Cleaning Tools of the Trade

I actually had someone ask me if I have a cleaning outfit I wear at home!!

It wouldn’t be “speed cleaning” if you took the time to change into a cleaning outfit every time you started cleaning! The short answer is, I don’t dress up (or down) to clean. Most of the routines I describe in this book are about quick cleaning routines you can get through in minutes. It’s probably not a good idea to wear that $500.00 dress with heels or that Armani suit, but generally, don’t worry about what you wear – just be comfortable.

For people who work outside the house and just want to come home and get through the routine in minimum time, changing into sweats may be part of the daily routine. And nothing wrong with that. But if you have to go out again, or take the kids to a concert, or you’re having guests etc etc etc, just use an apron.

Having said that, most people do change when they get home into something more comfortable and that’s the key. Be comfortable.

One more caveat about the fashion of cleaning. The daily routines are based on periodically doing more thorough cleaning (one or twice a month) when you get into the corners. For those cleaning activities, you should be comfortable. I use sweat pants and a T shirt (I like to use these cleaning activities as kind of an exercise routine). But the name of the game is comfort. And please don’t choose anything that you would feel badly about if the bleach or other cleaner happened to cause it a little bit of damage.

The Apron or the Tote-All?

Most aprons have a hundred pockets or so – all kinds of places to put the cleaning tools of the trade. I’ve seen some people use them like that. But I don’t do it. I wear an apron to protect my clothes, but I’ve never found it particularly efficient to be lugging around all kinds of tools clipped to me. The idea is to get the job done as quickly as possible – having everything in your pockets inhibits movement and just gets in the way. Keeping your home clean

One of the basic secrets to speed cleaning is having everything you need right there. How many times have you wasted time going back to the pantry or the kitchen for some cleaning product that you don’t have with you when you enter the room you’re going to clean? I use a pail. With a few exceptions (that I’ll point out at the appropriate time) I have all my cleaning materials stored in one place and in a pail that I take from room to room.

Recently, I’ve seen specially designed “tote carry alls” on the market that are a bit bigger than a standard pail and have dividers so you can organize your cleaning tools and carry them around. I might get one of those – they look like they will do the job! But my pail seems to work just fine for me and the only thing I might have in my apron pocket are some rags (I use specific rags for specific rooms but we’ll get to that….)

Also, plastic bins sales have exploded. While am not usually an advocate of these, consider buying one for your cleaning supplies. In this bin you can store all your brushes, rags and even a roll of paper towels. Think of it for a moment: instead of stashing all of your cleaning supplies under the sink in the kitchen, you can have them waiting for you in a bin. And you can have the bin stored in a convenient location where you can be sure it’s always handy. When you’re ready to clean, remove only those items you’ll be using for that day.

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