The Tale of the Lazy Cleaner

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Do you like living in a clean home, but hate having to do the chores to get it that way? Do you ever feel like the moment you’ve finished cleaning your home from top to bottom, you’ve got to start all over again?

Attractive housewife sitting on kitchen floor looking frustrated with cleaning supplies around her.

As a homemaker, it can be challenging to juggle the repetition of chores with parenthood and taking care of you. It can take years of practice and planning to keep your home life even somewhat manageable.

With how hectic everyday life is, what’s a parent to do to keep their sanity? With the slow economy and costs rising, how can a homemaker cut back and save time, which both save money, helping to keep Americans in the green?

With just a little planning, preparing, a schedule, check lists, and a few handy household products, your home and time can be much more pleasant.

You see, I’m what you might call a lazy cleaner. I try to get the maximum amount of cleanliness with the minimum amount of effort as possible. It all starts with a little planning; getting the most for your money with cleaning and organizational products and I enlist help any chance I get.

I even try to make a little extra pocket money and tax deductions via donations by getting rid of items I don’t use anymore.

Checklists Keep Your Sanity

The first thing is to find home maintenance and chore charts (in particular a Home Maintenance Checklist, Chore Schedule Checklist and a Kid’s Chore List). Microsoft has some excellent ones for free and those will have you set for keeping “to do lists” for housekeeping.

I highly suggest either laminating or using sheet protectors and dry erase markers to reuse them; this will save you money, and trees, in the long run. These schedules give you a guide as to what or where you should clean in your house when.

You may need to adjust the Kid’s Chore Chart template to add to or subtract from the list to customize the chores to what your child is able to do based on their age.


How to keep the house clean with kids

The folks over at the InstaQuo Blog have put together a REALLY awesome roundup of 20 different moms providing 20 different very actionable tips on how to keep the house clean with small and large (and grown) children. Check it out today.

For example, my son is able to weekly wipe the fronts of lower kitchen cabinets, so that’s on his chore chart, along with helping mommy sort laundry and dusting things he can reach, with regulars like making his bed and cleaning his room.

Once old enough to just about reach the tops of the counters, you could get a step stool and start the child on a bit of dish washing (not knives or other sharp objects).

Crazy house wife sitting on floor with smeared makeup and sorrounded by appliances.

Me without my checklists.

Alternatively, you can also use a magnetic dry erase board such as the this one from the Board Dudes.  I have one and I find it significantly easier to keep track of who is doing what when it is easily visible on the fridge.

The Board Dudes Magnetic Dry Erase Chore List

Cleaning Supplies

If there isn’t a specific “utility room” in your home, I find the laundry room or area is a good place to set up your home cleaning supplies area. I put cleaners organized by the rooms they clean in cabinets and have a broomstick hanger where I hang brooms, mops, Swiffers, dusters, etc.

I have a handled tray I put all of the things I need to clean in to carry around with me where ever I go. Buckets are convenient to carry gloves, brushes and floor cleaning goods.

If your laundry area happens to be in the garage, hang a broomstick system behind the door and hang the items cleaning-ends up. I also leave the vacuum near this area, preferably in a closet.

I keep an ironing holder (holds iron, board and starch) and a hanging bar to hang clothes on (similar to this one linked here) as soon as they come out of the dryer.

Spectrum Ironing Board Holder

This is the ironing holder I use – I picked it up at Amazon.

I try to go for cleaners that are eco-friendly first – such as lemon juice or vinegar.

But sometimes you want straight up manufactured products because they work well and are cost effective third.

I like multi-purpose, eco-friendly cleaning sprays, preferably concentrated because they help the environment through less waste since you buy concentrated tiny bottle formulas you pour into the original, reusable bottle and mix with water.

In fact, I prefer using multi-purpose cleaners anywhere I can so to save on money and space. A good streak-free window cleaner is a must. Sanitizing wipes are used regularly in my home for quick and easy clean up then toss those germs and bacteria away.

CLR for stubborn porcelain stains and cleaning mildew and water depositing.

Bleach is a MUST for regular cleaning as well as laundry.

Using dust spray, like Endust for electronics, and Pledge (again, I like the multi-purpose kind) save time and allergies in the long run. Soft scrub is great for sensitive porcelain and floors.

Goo Gone is great for sticky situations, like cooking grease that may linger on the wall above the stove and under the cooking vent. Urine Be Gone is necessary for animal and potty training child age homes.

Keep metal polish, not just for fine silverware, but to clean faucets and metal knobs monthly.

Good old fashioned scouring powder like Comet still works great for stubborn sink, floor and bathroom stains. You simply have to be sure you rinse or wipe up well after using as scouring powder can leave residue if you don’t.

