The 2 Little Changes That Are Making My Cleaning Routine a Million Times Easier

updated Jan 17, 2020
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

I probably think about cleaning more than the average person. Between attempting to keep a household of seven humans (and three animals) relatively clean most of the time and writing about cleaning and organizing professionally, you’d think I’d have a handle on this part of my life.

But I’m still (and always will be) learning. Last year, I implemented two major changes in my house-cleaning life and they’ve made such a difference.

Credit: Sarah Crowley/Apartment Therapy

1. I cancelled automatic shipments of cleaning supplies.

My first change was to reassess the Amazon Subscribe & Save settings on my cleaning staples. I leaned in to the Subscribe & Save system, thinking it would automate my cleaning product purchases. And it did. But I never seemed to be able to strike the right balance of filling up my five-item requirement in order to earn the 15 percent discount and getting the schedule of delivery synced with my real-life usage needs.

So I ended up with far, far too many tins of Nellie’s laundry detergent and boxes of washing machine cleaning tablets. I’d get the notification that my Subscribe & Save order was going to ship and I’d either scramble to adjust it and still get the dish soap I needed or I’d forget to adjust or postpone the order and kick myself when a big box showed up.

Managing my Subscribe & Save was more of a hassle than just ordering what I needed when I needed it, 15 percent discount or not. So I went into my account and canceled the whole shebang. Ideally I’ll keep track of how often I re-order what I use, but realistically I won’t. It’s a relief, though, to know for sure I won’t be adding to my year-plus overstock of supplies.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

2. I simplified my stock of cleaners to just two sprays.

The other major overhaul I made in my cleaning routine was cutting down on my cleaning products. Specifically, it got to be a bit much to keep track of glass spray, granite cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, a vinegar solution, and more. I didn’t want to store one of each in every cleaning caddy spot around the house (I have one in each bathroom, one under the kitchen sink, and another set in the cleaning closet) and I didn’t want to worry about having to keep track of which kinds were low and needed re-stocking.

So I radically simplified and pared down to two main cleaning sprays: an all-purpose, easy-to-mix DIY cleaner composed of water, white vinegar, and a few drops of Dawn; and my Puracy spray for granite, tile, and anything else I don’t want to use vinegar on. I almost exclusively use microfiber cloths, rather than a combination of terry cloth rags and microfiber, not only to simplify my routine, but also because the microfiber itself helps pick up dust and dirt and seems to stretch my cleaning products as well.

Through hitting pause on my Subscribe & Save and downsizing to two main cleaning products, I’m set to make 2020 my most streamlined cleaning year yet.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: The 2 Best Changes I Made to Simplify My Cleaning Routine this Year