My Simple & Natural Housecleaning Routine

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As I have pursued the art of learning how to maintain my home simply and naturally, my methods have changed and adapted to the seasons of life. I started out with the all frugal natural method of vinegar for most housecleaning, but found I didn’t care for the way the homemade concoctions always seemed to clog my spray bottles or go bad. Then I adapted to using more of the commercial natural products, but didn’t care for the expense and complexity of such a variety of products for your every need. Does it really have to be that complicated?

I have finally concluded that all of these homemade recipes and commercial products are truly not necessary. You don’t need 10 different products to clean your home. You really only need water and a little soap on occasion. I personally have found my¬† favorite tool is the Norwex Microfiber Enviro Cloth (this link provides my full review). With one of the Norwex Enviro cloth and one Norwex Window cloth (buy in a set here), I am practically set. These cleaning clothes are quality and do the job well. They kill any bacteria through the silver particles in the design. I accomplish all my housecleaning with these two simple tools.

When it comes down to it, it is really not worth it to stress over germs. Consider that the chemicals are likely more harmful than the germs. Keeping a simple maintenance method is key. It makes natural homemaking possible and stress free. It makes it easy to keep my home maintained and prepared to be a welcoming place of comfort and rest to my family and the community that God has desired for us to reach out to.

Here’s our current natural housecleaning routine:

MondaysLaundry (I wash all the laundry over the weekend and fold on Monday and put it away so we are covered for the week)
Tuesdays - Toilets – I take my damp Enviro cloth and wipe down the sink, mirror, toilet, and tub. I use the dry Norwex window cloth to polish and dry the mirror and counters, and it does a beautiful streak free job! I then use my toilet brush to scrub out the inside of the toilet with a little oxygen bleach or castile soap and occasionally a stainless steel scrubby for any tough dried scum. Wipe bathrooms floors as needed with enviro cloth.
Wednesdays – Dust & Vacuum (upstairs every other week, downstairs every week) – I use the Enviro cloth to dust as well, and simply rinse out with a little soap and hang to dry between uses.
Thursday - Kitchen – wipe down kitchen counters, floor and appliances with damp enviro cloth. Polish appliances with dry window cloth.
Friday – reserved for any larger monthly or quarterly chores – such as cleaning out cupboards, spot cleaning carpets, decluttering a closet, etc.

Does it stay the same every week? Hardly. In fact, many weeks I only clean the bathrooms and vacuum the floor. But that’s okay. It a guideline and its simple. I don’t stress over perfection, because with two littles ones, I don’t have time for that. We have time to cultivate beauty and simplicity. We have time to keep things picked up and light cleaning maintained. Beyond that is another season.

My encouragement to you…don’t stress over the perfect maintenance schedule or what cleaner to use for every little job. Keep it easy. Soap and water will honestly accomplish most any task. Put some Dr Bronners organic castile soap or your favorite natural soap diluted in a spray bottle with a basic rag and get to work. And if you use the Enviro cloths, no spray bottles, only water is needed! How frugal is that? No chemicals…just pure simplicity.

Have you learned any tips for simplifying your routines?

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of three, homemaker, and writer. She is the editor of Passionate Homemaking since its beginning five years ago. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

75 Responses to My Simple & Natural Housecleaning Routine

  1. ~M December 25, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    Where are you getting Dr. Bronners liquid soap these days? How much do you pay for it? I just finished my first gallon and need to buy another. Thanks!

    • Lindsay December 30, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

      I’m actually using Mrs. Meyers All Purpose concentrate for all my cleaning now. It is wonderful and lasts forever!

  2. tile cleaning seattle September 23, 2010 at 7:17 am #

    A smart trick that helps me simplify the cleaning routine is turning my favorite music on. Or another thing – you can be learning a foreign language by listening to some records while doing the job.

  3. Christie - Childhood 101 August 30, 2010 at 2:52 am #

    Oh, to be so organised!

  4. Eve August 21, 2010 at 7:30 pm #

    I love Norwex products. I just signed up to be a consultant last month. I am glad to see other people like them so much too!