Lysol Nuetra Air and Febreze are great for freshening air and fabrics, though I prefer using sparingly, especially if you have kids with asthma. I try to limit their use to after there’s been an air born virus, like the flu, that has been in the house.

Another handy item for after illnesses having been in the house is a germ killing black light to get rid of germs on electronics. Carpet Freshening products are a nice monthly addition when vacuuming.

SOS Pads are a must for cleaning cast iron, metal pots and inside the oven. There are oven cleaners but all have toxic, flammable properties. Again, Lysol wipes for sanitizing counters and the sink.

As far as sponge items, I prefer buying the sponges that are separate from scrubbers because the scrubbers have metal properties in them. I like to buy the sponges in multi-packs from the grocery store and the scrubber pads from dollar stores. To save money, I cut the sponges and scrubber pads into thirds for dishes and halves for counters.

I got this idea from an Extended Stay Hotel. They have trial size sponges, about 1/3rd the size of regular sponges, by their sinks for their customers to wash dishes.

For the kitchen, I prefer using Dawn Ultra Hand Renewal with Olay Beauty Scent Dishwashing Liquid  when washing dishes as it helps my hands keep moisture while I’m washing.

Also, Dawn is more concentrated and thus you use less cleaning product compared to cheaper brands, so you actually spend less than more in the long run. For those whom have gluten intolerants, this product does contain Laurel Sulfate, but I’ve yet to find a dish detergent that doesn’t have glutens, so you may want to consider gloves from a dollar store.

Dawn Ultra Hand Renewal Dishwashing Liquid with Olay Beauty Pomegranate Splash Scent, 9 Ounce (Pack of 12)

Double duty cleaners (multi-purpose, Lysol Wipes, Comet, Windex, and Soft Scrub) can be used in many parts of the house, like the bathroom.

However, there are a few bathroom must haves. A daily shower cleaner, like the Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner System, helps with keeping a shower and tub cleaner longer, especially if you are someone who doesn’t clean it as often as you should.

Hannah’s Scouring Scrubber or Pumice can get hard water and other ring stains out of the toilet. A daily toilet cleanser is convenient.

A favorite bathroom product of mine is Just a Drop Bathroom Odor Eliminator (in Eucalyptus scent), found at Amazon. This item sanitizes and deodorizes the toilet water. Just 1 to 4 drops can last 7-10 days, though I’ve noticed it can last up to and sometimes over two weeks. It’s biodegradable and eco-friendly as well.

It also comes in a handy travel size.

When purchasing household cleaners, consider how much you use regularly of each item to plan spending accordingly. For example, dollar stores often have brand name cleaners you regularly use, like Comet, Soft Scrub and Magic Starch.

Plus, cleaners like basic bleach (no brand name needed) and buying carpet fresheners there are more cost effective. I am very picky and choosey about the cleaners I buy from dollar stores. Except for carpet freshener and bleach, I don’t buy off brands because they just don’t work as well.

Cheap imitations are not worth the dollar when they don’t do their job. I always do coupon and ad sale searches before buying. I always look for the shop that sells the cleaners I use for the lowest price. When I find a product that works great (cleans thoroughly, leaves no residue, preferably green), I stick with the cleaner.

But I am always open to trying new items when they come on the market, especially if they’re eco-friendly. If I like it, I replace the previous cleaner with it. If I don’t I do a review, then stick with what I have.

You may think you are saving money by going with off brands, but in actuality, you may be spending more because if, for example, the off brand grease doesn’t cut grease without using tons of it, you’re using more and needing to replenish the product more often. Use what works the best with the least amount of product regardless of the cost. You are saving money doing this.

Buying bulk multi-purpose cleaners such as Lysol Disinfecting Wipes at Costco or at Amazon (especially if you have a prime account and get free shipping) saves product costs and gas money that may be burnt up with multiple trips to the store.

Lysol Disinfecting Wipes, Lemon & Lime Blossom, 110 Count (Case of 6)

Storage – Get Some

As the saying goes, “A place for everything, and everything in its place!” Part of having a tidy home is making sure everything has a place. So, start with some organizational tools at Bed, Bath & Beyond, The Container Store, Amazon. You can even find some organizing items at The Dollar Tree.

I find tools, like bins for drawers, extra shelving and closet systems that I might be able to utilize closet space more effectively. A trick for minimal space is to find creative storage that puts items in their places, preferably hidden, so “stuff” is not just lying around.

