my daily cleaning list







Good morning and happy October.  Some people wonder how I keep my house so clean so I thought I'd share what my cleaning list looks like.  Plus here comes the holidays and why not get a jump on a lot of the chores? 

Daily Chores

Straighten living areas
Make the bed
Attend to all mail, either file it or recycle it
Plan my dinner for the day (do I need to soak beans? etc.)
Wash dishes and countertops right after we eat
Sweep kitchen and entryway
Straighten and wipe down bathrooms
Check the laundry and run if I have a full load
Take out the trash

Weekly Chores

Dust furniture 
Launder sheets and any other large items such as towels or blankets
Scrub bathrooms
Wash the floors
Refresh vases with flowers or branches

Monthly Chores

Deep vacuum the whole house including inside kitchen drawers with this Eureka vacuum
Clean out and organize refrigerator and pantry
Thoroughly clean kitchen cabinetry and other woodwork
Clean chandeliers
Wash the inside of the windows, sills and drapery rods

I do most of the cleaning with a little hot soapy water and I know this sounds like a lot of work (I'm tired just reading it) but honestly it takes me about 15 minutes each day to clean the house.  The added weekly chores adds another 30 minutes and the monthly list takes me about an hour.  Keep in mind this is for a small house with only 2 adults.  When I had 3 little boys running around wreaking havoc I still tried to stick to the same schedule.  Don't forget to leave your tips in the comments because that is the best part of this blog.  xo


89 comments

  1. The most difficult place to keep clean in my home is the "entry point" -in our case, the dining room table. Mail, newspapers, library books, empty the pockets stuff, pills etc etc. Right now there are piles of papers, bills, receipts, magazines, calendars, notes, seeds packets for the garden, diaries, sewing materials for a project--and it's just two people living here. When I manage to control the table, everything else seems to fall in line as well.

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    1. joanne i think that is a common problem. since my entry is really smack dab in the middle of my living/dining area i have to keep it clear b/c we use that dining table for everything! maybe baskets would help? idk? someone will leave a tip i'm sure! x

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  2. I admire you. I hate cleaning so much I can't even have a plan - I have to sneak up on it;).

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    1. lisa i've always loved to clean declutter and arrange things. but i like that you have such a stealth way of getting it done. lol x

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  3. The best tip I have is to deal with the mail the second it comes into your house. I throw all flyers in trash/recycling immediately and then open all the bills and pay them online. Then one can shred & trash those too ASAP!

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    1. yes, that's exactly what i do. most of it doesn't even make it into the house. i walk directly to the recycle bin outside. all my bills come online so i don't get paper bills any longer. x

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    2. We put a No Junk Mail Sign on our letter box years ago. Most people seem to observe it. It's great as we no longer receive all those advertising sheets that were always such a nuisance. One local restaurant's flyers still kept finding their way into our box however so I rang them and asked them to tell their distributors to stop - they did. Also better for the environment if more people did this, as there would be less paper and printing inks used. Recycling is good but reducing waste at the source is even better. Best wishes, Pammie

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    3. I also go directly to the recycle bin after getting the mail - things we don't care about go directly in, other mail is opened and the junk/envelopes go directly in, I even sort through the newspaper and dump in the flyers that we don't look at.

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    4. Pammie...inside our newspaper on Sunday was a reusable grocery bag from an A/C & Heating Company with their name on it. Really? I already have too many of those bags! Makes me wonder how many individuals will just dispose of them in the trash. What a waste. :(

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    5. Silly idea wasn't it! But if you have enough reusable grocery bags (they seem to breed in the boots of our cars) you can always give them to Op Shops. They will then use bags like this for customers' purchases and the bags' lives will continue, but in a good way. Best wishes, Pammie

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    6. Pammie, I actually thought of that...wasn't sure if they would take them but I will just go ahead and do it.
      Thanks!

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  5. It looks so easy when I read it like this :)

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    1. lol, it does sound easy and it pretty much is but my house is pretty small.:) x

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  6. I love this. It mostly sounds like what I do. I always want my window sills cleaned, too. I hate opening up the windows on a nice day and having it all gross! my tip is for you to blog more please!!

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    1. thanks stephanie. because we have an orange grove across the street we do get a lot of dust blown over here so the sills get particularly dusty. xo

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  7. I'm with LPC up above! My husband is really a better housekeeper than I, even when our four children were at home. My tip is small, but I have always posted the weekly menu on the fridge after I made out the grocery list. That helped me to remember to thaw things, soak things etc. The kids also got a heads-up on what was for dinner, and now hubby if he looks at it!

