Age quod agis-“Do what you are doing.”

Here is where I take Rocket three times a day This clip shows the two blocks around downtown, which is my ‘hood.
The weather, for summer, is just right. We have long months of really hot weather (anything over 105 feels the same–like the inside of an oven), months of dense fog (can’t see the dotted line on the road dense) and endless gray days, when it feels like the cloud cover is just a foot over your head. (Gloom and doom days).

I start my day by taking the dogs out.  I try to stay in the moment and I work on their training–sit, stay, wait.

Come to me (helpful when I see people and I want the dogs to come to me and wait on the sidewalk.)

I don’t do any yelling. I give the command and either make a little clicking noise or twitch the leash.  I don’t haul on the leash, just a little twitch with a command.  I carry little training treats in my pocket (the ones that look like little wrapped hotdogs.  I pinch them in half because it’s a training treat, not a meal).

Because they are rewarded with a treat during their walk, they really pay attention to me. They get a “Good boy!” and a treat every time they follow commands when we are out. Even Rocket (the stupidest dog on the planet), is rewarded with treats for following commands. She is at least that smart!  Training your dog for a walk makes the walk so much more enjoyable for the walker. It’s no fun when your dog wants to pull your arm out of the socket or just yanks you all over the sidewalk.

So today, I do have to clean the bathroom (really…it stopped being an option this morning).

Here are my housekeeping tips of the week:
You are going to clean top to bottom/clean to cooties.

Dirt follows the laws of gravity just like anything else. When you start at the top and work to the bottom, you won’t be constantly re-cleaning surfaces with dirt from above. Horizontal (shelves, counters, tub surrounds) get dirtier than vertical surfaces.

I have a bucket on rollers that carries everything I need (rags, scrubby sponge, gloves clipped on the edge with a clothespin, Windex, pet enzyme spray, Soft Scrub, vinegar,Lysol toilet bowl cleaner, Cascade Dishwasher tablets in a ziplock, spare ziplocks and Scrubbing Bubbles. I use a Shark Steamer mop AND a handheld Shark Steamer.) I keep everything in a 5-gallon paint bucket that sits on a roller bottom, so everything can scoot around. I’ve tried wearing an apron but the bucket works better for me. I have one loaded for the bathrooms, one loaded for the kitchen and then one loaded for just general cleaning). I only need on roller base and can just set the bucket I need on it and scoot it around.

All you need to pick up from your cleaning supply stash are your bucket (already packed)and a broom/vacuum cleaner (I have three inside dogs and a dog hair problem). I use ratty towels that I have cut up as cleaning rags. I either toss them or run them thru a super hot water wash and dry them on the clothes line. I have a drying rack in my laundry room so I don’t have wet rags waiting for a load. I use my Shark Steamer for the counter and basin. I love my steamer! It shoots out HOT, pressurized steam that will clean out all the accumulated grime, so all you have to do is wipe off the dislodged gunk. Great for icky grout and grimy anything.

Open the window and open the door.  You want some air circulation in there with you! If you find that you don’t have good circulation, you might want to put a little fan in the doorway.

Spray some kind of bowl cleaner in first thing.  If you have rings, pour a can of Coke in the water. The idea is to let the products do the cleaning. If your toilet is smelly, it is probably the seat that is dirty, or the base of the toilet or the floor surrounding the toilet. I use the enzyme stuff you use for pet stains, from PetSmart. This is the only place I will wear gloves because IMO, the toilet is cootie city. I’m probably wrong, but that’s what I think.  I use Windex to wipe the whole unit down, once the bowl is clean. (Use a clean rag NOT the ones you’ve used on the floor or the bowl). Don’t forget the base and the little area behind the toilet.  Use the Steamer or a toothbrush to get to the serious gunk you might find. I have even put down ratty old towels and poured boiling water over the whole toilet. I just wanted to get it as clean as possible and this seemed to work when my children were small and messy.

Spray some kind of cleaner in the shower, tub and basin. Don’t be stingy but don’t choke yourself out, either. When you’re cleaning a surface, don’t rinse or wipe just to see if you’re done. If you were wrong, you’ll have to start all over again. Check as you’re cleaning by “seeing through” the gunk to the surface below. Usually, the gunkiest area is the basin.  I check there to see how the products are working.

While your products are working, pick up the rugs and pop them into the washer. I do this once a week. I have two sets of rugs, so when they come out of the washer, I hang them up and when dry, they go into the linen closet. I also put the towels in the wash and hang them out. Before they go into the linen closet, they go into the dryer to get un-scratchy-fied. I like them a little crisp but not board straight.

Turn on the hot water in the shower and use the spray to wash down the walls, shelves and any bottles you have standing round (hot water dries faster than cold water).

Use a squeegee on the door and walls.

I have a rag with baby oil on it that I use to wipe down the faucets and handles—it repels the water and cuts down on water spots. I use it on the tile walls, also–just a very light swipe. (NOT the shower floor).

The water in my area is HARD and I don’t want the spots to turn into barnacles. If you notice your shower head getting clogged up with hard water deposits, fill up a Ziplock with VINEGAR and tape it up so that the shower head is immersed in the vinegar. Let it dissolve the hard water–which will sometimes take more than five minutes).

If the tub is especially icky, boil some water and drop some Cascade dishwashing soap into the water. It is the very best cleaner for tough jobs that I’ve found. I use it for the tub/shower and really dirty floors. It will dislodge all that body oil grime. Nothing looks ickier to me than a ring around the tub!
Then fill up your rinse bucket with hot water and sluice out the tub.

Sweep the floor twice. You want to pick up as much dirt and hair as possible. (I will vacuum first only because my bathrooms are really big–12 x 14, which is a LOT of floor to clean). If your floor is really dirty, you’ll need to scrub it on your hands and knees.
I use two buckets (one for the product and one with clean water), a dairy brush and rags to scrub and clean in sections, leaving behind a clean floor. If it’s just normal dirty, mop it.  I use a steam mop (Shark Steamer) because it has reusable pads that can just be tossed in the washer and reused. Hot water dries faster than cold water.

I use Windex with a paper towel for the mirror and then use a clean rag for the light fixtures, switches and counter top. I try to keep my counter cleared off. I have a couple of “cut glass” footed goblets (from Target) for my makeup. They can be sprayed with Windex and swished out with hot water to get rid of hairspray residue. Only takes a second.

Put your clean rugs down; hang up your fresh towels and you are done! (20 minutes for me from start to finish).


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