Think about utilizing all of the space under the beds (and I don’t mean dirty laundry) for off season clothing storage. I recently picked up a six pack of these Sterilite 41-Quart Underbed Boxes. I like them better than some solutions as they have a see through window so you don’t have to go digging.

Sterilite 19608006, 41-Quart Underbed Box, 6-Pack, White Lid with See-Through Base and Blue Aquarium Latches

Clutter – Remove It

Annually and seasonally, I go through the rooms and closets to remove the items that haven’t been used in more than a year. Those items go on eBay or craigslist or in a rummage sale. Why not make a little income on that clutter? What doesn’t sell; take to a thrift store for donations. Be sure to ask for a receipt, as I mentioned earlier for tax deduction purposes.

Rummage sale inside of garage = get rid of clutter

Get rid of the clutter! Sell it, give it away, just make it go!

Firstly, taking a few moments to rinse a dish or wipe a spill at the time they appear or occur can save hours on regular cleaning. Plus this keeps your furniture and floors looking newer longer. Secondly, keep crates with handles, nice wood or wicker ones for presentation purposes, by the door. Get one for each family member and mark with their names. As you pick up clutter, put the items in the crate for which they belong. When the kids and spouse get home, they have to take their own crate to put their items away.

I particularly like and use these small rattan baskets by Winsome Wood that I picked up from Amazon.  They are also available in other sizes and slightly different styles.

Third, know that not everything needs to be done in the same day. That’s what a home care maintenance log is for. Using the log, you can do deep cleaning on a specific day every 3-5 months or 6-12 months, but keeping things up daily and weekly might cut those spring cleanings down too.

Even on a day when I’m doing deep seasonal cleaning, I can tell you I spend no more than 2 hours cleaning a 2-story, 2 bedrooms, and 2 bath home. On a regular day, I spend no more than 15 minutes to a half hour cleaning.

Keep cleaning utensils (sponges, brushes, scrubbies) separated based on the room they’re used in; kitchen ones separate from bathroom ones. Don’t forget, after you’ve used them; clean the sponges and brushes and any other cleaning utensils you use too.

Wash them out with soap and water, spray Lysol on them to disinfect, put sponges in the dishwasher with the load of dishes or in the microwave for 10-15 seconds (watch it closely, it can spark, so I stick to 10 minutes) to disinfect. The vacuum is like a magnet for dust and hair. Wipe it down after usage.

According to The Dr. Oz Show, the first room in your home that you should clean is the kitchen. The last room or rooms you should clean are the bathrooms. On an episode of The View, I found out that the place in your home that has the most germs and bacteria is the kitchen sink, which you will leave as the last thing to clean when you’re cleaning the kitchen.

To cut down on oven and stove cleaning, I line the burners with aluminum foil. After the oven (if it’s needed) is cleaned out, I place cookie sheets on the racks and place whatever I’m cooking, a casserole dish, and deep rotisserie pot, on top of the cookie trays.

This way, should they spill over, the mess lands on the cookie sheets. It’s much easier to take out and clean those sheets than it is to clean out the oven. Don’t forget to regularly clean the stove vents and the microwave.

The microwave is the most neglected appliance in the kitchen. Think about how often you cook in that thing, compared to how often you clean it. Might you need to clean it more often?

Lastly, to keep the disposal clean, egg shells sharpen the blades and citrus peels deodorizes it. For good measure, every month or so, I use the commercial item, Plinks,to deodorize and disinfect the disposal for good measure.

A natural, homemade air freshener brings a clean scent to the whole house.

For more tips to keep small kitchen appliances sparkling clean and in good working order, check out our post. And take a look at this advice for the larger items!

While you’re at it, take a look at our handy advice for cleaning kitchen countertops and cabinets.

Plink Garbage Disposal Cleaner and Deodorizer – I get mine at Amazon in bulk packs of 30.

Bathrooms – Use Some Serious Disinfectant

Bathroom cleaning can take time but with a few simple measures you can cut cleaning time immensely. Another tip from The Dr. Oz Show, when the toilet is flushed, fecal matter can float through the air for up to 25 feet.

Most bathrooms are smaller than that and no one thinks to clean off every item regularly, including dental care that often sits out in the open near by. Simply closing the toilet seat before flushing and keeping it shut regularly can cut down bacterial transfer quite a bit. (Imagine how much spreads around public bathrooms that don’t have toilet seats? Yuck.)

Use Lysol Wipes to wipe down EVERYTHING IN THE BATHROOM, including all exposed dental items, hair care items, shaving and washing items, and then toss the used wipes away. Don’t forget the regulars, counter, sink, toilet (don’t miss the bottom part and back of the toilet) and walls.