    • Cilla October 12, 2010 at 11:31 am #

      Hi Eve. I’m really interested in Norwex products. I’ve looked through the entire list of products. I want them all ! One step at a time, I will have to build up my collection slowly. Can you please send me a list of prices ? Thank you so much.

  5. Caitlin August 18, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    Your little guy must either be great at going to the bathroom, or not potty trained yet! My main bathroom issue is pee all over the toilet and around the base. Nasty. I wouldn’t want to get that on the nice cloth (which I now want)!

    • Joyce Frankel March 12, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

      A GREAT WAY TO GET YOUR LITTLE GUY TO AIM WITH ALL HIS MIGHT IS TO DROP A CHEERIO OR 2 IN THE TOLIT AND TURN IT INTO A GAME. i NEVER HAD TO WORRY ABOUT CLEANING UP A LOT OF PEE. tHE “GAME GOT MY L;ITTLE BOY IN THE HABIT OF AIMING AND ALL WENT WELL FROM THERE!!-jOYCE

  6. Rachel B August 9, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    Here’s one way I simplify laundry for my husband and myself as well as three small children. I have a laundry hamper in our walk-in closet for all our dirty clothes, one in the bathroom for towels and non-clothes laundry of all kinds, and one in the kids’ room for all their clothes. Wash days are Tuesday and Friday. There’s usually one load’s worth of laundry in each basket on those days. The baskets are lined with a linen bag so I just pull out the bag of dirty laundry and dump it into the washer. I don’t worry about sorting by color – I’ve found it doesn’t make much difference and it’s SO much easier to fold and put away. I can fold and put away each load as it’s done since it’s already sorted by room. And my four year old is getting to the point where she can sort the loads for me further (her clothes, her brother’s clothes, her sister’s clothes … ). Even better! I LOVE your site, by the way! So much awesome information!! I’ve been poring over it!! Thank you.

  7. Wendy August 7, 2010 at 7:08 am #

    I like this simple approach. I have four kids and love to delegate jobs to each of them. My favorite natural cleaning products are Mrs. Meyers for the floors and I even use it in my rug cleaning machine and dillute it very much, and the Method cleaners for the wood floors, bath, and windows. I have learned to make my own powdered dishwashing detergent that works better than anything I have ever bought in the stores. My favorite laundry soap is from Sam’s Club-it comes in a huge jug and is lavender scented and all natural. I bought two jugs probably about 6-9 months ago for around $12 each and I still have half a jug left now. It was a great deal and works well.

    • Jamie Lynn August 16, 2010 at 5:50 pm #

      Wendy, would you mind sharing your dishwashing recipe? I’m having trouble with my dishwasher oversudsing when I make my own. :-/ Thank you :-)

  8. Prerna August 6, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

    I really like your simple cleaning routine. Kind of like mine. Except that I have to sweep, dust and mop everyday since we live in extremely dusty condition and my husband is allergic to it!

  9. Staci August 6, 2010 at 5:01 am #

    I absolutely LOVE my Norwex cloths, as a matter of fact I just ordered some new products yesterday!

    If anyone has concerns about their effectiveness please feel free to ask your demonstrator to perform the test for you (if you are at a Norwex party). My demonstrator was happy to use bacteria test strips with a piece raw chicken left on my counter for the entire show. She used a Norwex cloth that was new and also one that was 3 years old. Same result.

    I know some demonstrators may not always carry their test strips, but mine did. She said she always wanted to be able to “prove” how effective they are. And just some food for thought, when you use Clorox Wipes or any other chemical based cleaner to clean do you know that it’s actually working either? Probably not, more than likely you associate the “clean smell” as what constitutes you rendering it clean. When honestly, clean shouldn’t smell like ANYTHING. :)

    And Lindsay, you are correct. Just the 2 towels are all you need to do 99% of your cleaning. I just purchased their laundry detergent and am in LOVE. I will be getting 400-500 loads (minimum) out of one container (I have an HE washer).

