You know you have a problem when your cleaning supplies closet is so cluttered with bottles and sprays, you can't even find the stuff in which you need to clean your house! With so many different cleaning products on the market, each promising to make life easier and more efficient, I find myself impulsively stocking up on the same kinds of stuff over and over again. All it takes are a few cleaning basics to cover all your house cleaning bases. So if your'e ready to get down to the nitty gritty of it, here are your must-haves!
- Windex is a no-brainer. Every house has windows and Windex is the best for cleaning glass without streaking. Plus, it works great on other surfaces in your home, such as stainless steel, mirrors, chrome and tile (save $1.00 on SC Johnson Windex and other cleaners).
- Clorox Clean-Up is your go-to germ killer. It not only cleans but is also disinfects. Use it in your bathroom to kill mildew and in your kitchen to kill germs that cause odors.
- Murphy's Oil Soap is still the best for cleaning wood surfaces. Use it on windowsills, stair bannisters, hardwood floors and even furniture with painted surfaces. Look for the spray version for easy cleaning without the need to dilute (save $0.55 on Brawny paper towels).
- Swiffer Sweeper works better than a boom. It comes with disposable pads for easy clean-up and a swivel head that makes getting into tight corners a cinch. There's also a mop model for getting off sticky grime from hardwood floors.
- Fuzzy Wuzzy Microfiber Mitt may look an a alien creature your kids watch on Sunday morning cartoons, but it really works! Throw it on your hand and run it over every surface to remove dust. The thick chenille side is ideal for tackling fan blades while the blue side is great for wiping down electronics.
- Lysol Toilet Bowl is a powerful cleaner that can dissolve mineral deposits and rust stains while it disinfects and kills bathroom germs. For a fresh start, try it with a toilet wands that comes with flushable wipes.
- The Works Tub and Shower Cleaner is the easiest way to clean your bathroom. No need for scrubbing, just spray and wipe away tough soap scum and mineral buildup.
- Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is my absolute favorite tool of all. These amazing sponges can remove just about everything from crayon marks on the walls to gunk on the stove top. Plus, they work without the need for additional cleaners.
The sun is shining, school's almost out and the clutter and cobwebs you've ignored all year long are still nagging to be addressed. Summer is right around the corner and that spring cleaning you promised your home at the first sight of sunshine has yet to happen. If you're feeling frantic about letting spring slip away without thoroughly cleaning everything in sight, don't fret. Put down the mop and wipe that defeated look off your face. I have some reasons why you shouldn't partake in the annual tradition known as spring cleaning.
- Spring cleaning originated when homes were heated with wood or coal furnaces. Over the winter, soot and ash would build up on the walls. Spring marked the end of heating season, when the entire house required a deep cleaning and airing out. Today, central air furnaces prevent build-up of soot, making the notion of "spring cleaning" virtually obsolete.
- Today's modern working mom manages to juggle just about everything, including work, family, kids, errands, scheduling, cooking and cleaning. She can't afford to let things slip to the wayside because, frankly, there's simply no time to play catch up! Unless you can afford to dedicate an entire week to spring cleaning, it's all about maintaining your home throughout the year, rather than becoming overwhelmed with a the gigantic task at the beginning of every spring.
- Windows, floors, carpets and counter tops, if washed on a regular basis, won't develop the scale build-up which requires special treatment and much more elbow grease to get back to good-as-new condition.
If you were born with supernatural cleaning abilities and cleaned your entire house from top to bottom the second spring rolled in, more power to you! There is nothing wrong with a good spring cleaning. But if you're using the once-a-year event as a way to escape the daily upkeep of your home, then you might want to reconsider your approach to housekeeping. If you're like me, and you tend to let things build up until they become too overwhelming to finish (procrastination in a nutshell), then writing down a chores list will help keep that beginning-of-spring cleaning chaos at bay. Break down your home cleaning into small, manageable tasks and keep your home stocked with all of the necessary cleaning supplies (FamilyCouponNetwork is stock-full of household coupons at this very moment!
) so you will be able to welcome the season of sunshine without the need for a huge cleaning overhaul.