Another hypothetical question, how often do you clean the inside of the shower or the inside of the toilet? If it’s less than you should, you might want to take extra precautions to clean them. For example, spend one time really scrubbing that porcelain and then a daily shower cleaner spray as well as a daily toilet cleaner will maintain those.

Also, it doesn’t take long to swipe the toilet brush around the bowl every day or, at the very least, every other day. Use soft scrub for the rings around the toilet and tub with elbow grease. Bleach water helps with ring stains.

Time Management with Laundry

Laundry is another area you can cut time and save money as well. (Coming soon is my article on keeping your wardrobe longer) For starters, part of saving money on wardrobe is using items that keep your clothes lasting longer. I choose a quality detergent that works well on stains and keeps colors well at the same time.

You’re saving money in both cleaning them and keeping them longer. Other laundry product must haves are Woolite for Darks, a quality laundry booster, a good stain pre-treater, the Tide Pen or to-go stain treater, liquid fabric, bleach and a set of colored fabric markers.

Firstly, to save energy and money on your gas bill, wash clothes before noon and after 7pm . I have my son help me sort the laundry into darks, brights, lights and whites. You can have your husband put a load in after he gets home from work and/or put a load in before he goes to work. My son also helps me stain treat and put them in.

I use an alarm to remind me to change out the wash. I do other chores while waiting for the laundry. I get my hubby to help me fold and everyone puts away their own clothes.

Now, I do get help with laundry by my hubby too. Often times, he does a load without my having to ask. In fact, he often does a load of dishes without my having to ask. I’m a lucky one, I know. However, it doesn’t hurt to ask your spouse to help you out. You’re a team, after all.

Renovation with an Eye towards Housework

You may want to consider some home improvement work to cut down on cleaning efforts. Replacing carpets with wood floors cuts down on allergens like dust mites and using that allergen filled vacuum. At repainting time, use easy to clean paints.

Want an immediate “clean feel”? Freshen the air anywhere in your house with some natural, homemade air fresheners.

If you don’t have one, a dishwasher saves on time and water. Keeping any holes patched can help keep air, dust and bugs out. Hooking up a house water filter into your water pipes system saves hard water stains, as well as giving you fresh drinking water and fresh cleaning water out of every house faucet.

A utility room with storage cabinets can be the central area for all cleaning needs. Finding ways to put more storage space in your home may help with those extra pesky items that are just left about.

This seems like a lot, because I do like to be thorough when cleaning, but being thorough doesn’t have to be back breaking. However, making it fun with music (Sing a Happy Little Working Song! ~ Enchanted) and utilizing certain house work as exercise can make the time pass quicker.

It’s no fun cleaning all the time.

Make those plans and preparations so the task is much easier on you and your wallet, and maybe even make some wiggle room for some “me time.”

About Lynne Jaques

Lynne is a stay-at-home mother of two boys. As a former US military officer and the spouse of an active duty US military member, Lynne enjoys traveling the world (although not the moving part!) and finding new cuisine and methods of preparing food. She also has the habit of using parenthesis way too much!

49 thoughts on “The Tale of the Lazy Cleaner”

  1. Great ideas! I especially like the one about clutter. For so many years I kept all types of items around assuming I would one day need it and then kick myself for not buying it, the thing is that all of that clutter made tidying up something I would dread because everything didn’t have a place and finding one was near impossible in my apartment. Last year I finally went through EVERYTHING and donated almost everything in my clutter pile. Cleaning my apartment is so much easier now and almost enjoyable, not to mention the fact I felt good being able to give things to people that were in great condition but just not something I needed.

  2. I am in the lazy cleaner club, too. Vinegar is definitely one of the most economical and most effective cleaners you can have in your cleaning supplies kit. It cleans just about anything, and it is a great disinfectant, too. For those times when I want to use a little something extra, I like to use Simple Green All Purpose Cleaner because it is non-toxic and biodegradable. Thanks for the great article. I am going to implement some of the organizational tips. There are a few areas around here that could be better organized.

    • I really like vinegar and Simple Green cleanser too. The vinegar is so inexpensive and multipurpose, although I can pass on the smell sometimes because it can be a bit overwhelming and I don’t always want my guests to smell it, and I also like that it is natural…I do my best to not use too many chemicals. The Simple Green is also great when I need to put some elbow grease into cleaning. I also like that I can keep it with me the entire time I clean and use it in almost every room. Trader Joe’s has a similar cleanser if you’re ever in the market to branch out a bit.

    • Vinegar is fantastic for cleaning. The acid cuts through grease and grime like a dream and you get the added bonus of no nasty fumes. It’s particulary good for cleaning the scale from shower heads and for brightening up bathroom tiles.

