For those who are unaware, my husband and I are going through the process of putting our house on the market and (hopefully) moving into a bigger home. Part of that process was unearthing my house, which was hidden beneath piles of stuff.
If you've never done this, I highly recommend doing it at least once a year, even if you're not selling your home. Go through every drawer and closet in your home and just throw stuff out or give it away. I can guarantee you that you'll be shocked at just how much stuff you don't need.
A thorough cleaning of my home also got me to thinking that I use a lot of paper towels, and for one thing I know that's a lot of unnecessary trash. For another thing, it's annoying to go back and forth in my house to constantly tear off new towels. So I got to thinking that maybe there's a better way..
Maybe I'm severely behind the times, but that was when I discovered microfiber cleaning cloths. Let me tell you, if you haven't tried them, you absolutely should. I grabbed a multi-pack of four, which have different loops for different tasks– one each for glass, dusting & polishing wood furniture, kitchen & bathroom surface, and stainless steel. (I'm going to grab an extra couple kitchen & bathroom ones because the thought of cleaning my kitchen with the same cloth as my bathroom didn't sit well with me.)
Not only did I use the same cloth to clean all my windows and mirrors, but the results were so much better than with the paper towels! They have that good, “heavy” feeling that I like when I have a nice wad of paper towels in my hand. And I just tossed them into the washing machine after! I loved them so much that I'll never go back to paper towels to clean!
And it just happens to be a small step towards being greener while doing your house cleaning.
You'd also be amazed at how much you can accomplish with water, vinegar, and baking soda. They're big staples in my cleaning routine, though the only thing that seems to work for the hard water in my bathroom is CLR.
I'm sure I'm sailing into Dragontide's territory here a bit, and I apologize if I'm stepping on any toes. It was just what I happen to be up to right now. And I thought that even if you're the type who doesn't give two hoots about the environment, these are things that you'd probably be interested in trying anyway because they're just so much darn better than how I was doing things before. I personally can't stand to breathe in all those chemicals while cleaning, which is why I tried the more natural approach. And less trash is less of me hauling garbage bags up and down the basement stairs. Fewer bottles of various cleaners also means less clutter.
I'd also like to take the time to recommend a wonderful website, whether you're getting a late start on spring cleaning or just would like to keep your home nice and clean and clutter-free all year round. I've been using Flylady, and I can't sing enough praises. They've got some great organizational tools. (My favorite is the Cozi calendar, which is free and online.) They start you out with baby steps. And they break it down for you on a day-by-day week-by-week 15-minutes-at-a-time basis.