“[…] a book about cleaning the house isn’t exactly beach reading. But since we don’t get taught cleaning in school anymore […], and it is legitimately a life skill that affects us and our families each day (just think back to your last cleaning-related argument), it is absolutely worth learning about and mastering.”
I know, I know, a book about cleaning here on my book pic of the month? Couldn’t I have found something more exciting? Well, let me tell you, in all my coaching I always stress the importance of a tidy, clean home. Not an over-the-top Martha Stewart styled home, but just a clean home that you can feel comfortable and happy in. A big part of a healthy life is coming home at the end of a tiring day to a space you love. If you come home to a pigsty every time, you will not have the time to de-stress, settle down, and relax that your body so desperately needs.
When people come to my house, one of the first comments is always “your house is so clean”. Yes, it is. And do you want to know my secret? I don’t have a lot of stuff standing around. Things that take forever to dust are all tucked away, so that my cleaning process gets cut down to 3-4 hours a week plus some routine tidying up every day. Of course this is still a time investment, epsecially if you are already stretched to the limit time-wise. Every week when I clean, I really miss our helper we had in China, who just kept our home so clean that I never had to think about it. But alas, those good times are gone for now.
I don’t love cleaning. What I love is the cleanliness afterwards. The fact that I can walk over my floors with barefeet without stepping into someting every few seconds; that my kitchen looks clean and inviting for me to want to actually cook; and that I love to spend time in my bathtub to relax at the end of a busy day.
I know that this is something a lot of people feel very torn about. On the one hand, the idea of a clean house is nice, but looking at every room and deciding where to start can be so overwhelming. This is where “Clean My Space” comes in.
“Each room-by-room chapter offers up two routines: the Express Clean routine and the Top-to-Bottom routine. The Express routines are designed to give you the key points to hit when you don’t have much time but you want to lightly clean for maximum impact. They can help build confidence in cleaning if you don’t have much experience, they’re the gateway drug of cleaning.”
You can actually get addicited to cleaning? Sign me up! Maker really helps you to make the cleaning process your own. She tells you exactly what kind of cleaning products you need, down to the brands she loves, as well as the how to make your own cleaning products at home. Disclaimer: some of them have been a hit or miss for me. The wood polish wasn’t so well received in my home, but the grout cleaner is the bomb.
First, Maker walks you through picking out your MIAs = the Most Important Areas of your home. These areas will be your main focus when you clean, you can skip the rest or skim over them until you get into more deep cleaning mode. Isn’t that brilliant? You don’t need to feel overwhelmed with having to clean every part of your home every week. Next she offers up her actual technique of how to clean.
"Have you ever walked into a room and felt a strong desire to run the other way? That is because you didn't have a system in place to tackle the cleaning. I get asked all the time about how and where to start cleaning. My formula, the 3-Wave system, is the answer. [...] The idea is that you work around the room three times with a distinct purpose with each pass. By the end of the third pass, your space is sparkling and you feel as calm as a cactus in the desert."
Maker does an excellent job of breaking down every room of your house. She points out areas with special needs - like your sofa cushions that have collected an entire handbag worth of stuff in them over the years - and how to tackle each area most efficiently. Everything she does is with the pure purpose of saving you time and getting the most results. The 3 wave system is implemented in each room, starting with tidying and organizing, going to acutal cleaning, and then finishing with the floors. This way you don’t spread more crumbs on the floors after you have already vaccumed. Most of us have never thought about these processes, and it may seem a bit extreme to you in the beginning, but just like with food that we eat every day, we also need to clean and tidy up regularly. So we might as well learn a system that works, and that gets us super results fast!
"We release two billion dead skin cells - which amounts to about a handful of breakfast cereal - each day. Gross. That just lingers around; dust mites feed on that delicious dinner and then poop out their business, which then becomes part of the dust as well. [...] Dust contributes in large part to so-called sick building syndrome, the headaches, nausea, itchy eyes, and more serious respiratory illnesses that can plague those who work in offices with too little fresh-air circulation and too much dust and other indoor pollutants. So for real. Let's take it seriously."
Sprinkled into each chapter is so much personal wisdom from Maker, you feel like you are having a coffee chat with her, rather than talking about the very dry, boring topic of cleaning. Learn all about her methods of
setting up your cleaning space with all the tools you need to get the job done
cleaning from top of bottom
letting the product do the work for you
checking how well your job was done with the “eye-level test”
the two key cleaning moves, the s-pattern and the w-pattern
My favorite extra special tips that have truly changed my way of cleaning and tidying up are:
To make your ice taste good again in the freezer, dump out the ice from the bin, wash it with hot water, soap, and 1/2 cup of baking soda to get rid of the odor. Then replace it.
Every time you take the stairs, grab something that needs to go upstairs or downstairs. That way you are using your time to tidy up without even noticing it. I often do this with Baby Zand’s toys that seem to all accumulate