How to be the Laziest Cleaner (By Being the Smartest Cleaner)

So, I seem to be running a bit behind this week. So this post is late. I know and I’m sorry. Things happen unfortunately. Sometimes the baby has to come before the blog. I mean that’s why I’m here right?

But enough about me, let’s get started.

Since I finally finished reading the first part of Positive Pushing, I wanted to take a moment and touch on something else. I’m always trying to make sure that there’s a little bit here for everyone. To that end I want to talk about keeping a clean house.

We know it’s hard to do with a baby, much harder if you live in a home where no one else wants to clean. But no matter your situation, we all have to clean at some point. Now me, I’m a clean freak. I love for everything to have a place and a place for everything. So I’ll sit and reorganize until everything has a place. (I finally did it by the way it just won’t last long lol) But there’s another thing, I’m also cheap and lazy.

I can totally get behind reorganizing, but I really hate cleaning, even though I love things to be clean. Not to mention the time. If I cleaned everything, every week, the way I wanted to, I would drive myself mad. So here’s what I do….or try to do when I can/have my own place. I have a schedule. Each day is a separate room (or a few smaller rooms) and I have two task lists. The first are things that have to be done weekly. The second are things that have to be done monthly.

Let’s take a bathroom for instance. When I can follow my schedule I take out the trash, pick up anything Freya has strewn in our Master bath, and make sure that all of our laundry is off the floor and in the bin. Then for each room there are generally at least four things that have to be done each month.  So I split them up by how many weeks are in the month. Sometimes I have to double up and other months I get a week off. So in the bathroom each month I clean the sink/counter, the tub, the toilet, and the shower. Vacuuming usually gets done in one day about once or twice a week.

But I can get lazier while still keeping the house clean. Wanna know how? It’s simple. Each and every day I’m trying to implement “Protocols” or “Rules” that bring less dirt into the house.  I do the best I can with my parents between their memory and just lack of interest in cleaning, but any progress is better than no progress when it comes to keeping a clean house.

While I eventually want to get to non-toxic solutions for cleaning your house, today I want to focus on how to eliminate as many of the toxins and as much of the dirt as possible. I know it takes time, heck I’m still working on it, but it’s worth it if it means we can all be a little lazier (and less toxic) in our cleaning.

Family Room

It’s where we spend our time together. It may be a separate space or it may be our living room, but it is a room we spend a lot of time in. So how do we prevent it from getting quite as dirty?

  1. Ditch the carpet wherever you can. Wood holds less dirt and carpet holds in allergens, mites, dust, and all those nasty things. I really hate carpet. I wish I could get rid of all the carpet in this house. Also, if you get a hardwood floor consider something economical. FSC approved items can help you here. And just as a warning, if you get bamboo, it nicks easily. Cork tiles are another good option.
  2. Take off your shoes. All you do when you keep your shoes on is track more dirt in. Take a note from the Japanese. If you absolutely have to have shoes on have a pair of slippers or something that you put on when you walk in the door.
  3. Avoid synthetic rugs. They often have a lot of chemicals in them that are toxic.
  4. Use a HEPA vacuum cleaner. They don’t have as much blow back as other vacuums and they will catch even smaller particulates than a normal vacuum. This is one of those instances where you do your research and spend a bit more money now to save down the line.
  5. Avoid toxic carpet cleaners. When I finish putting everything together for my organic cleaning post I’ll have something listed for this.
  6. If you want to cut down on toxins, try to buy furniture that is FSC approved or go retro. You can always be crafty and make something out of a decent set at goodwill.
  7. If you keep the carpet get it deep steamed once a year if you can. It sterilizes the carpet and kills anything nasty in it. Personally, I’d just ditch the carpet….this sounds expensive to me.
  8. Ditch the duster. Work smarter and get microfiber. Not only will it not nick your precious family antiques, but it actually traps dirt instead of just moving it around.
  9. Ditch the aerosol lemon spray cleaners. Anything aerosol is going to end up coating your nose and often only hides a smell. Not to mention that many of the chemicals in them have been linked to the Big C….Cancer.
  10. Ditch the Ammonia. Not only is it toxic, but there’s a simpler solution. Why pay the price of your health for getting something clean? Instead break the addiction. Get some vinegar (I like apple cider) and some water. If you need to hide the smell you can get some lemon or orange essential oil. It only takes three to five drops to cover most of the smell and you still get that fresh scent…..and the oil will last you a good long time. Then just get that microfiber and trap all that dirt away.
  11. If you want to learn about the dangerous toxins, check out Squeaky Green (insert amazon link) by Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry for more info. I’m unfortunately too cheap for that. Not to mention I buy just about everything second hand at this point.
  12. I can’t afford this right now, but eventually one day I will get an ionizer (sigh). While opening windows will help keep your air clean (well depending on where you live) an ionizer goes a long way to pushing it along. If you can’t afford that and have a green thumb, plants are another great natural ionizer.  But as side note cacti don’t count….they don’t create that much oxygen.
  13. Keep an eye on that furnace and change the filter as often as you can. It can blow around all those little airborne nasties too.

Energy Around the House

This is one of those categories that are good for the whole house.

  1. Unless you have a charger that turns itself off like the IGo Green chargers, they still siphon energy and cost you money. So unplug anything you aren’t using. Not to mention that by unplugging it you prevent some carbon from going back into the atmosphere. I’m personally working on getting better at this.
  2. If you don’t want to unplug everything in your life, put it on a power strip and just turn the strip off at the end of the night.
  3. Buy energy star products. They are a bit more expensive, but that little extra now will save you A LOT later.

I’ll continue this in part 2 where I’m planning on talking about the kitchen and the bathroom.

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