Wednesday, February 3, 2010

housekeeping 101

last year one of my new year's resolutions was to clean out our house room by room, leaving no nook or crannie didn't happen (shocking, i know)...instead i cleaned out the great aunt's house, haha...BUT i vow that this year it's MY turn! the house will get cleaned out and i'm giving myself one entire year to accomplish the task.

sooooooooooo, in january we started in the master bedroom/bath/closets and i finished up on sunday just in the nick of time (i'm allotting one month per 'room')...

what occurs in each room? a thorough decluttering: everything gets pulled out of drawers, etc. and if i don't need it or love it, it is going to charity or the trash. once that's done the cleaning starts: top to bottom, ceiling to floor, all surfaces are dusted, washed, vacuumed, etc. and even though it's hard work, the fact that i'm giving myself loads of time to finish makes the task that less daunting.

the master bathroom was the biggest change so far. i tossed out all unused beauty products, donated all the travel size things i hoard from hotels (after all, i don't need that shampoo anymore do i?), got rid of a glass eterge that just took up space in a corner, and that the bathroom is all sparse and sparkly i am finding it easier to keep it that way...i wipe down the vanity constantly and sweep the floor daily (although with my new hair regime i'm noticing way fewer hairs falling out...hmmm) and shine the mirror.

and in keeping with my desire to use more environmentally safe cleaning products i've pared down to just a few basics that will clean near about anything:

  • white vinegar mixed with water and a few drops of tea tree oil (acts as an antibacterial/antifungal agent) in a spray bottle cleans the tile shower, ceramic tub and tile floors in the bathroom
  • vinegar will also clean the toilet (straight, not mixed with water)...but currently i'm using up all my leftover shampoo to clean the toilets ;-)
  • dr. bronner's magic soap is a liquid castile soap (i got mine at trader joes and they only have the peppermint scent, but whole foods carries about 6 scents) that i clean most anything with. it's super concentrated so i fill a bucket with warm water and add a TINY squirt of the soap (the bottle is going to last me forever!) and then wash baseboards, wood floors, kitchen counter, anything really...there are a million uses for this stuff: some people use it as a shower gel, shampoo and even brush their teeth with it!
  • bon ami - my mom used this when i was a kid and i've just rediscovered it! it's environmentally safe and will clean soap scum out of your tub or sink in a skinny minute! i also used it on the bathroom tile floor to help get up the last of the sticky hairspray (good riddance!) residue. if you've never tried bon ami, you do not know what you are missing!
  • in lieu of bon ami you can use pure baking soda! it's great for scouring out a porcelain sink and i would imagine it would work great to scrub out the toilet too.
  • my hairdresser (boy, aren't you wondering what he said last week when i told him i'd stopped using shampoo??) said that vinegar shines windows and doesn't leave streaks...i've still got gobs of regular window cleaner so it will be awhile before i try this.
  • he also said baking soda will get burned on food off of the stove top
  • LOTS.of.rags
  • that's my entire cleaning product regime!
the best thing about these products: no chemical harsh fumes to breath in...just clean all natural scents...

i've now moved on to the upper hall, linen closet, laundry closet and guest bath for february...i got a lot done on monday cause we were SNOWED in! yep, all the kiddies in the county were out of school again today due to our weekend blizzard ;-) of that tomorrow...



Swampgirl said...

Oh the horrors that I have found in the cleaning of the attic! And I only committed to one half of it in January! I still have a small pile to put in a plastic bin before I put it back. No more cardboard boxes go into the attic! For February I need to purge the sewing/craft room!

Sandy said...

Wow, you are so good!! I love your tips...every month please share all this with us!

Emily said...

I wish I had your motivation! Our house is a disaster, thanks to tornado Lincoln. HA!

I giggled when you said you used the left over shampoo for your toilets... I bet they smell good now. LOL!

Pam said...

I really need to give LOTS of things from our Master a toss too. I use to be so organized years ago and I just don't know what has happened to me. I just feel like I am constantly picking stuff up and putting it away.

I've never tried bon ami..I'll have to give it a try. I fight with soap scrum on our walk-in shower stall and I'd like to finally win.