Do you have a favorite room in the house? How about just a favorite spot? One where the sun comes in and warms your face, or when you open the window, the breeze hits you just right. Doing one of the wifely duties that wouldn’t be described as glamorous today, ironing shirts for the lovely man in my life. Luckily the ironing board was set up on the second level over looking a most spectacular view (See Miss Corrigan blog post: Spot the Para Gliders). It made me thankful for these moments when we have to slow down and do the tasks that could easily be viewed as cumbersome, but bring relief instead. When I am washing dishes, I revisit this thought as I overlook the birds that visit the feeder right outside the window.
Unfortunately many household tasks offer a less picturesque experience. Take for instance, eliminating the hair of the drains of the tub, or scrubbing the toilets, or cleaning the filter of the vacuum cleaner, or sanitizing the garbage cans…the list goes on. So what solace do we find swirling the toilet brush, where is our lovely view to make this an om moment? Well, its there, but its up to you to find it.
I remember accompanying my best friend in first grade on her after school chores. One of them was cleaning the toilet, and she said that it was her favorite chore because she could pretend it was a witch’s cauldron and she could mix her spells. As adults, this might not work for us, but the idea is the same.
There is nothing like a clean house, sparkling windows to let the sun in, an organized toiletries closet so you can reach your oils and perfumes with ease…Trust me, I’m not a neat freak by any means, but we all have a responsibility to keep our houses clean.
The members of the household, even if they seem not to notice, will be more likely to feel motivated to pursue their goals and they will likely be in better moods. You will be too and if you come at it every day, it will get easier and easier.
My sisters and I are notorious for making a giant mess that requires a giant clean. We used to average 1.5 day of organized harmony before it went back to chaos. Just this one time, we will think, and then we will keep up with cleaning forever. It hasn’t worked yet, but I can tell you its gotten better, and with practice I have begun to actually keep up a household that currently houses three men and me.
Here are some tips I have learned so far:
TIP 1: Vinegar is an important tool in your toolbox. While I leave it out of my hair (An original Miss Corrigan recipe), surface stains have a hard battle against this powerful, nose scrunching product
TIP 2: You really can clear out your drains for almost no money at all using this product .
TIP 3: Don’t worry about organizing your products by theme, the alphabet, etc, just designate one area for each category and make sure you can access everything easily.
TIP 4: Use squeezed halves of lemon and limes dipped in baking soda to scrub sinks, tiles, and tubs.
- Use them as air fresheners (put the skins in a plastic food container and poke holes on the top)
- Add soap and essential oils to lemons/limes to make an all purpose cleaner
TIP 5: Prioritize which area you will do first. Start with the most common area in the house and move to the least common, for example start in the living rooms and end in the bedrooms. For the creative woman, this might be hard for you as you like to dart from area to area, as you see little problems that can be solved. But stay focused on one thing at a time, and you will be surprised how fast you can move through the house.
TIP 6: Make sure you have all the right cleaning tools, so you can just grab what you need without thinking about it, and follow a plan as you clean one room at a time
Let’s see this in action:
The Plan: Clean your Bathroom!
- Water canister (used traditionally for watering plants)
- Sponge or brush
- Toilet brush
- A cleaning product, like Bleach or Ammonia (NOT BOTH), but don’t make it complicated like the commercials might have you believe
- Lime/rust remover (if needed)
- Vinegar in a spray bottle and newspaper
- 2 Towels (Used only for house cleaning)
1. Remove all objects from the room (This is easier if you keep nothing to very little on your countertops at all times)
2. Dust off the countertops and sweep the hair and stuff into your garbage can (Use one of your towels to get clingy, stubborn hair.)
3. Drop your cleaning product into the sink, toilet, and tub (let it soak for a few minutes)
4. Clean your mirrors using vinegar and wipe down with newspaper
5. Scub the countertops/surfaces
6. Scrub each of the places you have applied product, reserving the toilet cleaning to one tool that is not shared on any other surface
7. Use the water canister to rinse your basins (sink, tub, toilet)
8. Mop the floor
9. Wipe the surfaces/floor with your other dry towel
10. Throw away your garbage and put the tools away!
Follow this step by step guide and you will finish in no time. It takes more concentration than you think, but the more you focus, the faster you will get it done. A fresh bathroom is a must have, no exceptions. So keep it simple, and get it done on the regular.
Remember, lastly that a little bit goes a long way. Dainty as a ballerina, feather dust the room, run the vacuum a couple of laps, and fluff the pillows. If you are keeping up with your chores, that’s all it will take to create a whole new room, where its inhabitants and visitors can walk into after a long day fighting the masses, and breathe a sigh of relief, ahhhhhhhhhhhhh.