homes have the unsightly toilet plunger permanently living next to the toilet. And the usual plunger found in most homes is appropriate for the sink but not for the toilet. Toilet plungers should be of a different shape to exerts the right amount of suction for the toilet plumbing. Here’s a plunger that’s up to the challenge and can live next to the toilet because it has a cover that automatically closes when the plunger is placed on its base. There is no need to look at the plunger anymore.
If you have dogs/cats, you will want these two things:
Lint Remover – This little thing looks inoffensive but it will destroy your clothes if you attempt to remove hair and lint from them with this item. However, I have never found something more effective to remove hair and fuzz from fabric furniture, carpet corners and carpet- covered stairs. Use it to remove hair, lint and fuzz from those places and vacuum it all with the fantastic tool described next.
Shark WS642 WANDVAC System Pet 3-in-1 Ultra-Lightweight Powerful Cordless Stick & Handheld Vacuum – this item has me hooked on vacuuming! I vacuum every single day. It is so easy to manage, so powerful and easy to clean! You need to try it. It’s versatile too.
But You Also Need A Method!
- Assign a day to wash towels and bedsheets. A good idea to simplify your life is to have only one complete set of towels per person per bathroom and one set of sheets per bed that complement the décor. On laundry day, wash, dry, and place them back in use. No need for storage space. No need to fold.
- Wash bathroom rugs at least once a month.
- Assign a day for each household person to do their laundry (from start to finish on that day). That way, family members take turns, and no clothing awaits washing.
- Accumulate all dirty dishes and utensils inside the dishwasher. At night, run the dishwasher. Empty the dishwasher and put everything away first thing in the morning (or before bed). There is no need to keep that dish mat or the piles of dirty dishes on the counter day after day.
- If you have dogs or cats, it’s a good idea to vacuum at least once every other day. With the cordless vacuum, this is therapy (at least for me).
- Keeping disinfecting wipes in the kitchen and bathroom makes it easy to wipe off surfaces as often as needed.
- At least once a week, clean the inside of toilets with the toilet wand and the outside with the Clorox wipes. Clean all surfaces with wipes and clean the mirrors with Windex.
- Keeping a bottle of Clean Shower in your shower or tub helps you use this product daily. When you do this, this product virtually eliminates the need to clean the shower! You’ll probably want to scrub the tiles and all other areas once a month with Ajax or a Mr. Clean Eraser sponge.
- Dust all that you can see with the duster. Working with this product is so easy that you’ll get in the dusting mood quite fast. When finished, trash the duster. It’s that simple.
- Clean from top to bottom and from left to right to track the progress. It’s essential to have an efficient methodology. As dirt falls on the floor, you should to leave the floor for last.
- Finally, use your vacuum all over! Go over the floor with the dry Swiffer if desired, and finally, use the wet Swiffer to clean the floors. Alternatively, use a microfiber rag instead of the Swiffer wet cloths.
- Remember to dress the beds, re-place bathroom towels, and change all trashcan liners at the end.
- Get a glass of wine and take a bubble bath in your clean tub!
All this is exponentially easier if your house is uncluttered and organized to start with. And if it’s not, let’s start with that.
Then you’ll see how easy it is to maintain your home clean.