    I’m all about simplifying my cleaning process so the Norwex cloths are such a blessing!

  10. Dawn August 5, 2010 at 9:58 am #

    I do a similar routine with picking different things on different days. We live full-time in our RV and with such limited space, things NEED to stay clean in order for things to run smoothly…which is a lot harder task than it may seem with 4 kids 5 and under! Here is what I do:
    Mon: Wash all floors and everything in kitchen (wipe down cupboards, appliances, etc)
    Tues: Bathroom and all mirrors
    Wed: Dining room, Living room, dust and spot clean, organize/rotate toys
    Thurs: Vacuum bedrooms, wash bedding, plan menu, write grocery list,
    Fri: Clean out mail tray, pay bills, organize something.

    Then I have “zones” where each week of the month I try to focus on an area. Here are my four zones:
    1) Clean fridge, inside and out, clean inside of oven, organize pantry
    2) wipe down blinds, clean ceiling fan, wash curtains, wipe down all walls,
    3) reorganize towels, clothes, and wipe down washer
    4) clean windows and front door.

    And that’s how our camper stays clean….or mostly stays clean :)

  11. Tiffany August 5, 2010 at 3:23 am #

    Lindsay, I love, love, love your blog! I am so intrigued by these cloths – are they made of cotton and can you see little pieces of silver in them? In researching them and how they work, I’ve discovered that there are numerous articles on the internet claiming Norwex products are a scam. The people responding to the scam allegations are Norwex vendors and not unbiased, ordinary people. Even Norwex’ website is sparse on information regarding exactly how these cloths work. I admit for me its a mental thing – I like to know my germs are being cleaned up with more than water (I use vinegar and the rubbing alcohol/water mix discussed in the comments). How do you know the cloths really work? Do your surfaces stay cleaner longer than before? Thanks so much – I’m a little skeptical, but if these are the real deal, I would really like to invest in some!

    • Lindsay August 5, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

      Just like any other natural cleaner, it takes a little faith. We could ask the same question about vinegar or any cleaner for that matter. No, there is no guarantee they are killing all the germs, but the studies that Norwex has preformed prove that it kills all the bacteria and they back up their product with a 2 yr warranty, which leads me to believe it is not a scam. I cloth is made of microfiber and the silver particles are not visible. So I am trusting the company because I love the simplicity. There will always be a negative crowd to attack anything and you can take it or leave it. I personally have found that germs are not so scary as we once believed so even if they aren’t 100% effective, I am completely satisfied. We haven’t experienced frequent illness or anything like that, so it seems to be doing the job. Less attention and involvement in housework gives me more freedom for ministry – to my children, through this blog, and others. I had to weigh it out and all benefits outweigh any risk.

  12. Shawn August 4, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    I just started a new cleaning schedule too and enjoyed reading about your routine. I used to clean everything in one day but with 2 kids I’ve found that it hasn’t been working so I’ve broken down to
    Monday’s: floors and garbage
    Tuesday: bathrooms
    Wed: kitchen
    Thursday: dust
    I do 2 loads of laundry each of these 4 days.

    I wish I had the energy to do extra projects on Friday like you do!

  13. sherri August 4, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    Thanks for the reminder that this is a season :) With 2 little ones, there seems to always be something sticky on my kitchen floor! Thanks for the tip- Did not know Dr. Bronner’s works well on toilets. I’ve been looking for something safe and I already have that :) I recently switched to cleaning primarily with vinegar (with peppermint &lavender oils) and this is the first year, we have not had any summer ants in the kitchen. I’ve read vinegar is a natural ant repellant. Really works!

    • Lindsay August 5, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

      The essential oils are antibacterial themselves, so you really don’t need anything else anyway. The soap is definitely a nice thing to have on hand!

  14. Krissy August 4, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    I have a bottle of peroxide with a borrowed sprayer and spray bottle with vinegar. I use these for disinfecting the kitchen sink, bathroom, etc. You just spray on one and then the other. Make sure to keep your peroxide in the original brown bottle as light will degrade the peroxide and effectiveness. I also use baking soda and then pour on vinegar as a substitute for a soft scrub cleaner.

