|picture of Audrey Hepburn|
2) Shark's PURPLE floor sweeper. I use this several times a week to vacuum my entire house within 30 minutes. This is for hardwood and vinyl floors - NOT for carpets. I do use it on area rugs and kitchen rugs, but it would not clean a carpeted house. I think it holds a 45 minute charge and has a nifty release button for dumping the dust (but I still have to pick up the bottom sweeper and dump that, too). Do not get their GREEN one! It doesn't hold a charge the full 30 minutes, it doesn't have the release button and it broke after 3 months (3 days after Target's return policy expired). So don't buy these at Target. Get it at Bed, Bath and Beyond with a 20% off coupon. SO worth the money because it is easy, light, and gets the job done quickly (I hate to vacuum with a heavy vacuum.) One problem is that after 3 years my handle broke in half. Now it is "kid-sized" and whenever our neighbor's daughter is over I just have to say, "Who wants to vacuum?" and they both come running, fighting over who gets to vacuum which room! Well worth the money!
3) Magic Eraser. Incredible! Pencil marks on walls that were there for 3 years gone in minutes! A wall that had an ugly mark from moving furniture disappeared in seconds! Soap scum from the shower doors gone in less than a minute! I do wear gloves when I use this product. I use the Target brand. So worth having on hand.
4) Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser Mop. When we put in a white vinyl kitchen floor I cried that night, knowing I'd made a huge mistake. I wanted to lighten up the room. But I realized that this floor, that I thought I was so careful in choosing for its "cush" and finish, was going to be a big pain in the neck to keep clean. It was. We use at least 3 rugs near the fridge, stove and sink. Mopping has been a nightmare. Until I found Mr. Clean and his Magic Eraser Mop. I buy a new head for $8 every month at Target and it is money well spent because my floor sparkles after I use it!
5) Command brand Damage-Free Hanging. Someone left a package of these on the free table and they were an answer to prayer! Seriously! I had been asking God how to handle my cord problem in my front room because the mess distressed me. It took me longer than I care to admit how to decipher the instructions on the package, but once I tried to assemble, it was a cinch. I immediately put these little white hangers every few inches on my white baseboard and attached the white cord into them and it magically blended into the wall and I no longer see the cords. I also hung up a red streamer birthday banner that covers the entrance to my son's room that children love to run through. Each year it fell down with the thumbtacks. This year - perfection. Birthday swirling streamers that hang from our dining room that always fell when the a/c or heat went on now stay up without a problem. And the little clips are also EASILY removable when you want to remove them! I am SO impressed with them.
6) Self-Stick Felt for the bottom of chairs, dressers, tables, magazine racks, and pretty much anything that sits on the floor. If you didn't already know, felt on the bottom makes anything heavy easy to move across a room. I like to clean behind my bed headboard. Simple now. Change the furniture around? No problem - it just glides across my hardwood floors. Dining room chairs - much easier to get in and out of. I paid $3.50 for a box of 113 at Big Lots.
7) Foaming Bleach. I have been battling mold and grime in my shower because I can't stand bleach. My dear friend, of whom I asked advice because her house is always immaculate and she had recommended to me #2 and #3, said I'd have to buckle down and do it. She recommended foaming bleach (I used the one with the happy Scrubbing Bubbles on them). I sprayed and left it on for 3 hours. Then I rinsed and sprayed again. Left for 2 hours. Rinsed and used #8 for the final job. She said I might have to do this for 7 days. But I don't see why. It's so clean! But perhaps it won't last? Time will tell. (By the way, she recommended CLR for some other problem spots that I haven't got to yet.)
8) Bleach Grout Pen by Tilex. This was perfect for filling in the the spots that #7 didn't work on. Loved it! I used #3 on the shower doors. I have a new shower!
9) Razor Blade. I use my razor blade in the kitchen whenever I am on a long call. My cabinets are from the 1970's - a pretty wood, but was covered in grease when I moved in. Took me YEARS to remove it all. I scrubbed with several products and then finally got out the blade. I use it to scrape off grime, easily chip off dried food splatters, specks of old paint from window glass, and grime from corners. One night on the phone I scraped my entire bread board (which is not used for food - it's an extended counter space). Has saved my sanity many times.
10) Playtex's Dishwashing Gloves. I like this brand because it is thick. (However, I still cannot wash knives in them.) Because I keep my gloves out I am much more likely to clean up the kitchen timely after meals and snacks. I detest dirty dishes, but with my gloves it is no longer a big deal. My kitchen is much cleaner when I use them.
11) Vinegar. I no longer use white vinegar in my cooking, but I sure use it in my cleaning! Mirrors, glass (careful not to spray on wood), down sinks with baking soda, and as a fabric softener in my clothes washer.
I have also found that wearing a beautiful and becoming apron for cleaning (not cooking) helps me keep in "clean" mode and keeps me from getting side-tracked.
I hope this helps you!