GREEN CLEANING 101
Creating Priority Areas
What areas in your house have the most traffic? It’s typically the kitchen and the bathroom. Believe it or not these are the most neglected areas in many homes. It’s easier to just leave dishes in the sink. After all most homes have double sinks in the kitchen. More room to store unwashed dishes. Our bathroom is the hub of all things worn in recent days that haven’t been hung up or placed in the dirty laundry basket. How many of us still have clothes aimed for the dry cleaner still hanging around?
I’ve designated my kitchen and bathroom as zones 1 and 2 for cleaning. These are priorities and I give them attention each and every day. Here’s my logic. If I spend an extra five minutes each day with spraying my homemade shower cleaner in my shower and my do-it yourself counter cleaner in the kitchen, then these areas are pretty much cleaned and not a source of panic is any uninvited guest knock on the door. At the end of each day, I literally spend five minutes at the end of each day putting things away. I can’t begin to tell you how this simple step has kept my home clutter free.
Setting Up Cleaning Schedules
I have a regular day of cleaning. For me it’s Friday. Friday’s are my days I work from home or travel. For the Friday’s that I am in town, I wake up early to clean, declutter and organize the entire house. It’s something that makes me feel great. Having a scheduled day for cleaning ensures that your home will maintain some semblance of organization and cleanliness.
I arrange all the cleaning supplies that I am going to need in a basket. If there are heavy duty areas such as the guest bathroom (my husband uses) (don’t judge it keeps us married) I spray the toilets, showers and tubs first and let solutions sit. I mostly hand wash dishes, but I would suggest if you use a dishwasher start the dishwasher. I throw in a load of clothes and I wipe down the appliances and throw out old or expired food. I use vinegar ,water , lemon and rosemary for my fridge and counter top cleaning. All clean dishes are put up and stowed. I wipe down my cabinets and I look for foods that I purchased on a whim and haven’t eaten and throw them out. I look for any outdated canned goods and throw them out.
I proceed to living room and den and I refresh and fold throws that we’ve used for the week while watching television. I may spritz them with a solution of water, essential oils and alcohol to give the room balance. I dust with a simple solution of pure lemon, water and a little Dawn detergent. This brings out the wood without adding the harmful chemicals of most furniture polish. I follow these steps into each bedroom until each room is cleaned.
Next, I assemble all the trash in a central location from each room. I then clean the mirrors any glass with a basic solution of water, vinegar, and my essential oil of choice. I follow that with vacuuming/sweeping the floors. When they are free of debris I mop them. If you ever want your entire house to smell like five maids have been in your home use water, vinegar and essential oils of lemon, orange and basil to a 1 gallon bucket and mop the entire house. It smells amazing and cuts grease, grime or dirt from the floor.
Finally, I finish in the bathroom. Because dirt, oil and dead skin lives in the shower or tub, this is an area that needs concentration. By the time, I get to the bathroom my spray solution has been doing its job. I boil a pot of hot water and add 3 tblsp of Borax. For any rings around the tub or hard water stains, I go to work with my borax mixture. Borax is all natural and I use it for many of my homemade cleaning solutions. It’s part of my staple ingredients that I think no home should be without.
I am a fan of Alejandro Castello, if you haven’t seen her please check her out on Youtube, she takes organization to another planet! I don’t aspire to have such organization in my life, but I think there is a happy medium. She is the queen of organization and I stalk her (used to), but she is a great expert to help you create management systems for your cleaning and organization. Also, below is a great resource for cleaning and decluttering your home.