Clean House, Happy Mom

I’m a weird cleaner. If I get stressed out, I clean. If I’m mad, I clean. If I have company coming I clean. Ok all of those make sense. When things need to impress I have such motivation to get my house in order. But my most bizarre cleaning trait is that I clean even better once people leave. It makes zero sense.

No one sparks my cleaning motivation much like my mom. If I know she is coming for a visit I get my butt in gear and get to work. I scrub and clean and sometimes I reorganize my linen closet and re-fold towels that my kids have unraveled since I first put them away. I fluff the patio cushions because my mom loves spending time on our patio when she comes…one of the perks of living at the beach and enjoying nearly perfect weather, year round. I try to get a handle on laundry and be sure that my house has been vacuumed and the microwave is wiped clean.

Here’s the deal…my mom doesn’t care if my house is clean when she gets here or not. In reality even if it’s spotless when she gets here within an hour it looks like a toy-bomb exploded and it isn’t one bit obvious that I have been working so hard to prepare for her arrival. In fact, my mom is a helper. When she pulls up she is on the lookout for ways to be helpful and ways to have fun with me and the grand kids. Part of me…deep down is trying to save her from being helpful and just let her be fun. Another part of me wants to reassure her that I have a loose handle on this thing called motherhood.

I can’t tell you the number of projects that my mom has done on my house when she’s come for a visit. She’s so dang helpful and sometimes I just can’t make her stop, lol. I remember her bringing her Hoover Floor Mate and going to town on my tile flooring. Honestly I am a lazy moper! We have had about 8 mops since being married and my favorite is just a wet towel with cleaner and hot water. I ring out the excess water and suds and kind of scoot around on my tile with bare feet on the towel and clean the tile while getting some cardio simultaneously. But my mom thinks my mop-shuffle isn’t as effective. She mopped with little effort like a professional with her electric machine and like a true mom she kept commenting afterwards that she had no idea that my tile had a sheen to it…(you know cause it always looks crappy after I do it “my way.”) She didn’t say that, just my own takeaway.

So back to the dumb things I do after my mom comes…I clean more! You’d think that I’d have enough of the projects, but something about her coming and company in general is that my attention is drawn to things that I didn’t see before. Life goes on around me each day and I don’t pay attention to detail. Once company departs I see dirt and grime as if a neon sign were attached to them. I do a top to bottom scrub down on my already presentable house. I clean out and declutter drawers and closets, I spackle and do paint touch ups and I wish for a company re-do…EVERY SINGLE TIME! Why?? It’s so dumb, but I imagine them coming back and seeing my house in all it’s gleaming glory. Like they will care, notice or be impressed at all, haha.

It’s never really done though. Even if the walls were freshly painted the little nail tack on the floor that is suppose to be covered by our worn out carpet is still exposed. Our screen on our back slider has come lose and the hard water spots appear back again and again on the faucets and toilet bowls. So my work continues, no matter how often I try to stay on top of things.

Fortunately for me my four kids don’t allow me to clean all day every day. Yes, we would be living in a splendidly clean house but I would be an enormous kill-joy. Instead I have found items that make my cleaning process jump into warp speed so that I can get on to fun things with my family.

Here are my top 7 cleaning products that make my life shinier

  1. Crayon Messes- Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is the best tool for getting crayon off of walls and furniture. I didn’t even believe that these things were magic…until…my kid took a nap in my bed. I thought she was asleep but when I went in to check on her I found orange crayon all over my freakin upholstered headboard. AGH! I honestly didn’t think the amazing magical sponge could help get the wax off of the canvas-like material, but I gave it a shot…and I immediately believed in magic.

  2. Dog Hair and Any Trace Of Kids- Dyson Animal Vacuum is by far the best vacuum I’ve ever owned. I asked for it one year for my birthday and my husband was worried to get it for me. It was kinda the dreaded man dilemma…does she really want this or is she really wanting jewelry instead…because let’s face it, they’re about the same price. Well, I really wanted it and I was so grateful he bought it. That purple vacuum sucked up dog hair like no other and I loved that it didn’t need bags. Search for sales and coupons because those vacuums are incredible but an investment for sure!

  3. Baseboard Grime- A super crappy mop, is a baseboard friend. I don’t love my mop and the spongy part has even ripped away from the squeezy tool (that squishes out the water) but I haven’t thrown it out because that would be wasteful…plus its’s still useful because it has a nifty little scrub portion on the side that allows me to clean my gross dusty baseboards without getting on my knees and using too much elbow grease. Score!

  4. Windows, Mirrors and Easy-Scratch Surfaces- Micro Fiber Cloths like these are one of my all time favorite cleaning products. Like I said I hate waste and if you’ve ever been to my house you know that it is a rare occasion that I have paper towels. I like micro fiber cloths because they are reusable and perfect for cleaning all the glass in our house including windows, mirrors, vases and even wiping finger smudges from our 2 year old off of our t.v. without scratching it. When they get dirty I can throw them in the washing machine and reuse.

  5. Dishes and Countertops- I am a fan of sponges and I know they aren’t popular with a lot of people because they do store germs. But I hate the idea of waste, so if I can reuse something I will. I am a big believer in washing and disinfecting sponges, my favorite ways to do this are to ring them out completely after use and air dry, put them in the microwave for 1 minute while damp after use, or to wash once a week in the washing machine. The one thing I don’t like about sponges is the color…I mean blue on blue and green on yellow don’t exactly blend in on the sink top in a kitchen that is mostly white. I prefer white or natural colored sponges because they work just as well and they look a little more classy than the run-of-the-mill sponge I was use to.

  6. Hardwater Stain Remover- Scouring sticks are something that I only discovered since living at the beach. Our water is very hard and since we are renting we don’t have the convenience of a water softener. But these awesome sticks are magical. I have used them on faucets, counter tops, toilet bowls and even impossible stains on my shower. The cool thing is that the sticks dissolve so there is nothing to wash or store (who wants to store somethings that has been in contact with toilet stains, anyway?!)

  7. Disinfecting Solution- Every house with kids is packed full of germs. They are hard to avoid and though I don’t love tons of chemicals around kids sometimes they are the best weapon against the spread of bacteria and illness. I love wipes like this because I can wipe down tables, chair backs, light switches, the toilet handle and seats pretty much any hard surface where a germ may have laid its little head to rest is fair game. And the beauty of them is that I can throw them away when the job is done.

So yeah, my house work will continue. I took a break from laundry for a few days in our house which is always a big mistake. I have like 4 loads washed and dried and about 3 left to do…which now makes 7 to fold, ahahahahhhhhhhhhhhh! That was me crying…not really, it wouldn’t help. I love company. I love my family and I love a clean house. Being a stay-at-home-momma makes it is hard to see progress each day. Having a clean home is a tangible way for me to feel like I have made a step forward and been productive. Plus I feel like I can relax. I don’t stress if company stops by, or my husband forgot to inform me of a weekend guest. When I have a clean house I am a happier mom.

Some days I succeed, other days it’s a huge hurdle I don’t even attempt to climb.

Share a house cleaning product in the comments that you would highly recommend to friends…