Everything You Need in One Big Bucket

Cleaning. Not a favorite topic among moms but I want to share some amazing tips I recently learned from a friend.

When N was in the NICU one of my friends came to clean our home every two weeks. Yeah, I know. Kind of a big deal. It takes a very special person with a big servant’s heart to scrub your toilets. And you know what? She did it for six months! It blessed us in so many ways. We had a clean house. I had peace of mind that we weren’t just recycling germs and dust mites once we brought our baby home.

I knew how to clean before. However, when Erin came to clean she did it very thoroughly and quickly. When I say quickly, I mean she was done in a hour and a half. It was taking me over a half day to clean my 2,000 square foot home. I constantly would bunny trail off into some organization project or deep cleaning of the base boards and window blinds. I asked her to share her secrets with me. I desperately needed to focus in on the essential tasks and save some time since I have two little ones at home.

What I learned is that it all comes down to strategy and cleaning supplies.


The only chemicals you need to clean the bathroom are: Soft Scrub, Windex, Clorox Wipes, and Lysol toilet bowl cleaner. Oh, and a Swiffer and Scotch Brite sponges.

She told me, “Don’t buy any cleaning products that have bleach. If you’re going to clean with bleach, then clean with bleach.” Cleaning products with bleach are more likely to stain your clothes and carpets.

These are the steps you take for the bathrooms:

1. Shake out and pull all bath mats. 2. Remove everything from counters, floor and shower. 3. Sweep floor. 4. Wash tub, sink, shower with Soft Scrub. 5. Scrub toilet with Lysol bowl cleaner. 6. Wipe down counters and toilet with clean damp rag. 7. Windex mirror. 8. Clorox Wipe handles, light switches, and knobs. 9. Swiffer Wet Jet floor.

What I love most is my clean glass shower doors. I used to use multiple different products all promising sparkling clean showers with little effort required from me. Using Soft Scrub and a Scotch Brite sponge takes all the water marks away and I don’t have to scrub all that hard. (Note: Don’t use the rough surface on your fixtures and counters. Just on glass.)

I also love that the sequence of steps makes it go so more smoothly. For example, sweep all the hair out of the bathroom before you start getting everything all wet. Getting it wet causes the hair to stick to the floor and is not easily mopped up. Genius idea. Why hadn’t I thought of that?


For the kitchen, use 409 all purpose cleaner and follow these steps:

1. Shake out mats, remove, wipe down table and chairs. 2. Move everything out of the kitchen. 3. Wipe down counter tops, appliances, handles, and knobs. 4. Sweep and Swiffer floor.


My favorite new cleaning tool is the Swiffer Dusters. My mom taught me the Right Way which is to take everything off the furniture and use Pledge and a soft rag. However, my stage of life calls for the Cheaters Way. (Sorry Mom!) These Swiffer Dusters are amazing. You can run them across your furniture and around your decor without lifting anything and they do a pretty good job. You don’t even need to use a spray. They work on computer screens and TVs beautifully too. I recruited M to help with the dusting because it’s something simple he can do with no chemicals involved.

I also still hand M a spray bottle of vinegar and water and let him have at it in the tub and baseboards. It gives him something “big” to do and buys me a little more time.

Following these tips has significantly reduced my house cleaning time. I was trying to come up with a way in the budget for us to hire a cleaning lady but I think this is the better option. Granted, I’m not doing a deep clean but last weekend I did both bathrooms in just under an hour. Even my amazing husband followed the steps a few weeks ago and cleaned the kitchen.

So there you have it. I’ve been telling many of you how Erin’s cleaning strategy changed this aspect of my life. Hopefully, she will indirectly help you in some way too.

My book, Beauty in Broken Dreams: A Hopeful Handbook for the Early Years as a Special Needs Parent, is now available on Amazon!

Also be sure to check out my list of Favorite Books on Disability!

#cleaning #organization

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