Plus, the ONLY cleaning product you need to clean your entire home!
This one rule is how I keep my house clean and picked up every day. I’m also sharing with you all about my favorite, must-have cleaning product. And yes, you can get it on Amazon.
Keeping a clean house has always been important to me. I consider eliminating clutter, toy build-up and other worthless junk to be basically a hobby of mine now. I actually get a high from dropping boxes off at the donation center. There’s nothing more satisfying than knowing I’m giving our old stuff a new and more useful home. Reuse and recycle!
I also know that having a clean house drastically affects my mood. I just cannot concentrate when there are piles of books, laundry and dishes all over the countertops and toys strewn across the floor. There are many days when I find that I’ve been a bit lax in picking up and everything has begun to accumulate again. When you’re a family of four or more this can only take one afternoon of sports, shopping and school.
As a stay-at-home mom I am far from bored. (Restless, at times, but definitely not bored.) Trying to stay on top of this load of housework is a necessary task that always keeps me busy. I imagine you’re in the same boat as I am, which is why I am sharing my number one rule for keeping a clean house. This post is also my own personal review of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE cleaning product: E-Cloths! But well get back to those later.
First, we delve into this Number One Rule of mine. This is such a simple concept that you’re probably going to say, “well duh, Jessica”! (I also say this to myself at times.) But the truth is, doing and saying are two very different things. If I didn’t abide by this rule of mine I honestly don’t think I would ever get anything done. Someone is always needing something. I’m changing diapers, fetching snacks, wiping butts and searching for favorite YouTube videos usually all at the same time. Then my husband comes home and cannot find that thing he wants and wonders why the house is a disaster.
Does this sound like your crazy, busy life? You don’t have to be a stay-at-home mom to know this feeling. Most mothers I know are the heart of their homes. They often do a large bulk of the cooking, cleaning and child-rearing in their households whether they are working or not. Which is why I believe this rule can help everyone, including your spouse!
Are you ready? Here it is!
BE A FINISHER.
That’s it. Say it in your head like a mantra: I will finish this task before I begin another.
As parents we are basically multitaskers by default now. I’m not sure I can remember the last time I was just doing ONE thing. (Sleeping…maybe?) However, I also get really flustered when I have too many things to do and then I can’t think properly and I start to lose focus. When I’m scatter-brained, as I often feel I am, I end up leaving things incomplete and unfinished which actually makes it worse for me. When I find myself here I simply need to take a step back and remind myself of this rule. I need to be a finisher!
Say you’re unloading the dishwasher and you notice a mug is broken. You stop what you’re doing and go to find the super glue so you can glue the handle back on. You notice in searching for the glue that the junk drawer is messier than usual so you start pulling out random papers, markers and receipts. You find that awesome dinner recipe you wanted to try and go into the pantry to see if you have the right ingredients. You forget what your looking for almost immediately because the pantry is a mess from your toddler’s antics again. You start picking things up in there until one of your kids is yelling for “Maaaaamaaaa!” Then, after caring for your child you then return to a complete and utter disorganized disaster of a kitchen. Oh, and you have no idea what to make for dinner.
Sounds familiar, right? Monkey Mind is a real thing. It can manifest itself as a form of anxiety as well. An inability to concentrate or complete a task because your mind is constant being pulled in too many directions. Having young children does this to all of us. We are all trying to do too many things at one time.
Instead of constantly feeling the need to jump from one task to another, stop and tell yourself to finish the one thing in front of you. Put away ALL the laundry. That means hanging, folding, storing, etc. Pick up and stow away every toy in the playroom at one time. Wipe down all the counter tops completely BEFORE you start loading the dishwasher.
Leaping from one thing to another often leaves the action incomplete. I’ll find myself loading a basket of random junk to take back upstairs just to end up staring at it while it sits on the floor for a day. What to do better? Grab a bin, go around the entire main floor and pick up everything that doesn’t belong (dirty socks, lost toys, stuffed animals, crayons, office papers) and then march right up the stairs and put away everything RIGHT WHERE IT GOES. Not close to, not “meh, good enough”, just do it and DO IT COMPLETELY.
This is the secret to keeping a clean house.
I also love this rule because I feel like it applies to many other things in life. Not just cleaning and your basic household chores. It’s a great mantra to teach your children and can be instrumental in keeping those young minds focused on the task at hand.
Every time we are working on a craft project together I’m always sure to explain how we will complete it and that everyone is responsible for clean-up. This also goes for toys and games. Sure, we’ll probably leave the Hot Wheels track set up overnight for play the next day, but when clean-up time comes the cars go in the box, the track is taken apart and everything is put AWAY where it belongs. Board games go back into the closet, toys into the cubbies and clothes in the hamper. The more I enforce this rule of completion, the more I see my children doing these things automatically on their own.
