Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Springtime sprucing - plus - a new tool to tackle the worst cleaning chore

**Update: Congrats to jp26 - winner of the fab Clorox Bathroom Essentials prize pack !

I love a clean house. I love the quiet satisfaction derived when all around me is clean and ordered. When my home is ordered, so is my mind. When my home is not an oasis of calm, neither am I…

An endless pile of laundry waiting for its turn to be folded, interminable cycles of the dishwasher, growing jumbles of toys to be put away, books in untidy stacks, CDs and DVDs in haphazard piles, shoes scattered everywhere. This is the frontline of my daily struggle to keep our home from looking like a giant dumping ground.

By the time I’ve dealt with the each day's laundry, dishes, vacuuming/mopping, general cleaning and picking up, I am done. The ‘extra stuff’ can wait ‘till spring. (I like the tarnished look on silver...)

Spring is here now. Hmm. Hooray, I guess. Time to get going on all the chores I have successfully avoided since last spring’s cleaning shakedown.

Here are some of this year's spring cleaning “To Do’s”:
• Take down the collection of decorative teapots on display in our kitchen. Wash off the thick coating of grime and dust that has managed to build up on each one of them over the past year. Ugh.

• Gently and carefully hand wash and then iron the drapes that hang in my daughter’s bedroom. Yes, I said handwash and iron. Her drapes are a delightfully ethereal, flimsy white fabric - sprinkled with pink and green florals.

So pretty, but a massive headache for mom because they show every teeny tiny speck of dirt, and I spend half the year trying to ignore their steadily more grimy appearance. In a twisted way, I actually look forward to washing them: just so that I can enjoy looking at them for the two weeks of the year that they remain prettily pristine.

• Decluttering! Earlier this week, when our spring cleaning commenced in earnest, we began the task of sorting and organizing Pudding Pie’s art supplies. Her art stash had been residing in a sprawling and untidy pile beside (and beneath) her art table. Because her art table is in our living room, the entire room takes on the sprawling, untidy tone.

After a long morning of cleaning, we now have no more art sprawl! Instead, we have an organized art supplies cabinet and we've reassigned part of a bookshelf to the remaining art/educational supplies. It looks great, and Pudding Pie has a renewed interest in doing her cool art projects because she can find everything again!

I have also been combing through the various jumbles of toys and I’ve been culling those that Pudding Pie has outgrown. This is a task I reserve for when she is nowhere near our home. I once made the mistake of asking if she’d like to help me weed out some of the toys she no longer plays with. Silly mommy, I didn’t realize that she still plays with everything and nothing is ever ready for the donation box or the trash. Now, I fly solo on this project.

• Dusting, dusting, dusting. We have so many shelves with objets artfully displayed…how did we ever accumulate so much stuff? I play a game when I approach this mind-numbing task: I try to remember every fact I can about the item I am working on. (Who gave this to me? When? Why? And finally: Perhaps we should store this for a while?) I imagine a home with nothing on the shelves, where one wide and carefree sweep scoops up the dust and then I’m home free. Knowing me, if I had nothing on any of the shelves, I would repopulate them with new treasures in no time at all.

While we’re on the subject, let’s talk about my cleaning nemesis: the toilet. Cleaning the toilets really doesn’t fall under the header of Annual Spring Cleaning. Necessity dictates that this activity falls more under the Several Times Per Week header, also the Guests Are Coming header. I do not like cleaning the toilets, but I doubt this makes me unique.

When cleaning my nemesis, along with the toilet brush, I use excessive quantities of bleach and paper towels. After I’m done, I flush the toilet brush over and over again in the clean toilet - and I still wince if it drips on its way back to its holder. I drive myself crazy by imagining a guest needing to use the toilet brush, then carelessly slinging it back into its holder. Did they rinse it off thoroughly? Did anything drip off the brush and onto the seat, on the brushes’ journey back to base? Ah, the possibilities are endless...

Luckily, I can now shift focus to the other things that keep me up at night because Clorox has come up with a wondrous thing: a disposable toilet brush! Yes, the Clorox ToiletWand System has allowed me to dispense with the whole process of vigorously cleaning off the toilet brush – now, I just discard after use.

Each time you need to clean the commode, attach a disposable head onto the end of the Clorox ToiletWand, dip the cleaning head into the bowl and scrub your toilet bowl clean. The disposable head disinfects your toilet bowl killing 99.9% of germs. Once you’re done scrubbing, one easy click of the button on the ToiletWand pitches the used head into the trash - I love it!

Plus, the disposable heads store neatly and conveniently inside the container housing the wand – no clutter. If you think you’d like to ditch your old toilet brush and go with the more effortless approach, click here for a $3.00 coupon! Also, if there’s still any doubt in your mind about how easy and effective the Clorox ToiletWand is, check out the how-to video here.

Finally, If you're now coveting a ToiletWand for yourself, today could be your lucky day! Between now and April 11th, Cuddle Cottage is hosting a giveaway for one Clorox Bathroom Essentials ToiletWand prize pack!

The prize pack includes a ToiletWand, bathroom rug, toilet decal, and toilet paper holder. To enter, leave a comment letting me know your least favorite household chore. Be sure to leave your comment before midnight on Monday, April 11th.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Clorox and received a ToiletWand to facilitate my review and a gift code to thank me for taking the time to participate.