  3. I wouldn’t call myself a lazy cleaner but once in a while i tend to fall off the band wagon and procrastinate cleaning, once morale hits hard, i become busy as a bee, thank God am not a hoarder, so in terms of clutter, am off that list, i always like sorting out things i need and things i really don’t need, the ones i don’t need…go to charity or if they are way worn out, the trash can will do me good…the other day, i had to clean a house my mom left me…its up for renting, boy, that house needs more that just a pair of hands, am glad to have stumbled upon this page, borrowing some cleaning ideas will work magic for me….that bathroom deodorizer looks amazing… is my next stop after i finish some errands.

  4. I am definitely a “Lazy Cleaner,” as well. I have very little experience actually performing household chores. I will incorporate vinegar in my cleaning routine, if you can call it that. The one drop deodorizer is a heaven sent for my household.

    • Same here! I am definitely a “Lazy Cleaner”, as well. I don’t mind cleaning but I tend to push it off until there is too much to do. I need to get better at cleaning and finding easy ways to get it done.

  5. Those are all great tips and tricks for saving time and money on cleaning your house. As someone who will move out from her parents someday, I like to be prepared a lot earlier. I will be sure to bookmark this article and keep in mind as many tips as I can! Thank you for taking your time to write all this and help others!

  6. Both of my parents we’re working when we were in grade school and I remember that we have this chore schedule checklist posted in our fridge. It really helped us divide errands at home especially we’re all girls. I am the youngest so at my early age, I started learning house hold chores. I wish that families and kids in this generation still practice it to combat laziness.

  7. Seriuosly, I would’nt call you a lazy cleaner. The fact that you plan and do this things repeatedly, everyday actually makes you more of a smart cleaner. I wish I have that diligence though.

    Since I live on my own, the chores are only done weekly, of course not including the dishes. Its hard when you are the only one to do everything, but then again, Im alone so I have no choice.

    Anyway, I’ll list down all your tips especially with the dishwashing liquid. Its good to give your hands some care because it would actually look bad after all this chores. 🙂

  8. Wow..that’s a lot of tips in one article. I’m bookmarking this page so I can come back and read it again.

    Keeping my house regularly clean is one of my biggest challenge, emphasis on regularly. I can clean the house, but doing it all the time makes me feel like a hamster trapped in his wheel, accomplishing nothing. I love the ideas of schedules and routines. I have to take a closer look at your tips and see how I can customize it for my own needs.

    I also appreciate the comments you made about cleaning products. I try to make my own cleaning most of the time. Vinegar and baking soda are two popular ingredients I always mix when I make some cleaning solutions. Still, there are things I have to buy, and your reviews of them are quite helpful.

    With the amount of thought and effort you have put in this article, I don’t think you are a lazy cleaner. If you are, then I aspire to that title. : )

  9. “Do you like living in a clean home, but hate having to do the chores to get it that way?”

    This really made me laugh – it’s so me! I often look around at the mess and chaos and wish I was more organised, but the effort involved puts me off really getting on top of it. My husband is pretty good at helping out around the house, but sometimes I just end up re-doing the things he’s done because he would rather do a quick job and be done where I think that if I’m going to do something then I’ll do it properly.

    I think you’re right that the only way is to invest some time and effort in getting on top of everything and then making sure you stay there.

  10. I have tried the list thing. I end up making list of small stuff and then just giving up. Organization is something I have a hard time doing. But I know I need to.

    • I understand your plight in the term organization, for others its more ingrained and for others it’ll take more than a blowing trumpet to get them in the right zeal, to organize things in the house…just find some morale, write up a schedule of how you want to handle cleaning, crank up some music whilst cleaning and get to it, believe me it woks wonders..{a small self-confession, i can organize my house, clean it spick span with no need of a schedule to do so but i ‘ve written schedules upon schedules{mountains of them} on losing weight but laziness gets the best of me…oh yes! and procrastination!}…don’t lose hope 🙂

  11. I have mood swings too when it comes to cleaning or doing things need to be done regularly. It’s really good to take down notes or memo for you to take actions for everyday plan. Whether it’s a chores or errand. It’s a sense of accomplishment for me when I’ve finished done something that has been listed n my to-do list. It isn’t really easy to become a mom , indeed!

  12. Clutter has always been one of my pet peeves. Moving into a smaller place from a larger house forced me to get rid of things. It is easy to start accumulating again so I stay mindful of what it took to root through all of those things that I didn’t want to let go of but knew I did not really need. You are right, baskets and organizers are wonderful at helping to keep clutter at bay too. I found some really beautifully crafted items that are just as decorative as they are functional.

