gunk on, gunk off.

okay, i had set aside this week as an opportunity to detail some of the organizational/task management systems i have going on at chez van vizzle.  today, let's talk about cleaning. 

in fact, this post is late going up because i was busy actually cleaning.  which leads me to my first point: sometimes do it instead of other stuff that's more fun.  you have to tell Yourself what Yourself is going to do sometimes. Yourself might not like you bossing it around, but Yourself also doesn't like sitting on an unhygienic toilet either, so it's going to need to buck up a bit and act like an adult and just clean all the things.  lay down the law!

okay.  i assume we all know the basic jist of how to clean a house.  however, i'll leave you with a couple of book recommendations and other bits and pieces that have helped me along the way.

first, a couple rules of thumb:

1. your house is only as clean as your corners/edges/caverns.  your house can be totally clean, but if you've got those little gooey-dusty bits in the corners, it doesn't look as clean.  true story.  under furniture, along the top of the baseboards, etc. are all places that get overlooked but make a big difference.

2. mix 1 part vinegar with 1 part original blue dawn dish soap and keep it in a dishwand in the shower.  after each shower, just wipe the walls down with this little number and you'll never have to all-out clean your shower again.  (as someone who would rather clean a toilet than a shower, believe me that this is a game changer.)

3.  use an ostrich feather duster.  you think i'm joking.  i'm as serious as a zombie apocalypse.  the coordinating french maid getup is entirely optional, but the feather duster is NOT.

4.  do it better.  we all hate cleaning (or, most of us do, anyway) but it has to be done.  why not put a little energy into figuring out how to do it really well, and really quickly, so it doesn't suck so bad?

and those are my rules of thumb. 

okay, so, because i FIRMLY believe that homemaking is a vocation, and i really think that 'continuing education' is important in any field in order to learn to do that job as best you can, here are a couple of book recommendations:

top right: Sidetracked Home Executives.  this book is terribly written, with horrible jokes and an entire chapter dedicated to detailing the divorce and subsequent 'self empowerment' of one of the writers.  the authors (sisters) call each other 'sissy.'  yeah, really.  it has comics, if that says anything.  but the index card system they lay out, in addition to the fact that neither of the authors are 'naturally' organized people but have learned and implemented a sustainable way of doing stuff, make this one of my favorite cleaning books.  (here's a post in which i detail my own card system a little further and also show you the authors' surreal haircuts.)

bottom: Speed Cleaning.  also not a pulitzer prize winner, but not horrible.  this has SERIOUSLY changed how i clean.  it now takes me significantly less time to get my house clean, and it's even cleaner than it used to be.  (seriously - it tells me to clean that window on my oven door (and other moronic stuff i'd like to forget about) every week, and even with doing so, i still get my whole house clean in about 45 minutes.  with kids making it their singular goal to thwart me at every turn to boot.

top left: Sidetracked Sisters Catch-Up on the Kitchen.  (yes, there's an unnecessary hyphen.  don't ask me.)  again, since it's written by the same authors as the first book, there's really only a couple of chapters of pertinent information and about 40 million too many comics in here, but the info that is good is GREAT.  kitchen organization and meal planning at their finest.  more on that later.

read these.  grovel at my feet for recommending them to you.  send me some 'thank-you bonbons' (it's a thing) so i have something to sit around and eat in all the free time i have now that i'm not cleaning every second of the live long day.  you're so very welcome!


whenjeskasparks said...

adding them all to my christmas list! bam!

also the whole 'bonbon' thing... i had married friends over a few weeks ago and we discussed how house wives are always given the stigma of staying at home eating bonbons.. like you'll see it even in media like TV and movies and stuff.
but none of us could say we've ever seen a bonbon or that we even knew really what one was.
is it a truffle? like those sweet ones from lindt? is it a hard candy like werthers?

seriously. i'm curious.

Heather said...

I could not agree more about the corners. I come from a long line of highly proficient cleaners. My house definitely does not always meet my own standards, but I can recognize good cleaning when I see it.

I had to google "dishwand". Do you rinse the walls down after you smear the dish soap all over them?

todd said...

I love that you love your vocation and have invested so much effort and energy into it. You’re good at your job. Evidence of being good at something is often found in a desire to be better at it.

paige said...

I do. I just keep a cup in the shower and do a quick spill over everything at the end.