Category: Cleaning

yes this a post about cleaning products.

It’s finals week at school. I have a huge paper due on Friday, and also my Greek final is that day. So you would think I would have the paper almost done, right? Wrong. This has not been the proudest moment of my academic life; I’m afraid I have procrastinated quite a bit on this. My only excuse? I haven’t exactly been lounging on the beach or sprawled on my bed day after day reading paperback novels. I’m busy busy busy all the time …… and especially this week.

Of course, finals week is also when I decide that my house needs to be cleaned, RIGHT NOW, OR I WILL DIE. Now clearly that’s just another way to procrastinate, but at least it’s productive! So my house is now cleaner than it has been in weeks. At least in parts. While this has not helped me get my paper written, it has put me in a better frame of mind, because if there’s anything that hinders the writing process for me, it’s being surrounded by clutter.

I think I would really like to take a few days sometime in the next month and just clean. Lately I’ve been so insanely busy that I’ve barely kept up with the housework, and by “kept up” I mean that at all times there is at least a 6×6-inch dirty-dish-free zone on the kitchen counter. That’s a big enough space to make a sandwich, so we’re good. Except I really hate living that way. Even though I did a bunch of cleaning the last couple of days, there are still plenty of places that need attention, and the whole house could use a good deep-clean.

The latest issue of Real Simple featured cleaning products, and I hafta say there were some that I really want to try. I’m not one of those people who’s really into cleaning products, always buying and test-driving them, but occasionally a product piques my interest or looks like it might solve a cleaning problem I have. I’m especially drawn to things that are supposed to make cleaning quicker, since maybe if cleaning my kitchen floor takes just 2 minutes I will be more diligent to do it often …. at least that’s what I tell myself …

So here’s my Spring Cleaning Product Wishlist.

1. Swiffer sweeper (the old classic)

I’ve always stayed away from these things because they seem kind of unnecessary/not economical. You have to buy all the refills, blah blah blah. But lately I’ve been thinking they would be totally awesome. Dry cloths! Wet cloths! 2-in-1!! I wouldn’t need a broom, dustpan or floor-washing bucket, and it would be super fast and easy!! Downside: refills, ugh. I wonder if you can ever get coupons for them?

2. E-cloth microfiber cleaning cloths

I’ve been wanting to get some microfiber dust cloths for the longest time, but haven’t really found anything yet. I’ve been using paper towels and Pledge or whatever to dust, but I don’t like using too many products, and Pledge really seems unnecessary. Also, the lemon scent is annoying. Also, it doesn’t work for screens/glass lamps/etc. Microfiber cloths work by themselves, or dampened with a little bit of water — no “lemony freshness” necessary, thank goodness. And supposedly these “e-cloth” ones are the best, according to Real Simple. Although I’m going to have to remember not to use dryer sheets “because they’re kryptonite to microfiber” (Real Simple, 2012, p. 158). (Can you tell I’ve been doing a lot of academic research and source-citing?) Downside: $8 for one cloth. Yipe. Maybe I’ll go with a cheaper option.

3. Citrus Magic Natural Instant Spot and Stain Remover

They say this stuff is magic. And it’s citrus. And it’s natural. And it’s instant. And it’s $5. They got me.

4. Tilex tile and grout pen

I’m still supposedly working on re-doing my bathroom (that project has been on hold for weeks, but I plan to finish it once school is done) and one of the things I need to do is try to brighten up the whole tile/grout/caulk situation in there. I heard about grout pens once but never was able to find one — this one sounds awesome so hopefully I can track it down somewhere. Looks like Amazon has it at least. Maybe it’s weird, but my artsy self is looking forward to an hour of “cleaning,” a.k.a. drawing all over my bathroom walls with a bleach pen. Fun! :)

That’s all my wants for now. I think my Scrubbing Bubbles, Mrs. Meyer’s etc are working just fine for most jobs.

So now if you’ll excuse me. I have some cleaning — er, writing to get done.

In progress…

Hey everyone,

I’m not dead. I have just been having a very busy week.

Remember that bathroom re-do I was talking about last week? Well, it’s on. Like donkey kong. (If anyone knows what that means, please let me know.) I’ve been so busy with work all week that I haven’t been able to start until today, but the bathroom is currently a disaster and there are wallpaper particles EVERYWHERE. It’s a giant mess. Which is a good thing, since messes are usually an indicator that something is happening. Oorrrr that I’m really lazy and don’t pick up after myself. But in this case, fortunately, it is the former.

It’s already starting to look so different in there although I’ve only done one wall out of the four (but it’s one of the long ones!) — and the ceiling is still untouched. With the walls looking so much cleaner, the green-striped ceiling is looking worse than ever. I am growing to hate it more and more with every passing second and soon I will have accumulated so much rage against the green stripes that nothing will be able to protect them against my white-hot DIY fury.

It’s pretty exciting in here today, for sure. In order to not get high on wallpaper remover fumes I have all the windows wide open for optimal ventilation. Wellllll, it’s also March in Virginia Beach. It’s 80 degrees, everything is blooming, and in spite of my brand spankin’ new (and very expensive!!) Singulaire prescription my allergies are in full swing. So it’s either close the windows and possibly pass out from whatever-the-heck-is-in-wallpaper-remover, or open the windows and breathe in all that pollen and sneeze myself unconscious. Either way, I’ll be unconscious. Or at least that’s the way I imagine it happening…

But in reality, I’m sure I will be very much conscious through the whole process and able to fully appreciate the wonderful time afforded by wallpaper removal, holding one’s hands over one’s head for long periods of time while balancing on a rickety chair, and frequent violent sneezing. Yep. Good times.