    Now that I’ve read that section on bathroom cleaning, I need to go utilize some of those tips. Goodness!

  13. Ah, a lazy cleaner, I can identify with that more than I’d like to admit. I too find that writing out checklists is a good way to get work done. As I cleaning/homemaking book I once had says, the list does not have to be strictly adhered to but serves as a road map for you to work on. So very true.

    And I can’t say enough about vinegar, it is my secret weapon when it comes to doing my laundry. Lysol and Clorox wipes are a thing of beauty and make many cleaning jobs a breeze.

    I adore this article. Makes me happy to be a woman with a house (apartment) to take care of for me and my family.

  14. This was a great article I would say my biggest problem is the clutter and it just gets worse and worse because I tend to just clean around it. This article gave me some great ideas not just for the clutter but for cleaning in general. Thank you so much for the useful information.

  15. Oh my word love that picture of you! How super creative! I am that cleaner who cleans from top to bottom in usually about a few days time. I never feel like I can catch a break. Perhaps its time to clutter? Have you done an article on homemade cleaning supplies? Where we live, Arkansas, its all the rage right now. Everyone is making their own laundry soap for super cheap, its all they other women I work with talk about. Just an idea! Loved all of you tips and products you suggested though!

  16. This article describes my cleaning habits perfectly! Decluttering is the hardest thing for me to do especially since I live in a tiny apartment. I want to be able to keep a semi clean house and have dishes cleaned everyday but I’m not sure how possible that is with an infant and no help. Thank you for the article its got me pumped to clean my kitchen!

  17. As a stewardess on superyachts dealing with fine linens, finishes, and upholsteries, I can tell you that less is more! I have a cleaning caddy and for day-to-day cleaning I only carry around three spray bottles: soap and water (a few drops of mild Ivory dish soap)– a neutral pH– for marble and granite, vinegar and water for woodwork and other general cleaning, and alcohol water for glass, mirrors, and stainless steel.

    Also, for laundry we almost NEVER use bleach. It is too destructive to fabrics not just in terms of potential discoloration but because it destroys fibers. You can almost always remove stains using some other form of treatment (OxyClean, Shout stain remover, vinegar etc.). Also, we only ever separate laundry into lights and darks, not 4 separate color schemes. That should make life easier for busy moms! If you’re uncertain, Shout Color Catcher Washer Sheets work great and will prevent any accidents if you didn’t sort well.

  18. I am not a lazy cleaner most of the time but I have moments, it happens to us all I think. I use to have a checklist on the fridge but took it down. For the most part I can easily remember what needs to be done or did. We live in an apartment anyways so we don’t have a whole house, just a 2 bedroom apartment. With Christmas coming though I do extra cleaning. Just yesterday I washed down the ceiling and hallway wall. I still need to do the kitchen and bathroom. I am not sure of the living room yet. I do not have kids but I think that is a good idea having a list and changing it based on their age.

  19. Being more organized definitely makes the household chores easier. I awlways end up behind with the ironing and end up with a massive mountain. When this happens, I do all the jeans first, these are usually the largest items so getting rid of these first makes the remaining pile look much more manageable.

  20. I recently mopped my floor after procrastinating it for several months. It is great to finally get these little cleaning jobs done. I find it a real struggle sometimes to motivate myself to clean after dinner, although I know if I don’t do it will be a hassle the next day!

  21. Great article, and very thorough Lynne! I agree with the others that you don’t sound lazy, but rather a great time manager, cleaning as you go. This way you don’t FEEL like you’re dropping everything to clean, but the house stays in nice shape!

    I’d like to share a couple of my current favorite “Lazy Cleaner” tips, and I hope you find them handy too. 🙂

    For cleaning the shower, I have a Scotch Brite Dishwand filled with half Dawn / half vinegar that stays in the shower caddy all the time. Then the shower can be cleaned when someone’s (ahem) already in there, with no wet shirt sleeves or bending over the tub from the outside!

    Having young children with messy hands at dinner time, I like to use a fabric tablecloth at every meal. Nothing fancy, just an everyday fabric (bonus points for a busy, stain-hiding pattern) – but it’s SO much easier to whip that off and toss it in the wash than it is to scrub every nook and cranny of the table!

  22. Plastic boxes are a godsend, especially those with several partitions. I have a little workspace in my house and until recently it was very disorganized and just looked like a complete mess. My wife kept on nagging me about it but I didn’t budge. Finally she bought me one of those plastic boxes and forced me to clean up. I did and to her credit my workspace now looks like it was kept by a professional. It’s amazing.

