Favorite Cleaning Tips & Products

As someone who works full time (and usually more-than-full-time), while also trying to balance being a mother, and wife – I struggle to have large blocks of time to focus on cleaning our home. I know there are plenty of others out there struggling with the same dilemma, so I thought it might be helpful to share the top 5 tips that have helped me in the last year:

  1. Declutter – During December & January 2020, I went on a decluttering rampage. I made a list of every part of our home – every cabinet, every closet, every room, every drawer, etc. I spent days upon days going through everything we owned and getting rid of anything we truly didn’t need. It was incredible how much non-sense we had collected over the years, and piling it up really put things in perspective. Since then, I try to be really mindful anytime we are out and about not to purchase something I don’t actually want to end up storing in our home. Decluttering was a great feeling & has made it so much easier to keep things tidy and organized.
  2. Spend 5 min cleaning – I used to be the kind of person who thought things like “man, I really need to clean out the office but that’s going to take at least two hours and I don’t have two hours so it will have to wait”. This just morphed into a vicious cycle where things just never actually got done. I learned I can usually give 5 min here and there throughout the day, whether it is why you are waiting for something to defrost, or maybe you finished something else and you have 5 min left before you need to go somewhere. I have learned to take advantage of those 5 mins and clean whatever I can. It sounds so silly but it has made a big difference.
  3. Time yourself doing tasks you hate – We all have chores we hate to do. We have those things on our to-do lists we just dread. For me, it was dishes and putting away the laundry. So, I decided to start timing myself every time I did those tasks. I quickly realized how ridiculous I had been. I was making it out to be this huge thing in my head, and realized these things were really only took me 10-15 min. Sometimes, a reality check is necessary.
  4. The delay feature on the washing machine – I had the delay feature on the washing machine for years and had never actually used it until one day, my friend was talking about it while we were at lunch. Once I started using it, I was hooked. I will never buy a washing machine without it again. I can load the washing machine the night before, set the delay feature for when I know I will be coming home the next day so it will automatically start. So simple, but totally keeps me motivated to keep the laundry going. Some people like to set it up to start an hour before they will get home so they can just switch to the dryer when they get home. I personally am paranoid about the washing machine or the dryer running while we are not at home so I don’t use it that way, but you totally could!
  5. Lint trash can – We have actually had this for years but I still swear by it! We took one of those mini trash cans intended for cabinets, and we hung it on the wall in our laundry room. Every time we clean out the lint from the dryer, we put in the mini trash can. This allows us to not need to keep a trash can taking up space on the floor, but also is convenient since our laundry room really isn’t nearby another trash area. Truth be told, I tried to use vinyl stickers to write “Lint” on the trash can with a pretty design, and I completely butchered the design haha.

Here’s a place you can buy the trash can & here’s an Etsy shop that sells the Lint stickers (but it would be super simple to make if you have a cricuit or silhouette). Here’s someone else’s example of how you could decorate one!

Aside from standard cleaning products we use, I also wanted to share 5 of my favorite cleaning products that make my life a little bit easier –

  1. Drywall sanding screen – Okay, this might sound crazy but hear me out. When I bought my first home, it was a mobile home. The people who had lived in prior had definitely let things go. The toilets were pretty nasty but I was on a limited budget and replacing things like that just weren’t in the cards. My dad told me about using a drywall sanding screen to clean the toilets. I went to Ace Hardware and found out, this was actually a common trick! It’s been 11 years & I still swear by it. It makes it so easy to get nasty stuff stuck on the toilets – off – and quick too! (While I was looking for a link to share, I noticed several comments of people who also use this to clean their toilets!)
  2. Bathroom wipes – During January 2021, I was still having a hard time getting ahold of disinfectant wipes. They were still basically liquid gold I guess. I found these wipes on Amazon, and although I am not convinced the price was great ($50 for 16 packs of 42 wipes), I do actually really like them. We keep them in my son’s bathroom (also our guest bathroom) and they have proven to be useful and last forever. We still have plenty of packs left and have had them for almost six months.
  3. A cordless vacuum – My mother-in-law bought us a Dyson a few years ago and it has been AMAZING! I absolutely love it. It works so well and is so lightweight. The downfall is that because it is cordless, you cannot vacuum the whole house at once without having to stop to let it charge. Other than that, it is truly great. So handy for small clean-ups, and works great on both carpet and tile. We are able to keep it mounted to our kitchen wall which makes it so handy since it isn’t bulky & heavy like most vacuum cleaners.
  4. Microfiber cloth – My husband uses microfiber cloths for work ALL THE TIME. I think they work great to dust (another chore I hate) and work so well. I hate feather dusters so when I found microfiber cloths – and better yet, the mitts – they were a game-changer.
  5. Norwex window cloth – My friend introduced me to the Norwex world last year. Cleaning out backdoor windows has always been a nightmare. I have tried everything – the coffee filter ideas, different types of window cleaners, etc. It’s always difficult to get a streak-free look. However, the problem has been solved with the Norwex window cloth. Easy to use, streak-free, and easy to clean. Plus, it’s reusable so you don’t have to waste a ton of paper towels, etc.

I hope you found some of these tips and products useful. If you have a product or tip that has worked well for you, I’d love to hear about it! Please drop a comment below 🙂

Just for laughs, here’s a photo of me from October 2010 when I moved into my home and was getting ready to start my bathroom cleaning rampage 😉

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