Keeping Clean: The right tools
We're going to start with the basics here, folks. My first bit of cleaning advice? Get yourself the right tools. Pretty tools. Hardworking tools. Tools that will stand the test of time and clean till they can't clean no more.
I know what you're thinking. I know. Another blogger writing about the joys of cleaning, all because of a beautiful scrub brush. And ah, there they are. The photos of the rumply stack of linen towels, and the perfectly staged wooden-handled brushes, placed next to glass bottles of natural, homemade cleaning potions. The internet is a tricky place-- one pretty picture is fully capable of making you think that when some people clean, it's a luxurious and whimsical experience full of sweet, old-fashioned charm. We all know it's not. At least, not for me.
But, go with me here. Sometimes having beautiful, well-made cleaning supplies really can make all the difference, and the secret is this: if it's lovely, you might actually use it. Especially if you can leave it out in the open.
For example, I used to be the owner of a very basic yellow and black plastic broom. It was fine. It worked great. But it was just ugly enough that I didn't want it hanging out in my kitchen full-time. And because there isn't a closet nearby to hide it in, I kept it in the basement. Sometimes just going downstairs to fetch it felt like a chore. I didn't sweep nearly as much as I should have, and my kitchen floor would get really filthy. A few years ago I moved that broom to the garage and replaced it with a well-working, good-looking broom. And I love it. It's pretty enough to leave hanging on a hook in my kitchen, and close enough to grab whenever I need it-- sometimes twice a day, thank you Ralph.
So, am I really telling you that you'll improve as a housekeeper if your broom is pretty? Well, um, yes. Kind of. You know how long road trips are made better by some good chocolate and a thick magazine? Or how the first day of school is easier to stomach if you've got a special new dress to wear? Cleaning can be a whole lot more tolerable if your tools feel fancy.
But, fancy doesn't always = expensive. My soulmate of a broom that I mentioned above? I found it on clearance at Homegoods for less than $10. And I'm not saying that your cleaning tools have to be works of art to qualify for the job, either. My beloved steam mop isn't exactly eye-pleasing, but it has saved me from having to wash my floors on my hands and knees, Cinderella-style, with a rag and a bucket of soapy water like I used to. Now I zip around the house while that thing scrubs and disinfects my floors better than I ever could. I actually get excited to use it.
And that's the whole idea.
. . .
Some of my other best-loved cleaning stuffs: glass spray bottles for cleaning concoctions, and old jars for things like baking soda or laundry soap. Wooden-handled scrubby brushes for the sink and the shower. Wicker laundry baskets to take the place of plastic ones (because if all those clothes are going to sit on the table for a few days, at least they'll be sitting pretty.)
my favorite kind of dish cloths, that slip slide over all my pots and pans and make the piles of plates in the sink disappear so much faster (if you have to do all your dishes by hand like I do, you'll love these.)
my steam mop (if you have a house full of hardwoods or tile, this will be your dream come true.)
a pretty broom (not exactly like mine, but looks similar.)