Friday, October 5, 2012

Minimalist cleaning

All Clean :)  (Credit:  SuddenlySusan)
I have a confession to make (and I'm sure hubby and my MIL would agree):  I am a clean freak, but I don't like to spend a lot of time cleaning.  I love have a clean space because it frees me up to think big thoughts instead of being mired down in the clutter.  That being said, owning less and in a smaller space certainly cuts down on the amount of time it takes me to clean.

On a typical day, it takes approximately 30 minutes for me to get the apartment back in shape.  I usually follow the same steps and I thought I would share those here.
  1. Grab the wastebasket from the bathroom.
  2. Clean the kitty box.  (All of the yucky goes into the wastebasket.)
  3. Grab a microfiber dusting cloth and wipe down all surfaces (tables and bookcases)
  4. Attach the same dusting cloth to the swiffer and dry mop the entire apartment.
  5. Using the hand-broom, sweep up the extra bits into the wastebasket.
  6. Double bag the wastebasket contents.
  7. Fill the dishwasher with any dishes in the sink.
  8. Wipe down the kitchen counter top.
  9. Clean the bathroom mirror and wipe down the bathroom sink.
  10. Sigh in relief that it's all done.
Yes, I clean the exact same way every time.  Since I do this every other day or so, the apartment is never really dirty.  There are a few "deep cleaning" things that I do about once a month like cleaning the tub (gross) and vacuuming the furniture, but even those things only add about 15 minutes to the process.  

Just a note about the Swiffer.  A few months ago I realized that using one or two Swiffer cloths every couple of days was neither sustainable nor environmentally friendly.  So, I decided to research reusable Swiffer options on the internet.  While I could have crocheted a Swiffer cloth (or bought one online), I eventually decided that purchasing four microfiber dust cloths would be the best choice.  Each of the cloths measure 12 inches by 12 inches and fits just right onto the swiffer handle.  I chose to purchase four so that I could run them in the wash once a week instead of doing laundry midweek when I ran out.  It seems to be working pretty well so far. 

The other thing I would say is that since I own less items, I also own less cleaning products.  My cleaning arsenal consists of the Swiffer, 4 microfiber cloths, glass cleaner, multipurpose cleaner, a sponge, and paper towels.  I am investigating switching to homemade cleaning products, but I'll cross that bridge when my current supply runs out.  There isn't a good reason (that I can think of) to throw away perfectly good supplies.


  1. I love my microfiber cloths. I've had a hard time convicing my hubby that no chemicals are needed for them to be effective. I love using them on the car windshield and windows because there is not a cleaner window when I get done with them. I don't have my routine down quite as snappy as yours but the one thing I do on a regular (almost) daily basis is put a couple of drops of my environmentally safe dish soap in the toilet and swish. I learned that from Flylady has some really awesome ideas for decluttering that I use on a constant basis. I'll blog about that sometime soon. Thanks for the Swiffer idea. I do have a microfiber mop but I hadn't thought of getting extra cloths for it. It's those little ideas that make a big difference in our lives. Thanks!!!

    1. Having a few around has certainly been helpful. I bought four for the cost of a box of swiffer cloths and I'm pretty sure that they'll last much longer then the two months I would have gotten out of a box (especially since I have such a bad memory that I can't remember when I bought them, so it might have already been two months).

      Thanks for the idea about putting drops of soap in the toilet. I'll let hubby know since toilets aren't in my job description. :)