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    1. What a good idea with the menu - if I could only get organized enough to make a menu! I have tried at various junctures, but it just doesn't stick.

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    2. This is such a great tip, thanks Isabella.

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    3. thanks isabella. i always had a menu when the kids were little but now with the two of us it's pretty easy. we are pretty much on auto pilot when it comes to our meals! x

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  8. You are way more organized than I am...I declutter every morning and always wipe the counters and do the dishes. I cannot stand to see a mess so that motivates me.
    But as to washing windows and sills...I am not very diligent, certainly not every month...more like every 6 months!
    Laundry and ironing are my favourite jobs.
    Your place always looks neat and tidy ready for a "magazine" photo shoot!

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    1. I wish I could be as diligent as you, Leslie, and do the windows every 6 months. That is one job I really despise and I am terrible at keeping it up. Just terrible. I spent the weekend at my mom and dad's house (they are 80 and 81). My mom's windows look great. Why her diligence didn't rub off on me I'll never know!

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    2. doing the inside of the windows here is easy but L gets the job of the outside which is much harder! i'm so lucky to have him! x

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  9. Geez, Janet, how do you always make your posts so timely?!?!? I am currently trying to get a grip on my cleaning schedule. I need a list like yours to keep me from procrastinating. I may or may not have gone more than a year without wiping baseboards and cleaning interior windows :)

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    1. lol, i'm pretty sure that has happened to me too! maintenance always seems easier than one huge mess of a job for me so that's why i keep it up, i suppose i'm actually lazy! xo

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  10. I love that you are always decluttering too. That helps a lot. Dealing with things as they happen, whether a spill, mail or cleaning up the garden seasonally, helps me keep things in order. I vacuum twice a week, as I have a family and multiple pets. Also, everything has it's place- the vacuum, the serving dishes, the mail, etc. That helps me get orderly quick. I only use the Sal Suds by Dr. Bronner and some vinegar in the toilets/bathrooms/sinks.

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    1. we sound a lot alike heather. still loving my dr bronner too!

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    2. You ARE my inspiration!!! :)

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  11. I love posts like this! I'm still using Sal Suds for my laundry and wondering if you still use it too? Id love to see more organizing posts and recipes too! Thanks!

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    1. i am still using the dr bronners but larry said his gym clothes needed something stronger so we purchased some 7th generation detergent that is highly rated on the ewg website. he's much happier with that. x

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    2. I've been using 7th Generation & it seems to do the job!

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  12. Did you paint the basket in your photo? I'm sure it's previously appeared in a 'raw' form.
    I just love the way that you move things around/change things so much! You're very creative.

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    1. yes jo you have a keen eye. i try to use and re-use everything here! i'm kinda crazy you know that!x

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  13. Oh my! I must not let hubby see this post, it puts me to shame! It's a great plan but I could never do that monthly clean in an hour. You must be charging around the house like roadrunner with vacuum in one hand, duster in the other - beep beep! I keep intending to clean my chandeliers, but it just never happens. But I am like you with the laundry - I run too if I see a full load ... very fast!

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    1. hi mary! no it's not that hard. since it's done on a regular basis nothing gets too out of hand. i even vacuum the inside of the refrigerator drawers to make it easier! lol it goes really fast bc this place is so small. x

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    2. Mary, I love to do laundry too. When my kids came home from college, I would pounce on their dirty clothes bags. I can never understand why people complain about this chore. Basically we just throw things in machines and press a button. These days I only have a washing machine in a small utility closet in my tiny townhouse. I have three IKEA racks that I use for drying. I do more ironing these days, of course!

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  14. OMG, are you serious? Am I a slob? It seems I wake up, have breakfast and then rush to a doctors appointment. By the time I get home it's lunch and my husband has eaten breakfast late so there's breakfast and lunch to be cleaned up. I'm looking aroud me now. Clean laundry on a chair, thumb drives and hard drives on the table, note pads and some kind of first aid box on the table. My bracelet from this morning, kleenex....hopeless.

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    1. lol sandra. you are so funny. your home sound perfectly charming! xo

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  15. Love this! I too have a schedule but I broke my "big" jobs into smaller ones (how to eat an elephant approach). On week 1 of the month I clean the ceiling and anything attached to it - vents, chandeliers, surround sound speakers, etc. Week 2 - is walls and doors, week 3 - floors and baseboards, week 4 - closets and storage. If/when there is a week 5 I move the furniture and vacuum (that includes pull out the stove and clean sides and behind). This way I'm not having to kill myself and it all gets done : ).