  23. The first line is me. I don’t like to clean, but I like things to be clean.

    Sometimes, I get super motivated and go on a cleaning streak. It does feel good.

    I have wondered about that formula of Dawn dish soap. Glad to hear it’s good. I’m definitely going to give it a try. My poor hand this winter!

    • Okay, so I see I had a typo on my old comment. It should have said “hands.”

      Anyway, I did try the Dawn Hand Renewal, and I have to say, where has this been all my life? This stuff is great. I love Oil of Olay products anyway, so I should have known this would be good. I wasn’t sure how it would translate to dish soap, but I would definitely recommend it to anyone who suffers from dry skin. It really lathers up nicely too, and does a good job of cleaning while saving my hands.

      Thanks Lynne!

  24. This is good information for me. Believe me I have wrote a list of stuff I need for my next beat down of my home. The problem that I have is the my daughter is now almost twenty-two, and charts do not work on her. She just ignores them. I try to tell her, ask her, and sometimes demand her help around the house and she either ignores me or does a half at it job. I try to bribe her but she wants it now, I try to be her mom, then her friend, and sometimes her enemy. So, I have wrote down what I need to clean, and I have separated the rooms in which needs to be done first and more vigorously. Now to beg for her help maybe. Anyways, like this post a lot, a great deal of info in here. Definitely usable. Thank you so much!!

  25. There are several good ideas I’m going to try out. The broomstick system behind the door is going up first thing tomorrow! I love that idea!!

  26. I have a few basic cleaning tasks I keep up with weekly, but wish I was better about clutter:( That is definitely my problem area. It just seems to add up by itself sometimes! I have eliminated our Sunday paper subscription because I get the coupons I need in the Saturday edition of a different paper anyway that has fewer ads, so that has cut down on clutter a lot since I’m not going through that paper and recycling most of it anyway. The hardest part for me is finding a place for those things that need fixed. This little toy that needs glued, the book that needs taped, the toy that needs new batteries that we don’t have, etc. Those things tend to pile up and I just try to glue as many things at once, etc. I know if I took care of them as they came up I’d have less piled up, but I feel like I would constantly be doing those tasks. I guess I need to start small!

  27. I cannot believe that you spend such little time cleaning each day. Clutter, I have it and just not enough time to clear it out.However your article has motivated me to find a place to begin, even if it is a little every day. Once I get rid of all the clutter, it will be easier to clean.

  28. Anytime my apartment goes a few weeks without a good clean, I find it to be exhausting to clean the whole place in one go. When I am finally finished, I have zero desire to keep at it and dread the next time the place needs to be picked up. This puts me a cycle that is hard to get out of. The best way I have found to make housework more manageable is to do it more often. That way, it isn’t a monumental task that takes the whole day.

  29. Super germophobe here! How can I get my hands on one of these germ-killing black lights you speak of?

    I’m always telling people to close toilet seats before they flush! It is SO gross. I’m like you realize you’re spraying toilet water all over your towels and such, right?

  30. Great advice. Very well-thought out, tonnes of information yet surprisingly concise.
    Look at all these amazing comments too! I think everyone can take something from this write up.
    You know what I am taking from this? The positive attitude you put into these normally boring chores! Tasks like this if met with enthusiasm are done away with easily. This leaves more time for the important things in life, like having a craft beer while trying out new recipes from this blog!

  31. There are lots of great tips here. It would be great to have a home built to my specifications, but since that’s unlikely to happen, I’ve developed a system that works for me. I used to buy two of every cleaner, and keep one set upstairs and one downstairs, but since I use them less frequently up here, and would drag them downstairs when I ran out down there, I’ve adapted somewhat. When I’m running out of something downstairs, I will replace the full bottle, and bring the nearly empty one up here. I’ve also used the LCD screen cleaner to clean the bathroom mirror, in a pinch up here.

    I agree, buying cheap versions of the cleaners we know work doesn’t save money, it just leads to frustration, so I buy the good items, then will sometimes water them down if I need to, such as laundry detergent and floor cleaner.

  32. This is very well written out. I don’t have a lot of room in my apartment so I use the area underneath the kitchen sink for my cleaning supplies. I feel like this every single day. I have 2 small children so every time I clean I feel like it’s an endless cycle. I will definitely try to go for the more organic eco-friendly products from now on. My 11 month old crawls everywhere and I don’t want to have to worry about what is getting on his hands after I clean the floors.

  33. I am a lazy cleaner just the same. I hate it when my place is all messy so I try and keep it clean most of the time to prevent having to do what people call spring cleaning. These products you listed should help me do the trick.

