Thursday, February 4, 2010

Shine your SINK!

I’m so glad you guys are so interested in the cleaning post! I’m going to try to write about all the topics next week, but for now let’s talk clean…

At the beginning of January I discovered and since I am always in a constant battle with the clutter, dust, and dog hair in my house, I figured I would give this a try. I SUCK at cleaning. I have wanted a maid for the past five years and if I ever get rich, it would be the first thing I splurge on. But that is not going to happen anytime soon, so I have to figure out a way to keep my house under control on my own. It is important because I find that when my house is out of control I am miserable thinking about the task of getting it clean and frustrated with the state it is in.

When I first discovered FlyLady, I just signed up for her emails. I will warn you, it is a lot of email! But I would read through the testimonials and missions and just doing that everyday started to get her system ingrained in me.

Last month’s mission was to Shine you SINK! People really raved about how much of a difference this one step made for them so after putting it off a few weeks, I finally did it. It is really easy…

1.Fill your sink (one side at a time) with hot water to the brim and add a cup of bleach. Let this sit for 2 hours.

2. Use a pair of tongs to pull the stopper and drain the sink and rinse.

3. Repeat on the other side of your sink (if you have 2 sides)

4. Use an abrasive cleaner like Comet to scrub your sink. Make sure to get around the faucet and the grimy build-up where your dish soap and sponge sits.

5. Take a sharp object or a toothbrush and clean out the crevices like where your sink meets the counter and in between the corners of the faucet. (kind of like cleaning under your fingernails)

6. Rinse the Comet from your sink REALLY well.

7. Finally spray some Windex in your sink and wipe it down dry.

It really made a huge difference and my sink has stayed shiny ever since! Keeping your sink shiny almost forces you to keep your whole kitchen clean. You can’t leave dirty dishes around…they must go right in the dishwasher and since you have to have room for new dishes, you must put away the clean ones right away. The key to keeping your sink shiny though is to wipe it dry with a dish towel every time you use it. It really isn’t hard to do and does make a big difference throughout the entire kitchen.

The other habit I have adopted is the Swish and Swipe. She has this as one of the morning habits, but mornings are too crazy for me so I do it before bed each night. The Swish and Swipe just consists of Swiping down your counters and mirrors in your bathroom everyday and Swishing your toilet clean. First I had to clean off my counters. I couldn’t even get to all the toothpaste splashes on the mirror because I had so many lotions, hair products, and other bottles on my sink. So I cleaned off everything except my toothpaste, mouthwash, contact solution, face moisturizer, and one hair product. I got rid of any knick knacks. I put my make-up bag, glasses case, deodorant and hair brushes in a drawer. Everything else went under the sink. But my staightner and hair dryer still took up a lot of room. So I left them plugged in but hid the cords along the wall and put them in a drawer. Now I can actually see my counter tops! I keep a container of antibacterial wipes under the sink and every night after I get ready for bed I wipe everything down. For the toilet swish, I got a brush that came with a container and a lid. I put soap in the bottom of the container so the brush is just touching it. Each night I pull out the brush and swish the toilet bowl whether it needs it or not! It’s really easy and keeps the bathroom looking neat and clean.

I’m slow with this. I should have more habits down, but some of them like doing laundry everyday just don’t make sense for me. But just those 2 changes have made a big difference. I hope to get in the habit of making my bed everyday and de-cluttering for 15 minutes each day. I also want to get into her ZONE cleaning routines, but to keep from getting overwhelmed I am keeping the pace slow.

Go check out her site and let me know what you think. Start with the Beginner Baby Steps. She also has some good products for sale on her site. I bought the feather duster and I LOVE it! I always thought feather dusters just push the dust around and had used Swiffer dusters. But those things are expensive and sometimes can’t handle all the dust in my house. This feather duster sucks up the dust into the feathers and is so easy. When you are done dusting you just take it outside and shake the dust out of it.

What cleaning routines help you keep your house in order?


Sam said...

These are great!! Thanks! So.. be careful with leaving your straightener plugged in and putting it in a drawer. I know you turn it off, but if you are anything like me, then it could be easy to one day forget to hit the off switch and put it in the drawer on! And that would be bad! Hah, sorry, not trying to lecture.. that was just the thought that popped in my head when I read that :) That is awesome that you are keeping up with daily cleaning. I really don't know if I could keep up, but I'm definitely now going to try!

Great post :)

Erin said...

I heard about Fly Lady years ago but being single and in an apartment, her plan just wasn't useful for me at the time. For a few months I followed a blog called Clever Homemaking that listed 2 or so chores each day so that you wouldn't get overwhelmed and I loved it but she's quit doing that. I think I'll give FlyLady another chance now that I have an actual house and a hubby that likes it clean on a regular basis! Thanks for posting!

Sassy and Classy said...

Hi! I just found your blog today. I started Fly lady in January. I think those first 2 steps was all I needed to get myself in gear. I don't always have a "shining" sink but I make sure all the dishes are done after dinner. I found the swish and swipe really helpful. I don't know why I didn't think of putting the soap with the brush before! My house is really clean now though all the time and I don't have anymore CHAOS. I don't read her emails anymore but she has a great ideas!

Shoshanah said...

I definitely don't clean the way I should. Every once in a while I've have a Saturday where I'll go on a crazy cleaning spree, which really just involves wiping everything down with Clorox wipes. But I think that sink cleaning sounds like a great idea, and I might have to try it one lazy Saturday

Jen said...

These are fabulous ideas Susan. I get entirely too many emails as it is and can't keep up with them so I'll just keep checking here for some tips and ideas. Personally, I would love to live alone, that way if a mess is made, I can't blame anyone but myself... let me know when you find a dog hair fix.

Kelly said...

Wow Suz, this takes MAJOR dedication. I'm so proud of you! Good tips...I liked the bathroom one though because it is a lot easier to keep it clean on a daily basis instead of having to spend 2-3 hours doing it all at the same time each month.