  15. Kristen August 4, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    I was delighted to read that you use Norwex microfiber products too! I almost deleted this w/o reading it since I use Norwex and don’t need any tips for other green products. I am trying to incorporate a daily “house chore” to our morning routine with my 3 little ones. My eldest (5) loves to help. The other two, well…. not so much, but they are still young. It’s super easy to have the kids help with Norwex!!

  16. Sue August 4, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    I can’t seem to want to clean everyday…just not my thing but my house is clean and uncluttered. I simply clean every 2 weeks…I wash the sheets, dust and clean the floors. Bathrooms are cleaned when needed and kitchen is cleaned everyday after dinner. Our stainless steel applicances are finger proof, except the refrig. handles. I try to do laundry all on one day.

    We have 2 small children and toys are kept in their rooms (for the most part). Living in a uncluttered house really frees the mind! I love it!

    • Kristen August 4, 2010 at 6:25 pm #

      How do you keep your house uncluttered? Do you have any tips to share? Thx!

      • Dawn August 5, 2010 at 9:47 am #

        I can’t answer for Sue but we live full-time in our RV with 4 kids 5 and under and I can testify to the power of an uncluttered home!! My tip would be to get rid of stuff you don’t use. I know that might sound cliche but really…don’t keep stuff around that you ‘might’ use someday. For me, if it isn’t used at least weekly, it’s gone! If you buy a shirt, get rid of a different one, etc. Our kids are allowed to have a little shoe box size box with 10 toys in it each (5 matchbox toys and 5 army men, for example :) and the rest are put in storage. (then we rotate every so often) The kids’ ‘book box’ has a max of 15 books in it, rest are in storage. Only 1 pair of shoes per person are allowed out by the door, the rest neatly in their closet. Keep counters cleared of anything you don’t use daily. (ex: if you toast your bread only twice a week, don’t keep the toaster on the counter). A place for everything, everything in it’s place :) Hope that helps!

        • Lindsay August 5, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

          Great advice Dawn! I also practice many of these techniques. It really just takes staying on top of your consumption and being rally intentional with each purchases. Don’t hold on to anything that is not in regular use and give it to another who could utilize it.

        • Autumn August 5, 2010 at 4:41 pm #

          We just went through a big move, and I can really testify to the advice of “A place for everything and everything in it’s place.” It’s really helped our new house stay uncluttered. I think a lot of times clutter happens because we haven’t created a place for things, and we don’t know what to do with it, so it just stays out on our counters or other surfaces.

  17. Kelly the Kitchen Kop August 4, 2010 at 6:02 pm #

    Hi Lindsay,

    Posts like this give me hope that *maybe* I could stay on top of things around here again with a simple schedule like this. Since I began blogging full time, a lot of housekeeping stuff has really slipped! Summer is helter skelter around here, but I’m going to really focus on getting disciplined and putting a routine like this in place for the fall.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Kelly

  18. Greta August 4, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    Thanks for sharing– the cloths sound great! I usually mix up a spray bottle of Shaklee’s basic cleaner (the concentrate lasts FOREVER because you need to add so little for great results) with water and lemongrass essential oil (I love the nice fresh scent). I use this for basically everything- floors, mirrors, counters, etc. I also use baking soda for scrubbing in the bathroom– I buy a big bag of it at Costco. It cleans my bathtub, with a little water, better than any commercial cleaner I’ve used.

  19. Lindsey@ PiecefullyHome August 4, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

    We’ve stopped using chemicals for awhile in our home, too. I do use a vinegar and water mix in a spray bottle. I like the cleaning properties in the vinegar. :) For my cloths, I stitched up some leftover birdseye material from when I made diapers and use those.

    I use Mondays as my big cleaning days and Tuesday to pick up the leftovers I didn’t finish. Laundry is done on Fridays.

