So what is a “clean house?” For some it is a house that is “neat as a pin” and has a kitchen you could possibly “eat off the floor.” For most of us it is a kitchen with a few fallen crushed cheerios that somehow made their way under the kitchen rug or a dust bunny or two in the corner behind the doors; I believe this shows that people actually “live” here. Last year I followed through with one of my “new year” resolutions; I was going to clean my house when “spring” came. You know “spring cleaning?” I decided this was the year to pick up all of the rugs and clean the wood floors, take off the screens and clean the windows, wash all of the dust ruffles, move the furniture and see what was growing back there and find missing game pieces etc. I think you get the picture.I was excited to tackle the job. I got in my cleaning attire, of old over sized polo t-shirt and leggings, turned up the stereo and started at one end of the house and went on and on until I was done; OK this took a whole week. But when I was finished not only was I exhausted, and hoping I had lost a few pounds from the bending and stretching, but I had a huge sense of accomplishment for getting this job done.

When I was done and cleaned up from cleaning up I sat down and made a list of the top 20 things that helped me get my house spic and span. Me, being the “queen of organization” thought this might help the next time I was ready to jump to tackle the job. Come to think of it, it is spring…

So come on join me, go on get out your sweats and t-shirt, crank up your tunes and hit the dirt!

1. Rubber gloves: You should always use gloves to protect your hands from harsh chemicals that can cause reactions to or just irritate. You should always try and get hypo-allergenic and lined, not latex which bothers a lot of people. And the gloves should fit you tight enough that you can grip your tools easily.

2. Microfiber Cloth: These are nylon fabric cloths which are easily washable after use. I try and get a few different colors so that I do not use the same colors in the bathrooms as I do for cleaning furniture in the living areas and kitchen.

3. Spray bottle: Sometimes I find it easier to make my own cleaning solution for windows or for cleaning mildew-ridden bathroom tiles and grout. You can find spray bottles anywhere or I have even reused glass cleaner containers which I have washed out when done using.

4. Scrub brush: I use a few different sizes of these but make sure you have a good handle and heavy duty nylon bristles on each so you have good scrubbing control that will not scratch your surfaces.

5. Toothbrush: When I am about ready to toss my soft bristle toothbrush I soak it with bleach and use it for cleaning. This is very helpful in small hard to get areas such as grout cracks, and around the base of the hot and cold water handles and faucets, and to clean the holes of your shower head when they have built up hard water residue.

6. Squeegee: These come in very handy in glass showers and also I have used them on mirrors so I do not have any streaks.

7. Antibacterial Wipes: These are a MUST for cleaning phones, computer keyboards, door knobs, light plates, anywhere your mouth or hands touch.

8. White Vinegar: I use this to clean windows, the acid in this cuts through mineral deposits.

9. Mild Liquid soap: I use Palmolive; it is a mild soap which I use to clean just about all surfaces.

10. Mild Abrasive: This is for cleaning the shower and tub areas; you know where you use your elbow grease. Make sure you use a chlorine-free cleanser which will be fine for fiberglass and acrylic sinks and tubs.

11. Baking soda: If you use a bit of this and water it makes a paste which you can use as an abrasive and it sparkles your chrome fixtures. Also you can put an opened box of this in the back of your first shelf as a neutralizer; to take away any stinky smells you might have.

12. Plastic organizer: I put all of my supplies that I need in here so it is easy to tote up and down the stairs.

13. A good furniture cleaner: to use with the microfiber cloths to clean up all of the dust.

14 . Broom: An angled head nylon broom works best for picking up the dropped cheerios and dirt left everywhere.

15. Sponge Mop: I use a porous sponge mop with liquid soaps to clean the kitchen floor and eliminate small puddles after the rain in my laundry room. After each use soak your sponge mop in a bucket of water and cup of bleach for 10 minutes so mold does not grow and make sure you wring it out well. And change the sponge every other month.

16. Dust Mop: This is the biggie which I use to go under the furniture to keep the hardwood floors clean. This also picks up the mounds of hair left behind in the bathroom. To keep these “alive” clean them in the washer but do not use softener as that will eliminate the static electricity you need to pick things up.

17. Long Duster: These I use for high up places which are hard to reach as well as ceiling fans.

18. Vacuum: Carpets pick up all kinds of dirt and dust on a daily basis.

19. Quick Vacuum: I have a smaller vacuum which I use on a daily basis to clean the kitchen and laundry room floors.

20. Bucket: I like to use an oval big plastic bucket so that I have ample rinsing space for which ever mop I am using.

Happy cleaning!

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