Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Efficiency Week Day Two: Lazy Girls Guide to a Clean Can

I am a lazy girl. Now a lot of people who know me would disagree but seriously folks, I am motivated by leisure more than anything on the planet. Back when I was a newly minted housewife I tried the heavy housecleaning approach where you clean the house from stem to stern once a week. I tried the one room a day system which was a hellacious disaster. With three little boys running about I ended up with a house that had a spotless master bedroom but a nuclear-bomb-went-off level mess in the living room. All that system amounted to was a perpetually dirty house. I even tried a master list plus one system where each week you do a set of tasks plus one big task like window washing or garage cleaning. I just didn't do it. What I've fallen into is the clean as you go approach to housework and it's without a doubt the greatest way to go.

I'm going to spend a couple of days talking about cleaning starting with bathrooms

Supplies for a clean house:

You need a vacuum on each level of your house. Nothing keeps the upstairs carpets dirtier than having to haul a vacuum up a flight of stairs. There's never a time of day when lugging a vacuum looks appealing. You also need a couple of boxes of Magic Erasers, Simple Green and paper towel, toilet brushes and window cleaner in each bathroom. Also invest in more handtowels than you think you need. I promise it's worth it. I bought these items over time to spread out the expense and it has been so worth it.


When you pee take a look at the hand towel. If it's dingy or worse, obviously grimy, than I can assure you your bathroom is too. Flush and pour some toilet bowl cleaner (if you use it) in the toilet. Grab a magic eraser and clean your sink, and faucets. While you turn on the tap to rinse, let the water run on your soap dish to loosen the melted soap scum. Clean the soap dish. Dry off everything with the backside of the dirty hand towel paying special attention to the faucets - shine them up! With the now damp hand towel clean all the splashes off your mirror and buff with a dry part of the hand towel. The hand towel is probably getting icky now; use it to wipe down the bowl of the sink and pedestal or the cabinet fronts and the light switch. This is especially important if your kids don't dry their hands as the area around the switch plate is a splash zone and looks gross.

Move over to the toilet and use your toilet brush to clean the bowl. Also use your brush on the rings and those screws that get gross and rusty from boy-peers. Rub the brush along the hinge too. You should have a wet mess. Flush. Starting at the top of the tank wipe the dust away with your hand towel and work your way to the base of the toilet cleaning off the rings, rim of the bowl, the bowl etc. It should be sparkling. Clean the floor around the toilet bowl as well as the area around the base of your sink. If the rest of the floor needs it, run the hand towel over it as well.

Wash your hands and hang up a new hand towel on the towel ring. Admire your handiwork. Pick up the soiled towel and take it directly to the laundry room and throw it inside the washing machine with like items and turn it on right that minute. This is important as you don't want to end up with grungy looking hand towels.

With this approach I only need to break out the big guns like window cleaner for the mirrors and washing the bathroom walls every six to eight weeks and my bathrooms stay sparkling. Tidying up is something I don't mind. Cleaning is something I'll put off indefinitely. This swish and wipe system ensures a sparkling bathroom without the pain.

What is your opinion on magazines in the bathroom? If you have them, do you have a basket on the floor or some sort of hanging contraption mounted to a wall?

Personally I find magazines incredibly practical in the bathroom - especially if you are going in there not to answer nature's calls but to have ONE. SINGLE. SOLITARY. MINUTE. TO. YOURSELF.

But on the other hand, they are sort of an announcement to people, " We poo."


Anonymous said...

People who DON'T have reading material in the bathroom fill me with great suspicion. Their houses feel very hostile and anti-people to me. Does anyone actually live here? And do I want to know them?

Of course, our version of hospitality is to check the reading material in the bathroom before guests come over. Make sure that it's Fun! And Engaging! And worth talking about when they come back out again.

Emilyt said...

LOL - we poo! Yes, there are magazines in ours. I keep them tucked behind the extra toilet paper rolls that only I can change (hehe) in the basket that sits atop the tank. It's a cute dark brown basket that goes with the "decor" so I get to mix functional with looks good.
I also am in love with Greenworks spray. I use it for sink, faucets,floors, mirrors and toilet seats. Quick and easy for quick bathroom cleans. Fun topic.

CathyR said...

Good tips Nicole. I always say I'm going to buy more hand and bath towels and then I never do.

Angela said...

These are great tips. I loathe cleaning the bathroom. So finding easier ways is always good in my book.

As for magazines in the bathroom we have them on the very bottom shelf of a cabinet.

Sherry Wright said...

These are such great tips! ;)

Eve said...

I am having so much fun reading these postings! Thanks for sharing- I love a little mix of craft, family, and stuff like this in a blog!
Great job!

Lynn said...

I don't have any reading materials in the bathroom because I don't have any materials that I want wet, or peed on by the cat/child. We don't buy magazines, ever, ever, ever.

If I want to read, I take my book in with me. Guests? Don't really want them in my bathroom long enough to settle in. :D