Completing a task to the very end will ensure you and your family are always working together in keeping a clean house. It takes some of the load off of you as the parent, and constant sock-picker-upper, and teaches discipline to your kids as well. Most people, but certainly children, are often able to focus much better and actually live HAPPIER LIVES when their house is not full of clutter and mess.
Now, picking up is just one part of keeping your house clean. At some point the dishes need washed, the counters need wiped down and the bathrooms scrubbed. This is where we bring in my favorite cleaning product, E-Cloths!
E-Cloths are microfiber towels of various styles that you can use with JUST WATER to clean your entire house. I imagine you have heard of Norwex by now. Their microfiber products are very popular and they also claim you need nothing but water to use them. E-Cloths are basically the same concept, at a fraction of the price. Plus, you can find them on Amazon now!
I currently own this set and they have lasted me for YEARS now. It contains basically everything you need to clean your ENTIRE HOUSE. With WATER. It’s the 8 Piece Home Cleaning Set and it includes 1 Kitchen Cloth with Scrubbing Pocket, 2 Glass & Polishing Cloths, 1 Bathroom Cloth, 1 Window Cloth, 1 Dusting Cloth, 1 Stainless Steel Cloth and 1 Range & Stovetop Cloth. I also ended up ordering a few others to keep in various places around the house, like in this small pack.
So what can you do with an E-Cloth? Pretty much anything. First, thoroughly wet the cloth with hot water and wring it out. Fold it into a square and wipe down any surface: chairs, tables, counters, shelves, windows, floors, doors and door frames, walls, window screens, etc. Rinse and repeat as needed. You can throw the towels into your washer with hot water and a small amount of detergent and then hang to dry. The company claims: “Using an E-Cloth + water removes over 99% of bacteria, mold, pollen & other contaminants, locking them away inside the cloths’ fibers, where they stay until the cloths are rinsed.”
No cleaning chemicals, no bleach or other harmful products needed. I keep the Kitchen Cloth plus an extra under the sink to wipe the counters and table after meals. They easily scrub off the dried food caked onto the kids’ booster seats AND the walls without removing any paint. I also use them to buff stains out of our upholstered chairs and the sofa. They are perfect for wiping down wooden tables and chair legs and cleaning chocolate fingerprints off of my white doors.
I only use water and my E-Cloth for our stainless steel appliances and it cleans better than anything else I have ever tried. Including those fancy stainless steel cleaning wipes. No streaks, no fingerprints left to be found. Remember to always wipe along the grain!
The window cleaning set is one of my favorite things EVER! That blue Glass & Polishing Cloth is fantastic! First, wipe clean the glass mirror or window with a wet Window Cloth and then wipe dry with the Glass Cloth. You’ll never see cleaner windows in your life. It literally makes my house brighter! Plus, no smelly glass cleaner needed! You can also just moisten a small area of the Glass Cloth and clean your mirrors with that. It’s so easy!
I use the yellow Bathroom Cloth for all my bathroom countertops. I go from room to room and wipe down the sinks, counters, cabinets and mirrors and finish with the Glass & Polishing Cloth. It’s fast, easy and looks amazing when you’re done. I have a second cloth that I use just for the showers. I don’t however, clean my toilets with E-Cloths. If you had a designated cloth I’m sure you could but since I have a boy who pees everywhere, I just use Clorox wipes for that.
If you really find yourself loving your E-Cloth products (and you will), then be sure to check out their floor care items. They offer a Deep Clean Mop as well as a Floor and Wall Duster. The mop, as with the other cloths, allows you to clean your floors with just water, but you could always use a floor product as well if you prefer. I go back and forth between just water and Bona Floor Cleaner on my wood floors, but I’m always using my E-Cloth mop.
The floor duster is great too. We have 2 dogs and a cat and 2 children under the age of four, so things get pretty messy around here. A quick sweep is often all I need to do instead of having to vacuum my entire main floor area. It picks everything up so well, I couldn’t live without it! After a week of dry sweeping and shaking it out, I wash the sweeper head in hot water and hang to dry. You can also use it to reach those high up places like curtain rods and ceiling fans or ledges you can’t get to without a ladder.
There are some other sets you can look into that sell the different types of E-Cloths separately, including the Window Cleaning Pack, Kitchen Cleaning Pack, Stainless Steel Cleaning Pack and Bathroom Cleaning Pack. They also sell a pretty awesome Dusting Glove.
Personally, I think buying the 8 Piece Home Cleaning Set is the way to go. It really is a great deal and like I said, it has lasted me for years now. You get EIGHT cloths for the price of ONE Norwex cloth.
I’m hoping this has convinced you to give E-Cloths a try. After all, I’m just a mom, trying to make life a little more simple for me and my family. And I’m sure you are too! These products help me do just that and I don’t have to live with the worry of bringing more chemicals into my home.
Using the NUMBER ONE RULE along with your E-Cloths will for sure make keeping a clean house a total breeze for you! At least until the kids come home, right? 😉