    There’s no need to fuss over a clean house, esp. in my phase of life with three little ones! I know it will not be as clean as I prefer and that’s okay. :)

  20. Leslie August 4, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    I have a weird question……what do you do with yourself after you have everything cleaned? I know this sounds silly, but I think I like cleaning because it gives me some sort of an accomplished feeling. I feel if I always have everything clean, I’ll be bored! I do have a 4 yr old and 1 yr old, but I am stumped as to keeping them occupied and how we can have fun together without becoming too bored…….does any of this make since?

    • Lindsay August 5, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

      I would start byr praying for a new perspective and ask the Lord for creative ideas to occupy your time. Accomplisment is good, but there is so much kingdom work that could be done in between household maintenance. Spending time with your children – reading especially, crafts, nature walks, and the like, baking goodies to bless your husband and neighbors, reading quality books yourself to encourage and strengthen your faith, and just keeping your eyes and ears open for opportunities to serve together in meeting the needs of others. Check out my post on What is the Purpose of the Home? For more inspiration. God bless!

      • Leslie August 6, 2010 at 5:57 am #

        Thank you Lindsay for your reply. Yes I do need to change my perspective…..I guess I’m most comfortable with housecleaning, so that is why I lean toward that. But I do like the thought of having more time to do for others and spending time with my children. My house has been reasonablly kept clean this week, and I am amazed at how much more time I have to spend with my kids!

  21. Danielle August 4, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

    Lindsay,

    I love your blog! I just wanted to tell you that something I do is clean most of my bathroom, (except my bathtub) while my 2 boys are taking a bath. (They are 2 and 4 so this is safe :0)

    Just thought I would share my time saver!

    Blessings to you sweet lady!

    Danielle

    • Lindsay August 5, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

      Great idea! Now if there was just a tub in each of my bathrooms! ;)

  22. Autumn August 4, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    I have a very similar routine, which you can see here if you like:
    http://markandautumn.blogspot.com/2010/07/back-on-routine-bandwagon.html

    I used to have the exact same routine as you (bathrooms one day, dust/vacuum another day, etc), but we recently moved into a much larger house, so that doesn’t work as well anymore. I do miss the old routine though. Now my routine is this:
    Monday – Kitchen/Half-bath/Dining room
    Tues – Living Room/hallway
    Wed – Laundry
    Thurs – Master bed/Bath/Boys’ room
    Friday – Grocery shopping

    I like how you said that you only spend 15-30 minutes a day on cleaning. I think I need to try that, and set a timer for myself. It’s been taking me up to 60 mins some days, and I think that’s way too long to spend on cleaning (for me), especially when I have a 2.5 and a 3.5 year old!

  23. Doodlebug's Mommy August 4, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    I always laugh at people’s fancy “homemade” cleaning products that call for lots of ingredients. I just use a microfiber cloth and a spray bottle with half vinegar, half water. I use it for everything. Windows, mirrors, counters, toilets, floors… everything! I only need one bottle!

    I love your blog. It never fails to bless me. Thank you.

  24. Amy August 4, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

    Does anyone have any good way to keep stainless steel appliances looking beautiful without using something terribly toxic?

    • Miriam August 4, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

      I left a comment below about using Rubbing Alcohol and Water (a mix of about 1-1 in a spray bottle). I find it works great as a streak-free cleaner on Stainless Steel, using a rag or paper towel to wipe after spraying. I also found a S.S. cleaner from Clean Team which works awesomely, has better ingredients than most cleaners, but is a bit pricey.

    • Kristen August 4, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

      Norwex. Seriously. Check it out. http://www.norwex.com

    • Lindsay August 5, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

      Yes, I use these enviro cloths for that as well. Enviro to wash down, window cloth to polish. If It needs a bit more polish, a dab of olive oil does the trick!

      • Reidun October 16, 2010 at 8:30 pm #

        I once worked in a school kitchen where they wiped down their stainless countertops with cream of tartar to get rid of water stains and polish them nicely.

  25. tacy August 4, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    Loved the soap and water reminder! Makes cleaning less intimidating.

    • tacy August 4, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

      oops…!