  34. When I read your article, it’s as if I am reading about myself. Once in a while I do my best to keep myself tidy and organized, but being productive with all the mess and clutter can be challenging. Thank you for the tips, especially the checklist idea and the products mentioned.

  35. I am definitely a lazy girl cleaner. I like a clean house every day but it has become difficult now that I am a mother to twin girls who just turned two. Every time I turn around another mess to clean up, I feel like all I do is clean. Having a schedule has helped me, although I am not as detailed in my schedule as some. I keep more of my schedule in my brain, which can sometimes fail me in remembering to complete a chore. Therefore, creating a hard copy of a schedule seems like the smarter thing to do.

    Through out the day, I use a mix of white vinegar and water to keep the counters, floors, and anything else cleaned. I also, like to keep Lysol wipes on hand to quickly sanitize the girls tabletops and toy area.

    Seeing how organized you are in those photos, makes me realize that I need to get on top of this and perhaps I will gain more sanity.

  36. Thanks for such a comprehensive list of ideas! I’ve always enjoyed looking up tips to help motivate me to keep my home clean, but this one really seems to reign in a lot of ideas! I used to be a bit of a clutterbug, but after reading Marie Kondo’s “Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” I turned my habits upside down. I literally pulled out everything and donated nearly 3/4ths of my possessions. This seemed to help put everything else into place. Now I enjoy buying pretty bins and organizing since I know where everything needs to go! I also buy Lysol wipes in bulk. They smell great and motivate me to wipe down more surfaces because it’s a lot easier to pull out a wipe and go rather than pull out paper towels and several different spray bottles.

  37. I definitely slack off on the cleaning front. Usually the most I manage is throwing out paper clutter and running the dishwasher. It’s only the two of us so it doesn’t get that dirty, thankfully. I like to make my own green cleaners. Instead of buying scouring and scrubbing products, I just use a sprinkling of baking soda with a splash of castile soap. It works for the toilet bowl, bathtub, and kitchen sink. I use vinegar and essential oils with hot water for moping. This mixture also works as a great all purpose cleaner, though I’ve been using a concentrated green cleaner I buy then mix up myself, as of late. If you are wanting to go the green cleaning route, buying some absorbent reusable cloths for cleaning, instead of paper towels you constantly have to buy and throw away.

  38. I find it’s easiest to keep cleaning supplies under the kitchen counter. I spend most of my time in the kitchen and hate having to walk to the garage for spray if I need to clean up something. I’m also a fan of Eco Cleaners such as method and seventh generation. I find these to be less toxic and easier on my skin when I clean. I’ve read in a lot of magazines how to create your own cleaner using alcohol, vinegar and lemon water.

  39. I am clearly a member of the Lazy Department in my dorm. Seeing as how we have lots of members (especially students), these are a lot of amazing gift ideas. Sure, they may not seem all that fun, but they are definitely useful. I’m even considering giving some of these to my mother. Not that she needs it, but these fun little things can help make her work around the old house a bit easier, don’t you agree?

  40. Speaking of lazy cleaners, and me actually being one, I would always liked to try Roomba.
    I am like a hundred percent sure, that I am going to have it in one or other point in my life, because just the tought of hoovering or sweeping makes me sick and my flat is always full of lint.

    Anyone has it?

  41. I’m a very lazy cleaner, and these tips are great! Thanks for this. I’m definitely going to start with the cleaning chart and chore chart. I like my lists and things to be organized, but you wouldn’t say that if you look at the drawers and so on in my house. I’m printing this article and making it my reference guide.

  42. I have always hated housework and the only way I could cope was to keep a very minimalist house. I simply don’t have lots of possessions – if something has not been used, worn, played with, read, etc etc etc for a year – out they go, I know that somebody will use them.

    THEN I married a man who LOVES housework – that has been my best solution. I don’t do any housework now, he loves doing it all, even ironing.

    • I didn’t manage to marry a man who loves it (quite the opposite: he makes me look tidy!) but I eventually gave up and hired someone to come in once a week to do the hoover, polishing, and dusting. Since he will only so those if the surfaces are clear it gives me and my husband both a kick to keep things tidy, just for the reward of having someone else do the worst of the actual cleaning.

      Amazingly it even made DH stop dropping his clothes on the floor…

  43. I think that we all have a little lazy cleaner living inside all of us, and mine it’s definitely present every time that I’m planning to clean or that I’m already doing it. And I couldn’t agree more with the idea of a checklist. They have been my go to since about a year ago. I love how they are a way to remind yourself how many things you haven’t done while you’re procrastinating, lol!
    The guilt factor always works for me.


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