My Favorite Things

I’m really looking forward to writing about my daughter, and I will tell you about her soon. It’s just that when I introduce her on this blog, I want to make sure I’m doing her justice. She is a very special little girl, and she certainly deserves to be the star of a very inspired post. Of course, the words will probably come to me at the most inopportune moment–like when I’m in the shower (where I do all my best thinking), or when I’m in the middle of cleaning or paying bills or nursing my son. And when it happens, it will be all I can do to get my thoughts out fast enough. And that’s how I will know it’s the right time to introduce my sweet girl. 🙂

In the meantime, I’m in the mood for something more lighthearted…Because in our house, we aren’t very serious much of the time…

When it comes to housewifery, I’m a miserable, epic failure. I have very particular standards and ideas about how I want my house to be, but my problem is that I don’t love up to my own standards. I used to fret about this. It was anxiety-inducing really. Now I laugh about it. My house isn’t dirty–I do have some things I won’t tolerate, like dirty floors (ick!) or a dirty bathroom, but it is lived in and we are a family prone to messiness.

You have no idea what it takes for me to admit this. For a LONG time, I worked very hard–to the point of making myself (and my husband) crazy–because I thought that keeping a perfect house would make me a better parent/wife/person. WRONG! Just ask my husband how much fun I was…Oh, and let me be clear–although I worked hard at it, I wasn’t successful. I could spend days on end cleaning and organizing and there would still be piles of paper on the counter, toys on the floor, and baskets of clean laundry needing put away. I’ve learned to let that stuff go these days. Or, I should say, where it used to stress me out, now I just look at it and shrug. It’s ok. Those un-filed bills aren’t going anywhere and at least our underwear are clean even if they’re not put away.

That said, there are some things that my husband and I don’t let slide (most of the time), and I have some favorite products to help me to get the job done. I promise I’m not being paid to endorse any of these products, and I have no affiliation with any of the companies. It’s just when I find something I like–something that saves me time and (usually) money–I want to share it. So here goes…These are a few of my favorite things.

Tide Pods

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I’ve tried A LOT of different laundry detergents. I prefer Tide, and these little packets are awesome! They do seem to be a little pricey at first thought, but I decided to give them a try after our local news ran a “Don’t Waste Your Money” segment and gave them the thumbs-up, explaining that they actually save money for most families because most of us use much more detergent per load than we need to. I knew these people were on to something–I have suspected this same thing for a long time, and my husband and I actually started tallying the loads of laundry we were doing just to see how many loads we really got out of a bottle. We were lucky to get half of the loads we were supposed to get, and we honestly didn’t realize just how little detergent it takes to wash most loads, especially now that most detergents are concentrated. We were shocked! Of course, this means that we were spending more money burning through laundry detergent than we needed to. An obvious solution seems to be just cutting back on the amount of detergent we use, but I like these Tide Pods better. I don’t have to think about it–just pop it in and I know I’m getting the number of loads marked on the package. Tide consistently meets my expectations–I feel like our clothes are clean and stain-free with little effort–and these pods are no exception.

That said, I have also really liked the Kirkland brand of laundry detergent from Costco. I felt like it got our clothes just as clean as Tide, with a great price. If they start selling Kirkland brand pods, I would buy them!

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Swifter Duster Extender

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This thing is AMAZING! It has changed my life. I absolutely detest dusting, especially because our house has more woodwork than any house should, but this handy invention makes it a little more bearable. I still don’t like to dust, but this makes the process much easier. Of course, it’s not a substitute for furniture polish, but it gets the job done. I dusted baseboards and door frames, corners, walls, etc. today while managing both kids. And I did it in record time, with very little bending, squatting, and contorting (which are usually part of my dusting routine). Do yourself a big favor and go get one of you haven’t already!

Vinegar

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When I say we have tried everything out there to mop our tile floors, it’s not hyperbole. We used a Hoover Floormate for a long time and loved it. We have a Shark Steam Mop, an old fashioned mop and bucket, a mop that works like a Swiffer Wet Jet but has a refillable bottle…We even have a Scooba automatic floor cleaning robot.

We’ve also used every type of cleaner you can think of. But hands-down, without a doubt, my favorite is household vinegar. It is a natural antibacterial and, stinky as it is, it eliminates odors. It also doesn’t leave a filmy residue like many other cleaners do and it’s inexpensive. It is safe for kids and pets, and it does a great job with little effort. We use vinegar in the Scooba, in the Swiffer-like mop. We put it in spray bottles and clean everything from tile to wood floors. We can even clean other parts of the house with it too. It is my go-to cleaner.

Slipper Genie

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Love these! I actually use them for quick mopping. I just spray the floor and slide back and forth like I’m doing side lunges. My floor gets cleaned and I get a little workout at the same time! 🙂 They work for dust/dry mopping too. Plus, they’re hilarious. You need a pair! You NEED them!

Ok, that’s it for tonight. What are your favorite cleaning products? Tell us all about them–we could all use time- and money-saving tips!

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3 thoughts on “My Favorite Things

  1. Baking soda can be used for all kinds of cleaning chores…cuts through all kinds of gunk. It’s safe, bio-degradeable & cheap…not to mention an additive to toothpaste 🙂

  2. Mrs. Meyer’s all purpose cleaner…. You have to order it from the website or amazon. It’s expensive but you can use it for almost everything, it’s all-natural so safe around the kids, and it smells really good…

  3. Jonathan accidentally bought the Tide pods (long story, but essentially he thought they were dishwasher packets…lol) and we LOVE them! We also have a serious detergent rationing problem, so these things are the best 🙂

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