  26. tacy August 4, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    Very helpful post. I love the reminder that soap and water can accomplish a lot more than I often think. I think that makes cleaning what needs to be cleaned less intimidating.

  27. Samantha August 4, 2010 at 11:41 am #

    I just had to chime in that I LOVE the Norwex cloths as well. I had a party so I also received a lot of their other products which I love too! I was reminded again of how much I love those cloths when I just happened to walk down the cleaning products aisle at the grocery store and was so nauseated, by the smell, my entire walk down the aisle. You don’t really know the smell of clean until you use Norwex :-)

  28. Michelle @ Traditional Simplicity August 4, 2010 at 11:33 am #

    Thanks for sharing this. I need to put these cloths on my Christmas List. I love the idea of not using anything. I have gotten down to using very little products and love it! Simplicity frees up so much space in our homes for more useful and beautiful things, or in my case – food. :)

  29. Tammy August 4, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    Hi, We live in a house with a finished basement, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and a second kitchen. So while I do have weekly chores Monday through Saturday (including the porch, patio, basement, and the VAN, can’t forget that!), I also find I need to break down “areas” to focus on getting really tidy/wiping down during the day.

    Mornings are: bedrooms, bathrooms, and laundry (done before we start school)

    Early afternoon: KITCHEN! (my daughters take care of it after supper in the evenings-no dish washer here-but I do dishes, scrub the sink, and do a good cleaning after lunch.)

    Late afternoon: Living areas (get it all tidy and nice for our evening family time) The kids take turns with this while the rest of us make supper.

    Evening: fold the laundry done that day (usually done in the living room while we read together out loud.)

    It sounds like a lot, but we have a lot of area to cover, and this works well. It also helps that my kids are older and can help. The trick is to work FAST and concentrate on just that area, not worrying about the rest of the house. I used to try to do it all at once, sometimes not even attempting to start because it seemed overwhelming.

  30. Laura August 4, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    Hi!

    I just have a quick question. I just started cleaning with water for most things, and think it’s super simply and like “duh!”. However, I can’t get around cleaning the kitchen after I’ve been handling raw meat. I’ve been using a bleach-water solution to kill those really dangerous germs. (My husband had salmonella a month or so ago, so they’re very real to us.) Do you have another solution for the post-raw-meat clean-up? I’d love to hear one if you do.

    Thanks!

    • Lindsay August 5, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

      Soap is all I use in the kitchen. If you cut your meat on bamboo it is also naturally anti bacterial and does the job for me.

  31. Keri @ This Season of Life August 4, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    Love this! You addressed my concerns exactly. I’ve been avoiding cleaning lately (4 kids under the age of 7) because I didn’t have the time to make my homemade cleaners. But it’s been driving me crazy! I also hate to have so many bottles of stuff around, different rags and so many different cleaners for different parts of the house. Love this post! Thank you Lindsay!

  32. nalini August 4, 2010 at 9:39 am #

    Thanks for sharing so many wonderful tips. I had a question on oxygen bleach you are using.
    What brand do you use and can I find it easily in any of the grocery stores?

    • Lindsay August 5, 2010 at 3:18 pm #

      Yes, oxygen bleach is readily available at most grocery stores. I use Oxi-Clean or the Sun brand as it is a bit cheaper.

  33. Dream Mom August 4, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    I just looked it up and see now that silver is anti-bacterial. I didn’t know that; I did know that copper was-kills 99.9% of germs within two hours but I hadn’t heard about silver.

  34. Rachel August 4, 2010 at 9:06 am #

    I love your blog. It’s so what I need each day! I have a 1,3 & 5 year old, who we are starting homeschooling with this fall. For cleaning, I use Borax, or diluted dish soap/castile soap (2-3 T. per spray bottle of water) for most of my cleaning tasks. I also always have Nature’s Miracle in a spray bottle too, for kid messes (potty training!). It’s an enzyme cleaner found in the pet section and works great for keeping carpet and mattresses and car seats clean and odor free. (BacOut from Biokleen is very similar) I’ve also found Grocery Outlet or Big Lots a great place to find cheap wholesome foods, toothpastes, castile soap, etc. You can’t guarantee you’ll find them there, but when you do, stock up! Thanks for your Godly inspirations for simplicity and devotion to the things in life that really matter!