I can’t wait to finish up with at least the first stage of this project and post pictures for you guys, so I guess I’d better get back to the awesomeness I just described to you.

See you on the other side.

In which I fantasize about cleaning my house.

As you all know, school is squeezing the life out of me right now. The good news today is that it’s Friday and I only have one week left. The bad news is I only have one week left. Yes, you read that right, the good news and the bad news ARE THE SAME THING. Pretty insane, huh. :-P On one hand I’m relieved that one week from tomorrow I will be finished with the semester. On the other hand, that’s scary cause there’s still lots of work to do.

Today I gave my last in-class presentation. That was two in one week. Am I ever glad they’re both over. I learned a lot from doing the research for both papers & presentations, but it was kinda stressful!! Public speaking is always a challenge for me.

Since I’ve been so busy writing papers, the housework has suffered terribly. Curse you, school … you’ve made a piggy out of me.

It wouldn’t be so bad to be a piggy if I could be that cute, though, would it?

One of the things I really can’t wait to do when the semester finishes next Friday is CLEAN. Right now I can hardly see the floor in the living room because it’s piled with books and papers. Ugh. I usually like to keep things pretty clean around here, so I really don’t enjoy livin’ the piggy life. It’s gonna be so dang satisfying to vacuum, dust, and scrub those smudges off the kitchen floor that have been bothering me for a week. CAN’T WAIT, people.

My one comfort: while my house is messy, at least I’m not quite as bad as Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout. Which reminds me: I’m going to go take the garbage out right now.

Spring clean your purse/bag

One of the things that always seems to escape regular cleaning is my bag or purse. But having a messy, disorganized bag is one of the most annoying things in the world. And it’s worse if it’s actually dirty. Like there was this one time we were going to the beach, and I accidentally dumped an entire box of Cheez-Its straight into my bag. Yeah. That was just a bad day. It took a long time to get all those crumbs out of there. Ugh!

So today we’re going to do spring cleaning on our bags/purses. Having a clean and organized bag may be a small thing, but it makes a big difference.

My two biggest tips to avoid messy-bag-related insanity are as follows:

1. Keep everything inside your bag organized into smaller pouches/cases.

Yes, this will necessitate buying a bunch of small pouches or cases to hold your stuff, but it will make a huge difference. One, you won’t have to dig into the bottom of your purse to find pens all the time. And two, every time you need to switch bags it will be much easier because you just throw the pouches from one bag to another.

May I suggest that you buy pouches in bright colors so they will be easy to spot in your bag? If possible, buy them in different shapes, sizes or even textures, so you can tell which is which when you reach into your bag.

In my bag I usually have the following small items:

– Wallet

– Small cosmetic pouch for lipgloss (I’m a lipgloss fiend)

– Larger pouch for essentials like tissues, ibuprofen (never leave home without it), mints and so on. Depending on your preferred level of “emergency preparedness” you may need more than one pouch for this stuff — tide pen, lotion, band-aids … and so on.

– Note case that holds a pencil or pen as well (whoever invented this was a GENIUS)

– Cellphone and keys (Not kept in a pouch, but I always put them in the same pocket of the bag so I remember where they are. Because I hate freaking out that I lost my keys.)

– Small tape measure (I never know when I’m going to have to measure something. I guess I take after my dad in this. I used to have a cute tiny little tape measure I got from my grandma, but tragically I lost it at IKEA. Now I’m in the market for a new one.)

2. Once a week (or so), clean out your bag.

Regular maintenance is the key to keeping things chaos-free. Stuff builds up, and you just have to keep up with it. So once a week or so I try to remember to dump everything out of my bag. Then it just takes me a few seconds or minutes to throw away nasty wadded-up tissues, wrappers or any other garbage … file receipts I need to keep … and put everything back into the bag. Everything important is still safely contained in your cute lil’ pouches, remember? So it’s easy.

Once in a while the cleaning will need to be a little more thorough. When the bag is beginning to feel a bit crumb-y in the bottom, take everything out, then pull the lining out of the bag, take it outside and shake the dickens (and the crumbs) out of it. If it’s leather or vinyl, wipe the outside with a soft cloth; if it’s cloth like many summer bags are, you can hand-wash it.

Let’s finish up with some inspiration: Cute things to tidy up that bag.

I love this preppy wallet from ALDO:

These cosmetics pouches from JCPenney would be quite easy to spot in the dark recesses of an oversized bag.

Amazon has lots more cosmetics cases in all kinds of designs, like Hello Kitty (but this one’s $18, sheesh!) You can find inexpensive pouches in all kinds of places — Target, Walmart, etc.

Isn’t this note-taking case the bomb? Has a pen and everything. It’s called “Wellspring Flip Note” and Amazon has them in more colors and designs than you would believe. I’ve also seen them in gift shops.

All righty folks, happy purse spring cleaning!! Go do it today and forever stop cursing your purse. But first leave me a comment and tell me what the grossest thing you ever found in your bag was. I’ll start things off. I was flying once and bought a bottle of Snapple Mango Madness juice. I didn’t put the lid on right, I guess, because I was crammed into the window seat on the airplane when I found that that the Mango had wreaked some serious Madness all over the bottom of my bag. It was so sticky and awful. I had my Bible in there and it smelled fruity for months. So sad. But I did learn not to put bottles of juice in my bag. :)