In kindergarten, I often skipped recess to reorganize the pretend kitchen in our classroom. In elementary school, I deep-cleaned my bedroom each week, complete with powdered carpet refresher. In high school, my neighbor hired me to clean her house every other week.This obsession with order spans my entire lifetime. After years of dusting, sorting, and scrubbing, it’s safe to say I know a little about cleaning supplies and organizing solutions.
My sister suggested I compile a list of my favorite products, which speaks to her forgiving nature since she had to endure years of my cleaning tyranny. In our shared, childhood bathroom, I posted an exhaustive list of rules, instructing her on everything from replacing the toilet paper to wiping down the counters. Sorry Lulu!
Anyway, this list is the result of years of trial and error. Here’s a sampling of my favorite cleaning/organization products. Read on to save yourself some hassle, time and even money…
- Black and Decker Cordless Lithium Hand Vac I swear my husband and children must hear the whir of this vacuum in their dreams. I use this all. the. time. It’s especially handy after meals with small children who eat crackers like wood chippers. It’s also perfect for the Goldfish dust in my minivan carpet. Instead of hauling out my large vacuum, I use this bad boy to suck up every last crumb. Plus, the lithium ion has a long battery life, and the charging base is super simple to use.
Yes, another one. I use vacuums like a makeup artist uses brushes. Would you use the same brush to apply blush and eyeshadow? No! Never! Of course not! Different jobs require different tools.
Okay…even if you’re not buying my whole multiple vacuum rationale, the PowerEdge is pretty amazing. It’s super lightweight, designed to hug furniture legs, and specialized for hardwood floors (read: it won’t scratch the finish). And this baby doesn’t miss a speck. Believe me, I would know.
My only complaint is the short cord length. But I bought an extension cord that I keep attached to the vacuum. Works like a charm.
My pantry is a testament to my absolute love of OXO containers. Their airtight seals and stackability (not a real word, I know) make them perfect for food storage. Since I’m too cheap to pay full price, I hunt for them at T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. Costco sells OXO sets at a decent discount as well. Just make sure the pop button on the lid is operable. I’ve bought a couple without realizing they were broken.
A more budget-friendly option is the Better Homes and Gardens Flip-Tite container. I have a few of these around the house and have been very pleased with them.
If you’ve read my past posts, then you’ll recall that I offer different levels of organization/cleaning tips. Well, this product is for those of you who want to elevate your cleaning game from average to overachiever.
Even if you aren’t detail-oriented, this is an easy way to fool your guests into believing you’re the type who wipes baseboards and polishes silverware. They will marvel at your dust-free fan blades and think, “Wow…she must really have her life together.”
Okay, so I’m exaggerating a bit, but seriously, this gadget is pretty fun to use. There’s just something so satisfying about eliminating that smug layer of dust that has been mocking you from the ceiling.
I’m a sucker for cute, little organizers. A tiny container for paperclips. A slender one for pens and pencils. A slightly larger bin for pads of paper.
And I’m even more of a sucker for inexpensive organizers. I’ve bought so many of these drawer containers that I should own stock in the company.
They’re nothing fancy, but they get the job done. Everything has a place, even the smallest of items…a major tenet of organization.
Another product I should own stock in.
Magic Erasers are a must-have in any household that includes children…or pets…or any living creature, really. Scuffs on the wall, crayon on couch cushions, spilled nail polish. Nothing is too much for these mystical, magical rectangles.
Two words: Red icing. Smeared all over my cream-colored outdoor cushions. Luckily, I’m experienced with messy children and had coated them all with Scotchgard (the cushions, not the children).
A few dabs with a wet washcloth, and the crimson streaks were nothing more than a distant memory. Spray Scotchgard onto fabrics (indoor or outdoor) to protect against stains and repel moisture. You can thank me later.
So, there you have it. A few of my favs. Let me know if you decide to use any of these products. I want to hear what you think!