  35. Katie August 4, 2010 at 8:51 am #

    We too have littles 3, 3 and under. My husband has been deployed the past 7 months and some days I only get the dishes done. ;) I find that keeping my kitchen, dining room, and living room clean make the whole house feel clean. I gate off the play room so the toys stay in there when they have play time. I cringe when I walk by it though. It’s always a mess…toys everywhere! Since having their toys all in one room, rooms generally stay clean. And bathrooms only need cleaning every two weeks. I like your idea of have 30 minutes of focused cleaning. I may try that and let the rest “go” if I need too.

  36. Heather August 4, 2010 at 8:48 am #

    Thanks for your blog Lindsay. I love reading all of your great ideas! I use Norwex cloths as well. The window one is my favorite. It’s great for mirrors and appliances too! I also use Pink Solution. It is a natural plant based cleaning concentrate that can be used for EVERYTHING, even laundry detergent! Just wondering if you’ve tried it or even heard of it. I really like using it on my floors.

  37. Stacy @ Delighting in the Days August 4, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    Love this Lindsay. So simple and easy.

    I find that having things be this simple makes cleaning more likely to actually happen :) With little kids at home it is just not feasible to sort through a multitude of cleaners!

    The best thing about making it this straightforward is that the kids can get involved. And you don’t have to worry about what fumes they may be inhaling or getting on their skin!

  38. Miriam August 4, 2010 at 8:16 am #

    Thanks for sharing what works for you! And I appreciate the encouragement that chemicals are probably more damaging than germs.

    One cleaner I’ve been in love with lately, that has replaced the need for almost all other cleaners, is a simple solution of Rubbing Alcohol and Water (about 1-1). It kills most germs, and seems to be a streak-free cleaner for everything from the toilet, to kitchen counters, to the coffee table, to the floors. It does not cut through greasy messes well. But with 2 toddlers, I mostly have potty accidents and fingerprints to clean up! So currently the only regular cleaners I use is Alcohol and Barkeeper’s Friend for the sinks and tub. I don’t know how I went so many years before realizing that something as cheap and basic as Alcohol could be such a great anti-bacterial cleaner!

    • Bethany August 4, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

      Great idea! I am going to try that!

  39. Dream Mom August 4, 2010 at 7:28 am #

    I checked out the anti-bacterial cloths but I didn’t see what made them anti-bacterial? I wonder if there’s a chemical in there that does that. Just curious?

    • Kristen August 4, 2010 at 6:36 pm #

      It is silver that is in the cloths. The silver is attached to the microfibers and will not wash out. Silver has anti-microbial properties – it used to be the most powerful antibiotic known and used before WWII. Norwex microfiber is chemical-free. : )

  40. Sarah August 4, 2010 at 7:21 am #

    Thanks for your surrender for not having a perfect home. I really want a clean home but with 2 kids under 4 it may not be possible. I like the idea of prioritizing chores.

  41. Natalie August 4, 2010 at 7:17 am #

    I love hearing what others do for their cleaning routines. I’m still struggling to get one in place since having my son… and he’s almost six months old! I’ve been getting pretty discouraged lately, but this post has inspired me! Thanks. :)

    I did want to mention something in case it hasn’t been addressed… I was a chemist in my (pre-kid) former life, so when I came across Norwex, I asked some of my colleagues who had their PhD in inorganic chemistry about the technology. I was surprised to find that they actually considered the silver nanoparticles in Norwex to be a chemical, and they cautioned me against using it. Apparently there has been some question regarding the safety of nanoparticles (even the silver ones used in the new washing machine technology… I’ve heard that they are going to have to start registering as hazardous waste).

    I am somewhat hesitant to post that info, as I’ve come to discover that there will always be somebody somewhere who doesn’t think something is a good idea… but I suppose it doesn’t hurt to pass it along.