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    1. These are great tips as well.

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    2. such great ideas robbyn. when we had a bigger place i'd do that too. now it's just easier for me to get it all done at once. also easier on my memory! xo

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  16. Thanks for your list, Janet. I'm going to copy it down and see what I can do to be better! You are an inspiration, truly.

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  17. I'm in favor of keeping the house tidy on a daily basis. I use spring and fall energy for deep cleaning drawers and such. I love your home.
    Karen

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    1. thank you karen. that's a great observation about the energy of the change of seasons..so true! x

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  18. Your cleaning schedule was inspiring. I do make up a week's menu at the beginning of the week so I know what to get at the grocery store. My projects are about the same as yours....except there is quite a bit more time in between accomplishing them.

    I got a chuckle out of LPC's comment about not having a plan, but having to sneak up on the cleaning instead.

    The worst area in our home is next to "my chair" in the living room. One side has books, and reading material stacked in and on vintage picnic baskets. The books I don't read much are on bookshelves. On top of the books there is a shawl to wrap up in when I get cold. On the other side of the chair is the lamp table where I have bills, notebooks, pens, pencils, 3 remote controls, and the dog brush beneath the table for daily Fuzzy Pomeranian brushing. Perhaps I should "sneak up" on all of that and get it put away while I'm still feeling inspired by your post.

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    1. really susie your home sounds so charming. we both have a stack of books at each side of our sofa too! x

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  19. Isn't it fantastic to have a small home? Mine isn't as small as your's but compared to everyone I know it's the smallest. For me a home is like a fish bowl if it's large everything grows accordingly. I also have this daily clean out the medicine cabinet routine. I don't wash the windows as often as you. I really should now that you mention it. I love how sparkling everything feels when they're freshly washed. That will now be on my list. I also iron whatever needs to be ironed the same day it's washed.
    X
    Kathy

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    1. cleaning a small home is def one of the perks of having one! such limited storage really keeps things in check. seasonally i do go through all my beauty products to keep on top of that too! xo

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  20. I love reading about how others action housework! Before I go to bed at night I make sure everything is clean and tidy, because I would not be happy waking up to Mess. In the morning I make all the beds, unload the dishwasher, wash the breakfast stuff, wipe the kitchen benches, clean any finger prints off the kitchen cupboards and fridge, wipe the bathroom vanities and mirrors (finger prints), put the towels in the dryer (wet towels are the work of the devil) then take them out and re-hang them, vacuum anything that has dropped on the floor from breakfast and fix the cushions up on the sofas. I clean the fridge once a week and I wash clothes every day. I iron maybe twice and week. I declutter on a daily basis. I get most of the bills online so I don't have to worry about them coming in the post. I change the sheets twice a week and I vacuum and dust when ever I see dust. I do everything really fast ( I run around like a cartoon character) and subscribe to the near enough is good enough theory- it doesn't have to be perfect it just has to be done. I do masses of batch cooking on the weekend so when we get home there is something to eat.

    My job is extremely stressful and demanding and so is Mr FF's. I love my home, it is our favourite place and our sanctuary. When I get home at night I want to walk into a clean tidy home. I think the secret is never letting anything pile up and doing a bit here and there. I've said it before, but my home asks for little and gives us so much, so the least I can do is look after it.

    Love your work J x

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    1. this is truly impressive bc i know just how demanding your job is. like you, walking into a clean home at the end of the day is such a joy to me. i agree that our homes are our refuge from the crazy world. larry is such a big help to me too as he has really learned to cook a few meals that are wonderful!x

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    2. I remember your comment on how little our home asks for ... thank you for sharing this thought.

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  21. What product do you use to dust?
    What type of vacuum cleaner do you use?
    Thanks

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    1. for dusting i just use a damp cloth. i have a mighty mite vacuum that i got on amazon. i will edit the post and include it. x

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    2. Thanks: Mine is a mighty mite too; however it is from the 1990's and still going strong.
      You use a damp cloth on your wood pieces?

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    3. good to know your mighty mite is still going! yes, just barely damp.

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  22. 15 minutes! Oh how I wish...it takes me that long just to wash & dry all the breakfast dishes! You must move super fast.
    What do you use to wipe down your kitchen cabinets? Just soap and water? I hate those oily fingerprints. :/

    I actually made a list of chores & things to accomplish today. It felt great to cross some things off even though I didn't complete everything on it.

    Is that the tin you bought at the flea market? Love it!

