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*b* list of cleaning ideas….

so as some of you know, i used to have a cleaning business with my good friend joan. i went into it, thinking i knew quite a lot about cleaning, just because when you keep your own house, you have to figure it out. but, i must say, that doing it for a living daily, you learn more than perhaps you think you want to know. the thing that i think was interesting about it too, was how quick we became at doing different tasks. we knew that the more efficient we were, the better it would be for us moneywise. plus, when you do something (really anything) daily, it comes quicker and more easily. i look back at that time and am grateful for it, for a number of reasons-time with joan and the other girls who worked with us (you really get to know people who you spend that kind of time with), we laughed SO much (i miss that a LOT), it was humbling, it was hard physical work (which i find really gratifying) and i learned that tasks that seem really monumental aren’t always as big as you think. i think big household chores, like washing windows or moving furniture or vacuuming curtains, can seem so overwhelming, but once you start it, it really isn’t that bad. the feeling of accomplishment is awesome too. a year or two ago, i did a *b* list of cleaning tips and it was the most commented on and visited list i’ve done. since then, i’ve thought of more tips that i thought might be helpful. some will be repeats of the last list. i thought it bore repeating  : ) i do have to say that i’m not quite as practiced as i once was, because i do have weekly help with my cleaning now.

*b* list of cleaning tips and ideas (not necessarily *green* ideas)

  1. spray bleach for your kitchen sink. we had a client back in the day, who would spray bleach in her kitchen sink before we arrived to clean. we would walk in her kitchen and smell that clean bleach scent and it felt like some of the work was already done. when i feel crummy about how my kitchen looks, i take just a sec and spray the sink with bleach. for some reason, that makes everything else seem more tolerable. maybe that’s due to the fact that i’ve become so busy that my standards around the house aren’t what they used to be.
  2. a dusting tip. i just realized that i learned this tip from the same client who sprayed her kitchen sink! her house was probably the most impeccably clean home i’ve ever been in….so it stands to reason. she suggested i dampen my dusting cloth and squeeze it out thoroughly and then spray it with my dusting spray, rather than spraying the furniture with the spray and then dusting with a dry cloth. this really, really works. the dust clings to the dampened cloth so much better. i will never dust any other way. (not that i dust that often anymore)
  3. one little green pad. you know the sponge on one side, green scratchy pad on the other pads? i buy them and then proceed to cut them into small squares. i’m easily grossed out by germs (a whole ‘nother story), so i like to use them a few times and discard them. i use them for my tub and shower and have a separate one that i use on the toilet bowl. no toilet brush for me. they feel so germy and disgusting in my honest opinion.
  4. no buckets or mops.

    i use a simple mix of hot water and a drop of dish soap on my floors. i ring the rag out thoroughly and get down on all fours to get every corner and crevice. i don’t use a bucket either….i simply rinse my rag out in clean, fresh water as needed over the sink. that way the water doesn’t get filthy after one rinsing. granted, it’s a lot of up and down and running to the sink, but i feel good about the cleanliness.

  5. make your bed every day. my gram’s tip. she always said that if your bedroom wasn’t tidy, just making the bed, makes it instantly look much better. for many, many years, i made my bed every day and never missed a day, i think it was a way of honoring gram. i’ve broken the record now, but continue to make my bed almost religiously.
  6. shower and bathtub tips. tilex soap scum. green scratchy pad. spray the tilex, let it soak for a few minutes, then scrub and rinse. don’t forget the walls. have a toothbrush in your cleaning caddy for the shower door groove. a lot of mildew and junk can build up that you really can’t get any other way.
  7. wash windows for an instant room makeover. i try to do this at least 4 times a year. windows, sills, and screens. i love armorall autoglass cleaner and papertowels.
  8. for clutter relief do this: always leave a room, more picked up than it was when you walked in. a friend who has a house that is amazingly organized, shared this tip with me. it’s sort of just a mind game, but it really does work. for me, especially when i get ready in the morning and would be tempted to leave my bathroom messy. it takes seconds, but makes such a difference in clutter control.
  9. rewards. when i am really not in the mood to contend with household chores, i will take on one room at a time and then do something i enjoy when it’s done. childish? yes, but whatever it takes!
  10. launder bedding on the same day every week. i think this is a chore that can be easily overlooked, so i try to do it routinely on wednesdays. i love clean bedding, so even when i’m slammed with lots of work, i don’t want to let this slide.

if even one little tip helps or inspires, then i’m happy. i do try to share practical stuff that i would want to read. so even though this is primarily a photography site, it’s also obviously my personal blog. the whole package! those who are interested in photography, can just look at the pics!

 guess who’s here?



grif asked me to take his pic after he saw me shooting dane. that was a first.

so i sorta finished the guest room finally. it’s not exactly the way i want it, but it’s close. a collection of paint by numbers and a new lampshade will complete it. i was thrilled with this quilt i found on clearance at bed, bath and beyond.





i finally have a place for the vintage art collection that i started years ago.

so our guests arrived safely and we’re planning a day by the pool.

last week, i took photos of the sweetest sisters. their mama is a sweetie too 🙂



such a great connection between them. it’s hard to believe that liv has only been with them for 3 months….it’s as if she were born to them.




she has learned sign language and was reading her book to me. so cute.





love the slippers.


such a fun family. i’m always happy to see families like this with more than 2 children : )

i hope you have a great day and God bless!

Jessica T - Thanks for the dusting tip….I use this Clorox wand thing for the toilets. It has a disposable pad that has all of the cleaner in it already, and you throw it away after 1 use. They are fantastic!

I also have the same Audrey Hepburn picture….LOVE IT!

Shelley - love the room! What is the quote behind the door with the flowers on a board? I am a huge quote collecter and am dying to know what it says. By the way I start my everyday with my bible, a cup of tea with honey, and your blog! Love ya! Shelley from Cali!

cynthia - what great ideas! and most of them i already do however…#8 is quite perfect, i’ll be starting that today!

and i totally agree about the “germ” thing, i’m really wierd about germs floating around and staying stuck to things!

happy tuesday!

patti - I was goig to email you about your original cleaning list just the other day. I love this new one as well. Hey, do you have any tips for keeping your garbarge disposal smelling fresh? I have used all kinds of stuff in mine including baking soda/vinegar and nothing really seems to work. Thanks as always for your tips and photos! Enjoy your company-your room looks great!

naomi - have ever heard of ZEP? it comes in a blue bottle and you can only get it from home depot. Its for the bathroom tiles and tubs. Just spray it and forget it. 20-30mins later rinse with water. all stains, mildew, scum whatever will be gone!!!!!

it smells like chemical but its just soo worth it.

Jenny - Just wanted to drop by and say ‘hi’. I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while, but have never left a comment before. I enjoy your blog, for the photographs and for the personal posts too.

Renae Reis - Hey Becky,
Love the cleaning post, the pics and the spare room!! Question…did you paint all of your woodwork and replace all of the doors or did you get them when you bought the house? Just curious cuz if you did it, I have some questions!

Thanks for sharing,

a *b* list of favorite tips. {beckynovacekphotography} » Becky Novacek Photography - […] area. But I’ve shared my cleaning tips in the past, so if you want to read more about this, click here  or here.  I thought I had shared some cleaning tips recently, but it was back in 2009! Time […]

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