    Thanks again for your post!

  42. Carrie August 4, 2010 at 6:48 am #

    Lindsay,
    I wonder if you have any experience making handsoap from Castile bar soap. I picked up a few bars for my girl’s bath soap, but a liquid soap would be better and would last longer, I think… I love your method for cleaning. I will have to try those Norwex cloths!

    Thanks,
    Carrie

    • Lindsay August 5, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

      No, I don’t. If I want liquid castile soap I just purchase the liquid edition of Dr Bronners.

  43. Amber Lee August 4, 2010 at 6:45 am #

    My problem is the initial cleaning of the house. I have so much clutter to pick up! I get done with one room, and by the time I get done with the next the original room is cluttered again. Frustration! I do keep my cleaning essentials simple, though. Dr Bronners and Murphy’s Oil soap.

  44. Leslie August 4, 2010 at 5:40 am #

    I loved this! I have been thinking recently of ways to simplify my cleaning routine, and this is very simple! Thank you so much!

  45. Shannon Hazleton August 4, 2010 at 5:22 am #

    Sounds refreshingly simple! I have a few questions…
    1. How many enviro cloths do you have?
    2. Do you cook ahead? Like a month of meals?
    3. What is your routine for washing diapers and wipes?

    • Lindsay August 4, 2010 at 6:27 am #

      I have two enviro cloths, one regular and one window cloth as described. I could use another one, but it does the job. No, I don’t do monthly cooking of meals unless i am preparing for the arrival of a baby. Im not that organized, nor do I have the freezer space and supplies. ;) I do plan monthly menus for simplicity around the seasons. I wash diapers twice a week, and the day changes each week because you wash them every three days, but I roughly do one wash on Friday and one wash on Tues. I wash them in a cold cycle with detergent and then a hot cycle with an extra rinse with just water, and then hang to dry.

  46. Kara August 4, 2010 at 4:06 am #

    First I wanted to say that I LOVE reading your blog. We are totally on the same page with striving for simplicity!! As far as housecleaning is concerned, I too have had to “settle for less” with having 3 kids under 5 at home. I picked two things that bug me the most when they are dirty (my kitchen and my bathrooms) and decided to make sure those were cleaned on a (mostly) regular basis. I clean my kitchen counters after every meal (with a little homemade cleaner that is SUPER easy and used in every room of my house). If my kitchen is clean, I feel like the whole house is clean! AND I clean my downstairs bathroom just a few times a week (I have a little boy ;o)) with some of that super-easy-homemade-cleaner and my upstairs bathrooms once a week. I feel this has caused me less stress. I also do the other normal cleaning things but I try to focus on accomplishing just these two on a weekly basis! Thanks again for all of your insight. I will have to try some of those clothes!!

  47. Courtney(WomenLivingWell) August 4, 2010 at 2:16 am #

    I love seeing other’s cleaning routines!

    Mine is:

    Mondays – Menu and Market (Grocery Shopping Day)
    Tuesdays – Tubs, Toilets and Towels (bathrooms)
    Wednesdays – Wash (laundry)
    Thursdays – Dust
    Fridays – Floors

    Sometimes I have to repeat and do grocery shopping on two days or floors more than once or an extra few loads of laundry on an off day – but for the most part we stick to this schedule very well.

    Thanks for sharing yours – I LOVE seeing other’s schedules!
    Much Love,
    Courtney
    http://www.womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com

    • Lindsay August 4, 2010 at 6:20 am #

      What a great plan! I love the coordination with letters, making it easy to remember!

  48. Susan Stubbings August 4, 2010 at 1:11 am #

    I do something similar – speedcleaning. Essentially, spend 15 mins per day in a different room. I would be lost without my Norwex too!

    • Lindsay August 4, 2010 at 6:22 am #

      Yes, I do the same thing! Each day I try to spend no more than 15-30 minutes on these cleaning tasks and just work quickly and stay focused. This definitely makes it manageable!