    Linda
    xo



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    1. yes linda, pretty much hot soapy water does the trick. and yes that is the tin, i love it! x

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    2. I'm think "hot" soapy water is key here...maybe that's what I need to try...thanks!

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    3. Oops meant to say "thinking"! And I proofread it! :o)

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  23. I too am wondering what type of vacuum cleaner you use (and impressed that you vacuum the kitchen cabinets:)) I have an old Miele and it works great. Also, I'm wondering if you could do a similar post explaining your cooking routine. I find that, as a vegetarian, I spend more time shopping for and preparing fresh food. Perhaps you could give us some tips on this. Thanks!

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    1. i included the model of the vacuum in the post. i love it bc it is so small but very powerful. yes, i'll work on a shopping post. x

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  24. Hi Janet!

    in Austria we recycle a lot. I once read we are world champions, recycling wise.
    I love to collect emtpy the paper and glass containers in our kitchen, place them at the front door in the evening, so I take it with me on my way to work the next morning.

    I love to carry stuff OUT of our apartment. Feels refreshing. "Another gallon gone". Be it paper, glass or clothes I bring to goodwill.

    The dining room/living room/study (=all in one) table needs to be clean and free from any clutter, always. Before I go to bed and before I leave to work I make sure the table is clean.

    Next zone is the entry hall: all coats, shoes etc go to their dedicated places. Whatever does not have a dedicated place has to leave.

    Cleaning at the Paula Residence is more about tidying.

    happy greetings!
    Paula

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    1. hi paula. i'm sure you've read the blog Zero Waste HOme. she is so inspiring and you remind me of her. tidying is good! x

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  25. Wow! Your monthly list is impressive (and daunting). I feel like a slacker. But I think I will download your list as a reminder of things that need to be done. Very helpful. The monthly list, however, might not get completed each month. Or at all.

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  26. Helpful lists, and pretty much what I TRY to do....just wondering if you make your own window cleaner, and if so, could you share?

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    1. hi susan. i've been using a mix of vinegar and water in a spray bottle but i see emily below is using sal suds - which i've heard before works great. i'm going to try her method next month!

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  27. Janet,
    I'm truly in love with Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds, thanks to you. It cleans like nothing else, and a little diluted in water goes a very long way. The thing I am most impressed with is how well it cleans glass. Bye bye nasty Windex! I make a big spray bottle, and I love wiping down my counters every night with it. It cuts grease too! So happy you have talked about it because before, I only used the Dr. Bronner's castille soap (which I also love) but the Sal Suds is better for everyday and deep cleaning. BUT I do agree with a reply you said above....need something a bit stronger for really dirty laundry and I like Seven Generation too!

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    1. thanks for sharing emily. i've heard that about sal suds for windows but haven't tried it. i will next month for sure. it is such a great cleaner. i really really love cleaning the bathrooms with dr bronner lavender soap. i love the scent and it cleans the bathtub sink and toilet wonderfully! xoxo

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  28. IF I did HALF of what YOU did I might be in BETTER SHAPE!Cleaning is ONLY in my repertoire if I have something NEW to move in.........NEW meaning A FIND Of something OLD!I do need a schedule like you have have thought about it for YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!

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  29. Do any of the men in your lives deign to lift a finger?!

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    1. 1? 10! :-D Laundry, cooking, dishes, more laundry, vacuuming ...

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    2. L washes dishes, does laundry, washes the floors, cleans the outside windows, does the heavy gardening (which is a lot here), painted the house and does just about all other repairs here.

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  30. It's funny how having a black dog with occasionally shedding hair has made me a better housekeeper. I'm always worried that since I love my dog so much everyone will think I'm a crazy animal person who doesn't mind dog hair in their cabinets and on their furniture but I really do. Also I tend to think a wet clean is superior to a dry clean so I try to mop often. For too long I held the idea that mopping was useless and hands and knees was the only way. I've embraced mopping and am very happy to have achieved this enlightenment. I mop with a mixture of white vinegar, water, and several drops of grapefruit, lemon, or lavender essential oil. Also windows are a huge thing for me. You don't realize how depressing a dirty window is until you clean it and realize you've been living in a world with dusty, splotchy reflections.
    I'm bad about leaving dishes for the next day but sorry I think doing dishes at night when you're tired is no way to live. Also I will shoot someone with a tranquilizing dart if they are too eager to clear my table (in my house, I'm not talking about servers). I hate a rushed table cleaning. There are some people who are so hyper focused on it that they kill the vibe and I didn't spend all day cooking to have my vibes meddled with. Plus I enjoy looking at the decadence of a spent table. so I rinse all the dishes before bed and leave them for the morning. If you and FF ever visit Ohio you will have to comply! Haha love your tips! You keep such a lovely home that inspires so many of us.

