Grandma-Approved Cleaning Techniques For A Cozy Home

by Tammy Taylor~

I come from a long line of housekeeping neatniks.  Not just tidy, but CLEAN!  We used to tease each other that grandma’s house was clean enough to eat off the floors if we wanted to!  (and I’m thinking we probably COULD HAVE!)

Even with today’s fast-paced lifestyle we can all learn a thing or two about cleaning from grandma.  These days the grocery store shelves are filled with all manner of specialty cleaners.  Heck there’s a different cleaner for each different surface! But are they really needed?  I wonder why we’ve complicated cleaning these days?  We just seem to be too busy to keep a tidy house anymore.  But can we learn to clean like grandma did?  Here are a few things we do in the Taylor Homestead that grandma would surely approve of…

Why have we complicated cleaning? Here are a few cleaning techniques at the Taylor Homestead that grandma would surely approve of. No need for toxic cleaners. . #TaylorMadeHomestead

 Make Your Bed Every Day

It’s said that your bedroom is supposed to bring peace & tranquility.  It’s the place you come to rest, to sleep, to rejuvenate.  I’ve read that a bed with all linens straightened will bring calm when you enter the room.   Oh how I wanted to be one of those “Make The Bed Every Day” kind of people.  But it seemed I just never had the time to make the bed.  I remember the day that changed for me.

I was a young mom with two active kids to try to get fed & dressed for school while I tried to squeeze in enough time to dress myself for work.  Before I knew it each morning, time flew & it was time for us to leave.  With a sigh I glanced at my (yet again) unmade bed.  Same song, different verse – I simply didn’t have enough time to make it this morning (again).  But then I decided to make the bed & time myself and it took…  TWO MINUTES!

Two.

Tiny.

Minutes.

Why have we complicated cleaning? Here are a few cleaning techniques at the Taylor Homestead that grandma would surely approve of. Make your bed every morning. #TaylorMadeHomestead

Heck two minutes wouldn’t make a difference in my schedule.  Even if I was late to work, it was only a TWO MINUTE difference.  I never looked back.  My bed is now made every day and it’s true that it does make a difference in the calmness you feel when you enter your bedroom.  And when my bed is tidy, I automatically keep the rest of the bedroom tidy too. No clothes on the floor, no clutter on the dresser,  just a nice clean bedroom.

Clean As You Go

Grandma was always cleaning as she went along her day.  Dishes were placed in soapy water as she was preparing supper to speed cleanup afterward.  Laundry was folded and put away when it came off the line.  And before she went to bed each night she did a quick sweep through the house picking up newspapers or empty cups.

Why have we complicated cleaning? Here are a few cleaning techniques at the Taylor Homestead that grandma would surely approve of. Laundry folded and put away immediately. #TaylorMadeHomestead

In my younger days I’d let things slide during the week and do my house cleaning on weekends.  But waiting to clean house all at one time is bound to result in much more cleaning. It’s true that clutter attracts clutter.  So the more you can pick up throughout the day, the less likely it is that extra clutter will accumulate as well.  Oh and your entire Saturday won’t be consumed with housecleaning.

Cleaning Doesn’t Have To Be Complicated

There are several old-time tried & true cleaning methods I use here at the Taylor Homestead.  The most important is the belief that there doesn’t need to be a specialty product to clean each & every different kind of surface.

I have a repurposed spray bottle that I’ve mixed grease-cutting dish soap & water.  This soapy water cleans pretty much anything I need it to: countertops, floors, heck it even gets pulled out when I’m trying to wash a single dish.  The soap/water mixture means I don’t have to try to squirt a tiny amount of dish soap, clean & then rinse & rinse.  (and RINSE!)  It seems a tiny squirt of soap is still way too much for a single glass!  So instead I simply wet the glass, spray the surfaces with my soapy water and use a wet rag to scrub inside & out & rinse.   Done!

Why have we complicated cleaning? Here are a few cleaning techniques at the Taylor Homestead that grandma would surely approve of. Soapy water spray bottle. #TaylorMadeHomestead

Other cleaning products I keep in my arsenal is a small repurposed shaker container of baking soda.  When I need a little extra scrubbability I sprinkle baking soda on it.  I’ve found it works great!  Oh and it’s non-toxic and cheap too.  Those will always be a winning combination in the Taylor Homestead!

