I don’t profess much expertise in the homekeeping department, which is precisely why I so chiefly excel in my role as Ruthless Curator. The less there is to dust, the less there is to dust, you get me?
Still, Ken has twice this month complimented the state of our floors and I’ve become no stranger to dousing our shower with a bottle of vinegar. I have scrubbed the utility sink. I have laundered old linens. I have cleaned our baseboards for the first time in – ever? Perhaps this is what it means to anticipate the changing weather, spring cleaning in a gale of domestic proportions. (If so, I accept, both the cleaning and the spring.) Or else, it’s the direct result of a freshly catered planner.
Whatever the source, here are a few everyday homekeeping supplies I’ve loved and relied on through the years. (A cautionary word: I wish it weren’t so, but I do find that the easier they are on the eye, the more apt I am to pick up a broom/rag/cleaner in a free window of time. Perils of a former stylist, and all that.)
FOR EVERYDAY USE
FLOUR SACK TOWELS
Spills and mishaps are on loop all day long over here. I keep a stack of two dozen or so of these sack towels in a low cabinet so the littles can wipe up every mess imaginable – from scrubbing marker stains off the table to soaking up spilled water on the wood floors. They’re less absorbent than a typical dish towel (we’ve mixed in a few of these and these for larger suds) but I’ve found flour sacks to be a surprisingly perfect multi-tasker in the kitchen and beyond. Once bleached, they’re like new and can double as cloth napkins or paper towels in a jiff.
It’s an infamous battle to search for a cleaning solution that bears both effectiveness and safety, but this vinegar has been going strong for three years. (FYI – it’s cheaper here, plus 25% off for new members.) I use it on every surface imaginable – sinks, showers, countertops, even toilets. Speaking of the latter, a good old (long) bottle brush will work just fine here – no need for fancy brush-and-bowl combos.
Wood floors and surfaces? We’ve long loved this floor concentrate.
For everyday laundering, I’m still on the hunt. Currently, this detergent does the trick, but as always, fill me in on what you love?
BROOMS & BRUSHES
I picked up a corn broom at the thrift store years ago, and it’s served me well for daily use (this one’s strikingly similar, but any basic version will do). For finer messes and table crumbs, I love the simplicity and ease of this classic dustpan-and-brush combo, or it’s more affordable rival here (and the mini version here). And when dish duty rolls around, I rely heavily on this dish brush with this soap to de-gunk all those hardened egg yolks my rinse-averse kin so often leave behind.
HEAVY DUTY MESSES
We’re no stranger to those stubborn carpet and rug stains (ahem, Bernie and George), so this portable carpet cleaner has been a near God-send. We pull it out at least monthly, less so if Bernie’s bladder is feeling uncharacteristically altruistic. (Oh, but to dream.)
For heavy duty rags and garage/utility use, we’ve always cut up Ken’s old t-shirts. They’ve already been washed thousands of times, so they turn out to be the perfect blend of soft + sturdy. No need to reinvent the wheel, nor the loom.
Every now and then a deep clean is in order, and this is by far my favorite mop for refreshing the floors. (Bonus: it works wonders on windows, in and out!).
Tell me, have you been brushing up on your homekeeping skills lately? Anything interesting you’ve learned along the way? I found this weekly cleaning rhythm to be so very inspiring (albeit intimidating nonetheless!).
For now, here’s to taking care of our things, and each other.