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    1. saj i've always washed the floor on my hands and knees until we returned from utah last year and the caretakers had left a mop here and now i cannot imagine ever going back. i love it!

      i don't think i've ever left dishes overnight! maybe at alex's wedding?! lol i just can't. but i would never rush a guest, i hate that too. i know how special it is to have a meal cooked for me so i would never want to ruin that for someone else. spent decadence, so awesome. i promise to comply with any and all rules and i know k would too. :) xo

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    2. I have always done floors on my hands and knees. My husband "mops" and floors are never clean enough for me. A couple of weeks ago I bought a stiffer wet jet. I did a quick sweep of the kitchen then ran my new toy over the kitchen , which took less than 10 minutes - viola!! A happy compromise. My husband will use this and so will I. Saves time, does a better job than pushing a mop around and we are both satisfied. What ended up on the pad was dirty and disgusting. I will, of course, still get on my hands and knees - but only 3 or 4 times per year!

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  31. I've so enjoyed your recent entries and love the cleaning post! Our home now filled with 8 ..a dog..wandering cat..and fish. I try and keep things simple as possible...learned so much from this blog. Keep end tables clear..have baskets for books..childrens treasures..place an array of my favorite things up high..and just change colors with seasons. I try and keep a menu of same each week.example..Mon Spaghetti Tues Chicken...Thank you for your treasury of simple beautiful ways to life.

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  32. So happy that you posted this. I am trying to get back to a workable cleaning routine. two years ago I had a crazy accident where I sustained a hairline fracture of the knee and told to move as little as possible. also, I was remodeling my kitchen. so for the first time in my life I hired a cleaning service. my injury healed rapidly but I kept the cleaning service. Finally, this summer I decided that it was silly for me to keep them, but I guess I had become lazy and am trying to get back to reality. my home is fairy small, and I live alone, except for the two cats which I must admit make having a clean and tidy home a real challenge.
    Darby

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  33. Your blog posts on how you organize your home are always a great motivation to start cleaning. I love that. Over the last years you've been such an inspiration for me. I adore your style and approach of things. Thank you, Janet!
    Oh, I've just found an article on Gardenista. This garden in Berkeley might have too many succulents for your liking but Flora Grubb the owner and designer planted several boxwood plants for their drought tolerance. I think this one's looking surprisingly lush and green.

    http://www.gardenista.com/posts/landscape-designer-visit-at-home-with-flora-grubb-in-berkeley-ca/

    Tanja

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  34. I loved reading your domestic list Janet! Thank you. When my bedroom is clean, for some reason, I feel my house is clean! So every Friday night, I dust my bedroom and vacuum. My kitchen I clean up after myself every day. I dust my living room and vacuum it once a month. My pet peeve is my carpeted stairway. I sponge that off every week. I cannot tolerate lint because the front door opens onto the stairway!

    My bathroom is tiny and easy to clean once a week. After I take the Christmas tree down in January, I do a big clean to make the house look fresh and tidy for the New Year! I put out white candles, some crystal to reflect the icy world outside and fill the china bowls with paperwhites and violets. It's my house's finest moment! I love what Irma Bombeck said about cleaning house: "Housework done properly, can kill a person". LOL!

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    1. The way you greet the New Year is wonderful. There is something quite magical about a winterscape, and your idea of crystal and white is a beautiful visual. Thank you for the idea. I always have a Christmas letdown and sprucing up for New Year is lovely way to welcome it in.

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    2. Thank you Kristien62. I also buy lilies for New Years Day. They are very fragrant. I put on classical music when I am doing my magic cleaning and purging the old year and then take a nice hot bubble bath. Donna from alovelyinconsequence.blogspot

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  35. Hi Janet,
    You and FF motivated me to do a deep cleaning yesterday including everything except windows. How do you clean windows? Squeegee, rags, microfiber or newspapers? My downfall.
    I really love my little stonehouse, and want to honor it, as FF suggested. Thanks.

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  36. What a great post! Thanks, Janet.

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  37. As always, I thoroughly enjoyed your post! Wondered if you have ever heard of, or used, the e-cloth for window cleaning? It's a two-piece set, one cleaning cloth and one polishing cloth. I've used many different methods for cleaning my windows and this has been the easiest so far. It eliminates the need for paper towels, newspapers, and cleaning solutions. Google e-cloth Window Cleaning 2 cloths.

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kindness is never out of style.

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