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…
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!
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.
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!
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.
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