Of course I use the same diluted-product-in-spray-bottle method for vinegar.  My diluted vinegar spray bottle and some crumbled up newspapers make my windows and mirrors shine!  Once again – cheap and non-toxic.  Aaaahhhh – I’m seeing a pattern here!

Find Your Balance

Now having said all this – I’m nowhere near the housekeeper that grandma was.  Please don’t dare try to eat off of MY floors!  Living off a dirt road means constant dust and dust bunnies too.  And wood-floor cleaning is a constant so we do the best we can to keep on top of that but sometimes it feels like a losing battle.  However we’ve struck a happy cleaning balance.  Our home is almost always tidy:  The bed is always made, the supper dishes are always done, and counter-top clutter, junk mail, etc is tackled throughout the day.

Your happy balance will probably look differently from ours.  But using these simple tips it will be easier to find that balance for you & your family.

~TMH~

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12 thoughts on “Grandma-Approved Cleaning Techniques For A Cozy Home

  1. Debra Nelson

    I have learned to just do the best that I can and not get so anxiety ridden that I drive everyone crazy….LOL!!! BUT, I do clean as I go, in the kitchen! I canned this afternoon….fresh chicken and some Kielbasi….also have a large pot of cored and cut apples to turn into applesauce/butter for canning. There is not ONE dirty dish in the kitchen. Before I start, I fill the sink with VERY hot soapy water and wash as I go. Being VERY hot, the water stays warm throughout the entire process and I stay happy!!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      Washing as you go in the kitchen during those big cooking/canning projects really helps keep me from feeling so overwhelmed too Debra. To finish hours of canning and then look with dismay at the total disaster in the kitchen sure takes the steam out of your sails! ~TMH~

      Reply
  2. Mrs Shoes

    OMG, I feel shamed to admit that I STARTED cleaning windows in the Spring, and there are still 5 that need done plus a double garden door. By all rights, I should re-do the other too… My mother is Queen of Clean, she most def would not approve. The saying in our family is that not ever HOSPITALS are “Gramma Clean”.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      Ugh, windows. Yep I need to do ’em too. I always wait until after the spring storms because out here the wind & rain picks up mud and splatters the windows anyway during the stormy season. So I typically do the windows around the end of May. Yep, guess I’m behind too… I love the saying in your family. It’s good to know there are others who lived with/around those extreme neatniks too. My neatnik grandma was a registered nurse so clean just ran through her veins I think. ~TMH~

      Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      I just eyeball it Gina, I’ve never measured. But for this standard-size spray bottle (repurposed Windex bottle) I will fill 3/4 with water, turn the Dawn bottle over & squeeze firmly for 3-5 seconds, then fill the rest with water. That keeps all the dish soap from sitting at the bottom & needing to be mixed too hard all the way from the bottom. Works great for me! ~TMH~

      Reply
  3. Cindy McElroy

    While my house is tidy, it is not clean. I have 4 kids and 2 dogs. We live in the country. We homeschool. The doors on our house get quite a workout. Please, don’t try to eat off the floor! I use the same cleaning products and everything is picked up, usually (the toddler loves to scatter things about). All beds are made, every day. My picky point is the kitchen counters. If they are cluttered; it drives me nuts! I enjoyed your article. It encouraged me.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      Living out in the country & having a busy lifestyle means tidy is an awesome accomplishment Cindy. Especially with kiddos. But tidy is what I strive for as well. I don’t like clutter, but dang the dust out here is never-ending! ~TMH~

      Reply
  4. marie watson

    Tammy, I have never thought of keeping Dawn and water in a spray bottle for cleaning and washing single dishes. I do use vinegar and baking soda though.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      That spray bottle of dishwashing liquid/soap is my go-to cleaning product Marie, both for washing a single dish as well as shining up the countertops, sink, stove, spot-cleaning my tile floor, etc. Just enough soapy action to clean beautifully without being so much it’s hard to rinse the soap off. Sometimes I wonder if I should put it in a fancier spray bottle but then I think “Meh – it’s a cleaning spray bottle!”. Plus, you know, I hate to throw this whatsit away just to replace it with another whatsit for environmental reasons. ~TMH

      Reply

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